Imperial Home Page -> Imperials by Year -> 1973 -> Kerry's Restoration -> Part 8
Back in the shop. I can't get the stick residue off the top. Nothing I have will touch it including Grease Remover. I called the body shop and they said they had something so I drove down. They handed me the same can of Grease Remover I had just tried. Next time I'll ask first. There was a customer there while I was talking to the clerk who apparently worked at a body shop. He said "We just sand it off." I guess that's what I'll do.
This is something that you could actually see under the vinyl top. It is the body filler over the seam where the top is welded to the fender. I can see rust in the crack and it has pushed up causing the lump under the vinyl. It will have to be sanded out and 'de-rusted',
Here is the rust under the Bondo and under the lead. I find it interesting that the factory used lead and then finished with plastic. I don't know why they did not just finish the lead.
Here is the worst problem on the car (other than the crashed side). These are the little posts that hold the clips that hold the vinyl top trim down. Several have rust and two or three have rusted out. Unfortunately the back is behind the truck hinge frame and will be a bear to get to. While I was pondering how to fix it, I put an 80 grit disk in my 7 inch air grinder and took the sticky stuff off the top. The paint was pretty thin up there.
My experience is that the factories do not spend much time or effort on finish under vinyl tops. The result is always seen after a few years. Bare metal was the result of the grinding so I decided to pre-emptive strike any rust with "corolless". The Eastwood rust killer/stopper/preventer paint. POR15 is tougher but is very hard to sand and blend into other paint. Corolless makes a nice primer and I decided to hit every rust spot with "Rustmort" a converter, let it work, wipe it out with degreaser, and prime with Corolless. I did the entire top this way and put two HEAVY coats of Corolless on it. Below you can see the spot sandblaster I used to knock the rust of the holes by the trim pins. Now I have to figure how how to kill the rust on the bottom. (later I found a way to put some rust killer on it from the bottom and welded a patch in place from the bottom by holding it up with a magnet on a rod)
This is the result of sanding out the dings, killing any rust and painting it with Corolless. Looks like it has measles. In time I would regret taking this much time because filling all these marks so they don't show takes a huge amount of time. I probably could have just filled the dings and left it at that but with my luck there would have been rust in the pit and it would have eaten out of my new paint about as soon as I got the trim on it. You can see all the work I have to do.
Taking the door handles off was a real pain. Again the door panels had to be off so it was just as well that I had already pulled them. The window had to be up and I had to jumper a few window motors because the switches are bad. The door handles have a small 3/8 nut on each end and NO room to get to it. Especially the rear doors. Finally using a 1/4 inch drive ratchet 1 click at a time, I got the nuts off. This photo shows how the rear door is dented in at the handle. I thought it would be easier to fix the dent then replace the door or door skin. This would turn out to be a decision I would regret.
Bondo time is next!
Kerry's '73 Restoration Saga Main...
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