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Discussion Starter #161
Next up was addressing the quarter extension to decklid alignment issues since the decklid seemed to be a 1/4" too long and caused the decklid to hang out past the rear of the extensions. That just wasn't acceptable. After the jigsaw cuts to the quarter fixed the other problem, I decided a cut to the rear/top of the quarters could angle the extensions so that they would align to the decklid. Here goes nothing!

You can see in the cut in bottom of this photo. I used a pneumatic hacksaw on this cut because the blade was thin.
20200322_171123 by 7T02S, on Flickr

I fabbed up a piece and clamped it in place.
2020-03-28_08-05-43 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Welded
20200325_173239 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Here you can see the final alignment. By rotating the quarter extension the inner corner now aligns with the decklid.
2020-03-28_08-04-59 by 7T02S, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #162
Next was welding up the previously mentioned jigaw cuts. Here are the sheet metal bits I fabbed up before welding. On the first photo, I bent the piece upward and notched it so that it could serve as a handle while placing that I could break off after tacking in place. Probably wasn't needed but it worked.

20200326_170617 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Other side
20200327_165052 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Here are the results after tacking in those two pieces along with the quarter extension cuts in the quarter also tacked up.
20200327_172457 by 7T02S, on Flickr

20200327_172506 by 7T02S, on Flickr

20200327_172434 by 7T02S, on Flickr

I'm extremely happy with the outcome! The decklid area hasn't been something I've looked forward to for a while now. It feels great to have it fixed. Has anyone else had to do this I wonder? I still have to weld up the rest of the cuts now that I know the geometry is where I want it. I'll also have to do some minor tweaking to the gaps around the perimeter of the decklid by adding some weld as needed around the perimeter of the decklid, which is a common thing that is done. I'm going to have to do the same thing on my doors. I can live with that.

Now on to the tail light panel and the adapters to the quarters.
 

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Discussion Starter #163
Now for a major progress report on the taillight panel, extension adapters, and trunk corners.

Once I rough fit everything up and checked level a thousand more times with the laser level, I prepped the lower interface of the taillight panel and rear crossmember and tacked it into place. This was a nice thing to get done. It wasn't easy getting to this point, since nothing really fit back here to begin with.

20200329_100851 by 7T02S, on Flickr

I then worked further on the extension adapters. Since I removed them from the quarters, the angle of the top surface of the quarter can be rotated - it's the extension adapter that fixes the angle. I set the angle with the bar I welded across the trunk opening, leveling both sides with scissor jacks to fine tune the heights and angles. The main thing was to make the inside top corner level with the other side and to match the angle of the quarter extensions. I don't have any pictures but I had to rework the three surfaces that mate to the trunk corners. I did that by flattening out the top corner and moving the bend to a different spot.

20200328_122732 by 7T02S, on Flickr

20200328_142007 by 7T02S, on Flickr

These trunk corners were no cakewalk either. If you look closely, the RH one isn't tall enough to fill in the corner by the quarter extension upper-inner bolt. The drip rail was also not the right dimension to fit into the mating drip rail, so that had to be unfolded and reformed with a hammer. I also did some major work on the LH corner because the same corner was in the wrong spot, so I hammer it flat and moved the corner about a 1/4 to the rear of the car. This is all probably because I cut the wedge in the quarters (see previous posts.) I also had to trim the lower edge of them to better match the taillight panel's rear curve. The RH corner's edge wasn't straight and was missing a 1/4" of material on the inside of this edge, instead of welding material on to make it straight, I cut the same chamfer into the LH corner's edge. It's not really shown but I cut the edge at the silver sharpie lines.

20200329_144853 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Here is how I solved the corner's corner not being tall enough.
20200330_132537 by 7T02S, on Flickr

2020-04-05_07-29-51 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Once I had all of the pieces fit into place, I drilled all the plug weld holes, prepped for primer, then primed with weld thru primer. I like to let the primer dry at least overnight, so it doesn't scrape off as easily when re-positioning the parts.

Here's the extension adapter cleco'd back into place. Also did the same to the otherside but I didn't use clecos on that side. Once I bolted the quarter extension into place and made sure the angle/height of the quarter's top surface was correct, I actually tack welded the extension adapters on the inside to the quarter so they wouldn't move when I unbolted the quarter extensions.

