Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board

Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board (https://www.hotrodders.com/forum/)
-   Body - Exterior (https://www.hotrodders.com/forum/body-exterior/)
-   -   Panel and structural panel replacement on 77 firebird trans am (https://www.hotrodders.com/forum/panel-structural-panel-replacement-77-firebird-trans-am-479097.html)

Schroeder 05-29-2017 05:41 AM

Panel and structural panel replacement on 77 firebird trans am
 
I'm replacing full rockers (full as in door posts are included), the roof (as some of you you know from previous topics), and quarters. Here is the car today. I'm working on the DS rocker now. I'm making a new flange for the floor panel, and then I'll begin fitting the rocker up.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...cca16cd1bc.jpg

I want to make sure I have a good battle plan here, so your input is appreciated. I think order of operations to maintain correct geometry and panel gapping is important. I plan to fit this rocker up the the existing, factory quarter which is still attached as shown in the picture. I will tack the rocker in place pretty good, and then I will reinstall the door to make sure I can get it to line up with the factory quarter. Do you guys suggest I even put the front DS fender on? I'm thinking I might have to do that if not the entire front clip. Suggestions please.

After getting he DS gaps okay'ed I'll remove the door and repeat the process on the other side. Next I will install my roof. The a-pillars on the roof interface with some flanges on the rocker door posts in putting on, so they have to go on before the roof. After the roof is installed I will proceed with quarter installation.

My plan revolves around using he factory placed quarters to locate everything else. Locate part A off the quarters, then locate part B off A, and so on. Maybe this is elementary, but I've never done this before and need help. How does that plan sound?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

deadbodyman 05-29-2017 08:04 AM

Instead of tack welding then putting it together and getting your gaps use drill screws. If you need to readjust something its a simple, fast solution. You can actually completely assemble the whole car with drill screws, even the roof.

MARTINSR 05-29-2017 08:41 AM

Yep, seriously, listen to DBM, that sucker needs to be screwed together completely before welding anything. Using a "selftapper" like this is pretty much standard affair in bodyshops across America.

https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/wc...5_pri_larg.jpg

The cool part is, the hole is small and makes for a wonderful weld. Wham bam, the hole is gone when you weld it up.

Brian

MARTINSR 05-29-2017 08:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Schroeder (Post 4195737)
I'm replacing full rockers (full as in door posts are included), the roof (as some of you you know from previous topics), and quarters. Here is the car today. I'm working on the DS rocker now. I'm making a new flange for the floor panel, and then I'll begin fitting the rocker up.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...cca16cd1bc.jpg

I want to make sure I have a good battle plan here, so your input is appreciated. I think order of operations to maintain correct geometry and panel gapping is important. I plan to fit this rocker up the the existing, factory quarter which is still attached as shown in the picture. I will tack the rocker in place pretty good, and then I will reinstall the door to make sure I can get it to line up with the factory quarter. Do you guys suggest I even put the front DS fender on? I'm thinking I might have to do that if not the entire front clip. Suggestions please.

After getting he DS gaps okay'ed I'll remove the door and repeat the process on the other side. Next I will install my roof. The a-pillars on the roof interface with some flanges on the rocker door posts in putting on, so they have to go on before the roof. After the roof is installed I will proceed with quarter installation.

My plan revolves around using he factory placed quarters to locate everything else. Locate part A off the quarters, then locate part B off A, and so on. Maybe this is elementary, but I've never done this before and need help. How does that plan sound?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I have to say after reading your plan out, you are on the money too, that is another way to go about it, you aren't wrong by any means. But to do the whole thing you have laid out but screwing the panels in place, same idea, with a tiny twist, using the screws.

Be sure that baby is level, not just measured height from the floor because the floor may not be level. Be sure the surfaces it is resting on are level. There is ZERO strength in that body right now, if one of the points is up or down you are going to be welding the body crooked.

Brian

Schroeder 05-29-2017 08:54 AM

Panel and structural panel replacement on 77 firebird trans am
 
I like the screws idea. I think it's level enough. I have checked in several places and checked the rocker several times before cutting it out. I figured if anything were to ever move on me it was gonna be when I did that. If you look in he picture I have some angle iron and other bracing welded in place to hold everything where it was prior to cutting.

Would you all recommend fitting the ENTIRE front clip before welding, or will doing one side at a time get me close enough to where I need to be? Also? Can I do both sides with screws at once before welding anything? That might be nice for fitting the entire front clip if that's what's recommended, but strength-wise it isn't as good I don't think and is a bit more risky.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

idrivejunk 05-29-2017 10:54 AM

Where did you measure?

What did you find?

How much variation is acceptable?

MARTINSR 05-29-2017 10:59 AM

I know one thing, I am not sure if this is acceptable showing this project, it's making John Long look like a *****. :thumbup:

Brian

Schroeder 05-30-2017 04:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by idrivejunk (Post 4196145)
Where did you measure?

