I just bought a business franchise (more on that another day) so for the last three weeks I've been busy with doing Due Diligence, traveling to meet the Franchiser, meeting with my lawyer and accountant, setting up the business entity, and other business crap - so my time at the shop has been a little limited.

Today I dyed the door panels to my Magnum, as they were looking pretty ratty. So I took them off


Wiped down with wax and grease remover, scuffed, and masked off the courtesy lights and trim.


I generally start with two light coats, and then one wet coat. That worked well for the hard plastic and carpet, but the soft vinyl would have parts that looked like it was soaking it up. It was splotching with parts being gloss and parts being flat. I thought I'd must done something wrong in prep, but it finally came out OK by the time I'd hit the soft vinyl another six or seven times with a wet coat, waiting about 2-3 minutes between. It took a full 12oz can for first panel.

Same deal with second panel. I made sure I'd rubbed off all of the wax and grease remover, and let it air dry for an hour. However, same deal. Hard plastic and carpet looked good after two light and one wet coat, but I had to keep hitting the soft vinyl with more wet coats where the dye dries into a flat splotch. When the soft vinyl finally was a consistent gloss, I had just enough left in the can to give the entire soft vinyl an even wet coat instead of just dressing up the splotches. So figure a can per door panel.


I think it came out looking pretty good. The gloss makes the soft vinyl look a little loose, but I'm hoping that between clipping back to the door and the door handle that it will tighten the look a little.

Last week I sold the Jerico DR4 that I use to run in my Red Coronet (I'd since converted to an automatic and gave to my son Dallas), and yesterday I ran to my old shop to bring it and some furniture I had stored there back to Beasley. I crated the transmission and wrapped it to be picked up.



BTW, if anyone needs a Long Pistol Grip V Gate shifter - with a button and Jerico Rods - I have one for $350.



Monday I took my 64 Imperial towards my bank, about 45 miles away, then I was going to replace the 25 year old tires. Almost there I started to smell something burning, so I pulled over. When I stopped I saw smoke rolling out from under the hood, so I turned off the motor and threw open the hood expecting to see a fire. It turned out the clutch on the AC locked up and burned up my belts. I cut the belts off, still had a water pump/fan belt - so I headed home without an alternator. Fortunately I made it. I have a mechanic friend working about 10-15 hours a week to help me get my cars ready to sell. He flushed the system and installed a new compressor, dryer and belts - converting to R 134. Still waiting on the expansion valve before the system can be charged.



So I took the Imperial for tires. The kid got the right side off and started hammering on all of the nuts on the left side with 160psi. When I saw him get the penetrating spray, I knew what was going on and went to tell him all Mopars before 1971 were left hand thread on left.



He had to take a breaker bar with a jack handle to break the nuts loose, but also broke a 9/16-18LH stud.



As a side note, I spent 3-hours trying to locate a LH stud and nut, and found Dorman stopped making years ago. They're now made out of Unobtainium. I ordered 10 Right hand studs and nuts to convert.

After leaving the tire shop, I went to get a couple quotes to replace the exhaust. They were both about $1000. The price didn't too much scare me, but the both refused to flange and give me new from the manifold back. They both wanted to stub, and I'm not doing $1000 to attach to 55 year old pipes. So while I was finding that you can no longer get LH studs, I did find and buy new stock exhaust system with resonators for $600 shipped. I also ordered new Gabriel shocks front and back.



Speaking of tires, I got new set of tires for my 67 Marlin. I was going to restore, but I'm just too busy to have another project, so I'm getting it running good, fixing everything, and selling. My mechanic bud spent about 25 hours fixing all of the electrics. It was butchered, but now all straightened out. All of the brakes straightened out, and motor now has an electronic ignition. Waiting on wiper arm and a brake hose, and then it will be ready to detail and list for sale.



Back to the Magnum, I made a gauge panel (see a previous post) and my mechanic bud is in the middle of wiring it in.



If anyone is interested in the Dakota Digital dash I had in it, its yours for $100 Fits all 75-79 B Bodies.



That's pretty much it for this episode of "As the Shop Turns". I've been so busy with this new business (lots more to do before I go for two weeks training January 7th) and the lake house, the shop has been a little neglected.