20200404_114612 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Then lots of clamps and pliers were exercised!
20200404_120132 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Once both sides were clamped, I rechecked for level.
20200404_120910 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Then I progressively tack welded the extension adapters to the taillight panel from the bottom so I was certain the curve of the panel was maintained. Every few tack welds, I would check the curve against the quarter extension to make sure I was maintaining the curve and gap properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #164
Now for a MAJOR MILESTONE!!! I have the taillight panel, quarter extensions, and trunk corners FULLY welded into place! (Except for the center of the taillight panel where the trunk latch support sandwiches into place.)

2020-04-05_07-50-00 by 7T02S, on Flickr

20200404_173042 by 7T02S, on Flickr

20200404_173033 by 7T02S, on Flickr

I call this a major milestone because I've been waiting to weld in most of the quarter panel plug welds until the taillight area was welded up, since that sets the position rear position of the quarter. I was able to move them slightly up and down to best match the taillight panel. Once that was in, I welded up a good portion of the quarters fairly quickly.

Here are the lower edges of the quarters fully welded, both sides.
20200404_174708 by 7T02S, on Flickr

2020-04-05_07-57-55 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Rear window opening fully welded.
20200404_174054 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Fastback vent openings fully welded, both sides.
20200404_174015 by 7T02S, on Flickr

20200404_174113 by 7T02S, on Flickr

I've also previously tack welded the door seam in place to match the door edges. Now I can go in and fully weld those too, probably today.
20200404_174214 by 7T02S, on Flickr

So there we are, now the taillight area is fully welded and the quarters are mostly welded, it really feels like a car now! This has been a LONG time coming with LOTS of fitment issues to resolve along the way.

I think the next steps I'm going to do next are:
  1. Roll the quarter wheel well lips to match the rolled edge on the wheel wells.
  2. Finish welding the quarters.
  3. Finish welding the trunk divider and inner-quarter structure to the top of the wheel wells.
  4. Fit and weld one-piece seat riser.
  5. Fit and weld the drip rails (these are going to be interesting...)
  6. Weld on the roof.
 

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Discussion Starter #165
Things feel like they are really moving along now. Per my previous "next step" list, I started with rolling the fender lips.

Firstly, they are a little hard to photograph, so bare with me on the photos. Here's what the LH front started as. Note that I already rolled the inner wheel well lip on the bench before welding into the car. This was important, at least in my mind. If you look closely, you'll see that the inner lip, in copper, rolls away while the outer lip is unrolled. Also note that I only drilled plug weld holes in the lower section that I wasn't going to roll. The plan is to figure out how to weld the rolled lips together after they are rolled. Slight risk but I think it's better this way.
20200405_104447 by 7T02S, on Flickr

The rear edge looks the same:
20200405_104501 by 7T02S, on Flickr

A view from the RH side shows exactly why you need to roll the lips. The tire is for fitment purposes only and is a 295/35r18. I'll be using 17's in the end and probably a 275 or 285 so that there's lots of clearance on both sides of the tire so I can lower the car down as much as I can feasibly do with the leafs, knowing that the axle articulates and the tire flexes. I'm shooting for probably 3/4" clearance both sides, maybe more. My 68 C10 always rubs it's 295's on the inner wells (causing a head turning squeal) when I'm going over a driveway entrance at an angle that causes the rear end to articulate, even though I have probably 5/8" clearance and a panhard bar.
20200405_111550 by 7T02S, on Flickr

I then proceeded with a bull nose body hammer with an ample curve on the strike face. This is important since the lip is a curve surface, a more flat faced hammer would leave hammered creases from the both edges on the lip.

I learned straight away it wasn't going to work because as I would hammer down one area, the area I just hammered down would rise back up due to tension in the lip edge! Why did it work so well on the inner well I wondered? OH YEAH, they wheel well came with notches in the lip that turned the lip into small sections instead of one big hoop. The radius of the curve increases as you go from the opening to the edge of the rolled lip, causing the tension, so the notches allow that outer-most radius to grow easier. I then marked out semi-circles at the same locations of the notches and ground them out with a die grinder equipped with a carbide burr. Instant improvement when I started back with the hammer. Now I was on a roll! LOL (Pun wasn't intended but there you go.)

