Jamieg285's '79 in the UK

Discussion in 'Project Progress' started by jamieg285, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. Da-bigguy

    Da-bigguy Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    3,054
    22
    Jan 19, 2010
    Cypress, TX
    Looking good! I'm thinking by the time you finish working on your car, you will be able to build a new Camaro from the ground up next time!
     
  2. jamieg285

    jamieg285 Veteran Member

    1,227
    3
    Jul 15, 2004
    Luton, England
    Work in 2017 is struggling to get started properly. It's taken a while for the weather to come good, then when it has I've not had the time available. I have however managed short session where I've been able to make a start on the trunk floor.

    As previously described, I removed a chunk of the floor directy above the drivers frame rail, and cut/pulled back the section next to it to give me room to do the frame rail repair. Therefore, my first steps are to put that back as it was.

    First job was to clear some of the junk and dirt from the area, and then clean up the edges ready for welding.
    [​IMG]

    It's then carefully bent back down and clamped in place.
    [​IMG]

    Then welded up.
    [​IMG]


    Sadly the session was too short to go any further. I'll probably leave the welding clean up until after I've welded in the next section - whenever that happens to be...
     
  3. Da-bigguy

    Da-bigguy Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    3,054
    22
    Jan 19, 2010
    Cypress, TX
    Looking good!! I like those clamps, I'm going to have to look for some of those over here.
     
  4. jamieg285

    jamieg285 Veteran Member

    1,227
    3
    Jul 15, 2004
    Luton, England
    Fun, fun, fun. Or not as the case may be.

    I've started trying to line up the driver's trunk drop off, and it's proving to be harder than I had imagined. I thought it would be a simple case of get the outer wheelhouse lined up where it needed to be, then fit the trunk drop off between it and the trunk edge. However in practice I'm not so sure. I lined up the outer wheel house so there was a nice join around the full arc where it meets the inner panel, and fixed it in place with a couple of screws.
    [​IMG]

    Then things start getting tricky. The mating surfaces between the outer arch and the front of the drop off panel aren't even close. The angles are way off, so I started massaging things a bit to get them somewhere near acceptable. I can get the outer edge to line up nicely, so the arc for the quarter panel looks right, but it didn't appear far enough foward at the back edge, as it stuck out more than the end of the frame rail.
    After looking at the replacement tail panel, I noticed that it isn't flat in that area and the drop-off does stick out slightly, so that may be alright after all. I'm still not totally sure though.

    To confuse matters even more, when I started looking on the passenger side for reference (it still has the original wheelhouse and drop-off in place) I noted there was a good 1/2 lip where the inner and outer wheelhouses meet, and a slightly lower one on the drop-off to trunk joint. It looks like I may not need to be so exact in lining things up.

    This did however get me thinking even more (I'm sure I'm over thinking things!) and I now think that I need to include the lining up of the outer quarter panel before committing to any welding of these panels. The lower edge of the quarter has no option other than to line up with the outer wheelhouse lip, so I may need to raise or lower it from where it is now, and that may affect the drop off.


    Whatever happens there, I know that I need to rebuild the trunk floor section, so started work on a patch piece. Even this isn't as simple as expected as the lip of the drop-off isn't totally straight as I would have expceted. The rearmost 10% kicks out and up slightly, making the patch panel fabbing a bit more tricky if it's going to match properly.

    I'm back to the cardboard templates, here lining it up so the edges can be marked.
    [​IMG]

    Then when it's pulled out I was able to firm up the lines ready for cutting.
    [​IMG]

    As usual - I ran out of time to continue. Hopefully more next week...
     
  5. jamieg285

    jamieg285 Veteran Member

    1,227
    3
    Jul 15, 2004
    Luton, England
    Slow progress is still progress, right?

    After last weeks thought that the outer wheelhouse location is going to affect the quarter panel location, I switch focus to the quarter panel.

