1969 Ford Mercury Cougar
Sorry for the long absence. Been extremely busy with life. Still need to do a bit more work on the Cougar but here it is.
The one side of the grill was broken. I think the car was in a small bumper bashing at some stage on its life.
Due to it being pewter this proved to be problematic. One can’t just bend pewter as they please or weld it easily, it either breaks or melts. I called a few places to see if I could have it welded as there are people who can weld pewter but no one could guarantee that it would not melt away. Obviously the re-builder had the same problem. The first photo shows what it was like in the beginning, there was one break and the whole side of the grill was badly bent. In the second photo, if you look closely, there are 3 breaks and it is slightly straighter, the re-builder had tried to straighten it but didn’t do such a great job. Now the third photo is from after I fixed it and painted it. It was very difficult to straighten this grill, I was worried about breaking it in more places or even worse breaking the grill completely. I used pliers, a vice grip and a cloth to prevent damaging it. I did small movements fighting to get the edges lined up and everything straight. Each time thinking, ‘It’s going to break, it’s going to break.’ Eventually I was fairly happy with the job, it wasn’t completely straight but I quit while I was ahead not pushing it and breaking it. I then sanded it down to bare metal in that general area ensuring it was completely clean. Using JB weld i glued the grill back together, this took a few times to mix it and let it dry, after that I sanded it down and smoothed off all the edges to look like it never was broken at all. A coat of 1k edge primer and 2k black paint and the grill looked as good as new. Personally I was very happy with the fix.
Restoration of the Grill
The photo’s are of the grill before I started. The problem with these grills are that they are pewter and after 40 years the grill has eroded in places causing pit marks. I decided with this particular orange colour that a black grill would look the best. Painting it would also help fill the pit marks. Another way is to send it for copper plating putting micro layers of copper on and sanding it down between layers, thus slowly filling the pit marks.
When the re-builder painted it, he put spot putty on filling these pit marks before painting. Although there were still pit marks visible. In order to restore this grill to the appropriate standards, it required a lot of man hours.
In the next few posts I will go into more detail.