Here's how it turned out:
20200405_111003 by 7T02S, on Flickr

20200405_110911 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Notice how the outer lip is below the inner lip? I didn't expect that and now I have a perfect overlapped edge for some welds. No plug welds required. I'm sure glad I didn't drill the plug weld holes!

It's not the easiest to photo, but here's the tire back in place. Much improved!
20200405_114805 by 7T02S, on Flickr

20200405_111542 by 7T02S, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #166
Last weekend, I also got the one-piece seat platform fit, leveled and final welded in. It was quite the task getting things leveled. To level it, I would check each platform for level side-to-side at two points between pairs of bolts. I would then level them to the same rearward tilt between the bolt pairs. This worked out to around 9 degrees but that's relative to the angle my car is on the chassis jig, so don't use that number for reference. Maybe I'll post my rocker angle... I used a 16" steel ruler with a digital level taped on.

I'm skipping a bunch of photos of fitting the floor pan. Basically, in order to get it level, I had to move and reform some of the flanges where they met the floor. Here's the bottom side of the seat riser after drilling all the holes and spraying primer. Note this has the support beams already welded in. Note the two plug weld holes through the front of the braces? Those line up with the spot welds on my floor down to the frame rail extension. I made the holes a little bigger since they go through two layers of steel and so that I could turn the heat on my welder almost all the way up so I could really melt into the floor pan and frame rail extension. That's an important force transfer point.
20200406_193159 by 7T02S, on Flickr

My process for leveling included bolts in all eight holes that I could adjust individually. I used big washers on the larger holes in the floor pan to support the bolts. I also used a 4x4 above with spreader bars to push down when I needed a third hand. I learned to be careful with the spreader bars because I could actually push hard enough to deflect the floor downward - I wouldn't want to weld it in that state.
20200407_173623 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Once level, I tacked the four corners of each platform to lock in the "levelness". At some points, I had to push up on the floor pan to get it to meet the riser's flange, mainly on the rear seam, since that's where the floor flexes the most without the riser welded in.
20200407_181912 by 7T02S, on Flickr

I rechecked level and angles after welding in and they stayed exactly where I clamped them before welding. They look nice and level with the seats in place. Nice!
20200408_160439 by 7T02S, on Flickr

20200408_160912 by 7T02S, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #167
Drips rails were next. Drips rails sound like they should be easy, right? Nope! The tricky things about the drip rails (DRs) is that they are important to align both the roof, stainless trim, and weatherstrip. You need to get them test fit into place so that the stainless trim can go in and then the window weatherstripping can be installed then made sure that its in the right spot to seal to the window. In order to do that, they have to be pretty well screwed into place with all the stainless pieces BEFORE welding. Hard part is they are difficult to position. The other tough part is the top flange gets welded down below the roof. Then the gap between the drip rail to the A-pillar, roof, and B-pillar needs to be consistent.

One issue I had to deal with was the lower rear part of the DR is manufactured wrong (Dyancorn) to fit the stainless trip. You can see the gap in the bottom of this picture where the trim curves inward but the DR does not. I'm not about to bend the original stainless trim, even if I wanted to it doesn't bend in that direction! The DR doesn't even follow the curve of the Dynacorn quarter panel welded to the Dynacorn B-pillar. This was on BOTH sides of the car.
20200408_171029 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Here's the cut I made to fix the curvature issue. Not shown is the second cut I made to trim away the "wedge" of metal allowing me to curve the piece inward.
20200411_110803 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Welded in place and ground down.
20200411_112815 by 7T02S, on Flickr

NOW it matches the curve of the stainless trim!
20200411_112921 by 7T02S, on Flickr

In order to place the weatherstrip channel in the right spot, I installed the trim onto the original door openings and took some measurements so I could set them up the same on the new stuff. What I learned was to place the weatherstrip channel with the correct gap to the pinch weld, then the overall width and placement of the drip rail would follow once all three pieces of stainless trim were installed on the new drip rails.
20200410_135638 by 7T02S, on Flickr

