We left off part four of the Chevy Impala project with me parking the car in the yard, and taking a year or two off. Sad I know… However, during that little break, I cleared my mind, and finally built myself a garage to work in. On March 15th (read: cold, snow on the ground), I started building the garage from my own plans with a borrowed nail gun. 7 months later, I gathered some friends, and pushed my Impala into its new home. By that time, it was beginning to get colder, and even though I was indoors, the non-insulated garage was too chilly to work inside. 5 more months pass, and spring 2011 has finally arrived.
We left off with the quarter panel being fitted, but it didn’t really sit on there quite right. It was also intended for a hardtop, so I had to slice the top of it off. This update is how I went about fitting the convertible metal to the hardtop quarter. I began with a hole where some old metal belonged.
Then I took the old convertible top sheetmetal and fit it to the new quarter. It needed some trimming but with Vise Grips and Cleco’s I got it to sit right.
I then trimmed the quarter to match up so that I could butt weld it to my old convertible piece. Once it fit properly, I began tack welding it in place. I took it verrrrry slow to prevent warping.
I continued spot welding around the edge until the weld was completed. It took forever.
Then I ground down the welds. I started by removing the high spots with a cut off wheel. Being careful was key, because it is easy to go off course and hack a hole in your nice new quarter. Then I smoothed the welds with some Roloc discs.
I left off with the metal at about 85% nice in my opinion. Eventually I am going to smooth it a little better and use as little filler as humanly possible.
More to come…