The Fourth Year

Took the car off the road on 12/24/04 for the winter. Drove 2442 miles in 2004. Put new 155/60-13 tires on the car from TireRack.com. Made a huge difference in how the car felt. Original size tires were 145SR-13, but I couldn't find them anywhere. Part of the improvement may have been that the two rear tires I was driving on were snow tires...

I spent a lot of time in the winter wrestling a new windshield into place. Quite a job, often described as one of the worst on a Midget. Trying to fit the new rubber seal and glass into a slot in the windshield frame that seems only wide enough for the glass takes a lot of carefully applied force. And lemon Joy dish soap as a lubricant. I never want to smell lemon Joy again. Seems like I spent the whole winter with that smell on my hands and in my cellar.

Okay, now the pace picks up. After 20 years in my job, the factory I worked at was closed and I found myself with time on my hands. I hadn't planned to get to the paint phase of the project until next year, but after a flurry of panel replacement work, it felt like I was getting close.


This is the final winter's worth of panel replacement and rust work.

First comes the right inner and outer sills. Before...


...during...


...and after.


Then the bottom of the B-post. I welded in the little strips to help keep the new purchased patch aligned. Started doing that a lot where I couldn't easily put in a clamp.


Welded and ground to look like it might have been welded by someone who knew what they were doing.


Quickly primed to further the illusion.


Then the rear part of the same fender.


Cut away.


Patch panel welded in.


Done with this side.


Rear fender on the other side is much worse. First had to hammer out a patch for the inner fender.


Then cut away for a larger, 1/2 fender purchased repair panel...


...that looks like this. Took an awful lot of time to get it lined up.


Next Page: More Fourth Year, Prep and Painting
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