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Dimwit
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter #21
You can tell from the first photo that the driver's side fender meets the hood side an inch or so higher than does the passenger side. I missed getting a photo of the two fenders side-by-side, but I have one of the cardboard template I made from the passenger side up against the driver side. I cut out the three foot section from the top of the driver side fender, ran it back through the shrinker-stretcher and English wheel and welded it back in place. The height of the driver side is much closer to the passenger side now.
 

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Dimwit
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
I've had a long break. A fellow commented while viewing my build and discouraged me a bit. Oh well. I just need to pull up my big boy pants and get on with it.

I've finished reworking the flange on the driver's side front fender, reminding myself that perfect is the enemy of good. Here are a couple of photos with the headlight buckets held in place with magnets. I may play with the placement a bit more.
 

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Dimwit
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter #24
The fellow took a look at the passenger side and said, "I can't tell if it's comin' or goin'."

That's not the worst comment, though. On viewing my completed A-pillar, my son the welder said, "Well, it doesn't look as bad as I thought it would."

I thrive on high praise.
 

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Dimwit
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter #25
The 39-41 Chevrolet headlight bucket housings have a smaller diameter than do the headlight buckets I bought. I removed the internals of the bucket housing by grinding away the rivets. Then I cut away the flange on the housing that would accept the trim ring. This was a mistake - I should have left the rolled edge of the flange in place. Oh well. I ground out the rivets that held to housing together and spliced in a piece to increase the housing circumference to match the trim ring, Now to create an anvil against which to roll the edge of the housing.
 

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Dimwit
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter #26
My son the welder cut a semi-circle anvil from some 3/8 inch plate and it's worked very well to roll the edge with a body hammer. I spliced in about a two inch section of 18 guage to expand the diameter of the headlight buckets. They now match the trim rings I had purchased years ago from a now-defunct Harley-Davidson distributor.

Son also gifted me a poor man's metal bandsaw. He'd built a wall mount for a hand-held HF bandsaw some years back. He's since purchased a bigger unit and no longer had need for this one.
 

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Dimwit
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter #27
I used a sheet metal punch my son inherited from my dad to cut a bunch of brackets. I had planned to bend the brackets to 90 degrees and weld them to the inside of the headlight buckets. After looking more closely at how the headlight backing plates fit into the buckets, I decided to simply weld the brackets to the rolled edge of the buckets. I used a cereal box to make a template of the mounting holes in the headlight adjustment plate and welded the brackets to the bucket edge. Clip-on nuts attach to the brackets and the headlight adjustment plate bolts to the brackets. The buckets look pretty nice with the stainless trim ring in place.
 

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Grand Prix user
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5,416 Posts
I know how I missed this thread... the title. But wow! Not anymore, I won't. This is wild, I gotta see the whole long strange trip.

Is there a drawing or anything, of what you're going for?
 

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Dimwit
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter #30
I'm getting prepared to place the headlight buckets into the front fenders, so I made a couple of stands to hold a horizontal brace. The photo highlighted some flaws, one being the lower flange on the driver's side fender. I fabbed a replacement piece and welded it in.
 

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Rod...from a Chrysler?
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4,907 Posts
The front has a cool shape to it. I'll be following along.
I do a bit of shaping myself on my project.
 

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Dimwit
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter #32
The first two photos show how well the crease across the front fenders and grill shell are level and aligned. The photos also show the crown of the driver's side fender is higher than the passenger side. I decided to cut and splice the top of the driver's fender to reduce the crown.
Several months have now passed, but the fender is spliced together. My garage space has filled in the interim so I am not presently able to assemble the front end and recheck the crown. I hope it's reduced enough. Still have some work to do with the hammer and dolly.
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Dimwit
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter #34
The front end is now relatively defined. I still need to place the headlight buckets on the front fenders and skin the hood frame, but the shape, height and width are all set.

Time to think about the rear end. My early thoughts were long hood/short trunk, but the profile and the doors do not fit those early thoughts. I've spent the weekend sketching various rear fender lengths and roof lines on graph paper so I can keep measurements. I think I've settled on "fastback" roofline with the rear fenders that same length as the front fenders. The side glass is late-80's Mercury Cougar turned upside down. I had picked up a 2000's Corvette convertible rear window when I thought the rear roofline would be more vertical, but it is way too short to use in the new roof.
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Dimwit
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter #35
I'm storing some furniture in my garage temporarily. The furniture stands where the front end was assembled, so I cannot start with the headlight bucket placement or with finishing the hood. Now that I plan to have the rear fenders mirror the fronts, I decided to start forming the driver's side rear fender on the buck I'd used for the front. I have two pieces shaped with the English wheel and the shrinker.
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Dimwit
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter #36
Spent a few hours in the garage this weekend and made good progress. I started with three flat pieces of 20 gauge and one piece that I'd scrapped from some earlier work (it's in the background of the first photo). I ended the day with a good bit of the driver's rear fender (outside part) shaped.

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the 'Duracell Project'
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2,325 Posts
holy crap! i have a big empty barn, bring all your furniture over here. i wanna see you working on this car
hard to believe i'm seeing this thread for the first time

like the shape for sure

 

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Dimwit
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter #39
Spent a good part of this weekend in the garage, spending a day on each of two sections of the driver's rear fender. One piece came out very good. The second required two attempts. I tried to start with the flange at the bottom of the fender. This first attempt failed as the flange pulled up as I worked to make the front of the fender curve. The second attempt was better. I quit for the day as I tried to recall how I had formed the front fenders to match the contour of the S10 body side panels. Some work with the 1/2 inch round dolly I'd used four years ago was less than impressive - maybe it'll look better next weekend.
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Rod...from a Chrysler?
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4,907 Posts
Nice panels. The reflections show some true shaping.
 
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