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68 Firebird 428

Today was close to 60*f out, up from 13f two days ago. So I did some blasting on the Hood and two fenders. I did a lot of reading last night on media blasting sheet metal, especially how not to warp the low crown areas. Now that I have some time in on the paint strip disc, and blasting, I love the blasting.

On the two fender I need to do another round, all the stamped areas are good, but I was careful on the bigger flat areas but can now see I did not clean to grey evenly. It got dark out before I was done.
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The hood I stopped before it was done, as I found a bunch of rust through areas on the bracing. I’m glad I blasted it and found those. Looks like I’m gonna need to pick up a hood inner brace and replace it.
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Well it looks like there is no under hood bracing sold, only complete aftermarket hoods. A lot of manufacturers too: Goodmark, AMD, Sherman, OER, Dynacorn.

I need to research the fit to these hood
I think there should be some solid OE hoods around for that. That would be my first choice over aftermarket.
I’ll have to keep my eyes open, I searched Craig’s list with search tempest, and I found no 400 hoods, just a bunch of the regular hoods. (No scoops).

I blasted the doors today. I used the strip wheel to remove everything on the flat side, and the blaster on the areas it could not get.

Found some more rust through areas at the bottom rear corners of the doors, where the water must have collected.
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Welcome to the restoration world.
Rust is a common problem and you will get very good at cutting it out and welding in reproduction panels as well as fabricating patches.
Take your time and continue to be meticulous in your work and the finished product will be very rewarding.
Welcome to the restoration world.
Rust is a common problem and you will get very good at cutting it out and welding in reproduction panels as well as fabricating patches.
Take your time and continue to be meticulous in your work and the finished product will be very rewarding.
Thanks for the warm welcome 68...:)

I am contemplating if I should just cut out and patch the problem areas or disassemble the entire door, there must be more rust between the skin and inner panel at the bottom of the door seam. I suppose I will start by making up some patch pieces, and cut out the cancer, and if it looks bad in there i can just keep going and open up the seam till it's fixed right.

This is why I always oiled all of my doors on my vehicles. The last 6 years I have used fluid film on my daily drivers. I made up a long hose that gets the stuff way up in the nether regions on the vehicle body and chassis.
Have you checked out the reproduction panels? Here's a site that even has a hood as well as door skins: https://www.firebirdcentral.com/FIREBIRD_SHEET_METAL_PARTS_s/254.htm
Thanks for the link 68. Ive been on their site before, but have not ordered anything from them yet. I also have Ames Performance Engineering in New Hampshire that sells everything Pontiac. They are only and hour from me, so I'm thinking if I can get a big list together I could pick up and save on the shipping...(freight on big body panels)

Being a novice at car restoration I have to ask...Would you patch the rusted out areas, or just separate the door skin and replace with new?
If it's just corners, we patch them. It's not always easy to get even an OEM a door skin to fit, you have to fit the partially completed door to the quarter, rocker, and fender. Aftermarket skins can present even more difficulties. If you keep the original, the original fit is retained.
Thanks for the insight Crash. I'm gonna dive in there this weekend and see how extensive the cancer is. If just a patch is necessary, that will be good.
Before I start that, I need to hang a Modine 200,000 btu propane heater that I ordered and received. I just heat with a large wood furnace currently, but maintaining proper temps for painting and curing would be tough this time of the year. I have to load the stove every 4-5 hours, and that only gets me to 60-65 after 8 hours when its below 32f outside. I've been putting this off for years now, but decided to get it done. I will be able to preheat the garage prior to painting so metal temps are over 70f, keep both heat sources going while the booth is exhausting to preheat the intake air, and lastly be able to set a 50-55f temp when I'm not working in there...I hate walking into a 30f shop in the morning, and that's not good for storing paint products. So lots of work this weekend, but I have Monday off too.:)
Ok last weekend I made up an anvil out of RR track with a couple of different radius edges to work sheet metal on. I saw this on David Gardiners dvd on Metal working.

I’m replace the 18ga sheet metal on the lower door corners where the standing water and sand rotted it out, both doors, and fenders. I’m no stranger to working with metal (blade smithing and black smithing), but thin automotive sheet metal is a new area. I’ve had success with MIG in the past, but after watching David’s dvd and the advantages of using oxy/acetylene to fusion weld, I’m sold on this way, but need to acquire the skills.

I’m sorry, I don’t know why the pic change orientation when I upload them? How do I fix this?

I started with forming the radius over the anvil.
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Then I bent the body line on the brake
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Then I test fit, back and forth from anvil to door till I have a match
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Then I scribed a line of the new patch over the repair area and cut it out just shy of the line.
The crow foot pry bar work well peeling the seam back on the area I cut out
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You can see the old bondo someone filled in the old rust hole.
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Cleaned all the surface rust up on the inner metal. I wondered if I should peel the whole skin off to get at the surface rust, but I’m gonna oil this seam after the car is painted and done, so I decided against it. The rest of the metal is solid
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I worked the edges back to the line with a bastard file To get a perfect fit.
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The last few days I have been practicing my torch welding. I only had a top rated for 1/8 and it was too powerful to control, so I bought the next size tip down and it is much better. Here’s all the practice “coupons”
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Last ones are getting much better as I get the hang of it, stretching the joint out after it cools with hammer on anvil hits, and removing all the stresses out of the metal. I got the warped coupon back to flat on the last ones. I’m still not ready to weld on my fender yet.
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View media item 102I think I’m gonna practice more on the old hood that was original to the car. I want to use the 400 hood, but the bracing is rotted in some areas, but the regular original hood has a good brace, but the skin is beat. I’m gonna remove the brace and put it in the 400 hood, and while I’m at it weld in some patches on the old hood skin for practice, I rather mess up a junk hood than my good fender, till I prove I can get consistent results.

Take care