Monday, September 28, 2015

Seam Sealer Removal - Part 2

Sometime it's hard to get motivated on a project, especially when the task at hand isn't part of a creative process.  Replacing rusted and damaged body sections is creative.  Applying body filler and smoothing the contour of a panel is creative.  Fitting body panels, suspension components, and applying sealer, primer, and paint is creative.   Removing 47 year old seam sealer is...well...not creative.  So my motivation was waning.  But so is the favorable weather of the fall season.  I've got to get my butt in gear.

So after garage recovery (which seems to be an on-going process) from replacing rusted brake and fuel lines on the '97 Civic with 295,000 miles on it that no one in the family want me to sell, I rolled the fastback out into the driveway to work on the sealer/undercoating removal using a modified method Sven used that I mentioned in my last post. 

The method using the multi-tool is a good way to go.  Wear hearing protection as it's loud.   I was not able to find a narrow scraping blade at Lowes.  So I took one of the 1" saw blades that was worn out, used my stand grinder to shape a bevel on the end, and used that.  It made getting into tight spaces easier.  As you can see from the photos below, it does an acceptable job of removing the sealer.  There's nothing romantic about this work.  So I'm not spending a lot of time describing the process.  It's simple.  Put blade in multi-tool.  Plug in. Turn on. Remove sealer.

A thin film of black goo remained that my abrasive brush on a 9" grinder didn't remove.  But then I went back to Sven's post and saw that after he chipped the sealer away, the residue can be removed by using the stripper he mentioned and wiping down with Mineral Spirits.  

I got as far at the back seat brackets.  The one thing I discovered was all the MIG welding wire sticking out and gobby welds on the car.  I think my 7 year old granddaughter could have done that good.  It's a testament to how much build quality has improved, not to mention component fit and finish.  The sealer obviously was used to cover up gaps at body panel joints.

While working on the sealer, I suddenly realized that it might work on the goo that was around the windshield and back glass.  Even though it was soft and pliable, I wasn't looking forward to scraping that out of the window channel.  I have nothing to loose by trying it out.

This is the 'before' picture with the window sealer in the channel

Well kids, it worked great!  I only got the driver's side of the window channel done, but it won't take long to finish the rest.  I'll try the stripper on that as well to get rid of the residue.

This is the "after" picture with the sealer removed.  it got almost all of it off.

The windshield "before"...

...and the windshield "after".
 This method also worked to get rid of the sealant in the drip rail area too.  (Sorry for the blurry picture.)

I got out my 4" grinder with a stripping disc to find out how well it would remove the sealer residue with the same poor results and the cone brush.  So I decided to start on the roof since it was in front of me and I was satisfied that the multi-tool process would continue quickly at a later date.  I got about 20% of it stripped, and then called it a day since I had a smoker full of protein that needed my attention and I have to get ready to go to Canada for 10 days on Tuesday.

 I got the sealer remains swept up out the the garage and drive.  I used my shop vac to clean out the inside of the body shell, including the remnants of the Black Diamond blasting media.  With the fastback safely tucked back in the garage and tools put away, I hit the shower to get cleaned up.

After I got out of the shower, my wife tells me that a couple of guys knocked on the door and asked if I still had the Mustang I had purchased from their friend, was I working on it, and if not, was it for sale.   My wife said, "Yes, he still has it.  Yes, he's still working on it.  And No! It's NOT for sale."  I guess that means I better keep working on it since my bride does not want me to sell it.   Wow!  What a woman!

Unfortunately, between work and family obligations, I will only be home for 6 days during the month of October.  So work will not progress as fast as I would like.  But looking on the bright side, my fastback is "NOT for sale".

Until the next time...

Friday, September 4, 2015

A Quick Update - Undercoating and Seam Sealer Removal

Thanks to fellow Mustang restorer and blogger Sven (Night Mission Boss 302), I have found a new and better way to remove the undercoating remnant and interior seam sealer.  You can read his post here.   In thinking about using an air chisel a thought struck me.  What about my Dremel Multi-tool with the scraper blade?  After all, it's a reciprocating tool used for all kinds of notching and sanding....and it has a scraper blade.  There was only one way to find out if it would work.

