BUYING AN OLD CAR/ Body Work and Block Sanding

        Since last month, a couple of things have come up to slow down the ‘51 Packard paint project.  We have once again run out of shop space!  This time we just need a 20’x30’ space, so we decided to build it ourselves.  The work has gone fairly fast with just the siding and wiring left to do.  Watch for a “Garage Building” article in future issues.  In addition to this, there has been an ongoing problem with our ‘54 Coupe deVille.  It is a problem inherent in the fuel pump placement on the top of the engine, and is partly caused by today’s gas with its high alcohol content.
        When the car is running, there is not problem.  The  trouble occurs when the car is shut off.  The fuel pump heats up and raises the fuel pressure from 4 1/2 pounds to over 6 pounds, resulting in gas percolating and leaking at the gaskets and throttle shaft.  The solution we came up with was to put a Purolator fuel regulator between the fuel pump and the carburetor and set it on 3 pounds.  These regulators have a selector wheel with settings of 1-5, but these numbers, strangely enough, do not indicate pounds.  To determine the pounds, you multiply the setting by 2 (example:  1 1/2 = 3 pounds).  This is not in the instructions.  I found out by calling the info hotline at Purolator.
        This has almost eliminated the problem.  We have ordered fuel line and pump insulation from “Kool Mat” and will let you know how this works.  The problem is at least under control.
        Now back to the ‘51 Packard.  When we ended last month, we had finished welding in our patch panels, POR-15’d them and were ready for finish straightening.  We applied PPG’s DP Epoxy primer, letting this dry for 24 hours before spreading on a coat of Duraglas fiberglass filler.  After this dried, we used our 18” air file with 80-grit.  When the surface was sanded to contour with the door, a wire brush was used to clean the pinholes.  Body filler was spread out past the initial dent to insure a smooth transition from filler to metal.  Again, we sanded with the air file and primed with PPG’s K-200 primer, mixed with 201 catalyst.  When the panel looks straight, we finish with Evercoat 2 part putty (this should not be used under lacquer!), then block sanded, primed again, and checked  for straightness.  Then the finish block sanding begins.  Using two contrasting colors of primer, we used a 16” sanding block with 80 grit, sanding in one direction, then crossing over this at a 45 degree angle, back and forth this way about 8-10 passes.  The goal is to sand the primer off the high spots, leaving it in the low places.  We then shot more primer, blocking this with papers in a progression of 80, 180, 240 and 320 grits.  We finished with 400, which is smooth enough for our paint choice of acrylic enamel.  This paint achieves and OEM look when used with a hardener and color sanded and power buffed.  See you next month with more on paint and prep!