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The Journey Begins - Series I V6 Restomod

Bill Eisinger

Platinum Level Sponsor
Today, the process officially begins for my Series I restomod project. We loaded the car up for a trip to the blaster and then on to my body/paint guy. I thought I would document the project in this thread as its going to be a "soup to nuts" build and may be of interest to some here.

Many here on the forum have been extremely helpful with questions, advice, and securing parts. I'm pretty sure the fun has just begun in terms of help I will need from this group as the project progresses.

As a starting point here are the general design parameters for the project:

Base Platform - 1960 Series I
Engine - 2.8 liter Ford V6
Offenhouser 4 bbl intake
Fitech fuel injection
Custom aluminum radiator
Electric fan
Dan R engine mounts and headers
Transmission - Ford A4LD automatic
Steering - Dan R Electric Power Steering
Suspension - Upgrade to Series V suspension front and rear
Complete new wiring - Rebel Wire Harness
Custom gauges - Speed Hut
Fuel System - Fuel Cell with in tank fuel pump
Climate Control - Old Air Products Hurricane Heat and AC
Custom Walnut Burl Dash
Mazda Miata Seats
Touch Screen Stereo and GPS
Leather Upholstery

There are a lot of other little details that are still being worked out (wheels as example) but these are the broad brush strokes. I imagine to some of the purists this will be a bit blasphemous (automatic transmission ,etc) but, to me, its going to be a very cool little car. With the hardtop and climate control system that we are planning on it will be at least a 3 season car if not all year around (at least on days that aren't snowy).

The car is kind of a rusty mess so there will be a lot of repair work in addition to the modifications required to accommodate the changes...it's going to need front floors and rust repair to the wheel wells and rockers as well as some repair of damage to the front and rear valence and trunk floor. It won't be too long before we'll be wondering what we got ourselves into! I suspect one of those moments will be when I get the bill back for all the chrome and stainless that is being re-done!

As the project proceeds I'll up date with photos and status. Here it is on the trailer heading to the blaster today.

Off to the Blaster.jpg
Bill, I wish you the best with your Project Alpine...

Looking forward to plenty of pictures and documentation.
It will be an asset for all that follow.
I'm very happy you have started this thread; I am sure it will help me when I start my SIV V6, hopefully this fall. You are doing a lot of the things I want to tackle, other than the Auto transmission. I am especially interested in your progress with the Fitech fuel injection, something I have been thinking about. Which Fitech will you be using?
We've now entered the what I like to call "What Have We Gotten Ourselves Into?" phase where you have convince yourself to not just take the entire car to the land fill. Its always fun to have the car come home from the media blaster to discover just how bad it is....I find that most repairs done by previous owners often do more harm than if they had just left things alone...this car is no exception. Also, as in many cases, the previous owner assured me there was no rust...I didn't fall for that one but, again, the media blasting always reveals more surprises than expected. Here are a few pictures of the car minus about 50 pounds of body filler!
Blasted 1.jpeg Blasted 2.jpeg Blasted 3.jpeg Blasted 4.jpeg Blasted 5.jpeg Blasted 6.jpeg Blasted 7.jpeg Blasted 8.jpeg
In the unforgetable words of Tonto, "What do you mean "We" white man?"

Look at it's condition on the bright side. The previous owners bodges managed to preserve it long enough for you to do it right. Although here of late, I've started to question the definition of "right". If a blob of bondo will serve for forty years as a suitable fill for a finish coat of paint, how can that be wrong?

Welcome to DPO land! Bill Blue has a great point about "right". I have in my shop , a car I owned for 32 years. Sold it about 8 years ago
and did body work on it in the 80's, long before I knew how to weld and "do it right". I last painted the car in 1997, with lacquer
and to this day, it still looks good. The body work even looks good, a few cracks and I can see some alligatoring in the paint
but after 40 years the car is still presentable!

I look at his car and laugh at myself knowing what I know now, and what I didn't know then.

Bill E, You should have seen my '65 SIV GT Bw35 when I first brought it home. It was a "Gift" that came with an Alpine I bought! Almost took it straight to the Salvage Yard it was so rusty. The rust made it a very deceptive piece of junk however.

Later (20-25 years) I finally took it out of storage and gave it a really good look and decided to restore it. Sure glad I did!

There is a place near me that "dips" a whole car. Wanted to dip it then discovered if I did I may not have a car any longer, just a "BILL" for their work:)

Be patient, work steady, do it right and you will have an Alpine to be proud of!
It's really not a big deal...more typical than not...I just get frustrated with albeit well intentioned folks who cause more damage to these things than they are fixing. Case in point, the front floor rust "repair" on this car consisted of welding a patch panel over the top of the existing floor without removing any of the damage...it may keep your feet from dragging in the street but all that it really accomplishes is hiding the rust so you can't see it advance!...many more examples like that. I'm no stranger to this stuff....I did a 67 Mustang convertible a few years back where pretty much the only original remaining material today are the A-pillars and doors! If you have some time to waste, check out my website www.theisadorabuild.com and you'll see what I mean. It's actually kind of a parallel project (although more ambitious) to what we are doing with this Alpine.

Meeting with my body guy later today to lay out a game plan....more pictures to follow.
Bill, thanks for posting the link to your Isadora mustang project.

That's a very, very impressive car.

Here's an update with some more photos. We got the car on the rotisserie which is going to make the rust repair a lot easier. Started a little exploratory surgery and discovered that the "rust free" car has a couple real problem areas...most notably the outer rockers. Based on what we found, the car isn't too far from the point where it just folds in two. Somewhere in its life an attempt to repair the rockers was made by replacing the outer skin...unfortunately instead of properly spot or plug welding the lower part of the rocker skin to the floor it was just pop riveted together which basically allowed contamination to continue to build up inside the rocker...reference my earlier statement that doing it wrong is usually worse than doing nothing! Good news is that I have a couple of new rockers from Mustang projects that can be cut down and used for internal reinforcement. Tomorrow, I will have a load of pieces and parts heading to the powder coater...mostly suspension stuff...control arms, springs, rear end, etc.
Holy Floors.jpg Rotisserie 1.jpg Rotisserie 2.jpg Rusty Rockers.jpg
Some more exploratory surgery today...continuing to remove rust...we tried a test fit of a cut down Mustang rocker (see picture).....its going to work great...the car will be far stronger than it ever was originally.
Rocker Test Fit.jpeg Surgery 1.jpeg Surgery 2.jpeg Surgery 3.jpeg Surgery 4.jpeg
The Alpine rocker has a compound curve to it. It's fairly subtle, but the car looks "off" with a straight one.
Got it - the Mustang one is the sub-structure.

Procraft - yes, I made mine as well. They came out looking indistinguishable from the originals, but I'm not sure I would recommend the way I did it to anyone else - lot of work!
E1B56820-FB1B-4179-A7FE-82084ECE76F4.jpeg Bit of an update...we’ve cut out all of the rotten metal and determined that we needed a “Plan B”....my “no rust” car is quite a disaster. Not to be daunted, I picked up two Alpine carcasses that are beyond saving but with a fair amount of salvageable sheet metal between the two....one is an SII and the other is an SIV...they were essentially free for hauling away so we’re not in too deep $ wise...also ordered patch panels from Chris Lynn in Toronto so we now have a good stock of material for beginning the repairs...Here’s a photo of the 3 car lineup as we get ready to make 1 good one out of 3 bad ones...
Sorry, typo on Chris’ last name...yes the patch panels seem to be well made...they will take a little massaging to get a perfect fit but a pretty minor detail given all the other things we are doing.