Body Work

Body work is just that. Here are pictures of some of the work I had to do on my car (with an experienced helping hand and garage space generously provided). The whole process took 5 or 6 weekends.

First, the seats were taken out.

Here is the actual damage on one side of the car. Its a little difficult to see at this resolution, but the shadow from the flash shows where there are just huge gashes in the underbody of the car. Rust sucks.

Cutting the rusty edges off the holes went a lot faster with a jigsaw then with a dremel or hacksaw. Still, the dremel is very necessary in some of the tight spaces around the frame. You can see the jigsaw through the floor of the car (its red).

Once we sanded off the rubberized body protectant and as much of the rust as we could, we painted a rust neutralizer on all the spots (it turns them purple, which might not be visible in this image). Then, we started fitting steel and aluminum plates over the holes and riveting them into place.

You have to rely on some sneaky tricks involving a jack, a vise, a chisel, and (of course) the jigsaw to get all the pieces to fit well. There is a coat of primer there too.

To fix the floor, we used fiberglass. It was a little cold out in November, so we needed to shine the light on it overnight for the epoxy to dry. Fiberglass is a lot easier to work with, and if I could have turned the car upside down and used it on the underside then I certainly would have. Look at how well it matches the original shape!

The next-to-last step is bondo, good old bondo. It took a few applications to fill all the cracks, with some sanding in between (wear a mask) to get a nice finish. This picture is after the last application but before it was sanded.

We finished by spraying on more of that protectant stuff, which forms a rubbery coating over the surface. This spring, we’ll know how well it held up.