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Projects Flashback50 front end redesign and implementation

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bertolasi, Jul 26, 2013.

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  1. Looking fantastic! Lots of slick fab. BTW, what is the trunk latch from?
     
  2. Nice looking project and nice build thread. Not sure how I have missed this one up until now. I look forward to seeing it completed.
     
  3. Bertolasi
    Joined: Aug 19, 2012
    Posts: 258

    Bertolasi
    Member

    Thanks guys appreciate your interest. The trunk latch is original 50 Ford while the operator is all custom made. solenoid via several web sources, manual operator via most automotive stores (universal push-pull sometimes sold as manual hood release cables) push rods custom made from stainless rod stock and plastic (bridge) is some weird type of strong yet slippery stuff available at most material supply houses as U channel (only need an inch of this). The plastic bridge piece will 'lay' in a section of 1½" aluminum U channel so that there are no possibilities of getting 'snagged' in the trunk carpet/liner or other stuff as it moves back and forth to operate the latch.
    Regards, Bob
    Trunk latch system.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
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  4. Bertolasi
    Joined: Aug 19, 2012
    Posts: 258

    Bertolasi
    Member

    Been a busy couple of weeks. Andy and his guys got some other work taken care of and are now closing up the details rapidly. Spent this morning getting the trunk latch mechanism installed and lined up for manual mode - and I will finish up the remote mode as soon as the car is back in the local garage. Andy finished installation of the grille mesh (to hide the tx cooler, radiator, and AC coils) and the grille surround so we figured it was time to trial fit the grille assembly. Big smiles from both of us,,,,,, it fit! and it looked good!
    FB50 grille together 1.jpg
    Waiting for over a year to see if the 'stack up' was figured correctly. It came out within a quarter of an inch of the calculated inset (center) and protrusion (ends) and I am happy about that.
    FB50 grille together 4.jpg
    FB50 grille together 3.jpg
    The 'general presentation' of toothed grilles is a 'happy front end' and this one truly looks like it is smiling, perhaps not as much as we are tonight.
    FB50 grille together 2.jpg
    The side mirrors are now on and those fit better than expected (was afraid that they would stick out too far but I did not want peep mirrors on this car as we have departed quite a ways from the antique/vintage car look. We chose the California Classic II's from Freedom Street Rods.
    FB50 going  together 2.jpg
    Trunk and door gasketing is now going on and being fitted for proper clearances.
    FB50 going  together 1.jpg
    FB50 going  together 3.jpg

    Once the grille bar fitting is complete, the hood can go back on and after a few more items are complete the car will move back to the local garage for wiring completion and upholstery, dash instruments, and accessories installation.
    Thanks again for all your interest. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have. Bob
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
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  5. TOMMAY
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 86

    TOMMAY
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from MOBILE,AL

    Man,I don't know what you did all those years of sixty and seventy hour weeks before you retired but you sure learned some good stuff along the way. I really admire what you've accomplished with this car. Be very proud.
     
