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.