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Barn find.... today

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by davehelms, May 29, 2012.

  1. davehelms

    davehelms F1 Rookie
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    The vapor blasting of the body started yesterday and should be finished this evening. A long arduous process, what was found under the numerous layers of undercoating was actually better than I expected to find. Done right the old type undercoat does fairly well at protecting from the elements, done wrong it is exceptionally good at keeping those same elements held tight on the sheet metal, that with predictable results.

    No matter, a little bit of rust in an area is dealt with in the same manner as a fair bit, it all needs to be cut out with new metal panels fabricated and properly installed, regardless of the extent. With everything back to clean bare steel, the process is straight forward and simple.

    Given the thickness of the numerous layers of undercoating, it must have been a Bi Annual ritual for Joe. Much as he lived life, "good intentions" sometimes had positive results, and sometimes not so much. Attention to the finite details was not Joe's strong suit, so much to do and so many squirrels...

    With a batch of plating going out for the Flare Dino and a Daytona Coupe, all of the stripped 330 nickel plated control and steering arms were included in those batches. Good evidence that Joe spent his time doing undercoating and not suspension work, the original factory paint marks were still in place.
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  2. JWeiss

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    I haven't visited the Vintage forum in at least six months. Something in the back of my mind just told me it'd been too long and I should pop back in.
     
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  3. davehelms

    davehelms F1 Rookie
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    J, so many years of drivel and no work getting done, damn sure its about time some hands get dirty!

    Travis, Deegee and "Lawn Dart" (ex Airborne.. the name he answers to being quite appropriate) took on the challenge of dustless blasting Joe's pride and joy and the Dino that is its new stall mate, this last week.

    Used Ferrari Salesmen used to hold the title of the 'World's Greatest Liar's'... a closer look and you will find they are simply apprentice students to Colorado broadcast weather people! The perky Midwest blonde on channel 4 promised us all that we would see a break in the weather and have mid 40's to mid 50 degree temps all week. Not ideal by any stretch, at least that is warm enough to wheel out the two cars, lay down 2 semi tarps and carry out the blasting process in the back lot.

    All best made plans, what should only take some 3-4 hours per car... well there is also the first year 911 front bonnet we need stripped, the Alfa Montreal differential that sure would help going bare metal before tear down, a set of GTE springs that would be easier to blast outside than in the cramped cabinet, the 5 Fiat Dino Spider wheels that need something more aggressive than our Vapor Blaster to cut through the Chromate primer... lets play big spenders and rent the industrial compressor for a whole week so we are not rushed.

    Icicles hanging off both cars in the 20 degree weather, Lawn Dart soaked from head to toe, our best made plans didn't take into effect the untold layers of undercoating Joe laid on the 330... or the unimaginably tough skim coat used on the 246 Dino! The wish was for the most gentle blasting system using very fine crushed glass to be used where panel warping is not a concern... that wish holding true until day 4 in the freezing weather... at which point we were ready to change out to steel shot to get these damn things done!


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  4. turbo-joe

    turbo-joe F1 Veteran
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    soooo much to do - and so little time :)
     
  5. davehelms

    davehelms F1 Rookie
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    Isn't so TJ....!

    The body filler front and center on the nose... Joe dropped something on it near vertically. The filler in the RF apron, he also tried to move something with that, just a slow speed push in with no wrinkles.

    Storing this car in the cave under the house, surrounded by heavy building supplies, that didn't work out so well in the end.

    Both extremely simple to dolly out, all the access in the world... quick and easy was Joe's MO, slap some filler on it and 'it' goes away
     
  6. GBTR6

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    Dave, great to see you back with your continuing story. This thread is the best thing on F-Chat. Hope to hear more of your adventures and further restoration of Joe's car.

    Perry
     
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  7. davehelms

    davehelms F1 Rookie
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    Sorry about the hiatus, Life... the unpredictable turns and twists, the challenges and at times unimaginable heart break, got in the way of us Living for a time....

    Joe's car(S) are still with us and continue to make progress. Slowly until recently, the 330 finally has legs and will be pushed through to the end. Now we can finally progress on the subject at hand and try to cut back on drivel completely unrelated to the car... almost. It is about the cars... and Joe and we still have to retire one more car to close out that subject

    Joe's Lexus... yah, that incredibly fine vehicle is still with us, kind of. When Joe no longer had the ability to drive that fine vehicle, being 'Shoemaker Dave', I gave it to Kris to drive!