20200410_135644 by 7T02S, on Flickr

I'm skipping a lot of placement and pondering and attaching the parts progressively to the car with sheet metal screws. Here I have everything screwed into place and the weatherstrip inserted into the channel. The curve and weatherstrip follow the window really nice! If you recall back, way back, I had to cut all the spot welds on this Dynacorn A-piller to Roof Brace to reposition the A-pillar to allow for the weatherstrip to have the right gap at the rear of the window. If I hadn't of pre-fit these parts way back then, I would have ran into a huge problem here. I'm not really a fan of some of the Dynacorn stuff, if you can't tell.
20200410_163816 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Since the sheet metal screws on the A-pillar and B-pillar located the DR, it helped keep things in place so that the roof could be raised up so I could screw the flange under the roof down. Since the roof holds the drip rails to a specific curve, I made a sharpie line underneath along the roof brace for reference. The DR jogs downward so there's a perpendicular surface to the roof brace for the sharpie line. When I raised the roof, I pushed up on the DR to match up with the sharpie line then screwed it in place with three sheet metal screws.
20200411_120220 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Then I reinstalled everything to check fit. The curve of the drip rail matches the window nicely, the weatherstrip seals all the way around, and the stainless trim stacks up perfectly! Nice!
20200411_130133 by 7T02S, on Flickr

20200411_131056 by 7T02S, on Flickr

20200411_131105 by 7T02S, on Flickr

The other side went quicker (as it usually does once you figure out the first side).
2020-04-18_07-04-19 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Next, I prepped them in the usual way; marking and drilling all the plug weld holes, prepping for primer, spraying weld thru primer, and let them sit overnight. I then installed them back into place with the sheet metal screws.
20200412_085654 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Then I welded!
20200412_111534 by 7T02S, on Flickr

20200412_111511 by 7T02S, on Flickr

The above took three long days. Next up is the roof finally!
 

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Discussion Starter #168
I got the roof welded in! I can't tell you how big of a milestone this feels like. Slowly, as each panel gets added, it starts to feel more and more like a real car. The quarters and taillight panel were the latest that felt like a huge step. But now that the roof is on, it really seems like a car and that the end is around the corner.

I started by stitch welding the seems along the A-pillar, B-pillar, and all the way around the roof structure, since the roof would cover up that area to access in the future.
20200412_155317 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Then I installed the sunvisor brackets after removing them from the original car parts. They were deeply pitted with rust but are really thick, so wire wheeled them to acceptance. I used the visors to make sure the brackets were placed properly. also installed the center bracket for the mirror (not shown) and had to make it taller since the Dynacorn front roof brace is thicker than the original by at least 1/8".
20200413_162651 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Then I prepped the roof structure just like I did the quarter panels, with weld thru primer around the perimeter and black epoxy spray paint on the rest that won't see the light of day ever again. I also drilled the plug weld holes at 1.25 spacing on the front and back and 3/4" spacing on the sides like shown in the Weld and Sealant manual. I drilled the side holes in the drip rail and welded from the bottom because I'm not about to weld and grind from the top in the drip rail.
20200414_213607 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Then with LOTS of clamps, positioned it in place. I used the laser to verify it was on center too. I also placed the original stainless front and rear window trim in place to make sure they would still fit. They did.
20200416_165139 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Then I started welding from the center out (on the front and rear structure) and did the sides last.

These deep throat clamps were helpful here.
20200416_183526 by 7T02S, on Flickr

230 welds later: (Sorry a little blurry.)
20200416_192444 by 7T02S, on Flickr

20200416_192542 by 7T02S, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #173
Next up was fitting the dash in place. First I needed to weld up the radio hole a PO put in above the glove box door for some reason.

20200417_164459 by 7T02S, on Flickr

After welding up the rectangular hole. I decided to not weld up the radio shaft holes. It's all going to be covered up anyway. It's sort of a big flat area and was already warping on my welding in the plate, so I figured I'd leave it like this.
20200417_181349 by 7T02S, on Flickr

I then spent a while scotchbriting the back so that I could spray paint the area that would be hard to paint once it's welded in place. You can see pitting caused by rust. No one will ever see this and it was more than structurally sound, so I kept the original dash.
20200418_084756 by 7T02S, on Flickr