I went out to the garage this morning for a trial test.  What you see below are areas of the seam sealer inside the trunk area and the transition to the rear floor by the inside wheel wells...

This took all of 5 minutes!   FIVE MINUTES!  And I didn't eat and breath any media blasted at the surface.   I need to stop by Lowes to get a narrow straight edge blade, but it looks like this is the  ticket.  Hearing protection is highly recommended along with eye protection.

Anyway, I just had to share...and now I can turn on the garage air conditioner and go out there and work in comfort during the next several 90+ degree days as time allows.

Thanks Sven!  As usual, You Da' Man!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Back at it... More Media Blasting

Well, it has been an interesting summer.  11 weeks in northern Canada, most of it between the 53rd and 59th parallel.  I've flown almost 12,000 miles, landed at 24 different airports (some of them multiple times) and had 2 flat tires in 7 weeks on the airplane at the same airport.  I'm not a fan of crushed granite for a surface.  It's not very fine (as in small) and it's sharp.  I used my mad skills to change the tire successfully.  The tough part was getting a new tire and tube shipped out of Winnipeg to Island Lake, Manitoba in a reasonable amount of time.  Oh well... That's life in the north.

But now I'm back home for a while and have been looking over the fastback formulating a plan on how to proceed.  I have been bugged about the remaining undercoating on the car and wondered why I didn't take care of it all when I media blasted the floor the last time.  I believe it was because it was 90 plus degrees that day.   I thought I would just go ahead and used my heat gun to remove the rest.

After 10 minutes of using the heat gun, I quickly determined it would take me about 8 hours to get rid of the mess.  So it was back out into the driveway for more media blasting.  Oh...the temperature the day I did it?  90 degrees.  At least I'm consistent, right?

This is not glamorous work.  It's dirty, dusty, sticky and just plain messy.   I could blast for about 1-1/2 minutes and then had to let the 60 gallon compressor catch up.  Overall, I could blast about 6 minutes between stopping and putting in more media.  Then there was sweeping up the extra-fine black diamond media and putting it in a bucket.  I only has one bag of the stuff left and had to recycle it.  That meant using a sifting screen before using it.  So it became a rather labor-intensive project.  In spite of the hassle, it beat the tar (our undercoating) out of using a heat gun and was much, much faster.

Here's the driver's side wheel well before...

...and here it is after....

 Here is the passenger side before...

...and after....

 I spun the car around in the driveway and took care of the leftovers on the outside of the front aprons.  This is the driver's side...

 ...and this is the passenger side

This is the passenger side behind the apron....

...and the driver's side...

The undercoating and sealer that were applied heavily didn't come off all the way.  I figure I'll resort to the heat gun and braided wire brush to get rid of the rest.   That will take a chunk of time as well.

The one thing I noticed getting the body outside in the bright sunlight and spinning it around on the rotisserie is that I have a fair amount of weld dressing to do, especially for my favorite repair... the ever elusive pin holes! 

So I'm going out on a limb here and actually committing to a goal.  By the end of the month,  I'm shooting for....

1. Having all the undercoating/sealer to be gone both inside and out.
2. Have all the weld dressing done.
3. Start the application of Metal-to-Metal filler on the floor, firewall, and other weld joints that need to be smoothed over.

My wife and I are babysitting 3 of our grandchildren this weekend.  Two weeks from now, all my girls and their children will be here for a long weekend.   I have to go back to Canada for two weeks the first part of October and then to Michigan for work the last weekend of October.  I was hoping to get this beast into DP74 before the real cold weather sets in.  But that may be a push.

So I am, as usual, at the mercy of my calendar for family and work.  But there could be worse things to delay me.  I'll count my blessings and move on as I can.

Until the next time....

