3) '65 Chev

The Project Plan became a check-off list to use while progressing through the work as well as a topic list to refer to when discussing the project.  As disassembly progressed we identified and stored parts as described under tools and aids. We progressed through the project plan from D-1 to D-11, at  step 11 we decided to deviate by removing the trunk, doors, hood and front fenders. This allowed Jack to get at the trunk bottom and the driver floor pan easier and for me to concurrently do body and fender work on the front fenders. I decided that the door windows and vents should be removed before the doors were removed. This required a careful step by step process following the shop manual procedure. 

Replace Rusty Trunk bottom and driver floor pan: We figured we might as well tackle the worst job first which was replacing the trunk bottom. To begin Jack wire brushed and sanded the complete floor and trunk so we could see what we were dealing with. The following pictures are of the trunk, no pictures were taken of the driver's floor pan because it was very similar and the repair process was the same.                                                                               

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This is the trunk bottom after power wire brushing and sanding with 80 grit sandpaper, note the holes and deep pitting, it was much worse than it appears here. A new trunk bottom and driver's floor pan was ordered from Impala Bob's. The replacement trunk bottom came in 3 pieces, this allowed the center section to be left in place and the 2 side sections replaced first thereby maintaining trunk integrity throughout the process. To remove spot welds a spot weld cutter was used in a 3/8" drill operating at a slow speed so the cutter would not be dulled from heat. The trunk sections were cut out using a high speed air cutter.          



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               The right and part of the left side sections are removed leaving the center section and braces underneath. 

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     The replacement right section was cut to size and welded in place, then the left section was cut and welded in. Note that 

      picture of the right section is rotated 90 degrees from the left section. 


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The center section is removed, the replacement is cut to size and welded in. The 2 above pictures are of the center section                                               rotated 90 degrees from each other. After the complete trunk bottom was replaced, the welds were ground down. Next the low spots were filled with All Metal, sanded and the trunk bottom was primed with an epoxy rust inhibitive sealer primer. 

Strip Paint Off Complete Car: In the past we have tried paint remover which we found was messy and took several applications. Also we have tried sand blasting which took a huge amount of sand and was quite a mess. After much trial and error we have settled on air and electric sanders with 80 grit sanding discs. The stripping process took 2 of us about 3 days.

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                                              Car body after stripping using air/electric sanders with 80 grit sanding discs.       

Repair Front Fenders: After the filler was removed some damage needed to be straitened and rust through in the rear lower corner of each fender had to be repaired. 

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The lower rear corner of the left front fender had rust through that was cut out with an air cutter. A replacement piece was cut and shaped to fit then wire welded in place. In the left picture the welds have been wire brushed and ground. The right shows the same area after metal working. Metal working here means a process starting with spraying on layout ink, then sanding area lightly with 80 grit sandpaper on a 15" or 21" (depending upon the size of the area) flexible sanding boards to show high and low spots. The next step is hammer and dolly work to roughly straiten the surface. The shrinking disk and a wet rag are finally used bring down any remaining high spots. Note-The layout ink must be throughly removed with lacquer thinner so it won't bleed through primer and paint.

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The left picture is the above area after more metal work and a very light application of All Metal then sanded with 80 grit sand paper on a flexible board. The right picture is the front of the same fender that had to be metal worked, filled with All Metal and sanded. The right front fender had similar damage which was repaired in the same way.

Prep Vehicle Body and Removed Pieces for Painting: Once the damaged areas were repaired, the car body, fenders, doors, hood, trunk and miscellaneous pieces were made ready for reassembly and painting. First everything was washed down with windex and DX330. Then they were primed with an grey epoxy sealer primer followed by 3 coats of buff surfacing primer.  When the primer had cured, 3M dry guide coat powder was applied then sanded with 180 grit sandpaper on 6", 15" or 21" flexible sanding boards. The sanding continued until all the guide coat was gone, thereby assuring that all the high and low spots were removed or filled. Any time the sanding broke through to the sealer primer more surfacing primer and guide coat were applied before sanding continued. Once the guide coat sanding was completed everything was wet sanded with 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper to remove the 180 grit scratches. A final coat of sealer primer was then applied.        

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 After the final coat of sealer primer the inside surfaces as well as edges of the body and all the removed pieces were painted with PPG Cool Vanilla Polyurethane Acrylic Enamel.     

Clean and Paint Engine: While the hood, front fenders were removed, the engine and transmission were pulled. The engine compartment and engine were cleaned with solvent then cleaner-degreaser soap and water.. 

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The engine was masked and painted with Eastwood's Chevy Orange engine paint. The exhaust manifolds which are not on the engine in the pictures were painted with Eastwood's Satin Black High Temp Coating.  

Reassemble Vehicle: The cleaned and freshly painted engine and transmission were installed back in the car.  Just before the engine was to be operated, the exhaust manifolds were bolted in place. This would allow the paint to be cured by the heat generated from the operating engine.

Next all the mating edges of the body and unassembled pieces were mask with 3M Green masking tape to prevent the paint form being chipped during reassembly. All associated fasteners were power wire brushed, the treads were daubed with a small amount of anti seize just before use.

The front fenders, hood, doors, trunk and miscellaneous pieces were attached to the body and adjusted using the shop manual as a guide. Once everything was adjusted and operating correctly, the masking tape was carefully removed.

Painting the Vehicle: All the primed surfaces as well as the areas overshot with paint were wet sanded with 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper. The vehicle was then blown down, vacuumed and washed outside of the paint room. The paint room was blown down, vacuumed and the floor mopped with hot soapy (Pine Sol) water then rinsed. 

The vehicle was then brought into the paint room and washed down with windex and wiped dry with clean cotton cloths. Next was a wipe down with DX330 and clean cotton cloths. Finally tack cloths were used to remove any remaining dust and fiber before painting.

Four coats of PPG Cool Vanilla Polyurethane Acrylic Enamel were sprayed on following the procedure in the product information Form P-137.

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 After the paint dried overnight the car was unmasked and prepared for final assembly.

Final assembly: The door windows and vents were installed by reversing the removal procedure described in the shop manual. This required a great deal of patience, progressing slowly and referring  to the procedure often.    

The new weather-strip purchased from Impala Bob's snapped right in place with fasteners provided, only a little was glue was required on some corners. 

The stainless trim pieces were straitened, polished and attached to the car. Many of the stainless fasteners could not be reused, some we could purchase new from Impapa Bob's or Classic Industries , others were unavailable so we had to refurbish the old ones, fabricating broken pieces etc.

The tail/backup lights were secured in place and the connectors were mated, upon tested them, only one taillight and one backup light operated properly. We checked the lights out one at a time, reworking connections, retesting until all operated correctly.

When we disassembled the grill in step D5 we cut off the rivets that attached the grill to the bar between the grill and the hood. The rivets were replaced by stainless screws, locks and nuts with a dab of anti seize on the threads. The grill did require a lot of patience in getting the fasteners to line up with associated holes in the body. Also it was necessary to think through the sequence of assembly assuring the parking and head lights were installed at  the correct points.  Once the grill assembly was in place we tested the lights and they operated correctly the first time.    

 Our final task was to attach the front and rear bumpers. 

Hummingbird Auto Glass Installed a new windshield and the back window which they had removed and stored during disassembly.

This completed the assembly, Jack's brother was called to come and pick up the vehicle. When he arrived and looked the car over, he was quite pleased with the final result. 

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