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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well it's officially fall now & time to start getting the car ready for Spring. I bought this at the end of the summer & it's the first non-modern car I've had in a long long time. Here is a picture of my kid & the car



and here is the inside




These were taken before I really did anything to the car. It came with the interior done (Mustang buckets) and the car repainted. The car is pretty clean overall no rot and body filler. I've done a couple small things since (fixed a couple minor trim & interior pieces that were missing or in poor shape, replaced all the rubber fuel line & sender, made new side panels for the trunk floor, added a tachometer & rear seat belts) but now comes the big money. I ordered new power disc brake, suspension & rack & pinion parts today. Over the winter I hope to post pictures of my progress as I attempt to make a 50 year old Fairlane stop, and turn much more like a modern car. I know I won't get to say 2015 standards but heck if I can bring it 1990 standards I'll be stoked. Along the way I may do some sound deadening & make a custom spare tire mount.

Future plans after the before mentioned call for new door cards, some kind of basic sound system (nothing nuts), minor trim pieces that are missing, and new weather stripping. Far down the road (after the before mentioned is paid off & my truck is paid off) I hope to swap out the drivetrain for a 347, a beefed up C4, and a 9” rear. The car runs well now so it is not a priority.
The goal is not to build a show car or a race car. The goal is a nice family car that can stop, turn and accelerate well. All while being relatively safe and reliable. I am not doing a restoration but I want to keep the feel of a 1965 Fairlane. Maybe a 1965 Fairlane as it would have been in say 1990 if it was fixed up nice. So no air-ride, digital gauges or modern fuel injected motors. I’m always open to positive suggestions. Hope you enjoy what follows.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here are the photos of the trunk side panels I made up. I wan't too impressed with the stock paper board. Sure they were still in there after 50 years but some quality 1/4" ply would be the same thickness and stronger. With a coat of paint it would last longer too. So I made a pattern off what I had left and made some.


 

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Ah yes, I have fond memories of the '65 my parents had when I was a kid. Same color, but with the tan interior.

Welcome to the one year only bodystyle!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well got some parts in. Still waiting for the Rack & Pinion from Unisteer, springs from Eaton Detriot spring, and rear sway bar from Quickor Garage. All those parts are made to order. Can't go too far without the springs though.



I've also got the interior all out. I found a few pinholes I need to patch. Some where along the way someone drilled a few extra holes in the floor, and there is also some rubber plugs missing. I will clean up the rust, weld up the extra holes both drilled & rusted, and get new rubber plugs for the factory holes. I will also add new seam sealer, paint the floor, then undercoat it, and then add sound deader before the carpet goes back in. Hope to get the rust & hole removal done this weekend.



 

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Discussion Starter #6
Exhaust is out, drive shaft is out. Still doing some floor pan work. Got a new crossbrace in the floor to replace the crushed one & straightened out the pan. At some point in the past someone drove over a rock or something but that is all fixed now. Filled all of the small factory punched holes. Some of the rust is repaired. Still a little bit left. I haven't done much welding in the last 20 years but I'm getting better the more I go. If I had a gas mig instead of a flux core it would help. Welding this thin stuff is harder also. Additionally welding upside down with just enough clearance to get under the car is hard. I have been doing hole filling without patches so far. May have do some patches on other parts. I think the subframe connectors will be easier as I have some practice now and that stuff is much thicker. Here is the new brace. Yeah I know the welds look like like a line boogers on the Mona Lisa but they are strong. With a subframe connecter over part of it & some new seam-sealer & undercoating and it will look fine. The orange is the copper weld through primer.



Here is the driveshaft repainted. Looks alot better than it did. It will do until I get an aluminum one when I do the drivetrain upgrade once my F-150 is paid off.


Floor pan repairs are taking longer than I thought they would but then I am trying to do the best I can given how out of practice my welding is. Luckily my metal shaping skills are as good as they ever were.