    By the time Joe was done with the Lexus there wasn't a straight panel on it, the roof included. This IS the car that when parked in a Walmart parking lot, always has an empty parking spot on any side of it, even when the choice front row spot is happened upon. One quick glance at the condition of the body says "Run, don't even think of parking next to this, this fool just doesn't care!". Of course the casual observer doesn't know the whole side story of those hard earned battle scars.. so Kris gets the unearned credit... and the side glance looks that come with it, I think its priceless but she fails to see the humor in it. A few months away from 39 years of marriage... and Kris finally owns a Lexus... Yup, as our own FC Dickard said, "you still got it Dave, that is one lucky girl!".

    Mechanics cars come in two styles, either they are some of the finest things on the road or... they make due for the time being, at least until something falls off. Kris, some 40K miles later, and completely without due cause, suggested an upgrade might be justified when in the middle of the night, on the goat trail road up to Jenni's house in our valley, the left front wheel separated from the Lexus, went over the cliff and stopped in a tree some 600 feet below.

    Washboard gravel roads now measuring near 13" from peak to valley, they finally decided to loosen and shear off the lug bolts and eject the front wheel. Every off road racer knows that with enough speed, you can hit only the tops of the washboard and the ride smoothens out quite nicely... but Kris doesn't fancy herself as an off road racer, or right seat navigator, albeit barked out directions have come from that area of the interior. My moment in time diagnosis of a blow front strut was quickly proven wrong when the wheel departed over the cliff.

    What does one do with a 250K+ Lexus with the LF fender showing a slight scar, now having 4 lug bolts holding the front wheel on, one that your loving wife no longer fully trusts on the back roads, regardless of my assurances the 5th lug bolt is just a 'belt and spenders' thing? You give it to your Daughter of course, her truck sheared the rear shock off on those same roads and she needed reliable transportation! Yup, still got it... in more ways than one
     
  8. davehelms

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    Just plodding through the long winded task of reversing time now.

    Nothing terribly exciting but it is a mood raiser when there is a table full of freshly powder coated and newly nickel plated pieces now awaiting reassembly.

    The Aerospace machine shop next door was cleaning out their materials room and had a wide selection of 962 bearing bronze heading for the recycling bin. It seemed only fitting that the old fiber bushings being removed, get upgraded to a new bearing bronze that is quite easily machined and honed to fit. Joe being the master of 'make it work', he would have wanted it no other way

    Travis loathes the day I picked up a post WWII Sunnen hone for this wonderful task of final fit finish honing. A machinists apron was intended to keep small lathe shavings and the occasional splash of honing oil off ones work uniform. By the time Travis finishes a set of cylinder liners or king pins, drip pans are needed under the apron hook. Just one of those precious little "why should I tell him" moments when he finally realized he could turn down the honing oil flow rate from that of a power washer, to a smooth trickle.
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  9. davehelms

    davehelms F1 Rookie
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    Will Joe's surprises ever cease? This week included the tear down of the rear end differential for inspections, game planning and restoration, and no different than anything else on this car, that too led to surprises.

    I have always enjoyed the 330's, those proving a perfect mix of performance, albeit a bit shy on sway bar dimensions. I have failed to study the fine points on these cars regarding what came when, instead spending my time on making them run right without much care as to what was original to a particular chassis number.

    I expected to open the differential and find open spider gears, knowing the series 2 cars had a disc type limited slip but with the belief that a mid run series 1 car would be lacking the same. A great deal of time in my youth was spent dealing with the 250 series differentials when we were actively campaigning Bob's magnificent collection of 250 race cars. Differential gear changes and trailing arm bushings were a weekly thing for us depending on what track was the next to be conquered. As long as BS side stories have become common place in this poor thread....

    One never knows how far a particular subject/design can be pushed... until pushed too far. Laguna Seca had left some bad memories the year prior when the Aston Team was given an advantage by being allowed to run Gum Ball tires in their hot rod DB4GT's and Bob was held to running on std. Dunlop race tires for that race. Not to be held to the lowest step on the podium again, differential gearing that had never been made prior, was. We were already tearing the spokes out of the GTO and SWB's wheels on a weekly basis, turning Chiclets in the early limited slip differentials into small dust like particles, now we knew what happens when one literally peals the teeth off a pinion gear by shear torque being applied. For entire summers at a time I would smell like the rancid stink of gear lube, a smell that simply cant be washed away.

