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I "fixed" the welded up door latch jaw bolt hole problem this afternoon and that was the last UNmodification task to do. For all intents and purposes, this car is now a normal GT. I still have to attach the door latch jaws and use my old Red Baron doors to test for fitment and door latch alignment, plus the clean up of a few things.

This thread will soon be over and done with because the car will no longer be a gullwing. It will then just be the restore and build of a normal GT and I'll start the new "Gordo's Racer X Project" thread.

:)
Finally, building a yellow GT!
 
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The Maaco in Audubon New Jersey on Rt.168.
I think you missed my point.

My point was, next time you need welding, don't pay the shop to do it, pay the guy to do it. You can probably pay him double what the shop is paying him, and half what the shop is charging you. But this requires keeping his contact info, as it's a bit trashy to walk into a business and headhunt their employees for side jobs. In this case, since it's a muffler shop that's literally never billed body work, it would've been the morally perfect time to just straight up ask the guy his contact info and dealt with him instead of the shop that brings nothing to the table. You're asking them to do work they've never done.

Lots of mechanic apprentices are being billed out at $120/hour, and then paid $20/hour. When you find one you like, if it's something he can do in his garage at home, pay him $50/hour and everyone wins.
 

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Über Genius
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I just had a great idea for how to customize your new project.
After it's all put together, you could make it into a gullwing.

Too soon?
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter #504
Oh believe me, if I could have found a welder who would come over to my house with his own equipment or take my car to his house and do it I would. I asked the guy and he didn't have his own stuff.

Are there guys out there who will do welding privately? Sure. The problem is finding them. And how good are they? You don't know until you try them. I worked in industry for 40 years and I've also had many muffler systems welded, I never saw a better steel welder than this guy. On this once in a lifetime roof swap, do I experiment with someone new and unknown? Nope. Do I redirect the money towards buying my own welding set up and do it myself? I've tried welding at various machine shops I worked at and I sucked. I'm 61 years old with badly failing eyesight and I live in a very small city-style row home, getting my own set up for this one job, probably flocking it up badly, then tripping over the welding rig for my remaining years or trying to sell it to someone, is just nonsense. Nope, take it to a pro 5 miles away, get it back in a week, done.
 

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Next time you need $1000 worth of Welding done, talk to the welder and tell him you'll buy him a welder in exchange for the work.

I worked for a company that was built using a similar strategy. They would bid on jobs,break g even on the labor, if the job covered the cost of the machine needed to produce the job.

A lot of skilled craftsmen out there just can't afford their own equipment. One gig to cover what they need and they can stert their garage business.
 
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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter #506 (Edited)
Today I cleaned up welds, smoothed over sharp edges where I had to chop mod stuff out, and did some more parts stripping. I also cut out oem body stuff that is obsolete or that get's in the way of modernizing mods. For example, I prefer the Vintage Air heaters, which are 1/3 the size of the oem ones and work better and I'll be putting my single side draft set up from my other car's previous set up, so that meant that I did the same mod I did on my other car and cut out the heater box and some body pieces above the passenger wheel well, the perch for the oem air cleaner, and I widened the cold air intake passageway on the passenger side of the radiator wall. My previous experience with my GTX car showed these to be good mods. I'll be putting an aftermarket fuse box in and I prefer to run the wires to the engine compartment and front lighting out the front of the sheet metal above the oem fuse box, instead of out the top where "The Turd" is. The Turd is a major water leak point, water runs down the wires, through The Turd, and rots your floor. Since I prefer autos, I chop off that trumpet thing that the clutch cable comes out of and I run the wires to the engine compartment through there. Then I plug up the hole where The Turd is. I run cable throttle direct to the gas pedal by drilling an extra hole in it, so I chopped off that thing sticking out next to the gas pedal that the linkage pivots on. I will be installing an electric linear actuator to flip the headlights because my custom dashes extrude outwards in the center dash area, which would interfere with the headlight flip lever. I removed the lever and cable, but retained the push/pull assembly to the headlights. I basically had to rip the bolt hole areas of the door latch jaws out of the doorways because the modders had welded them up. I was curious if the latch jaws would cover the holes. They do.

I just have to remove the brake lines and master cylinder and the headlight assemblies and the car should be ready to go for blasting and priming.

Holy Cow this car is ugly right now. I can't wait to be done with all this yucky stuff and have it puttied and painted yellow, all ready for the fun building stage. :)


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I would have thought that the doors with the partial roof extension or the rocker/sub-frame reinforcement would be the botched part of that build. I personally don't know why they wouldn't have taken their time with the roof contours without puttying it all together. There are absolute Masters at chopping and feathering bodywork on much curvier fat fender street rods than Gordo's fiasco. Just sayin' that it could have been really special. IMHO, It's almost as if they just threw it together in a weekend as some sort of a gimick or stunt. But that sort of mod takes hours and hours to mock up and fit, let alone weld it all out properly, rust proof, and finish. It doesn't make sense unless they just got bored with it. Sorry for your misery ScifiGuy. It was a good idea.
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter #509
I would have thought that the doors with the partial roof extension or the rocker/sub-frame reinforcement would be the botched part of that build. I personally don't know why they wouldn't have taken their time with the roof contours without puttying it all together. There are absolute Masters at chopping and feathering bodywork on much curvier fat fender street rods than Gordo's fiasco. Just sayin' that it could have been really special. IMHO, It's almost as if they just threw it together in a weekend as some sort of a gimick or stunt. But that sort of mod takes hours and hours to mock up and fit, let alone weld it all out properly, rust proof, and finish. It doesn't make sense unless they just got bored with it. Sorry for your misery ScifiGuy. It was a good idea.

