Slab Sides, Skirts, Airdam Extension, and Jack Posts


Here are instructions for the addition of Slab Sides, Side Skirts, Front Airdam Extension, and Jack Posts for a Ford Thunderbird model

Slab Sides

First you measure the space between the wheel wells and cut a strip of .015-.020 styrene approx. 7/16 if an inch wide (this will be just tall enough to cover the curve of the body) and a length equal to the space between the wheel wells. On a t-bird body I just happen to have right here it is 3 1/4 inches! So you cut the styrene 7/16 x 3 1/2 (the extra 1/4 inch will allow for trimming to size) ... one piece for each side ... then you set the body down on a flat surface and take a strip (do this one side at a time) and while making sure the bottom edge of the body is against the surface place the strip with one long edge against the same surface and up against the body. Then mark a line on the body (I usually mark one mark at each end and one in the middle because my fingers prevent me from marking from one end to the other) across the top of the strip. These marks will give you a reference when glueing the strips on the sides of the body! Also by holding the strip on the same surface as the bottom of the body you keep things parallel between the body and the new slab side!

Once you have the body marked run a bead of cement along the top of the styrene strip... remember one side at a time! ... then line the top of the strip up with the marks and press it onto the body. Before the glue sets you can move the strip if necessary to line it up with the wheel well openings and also to make sure the bottom is still parallel to the bottom of the body. Here's a tip! Set the body down and use the surface it is sitting on to make sure the new side is lined up and parallel. Like I said you have a short period of time before the glue sets up! Repeat the above steps for the other side ... allow a little time between for the glue to set up on the first side ... then allow the body to set over night!

The next step is to cut two narrow strips to be placed between the bottom edge of the body and the new sides. This will make a neat sharp corner edge on which the skirts will be attached! Once again allow this to dry throughly before proceeding! The strips should be 5/32-3/16 of an inch wide and 3 inches long (this will allow you to trim the strips to a nice clean edge at the front and rear! )

This is the hard part. You must now sand the joint between the styrene side strip and the body. I usually take a piece of 100 grit paper and fold it a couple times to make it stiff, then I take and sand the seam vertically while moving from the front to the back of the body. You will see a gap between the top of the strip and the body that isn't being hit by the paper this will be filled in by putty later but you want to sand out as much of this gap as possible because the less filler you use the better! One precaution: Watch for any wrinkling ... it may look more like a tiny hump ... of the plastic (on the edge of the strip) don't sand any more because the plastic is getting thin! Every once and a while I get lucky and the seam nearly disappears and in this case if there is a lower body stripe you can cover the tiny line that is left with it (such was the case with a couple #28's I have and the #2 Miller Lite car!) However this doesn't occur very often so...on to the next step!

Sand the sides with 400 grit paper to take out the larger scratches ... don't worry about finishing yet ... then run a bead of putty along the seam (not too much now you just want to make sure it fills it fairly well) and allow it to dry. I use squadron green putty and it does very well as far as shrinkage and dries fast! Sand again using 200 grit (you can use the 100 to take down any thick spots if necessary just remember not to go wild with it, do the majority of the sanding with the 200!) If you have any low areas or patches that need more filling reapply, let dry and sand again until you are satisfied with it!

Detail Drawing of the Slab Sides Assembly

Side Skirts

Last step is here! Once you are satisfied with the finish (with time it will get easier believe me!) You can now cut and apply the skirts! One thing before doing so sand the bottom of the slab and body to smooth out any excess glue and such. OK.. The driver's side has just one skirt the jack post is just behind the skirt and then the rest is open for the exhaust pipes!), it is 1 inches long and 1/8 - 5/32 of an inch wide. The passenger side has two skirts one 1 x 1/8 - 5/32 and the other 1 3/8 x 1/8 - 5/32. The longer ones go at the front of the body! Just glue these flush with the body and turn the body over and allow it to dry over night! Once it's dry you might want to lightly sand the joint to remove any excess glue an smooth it up!

Detail Drawing of the Side Skirt Assembly

Front Airdam Extension

Here's the details on the front airdam extension. All you have to do is cut a strip of the styrene long enough to wrap around the front airdam (make it a little long and trim it back after it dries). Make it about 3/16 of an inch wide and mount it so that about half to 2/3 of it is extending below the original airdam!

Jack Posts

As far as the jack posts go you can put them on now or (if you are like me and forget!) wait until you finish the model. I take a piece of plastic (scrap from the parts tree of the model ) and hold it over a candle and stretch it till it's about 3/32 of an inch in diameter and cut the posts from that. I cut them about 2/3 as long as the skirts are wide. You'll need a pair of tweezers to put these on!

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