Initial Body Work

With the major rust repairs and modifications complete, its time to start repairing dents and finishing patch panels.

The task here is to get the body ready for a uniform coat of epoxy primer. Therefore the body work will not be "finished" but will be only to the extent that a skim coat of filler followed by filling primer and block sanding will have the body ready for final paint. Sanding will only be to 80 grit at this juncture. I will take it up to 600 before final paint.

I like to start with the worst damage first. When the car was sitting in the previous owner's driveway a large tree limb fell during a storm and damaged the rear section of the roof.

Because there is a substructure under the outer sheet metal the only way to fix this properly is to cut out the section, reshape it, and then weld it back in place. Here is the section after being welded back in place.

And here is the finished product sanded down to 80 grit. Before paint the rear window will be test fitted just to make sure the shape is correct, however using templates made from the opposite side things should align perfectly.

Next I coated the lower rear quarters where I had patched some rust areas with new sheet.

Also behind both doors there were creases in the quarters that were minor but extended from the door to the wheel well and those were also repaired.

There was also a section on the top of the driver's rear quarter that had been dented by the falling limb that needed to be repaired as well.

The previous owner had installed an aftermarket anchor system for three point seat belts which left two holes in the roof on each side. The driver's side was repaired when I did the large dent in the roof but here is how I filled these holes.

The area was sanded with 40 grit to prepare the surface and give the filler a good rough surface to adhere to.

I used a piece of copper to plug the holes from the underside. You can see this in the pic above. Weld won't stick to copper so its a perfect material to allow you to fill small to medium size holes. I simply flattened a piece of copper water pipe I picked up at Home Depot for a couple bucks and it works very well.

Once the holes were filled with weld and sanded flat, a skim coat of filler was all that was needed.

And a quick coat of etching primer finished the job.

The final task this time was to do a couple repairs on the firewall. Because I'm going to completely rewire this car I'm not going to use the "stock" connector on the firewall. This required me to patch the 2" square hole the old connector used.

On the other side of the firewall the original owner had butchered a section which required a new piece to be welded in place in order for this spot to look right. Its not exactly stock but does look 100% better than it did before.

That's it for this month. Next I'll be getting the underside ready for new undercoating and I'll be doing a some painting on the front frame sections.

Check back often for more updates...

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