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MiniBuild 20 ~ Buddy B

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Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
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Mar 14, 2002
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Allow me to introduce you to the latest of the MiniBuilds. This one hails from the great state of Texas, and its neighbor Louisiana. Buddy contacted me about doing this build not to long ago and sent it to us in surprisingly quick. Unlike the 'Norm' here at D&C this Scout will be pretty much left alone. Buddy just wanted us to do some body/paint work, interior and clean up some odds-n-ends here-n-there. This rig isn't going to sit long as Jim is tackling it between working on our other builds and on the weekends. Since its his native profession (body/paint) ~ he doesn't seem to mind the break from heavy metal fab/work.

Working in Louisiana, Buddy flat-towed his Scout to his job site and sent us this picture of the 'beast' I assume its just before pickup.
mb20_1.jpg


Followed with this picture..
mb20_2.jpg

...of our transport company (Diamond Express) picking it up.

A few short days later. 'Buddy' showed up at our doorstep. I was wondering what we'd dub this Scout ~ well Buddy, looks like you have a JR.! now). At first glance, we were pleased to find that not only did Bud look straight and clean, but it also started and ran! BONUS!
mb20_3.jpg


Here are some walk-around pictures.

mb20_31.jpg

mb20_4.jpg

Not bad looking...

mb20_5.jpg

Bumper lights have got to go...

Passenger side is clean.
mb20_6.jpg


Yup, I can work with a rig that can hold my full family....
mb20_7.jpg


Motor is pretty new too.
mb20_8.jpg
 
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Damian Grihalva

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Pretty good from far away ~ but what happens when you get up close?

Looks like the windshield frame will need some work...
mb20_9.jpg

mb20_10.jpg

Rust holes are never good.

towing wiring
mb20_11.jpg


Driver side has a few dents...at least.
mb20_32.jpg


So does the rear end cap...
mb20_12.jpg


Bed looks clean, but the Scout has a 'smell' to it. Which has both Jim and I worried.
mb20_13.jpg


Carpet is fine, but whats this padding?
mb20_14.jpg

Carpet padding is not the best thing to use in a Scout ~ particularly on the floor. Why?

RUST!
mb20_15.jpg


Lots of it.
mb20_16.jpg


mb20_17.jpg
 

Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
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Messages
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Location
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Not just rust, because the padding doesn't dry out very easily, it can produce mold and mildew (the smell). Looking skywards and you can see that mold and mildew have taken hold already.
mb20_18.jpg

That's not dirt guys.

Eager to get this thing apart for a good old-fashion cleaning (think Rambo when the small-time sherriff's provided a shower in the first Rambo movie) Jim pulls it into the paint area prior to tear-down.
mb20_19.jpg


Sitting pretty now, but soon...it'll won't look so complete.
mb20_20.jpg


After removing the entire front clip, bumpers, doors, and complete interior minus the dash... Buddy was pulled back out for a date with some degreaser and a pressure washing from hell.
mb20_21.jpg


Once cleaned up, the motor shows its 'newness'
mb20_22.jpg


Without the fear of the mildew/mold getting into the paint area, the rig is pulled back in and a damage assessment is taken. The rear floor is a lost cause. The padding kept water so well there is hardly a square inch that isn't rust-colored if not eaten straight through.
mb20_23.jpg


The front area of the bed, where the seat sits is worse ~ the seatbelts wont' come out, the bolt/nuts that hold them in, are now one.
mb20_24.jpg


Front floors are a bit better. These had the factory tar paper and carpet on them. Still, there is some rust that needs fixing.
mb20_25.jpg

mb20_26.jpg


Albeit, they look great compared to the rear.
mb20_27.jpg
 

Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
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Messages
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Location
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With replacement metal ordered up, Jim started on filling the trim holes. Buddy wants Bud's trim shaved so we'll be welding that stuff up. Thank goodness the metal on the outside is WAY better than the metal on the inside!
mb20_28.jpg


But we did notice that it seems that the entire Scout has a coat of bondo on it. As the paint is stripped, it become more and more obvious that there has been some previous work done to it.
mb20_29.jpg


Here's the rear end-cap ~ the one with the dent. Well, that's fixed up now. And looking good.
mb20_30.jpg


The 18" air-file does well to strip the paint and its layers off while keeping the contours of the body.
mb20_33.jpg


Getting closer you can see some of the layers of paint, filler, and primers.
mb20_34.jpg


Only a few days and you can really tell Buddy is getting a bit of work done to it!
mb20_35.jpg


Passenger side isn't as rough, but still there is at least two layers of paint and primer on the rear quarter as seen in this picture.
mb20_36.jpg

You can see the primer layer over the original white and its primer before you get down to metal.

