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70 GS Stage1 Convertible in Tealmist Gray


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I am nearly ready to get this thing back on the ground. I just have the front brakes to install. I ran out of steam and time this evening...so tomorrow morning I'll pick back up.

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It's back on the ground now. I took photos before putting on those lovely 30 year old whitewalls and rusty 14" rallyes though

When I was installing the brakes, I screwed up and installed the left and right brake adjusters on the wrong sides. I went to do a preliminary adjustment and ended up tightening the adjuster all the way in...causing me to disassemble both sides to swap them. That's what I get for not double checking.

Brake and fuel lines will be here sometime mid week. In the interim, I'll bring the body back in and start getting that ready. I don't imagine it'll take long to get it cleaned up and ready for paint. The doors and fenders are in pretty good shape, with the exception of two creases in one of the doors. I have a suspicion that the fenders are "flat tops" and will need some help there. Trunk lid is nice. Hood is exceptionally nice, but I'll have to make the spring disappear on the bottom side.

Maybe end of February to see some color?

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Posted (edited)

After swapping the body shell back into the shop, I proceeded to work on removing the remainder of sand trapped all over the place after blasting.

 

Most of it was in the rockers.  Unfortunately, there is extremely limited access to these areas.  I opened up a 3/4” hole in the rear wheel house to extract the sand.  After looking into the hole with a flashlight, I found massive amounts of mouse nests.  So out came the straightened coat hanger, a vacuum, and blow gun.  4 hours later, both rockers are cleaned out...as well as the rest of the body.  The photos posted are from only one side.

 

Once that was done, I seam sealed the body.  Tomorrow I start block sanding.

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Edited by Smartin (see edit history)
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On to body work!  Holy cow, it is so much easier to do this with the body on a rotisserie.  I can just move the car up or down depending on where I feel comfortable. 

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While waiting on various dry and setup times on the body, I started on the doors and trunk lid...

 

Krinkly paint!

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I welded up the emblem holes in the trunk lid due to it coming from a Skylark.  I'll have to locate and drill new holes for the GS emblem before paint. 

 

I hosed the second round of super build on this afternoon.  Hopefully only one or two more rounds of this.

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I was able to get all of the fuel and brake lines installed this morning....except the two small hard lines that connect the front brake hoses to the wheel cylinders. Apparently, those are a separate item in the "drum brake line kit" from Inline. WHY...I have no idea. Other than that, all hard lines are installed. The chassis is in the house garage right now...it's fun running back and forth from garage to garage because you need a tool.

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It doesn't get easier, but efficiency goes up as I get more comfortable with this stuff.

 

I think I'm at the last polyester primer block session.  I have everything knocked down with 80 grit, and made some adjustments to a few spots on the body...then shot those again with polyester.  So the body will have to wait a couple more days to spot block with 80.  I started blocking the doors and trunk lid with 180 grit when I finished with 80.  Each round of blocking gets guide coat (as seen on the far door and quarter panel).  I am using the 3M powder  as the guide coat.  It's black, so it shows up in all the low spots and sanding scratches really clearly.  Once the 180 is done, I will move to 220.  I think I'll be ready for 2K surfacer at that point.

 

Still have to start on the fenders and hood before I can think about color.  Still shooting for end of February for that.

 

It is so cramped in here....ugh

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Edited by Smartin (see edit history)
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Hi Adam,

I've been following your projects for many years and admire your craftsmanship as well as your documentation skills for the forum. Probably an uninformed question, but does leaving polyester in what I assume are the low spots create any issues for those who may still run a magnet over a panel to see if there's "bondo"? And, is the poly a pretty stable filler over the long haul given temp changes, shrinkage, etc.?

Keep up the good work and updates!

 

   

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This type of primer is thinner than filler, unless it is loaded up with 50 coats.  Typically I will spray two coats at a time, and nearly sand it all off as I block the panel.  This is the step that allows me to get a panel laser straight.  In the past, I would not take this time to block with polyester, and I look back at some old jobs ...and it shows.  
 

The low spots that are filled with poly are typically so fine that you can’t feel them with your hand.