Monday, June 8, 2015


I'm not even going to state the obvious.   Just look at the last few posts and you know already.  So let's not beat a dead horse (or Mustang) and move on.

The time for me to spend 12 weeks in Canada has arrived too quickly.  In fact, I am updating this from the Tim Horton's in Thompson, Manitoba.  That's how nuts things have gotten.

The tasks and mechanisms I needed to put in place before my departure were monumental.  Opening the family cabin.  Doing the Spring season work at my Mom's house that included demolition, assembly, and installation of a new boat dock.  Then there was doing the things needed around my everyday house.  Trim replacement and painting.  Lawn equipment maintenance.  Leaving instructions and information for my wife so that she can manage the property.  Car maintenance. Security system upgrade.  Buying what I think I'll need that may not be available in Thompson, Manitoba.  Packing for weather that could be anything from snow to sauna.

And in there somewhere is the Mustang.

Time ran out to do what I wanted which was to get everything that was bare metal in DP-74 epoxy primer.  I got recent purchases (see previous post) boxed and stored.  While getting parts packed and organized, I had come across this teeny tiny box of hood hinge nuts that I bought to replace the ones that were ripped out of the right fender apron back when the car was wrecked and parked in 1973.  I was afraid I would loose them.  So I figured I might as well put them in.  It shouldn't take THAT long, right?

I spent time getting the garage in order that seems to have become a regular ritual.  That actually took the better part of an evening and half a day.  Go figure.  Again, I had to have things organized so my wife could easily find tools, screws, nails, and the like.

First order of business on the fastback--install the weld nuts for the hood hinges.  I ordered these a long time ago--a LONG time ago.  The nuts come in a set of 6 for replacing all of them if needed.  I could have purchased a Dynacorn rear fender apron, cut out the section with the nuts already installed, and spliced it into the original fender so that it looked factory.  But you know my feelings on aftermarket parts.  These nuts will not be visible after installation of the hood hinge and fender. So it may not be "factory exact" but should work just fine.  That's the way it goes.

The metal where the factory nuts were pulled out was in descent shape.  It just needed a little welding up of the cracks and the tears needed to be hammered back into place.  Those nuts from the factory are actually a pressed in nut and not least that's how it looked comparing the driver's side that is undamaged with the passenger side shown below...

After some hammer and dolly work, I cleaned up the metal in preparation for welding up the damage.

Then it was weld time.  Man!  I should have bought that Hobart welder years ago...or at least back in 2011 when I got serious about this restoration.  I used my Harbor Freight copper backup and the stitch welds came out great without a lot of burn through.

Grinding down the welds and then filing the opening gave the proper fitment for the weld nuts.

In went the weld nut...

...and then the welding and cleaning up the welds on the nut...

...times 3...

Below is the engine side of the splash apron.  Those welds need to be cleaned up if I want to be totally anal about it.  But the important part is that they are in and won't get lost.  I can always go back and dress them up pretty after I get back from the land up north of the border.

Next on the agenda was dealing with both front fenders and the rear quarter panels that were developing some flash rust from sitting around with no meaningful protection.  With an 80 grit pad, I used my DA sander to clean the surface up lightly on the fenders...

I did the same for the driver's side and passenger side rear quarter panels...

Then I wiped on a coating of Eastwood's "After Blast" metal protection that should preserve the surface until September when I expect to be home and get these parts all in DP-74.  It gives the metal a phosphate coating that should do the job.  I'll find out when I return.

To keep pieces from getting damaged and organized while waiting for my return, I mounted both front fenders loosely and set the hood in place.

So this is how my baby will sit for the next 3 months at least until I can be back home and work on her...

Sleep tight Eleanor.  See you in September.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Another Blue Oval in the House

I haven't had time to work on the Mustang, much to my frustration.  I have made two trips to the west coast in as many weeks.  Between 10 hour training classes and driving 565 miles on L.A. freeways (and I know them all well by now), red-eye flights, and meeting with supporters of LAMP  (which you can read about here if you're interested), there has been very little time to get back on the car.   But there is hope, maybe.

