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Field find 1954 Canadian custom
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sunroof
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

Maybe it's just the photos, but why are you replacing full pans and heater channels?

A legit question. One answer is that it is all rotten and what isn't rotten is paper thin and won't last long. Another answer is that the car is rare enough and original enough to justify doing a good job.

The bottom of the quarter panel is rusted through and needs replaced.

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Both heater channels are rusted beyond repair.

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The outer lip of the pans are both rusted.

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You can see rust perforations in the battery tray area but more than that is something difficult to photograph. The DPO like to go off-road with the car and both pans were pushed up a couple of inches. I hammered them more or less flat when I first started on the car but they are stretched and wrinkled beyond my abilities. Much easier to replace.

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Also difficult to photograph, all four seat mounts are bent and the sheet metal around them is fatigued and cracking. As well, the metal is stretched where the seat rails ride making channels in the pans. This could all be repaired if the metal wasn't so thin and I have done this job before BUT this is a significant safety issue and must be repaired correctly.

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Don[/quote]
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Last edited by sunroof on Tue Dec 17, 2019 5:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Fifty-Eight Rag
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:26 am    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

Ah...makes sense now. The pics you had posted before didn't show the extent of the damage. I figured there was a good reason...like I said, curiosity got to me.

Keep up the great work. Very Happy
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sunroof
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 4:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

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Don
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tomsbuggered
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

Don, great progress to date! My '56 is in similar condition body wise. I am probably going to go with Klassic Fab pans and heater channels, since they are heavy gauge and distributed in Calgary. They won't be as original but I'm not going for Concours either. I can't wait to tie into my project but it will be mid Jan before I get to into it again.

How are your doors gaps, since there seems to be very little distortion in your body line? Mine are not a consistent gap all way around the doors. I think I will try to improve on that, since I will probably be replacing channels on this one.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:11 am    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

COncept 1 told me they will mot be buying from Klassic fab anymore. I got the last heater channel and if you look at their website they are running out of beetle stuff. Too bad! I was going to order floors and the other heater channel from them.

My doors were not fitting well due to seized hinges distorting the doors and A-pillars. I am hoping to fix this and get the doors fitting properly.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:25 am    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

Nice project! Great metal work youíre doing. Iíll be watching your progress to use on my own 58!
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sunroof
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:25 am    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

In preparation for cutting the heater channel out I built a brace for the door opening. I don't like to weld to areas that will not be replaced later so I used the hinge mount and the striker plate mount. Most people weld the braces to the inside of the car so the door can be fit up before final welding. I've done it my way once before on a previous build and it worked a treat then.

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The turnbuckle makes the brace adjustable:

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Previous jig. It worked perfectly, when I bolted the door up if fit just like it did when I took it apart.

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The body is carefully leveled side to side and front to back. There was a very slight twist to it so the rear was perfectly level but the front was slightly off. A shim under the right front bumper mount made everything dead level.

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All the rusty metal in the front has been cut away. Once the back end of the heater channel sheet metal is all cut away I will put the body back on the chassis and tack everything in place, put the body back on the horses and finish weld everything. That's the plan anyways, Robbie Burns not withstanding.

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Everything needed to reassemble the A-pillar and the front kick panel:

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It is very reassuring that every time I shake the car a little bit or cut into it, big piles of rust fall out. This is actually one of the smaller piles. This tells me I am doing the right thing cutting it apart like I am. If I was finding solid metal what I am doing would seem like a waste.

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Here is a problem I am facing, how to remove the muffler holder without doing too much damage. For some reason the guy on the spot welder that day put 5 (count 'em five) spot welds on either end. It is not structural, it does not need 10 welds. I can't see a way of removing it without cutting into good metal. It looks like I will have to get out the body saw and cut it off. Geez, I hate to do that!

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This is looking up into the heater channel at the back with the bottom cut away. This is all rust that is hidden between the inner and outer quarter panels. I wonder how many "restorations" have been done over the years where this rust was not addressed and just covered over to make trouble for future owners.

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Don
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:54 am    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

Don, Very nice! I like that your car leaks rust like mine does. It is like they are infants and do not know any better. Damn cars!

I like the door brace. One thought, since the channel is pretty rotted, is that quarter panel still solid enough to rely on? I just cut mine out and, as always, was amazed at the amount of rot at the interior side of the panel! Might be worth inspecting it, if you have not already. But based on your experience level, I am confident you already have!

Keep going, you have my attention!
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

Quote:
One thought, since the channel is pretty rotted, is that quarter panel still solid enough to rely on?


