1972 Nova Project: Repairing The Rocker Panel

The roof of the 1972 Nova project is finally wrapping up, so I decided to tackle the rocker panel next.  It was rough.  Like… really rough.  The outer rocker panel was missing, along with the lower fender mount and the inner bracing that keeps everything structurally sound. Repairing it was not the easiest thing that I have ever done.

The first step was to cut away all of the rotted metal until you find a solid base to work with.  Then, since nobody makes replacement metal for this area, I had to fabricate my own.  I started with the inner bracing since that was the deepest part.  This piece was more complicated than I expected, because it is actually the lowest portion of the inner kick panel.  (Think about that for a moment.)  That interior kick panel metal goes down through the floor pan, and into the rocker where all of these different pieces meet up in harmony.  To get the rusty section out, I had to cut a section out of the newly replaced interior floor pan, along with all the metal on the outside.  Once I had it out, I grabbed some flat metal and started fabricating the piece that I needed.    Since nobody likes reading, here is the story in the form of pictures.  Enjoy, and leave some comments so that I know somebody is here besides me.

1972 Nova Project: Repairing The New Roof… Still.

Two weeks ago, I repaired the rear section of the “new” roof on the 1972 Nova project. This past weekend, I focused on the front passenger A-pillar, because like the rear, it was also trash. I began by cutting the rotted metal out with the cut off wheel.  I then bent a piece of steel at a 90 degree angle with a hammer & vice.  From there, I shrank the metal, which caused it to beautifully curve.  Then it was just a matter of MIG welding it to the existing roof and a-pillar, and grinding it smooth.  Once I am totally happy with it, I’ll soak the inside of it with some type of coating to prevent rust. After all, that’s what got us here in the first place.

Also – If you are enjoying this build, hating this build, have a question, or want to just shoot the breeze with us, leave a comment below. Without comments, we never know if this sort of topic is loved or hated!

Thanks,

-Jeremy

1972 Nova Project: Repairing The New Roof Edition

The last time that we had talked about the 1972 Nova project was when I had cut off the old roof skin, and rested the “new” one in its place.  Since then, I welded the skin into its new home, and began repairing the sections of it that were rotted.  Now, before I go any further, you might be saying “You replaced a rotted roof skin with a rotted roof skin? What the what?!”  And the answer is yes. Yes I did. See, people in New England can’t have nice things because of rust. The “new” roof was “very solid” (for New England metal) except for the whole rear section where the glass sits.  Water had clearly pooled there for quite a while and destroyed all the metal in that area.  BUT. Replacing that section was about one thousand times easier than replacing the entire middle of the old roof.  So that’s what I did.

Once the back of the roof was somewhat together, I decided to see how terrible the front sheetmetal was going to fit.  That process would have gone really well if the mounts for the lower fender bolts still existed. Sadly they did not.  So, I now I have to make those.  Great.

 

Wednesday = Hand Made Toyota 2000GT

If you were to tell me that you have never heard of Shin Yoshikawa, I wouldn’t be shocked, because I hadn’t either up until recently.  Who is he? you ask.  Well, the short story is that he is an absolutely incredible metal fabricator.  He and his shop (Studio Time Capsule) create automotive art in the form of classic sports cars.  They restore automotive history, and recreate some of the more special cars in their own interesting way.   They are true craftsmen in my mind, and use all of the old school tools that the coach builders of the 1920′s and 1930′s used.  Much of their work is with aluminum, which is generally known to be painful to work with.  It is tough to weld, and even tougher to shape.  Shin and his crew don’t seem to be phased by it though, because they build entire cars out of it.  But how? Well, I don’t know…. When I figure it out I will let you know.

This specific project is a hand built recreation of a Toyota 2000GT (Only ~350 real ones were built from 1967-70).  Shin decided to make his own all aluminum body from scratch that was identical in shape to an original body.   The amount of work and skill involved in doing this is nearly unmeasurable.  I hope you enjoy today’s project as much as I do, because it is a very rare art.

Found on:

http://www.studiotimecapsule.com/aluminum_fabrication