Sunday, November 18, 2012

Another Dirty Sunday

This morning we tackled organizing the garage. There will be no more parts coming off the car now, so we got rid of the extra boxes we had and combined and labeled the existing ones. Here is a picture of Jonathan standing in the middle of our organization mess. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Almost Finished Painting The Underbody!

Jonathan and I are finishing the majority of painting the underbody today. Jonathan will go back under and touch up any spots we missed and some of the crevice and interior frame areas this coming week. I am really excited that today is (hopefully) my last time to paint underneath the car!

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Little Painting

Needless to say, I did not sleep very well last night. Although I was excited to work on KITT this morning, I had trouble finding the motivation to get started. I got started in the late afternoon and decided to focus on the parts still needing to be painted with POR-15.

I started by using a small blade to scrape the places where the POR-15 had dripped on the backside of the parts. These pictures are of the brake shields Sara painted last weekend.

Roadblock Ahead...Better Hit Turbo Boost!

This week was moving along fairly quickly. I had decided to take Friday off because it was supposed to be warmer out and I wanted to get the underbody painted. Yesterday at work at the end of my shift I received some very unsettling news. I was informed that due to restructuring within Xerox, effective 11/16/12 my position was being eliminated.

I am upset, but I am strong. I will survive and move on. I am not worried about securing another job as I am confident in my abilities and qualifications. I do want to say thank you to my wonderful friends who during all of this have been a shining example of why true friends are irreplaceable.

Time to hit Turbo Boost: One of the positive things to come out of this is that I now have all kinds of time to work on KITT! I plan to make the most of it.    

Monday, November 12, 2012

Email Updates

I know that many of you enjoy getting updates on Project: K.I.T.T. by email, however, the service I have been using (FeedMyInbox) is shutting down. Starting December 1st the email updates you have been receiving will contain a notice at the top stating the service will discontinue on January 10, 2013.

I have located another company (Blogtrottr) which provides the same service. There is a new sign up at the top of my blog. Even if you are already receiving email updates you will have to sign up again in order to continue receiving them. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thank you for reading my blog, it means a lot to me!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Too Cold To Paint

18 degrees = too cold to finish painting today.

Our new plan is to finish painting the underbody and the parts next weekend.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Christmas Comes Early This Year

Sara decided to get me an early Christmas present and told me that I should order the set of 15" Turbo Cast rims that Billy of Knight Designs had for sale. These rims are getting nearly impossible to find in good shape and cost a small fortune. They are selling for between $800 and $2,500 depending on the condition. These rims have been restored in the past, the edges have been machined so they shine and they have clear coat on them. About the only thing they need is a good cleaning and polishing.

It was snowing when I brought the boxes inside, so it really did feel like Christmas.

Painting The Day Away

The parts dried overnight. We brushed them off with the parts brush to make sure there was no loose dirt.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Ready, Set, Prep!

Today after work I cleaned and prepped the rear end parts we want to paint this weekend. I used the same process we have been using with the MarineClean and Prep and Ready. Here are the parts just before I rinsed the Prep and Ready off.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

An Extra Hour To Paint

This morning Jonathan wanted to start by first putting the remaining three drain plugs back in KITT. The first drain plug he needed to put back in was in the trunk, so we needed to keep the hatch raised. Unfortunately our trusty hatch-raising mop handle is no more...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Little Privacy, Please

I came across this today and realized I had not mentioned it. I bought this privacy/cargo shade back in April. It needs to be cleaned and I need to repair a couple of pieces, but over all it is in good shape with no tears, rips or holes in the shade. This shade covers the rear hatch area from just behind the rear seats all the way to the back. The handle hooks onto the hatch lid and actually goes up with the hatch when it is opened. This is spring-loaded so it will retract when unhooked from the hatch lid like a window shade.

So Tired Of All The Dirt!

Jonathan spent this last week wire brushing and scrubbing the front fender clips and the area where the rear bumper mounts. He used wire brushes, the drill with the wire wheel and the angle grinder to remove the dirt.

Here is a picture of the driver side of the dirty rear bumper mounting area before Jonathan worked on it this week.