One of the things that has waylaid me is my daily driver.   I am on my 3rd Toyota pickup truck and my 2nd Tacoma.  Why that brand?  Because I could not find a Chevy or Ranger with extended cab, 4 cylinder, and a stick.  Automatics abound, but not 5 speeds apparently.  When my 1st gen '97 Tacoma was recalled for frame rust in fall of 2010 and bought back by Toyota , the payoff was pretty good...150% of Kelly Blue Book value in excellent condition for the miles.   I searched for a replacement and ended up going to Ann Arbor, Michigan to get the one I have now...a 2008 with 29K miles.   Nice...or maybe not.

I did get the certified Toyota 7 year/100,000 mile warranty as part of the deal.   I was glad because I used it 3 times in the first 4 months of ownership, all of it related to the clutch hydraulics and mechanics.   The slave cylinder was replaced 3 times,  the Master cylinder 2 times, and the transmission pulled and the throw-out bearing, clutch pivot and fork replaced...all before 32,000 miles.   Well, now it is off warranty as of December but with 76,000 miles.  And guess what happened?  The temperature dropped in January and the slave cylinder started acting up.   Then I heard a "pop" under the dash a a week and a half ago.  Come to find out the end of the clutch master cylinder adjustment lug broke off!  That made driving home an exercise in RPM matching the transmission gear speed without using the clutch.

I ended up ordering the parts on-line since the dealer and local parts stores wanted an arm-and-a-leg not to mention they didn't stock it.   The parts arrived and the work started on replacing the clutch master cylinder.  It was like gutting a fish.  The entire lower end of the driver's side dashboard had to come out, including the fuse/relay box...

Then there were the bolts and nuts in almost impossible places to reach to get the pedal assembly out.  Of course, everything under the hood had to be disconnected and plugged from the brake/clutch reservoir to the line to the clutch slave cylinder...

 Then the master cylinder had to be removed from the clutch pedal assembly...

And then the offending pieces removed that caused the pedal problem.  Notice the end of the adjustment lug that's sheared off.

Do you think you could buy just the end piece, screw it back on, and go from there?  Nope.  You have to buy the whole thing, which was necessary because I discovered that either because the lug broke or the slave cylinder malfunction the shaft was also bent.   So I ordered a better quality set through Amazon..with an ALL Metal lug and not plastic.

While getting the truck all back together and the system bled, I came to the conclusion that my relationship with this truck was rapidly turning sour.   I've had 3 recalls on it in the past 2 years...2 of them safety related (steering wheel airbag and front seat/shoulder belt mounts) and one of them structural (frame rust again!).  The clutch hydraulics, according to the Tacoma blogs, is a recurring problem.   The dilemma before me was this; do I keep the Devil I know or get rid of it and get a  Devil I don't know?

Here's the answer to that question...

I found a really nice 2010 F-150 XLT pickup in the Louisville area.  The out of pocket cost difference between getting this one and selling the Tacoma will only be about $1,500.   Well worth the tradeoff.  Yeah, it's not going to get 26MPG on the highway.  Yeah, it's an automatic (Ford hasn't make sticks in the F-150 for years).  But, it's loaded with more room, a hard bed cover, and the engine and rear end ratio I was looking for.  It's not a 4X4, but I don't need it.  My wife likes it too.

So the Tacoma will be cleaned up, detailed and put up for sale.  I believe it will sell quickly since it's low miles and in very good condition.  And they are hard to find in this configuration.

In the mean time, I'm making progress on garage cleaning/reorganizing and hope to have a working space reestablished to get back on the Mustang by next weekend.  I am going to schedule evenings and weekend slots for work since I really need to have it in epoxy primer before I go up north the Canada for the summer...or at least most of it in primer.

So now the driveway has 2 red 2010 Fords parked in it.  Hopefully "Clifford" (My wife's idea for a name after the children's book character) will treat me better than "Red" did.  Time will tell.