  6. Bertolasi
    Joined: Aug 19, 2012
    Posts: 258

    Bertolasi
    Member

    We closed up August with completion of the painting and return of the car to the garage in Rockford where we are now working on interior (wife's domain), finishing up the wiring, and some miscellaneous mechanical issues. It was a great day when the car made it back 'home'.
    car coming back 2.jpg
    I'm not sure if Andy had such a big smile because his body work and paint job turned out so good,,,, or because he would finally be free of all my emails, questions, reminders, questions, suggestions, questions.
    car coming back 1.jpg
    I know that my wife was happy to finally be able to get going on the rework of all the interior
    car coming back 3.jpg
    I was definitely happy to finally get to check out all the bits and pieces that have been lurking in the shadows, waiting to get fit/tested on the car.
    fb50 front w plights.jpg
    A couple of surprises were waiting for me. First noticeable attention item was some paint 'dents' in the underside of the hood due to the difference in corner radius of the old master cylinder top clamps (much softer curve) and the replacement master cylinder (not quite square corner but getting close to it) being just enough to touch the hood underside when it was closed. I cleaned up one of the old clamps and swapped the forward clamp out with the old one. Will take a look at buffing out the old one later. Working on some steering column issues with the headlight switch module and cruise control / hi-lo HL switch operator rod but that should be taken care of soon.
    Lois (wife) and I are working with a local vintage/custom upholstery specialist to get the interior changed over to a two tone gray pleather with coarse woven fabric inserts (neither of us can sit on pleather for very long) for center of seat and seat back areas. The door panels will look something like the (Photoshopped) image below when we are finished
    fb 50 door- panel layout.jpg
    The emblem and door lock hole/plunger have been removed and holes filled in so the window garnish stuff is totally clean. We decided to stick with the original arm rests and door handles but I will replace the cream knobs with black to keep consistent with the dash area. The crazy pattern round area is space reserved for Pioneer speaker /grille that will mount to aluminum support panels so as not to hang twisting weight on the door panels. All white is being replaced with light gray to soften the contrasting effects. We are still trying to decide on the color for the wind lacing. Separation between light and dark areas will be via thin red pipping.
    That's it for this update. Thanks again for all your interest, comments, and support. Bob Bertolasi
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
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  7. daddio211
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 6,010

    daddio211
    Member

    Lookin' bitchin' Bob!!!
     
  8. Bertolasi
    Joined: Aug 19, 2012
    Posts: 258

    Bertolasi
    Member

    Thanks Eric. I have made a little more progress the past couple of weeks. We had to trim about 0.060 off the taillight mounting rims to get them to fit into the frenching buckets now that the buckets are fully painter. Then, they were sitting back too far so we had to make spacers to move them out of the bucket a bit more. The end result is reasonably close to the sketches that I did a couple of years ago so we are good to go with those. I repolished the faces and have now mounted both but am thinking about if I should put some gasket material between the back of the lights and the buckets....This is one case where a gasket could be more of a detriment by holding water in place than a benefit for stopping hard spray water from getting in. It would be quite hard to get a hard spray past the mounting rims as there is very little clearance and without the gasket, any moisture that does get in the assembly has clear air path for drying out. Got to think about this one a bit more before I final tighten the mounting screws.
    IMG_20141008_110312.jpg
    IMG_20141008_110411.jpg
    IMG_20141008_110348.jpg
    Currently making a bracket for the trunk popper solenoid so we can finish up the latch mechanism. Also working on the steering column because we got into some sort of a bind with the ignition switch operator rod that works the switch assembly on the column. When the switch assembly is tightened down the operator rod binds up on something and I need to get that figured out before closing up the column wiring and steering wheel conversion.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
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  9. daddio211
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 6,010

    daddio211
    Member

  10. Slopok
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,713

    Slopok
    Member

    Your attention to detail is second to none. Glad to see a car of this caliber being done locally here in the Midwest. Of course you set the bar pretty high with your 1st one!
     
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  11. Bertolasi
    Joined: Aug 19, 2012
    Posts: 258

    Bertolasi
    Member

    Thanks for the MidWest references SloPok. It is interesting that we have some really high quality chrome and stainless shops here (in the MidWest) that seem to do most of their work for cars in the South and West. Don't know about your area but in the Rockford area, we only have one 'decent' car show a year. A few swap meets with various builds on show, but only one good indoor (lots of lights and room to stage) show. Is your car (avatar) on a project site somewhere? That's a really clean looking Merc you are cruising in! Bob
     
  12. Slopok
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,713

    Slopok
    Member

    No my car was done 32 years ago BC. Before Computers & websites. I'm only about 80 miles south of Rockford. As far as indoor shows go you're correct, World of Wheels in Rosemont is all that I'm aware of. However on any given weekend there are little outdoor shows just about everywhere. My son lives right down the road from Byron Dragstrip and I've attended the Meltdown a couple of times in the past. Didn't make it this year though. There are several cruise nites as well in many neighboring towns. Place called Sams' in Byron has one I believe on Thursdays. Thanks for the compliment.
     
