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Re: Still quite new to this


I would suggest you pick up a copy of Muir's Idiot's Guide, it has all
the details of how to check and set valve clearances as well as a
wealth of other info.  It's not T3 specific, but good enough for most
engine work.  The Bentley of#actory repair manual has the
really gory details on the mechanicals.  You  don't have to pull the
engine to do valve clearance checking, just the rocker arm covers on
both sides.  Everyone starts out uninformed, I hope this will help.

Body work is mostly a matter of practice and the proper materials.
Check out your local library for books on how to do it.    It takes a
fair amount of practice to use a hammer and dolly block.  I'm still
not that good, I use far more filler than a pro would, but the results
don't look too bad. Holes are permanently fixed by welding. Until I
recently got a welding rig, I used fiberglas gel and cloth to patch
holes in non-stressed areas.  I'm gradually getting all that stuff out
of there.  Bondo is not a structural material, don't use it to plug
holes, it's for smoothing out surfaces prior to painting and used as
thinly as possible.

 If you think you've got a rust-free car, think again.  Take the
fenders off and check the following areas:
Upper and lower rear corners at the front next to the door hinges 
front bumper mounts
tie bars on front fenders
rocker panels under the trim
top of the vapor tank on the left side
upper part of the rear wheel wells where there's a seam
panel just in front of the air intakes on the sides on the inner
fender
under the battery
headlight buckets

Unless the car has been in the desert for 30 years, chances are you've
got rot at one or more of these spots, particularly the upper rear of
the front fenders.  There's a pocket there that acts to catch all the
road grit and salt, I got about 50 lbs of stuff out of mine when I
first got it as well as having holes in all the above areas.  If your
fresh air inlet  drain tubes are clogged or you've got bad window
seals, you could have rotted floor boards, too.

I was a novice at body work when I started, I hope I'm better at it
now.  Whether or not you can pick it up depends on your aptitude.  In
my case, I couldn't afford $100/hr shop time as well as having the
thing tied up for months.  I'm doing whatJrolling restoration,
just tackling a piece at a time.  The longest it's been tied up has
been for about a month this last summer when I was stripping and
repainting the doors and hatch.  That way, I've got a car to drive
most of the time and it doesn't sit in the driveway in pieces,
attracting unwanted attention from nosey city officials.  A lot of
what you can do yourself also depends on your facilities.  If you have
a garage, you're ahead of the game.  If you live in an apartment,
you'll be limited as to what you can accomplish.

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