The Steps to Complete Restoration
1. The Frame
- Clean up replacement frame. 1/15/99
Cleaning a frame is a lot of work. The recommended tools include a wide chisel and 5 pound hammer; electric drill with wire brush; electric grinder with wire cup brush. You begin by using the chisel to remove any tar sound deadening material from the floor and tunnel. Water gets under this material and rusts, so you must remove it to preserve the pan. The electric wire brushes are a must to remove heavy rust and dirt.
Weld reinforcement steel on frame tunnel 1/15/99
The tunnel on this frame was cracked and needed repair. The crack appeared at the typical spot i.e. the opening of the hand brake. The fix is to weld the cracks and then weld more steel plate over a 1 foot long section of the tunnel.
Weld frame seams to strengthen them 1/15/99
The seams around the floor pan need to re-welded to the tunnel and cross members. After a lot of abuse and rust the floor pan will sererate from the tunnel. The front and rear members always need to have extra welding at the floor pan so that they do not come apart later.
Weld all holes in frame closed 1/16/99
An old frame typically is full of holes. They may be from rust, old seat brackets, drain holes, etc. We want to start with a new looking frame, so these must all be fixed. The rust is the hard stuff. If it is extensive, replacement metal needs to be welded into place. The best place to get replacement metal is from another old frame that is rusted out in a different location. Smaller rust holes can be filled by carefully using a gas torch to fill the holes steel brazing rod. It requires patience because the floor pan may be as thin as paper in some spots.
Primer frame with anti-rust paint 1/16/99
Once the holes are welded shut, the pan must be coated with a anti-rust primer. I use the Rustoleum red rusty metal primer. This puts on a thick coat to protect those thin spots from acquiring any more rust.
Paint frame with rust-proof black enamel 1/26/99
The final coat of paint on the frame is a gloss black enamel. I use the Rustoleum Gloss Black enamel. This paint covers well and dries smooth. The primer needs to dry at least a day before applying the finish coat.
Paint frame bottom with under-coating 1/27/99
The undercoating is needed to coat the bottom of the pan. This is necessary because the welding burns off the original tar coating. The bare metal exposed by the welding needs to be protected from rust. You can purchase undercoating in a spray can at the auto parts store. It sprays on and expands to provide a thick rubber like coating.
Clean and paint front suspension 1/28/99
The front and rear suspension also need to be cleaned and painted. Use the same electric wire brushes and clean the components. Prime with anti-rust primer and finish with gloss black enamel. If you have the bucks, you can completely disassemble the suspension parts and get them powder coated. It lasts forever and looks like porcelain. There are new kits that allow you to powder coat at home, but you have to buy an oven for your garage to make it work.
Sat Jan 30 20:47:45 PST 1999