Parts of the mod were done really well. It was built like a tank. I seem to think that they screwed up from the start by chopping the roof first, without taking steps to preserve the arc, before thinking of the consequences later and what the car would look like with a flat roof.

I also think that the design was flawed from the start. The designer was too beholden to the Mercedes gullwing concept, with the short doors and the radically reinforced rockers. If it had a nice roof arc and normal doors I would have stuck with the project of restoring it. With it already modded wrong(in my opinion) or unnecessarily, the finished product, if I restored it, would have displeased me in form and function. To redo the mod with a nice roof arc and full size doors, on THIS car, would have been a monumental task that would first have to start with UNmodifying it and then starting over from scratch. It would be simpler to modify a normal GT. Theoretically, since I'm almost done with the unmodifying of it back to a normal GT, I could do just that. I've learned from the mistakes of the original mod concept and think I could make a better GT gullwing than any of the others. All the modding of the doors only saved 10 lbs per door. The chassis reinforcement could have been done under the car, rather than the huge rocker mods that were done. Change those 2 things and this is a mod that you can happily live with and enjoy.

The reality, for me, is that a gullwing car is extremely inconvenient for my particular garage situation. If I had a big garage it would be an entirely different story. If you have a big garage where you could get in and out of the car easily and you changed the door mod to full length doors and did under the car reinforcement and you preserved the roof arc, then this would be a good mod for someone to do. :)
 

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Your Noble Friend ;-)
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I have heard rumors that Gordo wants to do something new that hasn't been done yet. At least not to a GT, but to a Manta B in Germany ...???


Yes, two front axles, and two engines as well!

Dieter
 

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People think that's a good idea but they usually don't realize that the steering geometry has to be extremely precise.
The middle set of wheels has to turn at a different rate, matched to the wheelbase of the vehicle or the two sets of front tires will fight each other.
That's why he was going so slow around the corners.
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter #515
The 4cyl Mazda engine in my 2003 Ford Escape threw a rod climbing the hills in frozen Pennsylvania while coming back from fetching the new doors I got from Jim McCurdy yesterday. Used replacement engines almost impossible to get and the repair would cost more than the car is worth, so......it's totalled. Enterprise rentacar gave me a Range Rover Discovery to take my doors home in. Holy Cow, it was so full of electronics I couldn't figure out how to adjust the radio volume. Nice car, probably worth more than my house. The day started at 5am and I got home at 9pm, the ride was only 9 hours total. Long cold day. That leaves me with just my Opelized Pontiac Solstice Coupe as my only vehicle, other than my GTX and the clusterfluck GT with Winter upon us. Gotta find me a cheap SUV fast. Probably going to sell the Solstice, it's time to do that anyway. I think this piece of debris I found on the road was from the rod.

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Opeler
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The 4cyl Mazda engine in my 2003 Ford Escape threw a rod climbing the hills in frozen Pennsylvania while coming back from fetching the new doors I got from Jim McCurdy yesterday. Used replacement engines almost impossible to get and the repair would cost more than the car is worth, so......it's totalled. Enterprise rentacar gave me a Range Rover Discovery to take my doors home in. Holy Cow, it was so full of electronics I couldn't figure out how to adjust the radio volume. Nice car, probably worth more than my house. The day started at 5am and I got home at 9pm, the ride was only 9 hours total. Long cold day. That leaves me with just my Opelized Pontiac Solstice Coupe as my only vehicle, other than my GTX and the clusterfluck GT with Winter upon us. Gotta find me a cheap SUV fast. Probably going to sell the Solstice, it's time to do that anyway. I think this piece of debris I found on the road was from the rod.

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Yikes! Glad you are okay and have the doors after all of that. Let’s hope your vehicle woes will end with 2020....so maybe don’t do any more vehicle stuff for the next couple days.
 

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Yup, that's a Rod chunk alright.
I wonder what the cause of the rod throw was. It's not often they go without some sort of advance notice.
 

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Opeler
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The 4cyl Mazda engine in my 2003 Ford Escape threw a rod climbing the hills in frozen Pennsylvania while coming back from fetching the new doors I got from Jim McCurdy yesterday.
And you thought that Santa would not know the horrible thing that you have done to the gullwing GT?

You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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Discussion Starter #519
The reason the engine blew was probably all my own fault and partially the car's. The car always had an oil consumption issue going back to when my brother owned it. It turned out that it only wanted synthetic 5W20, not multi-viscosity. That got the consumption under control, but it had a recent oil change and then I did the 11 hour drive to Virginia to get the roof and doors, then this 9 hour one to get the better doors, and I didn't check the oil. I drive so little now with retirement and the virus, like 5 miles a week, that I got out of the habit of checking the car. No oil light came on, but I'm sure that low oil is what did it in. It's week 4cyl engine struggled on the PA hills and was constantly downshifting at 80mph, like it always did. Apparently it's engine was known for having problems. I got my money's worth out of it and drove it cross country twice and hauled all sorts of stuff in it. Some annoying stuff was starting to go wrong with it and I was thinking of retiring it lately. So, now it's retired. I'm going to look at a few local Escapes today in the $3000 price range I'd like to stay at and there's money in the bank.
 

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Detritus Maximus
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Sorry to hear that Gordon. If you were closer I would give you the 2.0 Zetec out of our old 2001 Focus. The trans blew up at 315K, but the motor ran great. it's just sitting at the house.

Even though I have the Mustang and the Safari van, I still keep looking at those Honda Elements as an SUV possibility.
 
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