I took a break from the transmission polishing to get some things prepared for sandblasting. This was supposed to take a few hours... two days later I'm almost done!
I cleaned up a section of the front subframe where I removed the 'vibration damper,' or giant steel block.
I also cut off one of the power steering hose mounts. This isn't really visible, but the new power steering plumbing will be nearby and more clearance will make it easier.
I started to smooth some of the spotwelds on the engine crossmember, plus some additional cleanup. The stock spotwelds are really big, these will get a coat of bondo then paint after sandblasting.
I added this tab for one of the A/C hoses. I routed everything a few months ago, and made a note of where the tab needed to be. Hopefully it's correct!
I removed the bushings. New replacement rubber is no longer available new from VW, so I wanted to save them. The steel sleeves are $28 per bushing, so it will be cheaper and easier to just re-make them from tubing and washers when it goes back together. I'm not sure if these can be disassembled, but they were all corroded together where the seam should be. So I cut 'em out.
Step 1: cut off the top
Step 2: push out the sleeve
Step 3: pry out the bushing.
Here is where things got out of hand. This is the bracket for the transmission, I decided to clean it up.
There were a bunch of little rip marks from the stamping, I filled them in with weld. The MIG weld won't stick to the copper, so you can extend an edge pretty easily using this method.
The rim around the bracket stopped a little short, so I decided to extend it around. I started with a template on the profile gauge.
I used the template to make a hammer form.
I used the hammer form to hammer a piece of 14ga steel into shape.
After some welding and grinding
I shaved the other unused holes, and cut a radius into the front edge where it used to be square.
Ready for sandblast, primer, then bondo!
I needed to spray some test samples of the PPG Omni acrylic enamel that I plan to use on the engine parts, I wanted to choose the right gloss level. I ended up mixing it wrong because I was combining two datasheets... all of the samples ended up glossy and none of them hardened!
So all of my friends make fun of me for my hammer collection; I have over 40 hammers and the total value is probably a couple thousand bucks. Woody borrowed my $1 Harbor Freight rubber mallet, my only 'cheap' hammer, to adjust the paint shaker... and it broke! What the fuck. This is why I buy nice things.