Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sanding Sanding Sanding

OK.  Here's the deal.  Finishing work is boring and there is little to photograph as far as progress goes.  So in order to satisfy those of you that demand periodic, meaningful updates, I will post progress photos and throw in some kind of tidbit information to keep your interest.  Lets give it a try.
Click on this photo and you will see a bump in the body line.  This was no doubt caused by all the fitting and sanding that was done when we restored the wheel wells.

Here is a little better look at it.  The bump is the original body line.  The area on both sides of the bump need to be built up.

After adding fiberglass followed by a little Bondo, the body line is looking much better.  Another couple hours were spent on this area after this picture was taken and the results are more than acceptable.

The same issue is on the passenger side but not quite so bad.

We are sanding the primer and the fiberglass until the surface is ready for the next coat of primer.  Since we are block sanding, the primer left on the fender is actually filling low spots.

The top of the right front fender is ready for primer.  It required very little sanding.

The right rear however required lots of sanding.  Yep, the same goes here.  The green that's left behind is filling low spots.  These low spots are only a few thousandths thick so it's not a big deal.

We keep finding that occasional area that needs to be repaired with fiberglass.  This one has since been dressed up and is ready for primer.

Corvettes are notorious for developing stress cracks.  The door handle area is especially prone because the handles are bolted down tight from the back side.  To help prevent new stress cracks we decided to actually mold the handles to the door panels.  The handles were wrapped in cellophane then held against the body with a wet layer of fiberglass sandwiched in between.  It worked great.

OK.  Here's that tidbit of information I talked about.  My brother Jim is moving to China and he didn't want to leave his Nomad in storage for several years.  He asked if I'd be interested and my wife told me I would.  I owned this car many years ago so it comes with a ton of sentimental value.  So we now have two Nomads and the garage is stuffed.  That's a good problem though.

Here's a picture of Gerri and I taken next to the Nomad about 25 years ago.  When the Corvette is finished this will be our next project.  Should be lots of fun.

As always, thanks for watching.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Body Removal - Round Two

Why was the body installed if we knew it had to be removed at a later date?

Good question.  If you'll remember, the car was purchased disassembled.  We didn't know how the body was shimmed, how the doors fit, what modifications were done over the last 48 years, and we didn't know how all the repairs we have made might affect the fit of other adjoining pieces.  So, instead of painting the body and finding out later there were issues, we decided to verify fit first.  We installed the body, fit the doors, headlights, hood, radiator support, bumpers, and the gas tank to mention a few.  We fixed body lines, filled extra screw holes and repaired our repairs (like the passenger A pillar to door interference). We got to drive the car and we made a list of things that need to be fixed or replaced on the rolling chassis (remember the white board?).  Installing the body and assembling the major components was a good idea but now it's time to dis-assemble and remove the body.  Lets get started.

These items weren't thrown on the table.  I set them there nicely and I intend to store them properly.

All the body bolts were removed and the body straps were hooked up.

That little $65 12 volt Harbor Freight winch worked just fine.

Radiator hoses, master brake cylinder, clutch rods and throttle lines had to be removed from under the hood.

The chassis was rolled out from under the body then the tall body dolly was put in its place.

The rolling chassis was put on the trailer then it was off to the car wash for a well needed cleaning.

We might not work on the chassis for a few weeks so it was covered up to protect it from the elements.

Now it's time to prepare the body for paint.  This will require making all the final fiberglass repairs, removing most of the existing primer, adding Bondo where needed, applying fresh primer, applying glazing compound, then guide coating and block sanding.  This will be long tedious work so be patient.

Expect the body to become less attractive over the next few weeks as we sand through the primer.  Don't worry though.  The *Ugly Duckling Project transformation should be soon.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Doors - 1963

In early 1963 Chevrolet discovered that the roof panel was not being produced to specification.  It was too small.  The die was about .10" too small which made for a poor fit at the upper door to roof panel.  Later in 63 the die was chrome plated which helped but never fully corrected the problem.  This error occurred on all coupes from 1963 to 1967.   So the question is, do we want our coupe to be as it was when it came off the production line or do we want it as the designers intended.  We opted for the latter.

Tape was used on the upper door so that the Bondo could be easily removed from this area. We don't want the door any taller than it already is.

After hours of sanding we ended up with very nice results.

Both doors received the same treatment and both turned out equally well.

The door to body gap was worked until uniform.

This should look really nice once painted.

Click on this photo and check it out.  After a little more primer and a little more sanding the doors should look like they were cut from the body, just like the designer intended back in 1963.

The body will be removed next.  Guaranteed.  Thanks for watching.