    It took me about 15 minutes to mine a way through to the back of the garage and pull the panel from it's hidey-hole. I then pulled the rear bumper, spoiler end and rear glass, and had an initial stab at lining things up to see what the start point was. (Sorry no pics, it's hard enough lining up a large panel as it is, let alone trying to take a photo - perhaps I'll stand the phone up and take some on a timer?)

    Anyway, it became clear that some modifications would be needed to the panel to get it ready to be aligned. There is a lip along the front edge, where it folds over into the door jamb. Looking at the fold, it was clear that it's not suitable to be fitted that way, so I cut that bit off.
    [​IMG]

    With that out of the way, I was close to getting the front section of the panel flush with the car, but there were problems with the lower section at the front. The very bottom of the panel is bent over, to be tucked in above the rocker. This wasn't at the right angle, and I'm not yet sure the right height either. I made a small cut at the rear corner, then flattened the bottom section (without affecting the lower body line!). Once the panel is aligned I will re-do the bend, ensuring it's right this time.
    [​IMG]

    With those mods, I'm close to being able to try and get an alignment. I'm not yet sure if I need to remove the upper lip, around the window frame, to complete this or not. It will have to be removed anyway, so I will look at doing that next time.

    I think I was close enough to see that where I had temporarily screwed the outer wheelhouse was about 1/2 inch too high. This was evident at the mid-height and lower body lines. I had to tweak the bottom edge of the wheelhouse to get it to sit lower into the rocker, and got it about 1/4 down.
    [​IMG]

    The rear side I have left where it is for now, and this appears to have lowered the front part of the panel by rotating it. Next time (after removing the upper lip) I should be able to start clamping things and knowing for certain.

    When I say next time, I mean next time I get back to this panel, as plans have changed again. Having taken a look, I figure now is the best time to do any repairs that need doing to the window channel. With the quarter and outer wheelhouse out of the way, I'll never have better access to the underside of this part of the panel.
     
  6. Zspoiler

    Zspoiler Veteran Member

    That is one scary car you have there.A lot of people would of given up a long time ago.And having the handy cap of being on the opposite side of the pond .For getting parts ,especially sheet metal on what most would consider a foreign car. For all your hard work I commend you. But when its finished it should be better than new.With the upgrades you want.Good luck to you.
     

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  7. jamieg285

    jamieg285 Veteran Member

    1,227
    3
    Jul 15, 2004
    Luton, England
    Another small step, that actually feels like a big one!

    After looking at the window channel, it looks like the earlier repairs have held up well and don't need re-visiting. There is some surface rust to be tackled, but I think that can be dealt with without welding.

    So, back to the outer wheelhouse/quarter/trunk drop off alignments. First off was to trim the lip that was around the window edge.
    [​IMG]

    Now there are no lips to interfere with fitment, I clamped the quarter over the outer wheelhouse lip and see how far off we were.
    [​IMG]

    Amazingly, it all looked good straight away. A little encouragement and the body lines were where I wanted.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Looked good at the back end too.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    With that all held in place, I had a go at aligning the trunk drop off too. This didn't work as due to the rough edges on the bottom of the old quarter. I'll cut this out when I'm ready to have another go at this.
    [​IMG]

    As I started to disasemble the parts, I realisd I'd made a mistake. The outer wheelhouse hadn't been properly held in place. There were screws at the front and rear, but these still allowed the top to rotate out slightly. Only a quarter of an inch, but enough to mean the alignment I thought was good was actually wrong. After re-applying the top screws I found the alignment at the front was too far out to be acceptable, so the process had to start again.

