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03-02-2019, 01:12   #271
Daved_XB
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Finally getting back into working on the Dodge body work….. decided to focus on the passenger side to start off. As you may remember from earlier in this thread I have decided to blank off the side running lights in the front guards & the rear Qtr’s as I just think that it makes the line of the car much smoother & cleaner… so sanded off the paint the panels shipped with & sprayed with weld through primer



Then it’s a simple task of cutting out some flat metal that fits the factory recessed hole & welding it in





Whilst these new panels are good they are not perfect & sometimes they need a little fettling to make them fit… this is such an example, the guard has the top body line & that lines up with the door fine, then it has the mid body line & that also lines up nicely… but the lower line is a good half inch too low… so I’ve been playing the hammer & dolly to flatten out the line they pressed in & recreate it at the right level



Also the top of the door had been damaged a bit in transit & it’s also clear that their panel press for these reproductions is not as large as the factory original so I’m doing some hammer & dolly work here too



Now for the big job…. The door edge isn’t close to the shape of the rear Qtr at all & another issue is that the gap is massive & can’t be closed in using the hinge adjustments as there just isn’t enough movement to be had



So I’m using a few different techniques to try & solve this… first up was simple hammer & dolly work on the to stretch the metal forward a bit…



Once I’d gotten as much movement out of that as I could I then went to the next option…. I’ve used an old hot rodders trick & I’ve welded some tig welding wire to the edge of the door to physically lengthen the door itself & reshape it so that the profile matches that of the rear Qtr

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03-02-2019, 01:12   #272
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This is a lengthy process but it does work if you take your time





It’s still not right & needs a little more work… but it was a 47 degree day in Melbourne when I was working on this & that made the temp in the shed well over the mid 50’s & add to that the fact that I was welding in full welding gear… this was as good as I could get on the day





The lines are starting to look good now… still some to go before it’s good enough to go to paint but I’m getting there…





I’m travelling again for work a bit now… but plan on getting back into this as a priority to get the car to paint so I can then focus on the XB again…
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03-03-2019, 00:08   #273
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Started the finishing off work on sections of the Challenger, so wire brushing the bare metal sections & then coating in a thick rust proofer… next step will be to seam seal these sections.. doesn’t look exciting but it means that some areas are officially finished & getting prepped for paint… happy days



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04-03-2019, 19:47   #274
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you must be so glad to be finished the tear down part of the restoration and move onto the painting things end of it!
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04-03-2019, 23:51   #275
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Originally Posted by quietsailor View Post
you must be so glad to be finished the tear down part of the restoration and move onto the painting things end of it!
Fear not there is still a lot of smacking with hammers, welding & grinding to go here.... I just wanted to start finishing some sections to make myself feel better, in a oh look I'm actually going to finish this thing one day kind of way
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18-07-2019, 06:58   #276
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I’ve been a bit slack at updating this thread… there has been some movement at the station as they say… so he’s what I’ve been up to the last few weekends that I had at home.

I decided it was time to fit all the structural bracing that I had for the front end, now this was always going to be good fun as the instructions where as detailed as follows:

Fit the front brace to the car.
This is not an exact fit & may need some modification to fit.
Clamp & weld the brace to the car.

To add to this the pic on the instructions was postage stamp sized & so blackened that it could have been a pic of bigfoot water skiing behind the lockness monster for all I could tell. Also I actually had two front braces, this C channel one with large holes in its front that when fitted up missed most of the cars actual front rad brace.



Then it also had this thick flat bar that had little holes on it



So I emailed the company some pics as I had an idea as to how it was supposed to fit but I wanted their confirmation.. turns out I was on the money, the steps are to affix the flat plate first



Then you fit the C channel plate over that flat plate



First up grind off the excess metal on the flat plate until you can clamp it neatly into the spot it’s meant to go







Then clamp it tight to the car so that you can plug well thru the small holes to the cars support metal





I also welded around the top to the plate to where it met the support panel so that it was fully integrated with the car

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18-07-2019, 07:00   #277
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Then I cleaned up the welds & coated everything in weld proof primer, which is something I hate as it makes the mig splatter like a bugger… makes it feel like I’m using a gasless mig really.



With that done I was able to test fit the bigger outer brace piece



These needed a lot of patience & clamps to make it fit tight up against the new flat plate







The process was clamp a section tight, tack weld in place that section that was in place & then move the clamps again to get the next bit flat… it took hours as I was also not wanting to put too much heat into the car & risk warping something.. but in the end it turned out great… or at least I think it did



Then I cleaned the welds & coated in primer as another section hopefully finished





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18-07-2019, 07:32   #278
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Next up was the inner wheel arch support braces, these consisted of 4 parts, two small uprights that welded either side of the factory shock mount bracing panel, then a flat section that sits across both of these to box in the factory shock mounting plate… then the big section that joins these guys to the inner fender upper & lower & back to the firewall. Have I lost you yet? Don’t worry once you see the pics below you’ll get what I mean.

