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BUILD 1971 Nova - Work in Progress


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cap42

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Only update on the car is this next pic. Shit's been crazy the last week, I barely got any time to get in the garage.

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Yup that's it....

My brother came over to pick up my old compressor and he helped me flip it back right side up. I can then take the front jig off and get to cutting out the rest of the toe board and then tack weld everything in place and then flip it back and do finish welding.

I did get time to hook up the new compressor, it's footprint is slightly different so I had to drill new anchor's in the concrete. Plus with the larger air pump I needed to move it over a few inches so I could still access the electrical panel. Ran it for 30 minutes with the valves open to break it in, charged twice with the valves closed and then changed the oil. It charges from 0 psi to 125 in less than 4.5 minutes. Can't wait to get some work done and put this through its paces.

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v6buicks

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I don't know why I'm just now discovering all this. I've never felt so much satisfaction and PTSD at the same time. I HATE RUST, but it's so cool to watch it disappear!

That roll over jig is awesome. If I were to start over on my Camaro floors, that would definitely be route I chose. I almost want one to weld in my subframe connectors. :LOL: Nice work!
 
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Didn't do so good on the pics, I was mainly focused on taking video content. Trying to put a video together of making patch panels and panel replacement.

Got the front Jig off, it's holding up pretty well, but I noticed I need to tighten up the hardware. Thinking all the vibrations from the grinders/sanders causing them to loosen.
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Once I sliced out most of the rot and trimmed back some areas I was able to muscle in this patch. Man what a pain in the ass this was, here it is for initial mock up and marking for trimming it down further.
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Didn't get any before pics, but I had to fix the rotted section of the inner rocker first. I took the section I cut out and folded it flat, traced it out on 18 gauge and bent it up in my vice. Wasn't even worth taking out the metal brake for it.
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Welded in place and roughly smoothed.
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Here is the toe board trimmed to 90% of what will be burned in. This is in the video but it's not done. I'll take the cutting wheel and cut through both the new panel and the old metal to get that perfect gap to butt weld too. This still needs to be done.
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All of this was about 10 hours worth of work, I have learned that rushing it just causes longer cleanup or a piss poor result. I pretty much did the rush job on the floorpan the first time around and here I am paying for it in more time and money wasted. The time consuming part is this patch is not flat or 2 dimensional, so getting it to fit just right on all 3 axises is extremely important. The small patch I made for the inner rocker took about 45 mins. It's basically 2 dimensional only has 2 bends in it and I can make those with virtually no effort.

Still finishing up content for the video so it will be a week or two before that get's published.
 
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Spent a lot of time working but little to show for it. Time consuming shit , only took 2 pics and didn't even record any video. Was strait focused on getting this done.

Toe board is finally in, I fucked up one area. I did as I had explained earlier by cutting both panels at the same time but in the top right corner I cut too much out. I will need to splice in a small metal patch no big deal just extra welding and grinding. If you zoom in on the pic you can see it on the upper right section of the toe board.

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I then started mockup of the floorpan, I didn't get it to a point where I could tack it in place yet. When I do I will stop on that and move to making the transmission tunnel patch. For right now I have clecko's and magnets holding it in place for mockup.

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While this pan looks like a nice piece it the stamping leaves a lot to be desired. With covid I just bought this on Amazon and to be honest I don't even know who manufactured it. The flange that meets the rocker panel is not strait, it doesn't meet the toe board at a square angle. All of these things are manageable as no replacement panel always fits without some modifications or persuasion. There is one section if you look at the above pic where the toe board (in black) and the floorpan there is an excessive gap where the 2 panels rise up (top right of the floorpan). This will all be seam sealed later but it's like a 1/2 gap. I need to tack it all into place and find a helper so I can hammer dolly it into a more desirable fitment.
 
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Doesn't look all the different, only thing is the floorpan is welded in along the rocker and seat section and spot welded 3/4 of the way along the toe board. Where the clamp is at is where the 2 panels don't align close enough for my taste. I still need to get a helper for hammer/dolly work, I tried my damndest to reach it solo but my arms just aren't quite long enough. I will be out of town for hunting this weekend but I've got next monday off so maybe I'll get the motivation to work on it then. Going to pull out my fab tools out and get to work on the trans tunnel patch next.

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Took today off to recover from my hunting trip and decided to spend a few hours in the garage. Not much of an update but it's progress.

Spent most of the day cleaning up welds. I also slapped the front jig on the car so I can get it flipped back on it's side later this week. Lastly I started marking out what I need to cut out the trans tunnel and get my templates figured out.

My slip roller ony fits 12.5 inches so I'll need to make 2 patches. I was originally going to carry the new patches all the way to the toe board but with how many patches I would need to make and the original steel in front of the swiss cheese I changed my mind.

Close up pics of what I will be cutting out.

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When you cut those out try on at a time flattening them out, nothing crazy and use it as a template. It will get you close.
 
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When you cut those out try on at a time flattening them out, nothing crazy and use it as a template. It will get you close.
Already used tracing paper to get the patch size, for strait pieces with no bends or curves I've used what I have cut out many times.
 
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I'm not an expert but I would wager that is from the factory and it was their version of metal shrinking. I've seen it on a lot of other older cars (usually not this pronounced).