Looks like there has been some tire rub on the rear wheel opening ~ this is common with mildly built rigs as the tires normally will rub since most scouts aren't lifted adequately to fit the tires people put on them.
mb20_37.jpg


Front quarter ~ what will we find under it?
mb20_38.jpg


Here's a good example of what I meant when I said that it seemed like the entire scout has a layer of bondo on it. This is the top of the passenger side quarter.
mb20_45.jpg

We sanded through the bondo to clean metal, but there is about 1/8-3/16" of bondo there.

Here's a side shot.
mb20_46.jpg


Buddy mentioned that the rig was painted before he got it, so I'd like to give a note to the do-it-yourselfers: You know, when you see the guys on those cool build shows throw a layer of bondo on the car and make it laser-straight? What they don't show is that they normally sand it all back off. RARELY do professionals use bondo to repair dents, or fill holes. They use it in minuscule amounts if at all. IF you're building a Scout, and have to do some body work, please remove any excessive amounts of bondo (or any filler). Only use what's absolutely needed. Filler is very porous and will retain water (encouraging rust). When hit, it can crack ~ and if too thick, you'll loose the side of your rig on the pavement ~ which is embarrassing.

Sanding through filler or high-build primer is not easy, but when done right, its worth it.
 
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Damian Grihalva

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Moving on....

The doors are in decent shape, here they are stripped and waiting.
mb20_39.jpg


An expensive trip to the paint store nets us the ALMOST everything needed to strip and paint Bud.
mb20_40.jpg


Back at the shop you can see the only bits left of Buddy's interior.
mb20_41.jpg


Everything else is outside....for now.
mb20_42.jpg


Trash can is full. Lots of old carpet and padding.
mb20_43.jpg


Bench seats are cool ~ especially if you have a little lady in the middle ~ But will they go back in?
mb20_44.jpg


More to come after the weekend :yes:
 

Fred Demmon

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Met Buddy this weekend at our GCB meeting and he told me abot this build. I will watching it with great intrest. Thanks for keeping us up to date
 

Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
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Messages
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Location
Colorado Springs
Went by and checked on the Scout progress and this is what I have so far.

The air file did a wonderful job with bringing the body through all the layers and down to mostly metal.
mb20_47.jpg

But if you take a good look at the bottom of that quarter you'll see the patch panel the PO used.

Here's a closer look.
mb20_48.jpg

Ten points if you can tell me whats wrong with it.

Answer, although it was spot welded in at some points, a true and correct fix would have been to remove the metal behind it, sink the panel in, and fully weld it (albeit take a much longer time) all the way around. This keeps water and such out of the hole, makes it possible to flush it into the panel making body work easier (not so much bondo) and fully seals the metal's edges as not to create problems for the future.

Case in point:
mb20_49.jpg

Not much seal-age there. One could hardly be surprised if water got into that from the back side and continued the rust under the impression it was fixed.

Another (not so crucial) problem was an old CB antenna mount. Here you can see the hole was filled.
mb20_50.jpg

If you look close, you'll see that the patch was bronze soldered in. It works, but not exactly the best way to do it. This patch is also loose ~ not sure why, at first Jim thought it was bondo-glued in. The bronze eased some issues, but still ~ not the proper way.

Front grill looks pretty good.
mb20_51.jpg


Front fenders? ~ Yup, have filler.
mb20_52.jpg


But that's not the cool stuff. Here's the real shocker...
mb20_53.jpg

What your looking at is the bottom of the windsheild frame. Its missing about 6-9 inches. Glad we decided to replace it eh?

The other side isn't so bad!
mb20_54.jpg


While removing the windsheild, we removed the dash as well. Take a look at this ~ the wiring is fried and several wires are fused together.
mb20_55.jpg

Got electrical gremlins?
 

Damian Grihalva

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Location
Colorado Springs
Jim says that part of the problem with the rust on the windshield is that the factory didn't seem to paint all the way across....
mb20_60.jpg

This is obviously the upper firewall, but still...
mb20_61.jpg

So we'll be painting that with some chassis sealer/paint before it goes back together. (its kinda like a non-brand name POR15) Then we'll use bedliner up over that.

