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Old 11-16-2013, 10:57 AM
put up or shut up

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69 GTO judge project

this was the second pumpkin Goat we've done for these guys. On the last job they were totally being cheap but on this one they opened up the wallet a bit but still just a driver resto. These cars are a pain because the shape is ugly, which casts ugly reflections, and makes it harder to detect imperfections.the bumper itself is a huge task and something that should be considered an "additional" charge to the total cost of restoration. With my brief experience with Endura bumpers, my thoughts are that you must strip every one you come across and expect superficial cracks everywhere. So I'm not repeating myself, I will just drop a link of this repair which is already on the site, as to not post up the same pics twice...

Endura Bumper repair


sure this car was sand blasted and epoxied but it sat in epoxy so long that there was flash rust everywhere. We stripped the car for free. What I like to do is use 40 grit on a buffer running really low RPMs. For hoods and decklids I may use a mud hog with 40 grit or if the panel is stout and the right structure and shape to support a little heat I'll use the buffer on the lowest setting. Then I go back over it with 80 grit on a DA for the remaining material still on the metal. Spending a little extra time to make sure the metal is super clean is a good investment. I've seen far too many guys leave streaks of material everywhere. It doesn't occur to them that what you are REALLY trying to accomplish is getting that flash rust you can't even see, and then sealing that surface up as quickly as possible. Last, I metal conditioned the metal and promptly body worked each panel, one by one. The idea was to strip as you go.

the lead was removed and already repaired at this point. As I was cleaning the lead seam out at the rear of the drip rail and one thing led to another and I also had the entire drip rail completely stripped and metal conditioned (before the roof was stripped), so that explains why there is no metal conditioning in the drip rail or lead seam in this pic.

I like to go after thin metal with a pic hammer to test its strength. Don't let a smooth surface fool you when metal can rust from both sides. Look for signs and go at it.


yuk. There was some discussion about the window channel areas. They didn't want to pay but the shop had a shrinker that I was dying to find a patch for and this was perfect for that.

wow! this thing kicks butt!

This was a quickie weld in. I made 2 people mad for taking 1 WHOLE hour of company time to give a guy a free patch-lol I was mad when I was welding this in.

too many spot welds to release to push this out. This is the alternative. the weld looks like it's on the edge but it's not. It's much better to keep the original
edge if you can.

that's a definite issue.

it's not perfect cause I didn't cut all the way to the top and release the spot welds but that's ok, it doesn't have to be perfect on this car. Just needs decent gaps, not
perfect gaps. Perfect gaps require a lot more work.


the secret is in the metal work and super thin coats of filler. Most of it will end up on the ground anyways.

after two rounds of priming and blocking the car is painted.

a real judge is not supposed to have a colored firewall! the customer is always right though.

lift up the body to unmask the frame and start putting panels back on.

these cars cast horrible reflections. You could mud entire panels and lesson the curves but I like to leave them. I just focus on the lows of the natural curves and if they are good I don't put mud on them. It don't look as good but it will represent more of the natural shape, so block selection is important in trying to accomplish that while at the same time trying to make it sharp looking. That's what makes this car a little booger in terms of getting it straight and making it look good AND natural.

if you see that little wave in the reflection, that is urethane wave. If it's not one thing it's another.

we start by assembling from the back moving forward to the front of the car.

when the fenders were done, I wanted to check the squareness of the hood opening again since the body was off the frame, because you will never square gaps if the opening isn't square. What I mean by square is not the dimensions but an even read out on a tram gauge when you "x" out the cowl to the front of the support on the other side of the car. Sure enough it wasn't square and the first indication is how the cowl body mount bushing is stretched and we already knew the support was square. You can tell just by looking at it. Your next indication is the gap between the rail and your rocker. Two ways to fix this, move the body square and re-align OR you throw on the hood and push the body over til the gap is good, which isn't really a great way to fix it.

this is a good point of reference. It's in direct relation to the fender, which is dead centered over the support holes. In other words, we're not cheating it by adjusting the fenders in or out to get it closer...well not yet anyways.

if you look at the slot under the fender bolt you can see I resorted to using that movement, which means the body is square to the frame and NOW you use your adjustments to get it square. As you can see we are still off. So since you've already used your fender adjustment you can use your hood adjustments now. If it's still not right you can get a little more movement from the support I guess, but don't like doing that. It's either the cowl, support, or the rail causing this issue. The gaps turned out fine. No cowl vent panel either, which made it easier to "do the dance".

this is about as far as we go on this car.


Last edited by tech69; 11-16-2013 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:06 AM
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well she is coming together nicely, thanks for showing it.
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