Smartin

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Posts posted by Smartin


  1. So I was finally able to get a mobile blasting guy out today...yes, Sunday. Since the weather is turning to crap, he obliged. I'd rather work in 65* and sunny than 30 any day.

    The condition of the body tub is mostly as expected. A few little pin holes showed up in some jamb areas, but nothing major. Doors and fenders look solid. Once I extracted (nearly) all of the media from the car, I started poking at the quarters to see where my first move would be. I cleaned up the metal at the top 4" of each side so I could see what I was working with. Driver side was welded up a bit higher than the passenger side. My intent is to save the top several inches of the quarters so I can graft the new hardtop quarters in at that point. This is where the body lines/curves differ from convertible to hardtop. So, it appears that my best bet is to completely replace the quarters at the factory seams everywhere but the top. This will allow me to regain the factory weld appearance along those areas. I see they replaced the left trunk drop when they did the quarters. I went ahead and cut out the main section of LH quarter to get some motivation going..

    One item of note, check out the quarter marker light location. It is stamped out, but not cut out. This is a sure sign of those Tabco/Sherman/etc replacement quarter skins.

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    • Like 2

  2. This isn't "my" Buick, but it will be an ongoing restoration thread.  I thought some of you here on the BCA site would enjoy following.

     

    20 years ago, this car was completely blown apart.  I mean, if it unscrewed, it came apart.  The chassis was painted, and the body was media blasted.  New aftermarket quarter panels were grafted on while the body was off the frame...and as a result of insufficient (read: none) bracing, the quarter panels buckled when the body was dropped back on the frame.  The project was abandoned until it was picked up several years ago and stored away again.  A couple weeks ago, it arrived here to be completed.  The intention is to get it to MCACN 2020 in November next year.  It's a nearly impossible order for me, but I am up to the challenge after last year's thrash on the 72 GSX.

     

    The first thing I did was install the doors to make sure they were still going to line up with the body, and there was no damage to the integrity of the body shell.  Everything lined up perfectly, and all measurements came out good when I checked various spots on the body for square.

     

    New aftermarket quarter panels from The Parts Place are on the way, along with a dump truck load of other parts.  Since no one makes quarters for convertibles, I will be using aftermarket hardtop quarters.  They will be cut near the top of the body line and spliced in properly.  The current quarter panels are welded in using a lap joint, and those can be questionable on longevity if any moisture gets in behind the joint.  If you look inside the trunk, you can clearly see the joint where the old one was cut off and new welded on.

     

    Now that I know where we stand, I am hiring a dustless blasting company to come out and hose the body shell, doors, and fenders.  Once that is complete, I can replace the quarters.  I'll then brace the body and remove it from the frame.  The chassis will be redone while the body is off.  Thankfully, the rest of the body is in great shape.  All it needs is cleaned up and hit with epoxy to keep it from rusting while I mess around with the quarters.

     

    More to come...hopefully soon...

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    • Like 5

  3. To say that I'm excited might be an understatement.  I've been wanting to do this since I bought my first house 15 years ago.  We now live on several acres and have the room to do it.  Financially, I didn't think I would be able to make this happen for a few more years, but I waved my magic wand and figured out a way to do it a little sooner than that.  The plan right now is to get the building up, then pour a floor and driveway in the Spring...when I have some more money to spend.

     

    I spent months trying to figure out a good spot for this building...and tried all avenues of gaining workshop space.  Original idea was to put up a pole building behind the house, but my wife didn't want to be able to see it from the back windows.....so scratched that idea.  Next idea was to bridge the gap between my house garage and the current detached garage.  Great idea in my head, but the roof lines were making it almost impossible to make it work right.  No contractor wanted to touch it, either.  NEXT idea....build another separate garage in front of the detached garage toward the street.  Great idea, but my building line on the property was 50', and I would have been well into that easement.

     

    So here we are.  Close to my original idea of going behind the house with a pole building.  With no other choice, my wife caved in to the idea.  I promised we would plant some trees😀

     

    Speaking of trees, I am smack-dab in the middle of the deep woods.  In order to get this building up, a massive pile of trees had to go.  Originally, the size of the building was to be 40x60.  I got the property line surveyed, and the only way I could fit that building in the spot we were looking at, was to get rid of a tree we were really trying to keep alive.  I downsized to a 35x56, and that allowed us to fit the building right where we wanted it. 

     

    Fast forward through several tree removal bids, I hooked up with a guy I knew in high school, and have kept in light contact with for a while.  I found out he was in the business and he came out.  We walked the area and painted the trees to be removed.  We estimated about 30 decent sized trees, with countless saplings.  I also had to clear a road to get back there...which meant more trees.  And a blessing from the neighbor, because I was encroaching on his property with said road.  All of my bids were in the $12k and higher range to get the trees done.  My guy ended up doing this for $9k...PLUS he brought out his 8' wide brush hog and cleared me a path through the woods and to the creek.  He also chipped all the wood that was less than 15" in diameter and mulched my entire path.  9 grand was a tough pill to swallow, but it was better than $12k.  I got a cool little walking trail out of it too.  Anyone need firewood?