As you may have guessed, the rear floor was removed. Jim took some time to make sure all the factory supports ~ which were in surprisingly decent shape were intact.
mb20_56.jpg


Another.
mb20_57.jpg


Interesting this was a complete and driving Scout when it came in.... its still starts but...
mb20_58.jpg

...doesn't look so complete and 'driving' now.

From the back again.
mb20_59.jpg


Now, I'm not going to lie to you. There's no way to color the reasoning behind NOT going with a stock floor. When I priced them out, I was looking at about $550 for the rear floors (shipped) ~ and it comes in 3 pieces. The metal retains the stock look and feel ~ which can be good. But you have a ton of time welding them in ~ not to mention 4 long seam welds in the middle of the floor.

Needless to say, I'm a bit sticker-shocked ~ even now. But with a call to my metal supplier. I got a 5x8 (versus 4x8) sheet of tread-plate (also called diamond plate). When it got here.... it seemed to be a bit bigger than 8' long.
mb20_62.jpg


Yes, its a 5x10! AND MUCH heavier duty than the stock or 'replacement' panels.
mb20_63.jpg


Jim starts measuring away...
mb20_64.jpg


With a bunch of cutting, and grinding. We've got a new one-piece floor that is not only thicker than stock, but looks dang cool...
mb20_65.jpg

If your wondering, the jack was used to press the floor down in the middle. You see, the factory bed tapers in as it goes towards the top. The issue is that a one-piece floor is wider than the body is at the top, so you need to bend it and 'force' the issue. Once it was in, the jack and metal bar were used to push down on the floor from the ceiling and then the floor was welded to the floor supports securing its position.
 

Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
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Messages
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Location
Colorado Springs
From the front side you can see the front seam-weld is going in.
mb20_66.jpg


To help the floor stick to the floor supports, small holes were drilled and 'rosette' welds were used.
mb20_67.jpg

These will be stronger than spot-welds. To help them blend, they will be flattened to the same height as the tread-plate and then lined over making them almost invisible.

Then the back seam was finished and sanded.
mb20_68.jpg


Another.
mb20_69.jpg

Should make a nice clean look when lined.

Having a 5x10 sheet of the tread-plate presented itself as a convenient excuse to match the front floors with the rear....so ~ remembering that they are in need of some patching as well ~ we will.

First was to remove the bathroom-like caulk in the seams.
mb20_70.jpg


Then we patterned the floors.
mb20_72.jpg


Long floor section allt he way up to the firewall.
mb20_73.jpg


and welded it in.
mb20_71.jpg

Note we did make adequate access to the body-mount bolt as well as the holes up near the e-brake line and high-beam switch (albeit the highbeam switch will be mounted on the new floor).

Passenger side's turn.
mb20_74.jpg


close-up of the floor. The bolts you can see here are the stock bolts for the seats and seat-belts.
mb20_75.jpg
 

Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
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You guys want updates soo.....Besides that, I've got some more body work for Jim to look at:

audi2.jpg

audi3.jpg


With enough time and money.....and perhaps a whole new car...it can be fixed!
(Wife's A6 after being T-boned by a car doing 45ish. She's okay, so is the other driver, but he missed the light :no:)
 

Fred Demmon

Y-Block King
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Location
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Glad to hear she is OK. The car can be replaced.
Good thing she wasn't driving an IH, The other driver would have been killed
 

sullyscout77

Binder Driver
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Jun 3, 2007
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Conroe, Texas
Damian,
Excellent coverage of this build. :punk::punk::punk:
The diamond plate looks fantastic and is exactly what I plan to do with my rear deck, (already ripped out). Did you use any angles to support the outer periphery of the rear deck, between crossmembers?? Any tips for installation?
 

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Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
2,158
Points
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Location
Colorado Springs
Damian,
Excellent coverage of this build. :punk::punk::punk:
Thanks I wish I could spend more time over at Jims, but on the weekends I have family engagements. This last weekend was a broadcast, parts runs, bachelor party (first time doing karaoke)

The diamond plate looks fantastic and is exactly what I plan to do with my rear deck, (already ripped out). Did you use any angles to support the outer periphery of the rear deck, between crossmembers?? Any tips for installation?

Jim cleaned up and kept as much as an inch all the way around of the stock floor ~ this way the diamond plate holds and is supported around its perimeter. He cleaned up and kept the stock floor directly above the gas-tank filler since it has all the fuel tank's line holders and such.

AS for tips installing it. Weld the center supports on before welding the perimeter. This can be tricky to make sure the floor stay put, but after welding there can be some heat-warp that will cause the floor to bow just slightly. By welding the floor supports to the floor first, you eliminate a lot of the warping.

