I knew that the only way I was going to get the FE passed through and have the defect notice removed and be able to get registration on this Holden again was to strip the FE back to the bone and rebuild her back again. After cleaning out my garage to make room for all the panels once I removed them( I decided to do this restoration at home and not use up room at my brother’s workshop because I knew this was going to be a long drawn out excises) I started with removing the interior again as there was not much work needed to do, I placed the seats and door trim in one corner of the shed threw a old bed sheet over them, little did I know how long it was going to be before I would be replacing them back. The next to be dismantled were the bumpers, guards, doors and boot. The tail lights and then all the chrome work from the body and doors and guards, the shed was starting to fill with panels and boxes of parts. I marked all parts with masking tape and placed in boxes and marked again, it really amazed me how parts go missing but they do. I then started on the inside of the FE lifted all under felt, glovebox, interior lights and switches, the last pieces I needed to remove were the two windscreens. This took me about a week to tear down the FE, mark every part and find a place for the pieces, and started to shake my head in what I had done to this car, knowing I had to bring the FE back to life or I wasn’t going to hear the last of it.

When I had stripped the FE to a state of repair I started to strip the old paint from the body this was a job you don’t really want to do unless you need to Ill tell you. I used paint stripper and paint scraper, after talking to my brother who said doing it this way was a sure way of not causing any damage to the panels and leaving them straight. The easy way was to take the body to a sand blaster and have it stripped but using high pressure sand and air could cause ripples in the panels or worse, so I decided paint stripper and hand power, fortunately the FE only had its original paint on most panels the main body definitely was, I always start on the biggest parts first, once they are finished the smaller parts are or at least seem easy.

Back to the main body the roof as I mentioned before was covered with a rust coating I knew this was going to the hardest part to get back to bare metal, that was an under statement it was one hell of a job the paint came off easy enough the rust stayed on, after speaking to my brother again on this problem he said I needed to use a sanding disc and using care skim the top and that should remove the rust and then treat the rust with a rust killer compound to stop the rust returning, again use care as the rust treatment was a acid, no worries after working will acids and fluxes for over 30 years doing radiators this was going to be a piece of cake.

Once I purchased the sanding discs and rust treatment I attacked the roof, the heavy grade of paper to care of the rust so much easier then trying to rub back by hand let me tell you,

I’m so glad these old Holdens are built the way they are with plenty of metal if I tried this on my modern car I believe I would go through the roof, as soon as I had removed the heavy rust and started to see new shiny metal I changed to a lighter grade of paper to remove the
marks the heavy grade paper had left nothing comes easy, then back to hand power to get the final smooth finish, this was a long day because I was told to try and do all this work on the same day and then coat the roof with the acid and wash off and then spray a primer over the roof to stop the rust returning, I was able to all this but like I said it was a very long day, the next day when I went out to check the work I had done the day before I was very happy that the big part was done and I could start on a new part.

I started on the boot, paint stripper, scraper and wash down and before I knew it the boot was cleaned and primed, the boot was really straight and rust free in fact I believe it only needed paint.

See you all in part 5 CHARLIE MIFSUD

Click HERE to go to Part 5 of the FE Restoration.

Article ID: RESTO004

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