Page 2 The project begins
Page 3 Front end and doors
Page 4 Body framing
Page 5 Wheel tubs and more framing
Page 6 Door openings and more on the body
Page 7 The frame
Page 8 Steering, shocks and engine mounts
Page 9 CAD, lasercut parts and intake.
Page 10 Transmission and engine mounts.
Page 10 Roof and more on the frame.

Karkmotuning

 

 

Door openings, and work on the body

The door jambs are next on the agenda. The driver's side one was welded in already, but as the car had been in an accident, the right hand door jamb piece casued a bit of sheet metal work. The bottom part was badly out of shape, and the part where the lock strikes was cracked.
Here's a before an after image of the striker backing, and the whole jamb part lying on its side below. I didn't think of taking a before pic of it, but it fits the B-pillar nicely now. The repaired and still misshapen hole won't show when the striker itself is mounted.
( October 2021)



The door jamb rosette welded to the B-pillar

Now the inside of the B-pillar could be finished (black arrows). a strip of sheet metal was welded in to make the top of the pillar look finished, and the lower part able to take fasteners for the upholstery.

Strips of sheet metal was welded to the wheel tubs too, for attaching the inside panels and upholstery (white arrow). The new sheet metal actually started turning brown, so I sanded everything and squirted on some primer.



The latch strikers had to get something to attach to, so long nuts were cut to an angle and welded to a piece of 14 gauge sheet metal. These were then inserted into the little hole visible aft of the lock in the pic above, between the black arrows, and the strikers were mounted using counter sunk philips head screws.

As the B-pillars were done for now, it was time to beautify the A-pillars. After removing the door, The welds from welding the cowl to the pillar and the pillar itself was ground as needed, and the old sheet metal cladding pieces were drilled for rosette welds, and welded to the pillar.



Continuing on the front side of the A-pillars.
The original wood pillars were dressed up with some kind of cast alloy outer cladding (white arrow) The sheet metal parts that continue the cladding of the A-pillars don't fit anymore, so new ones had to be made. A couple of ways to make these were tried, but they had to be scrapped. This is version 3, and they will stay (blue arrow). The solution was to continue them all the width of the windshield jamb.
(November 2021)

The piece of sheetmetal was bent on a brake, and one of the sides was stretched to make it curve to match the cast part. This was then rosette welded to the windshield frame, it's not a structural part.



A design with a more rounded end to finish it off was decided on.
This rounded design will probably be continued on the hinged windshield frame that will have to be fabricated in the future.

Here's how that rounded detail at the bottom of the windshield was made. A piece of 1" square tubing, a bit more than half cut away, and bent with the stretcher. Lots of work for a little detail, and of course, it had to be done twice, once on each side. It does add a bit of nice detail, thogh.



In this pic the piece above is already welded in, and the A-pillar is otherwise finished for now, the original cast pillar piece taped in place. The little frame/edge on the inside that will hold the windscreen seal is also done now.

The driver's side pillar has gotten a bit of detail work done to it too.
The sheet metal that tucks in behind the cast pillar cladding has been extended, as one could see ugly welds and a bit of the actual A-pillar here. Now the door gap is tidy. Well, it will be a door gap when the door is mounted back onto the body, of course.



The A- and B-pillars are done for now. One thing still left before I'll call it good, and pull the body off the frame, and that is the roof structure. Here's a sketch, it gives you an idea of what I'm working on.
There will be three more roof bows that will be attached to the framing above the rear windows and above the door openings. One bow has been there for some time, to keep the A-pillars from bowing in or out from eachother. A lot of parts to do.

End parts for the roof bows were cut with the plasma cutter, but the result was not great, so there was a lot of grinding to do. The twelve pieces are ground as pairs, so they'll go together square. The straigt pieces were also cut, and welding these up is next on the to do-list.



Bow ends welded into units and ground.


A complete roof bow here, prior to welding it to the body.

As the longitudinals were going to be welded to the roof, the surface rust was removed with a wire wheel on an angle grinder. A side effect was this dense fog in the garage.



When the Buick was built, it seems the body wasn't checked for symmetry very thoroughly. The rear of the roof was pretty different from side to side, it was almost ½" higher on the left.

After a bit of slicing, welding and hammering, the roof is now more symmetric than it was before.



Here the longitudinals and two front bows are welded in.

The ends for most rearward roof bow got an altered shape to fit, as the roof starts rounding off back there.



Here the idea with the little vertical section of the roof bow ends is illustrated, being that inner panels can be attached to them.

The rear roof bow was welded to the inner structure in this slanted position for the bow to follow the roof line.



A rod builder gave me his body dolly, and after cutting it up, and welding in some new material it will now fit the Buick body.

Engine hoist ready to lift the body off the frame, now just awaiting some helpful hands to keep the balance.



Finally the body is off its frame. Nice to have a sound structural body that keeps its shape. It would have been all but impossible to lift the body off the frame when the wood was first removed, as it would probably had just sunk into a heap of sheet metal.
(December 2021)

The frame looks simple and nice here, it's like a blank canvas with unlimited possibilities.



The frame is awaiting sand blasting, and to make use of the time, the visor was tackled. It's fairly narrow because it had fit between the outer A pillars, so the plan is to widen it a bit less than 1-½" and angle it up a bit to get a nicer profile.

As the visor had to be cut in half anyway, a peak detail was going to be added to the center of it. First a press form was made from 3⁄16" thick steel sheet to make the desired shape.



After some adjusting of the forms or molds, the second try was a success. Here the new part is taped to the center of the visor.

... and after an undisclosed amount of hammering and grinding, here it is welded in, and the visor got lengthened by the planned amount.



To gain a more streamlined look to the visor, the plan is to angle it up a bit like this.

To get the desired angle, new ends have to be made to the visor. Here the pair of new ends are under construction.
The curved fold was done by using a tipping die on the bead roller, and then hammering it over.



The new end part cut close to its final shape, and trial fitted to the visor, to check if the design will work.

Some hammering, shaping and cutting later, the new part almost fits. The step was continued off the top of he visor, rolled into the sheet metal, once again with the bead roller.



Once it was done, the work had to be done again, on the other side.

All welded and ground smooth, ready for paint, the new look is pretty much spot on.



This is what the visor looked like originally. As it's now moved up, lengthened and angled up, it has much more presence.

NEXT: The frame         Back to Karkmotuning