Rack & pinion came in today so now I have all my parts. I'll update again when I have more to show.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well it’s been a busy couple weeks. The front floor-pans are repaired so I painted them with under coating. I also replaced all the seam sealer I could reach with new. I haven’t done the rear floors since they may move a bit when I put in the sub-frame connectors and I don’t want any issues with that. I will be test fitting them before doing the floor repairs but that will be after I get the axle back in with the new springs and hardware. No the floors aren't perfect but I did manage to seal them up completely of all the factory punched holes and remove any rust.


I painted the axle, springs, and all the hardware with Rust-Oleum gloss black and a paint brush. This should keep it good for years under the car. The reason a paint brush is well the weather is too wet to paint outside with a rattle can, and I don’t want my car with overspray all over it. Besides it’s a driver & this is all underneath so, good enough & better than it was. The axle isn't forever but like the driveshaft it works for this power level and will be replaced when I have the funds in the future. In the meantime some paint really makes it look alot better.









I am also applying new undercoating under the car & on the inside including the trunk. This will help prevent future corrosion issues & help a little with sound deadening. Using the Rust-Oleum Professional Undercoating for this. ½ way through the second coat on all the paint now & just finished the 1st coat of all the undercoating. I think I will be doing 2 coats of each on all the surfaces.





The battery tray was rusty & the battery will be moved to the trunk anyway so I shaved it off the engine bay. This will leave me some room to mount an ignition box in the future or perhaps a vacuum canister and pump if I need it for the power brakes.

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Happy New Year. Not a major amount done but made a big mile stone. Rear suspension all installed. New Eaton Detroit Heavy Duty 5 leaf springs. Energy Suspension polyurethane bushings. Quickor Garage Rear Sway-bar. And KYB Gas-A-Just rear shocks. Paint touched up after install & hope to install sub-frame connectors soon.





 

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Discussion Starter #10
Been a few weeks but I’m making progress. We had a short warm up so I had an opportunity to work on the car a bit. I dropped the car all the way to the ground rolled it back and lifted back up. That way I have room to work under the front now. I have installed my subframe connectors from Crites. The floorpan brace reinforcement didn’t fit all the great on the passenger side & needed tweaking. On the drivers side were I have to weld in a replacement aftermarket brace it didn’t fit at all. I had to basically flatten out the 16 gauge plate & remake it. The reason being the aftermarket one is thicker metal and physically wider than the stock one. Since it didn’t fit well on the original it didn’t fit at on the replacement.
Priority was getting stuff done & not taking pics but I did manage a few after I got the car in the air & the suspension off the passenger side. My “custom high lift jack stands” are in the way a bit but you get the idea. The black goop is not glue it’s seam sealer. That way the welds are water tight if I have any voids.

Passenger side looking back



Drivers side looking back



This picture here shows the distance from the pinch weld. I wanted to run them as straight as possible so I have a good jacking rail. It also leaves plenty of room under the car for other things as needed and provides a good point of fuel & brake line attachments since inside the driveshaft tunnel between the spinning drive shaft & the hot exhaust is a terrible idea.


Here is a close up of the back of the sub frame connector. I boxed in the back to keep out crud from collecting in there. It is welded along the full length of the rear spring mounting plate in the back and jacking front plates. With it welded on 3 sides front & rear it has plenty of contact area.



Here is one from the passenger side with all the suspension off. At this point I had gotten the driver’s side off as well. Now it’s time to clean everything up, replace worn bits, pull the steering column and drop the steering box. Then the new bits can go in & I will follow that up with the rack and pinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Things are coming apart. That is my steering box lying in the floor.



Things are also coming together. Here is my rebuilt upper & lower arms. Using polyurethane bushings in the lower arms. Also shown is the 1.5” lowered coil from Eaton Detroit & my adjustable strut rod from Street or Track. Next to them are my KYB monotube shocks with some new grade 8 bolts.


I have quite a bit of manhours in getting those arms clean & painted. That’s the kind of thing that happens when your cleaning parts in the laundry room sink with dish-soap & a screwdriver. Instead of using a parts washer and blaster.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ran out of weekend but I made some progress. Front suspension is 90% in. Just need to get a bigger torque wrench for a few bolts and put in the sway-bar & spring covers.


