1957 Chevy Restoration "The Godfather" Part 18 Preppin Body for paint

1957 Chevy Restoration "The Godfather" Part 18 Preppin Body for paint

Preppin’ for Paint When I started to restore the `57 I remember Tom Donahue saying “Remember back then we didn’t fix them like we do now”. Tom worked for Frank Andrews Paint and Body and he did the body work and paint on the car when I first built it in 1968. I’m starting to prep the body for paint and wanted to take it down bare metal – Pic 1. I first used a paint stripper – the strongest I could find at Home depot. It did wrinkle the blue paint. It had NO effect on the original silver paint and definitely NONE on the red primer. I think I’ll see what a professional Paint supplier has available. Not wanting to give up I turned to a DA using 80 Grit discs – lots of them. There has to be a better way. The car is too far along for dipping or even Dustless Blasting. The paint stripper was good for softening the body filler. I looked up some alternatives and found an Eastwood Contour SCT® - Surface Conditioning Tool Item #21145 that looks like it may do the trick. I ordered one and it should be here in a few days. I came across this patchwork. I guess I found out what Tom was talking about, LOL. I barely remember the dent gash on the passenger door and front of rear quarter but don’t remember any rusted out areas at all – Pic 2. Finally got all the Bondo, screen mesh and fiber cut out – Pic 3. I can’t believe this rust area never bubbled thru the paint after 49 years. I guess being in the barn all those years helped. That and Tom was good - even back then. I cut out the rusted section with a thin cutoff wheel in my air die grinder – Pic 4. Cutting and fitting replacement steel patch panel – Pic 5. Here’s a good use for Eastwood Intergrip Panel Clamps part #19016. With these you can Easily align and grip panels for precise butt welds. OK, I have it fitted and now placing tack welds all around the patch to control heat warping – Pic 6. Here is the finished panel - or so I thought– Pic 7. Stepping back and checking my work I discovered that the patch panel had indeed warped. I don’t know when it started to go south but now I may need to replace the whole quarter panel lower front section. A quarter inch of Bondo to fill in the dip is not going to cut it for me. I also don’t want the body shop to see this mess - it’s embarrassing... – Pic 8. I may try and use a hammer and dolly to bring out the panel to where it needs to be but I’ll need a helper because my arms aren’t long enough to reach around. Note: As you see I’ve been working on “The Godfather”, cutting out rust and roughing in metal work. Well that’s what I called it years ago. One problem, now that I’m getting back into it, my welding skills have gone to crap and “Roughing in” has taken on a whole new meaning. In this article I attempted to patch a 2” x 9” section on the front lower quarter panel and warped the hell out of the top of it. I decided to watch ALL the YouTube videos on patch panel repairs and Mig welding. I Practiced welding on strips of sheet metal experimented with heat settings and wire speed and finally started to get the results needed for a professional repair. I started by repairing one of the lower fender rust areas. I figured it was a small area and if I took it slow I could get back into the swing of things. I’ll show you my progress in the next issue...

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Ellenton, United States
06/28/2018 (06/28/2018)
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Florida, United States
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