Until the next time...

Monday, March 9, 2015

After more than a year, it's A Done Deal!

This last Saturday was "D" Day for me...or maybe it should have been called "C" Day for my Commercial pilot exam.  After hours upon hours of study and flying (not to mention the $$$ expense), I got signed off by my flight instructor for the "checkride".  

This has been something that I've dreaded, in part because I knew who would be the designated pilot examiner (DPE) doing this checkride.   He is the newly retired President of the Indianapolis Airport Authority.  That is the group that manages and controls not only Indianapolis International, but all the satellite airports, of which there are 7.   He is also the lead aviation litigation attorney at a major law firm here and has several thousand hours of flying under his belt.  He had a reputation of being hard but unfair.  That supposedly has changed in recent years to him being hard but fair.  Anyway, I was sweating bullets over this whole exercise.

Then the plot thickened.  The designated examiner called and asked if it was OK for an FAA examiner to observe the checkride.  Apparently all DPE's have to go through an annual review by the FAA to make sure they are doing things correctly.  Great.  Not just a DPE but an actual FAA guy there to boot.   The only good news was that the $325 fee would be waved.  I'll take what I can get at this point.

The there was a twist in the plot two days before the exam.  I got a call from the DPE I was supposed to fly with. There's another examiner that needed his recertification by March 14.  So I was asked if it was OK to switch to this different guy...who is an x-ATA airline captain, owns is own charter operation...and also an attorney. So I guess I was trading the devil I sorta knew about for the devil I know nothing about.  At this point I thought, "What the heck!  Sure. And while you're at it bring a red hot poker to stick in my eyes too."  

Saturday arrived along with the my flight instructor, the DPE, and the FAA examiner.   We went into the conference room and I laid out all my paperwork and that of the airplane.  After getting that done and verifying that I had met the requirements and the airplane did too, we got down to the business of the exam.  Cross-country trip planning including weather, airplane performance and systems, emergencies, etc.  I survived that part mostly unscathed.   Then it was on to the flying.

The FAA guy said he would observe my takeoffs and landings from the ground.  So after a preflight, the DPE and I got in the plane and headed for the runway.  The winds were howling out of the southwest at 14 miles an hour gusting to 22...and it was at 90 degrees to the runway.  Perfect.

Well, I managed the short-field and soft-field takeoffs and landings fairly well.  It was a foot dance on the rudder pedals to keep the plane pointed down the runway and on the center line.   With a radio call to the terminal, the FAA guy was satisfied and left.  Then the DPE and I headed out to do the other tasks as specified in the FAA Practical Test Standard.  Low and behold, I managed to survive that and finally, finally, earned my Commercial pilot certificate.  I got a temporary one until the real one shows up in the mail in the next 4-6 weeks. 

Now that this major consumer of my time and money is behind me, I can get back on other things that require my time and my fastback maybe?   That's what I'm hoping for.

Until the next time...

Friday, February 27, 2015

A Late Christmas Present

It's been a hectic couple of months.  From my last entry, you know life has changed for me in regard to what I call "vocation."   Spending a month getting the church and leadership ready for my departure and making sure that everything was in order as humanly possible was exhausting physically and emotionally.   These people at the church have been my extended family for over 13 years.  It was the same when I left Trane Co. and Sylvania.  You work with people on a regular basis and develop relationships that to this day still last.

February was spend in transition setting up my home office, traveling to Edmonton (where it was warmer there than in central Indiana!), and getting ready for my Commercial Pilot license checkride.  Another month that took a physical and emotional toll.   My checkride is supposed to be a week from tomorrow on March 7.  The FAA designated examiner is the recently retired President of the Indianapolis Airport Authority and an aviation specialist attorney with a large law firm in Indianapolis.  Without naming names, let's just say he has a reputation for being tough and sometimes unfair.  I can't wait!

