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Wagon Progress

#1
Tonight we worked on getting the front fenders ready for epoxy primer, just a few more items to cross off the list. An earlier repair to resolve some rust on the top of the fenders.........






.........when checking the gap to the hood recently we noticed it was slightly wide at these spots where the weld had pulled. Shown here with the straight edge....





Time to make a tool that will reach between the inner fender brace for a bit of bumping...








The shortened hammer comes in handy again...





A few good raps along the area brought it out nicely.


Next, we have some early model fender emblems to install on the front fenders, so we needed to fill the old holes...








Three separate quick zaps were used (about a minute in between) to minimize the heat introduced into the panel for filling the slotted holes. Note minimal HAZ..





Holes laid out and drilled for the new emblem...





Other fender...





Note minimal weld bead height using EZ Grind..








Next, we had one more minor adjustment to do to the driver door lower corner. It was tweaked inward slightly and needed some adjustment. I recently noticed one of my hole punches was broken, and it looks like it will work for what we need, in conjunction with the vise grip dent puller...








Kyle started media blasting the inside of the driver's fender.... A bit of a squeeze in a 58" wide blast cabinet..





Rather tight to the door!





Until next time.....
 
#2
While I was doing the family thing today at an FLL robotics competition, Kyle worked some more on prepping the front fenders for priming..

One down......





One to go....





Another issue that plagues most of the trifive Chevrolets is cracking at the leaded joint at the top of the A pillar.





A look at the other side shows a gap that is quite a stretch to expect a good permanent repair regardless of the filler used..





At over 1/4" wide, something we will need to address...








So we'll attempt a repair similar to the radius-ing that was done on the rear tailgate, using STEEL..





Until next time....
 
#4
More shop time on Saturday. While Kyle continued media blasting fenders, I worked on closed up a gaping hole....





A couple weak spots dictated a bigger hole. Here the radius was added from the A pillar to beneath the drip rail..





Test fit





Welded in place.....











Used a torch and wire brush to clean off the other side, looks like this gap was a factory deal, and we have another radius to install..





 
#7
Thanks Bob!

More progress, although it doesn't appear like much, progress just the same...


Door skins had been left "loose" on the inner door to allow twisting/tweaking for fitment within the door opening. Drilled some 3/16 holes from flange into inner door and plug welded.





Parts ready for SPI epoxy primer..





These are the stiffeners for inside the door skin that go behind the door handle. The inside of the door will be sprayed, as well as these parts, and allowed to flash. Then another application on both and they'll get bolted in place, letting the epoxy primer act as an adhesive to hold in place and seal to the door skin. Once door handles are bolted on they will be there for good..





This car has belt line trim that goes around the perimeter at the bottom of the windows, which needed to be added to the new door skins. I had saved a piece from the old door skins to get the locations correct. Here's the layout of the slots for the stainless attaching hardware, we'll get that finished next time..


 
#8
Why is it when you're getting ready to mix primer you find other issues to fix?? More minor tweaks so that hopefully we can spray this afternoon...

A crack that looks to be from some previous body damage.








A post dolly is used to provide an off dolly effect, and the body hammer is struck on the "high" spot.








Used a copper backing since we're so close to the edge and the metal has been fatigued. Filled the crack and dressed the weld...














Then I noticed a low spot on the fender's bodyline crease...





Time to lose another Craftsman chisel to become a body tool...





....the rod was heated and bent around, then finished welding.





Placed the fender on the large shot bag and used the dead blow hammer to apply the persuasive force...








Much better with a more consistent crown across the fender..


 
#9
We have primer! Sprayed the SPI epoxy tonight, later this week we'll spray the doors and outside of the fenders and hood. Then we can assemble the front end and block across the adjacent panels..














 
#11
Thanks Mitch!


One of our projects for tonight was to make a stand to hold the doors for painting. I have some heavy duty "tripods" on casters that have a 2" ID pipe on top with a setscrew, which works well for changing out various fixtures for painting, as shown below on the left....





