It’s spring, and that means polishing the Spartan.

Posted: May 8, 2011 in Hot Rod, Uncategorized, Vintage trailers

I know the polishing story has you on pins and needles, but before I get to the fun job of polishing, a little update of what’s been happening here

Ever have a project snowball?  I had ordered some air shocks for the back of the wagon, and Wednseday I was going to install them.  Supposedly direct replacements, all I had to do was bolt them in.  Right.

The first fly in the ointment was that a few days before I’d hit a big raccon in the road.  So big it made the car lurch as it rolled under the car.  What I didn’t know was that it smashed into the gas tank, dented the bottom edge, and actually moved the tank in the straps. 

We’d filled the car on the way home, and the next day Kim said the garage smelled “gassy”.  She was right, there was a little puddle under the tank.  The filler leaks a little when it’s full sometimes, that’s what I thought it probably was.  Nope.

The tank had slid forward while full, and was rubbing on a brake line clip on the rear end.  This wore a tiny little spot on the end seam, above the racoon dent, and it was leaking there.  So, I drained the tank, cleaned up and JB welded the seam with their two-part putty.  Looks like it’ll work, no more leak.

The shocks of course didn’t (exactly) fit either.  I had to make new lower mounts, as the new ones are about 5 inches shorter than the originals.  So, that took a long time to fabricate new mounts and get the shocks installed.  It drives MUCH better, nice and taut feeling, and I can raise the car enough to keep the tires from rubbing with a load on, like the trailers.  Better, but I missed the Wed. cruise night at Gilmore.  The photo I took Thursday at the Gilmore garage Works night.

At the garage works program, Bob Barnhart and I with help from some of the students got quite a bit done on the Willys Knight.  We were able to hang the driver’s side doors .  This was a big step, an important one, as the body has been on and off the frame, twisted, tweaked, stretched and jacked around with no wood framing for quite some time.  We were happy the new sills and subrails we made were the right length, as the doors fit well.  We need to adjust things a little, as the character lines aren’t exactly right, but a little tweaking the hinges and shimming the body should line everything right up.  Nice. 

Here are a couple more photos from the work night:

Well hung!

Rear door jam in.

Bob and Zach decide what to do next.

Front header, done.

We had visitors Thursday afternoon as well.  A group of students from a local Military Academy came  to the shop.  I think they were impressed with the projects, and I was impressed with them.  I had no idea the program existed.  It’s Battle Creek at the Fort Custer site, the students stay on campus in barracks.  They are high school age, and can get their GED, college credits and head start on a career.  A second chance for them, and chance at a successful future.  They were engaging and enthusiastic.

How long does it take to polish that trailer, anyway?

Finally, on to the trailer polishing story.    It’s a dirty, hard chore, but I got the curb side done.  I dread doing this every year, but I’m always glad I did when it’s over.  This represents about 7 hours of work, but it does look good.

Kids, don't try this at home.

I use a 7″ grinder/polisher with woll bonnets and Nuvite polish.  The result is very shiny, but it does leave some swirlmarks, which doesn’t bother me.  I’d bought a “Cyclo” random oribital buffer, but it’s heavy and vibrates so much that I couldn’t use it.  After only a few minutes, my fingers were numb and tingly, I couldn’t even  hang onto the polisher.  So, back to the buffer.  It works faster anyway, and I’m SO impatient, it’s better for me.  Besides, the skin of the trailer is far from perfect, so the fact that the polish job isn’t “show” quality doesn’t matter.


Here, the back hasn't been polished, the side has. Can you tell the difference?

So, that’s what’s been happening here at McCool’s Garage the past week.  I may get called off work tomorrow and if so, I’ll get the trailer finished up.  That means if I won’t be rushing to get it, or the car, ready for the TCT Milford show, and I can spend some time blowing paint on the Diamond T.  Or relaxing with a malt beverage in front of my shiny trailer.
  1. Kim says:

    Of course I can see the difference! Nice work.

  2. flynbrian48 says:

    Glad you noticed. I’m officially TIRED after two days of polishing. I don’t know if it’s age, or the fact I’m doing a little better job, either way, I know I don’t want to persue poishing traliers as a 2nd career!

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