Since you're planning on doing this on your Scout, keep an eye on these next couple posts. You'll see the 'finished' floor pictures. It looks great ~ I just didn't have a chance to upload those shots yesterday since I had to help the wife get around town and replace all the things that got destroyed in the accident.

Did you cut out the old floors or just re-in-force them?
Just What's the under side look like?

Most of the front floor were kept. They were pretty solid except for the places shown with rust. The rusty areas were cleaned up (with a roll-lock, wire-wheel, and sand paper) treated with a rust preventative and then the floor was laid over that. If there was too much rust, those areas were cut out or patched.
 

Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Colorado Springs
Here's what ya'll been waiting for. The finished product of the tread-plate floors.
mb20_76.jpg


Here you can see we had JUST enough to do the step as well. I love the look ~ kinda like the tread-plate cascades down the step into the front.
mb20_77.jpg

connects the floors well.

Front the front.
mb20_78.jpg


Other side, looking back.
mb20_79.jpg


Here's a shot of where teh floors meet the factory bedsides
mb20_102.jpg


We had a little left over so Jim thought he'd mix it up and put some on the trans hump. He actually wants to make a trans-cover with the stuff, but we'd have to get another whole sheet. Maybe next time!
mb20_80.jpg

I certainly like the way its coming out. With any luck, we'll have some 'lined' pictures soon. Then the new floors will really 'pop'.

Before we tackle some more stripping, thought I'd show you all what the driver side patch panel fix came out like.
mb20_81.jpg

Jim fully welded the new panel in, then feathered the edges and gave it some filler. Not nearly as much as there was on it ~ if you look close, you can see where the super-thin puddy is. Just enough filler to completely hide it and make it smooth ~ once painted, you won't even know it was there.

Back to the other side. Since there were so many layers on the driver side, Jim decided to use a chemical stripping agent to help make 'quicker' work of the passenger side.
mb20_82.jpg


Here's a quick look at the doors. Once he found the doors are in good shape, the chemical stripper was stopped (at least on the doors) and we'll be sanding those.
mb20_83.jpg


The quarter, however, got a healthy helping and a straight-edge.
mb20_84.jpg
 
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Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Colorado Springs
This side isnt' too bad... but I'm sure everyone can see the bondo around the wheel opening.
mb20_85.jpg


Question, why the bondo there?

Answer: rust.
mb20_86.jpg

Looks like the bondo was hiding some rust holes. Left untreated, these holes would have caused bubbling paint.

Well, while Jim attends to that, I'll keep going with some other things done over the weekend. First, the front clip got a little cleaned up. As noted before, the factory didn't to a 'great' job of painting everything. Over the years the factory paint was getting weathered by debris and started making room for rust. (remember the windshield frame?) So Jim and his helper cleaned the crap out of the inner fenders, and under-cowl area ~ as well as removed EVERYTHING from the engine-bay side of the inner fenders for a good cleaning and re-paint.
mb20_87.jpg

The paint is the chassis paint ~ described above. Its about a 40% gloss ~ aka a semi-flat black. Its similar to a POR15, as its main purpose is to withstand rocks/gravel and prevent rust. So its a bit harder than normal 'spray' paint.

Here's the rain/under-cowl area. This was painted originally by the factory to match the Scouts body. We're turning it black.
mb20_88.jpg


Standing back.
mb20_89.jpg


Normally this area gets covered in dirt and leaves as they fall through the cowl ~ so its good to have a good layer of paint in there for added measure.
mb20_90.jpg


Motor looks way better than what it did when it got here ~ it was just really dirty and such. With the motor pressure washed, and the inner's painted, its looking really good.
mb20_91.jpg


As noted, the engine bay side of the inner fenders were also stripped, cleaned and painted.
mb20_92.jpg


Here's the driver side.
mb20_93.jpg


We went ahead and sprayed the brake booster/MC. Cleaned them up a bit.
mb20_94.jpg
 

Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
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Location
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We'll need to clean off the air cleaner, but here's a shot (not a very good one) of the motor sitting in a sea of black.
mb20_95.jpg


We also took the time to completely coat where the factory didn't. As seen previously, the factory leaves the area behind the dash unpainted. Even though we'll eventually be bed-lining the Scout, to give it a more-complete look ~ as well as help curb any rust from getting started (like the stuff that claimed the original windshield frame) we also used the semi-flat chassis paint up under the dash. Makes it look WAY better if you ask me.
mb20_96.jpg


