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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I bought this car in Sacramento in 2007 and have slowly been making progress on it. I bought it because it came with a complete convertible worth of parts with it and I needed many of the parts for one of my projects.

The car was being built as a race car and completely stripped before the previous owner abandoned the project. The trim holes and gas filler area were all welded shut and the firewall had been cut out for engine setback. The car had been media blasted and epoxy primered so it had held up pretty well. The car was super solid, and had a great set of subframe connectors installed, so I didn't want to just get rid of it.

I had it painted awhile back, but broke my leg last summer and progress stopped for awhile. This weekend I finally got an engine installed in the car so I thought I'd start from 07 and show the steps it took to get this far. Hopefully, it'll be running in the Spring.

March 2007, in the back yard after towing it home.




A little drafty, early AC perhaps?





The radio opening has been hacked, so that'll need to be fixed too.


Solid floors.


Solid trunk.

 

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SO HOW FAR YA ALONG NOW DAVE? :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I just dropped the engine and trans in the car last weekend and should get the front suspension installed on Friday. My progress has been sporadic during the last couple of years. I wanted to wait until I had enough progress so I could share pics without having an inactive thread for several months.

I'll try and update the thread weekly and hopefully have enough progress I can keep it up through the Spring.

So far I'm very pleased with the progress and it's so nice to build a car with all clean/new parts and 99% new fasteners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Got the car cleaned up and most of the body panels installed. All trim holes had been filled so I drilled them out so I can install all the stock side trim.




Pretty!



Overall, a very solid car.



And the underside has already been Por-15'd after media blasting.



Here's the filled in filler neck area, I'll replace that next post.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Time to replace the gas filler area. The car was going to be a race car, so the fuel filler area had been hammered down and welded shut. Since I'm putting the car back on the street, the filler area had to be replaced back to stock.



I cut out the old filler area and drilled spot welds after measuring the area to cut. I used the trim holes as my reference points.




Then test fit the replacement panel.



After trimming to fit, my brother (the better welder) starting tacking it in. We used sheet metal screws to attach it to the inner fender gas filler flange and keep it in place.

After going round and round the patch to minimize warpage, we had it all welded in. Then I used a big flat file to knock down the high spots. I knocked down the spot welds with a grinder where it attaches to the inner wheel well.





All done and ready for body work.

Next is the firewall.
 

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Looking good but I do have one question...

It looks like you lap welded the filler door patch. Aren't you going to have issues keeping it flat to the rest of the quarter? I'm sure you can contour the high spot down to the low spot with some filler but wouldn't have it been easier and less bodywork to butt weld the panel?

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Spencer:

No real skills, anyone can do most of the work. Nice thing about cars that are spot welded together is that they fit pretty close when you cut them from one car to install in another. Fitting is just time consuming, but not hard. The real skills are the fabrication or bodywork guys.

John:

The patch is butt welded all the way around, pics must be deceiving. The original patch was just laid over the hole so you could see what I started with. I trimmed it to fit in the hole and used magnets to keep the panels aligned. I used the hand files to knock down the welds to the same level as the existing quarter without having to worry about excessive heat on the thin sheet metal or creating low spots on the existing quarters.
 

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John:

The patch is butt welded all the way around, pics mus be deceiving. The original patch was just laid over the hole so you could see what I started with. I trimmed it to fit in the hole and used magnets to keep the panels aligned. I used the hand files to knock down the welds to the same level as the existing quarter without having to worry about excessive heat on the thin sheet metal or creating low spots on the existing quarters.
AHA! That's the part I missed! When I saw the original size of the hole and then the patch you laid over it the patch looked much larger than the hole you had cut out so it looked like you had just laid it over and lap welded it! Looking Good Brother!!! :thumbsup:

John
 

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COMING ALONG GREAT DAVE :yes:
:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
The firewall had been cut out for engine setback and needs to be replaced so I can return the car to stock. Luckily, I was able to get a complete firewall off a 62 4 dr. I drilled out all the spot welds and cut it large along the bottom so I had plenty of room to trim.

Here's the hole in the firewall. The previous owner had cut out quite a bit of metal, but left a ring of metal along the top of the cowl and along both sides.



Here's the car after I drilled out all the spot welds along the top of the cowl and along the sides to get rid of the remaining sheet metal from the old firewall. Then started cleaning up the sheet metal to weld to.




Cleaning up the new firewall. Brother's helping again, woohooo.




We aligned the new firewall by putting bolts in the upper subframe bolt holes and using sheetmetal screws to get a tighter fit along the top of the cowl. We used big magnets for a close fit while butt welding and I worked aligning the pieces from the inside of the car while he welded on the outside. Two people make it a pretty quick and easy job.



Then welded all the spotweld holes and started welding along the edges and bottom after trimming to fit. By using the spotweld holes and flanges on the sides, the only fitting we had to really deal with was along the bottom edge. I used a couple of the holes where the firewall pad plastic clips push through as my guide. By cutting along the middle of the holes, I knew it was aligned right when the upper hole-half in the patch and the lower hole-half on the car made a round circle. If the hole was oblong, or out of round, we knew we had more fitting to do.






Since the car already has nice subframe connectors, we added more welds where the firewall meets the subframe mounts and along the edges where the factory only uses a few spotwelds. It should make for a much more solid car.








A little more cleanup and it'll be ready for bodywork.

Next week, OFF TO THE PAINTERS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Back together, mostly, and heading off to the painters. I was able to dig up a nicer trunk lid, great pair of fenders and nice hood to replace some of the questionable sheet metal I had on it before.

I'm pretty excited, it's been YEARS since I had a car painted.




 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
At the bodyshop. Got the radio opening and dash cleaned up.



Primer and sand, primer and sand, primer and sand. This is why I've never been good at bodywork. Don't have the patience.





 

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Need any more of those Keystone vortex lite wheels? I got a couple 14 X 7's in my garage with ancient rubber but still good. They're just taking up space.
 
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