The reason that section is being replaced is due to a crack running down the middle and the top of the tunnel there has been flattened. Just a guess at its previous ownership is when the seats were swapped from bench to buckets someone wanted a center console and smacked the tunnel flat there which caused the crack.
 

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I'm not an expert but I would wager that is from the factory and it was their version of metal shrinking. I've seen it on a lot of other older cars (usually not this pronounced).

The reason that section is being replaced is due to a crack running down the middle and the top of the tunnel there has been flattened. Just a guess at its previous ownership is when the seats were swapped from bench to buckets someone wanted a center console and smacked the tunnel flat there which caused the crack.
That makes sense
 
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Got the car flipped back on it's side, so much easier to work on this thing in an upright position. I finished welding up and getting the floorpan mated to the toe board. I also made a small patch to get the front section of the trans tunnel connected to the floorpan so it's nice and rigid.

Made my template for trans tunnel and cut out the first section. Having this area open allowed me to use the hammer/dolly to straighten everything without a helper. You can see the patch I made in the first photo, I TIG welded it in place and didn't do the best job as there are some areas I put too much heat into it. It's not my best work but it will do for a patch that will never be seen.

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I got 2 video's rendering right now. The first video will be of the floor pan and the second will be of the trans tunnel/patches being made. I'll put a link in this thread when they have finished rendering and uploading.
 
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Finished welding the corner of the floorpan and then got started working on the trans tunnel patch. The patch is made but I ran out of time to finish fitment, that will have to be next weekend. Below are the pictures of the patch. Bottom 2 pics showing the fitment I need to adjust before burning it all in.

Patch with magnets and clecko's holding it in.
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Showing a low spot in the patch
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A high spot
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I recorded the whole process, from the prep work, cutting the patch, using the slip roller and then trimming etc. That was all recorded on my new Hero 9 black GoPro which I have to say so far has been awesome. I'll wait till I have the patch finished before rendering and uploading it.
 
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Got the trans patch mostly burned in. Spent a lot of time tweaking the patch to get a nice fit. If you watch the youtube videos you'll see the majority of it. Beware it's a long video as it's 2 full days worth of work (roughtly 40 mins).

One side if fully welded and metal finished and it's just tacked on the other 2 sides. I'll get to that next weekend and hopefully have enough time to cut out the next section.

The top most section is the side that is fully seam welded and metal finished. The left and bottom (left being the front of the car and bottom being the drivers side) just have the spot welds.

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This patch came out really well, I'm currently very happy with it. As long as I don't muck it up with the rest of the welding it there should be no evidence there was any replacement metal going on here.

I've got the video rendering and uploading to youtube, as always I'll post a link when it's up.
 

v6buicks

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Dang reproduction panels, man. PTSD is flaring up just reading what you said about the floor pans. I get that they're rarely going to be perfect because these companies are usually not using the OE stamps. However, I don't think I've ever gotten a repopped panel that was even remotely close! One for my Camaro was so bad that I should have made it from scratch. It would had looked a lot nicer, and taken less time. Oh well. Nice work man. You have a lot more patience than I.
 
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Some repop's are actually pretty good. AMD usually makes good panels that only require a little bit of fitment. The real problem is these cars were mass produced with very low quality control so even if you had a NOS part it still will have fitment problems
 

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Some repop's are actually pretty good. AMD usually makes good panels that only require a little bit of fitment. The real problem is these cars were mass produced with very low quality control so even if you had a NOS part it still will have fitment problems
Yea, I was going to say that AMD is the only company I’ve been satisfied with.
 

v6buicks

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I haven't had the pleasure of being able to use AMD unfortunately.
 
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Been slacking on the updates, I still get in a few hours every weekend on this thing.

I know I've said it before but now I absolutely need a helper to finish up the trans tunnel. The front patch is fully welded in and mostly metal finished (still some welds to grind here and there). The rear section is tacked in place, this panel sucked the worst trying to get it to make the sharp contours needed to fit. There are a few areas where I am just not happy with the fit up and I'd rather fix it now before fully burning it in and have this area look like shit.

Pics of where it is at so far including the front patch.

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I also started cleaning up other areas I've worked on like the wheel tubs and trunk area. Before I spray epoxy down I want everything to be 100% finished so when the car get's put right side up all I need to do is bolt shit on. So spraying the underside is still a month or two out.
 
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Haven't gotten a helper to come over yet, so I had to move to a different area. With the goal of getting the undercarriage painted/undercoated I started on more of the prep work.

There are still a bunch of weld areas I need to clean up and some finish sanding before I would be able to epoxy primer. With my OCD I couldn't just scuff certain areas that already had the EDP coating, so down to bare metal I went. This area is about 70% done, still need to finish the top and bottom drop off pans, in the pic below the area under the bottom gas tank brace. Once that is all sanded I'll get the driver rear floorpan and the driver toe board. There are some tight areas I can't get large tools in so I'll have to break the dremel back out. I figure I've got a solid 30-40 hours minimum left in all this finish work

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Thanks for the offer I appreciate it, but I just found out I'll be going in for surgery next week and won't be able to do any work for the next 4-6 weeks.
 

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