In order to make sure the dash is angled correctly, I decided I needed to install the steering column and pedal support. I installed my newly rebuilt steering box by to align the column to. Even though the box was just sent back to me, it's already surface rusting because the rebuilding company thinks that cast iron shouldn't be painted because it will trap moisture inside because the iron won't breathe. They suggest coating it with oil for the rest of it's life. I won't be doing that. I'll be painting the darn thing. Not happy I have paint it after paying $180 for the rebuild and they didn't give me the option to decide on the coating. Oh well, that's just one more thing to do. They already coated it with their recommended oil and it's already rusting... Can't say that worked. It hasn't even been outside. It's ironic because I have lots of other bare metal in my shop that hasn't rusted for three years and this rusted in a month.
20200418_110018 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Pedal support fit right into place.
20200418_140958 by 7T02S, on Flickr

I obviously had to install the steering wheel and seat. Vroom vroom! It's been a LONG time since this combination of parts were in the car!
20200418_113740 by 7T02S, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #175
The bumper brackets proved to be a bit of a chore. You can see here that they are way too tall to fit as the top surface hits the curve on the taillight panel. You can see that the bottom flange is flush with the lower surface. Not sure how these were supposed to fit. ???
20200420_171804 by 7T02S, on Flickr

The blue lines are where to cut to make them fit. Compared to an original, you can see how much taller they are. The label says they are for 67-68. You can see the original has a jog in the lower surface that the new ones don't. Perhaps my new NOS taillight panel welded in slightly lower and maybe that explains this but the new brackets don't fit the NOS or original taillight panel. Would be nice if these were manufactured better. They are heavy duty and look nice, they just need some mfg adjustments.
20200420_172817 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Figures - now that they fit in flush to the taillight panel, the slots are way too high.
20200420_175419 by 7T02S, on Flickr

I then marked out where the slots needed to go and ground one side down with a carbide burr, opening up the slots. I then made little pieces to weld into the other side from the material I cut away above.
2020-04-22_06-47-02 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Welded the new pieces in place.
20200422_171559 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Then I ground down the welds and used the carbide burr to open the slots up to the right side and location. Fits like a glove now!
20200422_174237 by 7T02S, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #176
Once I got all the big panels in place, I decided I needed to make a list on the white board. This is my main TO DO list for the chassis/unibody. Sometimes you need a list to check twice! It's helping me focus on what's next. The order is purely the order in which I thought of things. The dots next to the items are what I'm doing first, for the most part.

20200426_184645 by 7T02S, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #177
This weekend was reasonably productive. I focused on brackets and parts that need to be welded on. Saturday I mostly focused on prepping as many parts as I could so that could spray weld thru primer Saturday night and then either weld them on on Sunday or to paint back epoxy VHT Sunday night.

I felt good getting 11 parts ready for WTP Saturday night.
20200425_183713 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Today, I started with the parts that didn't need another coat of paint (black). I started with the torque box gussets. These took quite a bit of tweeking and forcing into place but I got there. Here's on side.
2020-04-26_07-11-23 by 7T02S, on Flickr

I then got the trunk divider braces welded in place. These are critical for locking in the legs of the trunk divider. These will provide quite a bit of torsional rigidity. Before welding these in, you can see the legs move if I push side to side on the roof area.

20200426_132413 by 7T02S, on Flickr

20200426_132407 by 7T02S, on Flickr

I then positioned the brackets for the rear fold down rear seat panel. I started by clamping them to a tube at the right width and centered them up with my laser. This also kept them parallel to each other.
2020-04-26_07-22-34 by 7T02S, on Flickr

Then I welded them in.
20200426_150107 by 7T02S, on Flickr

20200426_150102 by 7T02S, on Flickr

The trap door and rear floor now fit in nice and centered.
20200426_151039 by 7T02S, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #178
Here's my plan for an X brace setup behind the flip up door in the trunk.. I want to create a tubular X brace that's also removable. I think it'll be pretty straight forward. It should also provide a decent increase in torsional rigidity. I'm planning to do a torsional rigidity test on the car and want to get a baseline pretty soon, before welding in the subframe connector and jacking rails, along with some various other braces. That's actually setting my order of operations from my to do list. I'm also wanting to do some FEA to figure out some brace designs and see how much they help but might just do real world tests, with before and after numbers, since FEA will suck time away from actually working on the car. There is another 67 on here that did a similar torsion test but I want to do my own.

20200426_152908 by 7T02S, on Flickr
 
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