Saturday, May 20, 2017

A Good Shop, Part 3

More pictures from Al arrived this morning.  Phil and the guys from A Good Shop on Commerce City have moved forward and paint has been applied!  Things are really progressing and getting close to completion.  Delivery is scheduled for May 25th, but it might slip a day or two.  A delivery by next Saturday would be fine by me.

What's astounding is the work they've done in my absolute absence.  As usual, I've been thrashed at work and have had two on call rotations while this car has been in the shop.  I've also been battling a severe cold at at times not much use to anyone, frankly.  Even though Commerce City isn't all that far away, life's complexities make Commerce City seem like a continent away.  A big challenge to make it there by closing time.

One thing that's pretty obvious in the picture to the left is that the hood remains separate from the vehicle.  I didn't go for details on this when I spoke with Al earlier, but it still causes me a little anxiety, to be honest.  I actually see the hood resting horizontally on a rack in the background of the picture above, so I know where it is--but not how well it's going.  Also, the sliding steel roof is missing from the picture.
The suspense is killing me, but I don't want to seem too pushy.  I think all my questions and concerns will be addressed soon enough.

Though the shop didn't mention it previously, I know there was at least one challenge they faced when fitting the sunroof clip.  Below is a picture that illustrates this challenge. 
It looks like the 'A' pillar had to be tweaked a little to make things line up.  In studying the picture above, it looks like they've addressed the paint in this area, too.

Mentioned in a previous post are the rubber retainer strip/trim pieces were provided to the shop to help with the alignment of the roof, particularly at the top of the 'A' pillar to roofline weld.  I hope there isn't too much tweaking of the side windows to make things fit.  I mean--beyond the normal adjustments.  I might have brought on a bunch of adventure I didn't reckon upon.  We'll see...

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Good Shop, Part 2

I received these pictures from Al over at A Good Shop this afternoon to my phone and I couldn't wait to get them over to my PC for better viewing.  I'm scheduled to be at his shop in Commerce City at 10:00AM tomorrow morning and I can't wait to see the work in person.

They didn't much disturb the 'A' and 'C' pillar paint, as can be seen in the picture to the right.  I'm going to bring along the 'A' pillar aluminum covers and the top and 'A' pillar rubber retainer strips just to make sure it all still fits, but it's looking really, really promising.  The rear weep holes are there and Al assures

me that the 'A' pillar front drains were done to my specifications.  I can't believe it...my car finally has the sliding steel roof I've always wanted.  An electric sunroof!  I'm so delighted I nearly forgot about the hood.  Honestly...I just about don't care.  Just about.  Will follow up tomorrow with Ken, the body man actually doing the work.  I hope I have nothing but praises for everything after I visit the shop tomorrow.  I will definitely get some more pictures and find out if the overhead interior light wiring can still be routed through the 'A' pillar, or if I'll have to add it to the sunroof motor wiring loom that will be run up the left 'C' pillar.  Either way, it won't be a problem because I already need to do something for the tachometer, backup lights, oil temp and pressure gauge wiring and can just add it all to a new loom.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

A Good Shop, Part 1

I took a day off on April 26th to have the yearly physical, and to decompress.  It's been a challenging year at work and I really needed some mid-week downtime.  Too bad I didn't get it.  I had no sooner made my plans, and then life got in the way and significantly added to the day's docket.  One of the many big things that happened that day was a call from the body shop.  My new body man, Al--owner of 'A Good Shop'--told me that this was my chance to squeeze in ahead of some other projects, if I could suddenly get my car down to his Commerce City location.  I called the towing company, and then spent about 45 minutes in the garage pulling stuff out of the way so the craft could be moved.  By myself.  Heavy stuff.  Cussing up a storm.

Winded and sweaty, the next order of business was taking parts off the Nautilus to prevent their damage, theft or over spray.  I scoured the fore and aft bays and bilge of all tools, parts and garbage amidships.  I had already installed much of the wiring, but couldn't see a point leaving it all in there to be over sprayed.  I had just started removing the wiring when the tow truck arrived.  It was a flat bed arrangement and as luck would have it, I had turned the Nautilus around some months earlier, so this prevented damage to the nose of the craft as it was tugged into place.  There's body clearance for tow cables around the rear axles, but very little to no clearance between the body and the front beam.  I plan to address this in the near future, by the way, because there's nothing more infuriating than body damage inflicted by a tow.  In this case, the craft was delivered to the body shop at a reasonable price and 'event free'.  I arrived about an hour later with the sun roof clip and guide rail parts, which I believe should be enough to get the sun deck alignment done correctly.

Before I knew it, it was noon--half a day gone, with a little over an hour to remove the wiring and drive the 15 traffic laden miles to the Doctor's office...fortunately, I had remembered my welding gloves, which prevented the many potential nicks and tears to my forearms and hands.  I teased the three new harnesses from the craft, fully realizing the steps backward I was taking.  It was thirsty work with no shade, but we thankfully had a cool day on tap.  Wiring out and in the back of the 4Runner, I fished the wiring grommets from the various holes and galleries to fully complete the tear down.  25 minutes, total--which wasn't bad.  I remember at the time thinking that I should be taking pictures...but didn't.  Some guys from the shop drifted out to take a look at the unusual Volkswagen and to gauge my progress--and maybe even assess my sanity, with me mumbling, huffing and bobbing about the craft.  One fellow tossed the comment, "Looks a little like a boat", to which I could only offer sardonic laughter and hearty agreement.

Out of time and good progress made, I couldn't afford even a minute to stop and chat with the shop foreman, Phil, so deferred the offer of a coffee and a shop tour, driving off with nothing more than a few parts in one hand and much more optimism for the future of the refit in the other.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Nautilus stands inspection, Part 2

I found another body shop locally that is willing to help me with various issues on the Nautilus.  It turns out that SVE Auto Body is overwhelmed with insurance work these days, and The Ranch is no longer an option because the owner is seriously ill, which saddens me greatly.  Joe at SVE referred me to another shop in Northglenn and the owner, Al, stopped by our home to take a look at what I have.  Long story short, he was both impressed and intrigued by the Nautilus.  I asked him to fix the fit of the hood, for starters.  As a secondary consideration, I asked him if he could fit the sun roof clip.  He told me the hood is no big deal, and that he could fit the sun roof clip in one of three ways.  He left, telling me he'd get back to me later in the week with quotes for each job.  I held my breath, and braced myself for disappointment...because this is the point where I get ditched, or let down by false promises...

Despite my concerns, Al responded in 3 days with quotes for each job.  I thought it over for a day and agreed.  I have 4 hoods for the craft, and delivered 3 of them to his shop in my 4Runner.  I told him which hood was the original, and which hood I really wanted him to use.  He took it from there and tweaked up the painted hood within 4 days.  And he's a busy shop!  I picked up the painted hood yesterday, mounted it on the Nautilus with the newly available hood rubber from ISP West, and pictured here are the results.  Without having the craft in his shop, he got the fit to within 95%.  I could live with it, but in speaking with Al he told me he could easily tweak it more.  I'm stoked!  Oh--and total cost for this work, so far?  NOTHING.  He was just happy to help give me a little shove to get the project done the way I want it.  How about that!

Al is bringing his car hauler over next Saturday and the Nautilus is going on a little trip down to his  Commerce City shop to finalize the hood refinish and clean up some other small issues that remain on the main body of the car.  Do I DARE HOPE that the sun roof clip will also be installed?