The weather's been *real nice* up here in "The D" (Just for the record, I'm not IN Detroit. I live outside Detroit. No one with an ounce of pride claims to live in Detroit). Last Saturday I cut out the delaminated area in the sidewall and got that mess cleaned up. A circular saw made quick work of cutting off the inner fiberglass skin (leaving me "itchin' like a man on a fuzzy tree"). You want full clothes coverage when demoing fiberglass. Once that was off I used a putty knife to scrape out all the honeycomb material then used my orbital sander to get the inner and outer skin as flat as possible. Once the 3/4" plywood pieces were cut to fit I was ready for the fiberglass resin.
Once that stuff is mixed you have to HUSTLE to get it slathered on before it sets up. I slopped a thick coat on the back and edges of the board, layed a piece of fiberglass cloth into the resin, slopped another coat onto the glass cloth, slathered more resin on the side wall then put the board in place and braced it so it stayed in contact with the outer wall while the resin hardened. I used the cloth so there would be some "give" between the plywood and the wall. So far it looks like a success so tomorrow I'll screw the inner panels back over the plywood filer. The repair is nearly as stiff as the undamaged wall but time will tell how durable it is.
Once that was done I found that I hadn't had my fair share of daily abuse so decided to drain down the trans and have a look inside the pan. Easy job, right? The pan has a drain plug so it should have been a quick job (can you hear the auto repair gods laughing?). I put a wrench on the plug and turned it, and turned it, and turned it but it never loosened (damn, Damn, DAMN). Of course, now it leaked so I ended up undoing the pan bolts while holding the thing level while flat on my back, trying (vainly, it turned out) not to spill six quarts of tranny fluid all over myself and the driveway. The carnage wasn't too bad and no hazmat teams were summoned, and surprise!, the inside of the pan was squeaky clean. Not a metal flake to be seen. I got a new pan, gasket and filter from the local Ford dealer and tomorrow (good Lord willin and the creeks don't rise) I'll have that sucker buttoned up.
I also got the alternator out and took it to 5 (count'em, 5) parts stores to have it tested. Turns out I have a 230 amp aftermarket alternator and none of the stores could hook the beast up to their testers. I ended up taking it to this little hole-in-the-wall alternator rebuilder who for the grand sum of $3 tested it and pronounced it good to go. Looks like I'm going to have another go at my nemesis, the wiring monster.
I predict total victory, but not for whom.