Tuesday, April 22, 2008

New Body Parts

I bought some paint remover to see how that would work. It only took off the house paint that was the last coat hand brushed by some previous owner. What it did do, though, was expose the original sea foam green that was the original color of the pickle. Pretty cool.


Well the front right fender of the Pickle was not salvageable. It had been in some previous accident and hammered out by someone who had as much hammer and dolly experience as I have.

So we went to the junk yard down in Casa Grande as seen in an earlier post. We didn't find the fender we were looking for. So I found the web site for East West Auto Parts out in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

They told me they had a 1950 fender and bumper filler. I asked them for a photo since I didn't want to buy it sight unseen. They sent me back an e-mail saying, "No photo, fender is straight and solid."

So I was a little pissed with the reply, but it is hard to find parts like fenders, so I went ahead and bought the two items. About two weeks later, a giant crate arrived with my fender and bumper filler. It was like Christmas.

We opened the crate and the first thing I saw was a giant patch of bondo,

and a dent under the light. I also noticed that the bumper filler was very different from the one we had. I knew immediately that it wasn't the right year. I looked at the fender and saw that the hole for the running light was different. I then saw the part number on it. It was about a 6-digit number that ended in "52." my Dad remembered that the part numbers from the Casa Grande junk yard all ended in the year of the car. So we pulled out the shop manual and discovered that the chrome on the fender matched that of the the 1952 Pontiac. We were pissed. Mom was the cool one that kept us from hiring an assassin in Oklahoma. The "straight and solid" comment pissed me off as much as the parts being the wrong year did.

We broke out the tape measure and started to see if things lined up. They did, with the exception of a few holes that could be drilled out anyway. I still called to raise hell. They offered to take the parts back, but said they would work. I don't think that they saw the "point of my argument."

The fender is held on with a combination of bolts and screws. The screws all came out relatively easily. All of the 58-year-old bolts snapped off. There were a few rivets that we took the cutting wheel. That was pretty cool. Sparks everywhere.

The fender did end up fitting. There are some slight differences. Most of them will be hidden. The only really noticeable one is on the length of the fender that meets the hood. That part of the seam is angled back a little more on the '52, but we decided we could live with it.

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