|Winding Road Classics, LLC|
|Building cars you love to drive|
|This big convertible is a Minnesota car that is being treated to a major rust repair process. The quarter panels, front fenders, lower door panels, floors, trunk floor, rear frame rails and driver's cowl area are all being treated and replaced with new metal. |
Dropping the gas tank when it arrived in the shop. This was for safety first, but the owner has already bought a replacement.
The front inner fenders were intact, but the driver's side had some rust that needed to be patched.
Another patch for the front inner fender.
The driver's side vent apparently leaked, so the repair method of choice by some unknown previous owner was expandable spray foam. This may have worked temporarily, but ultimately led to even worse rusting on the top of the cowl, inside the vent area, and on the kick panel on the driver's side. Fortunately, the passenger side was spared this fate.
This is just a portion of what was pulled out of the a pillar area and cowl, along with the vent door, which had been completely sealed with the spray foam. Do not do this to a car you like. It holds water like a sponge and makes the problems even worse.
On the rear, both wheelhouses were pretty rusty, along with the quarter panels and trunk extensions. The owner sourced a pair of quarter panels from a sedan, which are the correct length, but have a slight difference because of the convertible boot area. The wheelhouse was mostly good on the replacement quarters though, so the bottom section was retained and used to repair the horrible rust on the car.
On the inside of the wheelhouse, this snake shaped panel was fabricated to connect the wheelhouse to the floor over the rear axle and the trunk floor patch. The owner also provided a reproduction trunk floor, but it isn't quite big enough to cover the rusty areas on this car.
The owner bought trunk floor extensions which provided plenty of metal, but needed reworking to fit the profile correctly. This is usually true of patch panels and part of the job when doing radical rust repair like this.
This is a patch I fabricated to connect the good parts of the floor up high to where the new trunk floor will meet.
The rear framerails were very rusty, to the point of being weak. New rails are available so we decided to replace them and get everything solid once again. The rear of the leaf spring is bolted into the angled piece here.
A new nutplate had to be fabricated and welded into place. The bumper mounts with a similar system and it will be fabricated and installed before putting the trunk floor in place.
This "repair" is on the passenger side quarter panel in front of the wheel. There were sections of metal brazed on top of the old rusty quarter panel, then slathered with body filler and shaped to somewhat resemble a quarter panel. Getting it off was a hard job, and both pieces of metal had started rusting. Once again, this is not the way to repair a car you love.
I used a heat gun and scraper to get the old undercoat off of the replacement quarter panels. They were in good shape, but some rust can start under old undercoat. Getting it off and treating the surface rust before primer and sealer is a better way to handle this repair.
The rear axle was rusty and greasy at the same time. Pressure washing and rust treatment got it clean, then a few coats of paint and it's looking good. New brakes and hub seals are on the "to do" list.
After a short hiatus involved with moving the shop, this car is back on track. The engine and transmission were removed and sent to local shops for rebuilding. We continued with rust repair, sandblasting the front frame rails, and finishing the rust repair on the cowl and vent drain areas on the passenger side.
Sandblasted frame rails and firewall.
This patch covers where the heater motor was installed in the plenum, pulling fresh air from the cowl area. It was rusted and will no longer be used because the owner has decided on aftermarket air conditioning.
This junk was hiding in the frame rail when I cut it apart to replace a rusted out section.
Patched frame rail after vacuuming out the dust and rust.
Small area repaired where the front bumper attaches on the passenger front frame rail.
Passenger side floor patches.
Driver side floor patches.
Driver side footwell patches. This area was very bad thanks to the leaking cowl and expanding foam repair.
Next will be to install the patch on top of the cowl and then put the firewall patches in to seal up the front of the passenger compartment.
While the rust repair on the cowl and firewall were being finished, the engine was sent to the machine shop for a long block overhaul. A Comp Cams 260 H was installed but everything else is pretty much stock. This is when we got it back and unwrapped it to take it to the next step.
After carefully installing oil pump, gaskets, seals and taping off, the engine was painted "Hemi orange". You can also see the exhaust manifold was ceramic coated.
After all the work on the rust and sealing up the firewall and cowl, it was painted gloss white on top and semi-gloss black on the bottom. The top of the cowl was also painted white.
Finally, the 440 engine was back in place where it belonged. In this picture you can also see the aftermarket tubular upper control arms. With the suspension kit came new bushings, torsion bars, strut rods, and a weld on reinforcement plate for the lower control arm.