Putting in the Eaton Detroit Spring was an experience. I am so glad it was a 1.5” lower one! That took the most time and our homemade tool just didn’t fly. We ended up borrowing the tool from Autozone (the internal spring tool OEM 27035) & while it went against the prevailing wisdom & was kind of scary to use, it worked. We honestly should have just gone this route in the beginning. We lost of a lot of hours making a tool & it not working & trying to figure out how to make it work. If you take off the coil spring covers inside the fender it makes it a whole lot easier.


The Street or Track adjustable strut-rods went together super easy. No harder than assembling a tie-rod end. I took anti-seize & painted the threads. I then screwed it all the way in. I mounted it up in the vice & took the old one as a guide & screwed it out until the mating surface on the backside of the front mount was the same distance on both. If you hold the front mount in place it will screw them out evenly on the threads. I then torqued down the lock nuts. This will be a good starting place for the alignment shop.


I had ordered a kit from PST that included shafts upper bushings & upper & lower ball joints. The PST lower ball-joints needed the holes for the strut-rod widened just a bit with a Dremel after the ball-joint was in as the holes were off maybe a 1/16 of an inch. Once reamed out a bit the bolts for the strut-rod would drop in. After I got it all assembled and torqued down the spindle I greased with Red Line Synthetic Grease.


The upper control arms went together pretty easily once I figured out the trick with the o-ring. The o-ring had flashing on it & that needs trimmed off to fit properly inside the cap. My old caps used rubber boots & I couldn’t figure out at first what the issue was. I took a toenail clipper (it has the perfect curve for this) and trimmed off the flashing & then it fit in tight but perfect. A bit of white lithium grease on the o-ring helps also. I also cut grease groves into the shafts with a cutoff wheel. I then pre-assembled them & then removed all the rubber shavings from the threads. After that I pre-greased them with Red Line, assembled & then re-greased. I am confident that they will be thoroughly lubricated the zerk fittings look like I can reach them with the wheel off.


The PST upper balljoints are sealed units. No grease fittings. Not really crazy about that but honestly the upper ones are easy to change on the car & if they give me any fits I will replace them with a serviceable one. They just bolted in easy peasy.
The Energy Suspension control arm bushings went on super easy as well. I just made sure the mating services were clean of all paint and dirt & oil. I then took an acid brush and painted them heavily with Energy Suspension Formula Five Prelube. I coated every surface of the polyurethane & metal with the stuff. They don’t include much with the bushings so I bought a big tub when I began my project.


We did the KYB Gas –A-Just shocks went in two different ways. The 1st time we stabbed it in the tower & then fought the shock to seat it on the control-arm with the bolts. The 2nd way and little it easier was to assemble it on the control-arm and then crawl up in the engine bay & lay on it compress it into the shock tower while a second person bolts it down. I bought some 5/16 Grade 8 fine thread bolts and nuts from the local hardware store to attach them. Cost maybe $2 for the hardware.


I need to put the coil spring shields, covers, braces whatever they are called back in. I will have to inspect the bolts & see if they are suitable for reuse or need replacement. I also need to borrow a larger torque wrench and torque the lower control arm bolt, the front mounting bolt for the strut rod and the upper control arm bolts. All of the torque specs for those exceeded the rating of my 3/8 drive torque wrench. I also need to lube all the polyurethane fittings on the sway-bar & mount it.


Here are a couple pictures of where I am now.





 

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Discussion Starter #14
Been a month since my last update & got a whole bunch done but still a long way from done. Sort of jumping around all over the car right now. Had a hang up with the steering. The Rack went in easy. The column not so much. Getting that straightened out took a while. Brakes are mostly in. Still need lines run to 3 of the wheels and lines run to & from the combination valve. One rear brake still left to do. And need to hook up the brake pedal. I replaced my gauges but the tachometer still needs mounted back. Ok on with the pictures.

Sway bar is now in as well as the spring covers. As you can see I trimmed the new bump stops since the car is lowered a bit in the front.



Old Anti-sway Bar vs New Anti-sway Bar.



Installed.