     

    Next on the agenda was to build up a pad.  The area where the building was going had a light slope down toward the back.  Our irrigation company has used a certain guy for hauling rock for years, so I called him.  He actually builds all of the pads for a local pole building construction company, so he was perfect for the job.  He ended up having to raise the back end of the pad up 5 feet to get it level with the front.  650 tons of screenings later, I have a pad.  Also, he brought in 100 ton of 2-4" clean rock to stabilize the screenings around the border.  Screenings will wash away in a rain unless they are buried or stabilized like this.  So, another $8500 for a pad.  At this point, I am starting to question whether I can financially swing this building.  These two items that have been done at this point have almost doubled my budget.  I would figure it out...onward!

     

    The guy building the shop is a full time lineman for a local electric service provider.  This is his side gig, so his schedule is a bit volatile.  Since late August, the pad has basically set idle.  Since then, I had gotten all the necessary permitting and plans completed....doors and windows ordered.  Colors picked out.  So his last building he was working on ended up being a lot more than he originally anticipated...hence the delay.  This last week, we finally got moving.  All of the poles are set.  Trusses are waiting patiently in the front near the haul road.  It's like Christmas every time I come home and see him working!

     

    Photos in the next couple posts...

    • Like 5

  4. Months ago when I made the order to CARS for some stuff, I ordered trunk fabric.  Low and behold, it is NLA.  I'm going to just leave it for now...as I might have to let this car go sooner than expected.  I am still trying to hold out for Strongsville to have it judged again, but I also need to free up some cash for this building I'm putting up.  I'll chip away at what I can on this car to keep correcting issues, but don't see the whole list getting rectified.

     

    One small victory this evening...I was not in a mood to roll around in rust and grind on metal, so I decided to replace the hood insulation.  Lance was kind enough to send me the dimensions and I got a full sheet to cut on my own.

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    • Like 6

  5. On to the wheel wells...this repair has to be made on both sides of the metal.  There are actually two layers of metal in both of these spots.  This is the passenger side...the driver side is the same way.

     

    This will also take care of all the rust on the body shell.  Let's not talk about the doors, though.

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    • Like 1

  6. Passenger side quarter was a real mess, along with the rocker.  A lower quarter patch panel was provided with the car, but it was a hokey aftermarket stamping that didn't really even line up with the body lines or openings at the door or wheel.  I did, however, use the wheel opening corner and lower rocker area to patch the quarter panel.

     

    The rear trick was to make sure that the bottom body line of the quarter remained straight with the rocker panel as it ran toward the wheel.  When I cut out the bad spots in the quarter, it sprung out toward me.  It was a real challenge trying to measure and cut, mark, measure again, cut, mark, etc...trying to hold the quarter in place.  I ended up using a 4' straight edge to make sure it stayed true.  Once it was tacked in place, I could go to town with the repair.  As you can see, it looks a but sunken and lumpy where the repair was made.  If could have gotten a hammer back there to work it back out with a dolly, that wouldn't be there.  But there just isn't any room.  Even with taking my time and cooling with compressed air, the panel warped a bit. 

     

    I am currently working on the joint where the lead seam is at the back corner of the door.  The repair ended up being about 8" in length after the bad metal was cut out.  I have already repaired the inner rocker here, and welded the outer rocker together with a patch.  I have one small 2" square hole to fill on the bottom side of the outer rocker....then I can move to the rear wheel wells.  They are a real mess.

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    • Like 4

  7. Both holes at the lead joint are fixed.  I moved on to the wheel well corner.  The hole kept getting bigger as I cut...finding more really thin metal.  Finally, I was able to get to some solid metal to weld to.  I ended up cutting a piece of the wheel opening out of the parts car we have here.  It helped with the compound bend around the edge of the wheel opening.

     

    Of course, as I was laying down grinding, I found another spot about 8" long where the pinch weld is at the rocker bottom.  That is next.

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    • Like 6

  8. I'm doing my best to knock out a small piece of this every day.  Probably a pipe dream to keep this up, but it keeps my momentum up...and helps me keep on schedule with projects moving.

     

    As I moved to the hole in the driver side rocker, I had to burn out the lead so I could weld to steel after cutting the hole out.  When I melted the lead out, a second hole appeared, almost as big as the original one next to it.  So for this evening, I took care of the first hole.  I'll save the other one for tomorrow.

     

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    • Like 2