Friday, November 2, 2012

KITT's New Amber Side Marker Lights

Today I received the new front amber side marker lights I ordered for KITT. The side markers we took out of KITT were scratched and cracked. I ordered these from Modern Day Muscle and they are new old stock (NOS) GM parts. The price was right, and the side markers came sealed in their original GM bags. These side markers are GM part #915589 and #915590. These did not come with the retaining clips, but I can reuse the ones from the old lights.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cleaning Down Under, Part 2: Crunch Time

It was hard to get myself motivated to work on KITT this week. In fact, the only night Sara and I worked on KITT was Thursday. The brushing/cleaning/POR-15 project has been long and tedious, but this back section of the underbody has been the worst part so far. It was easier this week to come up with other things to do other than work on KITT.

But, a couple of phone conversations Wednesday and Thursday with Billy Gunter of Knight Designs refueled my drive to finish KITT as quickly as possible.

So, this weekend I am continuing to brush and clean the rest of the underbody. I hope to start prepping the underbody for paint tomorrow. 

Having to hold myself in a perpetual crunch is hard on my back, but a great workout for my abs. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cleaning Down Under

I have been working to finish brushing the underbody in preparation for POR-15. I had hoped to get it cleaned and prepped this weekend, but it is turning out to be a much bigger job than I had envisioned. Much of the underbody is at a height where I cannot reach it laying on the creeper, and yet there is not enough room to sit up either. I am therefore stuck in a perpetual crunch in order to reach it. This is proving to be a pain in my back, literally.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Busting Bolts And Winterizing

We started the weekend out by working on the the wheel wells. It was my intention to get both of the rear wheel wells and the underbody prepped for POR-15 by Sunday. The picture below shows what the wheel well looked like when I started. I chose to try the heat gun method of softening the rubber coating and then scraping it off. This worked to an extent, but I felt it was taking longer than it took me with the front wells.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

You Can Paint KITT Any Color As Long As It's Black

I have been searching for the right person to paint KITT, and recently a co-worker recommended a local painter named Mario. He painted a couple of my co-worker's Trans Ams and did a fantastic job. I called and arranged for Mario to stop over last Friday night to take a look at KITT and size up the job.

We started out by visiting about what kind of finish I wanted. I told him that I am looking for the deepest glossiest black possible. In fact it is should be such a deep gloss that it is perfectly mirror-like in its reflection almost to the point of not looking like paint. I had saved a few example pictures of paint jobs that are the caliber of what I want to achieve.

Next we spent some time on the trouble areas I was concerned about before giving the entire car a once over. If I can say one thing about Mario it is that he is very thorough.

I will need to replace the driver side door. Mario pointed out areas on the door where he said there has been body work before. He said it was not worth trying to save this door. He is not a fan of reskinning doors. I will also need to get the replacement hatch (or just the hatch glass) before painting. Mario has volunteered to help me with procuring these parts.

The rear fender corners that were crumpled (where the bumper mounts) will need to be hammered flat and filled flush. This is going to be a really hard area to repair because of where it is, but Mario said he can get it smoothed out.

The biggest revelation was having Mario point out he believes that not only was I correct about the front end collision, but that the whole front clip was replaced. He said he can see areas that are not factory welds. He did say that whoever did the repair work did it correctly and that it should not pose any problems. The frame is straight and the car aligns just fine.

I am a more than a little disturbed by this as both the CARFAX and AutoCheck reports showed no accidents and no negative titles or other problems. This really makes me wonder how accurate these reports actually are.

As part of Mario's service he will take the car down to the metal, use a guide coat to find and fix all the low areas, prime, then use a two-stage process of base color then clear coat. He will also wet sand/color sand and then buff to a mirror finish. Mario will also help me with the installation of all the exterior parts and the over all fit and finish of everything.

Mario wants to start on the car in March, so I now have a deadline in which I need to have KITT reassembled. A little pressure is always a good thing, right?  I mentioned to Mario that I want to document the entire process on my blog, and he said I will be free to come and go at any time during the process and take pictures or shoot videos of anything I want. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Lego My KITT!

A friend of mine gave me a custom made Lego KITT! Take a look at its awesomeness!

Rotors, Axles And Gears

Troy stopped over Thursday night to help remove the rotors. We started by using an air hammer to loosen the rust that had seized the rotors. The constant battering of the air hammer while rotating the rotor was enough to free them.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

One Rear End, Two Calipers, And A Ton Of Rusted, Seized Bolts

Yesterday after work I decided to work on removing the rear calipers. After much research and visiting with Troy, I discovered that the Service Manual is indeed wrong in its description the removal process. The rear calipers do not need to be compressed before they can be removed.