Front brakes are on. 1965 Mustang Rotors & Calipers. Stainless hoses. I will be running 1 stainless line. The passenger side line from “the right stuff” fits. The Drivers side did not. I got a partial refund so I will probably bend some nicopp lines up for the driver’s side like I planned to do for the rear.



Master Cylinder & Booster mounted to the firewall. Still need to hook the pedal up. The included rod was a bit short. I bought an extension & now I can’t find the rod. Oh well it will turn up or I’ll get another.



Rear stainless hose mounted with nothing coming out of it yet.



Here is the combination valve mounted up for now. Still needs lines.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Steering was a bit of a pain. My steering was a major concern for me redoing this this car. The steering box was loose. Way too loose. Scary loose. I wanted something not only better than wornout 1965 steering I wanted something better than new 1965 steering. I wanted a power rack & pinion unit. The rack and pinion actually went in easy it was the column that was hard. Marc from Unisteer was a nice guy & we worked through it all. Seems my car is not the same as the car they made the kit for. I’m thinking their care had the column swapped some time in its past because the instructions mention rag joints & the shaft for my column was a bit long as initially installed. Instructions are also a little less than clear sometimes as well. One of things I wanted to do is replace the bearing at the top of the column. This is not included in the kit & the bearing is unavailable anywhere. Also just so you know 1965 Mustang Bearings don’t fit I tried one.
So issue one. It looked like the instructions say the bearing goes to the top of the column. I’m like how the hell does this fit?



I called Marc & he explained it went in the bottom. I bought a new plastic race spacer thingie from Mac’s for the shaft and packed the $hite out of the bearing with new grease. The bearing then would not press fit in the bottom. It flat fell out. Solution was drill a hole in the bottom of the column sleeve, dimple the bearing housing, make a set screw, tap the column housing, and go to town fitting it all up. I also slathered it down with locktite on the screw and the external housing for the bearing so it wouldn’t fall out.



Issue #2 the steering wheel was too far away from the column and I had the column shifted all the way up. Marc sent some spacers & said I may need to cut the shaft too. I din’t need to cut the shaft & the spacers worked (sort of).



Issue #3 was that I’ve always been taught to keep u-joints in phase. This doesn’t work with this kit. If they are in phase they bind. I put them 90° out & Problem solved.

Issue #4. While the spacers worked the steering wheel still wasn’t right. This wasn’t a unisteer issue (or I don’t think it is) I think it is more a grant issue or perhaps a grant & unisteer compatibility issue. The thing is the Horn contacts were too far way and the turn signals didn’t come off as the wheel was turned. I added a 3rd spacer but it was then too close to the wheel and the turn signal locked up the rotation of the wheel. I removed the 3rd spacer and then modified the adapter to let the horn contacts work. The turn signals will just have to be turned off manually. At least until someday in the future if I decide to upgrade to a tilt column.
Grant adapter & washer I used. Notice two notches added already to clean turn signal roll pins. (didn’t bother leaving them on when they didn’t work)



Washer/spacer modified and contanct ring separated from hub.



Fully done glued & wires have silicone on them to insulate from hub contact.



Grant Steering wheel fully installed on newly painted column. Also shown is gauge panel pained to match dash and new AutoMeter electrical Traditional Chrome gauges to replace crappy Autoguage mechanical ones that didn’t work. I also repainted the glove box, the ashtray, and did some touch up on the dash.



Rack installed.



This just clears the factory cross member. It clears though and since it adds a second cross member a little behind it, it should add to the stiffness.



Power Steering pump installed and lines.



If it doesn’t have zip ties on it, it’s not a hotrod.





