1964 Impala Convertible Project Part 6

Great News! I have a short and sweet update on my 1964 Impala convertible project.  Here goes…

I left off with some some freshly welded quarter panel action on Part 5 of the Impala project.  From there, I went around the entire quarter panel and spot welded it just like they would have in 1964, except that I did it with a MIG welder (Hey, nobody is perfect amirite?).  Once it was fully welded on, I decided that it was time for a drastic change in scenery.  Yes. It was officially time to soda blast the entire car down to the bare metal, and give it a brand new, even, epoxy coat of primer. There were a million benefits to doing this, like having no more rust to deal with, a solid base for “real” body work, and it would be sealed properly from the elements around it.  Yes, there would still be some metalwork here and there to do, but at least I would be working with clean metal from now on.

So last weekend was huge.  I borrowed a soda blaster from my friend that owns Homestead Blast, and spent the day blasting my way through decades of mismatched primers and disgusting grossness.  I used a few hundred pounds of soda, and a then several hundred pounds of sand.  When all was said and done, my car was beautifully naked metal.

 

I then washed the whole car down with some metal-prep cleaner, and began mixing up some black epoxy primer.  I did exactly as the directions told me, with a 2:1 ratio of paint to hardener, mixed it, filtered it, and turned the pressure down on the compressor.  After a few questionable passes with the spray gun, I got it dialed in, and the primer began laying down smooth.  It seemed to take forever to get the trunk, hood, Arizona born rust-free doors, and the body itself covered in two coats of the stuff, but at about 10pm, I had finally finished.

It is finally beginning to look like a legit vehicle again. Phew! I still need to clean up & prime both front fenders, and come up with a new passenger side hood hinge (mine is beat).  I’m also going to splash some POR-15 on the insides of the doors, fenders, rockers, etc.  The last time I used that stuff, it changed my world, and I need more of it in my life.

More to come…

In case you missed it:
1964 Impala Convertible Project Part 1
1964 Impala Convertible Project Part 5

1964 Impala Convertible Project Part 5

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.

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