Body Repair


This section describes repair of metal in various places in the body shell. This includes the rocker panels, the bottom front of the cowl, a seam at the top of the cowl, several spots on teh floor, the roof and a spot on the passenger sail panel, the doors.  The trunk floor repair is described elsewhere.

Typical rust damage in rear rocker area.  The inner and outer rocker surface have rust and the front lower lip of the quarter panel is shot. Both sides are similar with the  passenger side worse. Img09-600.JPG (45434 bytes)
Rear of rocker panel after sandblasting, rust treatment with Rass-O'-Nil and painted with PPG DP-50 epoxy primer.  The other side looks about the same. (the wheel wells have been replaced at this point) IMGP0055-600.JPG (53894 bytes)
Front passenger floor area - There was a pocket formed between the floor and the front frame mounting reinforcement bracket that allowed debris to collect. The hole with the blue tarp showing through was cut by me to try and prevent reoccurrence. There were also several small holes along the front floor seam.  The factory did not seal the outside of the floor seams! Img05a-600.JPG (54359 bytes)
The floor after welding and before grinding Img22-400.JPG (35661 bytes)
Inside of rocker, by passenger foot area (welding in progress).  There was a much smaller hole on the driver side. IMGP0244-400.JPG (25922 bytes)
The bottom corners of the cowl are a problem area.  The mesh on the air vent intake is too large and leaves, etc. collect on this area.  There is a 2" round hole that connects the vent area to the rocker panel.  Rain water exits out by the rear wheels. Img03-600.JPG (55915 bytes)
Inside shot of the cowl area on opposite side of car (inside view). Img08-400.JPG (48877 bytes)
Bottom cowl area after welding. It was not possible to get at the interior fully without major surgery.  Although there were areas of perforated metal (shown in inside and outside views), I was able to patch it with POR-15 epoxy putty and paint the area with epoxy paint. We shal see how this holds up.   IMGP0229-600.JPG (72509 bytes)
There is a seam that goes across the firewall. As with all the factory seams, sealant was applied only on one side.  The inside of the air intake was not sealed and water seeped into the seam, got trapped and caused pitting under the outside sealant.  There was only this one hole to patch.
QUESTION - How to seam sealing the bottom of the cowl area.  Water runs from the vent intake at the base of the windshield, down through this area, along the rocker channels and out by the rear wheels:

(+)   Sealing will keep spray (salt) from the road from getting in at this point

(-)   Water will get in by design from the vent at the base of the windshield and will probably collect here.  The sloped area at the right of the sealed seam is where the water exits.  The seam I am considering sealing is below it.

Decided to seal it.

IMGP0467-1000.JPG (68610 bytes) IMGP0467-crop.JPG (36270 bytes)
The roof had several small bumps in the paint at the front corner.  Some poking around revealed the holes at right. When the windshield was taken out, the source of the problem was clear. The windshield sealant and created a pocket where water could pool, resulting in the hole in the lip.  This is also a problem in the bottom corners of the rear window.  There were small holes there that I fixed with body filler during the original repairs.  It held up quite well. IMGP0050-700.JPG (49801 bytes)
I formed the curve for the roof repair with a combination of hammer/sandbag and metal shrinking tool (both from Eastwood).  Since it was not possible (for me) to match the curve exactly, I welded it flush with the inside of the roof.  A 1/16" coat of body filler will match the roof curve. IMGP0263-400.JPG (26297 bytes)

Roof dent - The dent had a ridge that is indicated by the tape in the picture.  To remove it, I supported the low spot from inside with a bottle jack, stick and rubber pad.  I only needed this rig because I could not reach the dent on the inside and tap on the outside at the same time. The idea is to apply slight pressure up for support, not bend the metal.  Then use a slapping hammer and lightly tap on the high spot to push it back in place. You want to gently tap the metal down to relieve the ridge not POUND it down.

The metal repair was not perfect, I needed a slight skim coat of filler to smooth out some remaining irregularities.

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The bottom of passenger side windshield had some minor rust holes.  A patch was welded in place. IMGP0018-600.JPG (36879 bytes)
Inside sail panel area, inside and out.  Since the rust was worse on the curb side, moisture got up in this area.  There was nothing on the driver side.  The area was cut open to soled metal and a patch panel was welded in IMGP0222-600.JPG (36103 bytes) IMGP0226-600.JPG (36711 bytes)
The doors needed sandblasting to clean them up.  Although I used a combination of chemical strippers and sanding to remove the paint from the body, the doors seemed like they would require more work due to the complex shapes.  I also wanted to clean up the rust that was forming on some of the seams. IMGP0410-1000.JPG (139908 bytes)
Door corner repair - The three pictures show the repair show the bottom corner of the right rear door.  The area was cut out with a cutoff wheel in a grinder, flattened and used as a template for a new piece out of 18 GA steel.  The new piece is in the top of the first picture. The piece was back primed with weld through primer , welded in and painted with epoxy primer.
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The lower corners of the core support were rusted and needed repair.  I used a combination of welding and filler. IMGP0933-800.JPG (69809 bytes)