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Preparing for paint

(05/10/00) It looks like the hood repairs have been successful. (so far)
There's very little sag in the center of the cowl.
You can see a little red on the edges from the underhood paint...and that I've removed the pins and keepers.

I fastened the fascia to the leading edge of the wheelwell and used double sided tape in between the fascia and the fender.

Then I installed the final braces that really helped straighten out the sides and fastened the underside brackets to the bumper which stabilized the lower front edge.

While I was at it my friend Steve ground off the trim rivets all along the side.

Then I masked and primed the hood and fenders.

The fascia got a coat of flat black flexible bumper paint.
All that flat black really did a number on the camera's flash, which is my excuse for the lousy picture.

(05/11/00) I got a better shot when I took it out into the sunlight the next day.

Here it's showing off the underhood detail and prop rod.

(05/13/00) I took the tonneau cover off to prep the rear quarters for priming and masked the shiny stuff off.

Then I finished the priming...I'll have some natural light shots tomorrow.
I wonder if I can get some "SR-71 Blackbird" emblems for it?

Well, it looks just as black in the daylight.
Now I need to finish the minor bodywork details to get it ready for its final color (Torch red.)

I took a minute and repainted the license moulding....
Where is that damned rear pan?

(05/16/00) it is. Right between the Punkin and the Grape. :)
(It took UPS a week to get it from TN to UT...sheesh!)
I think I'll prime it first and then install it.

(05/21/00) It took me 2 days to get the damned bumper off. To coin a phrase, "Rust Never Sleeps." (Apologies to Neil Young.)

The bolts for the bumper brackets and the rams were rusted solid and took lots of pentrating oil and impact wrenching to remove.

After priming the pan and removing the flexible connecting panels, I test fit the pan to the rear of the Elky.
The pan bolts directly to the body. There is no bumper or protective structure underneath it.
I better not back into anything.

Then I installed the stock tailights into the pan.
I had to paint the outside of the light housings to blend with the pan, since they aren't recessed as much as in the stock bumper.
Initially I used the zinc plated screws to fasten the lights, but I found that black-headed screws looked better.

I re-ran the wiring harness and plugged in all the lights. I had a little trouble with one of the ground wires on the brake lights, but found the bad connection and finished up the job.
This is what I had hoped it would look it's time to get the final bodywork done and some color on it.

Next page: A paint job, believe it or not.

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