What did you find?

How much variation is acceptable?



I checked to make sure the car was level on the cowl. On the rocker I checked on front bottom and top and on the back top and bottom.


What's the John long comment mean?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

MARTINSR 05-30-2017 08:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Schroeder (Post 4196865)
I checked to make sure the car was level on the cowl. On the rocker I checked on front bottom and top and on the back top and bottom.


What's the John long comment mean?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

It's a joke, your project is HUGE he likes HUGE projects. I am just joking that you are making him look like a wimp, which is obviously a joke being he is a stud in the shop, but so are you.

Brian

Schroeder 05-30-2017 08:16 AM

Panel and structural panel replacement on 77 firebird trans am
 
Oh. Haha. I figured it was something like that. I just did a search. I didn't realize that there was a member named John long.

Yes, the project is too big.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

idrivejunk 05-30-2017 10:59 AM

In my opinion, mistakes have already been made. Lack of assessment and planning prior to cutting, mainly.

I measured a '76 last week. The rocker panels themselves are not a valid measuring point. The tech doing the work on that car had also gone way too far without doing any effective measuring. I like the guy and he does good work, and I feel like when I stopped him from welding things together on a bent car I did right. But it took half a day or so of explaining, drawing pictures, and both of us on creepers, for me to get the point across and steer the project away from trouble. That was in person, and was my duty.

I asked 3 questions and you answered one. I can't help you know when to listen carefully, and can't guide you firsthand. So... here's a short answer...

Screws are strong enough if you use enough of them. Better hang the entire front end with subframe if you are going for six figure appearance.

Schroeder 05-30-2017 11:25 AM

Panel and structural panel replacement on 77 firebird trans am
 
I answered 2 of the questions. I told you where I checked for level and in doing so implied that I found the car to be level. More specifically, within .5 degree.

I didnt answer the "what is acceptable?" question because I believe it's somewhat arbitrary. I would think 1/16"-1/8" off anyway would be totally acceptable and better than any standard quality that was seen from the factory.

What mistakes have been made? When locating front to back based on cowl panels and wheel tub and quarter I don't honk I can get that wrong. These same panels help me locate vertically. Side to side I am restricted by the floor pan flange, cowl panels, and inner quarter structure. With so many constraints, I don't see how this can be screwed up too bad; especially considered that panel fitment will be done. If I were putting together all the loose panels- maybe.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

idrivejunk 05-30-2017 12:01 PM

So you put a level across the cowl, and measured from shop floor to rocker corners. OK. If that is enough for you, OK. For me, that leaves a lot out.

I believe your quarters can move with the tail panel and whole top gone, and that measuring begins at the factory reference points beneath the floor.

Height is only one of three dimensions. You may find, as I did, that when the floor is square and level that the rockers are not.

Proceed with your plan and see how it goes. If you feel like it, tell us what your measurements were on the rocker height. If I were you, I would also want to confirm that the rest of the body is level.

Have you found any evidence of collisions on the body?

Schroeder 05-30-2017 03:12 PM

Panel and structural panel replacement on 77 firebird trans am
 
The level on the cowl is all I did this time to verify that nothing has moved. I have spent time in the past making sure the car is level from side to side and front to back at various points on the car. I checked the cowl this time to verify and didn't do all the spots again.

I did not measure the bottom of the rocker to the floor. I figured that with all the constraints and knowing that this rocker should be level like the last was enough information. I can also look at where the floor pan flange was in the old rocker and make the relation on the new. Although measuring from the floor on front and back of the rocker would have been another great reference.

There is zero evidence of collision.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

idrivejunk 05-30-2017 05:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Schroeder (Post 4197401)
The level on the cowl is all I did this time to verify that nothing has moved. I have spent time in the past making sure the car is level from side to side and front to back at various points on the car. I checked the cowl this time to verify and didn't do all the spots again.

I did not measure the bottom of the rocker to the floor. I figured that with all the constraints and knowing that this rocker should be level like the last was enough information. I can also look at where the floor pan flange was in the old rocker and make the relation on the new. Although measuring from the floor on front and back of the rocker would have been another great reference.

There is zero evidence of collision.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Glad to hear it is unwrecked. I understand about putting new flanges where the old was. Having the car leveled front to rear isn't as much of a concern as side to side. What I like to establish before anything else is that the rear unibody rails ahead of the suspension mounting points at the big slot are on the same level plane as the subframe mounting area's. In case theres twist. Or just slop from GM. Chances are that if you have the torque box paralell to the datum plane (shop floor), the rockers won't be exactly the same height. If the only reference has been taken from the rockers, you don't know if the floor is right. It probably is, but if you get what I am saying you would then want to go out to the tail end of the body and confirm that the rear bushing area of the rail is also not tilted.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:24 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright Hotrodders.com 1999 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.