Picking Up the Grille

Picking up the Grille

I�ve been driving the heck out of the 330 America, and I�m happy to report that there have been no major issues. That does not mean, however, that I have been without incident. My turn signals have mysteriously stopped working, and I�m in the process of figuring it out. There has also been a slight axle leak where a small amount of gear oil seeps out from one of the spokes and stains my wheel. I�m thinking about sealing the spoke with some more RTV, and hope the seal swells up a little more with some more driving. Another issue is a whine I�m hearing from the transmission that seems to be getting louder as I drive. It could just be psychosomatic, but I�m going to check the gear oil level before I jump to any conclusions. A bearing could be going bad, but it could also be noisy gears that need more oil, or a change to a heavier weight oil. I�ll let you know what works.

I washed the car this week, and took the opportunity to shoot some pictures. In my opinion, this car looks best from a low angle from the rear 3/4 shot. I�m also happy with the look of the profile shot pictured above. The car has a nice even and aggressive stance.

The one look on my car that is still lacking is anything that shows the front of the car. The missing grille keeps the car from being complete, but thankfully my road trip today was to The Panel Shop to check the progress on my grille.

Mark has done a fabulous job fitting everything up. He was concerned about how the grille was fitting to the chrome shell and wanted my opinion on how to proceed, but by the time I arrived everything was resolved. He still had to counter sink all the holes for the screws that held the grille together, but I assured him I could manage myself. Besides, at $80 dollars an hour, I needed to save some money and do some of this work myself!

What I did need to pay Mark for was the beautiful work he did making these keyways for the grille shell. This area is very delicate and he had to be very careful how far to cut the slot for the last vertical piece. Cutting too far, and he would risk weakening the keyway, not enough, and this piece would not line up with the rest of grille.

I was pleasantly surprised to have left The Panel Shop with my grille! Although Mark could have worked on the grille a few more hours, I felt confident enough to take it from here. With my car so close to completion, it’s getting harder to wait another week before I have the time to go up to Stratford to pick up the completed grille.

I�m now left with the task of polishing all the pieces. The flat pieces should not be a problem, but he oval shell is going to be a challenge. If you�ve ever buffed anything, you know that one wrong move, and the whole shell could be bent up like a pretzel. Mark suggests building a wood buck to screw the shell onto, to keep things from being caught by the buffer. That�s my next project.

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