1968 Convertible Conversion

From dusty barn find to daily driver, it seems our cars are never really done. This is the place to share your progress on your project car. We will celebrate your victories and commiserate over your tragedies. But most of all this is a great place to learn!
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Yorgle
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Joined: 22 Oct 2011, 05:40
Location: Berlin Wisconsin USA
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Re: 1968 Convertible Conversion

Post by Yorgle » 31 Mar 2014, 14:49

Copycatvert is scheduled for some body shop time the first week of May so that would be a good time for me to pull the valance off and try my hand at the buckets. If mine turn out anywhere half as good as yours, I'll be happy.
1968 XR-7 Augusta Green, J-Code, 5 litre, Autolite 6100, 5 spd, convertible with heated seats, cruise control and rear sway bar.

BTW, I think electronic ignition is pointless.

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1967 S Code
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Joined: 25 Dec 2010, 20:35
Location: Sumter, South Carolina

Re: 1968 Convertible Conversion

Post by 1967 S Code » 04 Apr 2014, 18:39

Broken Dipstick Tube Fix
I had an oil leak at the dipstick tube on Top Cat's 302. The tube was cracked right where it goes into the timing chain cover. This was a result of the previous owner not having the mounting bolt installed in the tab on the tube. While I was trying to get the tube out it broke off. I did not want to pull everything off of the front of the engine to get the timing chain cover off so I came up with a "fix" to remove the broken piece. I tried a easy out with no luck so here is what I did. I packed the remaining protion of the dipstick tube opening with axel grease. I then got a 3/8-16 tap and used it to cut threads in the remaining part of the broken tube. The axel grease traps any metal shavings from the tap and keeps them out of the engine. After the threads were tapped I threaded a piece of 3/8 all thread down into the broken piece of tube. I then slid a piece of 1/2 pipe over the threaded rod added a washer and nut then tightened the nut against the pipe/washer until it extracted the broken piece of dipstick tube out of the timing chain cover.
Image
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Our Cougars

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1967 Standard
Dan Gurney Special

6.5 Litre, Black / Black, AC Whisperaire, Am/FM, Sports Console,
Front and Rear Bumper Guards, Clock

1968 XR7-G
302 4V, Lime Frost / Black Leather, AM/FM, Black Vinyl, Tilt-A-Way
Heavy Duty Suspension, Power Disc Brakes, Rader Wheels


1968 XR7-G Hertz
390 4V, Black Cherry/ Dark Red Leather, Black Vinyl, Sunroof, Tilt-A-Way,
Cruise, Rear Defrost, AC Whisperaire


1968 Convertible Conversion "Top Cat"
Standard, 302 4V, XR7G Console, XR7G Front Valance

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1967 S Code
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Posts: 4244
Joined: 25 Dec 2010, 20:35
Location: Sumter, South Carolina

Re: 1968 Convertible Conversion

Post by 1967 S Code » 04 Apr 2014, 19:15

1967 S Code wrote:
Yorgle wrote:Looks good, Steven, but I think you should add some drain holes for all the snow and slush that will get packed in there. ;)
Jody I did think about drainage. We don't get near the snow here in South Carolina that you get but we get plenty of rain and car washing. I'll take a picture of the bottom of the buckets, I left a 1/4 inch gap the length of the bucket. This is for the drainage. I liked this idea when I was doing the fabrication better that just holes. The bottom of the bucket is angled towards the bottom inside of the valance so water or anything should drain well. When I'm done I'll get a template made up and send it to you.
Steven
Jody here is a picture of the bottom of the buckets. You can see the area I left for drainage.
Image
Image

Our Cougars

Image

1967 Standard
Dan Gurney Special

6.5 Litre, Black / Black, AC Whisperaire, Am/FM, Sports Console,
Front and Rear Bumper Guards, Clock

1968 XR7-G
302 4V, Lime Frost / Black Leather, AM/FM, Black Vinyl, Tilt-A-Way
Heavy Duty Suspension, Power Disc Brakes, Rader Wheels