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Kudos Adam!  I too follow your exploits closely and totally admire your expertise!  Just wish you lived closer to me!  The '49 Is getting good attention here but it sure would have been fun watching you do it up!

 

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High build is finished...ran out of time to spray the 2K tonight...will do it tomorrow morning.

 

The hood should be an easy prep...it literally came off a completed car with great paint.  
 

The front fenders are an issue.  They are NOS...which means there was a good chance they are the type that have the wrong top arch, and don’t line up with the hood........and they are definitely that way.  The passenger side is 1/2” too low in the center when lined up with the front and rear of the hood.  So, we are going to use some good originals.  They should be here in the next couple weeks.  In the meantime, I will prep the hood and prep the rest of the body for paint.  I’m going to drop the body back on the chassis and install the doors before paint.  I’ll also assemble the front sheet metal before paint, to make sure it all fits.  I’ll have the fenders, hood, and trunk lid off the car to paint.

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2k surfacer is on...and I did a final 2 coats of black epoxy on the dash, firewall, floors, and undercarriage.  Body schutz sprayed on the rear wheel wells and outer trunk drops like factory.

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On 1/22/2020 at 9:46 PM, Smartin said:

They are NOS...which means there was a good chance they are the type that have the wrong top arch, and don’t line up with the hood........and they are definitely that way.

 

Hmmmm, so NOS not so good...?  It sounds like you've encountered this issue before.  Was there a bad batch of fenders built in the past that were returned to dealers or suppliers and now get re-circulated as "NOS"?  Reminds me of another story about NOS wheels which turned out to be out-of-spec for lateral runout, but looked new.  Apparently replaced under warranty, thrown on a shelf in the back room for 20+ years, then sold as "NOS"...

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14 hours ago, EmTee said:

 

Hmmmm, so NOS not so good...?  It sounds like you've encountered this issue before.  Was there a bad batch of fenders built in the past that were returned to dealers or suppliers and now get re-circulated as "NOS"?  Reminds me of another story about NOS wheels which turned out to be out-of-spec for lateral runout, but looked new.  Apparently replaced under warranty, thrown on a shelf in the back room for 20+ years, then sold as "NOS"...


 

Regarding “NOS” parts..........

When I first started attending swap meets in the early 70s,  there were LOTS of NOS parts for 30s, 40s, early50s Buick’s as well as other Marques.

Mostly die cast molding, emblems, trim stuff (in original boxes).

And, lots of sheet metal.  
I knew of a couple guys who took trailers across the countryside buying

old parts inventories from Buick dealers.  
I recall seeing the original brown wrapping paper on much of the sheet metal.  

I personally bought some of this stuff in 1973/74 for a 48 Super I was doing.   
 

I can tell you firsthand that NOS does not mean a perfect quality part!  Most of what I saw would have been 

considered rejects in today’s quality control.  Die cast chrome and trim stuff was the worst.... usually bad plating or thin plating.

I bought 2 NOS rear fenders for my Super.  They looked ok when I took them out of the wrappers........ but, wow, they

needed a lot of help in order to fit!   Luckily, my dad (who worked as a sheet metal craftsman on TUCKER prototypes)

took them for a couple of days and worked them over.   He said aging dies turned out the junk

usually destined for wreck repairs at the dealer body shops.

 

So, my view is ........ don’t get too enamored with NOS parts...... be wary.

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Roadmaster75 said:

I can tell you firsthand that NOS does not mean a perfect quality part!  Most of what I saw would have been 

considered rejects in today’s quality control.  Die cast chrome and trim stuff was the worst.... usually bad plating or thin plating.

I bought 2 NOS rear fenders for my Super.  They looked ok when I took them out of the wrappers........ but, wow, they

needed a lot of help in order to fit!   Luckily, my dad (who worked as a sheet metal craftsman on TUCKER prototypes)

took them for a couple of days and worked them over.   He said aging dies turned out the junk

usually destined for wreck repairs at the dealer body shops.

 

So, my view is ........ don’t get too enamored with NOS parts...... be wary.