My thoughts were to make a similar "tree" to hold the doors, using the hinge mounts. Here's the prototype design...





Here's our CAD layout this evening (cardboard aided design). As the flat bar is a bit cheaper than the pipe, we altered the pattern slightly...





While Kyle was working on the parts for the door "tree", I turned my attention to one of the doors that still needed some finesse. One of the problem areas on the 55 wagon is that apparently GM did not have sufficient quantity of passenger doors specific to the wagon for the assembly line, so the quick fix was to install doors from the 2 door sedan. The downside was that the rear of the door tapers off where the sedans roof starts to drop off to the back window. With the belt line trim details aligned, note what appears to be a sagging rear edge with a widening gap to the upper door opening.... Most people don't notice this detail..











For comparison, the driver's door aligns well to the trim lines...





To fix the passenger door, we plan on a sectioning and a lift kit, adding a wider patch in the B post of the door to make up the difference.











This may just work yet.. Hope so, there's a big gap there..








New section fabbed and fitted...











Bottom seam welded in place...








Yeah, this will be much better...





One seam down, one to go...





....and Kyle tackled his first welding project this evening..








until next time, Merry Christmas to all!
 
#12
Had some time this evening so worked a bit more on the wagon..


Finished up the door paint fixture.. will be adding some ballast to the base..











Just to compare the driver's door and fitment / body line alignment to what we had to modify on the passenger side:





Paint stick gap width at the top rear, all body lines straight across, about as close as you can get to what should be there.





Also needed to finish the slotted holes for the trim under the door's window.





We'll use a carbide ball nose in the Dremel...








Straightedge spanned across two slots for a more precise scribed line..








 
#13
Today Kyle worked on another paint fixture for the wagon, one to hold the front fenders, while I started on adding the weatherstrip and drain holes in the bottom of the driver's door. I had made new bottoms and hadn't gotten around to these holes just yet. I did save the old bottoms to use as patterns.





The old was merely laid over the new and traced to get the horizontal alignment of the drain holes and weatherstrip holes. Then a more accurate measurement located the vertical dimension of the drain holes...








After drilling, a couple of twirls by hand of a 3/8 bit worked nicely to de-bur the holes, inside and out..





The end of the old section was cut out and trimmed to be able to use it as a scribing template..











Using our same Dremel set up from the top slots.....














Kyle is getting the hang of this welding stuff.....














While he started media blasting the core support, I finished up the passenger door's "un-chop"











Outside done, now for the inside piece...











Fitted:








And that will do it for today....
 
#15
House of Kolor epoxy. Like SPI, it is one of a few epoxies you can actually sand. It's also quite a bit more expensive, which is why I decided to give the SPI a shot..
 
#16
Working on the inner part of the door's un-chopping today..





Tacked...























Then I got on a roll, here's the welded and finished product...























Much better fit..

















 
#17
Took delivery on the ballast material today for the door paint stand. Without this it didn't care for the one door added at a time, and wanted to do a nose dive. This should work well!








 
#18
Today Kyle worked on prepping the driver's door for epoxy primer...





Meanwhile, with the passenger door unchopped, I turned my attention to the slots for mounting the stainless trim and drain holes.. The old door's "window sill" was aligned and clamped in place to mark the slots..








Then the slots are marked onto the new skin, and that location transposed down to the proper location..











This is what happens when you pull the carbide cutter out too far while joining the holes...





Weatherstrip holes drilled, drain holes laid out...











Kyle has the driver's door scuffed and ready to go, once the passenger door is finished we can spray some more epoxy..





 
#20
Those came from a previous employer, the stands came with some pintle hitch trailers that left without the stands. So when they asked if anyone wanted any of them, I scooped some up and added the casters. The base sizing for holding the cinder blocks was just dumb luck. They have worked well in many situations. For this time of year, I go through a bit of Kerosene just keeping the booth up to temps for spraying, so the door fixture was built to help get the Epoxy done all in one spraying..
 
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