  13. Bertolasi
    Joined: Aug 19, 2012
    Posts: 258

    Bertolasi
    Member

    Thanks for all your interest. Is there anyone out there that knows where to get the clock springs for the door handle mechanisms? I have visited all of the vintage car parts suppliers sites and do not seem to find anyone that has replacement springs to fix the door handle 'return' problems. The 50 doors had tension springs 'hooked' into the pull rod linkage. The 49 had one good handle spring and one broken. Working from the good one, I made a quick detail card so that I could send out some inquiries to various spring companies.
    clock spring for 50 ford doors.jpg
    I am close to a match, working with All-Rite Spring Company but may need to have them make a special run due to the 'reverse bent' hook on the original door springs.
    clock spring 2.jpg
    Their sales manager is taking a look at what they might be able to do and I would like to work this a bit farther with them because they have spring stock that is very close to the mic'd measurements that I made off the 49 part.
    clock spring 1.jpg
    I would greatly appreciate it if anyone can tell me who might have these or where they have gone to get them made.
    Thanks for your help. Bob
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
  14. daddio211
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 6,010

    daddio211
    Member

  15. Bertolasi
    Joined: Aug 19, 2012
    Posts: 258

    Bertolasi
    Member

    Eric, I did not know of that contact. I will try him and see where it leads me. Thanks, bob
     
  16. daddio211
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 6,010

    daddio211
    Member

    Chris is great. He's on here as @shoeboxdoc as well.
     
  17. Mr.Dickies
    Joined: Jan 23, 2007
    Posts: 664

    Mr.Dickies
    Member

    I got my new handle springs off evilbay they were new old stock for $2.57 for the pair. They come up a bit if you watch.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
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  18. Bertolasi
    Joined: Aug 19, 2012
    Posts: 258

    Bertolasi
    Member

    Thanks Mr. Dickies. I will keep a watch out for them. I have ordered some from Chris, as I have a 49 and a 50 and the guys next door (Kings custom woodwork) that do the wood panels for old woody restorations also have a 49 and none of their springs were usable.
     
  19. Bertolasi
    Joined: Aug 19, 2012
    Posts: 258

    Bertolasi
    Member

    Thanks again Eric. I now have the clock springs to repair the door latch handle mechanisms and am on to working on a few other details while Lois and I 'hang' the B-Quiet lining throughout the car. Bucket seats (front) and bench seat (rear) and side panels are at the Cunningham's upholstery shop (Rockford) and I am also working on some trim details that I had more or less forgotten about since we took the car apart over two years ago. Seems that someone managed to get a wheel grinder in contact with the windshield divider stainless strip (must have been an interesting experience) and left a couple of significant digs in the strip. Possibly the same person decided to put a screw through the strip before figuring out that the visor had split clamps for the center strut.
    windshield division stainless - outer 2.jpg
    I have already talked to Chris and he is providing a suitable replacement for this part as I think recovery of the item on hand would be very difficult for me to accomplish.
    Have gone as far as possible on the brake pedal pad salvage operation and as it is not in line of sight I think this will work ok. I was unable to even find a suitable rubber pad to replace the old one for this old Cadillac pedal.
    brake pedal pad top hl.jpg
    Subject of another post on HAMB, the pedal pad and trim recovery was helped immensely by King's Custom woodwork guys (Tracy and Dave) as they provided a mandrel to mount the stainless trim piece to so it would not get caught in the buffer wheel while I was polishing years of scratches and grit out of it. I soaked the rubber pad several times over with Mequiars #40 Rubber treatment and it is reasonably soft and decent looking.
    All the wiring is now pulled back into the channels / pockets / harnesses and I am getting all the stuff ready so that I can do the reconnection work without (hopefully) confusing interruptions caused by having to meter wires back to fuse panel or other distribution points. That's it for today. If I do not repost before then, I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving holiday and get some time to enjoy with family. Bob
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
  20. Yikes, your sketch skills are better then most here ! Surprised none have commented other then yourself......well.....here I am !! Great sketching sir !! I like the end results, for sure.

