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.
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.
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Over the past weekend, I decided to fix a part of the 1972 Nova that has been waiting for quite some time. It’s the passenger side rear… inner wheel house (a mouth full). You see, it rotted away decades ago, but I couldn’t repair it because I wasn’t even sure what shape it was supposed to be! I first had to rebuild everything around it to see where it fit in. So once I got the new outer wheel house, trunk floor, and trunk drop off attached, this project could finally be tackled. Since people love build threads, I decided to document the fun with plenty of photos. Let me know if you like this sort of thing, and I will be sure to post tons more. As you can see, there is plenty of work ahead. If you like the video, I can do more of that. If you prefer strictly pictures, I can cater to that. Tell me what you want to see and I will do my best to please the masses. Here we go!