    I made a couple more tweaks to the front bottom end of the outer wheelhouse, so that it could go lower still - lower than I needed, but this helped as it gave more wiggle room. Rather than screw the outer wheelhouse in place, this time I use a few well placed clamps, so that I could adjust it easily if required.
    [​IMG]

    Then the quarter was offered up and clamps applied to pull it in tight where required.
    [​IMG]

    This time I got things lined up properly, and was able to apply some screws to hold the position of quarter to outer wheelhouse, and wheelhouse to main body.
    [​IMG]

    With those all lined up and held, I set about bending the quarter lip up to meet the wheelhouse flange. Theres about half inch to be close up, all around the arch. I placed a small piece of aluminium between a clamp and the panel, squeezing it up, and bending both parts up a bit at the same time, sort of rolling the arch, but not as extreme.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I'm about half way round so far, although I can't do the rear most part until the trunk drop off is in place.

    Realistically, I've not moved on much, but seeing the panel in place is very satisfying, and it doesn't feel like long until I will be ready to start welding it in. In practice, this could be a long way off, as I think I will need a full day to do all that welding. I will go as far as I can up to that point, and then may move onto something else until the right opportunity comes up.
     
  8. Zspoiler

    Zspoiler Veteran Member

    Well sometimes because of such thing as life continues.We do what we can when we can.Good luck you.
     
  9. jamieg285

    jamieg285 Veteran Member

    1,227
    3
    Jul 15, 2004
    Luton, England
    As has often been the case, I've had a change of direction since last time.

    The fitting of the quarter skin was started when I realised that the alignment of the trunk drop off depended on the wheel house and quarter skin. I've now realised that now I've got that base alignment done, there was no reason not to weld the wheelhouse in place, which would allow me to work on the trunk drop off again.

    First job for this was drilling lots of hole for spot welds. For this I used my new punch/flange tool, which made it quick and easy.
    [​IMG]

    These were then sanded back and sprayed with weld-through primmer
    [​IMG]

    The mating surfaces on the body were cleaned up and primered to match.
    [​IMG]

    The panel was then clamped and screwed to the body, ready to be welded on.
    [​IMG]

    I then proceeded to spot weld the numerous holes. All seemed to be going well, until I was applying the last couple near the rear of the panel. As I released the screw holding it in place the panel popped forward, showing a lack of weld penetration to the body. It look fine from the outside, but closer inspection showed that a number of the welds were the same. I don't know if the problem was the smaller holes than I had been using (the punch is 5mm, where previously I'd been drilling 8mm) or my welding technique (probably a combination of both), but I needed to rectify it, as it was clear the panel wasn't properly fixed on.

    Rather than spend lots of time cutting out out, cleaning up etc, and potentially ruining the panel, I took a different approach. Most of the welds were far enough apart to fit the sheet metal screws I was using, so I proceeded to put one in each gap, effectively drilling a hole through both panels. Then, one at a time I removed a screw, enlarged the hole in the outer panel, then plug welded the hole, ensuring good penetration into both layers. It took quite a while, but it did get the job done.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Whilst I had the welder out, I finished off the welding on the inner panel that hadn't been completed before.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I did a small amount of clean up work on the welds, then applied a 1st coat of epoxy primer. A further coat will be applied next time I mix some up.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    Continuing with the change of direction, I've decided that I want to tackle the tailpanel before going any further with the trunk drop off, as there is already a lot of metal missing from that corner, and I wanted to have something in place to use for reference.

    Before getting to the tail panel I'd need to finish work on the crossrail panel that sits behind it. I'd made a start in fabricating this a couple of years ago, so dug that bit out and assessed what needed to be done next. Offering it up showed it needed some addional sections made. I also came to the conlusion that I'd not cut enough of the bad panel out, so chopped some more of the outer panel away to get a better view.
    [​IMG]

    Since this picture I've cut away most of the rusted bit you can see, and have cut a section ready to replace it. It needs a bit of finessing, and then it can be attached, then the main patch I'd prepared can be adapted and also fitted.
     
  10. Da-bigguy

    Da-bigguy Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    3,054
    22
    Jan 19, 2010
    Cypress, TX
    The time and effort you are putting into your car is amazing!! I wish I had even a 10th of your metal working skills!
     

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