Hanging of the grille and bumper

Doghouse priming project completion

This is where we were at last month: The hood and fenders were on, and the upper and lower bars that went across the front for support.

I installed the A/C evaporator again (there in no refrigerant in the system), along with the chrome brightwork, grille, and wiring harness. The grill took a lot of finessing with a prybar to fit with good gaps at the tops. The bottom support bar came off a parts car that had the bottom bumper pushed in, and the grille that came on Sherman from the factory was not mint either, so some work was expected. The lowermost bar that goes across the grille was replacement with one from eBay as I didn't have a good one on hand and the factory one was bent. My father, the previous owner of the car, told me it was already bent in the 70s when he bought it and didn't know the backstory.

Here is pretty much all that is left to put back on the car with the exception of the steel wool.

I found bumper bolts with the correct head at AutoZone. They are longer than the originals, but for about $4 each compared to the high cost of a "bumper bolt kit", they fit the bill.

I decided the bumper brackets were just too rusty for me to sand them and paint them. It took hours on each inner fender, and I just wasn't up to the task. What to do? Take it to the powdercoaters. I also decided to take the air cleaner.

Here are all the parts back from the powdercoaters. As you'll notice I also took in the plate that goes in the driver's rear wheel well that protects the gas filler. All in all it set me back $150.

Here are the backs of the turn signals. When I pulled the wiring harness of the car, the turn signals had their connectors removed and were soldered directly to the wiring harness. I checked with my dad on this as well, and it turns out when the car was in the Philippines he had a problem with one blinker also getting filled with water and going out. He soldered the connections to aid in troubleshooting. I had some parts car turn signals with cut harnesses, so I spliced them into my factory lights. Notice on the bootom light I have a broken stud. More on that later.

Before and after of sanding and painting the interior of the lights. I assume the light on the right was the one my father remembers filling with water. As you see it has much more corrosion that the one on the left.

Here is the a light ready to be put on the car with a long life bulb in it. This is the light that had the broken stud. Since I couldn't find a suitable replacement, I used the nut and bolt to the left of it to secure it. I put some gasket maker beside it but this car doesn't see the rain.

I got help from two uncles and got the bumper lifted back on and mounted. It mounts with four large nuts inboard of each turn signal, and in additional has two cross supports that form an X in from of the air conditioner evaporator. It is a little on the heavy side, but more awkward.

Here is a shot comparing 2005 to 2010: The snarl is gone, and with the addition of a parts car bumper, there is nothing pointing toward the ground anymore. Also note there is no more droopy hood on the right.
This picture can be enlarged by clicking on it. 


Here are some progress shots showing making it happen. The project ended up taking 7 months from inception to completion. I'd estimate pulling the pieces apart took about two weeks working during the evening hours, and the body shop took about two weeks working the panels and priming them. The large delay was that I didn't do any detail painting over the winter months, so it was around March before I started working hot and heavy getting the car back together.