Kris Kollar

Reprinted from Aug/Sep 2020 Falcon Key newsletter:

What Are you Working On Kris?

The better question is, what haven’t I been working on…..Here’s my saga. I wanted to improve my ‘63 convertible with fancy rims.  The new rims necessitated wider tires.  These sweet (but slightly oversized) Cooper Cobra radials rubbed the inner rear wheel well. An easy fix, so I decided to ‘modify’ them.  The modification required some ‘surgery’, surgery required welding, welding ignited fresh seam sealer (as they say, hindsight is always 20/20).

The resulting fire scorched the quarter panel above the wheel arch…..the ‘fix’ required grinding away a prior to my ownership body filler repair revealing bare sheet metal and a few rust holes which lead to more grinding and  exposing more rust holes…..rust holes are like deer at night in a soy bean field, where there’s one there’s more.  This ‘fix‘ required cutting out significant portions of metal which necessitated ordering a replacement front lower quarter panel section. Of course, I now needed to expand my welding gear to use shielding gas instead of flux core wire. You guessed it, next came the unexpected purchase of a full gas bottle and better set of gauges / flow meter.   Welding resulted in some warped sheet metal….despite every attempt to prevent this side effect!  Which in turn created more metal surgery to minimize the amount of filler needed to ‘flatten the curves’.

Next came painting prep and the realization that I needed better methods to remove water from compressed air. Which of course resulted in purchasing and installing two filters and an air dryer. However, since the air dryer should be placed as far from the air source as possible, that required me to install a new air line extension secured to the garage ceiling.  Of course all of this required my education on proper painting techniques which resulted in viewing countless hours of You Tube videos causing my beautiful wife to be almost as upset as she was when she realized that catching the car on fire would prevent her from enjoying one of her favorite pastimes, cruising in the Falcon with the top down.

There is a moral to this story, buy skinny tires so you don’t cause green seam sealer to burn, liquefy and blister your Falcon’s paint work.  Not finished yet as the molding has to be installed. I used a high build 2 part primer and an acrylic urethane top coat.  Looks better than it did!

Most importantly, I learned two critical points.  One, make sure you have fully charged fire extinguishers in the garage and B, don’t eliminate your wife’s summertime, FALCON top down cruise nights.   

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