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. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Knock on Wood

I should have knocked on wood when I said fiberglass issues are getting less significant. This is a blister we just noticed on top of the left fender.  We poked at it then wondered what might have caused this to occur in an area that was already repaired.

Having no fear we took our trusty die grinder and removed a pretty good area of dry fiberglass located just under a thin layer of regular fiberglass.  We decided this was from "the fire", one of several events in this cars colorful history.  This error occurred about 2 years ago when we tried to squeegee fresh resin into the fiberglass.  Soaking would have been a better solution.  Think about it for just a couple seconds and you'll agree.

The black spot is paint on the underside of the fender. 

Lots of fresh resin and fiberglass were applied and allowed to soak in and saturate.

The area was ground and sanded back to the general contour of the fender.

Then a thin layer of Bondo was applied.  Yes, it's super strong now.

On a different front, Ty took the initiative to start repairs on the 1963 hood we purchased last year.  It was found locally on Craig's List and it has issues.  But don't worry.  Ty's favorite saying is, "It's only fiberglass.", and he's right.  If it's fiberglass it can be fixed.

The hood was involved in a front end collision and it has several areas that need attention, some are shown here.  All of these areas have since been fully prepped and are now ready for fiberglass. 

And finally, this is a body line that had rounded, or softened, over the years.  The area was built back up...

then sanded back down.  The line is a little too sharp now but will be corrected when we guide coat.  That's a subject for a future post.  What's important to notice is how little Bondo actually remains.

Soon we will ask you to vote on one of three hood/racing stripe options being considered.  It's one of the reasons we are fixing that 1963 hood.

Thanks for watching.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Body Work Continues

Issues on the body are generally fewer and less significant now, with this one exception.  The license plate area is very non-symmetrical.  Ty rolled up his sleeves and tackled this repair.

The circled area dips down about a quarter inch and the face is not symmetrical either.   

Ty reinforced the back with fiberglass, layed out a grid to understand the errors, then he ground away the dip and sanded the face until it was restored back to normal.  This area will look great once it's painted.

Ty also worked on the passenger side body lines.

The drivers side is equally as nice.

On 63 and 64 Corvettes the doors have a raised boss for the door handles but they don't match the handles very well.  We decided to outline the door handle then grind the bosses to match.

The bosses now match the handles perfectly.

We even worked on the hood and nose.  Yes, paint will make this look good too. 

Here you go Max.  A couple pictures of the whole body.

As promised, here's a little tidbit from the shop.

When we begin painting it will be critically important to keep moisture out of the air lines.  One of the ways to do that is to cool, condense and siphon off moisture before it goes into the air tank.  In this picture the manufacture had a 12" copper line that ran directly from the compressor to the tank.  As you can see we modified it.

This is the back side.  Using a design found on the internet, we made a radiator/condenser and it works great.  It even has an automatic valve at the bottom that purges moisture every time the compressor starts up.  Not only is the air drier but the unit runs quieter too.

We will switch to the shorter body dolly soon.  Keep watching!