Sunday, February 28, 2010

Super Bowl Sunday

We had 35 friends over for Super Bowl Sunday. For the most part the women stayed in the kitchen and the men spent their time in... The MAN CAVE. Cold beer, flat screen TV, the Nomad, the Harley and...
The Corvette. It was a great party and it was a great game.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Restoring the A Pillar Fiberglass

Now that the left front A pillar is fully repaired it's time to restore the fiberglass. In 1963 Chevrolet engineers were not willing to bond the fiberglass body directly to the metal birdcage. Their solution was to rivet fiberglass bonding strips to the birdcage then bond the fiberglass body to these fiberglass bonding strips. In this picture I have riveted two original bonding strips onto the birdcage and added one home made strip, the black one, using bonding agent. These strips create a bed for the body panel. In this side view the two pieces of fiberglass you see were originally one piece. These will be repaired with fiberglass.
Bonding agent is black in color and has a toothpaste consistency. It was applied to the top of the bonding strips then the body panel was placed on top of the bonding agent, aligned, tabbed (using rivets), clamped, and allowed to cure over night.
The next day the clamps were removed and rivets were drilled out.
The side panel requires a fiberglass repair. Ideally, fiberglass repairs are performed from both sides, however, there isn't access to the back side of this repair. A backing strip will be required to hold the fiberglass in place.
Bondo was applied on the upper body panel to fill in surface irregularities and to temporarily fill the holes. Because I prefer repairing holes with fiberglass I drilled out most of the Bondo creating a pocket.
Cut up pieces of fiberglass were mixed with resin then used to fill in the holes.
Excess material was removed making a very strong fiberglass repair.
On the side panel I folded over a length of duct tape so there was no sticky side. Using needle nose pliers I pulled the duct tape behind the fiberglass creating a backing strip. The duct tape can be easily removed later because fiberglass doesn't stick to duct tape.
Multiple layers of fiberglass matt were used in this repair. If you look close you can see the duct tape on the backside.
The duct tape was removed and the fiberglass was sanded smooth. The bonding agent, Bondo and fiberglass resin received a final sanding then the area was masked off for paint.
Remember, the green primer only indicates the fiberglass work is complete. These areas will receive additional attention when it's time to color paint the vehicle.

The left front A pillar repair is now complete.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Birdcage Repairs

This picture of the inside of the drivers side A pillar was taken just after the dash was removed. As you can see the rust is not centralized to just the top of the A pillar but it also extends up the windshield post. All of this rust was removed in total. New sheet metal was cut, bent, hammered, and welded into place. We decided to replace large sections instead of numerous small repairs.
Here I am holding one of the rusted sections next to it's corresponding repaired area. After many evenings the inside of the left front pillar was complete. This is a very solid repair and will last many years.
Ty has been working on the passenger side A pillar. In this picture Ty has already removed the rusted sections and is now welding into place new sheet metal. Work on this pillar is still in process.
And finally I thought I'd include a picture of some newly acquired bling for our 63 Corvette. These Fuel Injection emblems were the only way you could tell from the outside that the car was fuel injected. Imagine how that guy felt when he pulled his hot rod alongside a Corvette only to see the Fuel Injected emblem. How sweet is that!