Door panels, reality

Reality Sets In: Getting Ready for the Ford Show

Hey Reality, why’d you have to slap me in the face?

I woke up early this morning with an intense sense of dread.  I felt the same kind of impending uneasiness I used to feel when I had an exam in college for which I felt unprepared.  Why?  Because I woke up this morning crushed by reality.  The reality is that I have three weekends in which to finish the Mustang before the Ford show.  That’s six working days assuming I do nothing else.  And given how long it took me to put the seat belts in— four hours over the course of three separate attempts— even the seemingly simple tasks that remain could consume more time than I have.

I’ve installed the door panels, front seat belts, and rear trim panels.  I’ll post more about that tomorrow or Wednesday.  But many small things remain.

Here’s what I’ve got left to do (in no particular order):

  • Install emblems, door sill plates, and rocker panel moldings (this last one involves drilling holes in the sheet metal…yuck)
  • Repair paint chips (this one I can’t do myself, and I’m a little gun-shy when it comes to body shops)
  • Fix the clutch actuation/noise issues (I get the feeling the transmission will be coming out AGAIN)
  • Track down the electrical gremlin that causes the lights to pulsate at idle
  • Install the wiper blades (which, come to think of it, I haven’t actually ordered yet)
  • Polish / detail the paint as best as I can
  • Have a/c charged (this will likely wait until May)
  • Adjust and road test rear brake proportioning valve
  • Change oil
  • Figure out why the rear seat back isn’t sitting low enough
  • Figure out why the driver’s seat contacts the door panel
  • Get new license plate frames that hold the plate at the bottom as well

Simple at first glance, tedious and complicated in practice

When I look at this list, nothing seems difficult or un-doable.  But as I’ve said before, simple things can turn complicated and time-consuming very quickly.  I’m expecting I’ll need to pull the transmission again to fix whatever is making noise when I engage or release the clutch.  And I can virtually guarantee that whatever is making noise will need to be replaced with something I don’t have, so that’ll take up multiple days.

The paint is another big unknown.  I had planned, as my reader will remember, to take the car back to Bill who’d painted it originally, to see if he could patch up the chips and whatnot.  But recently as I continue to look at the drips and runs on the rocker panels and the generally poor quality of some of his other work, I just don’t feel comfortable having him do any more work for me.  So the challenge now becomes how not to throw anymore good money after bad.

I’d like to get the car over to a body shop this week, but I don’t feel comfortable driving the car until I fix the clutch issue, and I haven’t had a chance to delve into that yet.  And of course I haven’t even found a good body shop, so I’ve got some research to do as well.  Apart from that, though, the remaining items are simply a case of checking things off, one item at a time.  And so, the reality is, I’m going to be chipping away at the list every free moment I get.

See you in May.

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