Sunday, November 29, 2009

More B Pillar Repairs

Lots of research this month. After I cut out the upper portion of the drivers side B pillar I realised that I didn't have any good reference pictures of the B pillar's configuration. I finally posted a question to the National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS) asking for help after which I received several very helpful pictures. This is one of the pictures. You can see the drivers side B pillar in the center left of the picture. This was my template.
If you recall the B pillar looked like this before any restoration occurred. With the upper portion of the B pillar out of the car and on the bench I started to cut, form, bend, weld and grind. When welding 20 gauge sheet metal it can only be done with a string of tack welds. Any attempt to run a bead resulted in blow through. The tack welds might not be pretty but they're strong. The welding process also turned the malleable sheet metal nice and rigid. At this stage of fabrication the piece was becoming very stout.
Another picture of the same.
Before I capped this piece I did lots of grinding using a burr grinder. You can see the shavings in this picture. I also put a thin coat of JB Weld over the tack welds to fill in any nooks and crannies that might trap moisture.
In this picture a portion of the upper pillar has been capped. Again, lots of tack welds were used then ground flush.
After a coat of primer I set the piece on top of the lower B pillar and verified proper alignment. The next step will be to attach bonding strips to the assembly then bond the assembly to the body. The assembly will have to be welded in place before the bonding agent sets.
Also during this month I sandblasted and painted the steering box, all four door hinges and the steering knuckle. I also managed to get a second coat of primer on a helmet that I am painting for a friend.
That's it for November. Thanks for watching.

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