    Gearing I know, have a closet full of those shirts and know exactly what to look for when the side cover is removed. As the limits were being pushed, I also knew there was a point where the semi fragile aluminum center section would no longer contain the gears pushing outward. All that hard earned knowledge, mixed with educated guesses on what lied ahead when outrageous gear ratios were used with gum ball tires and an engine output that Enzo only dreamt of... I was about to learn what happens when one parts out Bob's wife's stunning California Spider so we had a spare rear end with us at a race track half way across the country.

    What are the chances that Linda knew there were no spare rear ends for the race cars? How did she recognize the beautifully restored rear end from Her car, one that sat fully detailed and completely road worthy a few days prior when Bob and Linda left in route to California? Never under estimate a woman's scorn, I wasn't even to the bottom step of the trailer while carrying the "spare" rear end... "DAAAVID, I KNOW that isn't out of MY car!". A quick glance at Bob with the look of "a little help here?", was met with the look of "Your on your own with this one"... and an evil chuckle to boot! Linda knew what had happened, flights were immediately changed to allow me time to get that rear end back in a Cal Spider prior to Linda and Bob's return home! I would like to say that was the LAST time Linda's Cal Spider was used as a parts car... I would Really like to say that!

    Back to reality, side cover removed and differential coming apart... there were no cross shafts and spider gears as was expected to be seen. Here it was again after years not seeing them, a Chiclet type limited slip found its way into Joe's 330. Now more reading and study will be needed so I can identify and correct my misbelief of what I expected to find inside. Is it possible some of Joe's stories of hard acceleration out of tight switch back corners were actually true?! I didn't believe it at the time... but now....
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  10. davehelms

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    #835 davehelms, Mar 24, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
    They say everything comes in 'three's'... if that is the case there is no telling what lies ahead... and just who in the hell are "they"?!

    Meer mention of a 'Chiclet' and all of a sudden it sounds like we are making a run on DoubleMint's market position, chiclets are everywhere, a Maserati 250S differential requiring a little gussy up.

    Several years back I had a very lengthy, yet incredibly enjoyable conversation with Valerio and Marco Colotti. Valerio was Enzo's go to guy for gearing and suspension design needs back in the late 50's when he worked at the Ferrari factory, and his Son Marco was every bit the brilliant professional design engineer his father was. I was in need of a new magnesium case for a Colotti Type 37 gearbox for the Harrison Special I was, and still am restoring, and the mention of that long forgotten (and somewhat controversial) box hit a nerve with Valerio as he was overjoyed I actually wanted to repair and use one in that special Lotus 19 project.

    As is always the case, "release the squirrels", Valerio, Marco and my conversation turned to Ferrari's smack in the middle of a Lotus conversation. Marco now running the Colotti operation his father founded, offered me a pair of 250GTO limited slip Chiclet carriers that had been "sitting on the shelf for decades". If one mark's their life's past by failures to take advantage of a situation at a moment in time, I would fear to look at the road map of my own! A measly $3000 US for a pair of GTO Chiclet center sections, I thanked them both and passed on the offer... Stuuupid!

    I was always under the impression the Chiclet design was that of ZF's but according to Valerio Colotti, that was his design but ZF had the manufacturing abilities to make them in the numbers Ferrari needed for production based use.... Colotti design, ZF manufacture is what I was told that day. Valerio and Marco sent me a 3x4' copy of the original design blueprints of the Colotti Type 37 gearbox that was the original basis of my call, and being the gentlemen they are, sent it at no charge. That chance meeting over the phone led to a long and wonderful friendship that lasted for a great many years until Valerio's passing in the late 2000's as I recall.

    Chock this up to more meaningless data... other than putting to print the credit that Valerio Colotti deserves. The Colotti Trasmissioni website is a worthwhile read for those interested in the history of these subjects!
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  11. John Vardanian

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    Dave, nice work. I have gone thru great lengths to leak proof an axle, only to find out that the eight 8mm studs on each side of the casing are a source of leaks themselves. You get the axle hot enough for long enough, these studs will leak like crazy. Just saying this, if leak proofing is important an issue. All the best.

    john
     
  12. davehelms

    davehelms F1 Rookie
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    That one is actually a fairly simple fix, John.

    Remove the studs from the case and side cover, clean all the threads and reinstall the studs with blue Loctite on the threads, the Loctite then acting as a thread sealer more so than a thread locker. The baffle plates inside the axle tubes that prevents gear oil slosh down the length of the axle tube, promotes leakage at the flange and stud area by holding oil right in that spot. Rarely will the studs come out by double nutting them but a threaded stud puller will always be successful.

