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Thread: Sue's 59 Corvette project....

  1. #101
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    Feb 2018

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    Deck Lid Problem Resolved

    We've had a problem that the deck lid rear passenger corner was a 1/4" above the adjacent body panel, and the edge around the corner (about 5") was high, just not as high as the corner. It looked to me as the panel was mis-shappened. The following picture shows the problem, which was there when we purchased the vehicle.

    IMG_0340.JPG

    The initial plan to level things out was to fiberglass under the corner area and sand off the existing corner. We removed the lid, and I started marking the area and amount to be removed. It became clear very quickly that I would be removing all of the existing panel for a couple inches, both top and underside panels. Thinking the over, it became apparent we were going to have another, potentially more serious, problem re-establishding the edge profile, as well as in merging the edge with the main panel area. I really didn't like that situation, and really should have seen the consequences earlier!

    The next potential approach was to use a cut off wheel and remove the existing edge, reposition it, and glass it back in place. This seamed easier, but still had concerns with blending it back with the lid and body. So, this approach wasn't that appealing either. I'd kind of run out of ideas, and thought another set of eyes might help.

    Gary, BamaNomad, came out yesterday and we discussed the problem. He suggested making a template of the "good" lid driver side corner and see how it compares to the "bad" passenger side corner. Interestingly, they were virtually the same. My initial assessment that the deck lid was the problem was wrong! So, next we decided to make a template of the area near the corner on the driver side body panel. Then we took that to the passenger side, and the profiles were the same, again! Our initial reaction was obviously 'how can this be?' Looking at the passenger side body corner closely, it had a low spot that looked like a sander from an earlier paint job had dug out fiberglass at the corner!

    At this point, we decided to put the deck lid back on and look carefully at the corner. Previously we had used shims between the hinges and deck lid to level out the seam, best we could before sanding and filler work. While re-installing the deck lid, it became clear that we didn't need the 1/16" shim on the outer bolt of the triangle-pattern hinge. This was the bolt nearest the problem corner. Thus, helping lower the lid some.

    As a result of filling the 'hole' in the body and removal of the shim, we removed less than 1/16" of glass from the lid. We have started the sanding/filler work on the deck and trunk lids, as shown in the following picture.

    IMG_0596.jpeg

    Gary's 'extra set of eyes' was invaluable in getting beyond my 'assumption' the problem was the lid, and allowed us to really understand the problem. I am very grateful for Gary's help, thank you Gary!

    In addition to this work, we finished up on the gas filler, too.

    IMG_0595.jpeg

    Glad to have this one behind us and moving on.

  2. #102
    Registered Member Custer55's Avatar
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    Nice work! It always helps to have a 2nd set of eyes to come up with a sution.

  3. #103
    Registered Member WagonCrazy's Avatar
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    Sometimes getting a 2nd opinion helps. In this case, it did.
    Carry on!
    1957 Nomad- LS1/T56 on C4 chassis
    1959 Fleetside Apache 1/2 ton, shortbed, big window, 327ci.

  4. #104
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    A little more progress

    We've finished up matching the deck lid, body and trunk lid, and we've moved on to the 'jewelry' on the frontend. This will be the last of this phase. After this, we have some modifications to make, like engine air duct/cleaner and the like to make. Then, we plan on putting the assembled body back on the rotisserie, shoot one more time with high build, block again, and we're ready for sealer, water sanding and putting some color on this thing!

    The following pictures show the matched deck lid, body, and trunk lid.

    IMG_0612.jpeg

    IMG_0613.jpeg

    The next item was to match the headlight bezels with the body and the top fender spears. Before starting this, it seamed like a good idea to first checkout the headlight mounting surfaces on the front fenders to see if they were pointing in the same direction. Vertical was fine, horizontal was not. The passenger side was off 3/16" to 1/4", depending on where it was measured, across the 12" dimension of the bezel mounting surface. The driver side was fine.

    IMG_0599.jpeg

    More fiberglass and fiberglass filler, and we have the two pointing pretty close, less than 1/16", in the same direction. I know it's hard to see with my 3rd photograph below, I was a little over center, oops. I also did a string check, from the trunk key hole, to verify the headlights were pretty close to perpendicular to the car center axis, and they were.

    IMG_0614.jpeg

    IMG_0608.jpeg

    IMG_0606.jpeg

    Once the headlight mounting surfaces were pretty square, we focused on matching the bezels and fender spears with the body. we masked off the bezels and spears, since they have already been chromed/polished. Then applied a filler skim coat, a little sanding, and we're close enough for me.

    IMG_0611.jpeg

    IMG_0616.jpeg

    IMG_0617.jpeg

    IMG_0618.jpeg

    At this point, we're moving on to the grill and bumper surrounds. We've started work on the center grill piece. It needs a little more work, then we'll skim coat the lip resting on the body.

  5. #105
    Registered Member WagonCrazy's Avatar
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    My corvette (oops, i mean your wife's corvette ) is coming along nicely.
    Got to do it right on getting those gaps and trim to fit snug.
    this is a 100K+ restomod corvette being built. No sacrifices. Only high attention to detail.
    Can't wait to see it in paint.
    1957 Nomad- LS1/T56 on C4 chassis
    1959 Fleetside Apache 1/2 ton, shortbed, big window, 327ci.

  6. #106
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    Thanks Paul. We’re getting there slowly, but we’ll make it to paint before too long. And yes, you’d have a fight on your hands with Sue, she’s wanted a 59 corvette for a long time!

  7. #107
    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    It's looking great Richard!

  8. #108
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    Continuing work on the frontend

    Been working on setting and blending the grill and bumper surrounds. I am surprised at how poorly many of the body parts fit on the fiberglass body. I'm not sure if this is unique to this vehicle or typical of early fiberglass corvettes, but it takes quite a bit of fitting to get moldings to reasonably fit. Holes need to be enlarged, mating fiberglass needs to be sanded down and back, as well as fiberglass needs to be added in other areas. This was especially true on mounting the surrounds.

    Also, the chrome and stainless pieces set on top of the fiberglass body. I don't happen to like the look of the pieces overlapping the fiberglass. The alternative is to build up the fiberglass enough to be level with the chrome/stainless pieces. Then, the fiberglass needs to be tapered to meet the existing lines. This blending takes a little time, but looks significantly better, IMO. It's taken about a week, but the work on the four surround pieces is about finished, with a little touchup remaining.

    IMG_0631.jpeg

    IMG_0634.jpeg

    IMG_0632.jpeg

    IMG_0633.jpeg

    The final work in this phase is to mount/blend in the front parking/turn signal lights. After this, we'll touch up the epoxy and shoot high build one more time. This will be blocked, then we're ready for water sanding and a sealer coat, then finally paint.

    But before this, there're a few mods to be made yet. These include: building and integrating the engine cold air intake and filter, fitting the splash panels to the aftermarket frame, locating the stereo speakers, amp and subwoofer, locating the fuse and relay panels, and a few others.

  9. #109
    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    your dedication and hard work is showing, Richard!

    Keep it up...

  10. #110
    Registered Member 55 Rescue Dog's Avatar
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    Great work, and they did not fit anything well back when they were new.

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