Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Nautilus stands inspection, Part 1

I decided to take the car cover off the Nautilus this morning to take another good close look at the paint.  I've been test fitting parts a lot over the past few months and this has involved a lot of fiddling around with the various openings in the body to clear paint and filler to allow the components a good fit.  Front and rear light housings have all been installed at least once, then removed so I can later determine if primer or paint needs to go on in places to prevent future rust.  I still don't have a good touch-up paint match, so investigations were intended to be a bit more broad in scope.  I went looking for weird paint issues and it didn't take long before I found something that really needs attention.

The outside of the Nautilus is actually really nice, overall.  There was some dirt, masking tape residue, excess wax and buffing compound that was all sent along its way with some minor encouragement from a microfiber towel and a little water.  No big deal.  Notes were taken for the minor paint damage I've introduced.  I went into the rear trunk and it still needs a good cleaning, but no paint damage.  I checked the underside of both doors--still looking good.  Then, I headed to the front of the car and that's where things went a little sideways.
As the picture above shows, the front hood fit is a problem.  It just sits a bit too proud, particularly when a seal is installed.  I've tried all kinds of seals and found one that nets the best results, but it's nowhere close to perfect.  I decided this morning to loosen the hinge and latch plates to adjust the fit of the hood in its opening and during this work I discovered something entirely new:  two cracks in the paint on the inside of the hood at the left leading front edge.  The cracks go all the way to the metal, but there's a lot of product that will need to be removed to prevent future encounters with rust in this area.

So...just great.  Another unwelcomed step backwards.  Right now, there's a big part of me that just wants to pull the car cover back over the craft and entirely abandon the project.  But, I also have to admit that I have a real possibility to introduce some improvements by getting this relatively small issue fixed.  I do have two spare hoods and maybe one of those will fit better that the one currently installed?  Yep--I'm going to have to install them to find out.  And then there's the question of who I get to do the body and paint work?  Am I headed into another bodywork nightmare?

More Motorworks Restorations bodywork demerits have been awarded.  When this round of front end body shop  re-work is done, I don't think I'll consider this a Motorworks project, anymore.