Things still left to do: Drivers side rear brake, run brake lines, bleed lines, new fuel line, buy battery, install battery box, install battery cables, install driveshaft & exhaust, Paint 3” of sub-frame connector on each side with undercoating, install strut braces, terminate sender wires on gauges, change leaking thermostat, make then paint & and install monte-carlo bar, install sound deadener, paint & install kickpanels, order & install sound system, order, order & then install new carpet & trunk mat, install new pedals, install shifter, change door locks, reinstall door card handles and seats. After that it is a trip to the alignment shop. Then I drive it a bit & shake out the bugs and fix those. After that new weather-stripping will be ordered & then a trip to the glass shop for them to install all the bits that require glass removal. Guess I won't have this in the alignment shop by April... :frown2:
 

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Nice work Magnus, I went to many shows up here last summer, I think I saw one 65 Fairlane!
Have you had a chance to test out your p.steering? Wondering what you think of the Unisteer set up.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Nice work Magnus, I went to many shows up here last summer, I think I saw one 65 Fairlane!
Have you had a chance to test out your p.steering? Wondering what you think of the Unisteer set up.
Thanks man! Yeah not many of them around. In someways its really cool driving something different, Like when every where you go people stop & stare. Sometimes its a P.I.T.A. like when trying to find parts and folks just stare at you like you grew a second head.

I haven't tried it yet. Won't be testing out the steering outside of pumping the air out & running it on & off the trailer until after I get it all assembled then in & out of the alignment shop. It should be really different between new brakes, new steering, new suspension, stiffer chassis and the addition of sound deadening. Right now I can't start it as I've shaved off the old battery tray & haven't run the wires or installed the battery box yet.

In other news I ran into an issue running brake lines today & have decided I am going a different route with that so I lost pretty much a whole day farting around with that. I did get my other rear brake on & I also changed out the thermostat that was leaking so it's not a total loss. Also at least now I have a plan with my brake lines & know for sure where they are going. May not get anything done next week with Easter unless I can cram it into Saturday.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Been a month since I posted but I’ve been busy as you’ll see. I found out I’m rubbish with flaring lines & apparently I don’t know anyone else who is any good at it. So I bought a bunch of premade lines and bent them up and ran them. Using bailing wire as a pattern helped me by the right amount lengths and I only had to run 2 junctions.





I used stainless clamps and self tapping screws. Fuel line is standard 3/8 steel & brake lines are the AutoZone steel ones with their PVF-coating. They bent pretty easily.





Here you can see the spaghetti going from the master cylinder to the combination valve and then back out of it.





I also roughed in my trunk mount battery shown here with the trunk mat lifted up. It’s behind the right rear wheel between the filler board and where the trunk drops down. The bolts straddle the rear sub-frame. The battery box is from summit and comes from their house brand remote mount battery kit. Looks like a Moroso box to me. The cable is 1ga. The battery is a Super Start Platinum – Battery size 34/78 775cca from O’Reilly. Its an AGM battery so it should keep any off gassing to a minimum. I still am going to run a vent though through the floor. Still not sure where that is going though. I will also need to run another positive 4ga cable out of the box also for my Amp.





The battery is grounded to the floor with a bolt I welded in near the box as shown above. The positive cable then goes forward towards the rear seat. Between the battery and the seat is a 250amp ANL fuse.





After it exits there it goes under the back seat & then though the existing floor gasket under the rear seat.





It then ties into the sub-frame connector and is attached with some adel clamps.





After that it runs up the inside of the firewall and over the shock tower. It has a short loop in before going to the solenoid in case I need some play. I guess I can always shorten it later if I want to but I would rather have too much than not enough. The ground is 2'6" long and the positive is 18'6".





As you can see from the above picture I also have put my factory bracing in, reinstalled the hood, and wired in my new gauges. I also added a second charging wire from the alternator to the solenoid in 8ga. That should handle the full output of my 75amp alternator with no restriction. What you can’t see is I also added a 4 gauge ground from the motor to the body on the other side of the engine. This is in addition to the existing ground strap.
I have also been working on sound deadening. Right now I am using the Peel & Seal from Lowes in all the areas hidden by upholstery, carpet or panels. I have some Noico Black 80 Mil for the areas that will be visible since it has a black finish.





The inside of the side panels & door panels was the hardest. I went all the way up. Not shown I also replaced all the door locks and lubed the rollers & lock mechanism.





Starting to work on the front.