But in the mean time of all this life madness, my baby is perched on the rotisserie out in the garage awaiting further work.  She's been on that device for three years and a week to the day.  That's an embarrassing 1102 days!  (I finally surpassed Sven on something...but not in a good way.)   So my mind turned to my fastback of late.

While contemplating when I can get to work on her, I get an email from CJ Pony Parts with a 30% off carrot hanging out there.  I've gotten these before from CJ,  NDP,  Year One, and just about every vendor who peddles Mustang parts.  So I thought, "I'll take a look and see if the prices are that good."  Well, they were after spending time on-line perusing the other offers.   I had a pile of Christmas cash sitting in my stash box I keep for such expenditures.  With my "wish list" put together, I pulled the trigger and placed my order.  And for what, you are asking?  This...

It's every part necessary to put the front suspension back together minus the steering components.  I haven't yet decided what to do there, but the rest of it I was sure of.   What made this deal so good was the discount on the Scott Drake parts which is everything you see pictured except the bolt kits.  I got the 1" lowering springs instead of stock.  I'll see how the car ride height is with them before going with the Arning drop.   So why go this route?   By the time I priced replacing the bushings, shafts, and ball joints in the original control arms, I was already 75% of buying new and still had the labor to do the rebuild.  Based on my previous performance on time, it was a good solution.   Now I need to get by butt in gear, get the garage sorted, and get back to work on the fastback.  After all, the clock is ticking toward June when I'll be in Canada for 3 months.

Speaking of that, part of my new position is to meet with supporters and donors to the ministry.  In an email from my boss, he asked if I'd be willing to go to California and meet with one of them.  He gave me name and the link to the website of this guy's business.   I stared in disbelief when I saw who it was...  Ed Moss.   The Ed Moss who founded Total Cost Involved engineering, or as I know it as TCI.

For those of you who don't know him, he was the one who really got the hotrod reproduction frame industry going with his 1928-1931 Ford Model A frames and components.  But since starting the business, he has graduated to a full line of chassis and suspension components, for not just early Fords but including...are you ready...vintage Mustangs!   Check out his website here.

Yeah, he also sells "bowtie" stuff, but his heart is with the Blue Oval.  He has built one killer 67 fastback that is also the "mule" car for his front and rear suspension kits including those who want to put a Coyote modular V8 in their pony.   Here's the video of the car at 2013 SEMA...

So here is a guy I bought my '29 Ford hotrod rear suspension from...and he has a Mustang fastback of my body style.   Chance meeting?  Luck?  I think it's more divine intervention.

It took all of  .6 second reaction time to respond back to that email with "Yes!"   So sometime in the next couple of weeks, I hope to be winging my way to Ontario, California to meet face-to-face with Ed.  Who knows?  If we hit it off, which would be hard not to, I not only have a donor to keep me flying up north, but a great relationship with a fellow car guy and friend. 

Now there's more incentive to get back to work on my Mustang.  A pile of new parts on the floor...A possible meeting with Ed Moss...and a running clock.

Until the next time....

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

MAJOR Life Changes...

It goes without saying that work on the fastback has not been a priority in recent months if not most of 2014.   There has been the health issues with my daughter.   My wife now has the entire responsibility for her school's organization.  And then I've been focusing more time on getting my Commercial pilot license this past year.  That doesn't mean I'll be flying an Embraer E-170 for Republic Airlines (though that would be fun), but I can get paid to fly for such things as being a flight instructor, banner and glider towing, crop dusting (that could be fun too), and such things like that.  It also will allow me to fly in Canada with a visitor's pilot license.

Yes, you read that correctly: Canada.

You may not have caught it in my June blog, but I had traveled up to Edmonton, Alberta on invitation to chat with an organization called "Lutheran Association of Missionaries and Pilots" or A.K.A.  "LAMP."   This group that has been in existence for over 40 years is dedicated to spreading the Gospel of Jesus to the First Nation people of northern Canada.  They are mostly Cree, Ojibwe, and Ottawa, and Dakota tribes.  LAMP's biggest outreach is doing Vacation Bible Schools in 46 villages using 600 volunteer VBS teams reaching over 6,000 children.  The bulk of this work takes place during the summer in June through August. 

