Wednesday, January 13, 2010

C2 Corvette Left A Pillar Repair

Just below this circled area is the Left A Pillar. Once the dash was removed we knew this area would require attention. We just didn't know how much. In order to gain access we removed a section of the fiberglass. Initial assessment was that the area wasn't too bad but it was obvious that the windshield support had deteriorated and would require repair.
A burr grinder was used on all areas that had rusted through. Once the burr grinder is inserted into the rusted area it is gently pushed in all directions to expose thinning sheet metal. As you can see the damage to the windshield support was substantially worse than originally thought.
I decided to remove the entire support. Once that was done I found the top of the A pillar had also rusted.
All rusted areas were removed then I prepared the A pillar for a new cap.
16 gauge sheet metal was cut to match the good metal on top of the A pillar. Holes were drilled for plug welds.
All the holes were plug welded and all the joints were butt welded. The top of the A pillar was then ground flush.
Photo paper was used to make a template of the windshield support.
The template was then transferred to sheet metal.
Rough forming was then performed. This is also 16 gauge steel.
Here is the old support, the paper template and the new support.

Butt welds were used where I fastened to the windshield frame. Plug welds and fillet welds were used where I welded to the top of the A pillar.
JB Weld was then applied to fill in the irregularities which eliminates any areas that could collect moisture. All this repair needs now is a little paint and then I'll be able to repair the fiberglass. That will happen once the weather warms up a little.
One more pillar to go then the birdcage will be fully repaired. Thanks for watching.


  1. Holy macaroni ! Do you think the 15 years in the hawaii salt air created such damage, or that it simply is a bad spot that collects water ? very nice job. Really fun to see these things happen from start to finsh in one blog. James and his buds will love to see this. Jim

  2. Thanks Jim. I don't know if it was the salt air of Hawaii or just that the car saw moisture. I have read several reports that "chevy couldn't have designed a better moisture trap". It's bullet proof now though. Tell James and his buddies to chime in anytime with recommendations. I'd like to hear from them.

  3. Hey Uncle John, how ya doin? The car is looking pretty awesome. That repair job you did turned out great in my eyes, I don't think much else can be done there to combat moisture from accumulating in that area. Looks nice and beefy, and looks very similar to the original piece. Dad showed me this blog when I was home over Christmas break, I'm liking it a lot so far. Keep up the good work, I'll be watching it in the future for sure. I can't believe they've only made ~120 of these cars in this year, that is unbelievably rare. My buddy Paul said that it should have come with a 396, what is that accurate? I can't wait to see you get into the powertrain portion of the you probably know, that is what interests me the most. I'll be watching it in the future as I said...good luck with the car and keep up the good work.

  4. I just read backwards to see the engine! I can't believe what I am seeing...I never thought I would be able to see an old fuel injected Vette...I can not wait to see this car in person some day! You've got to get dad to get his butt in motion on working with the Nomad...Its the perfect project for him.

  5. James! Great to hear from you! Yes, this car will sport a 327, 360 hp, mechanical fuel injected motor. It pleases me so much every time I say that. Would love to have you and your dad come here when we crank it up for the first time. I am rotating the motor about 120 degrees every month or so to keep it limber. Is there anything else I should be doing? Should I pull the plugs and squirt in some oil? It will be 6 months or so before we can light it up. Glad your watching. And again, it's great to hear from you.

  6. I wouldn't say that it is necessary to squirt oil down the cylinders. A good thing to do if you are concerned with lubrication is to drive the oil pump with a pneumatic or electric drill to pump oil throughout the engine while you crank the engine over by hand. It doesn't take much, maybe a few revolutions of the crank, and an engine should hold its prime for awhile. If its kept in a dry place (I am assuming it is due to the fact that it is almost artwork), you should be fine doing what I described above. You can also plug off the intake and exhaust and wrap the engine with a garbage bag to keep any moisture or debris out of the engine while it sits. As long as you prime the engine well before you light it off, you shouldn't have any problems.

  7. Oh my. Some engine talking here. Are you going to try this John (price) ?n Jim

  8. Absolutely! We will pull the distributor and spin the oil pump just prior to firing it up. Costs nothing but time. You and James need to be here just to make sure all goes well. Sometime later this year I think.