1968 XR7-G Hertz
390 4V, Black Cherry/ Dark Red Leather, Black Vinyl, Sunroof, Tilt-A-Way,
Cruise, Rear Defrost, AC Whisperaire


1968 Convertible Conversion "Top Cat"
Standard, 302 4V, XR7G Console, XR7G Front Valance

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1967 S Code
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Posts: 4244
Joined: 25 Dec 2010, 20:35
Location: Sumter, South Carolina

Re: 1968 Convertible Conversion

Post by 1967 S Code » 09 Apr 2014, 20:00

Bringing the taillights back to life.
After removing the grilles I took the cleaned each lens with soap and water. The plastic was very cloudy from years of sun and weather so I figured I try to revive them. I wet sanded each lens with 3000 grit sandpaper then followed up with rubbing compound, polishing compound and then a coat of wax. Here are the results.
Steven
Image
Image
Image

Our Cougars

Image

1967 Standard
Dan Gurney Special

6.5 Litre, Black / Black, AC Whisperaire, Am/FM, Sports Console,
Front and Rear Bumper Guards, Clock

1968 XR7-G
302 4V, Lime Frost / Black Leather, AM/FM, Black Vinyl, Tilt-A-Way
Heavy Duty Suspension, Power Disc Brakes, Rader Wheels


1968 XR7-G Hertz
390 4V, Black Cherry/ Dark Red Leather, Black Vinyl, Sunroof, Tilt-A-Way,
Cruise, Rear Defrost, AC Whisperaire


1968 Convertible Conversion "Top Cat"
Standard, 302 4V, XR7G Console, XR7G Front Valance

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Yorgle
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Posts: 964
Joined: 22 Oct 2011, 05:40
Location: Berlin Wisconsin USA
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Re: 1968 Convertible Conversion

Post by Yorgle » 09 Apr 2014, 20:12

Wow, that really turned out nice.
1968 XR-7 Augusta Green, J-Code, 5 litre, Autolite 6100, 5 spd, convertible with heated seats, cruise control and rear sway bar.

BTW, I think electronic ignition is pointless.

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mo2872
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Joined: 02 Jun 2011, 18:59
Location: Collinsville, Ok
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Re: 1968 Convertible Conversion

Post by mo2872 » 10 Apr 2014, 07:43

Can't complain about those, for sure! Good job, Steven.
T3
Yup, that guy, the hooligan.

Somewhere out there is a tree, tirelessly producing oxygen so you can breathe. I think you owe it an apology.

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1969XR7Vert
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Posts: 3521
Joined: 24 Dec 2010, 06:52
Location: Brick, NJ

Re: 1968 Convertible Conversion

Post by 1969XR7Vert » 10 Apr 2014, 08:23

1967 S Code wrote:Broken Dipstick Tube Fix
I had an oil leak at the dipstick tube on Top Cat's 302. The tube was cracked right where it goes into the timing chain cover. This was a result of the previous owner not having the mounting bolt installed in the tab on the tube. While I was trying to get the tube out it broke off. I did not want to pull everything off of the front of the engine to get the timing chain cover off so I came up with a "fix" to remove the broken piece. I tried a easy out with no luck so here is what I did. I packed the remaining protion of the dipstick tube opening with axel grease. I then got a 3/8-16 tap and used it to cut threads in the remaining part of the broken tube. The axel grease traps any metal shavings from the tap and keeps them out of the engine. After the threads were tapped I threaded a piece of 3/8 all thread down into the broken piece of tube. I then slid a piece of 1/2 pipe over the threaded rod added a washer and nut then tightened the nut against the pipe/washer until it extracted the broken piece of dipstick tube out of the timing chain cover.
Image
LOVE IT Steven! :beerchug:
Isabel, the realization of a seven year long dream:



Canted--Texan on the351cforum: "One of my most impressive attributes is that.......a lot of people don't like me.....or the horse I rode in on"

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1967 S Code
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Posts: 4244
Joined: 25 Dec 2010, 20:35
Location: Sumter, South Carolina