    I apologize for being late to the party, but am here for applause. This version of your ideal '50 is one of the best I've seen. Congratulations on a custom well done !! Well, done enough ! I know there is plenty more to go......I'm sure the car appreciates the suspense.....as do I.
     
  21. Bertolasi
    Joined: Aug 19, 2012
    Posts: 258

    Bertolasi
    Member

    Making some progress while waiting for the upholstery to get redone. Lois and I got the B-quiet rolled onto the under-roof area,
    Bquiet fl.jpg
    Bquiet rl.jpg
    I got some of the interior wiring rearranged (so that it would not get trapped in the headliner channels, etc.)
    and have begun the door hardware adjustment (50 to 49 changes) for vent window channel mounting, door opener connecting link shortening, and solenoid popper relocation. I started by making an overlay of the door panels so I could see which variations are real and which are seeming to be because of paint/color/cutout differences.
    Door ovly at 50% 49 over 50.jpg
    If you look closely at the picture above you can see that there are really not too many differences between the two doors. The biggest adjustment will be to use the shorter operator rod from the door handle to the door latch and that is because we chose to use the 49 door latch instead of sectioning the 50 door frame to accommodate the 50 latch mechanism. The holes that look elongated are the result of the overlaying of images and show that there are only minor differences in mounting hole locations to be dealt with. Door panel clip hole location differences are of no consequence since there are new door panels being made for this car. The vent window channel mounting differences of significance are the screw holes in the upper door frame, I am working on the conversion since I would prefer to use the 50 vent window frames with the 'rain/drip deflectors' over the plain 49 vent window frames. That's it for this update. Thanks again for all your interest, helpful comments, and referrals. Bob B.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
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  22. Bertolasi
    Joined: Aug 19, 2012
    Posts: 258

    Bertolasi
    Member

    Hope you have all had a great Christmas, healthy New Year, and are settling in for a comfortable rest of the winter (or summer if you are Southern Hemisphere) Little bit at a time getting done now, as I have semester break (teach and assist at local Center for Learning in Retirement). Larry and I got together and worked through possible scenarios to fix the windshield wiper assembly mounting issue caused by not getting the locating keys lined up with the notches in the cowling when attempting to remount the assembly. Since the bezel barrel could not get into proper position with the cowling, tightening up the nut caused the bezel to guide the nut into a cross threading attitude and about three threads into that the nut simply jammed on the shaft.
    IMG_20141226_133827.jpg
    Larry had to order a special 5/8-24 adjustable die, then crank it down to undersize the threading in order to salvage the assembly. With that done, he proceeded to make a new nut with undersized threads in it, to match the smaller thread barrel diameter.
    SAM_3104 red.jpg
    When he finished the assembly went in clean and easy. I made up some closed cell poly gaskets to use between the bezel and the cowling to finish up the job properly.
    IMG_20141226_154208.jpg
    And that leaves me with one issue left for the wipers and that is to find, or make, proper spline adapters. The ones we took off of the assemblies were mixed style (one was press fit and the other had two grub screws into an off center hole.
    IMG_20141228_144115.jpg
    I have ordered some stock to make new ones with if that is appropriate and I am checking into the ones that are offered by Shoebox and CGI. As the area under the dash is getting crowded, I think that I will have to go with the style that has one or two grub screws to lock into place because there is little room to get a block of lead under the arm for tapping on a new press fit type.

