Edsel station wagon project.

Posted: April 22, 2014 in Tin Can Tourists, travel, Vintage trailers
Tags: , , , , , ,
It doesn't LOOK very rusty...

It doesn’t LOOK very rusty…

 

My friend Ron recently bought a ’59 Edsel station wagon, which looked as if it needed a little body work from the pictures he sent me.  (Fully admitting responsibility, I urged him to buy it based on the photos and his description).  For reasons which are not clear to me right now, I broke my rule about working on other people’s cars, raised my hand and offered to do some quickie straightening,  paint the mis-matched tailgate and lift gate and take care of some little blisters here and there.

What was I thinking?

The extent of the problem was apparent when I raised the lift gate, and the entire back of the roof skin flexed.  A little further investigation revealed the drip rails didn’t seem to be actually attached to the roof for most of their length, and there was something funny about how the rear window stainless trim seemed to have what looked like window caulk oozing out around the edges.  That, and the front of the roof at the corner of the drip rail and windshield also had window caulk smeared on it.

I shoulda known…

Turns out the roof skin was rusted through all along the edge above the drip rail, the rear of the roof skin was completed loose from the drip rail under the lift-gate, and when I pulled the side windows and removed the stainless trim, there was NOTHING there.  The top of the body and window frame was completely rusted away, hence the globs of caulk smeared on by the PO to try to stop the leaks.

Of course, I could have bailed right then, but, since I’d encouraged him to buy it, and had offered to fix it, I dove in, with a two week deadline to get as much done as I could and at least in primer.

It’s going pretty well, thanks to the recommendation of another builder friend of mine to use 3M “Panel-Bond” adhesive instead of trying to weld patches in.  On a roof, welding anywhere usually causes huge warpage problems, that I didn’t want to tackle.  New cars have their fenders, door skins, roof skins etc. mounted with the stuff, so it works.

Turns out, the stuff is just the ticket for repairs like this.  I’d like to be a little further along, but I should still be able to get primer on everything, even if the tailgate only gets dusted with it to rather than color.   Because I didn’t think I had enough to do, I also replaced both rocker panels and did a quickie, temporary fix on the rusty right rear quarter panel until Ron gets some patch panels for the rear fenders.

It’s been a challenge, and I feel like I’m in one of those stupid “reality” TV shows, with ridiculous deadlines, unexpected problems, set-backs, budget constraints and delays.  If I had some contrived drama, I think I”d be ready for my own show.

Here’s what’s happened this week on “Cool McCool’s Garage”

 

There is supposed to be metal there.

There is supposed to be metal there.

 

Look! this is better!  Hammered over the edge of the wood stove in the shop.

Look! this is better! Hammered over the edge of the wood stove in the shop.

 

Window frame profile.  Both sides had to be replaced.

Window frame profile. Both sides had to be replaced.

 

"Uh Ron, we have a problem..."

“Uh Ron, we have a problem…”

 

Better.

Better.

 

Even better...

Even better…

 

Roof edge and lift gate drip rail repaired.

Roof edge and lift gate drip rail in progress.

 

And done.

And done.

 

Body work almost completed on the roof and drip rails.

Body work almost completed on the roof and drip rails.

 

Temporary "fix" of the right rear quarter.  Needs patch panels, but we'll do that later.

Temporary “fix” of the right rear quarter. Needs patch panels, but we’ll do that later.

 

 

 

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Comments
  1. Keith Vander Pol says:

    Yikes! Must have been a coastal car at some point with lots of exposure to salt spray. Looking good nowThanks for the panel bonding tutorial.

  2. flynbrian48 says:

    Yes, it was surprisingly rusty, from the top down. I’m used to Michigan cars, which rust from the bottom up! I’m sold on Panel-Bond, the only caveat is the surfaces have to be CLEAN!

  3. jerry says:

    bottom line you manned up an did it correct that speaks volumes about you my hat is tipped to you in the end do wright be wright

  4. 4everwheels says:

    NICE PROJECT! I will be anxious to see her all finished.

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