First up the pieces of course are only roughly the right shape, in the companies defense all the bits where over sized & only needed grinding down to fit… much better that the alternative of needed extra material welded to them I guess.

You can see daylight between this brace section & the factory inner fender shape



Once I had them test clamped in place & fitting I removed them & cleaned them up & coated the backside of them in primer as I’d never get to them again once they are in





Once the bits where shaped to fit it was a simple job of clamp & weld, clamp & weld.. once I had a few good solid tacks in place I could remove the clamps out of the way & fully weld









Always nice when you can see behind what you’re welding to ensure you’re getting good penetration… it’s all about the penetration folks



With the vertical supports welded in I was then able to play about with the flat cover plate that joins them… there was no way at all to clamp these in place so it was a case of holding them in place as best I could just to get a tack on one corner & then pushing in or pulling out to get tacks on all the corners… took forever to get it right



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18-07-2019, 07:46   #279
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Once I had them tacked in place then I was able to fully weld them in



Now you’ll notice in this pic that the flat under section of the big brace is nearly an inch away from the flat section of the piece I’ve just welded in… well these need to touch, so rang the company & pointed out that the gap couldn’t be clamped up as such as it was just bending the top of the inner fender where the guards bolt too… turns out the instructions are missing a section where you have to cut & bend that lip to suit… great…







With that done I was able to clamp on the big brace section & tack that into place





Then it was just a question of slowly working my around & stitch welding small sections at a time so as to not put too much heat into any one place & risk warping the panels at all





Then a coat of primer over everything & we’re down with the new bracing & I think it looks awesome



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18-07-2019, 08:00   #280
Krombopulos Michael
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Bracing looks fantastic. The company you got the kit from should take a look at your thread and update their instructions leaflet.
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19-07-2019, 09:11   #281
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Next up was a small job, as you may remember I’m filling in the front & rear side marker lights on the car to smooth out the side profile. The last one I hadn’t done was drivers side front side marker below



First up grind off the paint the panel shipped covered in



Then spray it in weld thru primer as I won’t be able to get to the back of it later



Then using the tried & test cardboard method of marking out the right shape for a filler panel, I cut out a patch to go in & again painted the back side of it in primer now.. then using my welding magnets held it nicely in place





Then slowly weld it in using many many spots or tacks if you will, again so as to not put too much heat into the panel & warp it



Then linish the welds back to flat & coat in primer



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19-07-2019, 09:12   #282
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Then it was time to move back to the arse end of the car, back to fitting the rear valence panel & the rear bumper so that I can work on the gaps & make sure they are right before paint.







Now the rear valance panel doesn’t really fit great where it joins the rear Qtr panels, it lines up at the top but it’s just not the correct curved shape as it goes gone to the bottom… I played around with this for a while & it’s definitely the rear valance, it’s simply not the same curved ends as the original, so I decided to section the ends.

This involved cutting a slice in the panel so that I could take the folded ends, pull them to the correct shape & bolt them to the rear Qtr panel where they need to be







Then I made up a thin filler plate that I was able to tack onto the rear valance to fill the void between the end plates & the rest of the panel I’d just created with my cut





Then I pulled the panel back off so I could fully weld in the filler pieces on the bench & be sure to get it right



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19-07-2019, 09:13   #283
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Now with the rear valence back on the ends actually line up & it looks good… not great but good, great comes a few pics later







I’m doing my best to have as close to zero bog in any of my cars as I can have, yes they will probably end up with a light skim in certain places but I’m not slapping it on thick anywhere & sculpting the shape out of it… so it was back to lead wiping as the best option I could think of to make the panel smooth & the gap just right… very happy with how this is looking now





Whist I has the blow torch & lead out I figured I’d do the door gaps I’d been working on too & also the join between the rear Qtr & the lower rocker, I haven’t filled this smooth yet so you can see how rough the first coat of lead looks before you get it smooth



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19-07-2019, 09:14   #284
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There are two final tiny spots of rust on the car that I’ve also addressed now… one was in the bottom inner of the B pillar, so first step is to cut out the offending metal



Then make up a patch to go in, I’ve drilled it so that I can also match the original spot weld locations



Rust, what rust



There was also a spot on the floor just behind where the drivers seat would be.. so again cut that out & made it out of two overlapping sections so that it matches the original floor & rolled in a crease line to add rigidity whilst I was at it



All in & finished & painted in the same thick black as the rest of the floor



Right & now you’re up to date again…
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19-07-2019, 09:17   #285
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Quote:
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Right & now you’re up to date again…
Fantastic job mate. Can't wait to see the next updates.
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