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Old 03-04-2005, 06:51 AM
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paint damage during assembly

I've got a high dollar resto job on a 69Z28 that will be near paint fairly soon. The jambs will be sprayed and the car reassembled for the final blocking and exterior paint to be applied. I've been thinking of making some clear plastic washers to put on the fender bolts so when aligning the sheetemtal and securing it with the bolts the paint won't get damaged. On numerous jobs in the past it was always a PITA dealing with the paint damage around the bolts incurred while aligning the sheetmetal and thought maybe a plastic washer under the bolt head washer would eliminate any damage. Think this would work? I could make the diameter of the washers slightly smaller than what the steel washers are on the factory bolts making them unoticable. Will the bolts have enough grip with the plastic washers? Or does anyone here have a trick for getting the sheetmetal shifted around and anchored without doing paint damage in the bolt areas. Maybe assemble with some other bolts with a smaller washer and then go back and change them out one by one? I know this sounds somewhat trivial but if I can assemble the car without any incurred damage I'll be a few hours ahead of the game. Just thought I'd ask thinking maybe somebody here has a trick for this that I could start using . Bob

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Old 03-04-2005, 07:45 AM
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Align the metal with the fewest possible fasteners. ALWAYS start with the doors to the 1/4 panel, then the fenders to the doors, then hood to the fenders. If this is an OEM style resto, dig around and find out how GM did it. Try also taping under the alignment area of the bolt and carefully trim the tape when you've got it where you want it. We just assembled a Shelby and one thing you may find on some areas where clips are used, the clip/bolt will move with the fender, keeping the marks where they belong. Nothing in restoration is trivial. Thinking well in advance of certain steps will aid the project. One such instance... don't load up on the clear where the bolts go. Save the final wet coat in that area for last. Less mat'l there means less chipping and less "spreading" when everything's tightened up. Hope this was helpful.
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Old 03-04-2005, 09:29 AM
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Well I have never put a whole car togther but have done doors and such and the tape thehighlander mentioned is what I do. I used the blue easy release and cover everything that could possible get scretched. Also I use a clear plastic masking tape that is 6 to 8 inches wide, I got it off the net from an air brush store, it is thick and easy to bend streach and shape.
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Old 03-04-2005, 10:10 PM
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quote: One such instance... don't load up on the clear where the bolts go. Save the final wet coat in that area for last. Less mat'l there means less chipping and less "spreading" when everything's tightened up. Hope this was helpful.

Thanks, I know what ya mean about keeping the paint thin in these areas. I've got just a thin layer of epoxy down right now and plan to keep the clear to a minimum, just a nice thin smooth coat or two. We want to see all the factory die marks and spot welds but have her shiny. I might try the tape trick you mentioned. The car is assembled right now but will be taken apart soon, I'll probably index the hinges so the doors will go on without much need for adjustment- I might even just set it up so I can just pull the pins. The fenders and decklid are the panels where I might need to do some shifting. Thanks for the help. Bob
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