While in Canada in June, we flew over to LaRonge, Saskatchewan to visit a village and a VBS in progress so I could get a taste of the work they do.   I immediately found out that flying is very different in that part of the world.  There is no radar coverage.  All aircraft self-report at checkpoints not only for collision avoidance, which is highly unlikely, but more for search and rescue.  Nice.  There is very little civilization as the pictures below show.  Lot's of forest and just as much water...

LAMP aircraft have a full compliment of survival gear including rafts.  Now I know why!!!

There are surprisingly quite a number of airports for general aviation use.  Not all have fuel available, but LaRonge was well equipped with fuel, a maintenance facility, and a small terminal for the small regional airlines that serve the north. 

On final approach to LaRonge airport
After a 2 hour flight from Edmonton, we landed at LaRonge and drove up to a village about 20 minutes north.  A team from a Wisconsin church was there on the second day of a five day VBS.  The kids were engaged and enjoyed the puppet plays, craft, play time, and making crafts.  The kids look forward to this week every year.

After VBS was over, most of the kids headed to the lake their village is on for a swim.  Think of swimming in Lake Huron or Lake Michigan in May.  It was chilly to say the least, but the kids didn't seem to mind.

Well, that was back in June 2014.   Now it is January 2015. 

After many conversations, prayers, and pondering one's direction in life, mine will make a rather huge shift as of February 1st as I have agreed to join LAMP as a missionary pastor/pilot!  It will be a ginormous change from regular church life.  It also means I'll be north--like wayyyyyy north  (56th parallel)--for those 3 summer month.   My territory will be western Ontario from Lake Superior to Hudson Bay and northeastern Manitoba.   It also means that work on the fastback during the summer will just not be in the cards.  But at least I won't have to move and put the Mustang in long-term storage.

This new position also means that I'll get my weekends and weeknights back, for the most part.  I'll have several weeks of travel both in the States and in Canada for training teams, building relationships with village leaders, meeting with partner churches and donor, alone with a handful of other activities.  So I may end up with as much time, if not more, than I have right now for moving the restoration forward on my Mustang.

Add to that, my Commercial training is coming to a close.  I expect to take my "check ride" in February.  With that behind me, it will free up more time for other fun working on the fastback.

Interestingly enough, the guy I'm replacing who's retiring is also a pastor...and a pilot...and A MUSTANG GUY!   He's restoring a 72 convertible that's been in his family for a long time.  As you can imagine, it needs lots of rust repair.  I'm hoping to see it when I'm in Edmonton the second week of February for orientation.  (Maybe I can convince Bill to start a blog and join us.)    

Later in the spring, I'll be going up for flight orientation since some Canadian and FAA rules and procedures are different.   The commercial pilot license will also be required to fly under instrument flight rules (IFR) in Canada under the "visitor license" agreement with the US.   This position will increase the number of hours I fly annually by more than three-fold to the tune of 150 to 175 hours per year from my current 50 to 55 hours.   

I'll also have at my disposal a Cessna 182 that is turbocharged and has retractable landing gear.   (It's the one on the right in the picture below).  It's been updated with the latest Garmin 530W GPS system and autopilot to make the chores much easier on those long flying days. looks like 2015 will be an interesting year.  I do plan on getting around to the annual post-Christmas garage recovery and reorganization in the coming weeks, especially since I'll have a home office I need to get set up.  But that will also position me to get back to work on my Mustang.  

The list of metalwork left to do is getting shorter.  Once I finish up some detail work on the front fenders, I'm going to do a once-over on the body shell for rust and weld seam repairs--(A.K.A. the dreaded pinholes).  Then comes some of the bodywork on the firewall and floors.  The goal is to have the shell body work done and in epoxy primer before I head up north.   That's the plan anyway.

Until the next time...