Introduction
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Karkmotuning

 

Getting the huge dent in the hood out.
Rear repair and fender work.


This wagon has been in Finland for some four years, and from the relatively fresh look of the paint inside the hood, the hood was sand blasted from the inside by the previous owner. If you ever thought of sand blasting a car: DON'T!
The '68 Chevy hood has a substantial inner structure, with two big triangle shaped holes. When blasting, the sand has thumped the sheet metal in these areas so hard, that the sheetmetal has stretched and made huge dents.
I trailered the hood to a good friend's body shop, and he showed me how to shrink the stretched metal. Here's how I did it with an electric spot welder of sorts, equipped with a graphite rod.
(January 2019)

After all this work, the hood seemed about as crooked as it was to begin with, and it looked even worse. Luckily my pal came to the rescue, and did his magic with hammers and dollies, and the result is an improvement for sure, but a lot of filler will be needed to make the hood look like a hood again. The hood is put aside for now. This kind of work really makes it feel the project is at a standstill.



As this car is so badly rusted, you'd think the wheel arches would be really bad, but surprisingly enough, they're not. Only one spot was rusted, and it was here, to the front of the right hand side rear wheelwell.
The patch piece is taped to the wheel arch for a test fit here. The holes are for rosette welds, to get it to look like the original spot welds. I like to drill the holes pretty big, to get a good weld to the underlying structure.

The wagon has been hit in the rear left hand corner. Should be a pretty straightforward repair.
First the bumper had to come off. Not an easy task, as someone had welded the bumper brackets to the frame. Anyway, this is what it looks like to begin with:

The straightedge shows how the rear quarter should follow the same line as the tail gate, so it's almost in inch too far in. A slide hammer with a claw that can grip thin sheet metal was borrowed. Easiest is to just spot weld in a piece of scrap sheet metal, and start hammering (pulling) away.
Well, first the paint has to come off.



Oh shoot!
This was not expected. The fender bender was actually repaired to this state!

The lead was heated and melted until it ran off. A few releif cuts where the sheet metal had wrinkled were cut, and pulling was done from different pieces of sheetmetal that were spot welded to the quarter. Looks much better already, but the outer corner is still a bit too far to the right, and nothing happens when pulling to the side.



First some sheet metal pieces were welded to the outermost corner of the quarter, and pulled to the side. Not a success, since no matter how hard I hammered away with the heavy slide hammer, nothing gave. In the end I gave up, and cut up the whole thing as the pic on the left shows. Then a template was made, using the right hand side as a model, and a new strip was cut and welded it. After a few spot welds the fit was checked, and as all looked good, the rest was welded and ground. Now it looked good, and I called it a night.

The next day, when showing photos of the repair to a buddy, I noticed that it really didn't look that good, so when I got home I checked with the template I had made before.
Apparently the whole thing had warped when welding. The green part shows how far off the curve was and the white arrow shows where the little sharpie V should point at.
Luckily it was pretty pliable, and not too had to get sorted. Some pieces were cut for the bottom part to fixate it all. After I had welded a four or five spots I checked again, and... Rats! it had moved again. I was close to giving up for the night, but hated the thought of being at work the next day knowing I hadn't figured this one out yet, and started over.
Slowly welding in a new piece, and hammering away until the fit was okay, checking the alignment after almost every spot weld finally yeilded the desired result.



The rear corner seen from below. Also visible in this shot is the pieces of sheet metal spotwelded to the corner, that were pulled with the slide hammer. The rear corner is welded now,and just awaits grinding. As usual, this dented corner took a lot more work than expected. About four times. I should remember that. Four times.

When checking if the rear is done, two rust holes were dicovered in the bottom of the tail gate.
A deep sigh, and on with it.
The big patch for the middle piece was measured, and cut out. Then it was bent on the sheet metal brake. Some persuasion later, the new part fit nicely. The rust was cut away, and the holes adjusted until the patch fit and could be welded. This pic is taken a few tacks later. On the other side the sheet metal was hammered and dollied flush with the original folded skin, and rosette welded through previously drilled holes. The green arrow points at some more rust.



The most problematic hole was given a try. "Problematic" as the tail gate hinge was in the way of any decent size grinder. First as much as possible was cut with a small angle grinder with a small cutting wheel, and then the rest was cut with a rotating file. It was slow work, but worked okay. A patch piece was made, again hammered to a nice shape, and welded in. Grinding the welds was as hard as cutting the hole, but the same grinder with another file made grinding feasible. It was then sanded with a dremel and a tiny flap wheel of sorts. I always looked at Dremels as toys, but this time it came in real handy

After the tail gate had been welded and ground, it was time to turn to the bumper. It too was a bit deformed, the drivers side outer part was bent forward. The inner structure is pretty sturdy, so it was cut in order to get the chrome bumper straightened.
Now it looked much better, but was off a bit to the left, so the bumper mount had to be moved about 1/4". The arrow points at the most ovious place to see this.
(february 2019)



With the mount welded, the bumper fit much better.

The bumper ends also fit very nicely to the indentations in the rear quarters, so this repair can be considered a success so far.



The rear bumper cleaned up pretty well, the before and after pic shows a quite dramatic change. I was going to paint the bumpers as they looked so bad, but luckily enough, I decided to try to polish them.

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