With that, the tour around the engine bay is complete and Jim puts some plastic shield over the freshly painted front clip. Since he's going to be doing a ton of prime/sanding, we want this area to remain clean and pretty.
mb20_97.jpg


Ready to move on.
mb20_98.jpg


From the front.
mb20_99.jpg


Coming up. Putting a tailgate on a traveller. This one was left over from MB14 ~ I'll call that 'urban camo' (gray and black primer mixed with rust-colored primer)
mb20_100.jpg


One of the A6's last road trips was to get a new windshield frame.
mb20_101.jpg

It's not perfect, but when we're done.... (best yoda voice) "[it] will be.....[it] will be"

Stay tuned folks. Oh, and get back to work.
 

Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Colorado Springs
Well, guys, I have to say. This past weekend was extremely busy for me so I didn't have much time to go over and take pictures of the Traveller. Friday/Saturday was my little bro's wedding and I was in the wedding party so....:rockon:

The great thing is that I do have some updates for this thread. I'll probably go over and see what else has been done later today and see if I can get any more photos. But here are the ones I have now.

Everything is shaping up. There is only a few things that need to be done before the new color can be sprayed. Namely, the rear hatch.

We will be converting the rear HUGE lift-hatch to a tailgate/lift-gate setup. Why? Because travellers come with a MASSIVE rear lift-hatch ~ kinda like a modern mini-van. The problem is what if you take the top off? What happens to your stuff? ~ Yes it'll fly out the back because there is no tailgate. By converting it to a tailgate-lift gate system like Scout II's, Buddy will be able to take the top on and off and still have a tailgate.

First step is to put the top back on.
mb20_103.jpg


Then CAREFULLY cut off the bottom of the liftgate.
mb20_104.jpg


When I say carefully, I mean it. The leftover has to form itself to a stock Scout II tailgate... here's what's left.
mb20_105.jpg


The lift gate is now pretty small. It looks like this.
mb20_106.jpg

It'll need a bunch of work still, but the 'rough' shape is there.

Lets see how it fits.
mb20_107.jpg

mb20_108.jpg

Looking pretty good so far. As you can see, we used a Stock Scout II tailgate. The travellers have all the nessesary mounting holes for the hinges, latches and straps so installing the tailgate is fairly straight forward.

Gaps are looking pretty good, but we're only about half way done.
mb20_109.jpg


From the inside it looks like a pretty good finish.
mb20_110.jpg


We shouldn't have much more water leaks once the new seals are put in.
mb20_111.jpg


Only thing left to replace from here on out is the to-of-bed rails. These things...
mb20_112.jpg


Didn't survive the rust infestation.
mb20_113.jpg
 

Damian Grihalva

High Wheeler
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Messages
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Colorado Springs
Moving on. With the tailgate in place, its time to actually do body work! When we got Buddy we thought it'd be a quickie. Well, obviously it hasn't been. But now that the rusty repair and body modifications are all but complete ~ its time to get down to brass-tacks.

First, the stripping down of Buddy has removed the caulking from the end-cap seam. This will be seam-sealed before paint.
mb20_114.jpg


And the doors, which are rust free (thank goodness) have been stripped and ready for primer/sealer.
mb20_115.jpg


As is the front fenders!
mb20_116.jpg


Oh, speaking of which.... Remember the front fender ~ which when we started stripping it showed some bondo filler in it?
mb20_52.jpg


Well, Jim likes taking things back to metal, and this is why.
mb20_117.jpg

Believe it or not, all that bondo (which wrapped completely around to bottom of the fender, was to cover and blend in these small dents. Funny thing is that Jim will be using a hammer/dolly setup to repair the dent without the use of bondo. GOOD STUFF!

We'll be filling the antenna hole as well. Now adays you can get under-the-dash or frame-mounted antennas that are quite popular on hot-rods. So Buddy will be sporting the 'shaved' look.
mb20_118.jpg


Back to some real-body work. It turns out all the filler on the passenger quarter was to accomidate a patch-panel a PO had installed before the Scouts last paint job.
mb20_119.jpg


Still kinda thick...
mb20_120.jpg

...Jim will be smoothing it out and cleaning it up before paint goes on.

Well, that's all I have for right now. I'm glad to say that the majority of repair work has been done. Its nice to see that underneath the bondo was some pretty straight panels. Not sure why there was so much filler to begin with, but now that its all been stripped and sanded off, its time to get down to business.
 
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