D&S #3: Taking the SS apart

By the time I got a loft built to store all the parts and allow me to spread out I had formed a plan of attack for the car. I would strip it completely, put the body on a dolly and start removing paint and undercoating, preparing it for welding, bodywork and paint. If I didn’t feel like working in the body I’d work on cleaning and repairing small parts.

I started with the gauges and tail lights. I thought it would go quickly and I’d have a small box of parts to clean paint and set aside before I pulled out the rear end or front suspension. After a week of working about an hour and a half a day the pile of parts I removed was large and getting larger. By the time I was down to just what the car was sitting on I felt better about my purchase.

You can see the dash is still populated with lots of stuff besides the gauges including the ashtray frame and beaver-tail switches.

The gauges polish up quite nicely as do the tail lights and the rings the lower tail lights sit on. I notice the gauges are metric and the odometer indicated 92,000 km. How does a car get so hurt in so few miles?

Before I removed the suspension I needed to build a dolly so I purchased casters from Harborfreight rated for about 500 pounds each and some 4″x4″ posts, metal joining brackets and screws from the local hardware store. The car was quickly perched on my 4’x4′ square dolly about a foot higher than it would normally sit on its wheels so I can sit in a chair and work on it.

A peak at the dolly and the underside of the car

The front suspension came away from the car without any drama. It looks like it was off the car when the first restoration was started and hastily put back on to move the car when it sold. None of the bolts holding it together were very tight and the tapered joints were easily separated. The rear end was a different story. The ball joint on the locating triangle wouldn’t budge from the differential and I had to coax the other two mounting points out of the body with gravity working against me. Eventually it came free but it took at least 3 hours over two days.

Even now I am still encountering parts that I didn’t notice when I was taking the car apart. I figure it will take me the often cited wisdom of 1000 hours to get the car apart and then back together, so I’ll keep track track of my time total at the end of each post.

10 hours down, 990 to go.

Next up, everything, or at least coming up with a plan of attack.

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