    Ferrari had a thing about through drilling stud holes, always the quicker and cheaper method of threading a hole in a case, that as apposed to a 'leak proof' blind hole where a starting tap had to be followed by a bottoming tap. Engine sump covers, front timing chests, differential side flanges and pinion end plates... these were all designed where oil leakage was inevitable as soon as the zinc chromate paint applied to the inside of the cases / housings started to break down.

    In the case of the sand cast aluminum engine assemblies, the zinc chromate paint was applied to the inside to keep left over casting sand captured in the casting pores, in the castings themselves and not in the oil system of the engine. In the case of the cast iron differentials where the castings themselves were far more dense, the internal paint was a half hearted attempt at sealing the stud threads themselves.

    The simple reality is in the highest level shows, the judging standards should have points deducted for a perfectly sealed driveline, they damn sure never came from the factory that way. The older castings were so porous that oil would weep right through them as soon as the internal paint aged a little bit. A blunt rounded end punch had to be used to peen these pores closed... I even have had to do the same on vintage Weber carbs where fuel would leak right through the float bowl area, that being a serious pucker up experience on those fragile castings.

    One can take days cleaning these engines and castings with solvent, chemicals and heated wash blast cabinets... and then set that perfectly cleaned part in the oven.... and watch the oil spots reappear the moment they heat up and expand. Wrinkle powder coating on sand cast cam covers cant even be attempted until they have gone through 3 heat cycles in the oven to wick out all the old oil in the pores.
     
  13. davehelms

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  14. 308 milano

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    What a treat this morning! Great to see you back Dave and what a terrific read!
     
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  15. John Vardanian

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    Agree, thanks for sharing Dave.

    john
     
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  16. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Three Time F1 World Champ
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    That vise sure has a lot of history.
     
  17. davehelms

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    That bought a chuckle and memories, yes... it sure does!

    In the dirt paddock of Road America in the early 80's I welded a steel plate to the top of my then new Snap On tool box because a dozen Aeroquip drysump oil hoses failed on a McLaren CanAm car a friend owned and drove. Bob had just bought an old TransAm Race Series, torsion bar semi trailer and I finally had enough room to bring my full box to the track. This was my little vise with V notched aluminum jaws I used to C Clamp to a picnic table to make Aeroquip lines, but now with a dozen lines to remake over night, it had to have a firm base and my brand new tool box was the most solid thing around to mount it on.

    Oil lines all restored before last call at Seibkins, we headed off to a late start at the famous bar, that to ease my sorrows of welding on my new two week old tool box, and that after finding out how rough a torsion bar semi trailer really rides and how that affects a perfectly organized tool box that is riding in it.

    Earlier I mentioned gear and trailing arm bushing changes being a regular occurrence on the race cars... the very next day my newly machined aluminum jaws I had just fabricated a few weeks prior... were permanently scarred by pounding out torn trailing arm bushings for one of the SWB's, on it. In the following 30 some odd years since, that vise has been abused at near every track around the country and at the shop.

    One day I will make a new set of jaws but until then, they are like a well worn pair of slippers... ya just don't throw them out... even when your toes are exposed!
     
  18. davehelms

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    Liberties are being taken on Joe's car, that given it will be intended as a driver car rather than anything to be shown and judged. Where correct would be a silver zinc plating on the caliper pieces, in the interest of long term longevity we will be doing a Milspec silver Cad plating that will last many decades of road and heat abuse.

    WTH... silver is silver and no passer by's in the Walmart parking lot will notice the plating change being made. Now all vapor blasted and ready for plating
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  19. davehelms

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    #844 davehelms, Mar 30, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
    Just one of those funny little things you stumble upon in inspections...

    The lower brake pad retainer part # VBO/9516/B..... as my crew refers to him, the "world famous 'Rain Man' of Ferrari parts", Keegan... (mind you, that is a single name as no one really knows the rumor to be true that he has both a first and last name) would say... "Ya, not so much, Elmer, just cross that out and make this one an A for the heck of it, the Sun is out today, lets change things up a little".

    When ever my crew hears Keegan on my speaker phone in the engine clean room, they always mosey in to listen to the resulting banter. "These SOB's make this shlt up for the heck of it and then some parts pencil neck flips a coin on what to list the number as and then some other dweeb publishes that number in a manual and for the next 90 years the owners needing that part..... damn fools must have communicated in grunts and clicks... OH, and now my QuickBooks... ISNT!!"

    One day he will learn he could have charged for that stand up act!
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  20. davehelms

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  21. pshoejberg

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    Lovely to see some detailed hardware pictures in this section....keep them coming.

