Click the photos for an expanded view of each.
The inner panels were painted with rust inhibitor as they would be difficult to access after the outer panel was installed.
Final welding of left quarter panel patch. The method of welding a little area, then moving to another area was used. Then returning to the original area when it cooled. This prevents buckles from heat traveling through the panel during welding. A special metal lapping tool puts a recess in the patch panel joint edge. This recess allows for an overlap at the joint, but leaves the welded area flush with the panel surface. When the weld is ground down, strength is retained as much of the weld material remains in the lower lap area. This bend in the metal also stiffens the repair, and reduces heat distortion during the welding process.
This was a factory undercoated car, and the rubberized spray undercoat from Wurth was used throughout the restoration.
Very little plastic filler was required in the repair area as the patch was carefully fitted and installed. Careful planning, alignment, and patient welding reduced heat distortion to a minimum.
The rear differential was completely disassembled, inspected, cleaned and painted off the car. This photo is during the installation process.
Looking over the top of the differential into the drive shaft area.
The front fenders had accumulated gravel road silt inside the lip behind the wheels. This silt held moisture and caused rust perforations. There was no rust in the lower heel areas, or above the headlights.
As no quality patch panels are available, pieces were fabricated. Due to the compound curves in this area, this required three strips of metal being welded together to make the patch. Left fender photo.
The same type of patch was required on the right fender which had perforations also.
Patience, and careful alignment reduces the amount of filler necessary in the repair.
The repair patch went so well, that very little plastic filler was used. On these types of repairs, it is important to avoid plastic filler in the edges of the lip. This way, a stone chip from a tire, will not chip away the filler. With careful craftsmanship, the entire edge of the fender opening remained in steel.
Final preparation is finished and the car is moved to the paint shop.
Jim and the Impala the day she goes to paint.
Glasurit brand urethane primer was used. These types of primers do not shrink, and have superior fill and adhesion properties. The restoration was completed using urethane paint products exclusively .
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