Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Birdcage - Final Repairs and Internal Paint

We took another hard look at the birdcage and we found one additional area that needs attention.  It's the portion of the birdcage that runs along the top of the windshield.  There were factory holes here but they looked... irregular.  I stuck a burr grinder in each hole then gently pushed it in all directions looking for thinning sheet metal.  The burr grinder followed the thinning metal and left behind these tracks.  These areas need repair.

I squared up all the areas to simplify making the repair pieces. 

16 gauge metal was bent to match the general profile of the birdcage.

This will be cut as needed to fit each repair area.

The pieces were welded in, new holes were drilled, then JB Weld was used to fill the irregularities.

While the JB Weld was hardening I cleaned all the internal surfaces in preparation for paint.  I used a length of plastic tubing on the end of the air hose to get deep inside and used the shop vac to catch the debris.  There was a bunch of it, mostly sand from the sand blaster. 

An hour later the internal surfaces were clean.

This is a product from Eastwood.  It's a paint that has a phenolic resin that penetrates, converts and encapsulates any rust on internal surfaces.  It also has zinc phosphate that seals internal surfaces to prevent future corrosion.  I figured it would work nicely on the birdcage.

It worked great.  The nozzle on the end of the hose sprayed the paint very nice.

Be forewarned though.  This stuff goes everywhere.  It finds all the nooks and crannies and little screw holes too.  I like it a lot but be sure to wear full eye protection and old clothes.  It's messy!  The over spray, runs, and drips you see in this picture were cleaned up afterward.

What about that birdcage repairs from earlier?  The JB Weld was ground smooth, the internal surfaces were painted, then a little primer was sprayed on the outside.  It's nice and it will last a long, long time.

The body is basically ready for primer now.  While we wait for warmer weather we will continue to do odds and ends.  The interior floor still needs cleaning.  Maybe we will tackle that next.  But the next big thing is primer!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lower A Pillar Repair - Drivers Side

Ty and I were giving the Corvette another once over looking for things that need to be fixed before we shoot the next coat of primer.  If you click on the picture and look inside the magenta circle you should see nothing abnormal.

Ty, however, spotted something suspicious.  With a pick he started poking behind the fiberglass.

Sure enough, he found a rusted area on the lower drivers side A pillar.  Ty had to remove a section of the floorboard to expose the area.

All the rust was removed including more of the floorboard.  This hole goes through the body.  The only reason you can't see the garage floor is because the body dolly is in the way.

Ty cut, ground and welded for a couple hours in this awkward position.

All of the joints were butt welded.  No lap joints here.

The frame repair turned out beautiful... 

... and the underside is just as nice.

Butt welds were used on the vertical section as well.

Then everything was ground flush.  We left a good size drain hole in the center so this doesn't happen again.

JB Weld was used to fill in the nooks and crannies. This area will be painted before the floor repairs are made.  We checked the passenger side to see if we have the same issue over there.  It looks fine.

Next up is a little more welding then we paint the inside of the birdcage.  Yep, the inside.
Thanks for watching.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Hood, Drip Rails, Door Jambs and Stuff

The results are in!  We will install the 1963 hood with the classic racing strip.  We might even paint the 67 hood with the 63 racing strip then hang it in the garage somewhere.  That would be cool.

We continue to find odds and ends of things that need to be finished before we shoot the next coat of primer.  In this picture I am getting ready to spot weld clips onto the drip rail.  These clips will hold the interior door molding.

The same drip rail had to have a tab welded onto the front.  This tab fits into a rubber molding.

3M Ultrapro Sealant was used on both drip rails.  It's a flexible sealant that can be sanded and painted.

The inside of the door jambs on the car body have been dressed up and prepared for primer. 

Tabs of all sorts continue to be a nuisance.  The front clip is full of them.

This is a fiberglass clip that was broken and recently repaired.  Right below it is a rusted metal clip.  This clip and others have been removed and will be replaced after the body is painted.

The lower part of the front end had a couple good size cracks in the fiberglass.  These were probably caused by large speed bumps or concrete bumpers.  Both have been repaired and are ready for primer.