    In the meantime (while working through the above issue) I have started to strip down and polish up the vent window and main window channel bars in preparation for rebuild with all new glass, seals and gaskets.
    IMG_20150101_090635.jpg
    I have done about five hours of polishing on the drivers side stuff and it is looking good. I may go ahead (need to think this through a bit more) with the re-assembly and then touch up the polishing on the final assembly before putting into the doors.

    That's it for this update. Best wishes for all your projects and thanks again for your interest in this one. Bob
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
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  23. daddio211
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 6,010

    daddio211
    Member

    Moving along nicely!
     
  24. Bertolasi
    Joined: Aug 19, 2012
    Posts: 258

    Bertolasi
    Member

    Larry (Alex Machine - Loves Park, IL) has finished creating the new latch plates and I picked them up yesterday for trial fitting. Currently have the doors blocked open to drill the flexible conduit holes to match up with the pillar holes that were in the 50 doors, for speaker and popper wires. Thought I would show the progress on the door latch plates. I had previously posted a couple of shots in the test fitting of the prototype latches but will show the progression completely below for any of you that are facing the same dilemma (whether to cut and fit the 49/50 latch into the 50/49 door or adapt the latch plates).
    We did this in two steps. First prototype latch plate had essential surfaces only
    LP proto 1.jpg
    Second prototype was full bodied concept intended for metal final parts
    LP proto 2.jpg
    second prototype showed us that we needed to thin down the final about 1/8 inch and slightly change the ramp 'drift angle' to match the angle of the latch 'tang' which rides up on it. The metal parts are ready for fit/operation checks and if all is well there, they will be cleaned up and either black oxidized or chromed.
    door latch plates in process.jpg
    Above picture shows original latch plates, prototype 2 segments, door latch assemblies, and new custom latch plates ready for test installation. Best regards to all. Bob Bertolasi
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
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  25. daddio211
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 6,010

    daddio211
    Member

  26. Bertolasi
    Joined: Aug 19, 2012
    Posts: 258

    Bertolasi
    Member

    Thanks Eric. Another 'quest' led me to contact Keith at Missouri Precision Tool regarding a good quality hole saw to cut the holes in the doors for the flexible steel mesh conduit to carry the speaker and popper wires into the doors. Since we changed from 50 to 49 doors (the 50 doors had been setup) I had to re-establish the hole in the door with the issue being that the hole had to be sawed into a spot in the door where there was a stiffener 'U' channel on the inside and the hole lined up about half into the stiffener, meaning that there would be some 'tricky' cutting once I broke through the outer surface and started picking up the walls of the 'U' channel. Keith came to the rescue with some French made hole saws (Rockhard by Ultra) and very valuable suggestions as to how to setup a hardwood guide so that once the outer surface was broken through, the saw would not snag on the channel sides and drift to the side. I had the wood guys next door make a guide plate (1" hardwood) that referenced the top of the hinge and the inside lip of the door panel per Keith's suggestions and was actually surprised how simple the hole cutting became. Below are a couple of views of the results. Next step is to line the doors with B-Quiet and then start assembling all the latch hardware, handle mechanisms, and window channels. Best regards to all of you with your projects. Bob
    conduit hole outer.jpg
    Above image is from hinge area (outside) looking in and following image is from inside the door looking out.
    conduit hole inner.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
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  27. Bertolasi
    Joined: Aug 19, 2012
    Posts: 258