You make a good point. in fact I did check it. The quarter is rusted about an inch up from the bottom. I got a mirror and a light and had a look before I decided where to weld the brace. Although not for strength reasons but so I could cut the rust out without having to remove the brace.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

That car is in good condition for sitting outside so long.
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tomsbuggered
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

sunroof wrote:
COncept 1 told me they will mot be buying from Klassic fab anymore. Too bad! I was going to order floors and the other heater channel from them.

My doors were not fitting well due to seized hinges distorting the doors and A-pillars. I am hoping to fix this and get the doors fitting properly.

Don


Well there goes that plan! I was hoping to go with Klassic metal work. On to plan B.

I was thinking about using the hinge points for bracing as well, nice job.

Really itching to get home and get into the bodywork on my '56.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

Don...you better get a quick patent on that door bar! I'm copying it next week!! Very Happy
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sunroof
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:20 am    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

Bad Surprises:

Once the heater channel was out of the way I could get a good look at the inner and outer quarter panel. Much worse than I exected, The DPO had stuffed this area with fiberglass which held the moisture and caused everything to rust.

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The outer is easy, I already have the panel from Virtanen which fits nicely.

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The inner, not so much. If someone has this piece available for less than it costs to send a crack addict to Harvard medical school I would be interested. Otherwise I may try to piece it back together by shaping new metal.

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Virtanen will get some more of my money to rehabilitate this area. The saving grace of this is that everything that was not in contact with the fiberglass is in excellent shape.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

I just repaired that section on mine out of 22ga steel sheets. Not to bad to do. I have six separate sections that make up the whole. Maybe a total of $10 in materials and several hours of shaping. I think it came out really nice considering all I have is a vice, hammers, pliers, cutters and a MIG. Oh and time and patience. Always forget those two!

Still need to fabricate another section above that patch where the holes are. Those holes are burn through, due to rusty thin steel! No big deal!

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I tacked the patch in at the lower heater channel then tapped it with a hammer a little bit. Tack it in at another spot. Tap with hammer. Tack. Tap. Tack.....You get it.
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tomsbuggered
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

sunroof wrote:
Bad Surprises:

If someone has this piece available for less than it costs to send a crack addict to Harvard medical school I would be interested. Otherwise I may try to piece it back together by shaping new metal.

Don
Now that's just funny, right there !

You are doing amazing work Don. Curiuous as to what body shaping tools you have at your disposal. If you are just hand forming , then I salute you. It gives me hope that I might be able to fab some of the repairs on my Oval as well.

Are you treating the inner surfaces between/behind panels with anything other than weld-thru primer to check further rust ?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

VW_Jimbo wrote:
I just repaired that section on mine out of 22ga steel sheets.I think it came out really nice considering all I have is a vice, hammers, pliers, cutters and a MIG. Oh and time and patience. Always forget those two!

I tacked the patch in at the lower heater channel then tapped it with a hammer a little bit. Tack it in at another spot. Tap with hammer. Tack. Tap. Tack.....You get it.


A lot of work , but worth it in the end.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:24 am    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

A real shortcoming of this forum is that we cannot tag people.

I was thinking of piecing it together Frankenstein style. I think I will put some sand in my sand bag and buy a plastic hammer to help shape the metal around the B-pillar. I'll post lots of pictures of the process but only after I have done it right so everyone feels bad about themselves for having to make mistakes and false starts.

Don
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

To reiterate:
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Paper template:

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The edge of the bench make a perfect place to start shaping the piece. To the right is a Snap-On hammer I got from a retired body man. It has tons of good hammer mojo and understands what it needs to do to get things just right.

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Vice-Grip. There is no substitute. Here they are helping to get the compound curves into the piece. Volkswagen understood the importance of curves to make light weight, strong panels. Hence the almost complete lack of straight lines on the car. Even when it looks straight, it is subtly not.

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Once again we see Hammer getting in there and giving Sheet Metal the business.

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This little piece of cardboard took many tries and at least an hour to get right. I think this was attempt #6.

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Junior Pick Hammer got in on this piece but he is only an egg and does not yet have the mojo of senior Hammer so senior had to come after and fix some of his little mistakes. Senior Hammer's best pal Dolly helped make everything come out just right.

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Pret a weldment.

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Before

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After.

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Lots to do yet on this little panel. I have to decide where to make my next cut to repair the base of the B-pillar. This is going to be another subtle piece with lots of twists and turns, stay tuned folks!


Don
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

Nice work! Heater channel next?
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

A little more fab to do on this panel then the heater channel. I'm trying to get everything prepped so I can drop the body onto the pan, tack all the front and back repair pieces in place as quickly as possible and put it back on the horses to finish weld everything. That should put the passenger side of the car to bed. The driver's side A-pillar will be a little more challenging as it is much worse than the passenger side.

Lots of nasty ugliness down there:

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Don
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