I also painted my kick-panels to match the dash. These are from Rhino Fabrication. They accept a 6.5” speaker. I am installing 600 watts of amp in the trunk. I will have 2 6.5’s in the front and 2 6x9’s in the deck lid. Also shown is the new gas & brake pedals. If your replacing the carpet & the brakes and installing new gas pedal gaskets might as well replace those worn out pedals also.





Finally here is the car how it sits in my garage. It’s filthy and on ramps. Hope to start her up this weekend burp the air out of the rack & pinion and P.O. the neighbors up with my straight pipes. Hope to be back on the road in the next month. We’ll see.


 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Here is some more on sound deadening & what I got done this weekend. I applied the Noico Black to the trunk and then installed my trunk mat from ACC and got everything but my sound system mounted permanently in the back.


Prepping for surgery on my package tray.




Cut outs made for 6x9 speakers. Went from 1 6x9 speaker hole in the back and one obsolete speaker hole in the front to 2 6.5" in the front and 2 6x9's in the back. I first placed my grills up there to figure out what I wanted. I marked the cut with a straight edge and a silver sharpie. I cut it out with a Dremel tool using a reinforced cut off wheel. After that I made a pattern with card stock by pressing it down into the hole and cutting where it creased. I then transferred my pattern to the 1/4" birch plywood. I cut the plywood to fit the hole. Next I cut the 6x9 hole in the plywood after figuring the exact placement I wanted. For the hole template I used a 6x9 template I found on line. I then fit the speaker to the hole and it was tight since the basket was a little larger than the one in the template. I used a sanding drum on my Dremel to slightly enlarge it where needed. I then glued in the plywood using construction adhesive.




Rolling the black Sound Deadener in the trunk. I cut & laid it down & my daughter rolled it in (or at least helped).




Tail of trunk insulated. The Noico installed a little different than the Lowe's Peel and Seal. The Lowe's stuff has a little less rubber and more foil. The Lowe's is more durable to contact & did not tear so easily and was harder to cut. It also didn't cut me like the Noico did a couple times. Both are good products with the Noico slightly more expensive. I used this because I did not want the inside of my trunk looking like a solar oven. Anywhere it's not visible though I went with the Lowe's Peel & Seal. I got 100% coverage in the trunk area except for the panel between the trunk lid & window in which I got maybe 50-75% coverage & I did not do the trunk lid because I ran out. I will perhaps get another box in the future and do the insets in the trunk lid between braces. My little girl wanted to help me with the car so she got a roller & went to work rolling in the floor after I laid it down. She did a great job for a 7 year old and I only had to fix a couple spots for her.




Trunk Insulated.




Testing out the sound system before installation with my phone and a jumper wire just to make sure its working right. It is a Rockford Fosgate Prime 600 Watt Class D 4 channel Amplifier pushing 2 Kicker KSC 6.5 inch Coaxial 2-Way Speakers for the front and 2 Kicker KSC 6x9 inch Coaxial Speakers for the rear. I will be running 14ga AWG OFC wire between them. For the input I will using Dual Twist Signal Cable from Rockford Fosgate. My power & ground cables are 4ga AWG OFC wire.




I also dropped the car down, started her up for the 1st time on months, topped off the ATF, burped the power steering, fixed the choke, and checked to make sure the tires didn't rub. That 1.5" drop in the front looks a whole lot lower especially since the back end was raised up to stock. It used to be the back end was lower and with the front sagging it looked less low because the back sagged so much. I have a ton of tire room in the back row because its not all crooked from worn bushings and sagging from worn springs. I wouldn't be surprised with the right offset wheel if I could fit 255 or maybe even 275 tires back there.


Rear 3/4




Front 3/4




Front



Yes it looks lower on the left side than the right. A couple reasons for that. #1 the bumper needs adjustment. #2 there is NO alignment on the car so the right tire (in the left on the picture) is way cambered out and the drivers tire is straight up & down. Those things will be fixed later. Also the car will likely settle some as the interior & sound deadening are added and as the springs set. I'll take some more pictures later on.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Since my last post I built a console for my Fairlane. I did it the same way they do all speaker boxers. This is the 1st time I have done this so we watched a couple videos online. I first made a frame. I used steel instead of MDF though. I made the bottom first since I knew how much space I had to work with.



