Bodywork Observations from the last week

Discussion in 'Body Restoration' started by earlysecond, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. earlysecond

    earlysecond Veteran Member

    5,620
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    Aug 9, 2002
    Altoona, PA
    I spent a LOT of time in the garage this week. I had only the roof and driver's door to make perfect until I am done with the shell of my car.

    1. If your car has been hit, it can be worse than being rusted. If it is rusted, you can cut and patch, if it is wrecked all bets are off as to why anything is the way that it is. Eventually, with time and patience, you can sort it all out and make it new again. Be prepared, to spend some time. I can patch paste and fab much faster than pull and get dimensionally correct!

    2. If the door does not fit the opening, make it fit. Hanging and adjusting doors is a pain. On the first try at my car( I restored this same car before), the driver's door was the WORST fitting thing ever. In fact, the day I pulled it out of the paint booth and shut the door, I took fresh paint off of the edges. It now sits properly, does not sag and shuts rather nicely. . .a long time coming to be sure. I had to elongate the holes in the hinges to make the door align. If you MUST do this then weld up the excess space or the doors will NEVER stay were you put them. I learned this through trial and error.

    3. The crappy stampings they have the nerve to call quarter panel patches are far from sharp. I ended up spending a day MAKING them sharp on the corners in the door gap with a mig welder. A pain staking process but they are, now, much more similar to the original factory edge which is on the passenger side of my car.

    4. If you want your door gaps perfect (mine now have no more than +/- 2.5or 3 thousandths of an inch variance anywhere in the gap) be prepared to employ some old school bodyman tricks. I must admit, that while it does look over-restored now, I am pretty happy with how it came out. I hope that the door never moves!!!!

    5. Do not put laquer primer on anything, anytime for any reason. If you ever had to sand it off a roof, you would know why. It is still not as bad as removing factory magic lacquer single stage top coat but it is terrible. 2 nice, wet coats of SPI epoxy over freshly exposed metal. . .MUCH better

    6. This one is nothing new if you are anything like me. I thought to myself, "it will take a couple of hours to tidy up these door gaps with some old tricks". . . .9 hours later when I was putting away the tools I thought, "I am a very poor estimator!"

    I have stopped posting pictures. Mostly because, in the absence of direct uploaded images, it is a pain (I understand the limitations and am not really complaining). The next pictures I post will likely be when the car is painted and re-assembled. Perhaps at that point it may be on its way to a new owner, just not sure how life turns out at this point.

    Thanks for reading my fairly random thoughts,
    Brent
     
  2. buckeye79

    buckeye79 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Dec 16, 2007
    Crestline, Ohio
    What exactly are the old school bodyman tricks? I would love to know. I spent many hours fighting with mine before I painted the car, I think they look really good but by by no means would I call them perfect. I am happy with them though, they look closer than the gaps that are on a friend of mines factory original Camaro.
     
  3. earlysecond

    earlysecond Veteran Member

    5,620
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    Aug 9, 2002
    Altoona, PA
    buckeye,

    Mostly just adding or subtracting metal. Some will weld thin, mild steel or welding rods to add fill. To take away grind what you need to then reform it with a welder and finsih. It takes a LONG time.

    If you are happy with your gaps that is the only thing that matters!

    I did not have to mess with the passenger side. Quarter untouched, door original and not wrecked. The drivers side has a new, aftermarket quarter and the door was far from perfect.

    There are other tricks that I was never taught, I am sure.

    Brent
     
  4. spicewood1

    spicewood1 BANNED

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    Jul 16, 2001
    NC
    I had to do the same door trick on my pass side that had been hit. There was not enough adjustment forward to get the door off the quarter. But I don't understand why you advise to weld up the elongated hole. Why would the door adjustment be any more inclined to move now than in any other case? In my experience with good hinges, the six bolts hold adjustment perfectly.
     
  5. andy736

    andy736 Veteran Member

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    Sep 14, 2008
    s wisconsin
    Oh yeah I hear ya...my doors fit like crap on the quarters...I have a lot of work ahead ....boooo!
     
  6. zachs74Z

    zachs74Z New Member

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    Nov 1, 2011
    Prince George, Va.
    Brent, I'm glad to see you're working on that thing again: )
    When I first joined the site a few months ago, I found your thread and read it through. Great job you're doing there and very helpful stuff for people like myself. It seemed like you had gotten a little discouraged and kinda given up on it there for awhile so its good to hear your in the garage. Thanks for sharing and don't you dare sell that thing!
     
  7. earlysecond

    earlysecond Veteran Member

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    Aug 9, 2002
    Altoona, PA
    Thanks Zach

    The temperature in the garage was the main thing that halted progress. Although we had a really mild winter, I did not get out there much.

    Progress continues.

    The only reason that I would sell it is if it becomes an issue in a divorce settlement. That is a distinct possibility and at the end of the day. . .it is only a car!

    We'll see how it all turns out. I do body and paint work for others so I am treating this like it is somebody else's which means very little in my approach or my desire for perfection!

    Thanks
    Brent
     
  8. earlysecond

    earlysecond Veteran Member

    5,620
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    Aug 9, 2002
    Altoona, PA
    Spicewood,

    I missed your question about welding up elongated holes in hinges. I learned this the hard way. The original holes are round, small and designed to clear the threads on the body bolt. If you go hogging them out everything is fine until you open the door and everything shifts or sags. With the holes hogged out I had the door on 4 separate times and had it good until it decided to move. I welded up the holes closer to factory spec and mounted it and BINGO . . .all was well. This is the reason that I advocate welding the holes back up.
     
  9. spicewood1

    spicewood1 BANNED

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    Jul 16, 2001
    NC
    Maybe I did it differently then. I opened up the square holes at the jamb an eighth instead of enlarging the holes on the hinge.
     
  10. CDesperado

    CDesperado Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    3,290
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    Oct 1, 2004
    Dallas Texas
    EarlySecond... if you might lose the car in the divorce... sell it to a friend for $1. Someone else on here did that. Im guessing he bought it back after or they never transferred the title.
     

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