The cowl is pretty much done . The welds are finished and just need to clean up the burned primer and shoot it and the cowl is "done" .
I've been keeping a decent pace to try and get some work done before summer arrives .
Next up is the trunk bumper braces and then scuff and shoot the trunk with epoxy and paint . I also plan on sanding the interior metal that's left to do down and epoxy/base coat shortly after and or at the same time .
The trunk braces are really all that's left to weld on the chassis of the car . I have to repair the front fenders so some more welding to come .
Been tinkering for a few days with odds and ends around the car . Now Im repairing the front fenders . I wish I had $700 to blow as I'd get the OE tooling fenders and be done with this mess .
The pass side fender repair went OK but I have a small warp . No big deal there but still a pain in the rear .
The drivers side is a nightmare .
The repop piece made by American Designers is not where near what the original piece was . It would be almost as easy to build you own I think (not really but sheesh) .
They (American Designers) felt a need to add 10 feet of extra metal to every side of the patch panel so you get to figure out what needs to be cut off .
I figured as best I could on the floor and tack welded the piece in where I thought it should be . The original fender was so rusted due to oak tree leaves (yet again , don't park your car under a tree and leave it for dead like someone did to this car) .
Since the fender was so rusty , there was almost no possible way to find a reference point to replace metal with .
If you have the same problem , buy a OE tooling fender . If your farming this out , I have 5 hours screwing around with this patch piece so yes a new fender would be cheaper if your paying for bodywork .
After tacking , I installed the fender with a handful of new AMK fastners (These kits rock , don't wate time with your old crap , just buy a AMK kit) . Once installed I figured out the patch panel was worse than I thought and I had it welded on crooked .
I cut the tack loose and then started cutting a filler piece to go between the patch panel and the original brace , since I removed too much material from the patch . After a while I got it all gapped correctly and tacked in the filler piece .
What a complete PITA this has become . Like I said , if you fender requires a inner brace patch , it might be best to replace the fender due to these being so crappy of a repop piece . If you can find a original fender that is wreck damaged but not rusty , you can graft the brace piece from it and be OK .
I'm ready for the outer panel to start test fitting now , hope to get it fitted in the next few days .
I ended up slicing off the very end of the fender to get the inner brace all off and then drilled out the spot welds and popped the fender piece off the original rusty brace . Im reusing the end piece after I sand blast the thing to remove rust . I could use the american designers lower fender patch but this will be easier since the fender rolls over and crimps over the brace , much like a door does .
If I used the AD piece , I'd have to crimp it and end up with a bent mess . That means using the end cap from my old fender is easier .
You can see the end piece in the below pics .......
Don't be like me , if your stuff is this rusty , buy a new fender :)
Now Im eating crow a little , I guess with the time I spent tonight I'd be about even with a OE fender but the body shop prices would still have made a OE fender cheaper . I still have the damage on the front corner to dolly out and a small rust hole from the slide-hammer-and-fill-with-bondo-80's-resto .
So , with that and the time so far a OE would be cheaper but what the hell , I saved my original fender :)
Here is the pics of the patch welded and ground semi-smooth .
Buckled in about 1/8th inch on the forward seam . I marked it with red pen and striped the low area . Should be easy to fix , might tap it slightly and then fill and sand it smoob .