I then added a wood cutout out for the top 1/4 birch worked well for me as it will look good when finished and I planned on having a wood outside on it. When I had the length for the base & I knew the angle I wanted on the front & back It determined the length for the top.



Masking and making the 1st form I used my previously made top since precut all my holes in the wood before fiber-glassing since it would be a good guide later. Cardboard was considered for the inside but was too flimsy to take the stretched fabric. . The cardboard was scrapped for wood which didn’t deform. I also checked for interference then. I sat the seats back in the car & made sure it would all line up. After that the seats were removed again & I finished up the steel frame to work with my cutouts and brace where I didn't have them. Next we messed around with the fleece. The 1st one was a Dora the explorer blanket my daughter has multiple of. It got cut too small and trashed. We found a red blanket we got from a blood drive or something and used that. The second one we had a better idea of how much it stretched.



We still had difficulty figuring out what to attach the fleece to on the bottom and then it came to me while sleeping. We rolled some more sound deadener on the floor and pinned it to the sound deadener. Actually my wife did the stretching & pinning as she sews and has a better feel for fabric than I do.



Once pinned down we could then paint on the resin. As we painted the resin caused it to sag and wrinkle it was stretched and repined along the way. We painted on as deep as it would go. We used one small can of resin mixed up 1/4 at a time. This isn't perfect & there were a couple wrinkles at the base still.



After it dried we removed it and found the resin went 1/2 way though. It had shape but was very flimsy. We took it out of the car flipped it over & painted the inside with resin. This soaked the fleece all the way down. It used up 1/2 of the second small can of resin. Small can is 28.8oz. We stuck it back in the car. Pushed it into place and blocked up the sides with bricks to keep in in place until it dried.



When the inside coat dried it was solid. It could be stronger though so we laid fiberglass cloth down and mixed up the rest of the second can in 2 batches and painted it on. In hindsight it would have been best to cut the cloth into strips and lay it in in strips. I had to cut way some in the corners where I interfered with my frame and it had some air bubbles in it which don't really help strength at the bubbles. It did help though now is much stiffer.



After the mat dried I did my cutting to shape. I used a Dremel, a drill, a sharpie, and a belt sander for this. The drill was used to drill holes along the edge of the wood on the inside. This helped me get started with the Dremel and cutoff wheel & made the hole space weaker and easier to cut. I then test fit for interference again. It bound in a few areas on the frame from the buildup of the new glass but that was it. I then ground away the interference and refit it. We refit it and cut away as close to the pinned area as possible. Then we put the old carpet part of the way in and fit it again and cut away a little. A sharpie drew on it easily. We sneaked up on the cuts because Dremel wheels are cheap and you can’t put it back on. Well not easily. After it was a cut down I smoothed out the straightness of my cuts with a belt sander with my wife running the sander upside down on a sawhorse and me lightly gliding the edge over the belt. This took all the jaggedness out of my cuts.

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A little test fit to make sure its coming the right way.



Then came many many layers of fiberglass reinforced filler. It was laid down & then sanded out. This was to build it up to take out any wrinkles, smooth lines, and contour.



After the fiberglass reinforced filler came the finishing putty to get all the details right and fix any pits and scratches.



All done and ready for primer. I didn’t photo this part but I used a filler primer. I primed, sanded away imperfections and repeated.



Test fitting again before staining.



I stained the wood to match the steering wheel color. To match my grant steering wheel I used a mixture of Minwax dark walnut & Minwax gunstock. I mixed until the color was right & then applied. After applying I topped with several coats of polyurethane.



Beats the heck out of the black plastic box the B&M StarShifter shifter is made with. Plus now I have cupholders. I also have places for my bluetooth receiver & garage door opener.



Not too bad considering I've never done this kind of thing before. I learned alot of lessons and I learned it's a ton of work. If I ever do another one I would do a few things different to make it easier but I am happy with the results. Next I need to install the carpet & I will show that later on.

 
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