I found a small super thin area of fiberglass on the left front fender.  Turns out there was an air bubble caught in a rivet hold from a couple years ago.  The hole was ground out then fiberglassed as shown.

With a flashlight on the backside you can see where the rivet hole was.  Because we use clear fiberglass this repair looks unfinished but it's actually a full thickness repair ready for primer.  All of the wheel wells were examined to make sure we didn't have similar issues.  None were found.

Ty continues to work on the 63 hood.  Now that we know this hood is going to be used it will become a priority item to finish.

The hood has lots of issues but all are easily fixed.

And in closing, Ty and I both fit in the Corvette but it's a snug fit.  There are several options found on the Internet, one of which is to swap out the 1963 steering wheel (left) for a 1972.  The diameter is smaller and it's not as deep.  Another option is to install a tilt wheel made by Flaming River.  We could just loose a little weight but we prefer to keep out options open.  More on this in a later issue.

As always, thanks for watching.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hood Repairs

Only a few days left to vote on the hood and racing stripe.  Vote in the upper right corner.

While replacing the fresh air cowling I spotted a questionable section of fiberglass on the passenger side front fender hood lip.  I ground out the area until it was paper thin.

Fresh fiberglass and resin were laid in and allowed to cure.

A little feathering brought it back to new.

The area is super strong and I am glad I repaired it.  Better safe than sorry.

Our 1963 hood was purchased last year locally and it had been involved in a head on collision.  When that happens to a C2 Corvette the front end of the car usually jambs the hood to the point that it can not be opened.  Common practice is to use a reciprocating saw to remove the front end.  Unfortunately, the hood often gets cut in the process and that's what happened to this hood.  The hood has two cuts and this delamination.

The delamination was dressed up then bonding agent was applied.

While the clamps held the delamination the cut was feathered back then fiberglassed.

Both of the cuts to the hood were repaired.

Although the car is looking uglier by the day, it's getting better by the day.  After we remove the old paint from the hood we will shoot everything with fresh primer.

Before long we will start installing Dynamat on the interior.  This insulating and heat barrier needs a clean surface to adhere properly so I got out the Dewalt side grinder and a big wire brush. 

The results are pretty impressive.  This will take some time but I got a good start on it today.

Expect more on the hood, door jambs and drip rails.  After that... Fresh Primer!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fresh Air Cowling

I just noticed we have had 40,000 views on this blog.  Excellent.

We recently test fit the 1963 hood and noticed that the body lines on the fresh air cowling were not crisp and didn't match the hood very well.  If you've been following this blog you'll recall that this cowl received extensive repairs a couple years ago. Check out that repair here: 
We decided to replace the existing (green) cowling with an original undamaged cowling (the red one).

Using our Fien vibrating tool and a chisel we were able to remove the old cowling with little difficulty.

The bonding strips were cleaned and fiberglass repairs were made where needed.  The brown paper was used to keep resin off of the fire wall.

After the fiberglass set it was ground and feathered until the original contour was restored.

The new cowling was clamped into position then bonding agent was applied and allowed to set.

Check it out.  Nice sharp body lines and we got rid of the excessively repaired cowling.

Very little Bondo will be required at the joints.

Ty has been doing a lot of work on the 1963 hood.  Those pictures will be posted soon so keep watching.

Shop Talk Tidbit

OK, here's the deal.  We know we want a racing stripe but the style may have to be dictated by the year of the hood that we use (see photo's below).  We have both hoods.  The thought had been to use a stripe that would accommodate both hoods, however, a long time follower of this blog, Jim Q., thought that using a hybrid stripe that accommodates both hoods might look peculiar.  He may be right.

So the question is, do we want the 63 hood and stripe, the 67 hood and stripe or a hybrid stripe that will allow both hoods to be interchanged?  Tell us what you think.  Vote in the poll located in the upper right corner of this post!

In this picture the hood and stripe are classic 1963.

In this picture the hood and stripe are classic 1967 big block.