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Old 06-21-2007, 02:23 AM
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Rust, metal work, sanding, Paint!!

I recently bought a 70' el Camino and It came with grey primer and still needs some body work. Actually as I later found out it needs pretty major body work. The entire area where the rear windshield sets in is completely rusted. The bottom of where the window sets (the very top of the front bed wall panel) has been completely eaten by rust and is gone. I obviously cannot put the windshield back with this much rust decaying my car/truck. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I am thinking about replacing the panel that is under the windshield (front of the bed), as well as grinding away the remaining rust that surrounds the entire windshield. Then I am going to weld in a new housing for the windshield to sit in.

I am also wondering if I should strip the entire car down to the metal and re-primer it. I dont know how far down the previous owner went (or what kind of work he did). I can also see a lot of un-evenness in the body from minimal bondo work. I know I should obviously sand this stuff evenly, but I am wondering if I should just go all the way to the metal, do the remaining body work and re-primer. Then sand, primer, sand, primer, sand, fine sand, finer sand, even finer, and when I can see myself in the primer, finer sand and then........PAINT!!!! (wet sand, paint, wet sand, paint, wet sand, etc.)

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Old 06-21-2007, 04:25 AM
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That is a very typical problem with most 70's cars. Ive had several in my shop and had to repair them. It ment cutting all the old rotten stuff out and forming new metal, flush it in and mig it up. The problem is you dont know why the bondo is on your car? Was it to hide rust spots? I have found complete rocker panels carved out of bondo, no metal what so ever! You have to think real hard about how deep you want to get into this. Chances are if the window edges are gone, so are the bottom door corners, rockers, and inner fenders towards the back of the bed. You might want to look real close at the area just above the windshield, for some reason the El Caminos trap moisture up there also. Just my 2 cents.

Last edited by Metal Twister; 06-21-2007 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:08 AM
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depending on how bad the original finish is will warrent complete paint stripping. If the original finish is in good shape, just DA it with 400 then reshoot, if not then strip it. If the paint is a laquer, strip it.
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:29 AM
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hey 1970 chevy. im no "expert" but still feel compelled to give my opinion, by saying, "STRIPP HERRR!" if rott or rust has taken over areas you didnt expect to have been at, then .... fabricate! might be a bunch of work, but isnt that the point of getting these cars? that and plus... your already going thru the process AND expense. so why not? " sounds like youve already got the experience and plan to get it done properly.
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:46 AM
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media!

it looks like a total plstic-media-blast is best,or if you run short on funds a fine sand blast would do it.go over the whole car and figure your plan on re-doing the window area's and all rust, go under the car as well and see if you see even more rust!,then go and start with windows and look under all cubbie area's around the bottom of the fire wall and doors and bed and lower fenders ect,. then sand prime +_block until you drop.(bourne51)
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:24 PM
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I have gone over the car pretty extensively and have mainly focused on the window-rust problem. There is not rust in the floor panels (at all!). There is a lot of surface rust in the bed, and the tailgate is hiding rust towards the bottom portion. Around the front windshield is great. There is some rust eating through the stowage compartment (where the montel carlo, chevelle rear seats would have gone). I will more meticulously go throughout the car looking for rust. The parts that I was almost sure were purley bondo actually turned out to be metal. Its a pretty solid car (minus the window rust) but I think it was just a bumpy bodied car.
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Old 06-24-2007, 06:33 PM
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The GM base is lacquer it needs to go. Heres how I did a 69 & 70 GM cars. Using a Dewalt variable sander buffer with a stickit 8" 80 grit pad and go over the car with light pressure using it like a da. Use a small sand blaster to blast all suspect areas. I drilled out as many spot welds as I could still see. I cut back from the rust about a half inch back from the rot holes (they rust seems to stay around the seal area). Try to save the panels you cut out for patterns. I made the windshield body pieces for my 69 GTO and Dads 1970 Olds 88 with two pieces of heavy angle iron and c clamps as my sheet metal brake and a roof panel from another OLDs 88. I bent right angled Z and L shaped panels for the long pieces and for the corners I welded up three small panels to make the corners. I painted the back side before I welded them in. Using the window trim for a guide I welded up any low spots so I had a solid steel edge where the body met the moulding. I reblasted the openings. My Goat only had rot around the rear window. My Dads 88 was a Conn. car and had just got hit hard on the right rear. I bought another Olds for $!00.00 for the rear clip. It was a 2 door and his was a 4 door I cut out the entire trunk, the eight lower inches of the good QP and all of the right side QP except the top six inches. I did the same to the donor car. Then I used the roof for the window frame patches and lower fender skin and fender frame panels. I used a sand bag and various shaped pieces of wood to duplicate bolt recesses in the inner and outer fender patches. When its up on a rack the fenders bottoms look original. I sand blasted all the repairs. Metal prepped, Variprimed all bare metal, lacquer primer, Centari paint with hardener. I spent lots of time but not much money. Also I did lots of block sanding. The OLDs was painted black and the GTO red. It worked the panels were straight the paint flowed out great. I got lots of compliments on the paint. The paint stayed nice for about ten years and the rot is still gone not bad for for a pair of daily drivers. Nowadays there may be nice patch panels available that will save lots of time. Ureathane primer will also save time. Also Rage body filler is awsum. Go for it and post pictures of the repairs as you go.
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Old 06-25-2007, 07:02 PM
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1970.... Look at the 1st photo in my album. It is what was left of a quarterpanel on a Mustang. The owner had some problems with the finish of the paint, because you could see some sanding marks. I stripped the car and found this. You never know what you have until you are down to bare metal.

Aaron
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Old 06-27-2007, 03:08 PM
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Thanks for the replies! It is a lot of help. I dont mind, and really enjoy doing a lot of work. Especially when I am saving money. Now I am sure that I am going down to bare metal. adtkart, that stang' was a sight to see! I have a feeling that I might run into something like that when I strip my elco's paint. I think I am going to use perrib's method of two peices of iron to bend a z pattern for the front bed panel under my window. Thanks again guys!
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Old 06-28-2007, 08:00 AM
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Post some pictures of your progress in a journal,my son has a 69 el camino with the same problems in the rear window,when he got it the rear window trim was sitting behind the seat and a bunch of silicone was sealing the window in,i imagine when he finaly gets going on this(his first project ever) he'll find some serious rot in there.
Since its his first project i'll probably be doing most of the metal work with him watching and learning and helping,needs a new drivers side quarter from a pretty good hit but the rest looks to have minimal rust throughs.

Have you found anywhere the rear windshield body area can be bought new?

Good luck on the project .
John
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