Same conclusion!  Many of these parts were too inferior to put on new cars, but were "good enough" for getting a beater back on the road years later.  Maybe NOS mechanical parts to exclude anything to do with seals or rubber parts (age).  And too many times parts that are defective were put back into original packaging and now years later become NOS.

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The issue with what appears to be all NOS fenders I have come across, is that the tops of the fenders are welded incorrectly to the inner structure.  There is a secret to being able to tell if one is like this without ever putting it on a car.  The inner lip of the fender at the top, inside the engine compartment, is a different measurement than an original one.  You can usually get your finger tips inside this gap on originals...but cannot with the NOS ones.  I'll shoot a couple pics when I get a hold of the originals.

 

For now, the wet blocking is done on the body shell, doors, and trunk lid.  Tomorrow, I'll get the body off the rotisserie and back on its 4x4 spanner dealies.  I can (hopefully) then lower the body back on the chassis.  I am hopeful that I don't need any extra hands for this.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Our plan to use original fenders didn't work out, so I am back to using the NOS/replacement fenders that came with it. They're really solid, so at least there's no rust to contend with. So today, I tackled the front sheet metal install and alignment...mostly to make corrections to the fenders.

I loosely installed the fenders and core support, keeping the support-to-frame mounts loose so I could move that around, too. Once the RH fender looked good at the door, I moved to the LH fender. Then to the hood, using the hinges that will be installed on the car. I don't know if that really makes a difference, but it can't hurt.

It was a challenge aligning the hood, because the space for it to sit in between the fenders was just barely big enough for it to sit inside. So I was nearly back to square one on the fender alignment...but I managed to shimmy everything around to get it just right. I actually moved the doors out a little bit where they meet the fenders, so I could pull the fenders away from the hood.

Once the hood was where it needed to be, I could see the RH fender was not right. It had an angry brow...and there is no adjustment there. I cut the spot welds out of that bracket where it mounts to the core support and pulled the outer skin of the fender down to where it sat straight with the hood. It is just held there with Vice Grips right now. I'll have to weld the top holes, then pull the fender back out a little bit on the side, because I think it is pulled in toward the middle of the car just a bit. That's where I quit for the day.

I grabbed the headlight bezels and grille from the parts car to make sure nothing else was tweaked on the core support. There are a couple spots on it that need to be pounded out, but didn't appear to affect the mounting of these items.

My HOPE is that I can grind the welds out from inside the fenders and just do the ones along the centers, keeping the outer welds intact. The fenders aren't as bad as I thought they were. When I stuck them against the hood before installing, they looked REALLY bad. These are pretty subtle.

But....there is no way I could have done all this alignment work with the fenders painted. I'm glad I took the time to do this.

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Those holes are drilled out welds 😄

 

The brace that I cut the welds from was incorrectly welded in from the factory, as well as the top of the fender.

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I started on repairing front sheet metal today.  Someone had clearanced a little bit of the hood inner structure for what I'm assuming was an air cleaner...so I had to cut out a good piece from one of the trashed hoods we have here and graft it in.  Same for the spring on the front of the hood.  The good hood we have came from a 72...so it's gotta go.

 

I also have worked the fenders to where I can weld the inner edges back up.  I'll take care of that tomorrow.

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Fenders are in polyester primer, and I blocked the hood as well.  It already has a really nice layer of (fairly new) paint, so I am just running over it with a block to smooth it out.  It's amazing how wavy it is, since it looked great before I touched it. 

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Me too!  The last 2 weeks were taken up by Mom's passing.  I am leaving for Cancun tomorrow morning...so maybe two more weeks before another update 😁

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  • 4 weeks later...

Since I have the new shop under control now, I got started back up on the convertible.  Continuing with body work on the fenders.  These things must have been moved around for 40 years in storage.  They are a total mess.  Rust free, though!

 

My new goal for paint is mid-April.  Seems attainable, right?  Maybe I'll get quarantined and will have to do nothing but work on this.  If that's the case, then it'll be painted in less than 2 weeks.  I don't know if I'm that lucky, though.

 

I did start to pull some more parts off the parts car this evening after air filing and blocking for 6 hours...

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