    Best regards Peter
     
  22. Mike Morrissey

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    That’s one heck-of-a tool case Dave! Thank you for a great day with the Lotus Club yesterday!
     
  23. Mike Morrissey

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    Joe’s car was a big hit with the group!
     
  24. davehelms

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    I have long considered developing a small plating division in house because of the logistics involved in making a paper trail for each small part being shipped out for sublet plating. Done individually it is a challenging task but with the platers charging both a batch charge plus a bulk weight charge, there is incentive to make the batches quite substantial. With 80 some cars in the shop at any given time, there are always multiple jobs requiring plating of some sort, which then means parts from multiple cars are all mixed together in the vats and when returned they must all be separated and accounted for. They always go out neatly organized in individual ziplock bags... which all get opened and dumped in a single large wire baskets when they hit the acid.

    The variables in play can be quite a challenge to juggle because even within a single type of plating, say the silver Cad, we need to define which pieces are stressed structural types as those need to get a very specific post plating oven baking process to remove the risk of hydrogen embrittlement from the electro plating process. Suspension bolts receive an entirely different plating process than say, the pad retainer shown prior, both come back silver Cad but the bolts cost half again more to plate due to the extra processes involved. Very rarely done, I have spent too much time at the race tracks and have seen the results of beautifully plated trailing arms cracking and breaking from skipped steps in plating. No different than the manufacturers, we learn a great deal of what is required from race track experiences, that always sorts the wheat from the chaff and points to what is needed.

    Doing Joe's 330 at the same time as a Daytona, 246 Dino and various old race cars in process, we are constantly sending out parts for Silver Cad, Gold Cad, Parkerizing, Gold, dull Nickel, a very specific Nickel-Boron process we developed, as well as aluminum anodizing.... that every few weeks. Flipping through the pages of dozens of legal pads of notes shows the Parkerized bolts and gold Cad nuts are for the Dino, dull Nickel sway bar links are for the 330... or are those from the Dino? There is an evil part of me that feels vindicated when I see a ting of gray developing on the edge of the hair lines of the younger crew involved in these processes.

    Kris will pull in with a big batch returning from the platers and I want the 175 screws, washers and mixed linkage parts for the 6 Daytona carbs being restored.... and those now all mixed in with Joe's suspension bolts, headlight buckets, Dino brackets and pieces and various one off pieces of the Lotus 19. Normally happy and jovial enough to make you want to puke, Travis ends up with a deer in the headlights look on his face, knowing he will be separating mixture adjusting screws and springs... from Dino heater lever arms, and Joe's engine bay brackets, accounting for each washer and screw... for the better part of the afternoon! Hundreds of pictures, many pages of notes, its just a matter of simple logistics and patience..... so long as the paperwork was done right! For the next several hours... "Happy Travis"... Isnt... until he finds the missing Daytona carb top washer wound up on the Dino heater lever arm... and a few more black hairs spontaneously turn gray.
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  25. davehelms

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    The other challenge, albeit far more easily managed, is the powder coating we do in house. Several prep stages are required, those depending on the condition and make up of the part.

    Usually they all start out in the hot water power washer, get dried off completely, get transferred to the dry blast cabinets for either crushed glass or aluminum oxide blasting, and that followed by vapor blasting to peen the surface finish back to as new. Each of these steps having various grits compounds that can be used so batches are developed where all the parts from various cars needing a given grit abrasive, all get done at the same time.

    Once the parts are clean, free of rust and ready for powder coat, each has to be inspected and a determination made on where to tape off so a powder coat build up doesn't happen on a machined surface requiring a metal on metal contact. Brake rotor backing plates, axel tubes and caliper mounts must all be powder coated but their mating surfaces must be clean metal so there isn't a possibility of a bolt loosening due to powder coating breaking down on a torqued and machined surface.

    One would think that extra step would be completely obvious but alas, we deal with exactly that type of thing on a daily basis on cars restored prior. Paint build up on a machined surface can range .003" to .015", with powder coating being greater yet. Add multiple pieces all painted or coated, all being bolted together, it creates a serious problem unless accounted for in the prep.

    In some cases a heat resistant tape is used to exclude powder coat from critical surfaces but in some instances, assemblies are bolted together, powder coated and just after removing from the oven, they are disassembled before the powder solidifies. One of the many differences between show cars intended to be driven from the trailer to the show field and then the podium , and those intended to have the wheels driven off them on back mountain roads. On the later, bolt staying torqued.... gives a warm and fuzzy feeling!
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