Tuesday, March 30, 2010

C2 Drip Rail Fabrication

Drip rails are located on the car body inside each door opening. They run from the A pillar up along the side of the windshield, along the side of the roof top then down to the top of the B pillar. These are very delicate pieces, susceptible to rust and they are one of the few items that are not mass produced. If you can find a set they will set you back about $600 for a pair. They are only available hand made. This is a picture of our driver side drip rail. It is WAY beyond repair. The passenger side is almost as bad. Both were removed from the car by drilling out the spot welds. Instead of buying new drip rails I decided to fabricate a set instead. From left to right, I had my local HVAC dealer bend up 3 sections of 18 gauge sheet metal 5 feet long. The one you see is a spare. Using the pneumatic shear I trimmed the length of both sides of the sheet metal to match the original. Using a sheet metal shrinker and stretcher I was able to match the contour of the door opening. The curvy length of angle is a test piece I used to understand the capabilities of the shrinker/stretcher tools. Next I used a Pexto bead roller to roll a bead along the full length of the outside of the drip rail. A scrap piece of sheet metal is shown below the Pexto to show a test bead. A pneumatic hole puncher was used to punch holes where we will plug weld the drip rail back onto the car. A completed drip rail is on the far right of the picture.
This is the underside of the newly fabricated drivers side drip rail sitting along side the original drip rail. The new rail has already been test fit on the car and it fits perfectly. The passenger side drip rail is also fabricated and has been test fit as well. The ends will be trimmed once installed.
This is the front side of the same pair of rails. This side has the rolled bead.
This corner was the most complex of all the fabrication. The notches you see on the back side and the relief on the rolled bead at the corner is consistent with the original design. Both of these techniques were done to accommodate the extremely tight turn.
The Pexto was purchased on EBay for $35. It's nearly a century old and worked perfectly. Without this tool the bead would have required a steady hand, a delicate hammer, and a bunch of hours of tap, tap, tap. I am really glad I was able to purchase this tool.
The newly fabricated drip rails will be installed on the car when we get tired of working on the frame. I suspect that will be in a couple months. Thanks for watching.
(Wilson, what do you think?)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

C2 Frame Repairs

This is a video. Be sure to push the triangle to play.

They say a quality restoration uses a rotisserie. I think this meets the intent.

 The frame is surprisingly light. Double click the picture to see a close-up of the underside hole. Between this hole and the two corresponding holes that Ty fixed yesterday I am beginning to wonder if someone didn't secure a previous transmission with a U-bolt. That would be pretty bizarre if they did.
Ty cut, beveled, welded and ground this piece until it was perfect... ..
... then he ground it some more.
It looks great! Well done Ty. Thanks.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cross Brace Repair

A little barnyard engineering from a previous owner in need of repair. Preparing the frame for welding.The hole was beveled to allow full penetration of the weld. We used a magnet to position the patch.
One pass with .024 mig does the trick.
A little (ok, a lotta) grinding and.....
Better than new! Ty sure missed his calling.
Another misguided modification by a previous owner.
I think Ty is starting to like grinding....
and grinding...
But the results are worth the effort!
Ty's granddaughter Myka stops by to lend a hand. Nice welding hat! Matches the new convict pajamas.
Myka asking grandpa Ty if he would teach her to grind. Maybe we will see Myka grinding in future blogs.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sandblasting Day 3

I love sandblasting! It's fun, peaceful, phones don't ring and it allows one to meditate and have a zen experience. I LIVE for sandblasting! Ty, if you don't hurry up and get over here there won't be much sandblasting left for you to do. I'll try to save you some but you better hurry. It rained off and on the third day of sandblasting. I estimate the frame is about 80% complete. The underside is not done and I hope to save that for Ty.
The spot with the red primer was applied to help read the frame identification number. Although some of the numbers are not legible we are confident the frame number matches the vehicle identification number. This is the original frame to the car and it's in very nice shape.
So far there has been about 11 hours of sandblasting and I've used 900 pounds of sand. Weld repairs begin Saturday and will fix the "smiley" hole in the front cross member and the two holes in the transmission cross member.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sandblasting, Day 2

Another 300 pounds of sand and 4 hours later we are 2/3 done. Rain is expected tomorrow so I brought the frame inside. It's a messy job but somebody has to do it. Anybody know where Ty is?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sandblasting the Frame - Day One

This post includes a video. Be sure to push the play button. 

 4 hours and 300 pounds of sand completed 1/3 of the frame. A good 30 minutes and 50 lbs. of sand was used trying to find the proper air volume and sand flow.

The base metal and welds look real good. These 2 holes will be repaired soon.

This A frame cleaned up nicely. All suspension components will be removed then detailed inside the sandblasting box.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rolling Chassis Restoration

This is a video, be sure to push the triangle to play.

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Pillar Repair - Passenger Side

This corner of the windshield is the passenger (right side) A pillar, better known as Ty's Corner. Access to this pillar could only be made by cutting a panel out of the right front fender as shown. The windshield support structure was gone.
You could literally put your fist in the area where the structure should have been.
Ty cut out all the rusted areas and started welding in new steel.
The flat base plate shown is 16 gauge steel. All welds were ground smooth.
The back side of the A pillar was as bad as the front. Ty removed all the rusted areas then welded in 18 gauge sheet metal.
After all the welding was complete Ty applied generous amounts of JB Weld to fill in the nooks and crannies. This is done to prevent accumulation of moisture.
The JB Weld was sanded smooth and all areas were cleaned in preparation for primer.
A premium grade House of Kolor 2 part epoxy was applied.
Bonding strips were installed...
then the fender panel was clamped into place.
Ty's Corner only needs a little paint then we can consider this pillar done.