Re: 1968 Convertible Conversion

Post by 1967 S Code » 17 Apr 2014, 20:37

Bring the Taillights Back to Life
After reworking the the lenses for the taillights I turned my attention to the taillight housing and grilles. They were pitted and the chrome was in poor shape. I lightly sandblasted the housings and grilles in the sandblasting cabinet we use at the Fire Department (purchased when we restored our 1946 Sea Grave ladder truck). After the sandblasting was complete I used SEM heavy build primer and a lot of sanding to fill in the pitting. Once that was complete I finished off the inside of the housings and sprayed them with bright silver. Then I followed up with masking off the silver and sprayed the housings and grilles with SEM trim black. Here are the results.
Image
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Our Cougars

Image

1967 Standard
Dan Gurney Special

6.5 Litre, Black / Black, AC Whisperaire, Am/FM, Sports Console,
Front and Rear Bumper Guards, Clock

1968 XR7-G
302 4V, Lime Frost / Black Leather, AM/FM, Black Vinyl, Tilt-A-Way
Heavy Duty Suspension, Power Disc Brakes, Rader Wheels


1968 XR7-G Hertz
390 4V, Black Cherry/ Dark Red Leather, Black Vinyl, Sunroof, Tilt-A-Way,
Cruise, Rear Defrost, AC Whisperaire


1968 Convertible Conversion "Top Cat"
Standard, 302 4V, XR7G Console, XR7G Front Valance

User avatar
1967 S Code
Registered Member
Posts: 4244
Joined: 25 Dec 2010, 20:35
Location: Sumter, South Carolina

Re: 1968 Convertible Conversion

Post by 1967 S Code » 22 May 2014, 05:17

I have not had a lot of time to work on Top Cat due to my wife and I moving to our new home. Yesterday I did a little work stripping the valance to prep it for minor body work. It felt good to do some work other than lifting boxes. :D

Image
Image
Image

Our Cougars

Image

1967 Standard
Dan Gurney Special

6.5 Litre, Black / Black, AC Whisperaire, Am/FM, Sports Console,
Front and Rear Bumper Guards, Clock

1968 XR7-G
302 4V, Lime Frost / Black Leather, AM/FM, Black Vinyl, Tilt-A-Way
Heavy Duty Suspension, Power Disc Brakes, Rader Wheels


1968 XR7-G Hertz
390 4V, Black Cherry/ Dark Red Leather, Black Vinyl, Sunroof, Tilt-A-Way,
Cruise, Rear Defrost, AC Whisperaire


1968 Convertible Conversion "Top Cat"
Standard, 302 4V, XR7G Console, XR7G Front Valance

User avatar
1967 S Code
Registered Member
Posts: 4244
Joined: 25 Dec 2010, 20:35
Location: Sumter, South Carolina

Re: 1968 Convertible Conversion

Post by 1967 S Code » 04 Jun 2014, 21:51

Well my family and I are getting settled in our new home. The move has taken a lot of time from working on the Top Cat project. Well today I moved Top Cat to our new house from my friends shop and everything went well. I snapped some photos and thought I'd share the move.
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Having it in my shop now will give me time to get to the bigger parts of this project. My youngest son Ian is really liking the Cougars.
Steven
Image

Our Cougars

Image

1967 Standard
Dan Gurney Special

6.5 Litre, Black / Black, AC Whisperaire, Am/FM, Sports Console,
Front and Rear Bumper Guards, Clock

1968 XR7-G
302 4V, Lime Frost / Black Leather, AM/FM, Black Vinyl, Tilt-A-Way
Heavy Duty Suspension, Power Disc Brakes, Rader Wheels


1968 XR7-G Hertz
390 4V, Black Cherry/ Dark Red Leather, Black Vinyl, Sunroof, Tilt-A-Way,
Cruise, Rear Defrost, AC Whisperaire


1968 Convertible Conversion "Top Cat"
Standard, 302 4V, XR7G Console, XR7G Front Valance

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