    Bertolasi
    Member

    Guess I been away from this for over a month. We have made some progress and knocked down a few more issues.
    First, the door latch/latchplate issue (49 doors on 50 body) is now 'out of the woods' and almost closed up. Larry has remachined the latch plates several times as we 'tweaked' everything closer and closer. The final cuts were just this week and here is a shot of the passenger side door latch plate in final test. I still need to buff out and have plated.
    Pdoor latchplate.jpg
    The drivers door is finished and I am making final adjustments to the passenger door. Here is a 'closure check' of the drivers door.
    Ddoor final adjustment.jpg
    Headliner and wind lacing are in and I am trying to finish up the door hardware and get installed so Sheldon can fit the new door and quarter panels.
    headliner inst 1.jpg
    Started working up the final layout of the license plate compartment. The area will accomodate backup lights, 3rd. brake light, and license plate light. Larry is struggling with the machining arrangement to make compound angle cuts of the mounting blocks to set the backup lights as vertical as possible into the 21° backsloped lp insert area.
    lp area layout 1.jpg
    The final arrangement will look something like this (the white background is layout board but will be black aluminum or steel backing plate).
    lp spatial view.jpg
    The 3rd brake light will mount to the 'hatch plate' at the top of the compartment and the license plate lighting will be via a 5 point LED ribbon mounted to the back curve of the 3rd. brake light. I just made coverage tests and the results were reasonably good. Here are 1. flash on view showing hot spot area, 2. flash off view showing effective overall illumination, and 3. 40% overlay via Photoshop indicating expected night time coverage with headlights of following car, on trunk of car.
    lp illum w flash.jpg
    lp illum no flash.jpg
    lp lighting at 50% overlay cropped.jpg

    Meanwhile, while taking a break and talking to the guys next door I got a good look at their current project (they do custom wood crafting for the old woodsided cars) and it was AWESOME!
    IMG_20150331_102723.jpg
    Thanks for all your continued interest and I hope you all have a great Easter 'break' with friends and family. Best regards, Bob Bertolasi
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
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  28. daddio211
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 6,010

    daddio211
    Member

    Lookin' killer Bob!
     
  29. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 9,112

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    Subscribed, you don't see that type of work all that much these days when once it was common place.
     
  30. Bertolasi
    Joined: Aug 19, 2012
    Posts: 258

    Bertolasi
    Member

    Hope you all had a great Easter and are 'past' the snow shoveling/road plowing winter messes. I am getting gun shy on the statements that 'it is basically the same' or exact replacement for original parts jokes. The 49 door on 50 frame great idea is turning into quite a lot of 'mop up' detailing. Latest mess is the popper wire connection to the door latch pin. The 50 latch mechanism lock lever is T shaped toggle arm while the 49 is rectangular plate with kidney shaped slot for the latch pin to move through. There was nothing in the way of the popper cable on the 50 latch, but lots of interference on the 49 latch. Larry and I have discussed the issues over several lunches and best workaround we can come up with is to replace the pin with a custom machined part that has mounting provisions in front for the door handle connecting rod and in back for the popper solenoid wire. Then there are the clock springs that I ordered for the door handle return and what I received had an additional turn of wire and were going to be tight but while trying to insert them found out that the tabs that hold them in place are fractured at the bend point and breaking off. Now working on alternate spring idea for handle return. Then there are the window lift channels that are supposedly exact replacements for 50/51 Ford 2 dr. sedan and they are not! The replacement part has the link tabs offset to one side.
    window channel offsets.jpg
    working on loading considerations to determine whether to put the offset to the inside or outside (link tabs will go opposite) for best 'on center' lifting forces.
    Have managed to get the armored conduit in the doors and fit the speaker mounting plates (did not want the speakers hanging on the door panels or package deck).
    pkg deck spkr mtg plates.jpg
    dr door spkr mtg plate.jpg
    Took forever to find an on line seller for individual 3/32 semi tubular rivet setting punches but have one of those on the way so I can finish up the vent window assemblies and get the glass back in the doors. Be aware, the quarter glass window seals sold as proper seal for fixed rear quarter windows on 2 dr. sedans,,, ARE NOT THE RIGHT SEALS! Picture is even scaled properly for my windows (fixed rear quarter - no vent) in DC catalog but had to send them back as they are not big enough. Ended up ordering 5/8 wide by 5/8 high SteeleRubber product and it will work fine. I have the custom latch plates polished up and ready to go to the plater for bright nickel finish. We are going to miss our target again (was end of April this time) but do hope to have the car on the road by mid summer. Bob
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
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