End in sight

Rear fender caps primed and painted with two coats of Tremclad satin black.

Rear finished with painted end caps in place. I’ve opted to use the trim from and earlier year across the trunk lid in-between the new chrome tail light doors. I think it finishes it nicely. I modified the placement of the backup lights. The originals were lined up with the middle stainless trim which is slightly bowed. I think they look better following the line of the bumper.

Rocker panels in place. They are riveted to the body sill and I riveted tabs to hold the bottom edge to the underside flange – the originals were welded of course. A little touch up on the paint will be done.

Adding Kilmat sound deadening matting. Hopefully it along with the carpet and original thick undercoating will help keep the inside a little quieter.

I replaced the rear door seals and also the seals along the rocker panels. I use 3M seal adhesive. I apply it with a small short bristle half inch brush which fits nicely in the seal channels.

Old sill plates in place. New ones would be nice – maybe later.

Rear seat to go back in, a bit of under coating to do and rear wheels to go back on. I’ve got the battery charging and soon it will be time to get it out of the garage so I can paint the rear fenders.

Looking forward to seeing how effective the new rear sway bar is on a sharp curve.

Moving on

Rear fender final fit. Used seam seal between the finder and body & door post. Fitment on ’60s cars wasn’t all that good. the position of the fender is a compromise. I secured it in place so that it was a reasonable match to the trunk lid and the door post.

Filling the ’63 model trim holes. I chose the fenders thinking that the holes were for a ’64 model only to find they were lower. So I patched the holes inside with fiberglass and outside with tiger hair and a finish coat of quick patch bondo ( stuff in a tube). Final sanding and paint still needed.

Bumper brackets in place – loosely.

Shiny new taillight covers replacing the original painted items. These covers were offered on some models.

Rear fender corner pieces. Sandblasted. Will prime and paint satin black to match the rear fenders.

Next will be the rocker panel install and more.

End of patching!

Last of the patches in place. I’ve applied a layer of tiger hair bondo and sanded it down. Orange bits are spot patch bondo to fill in the last small holes. Tiger hair bondo is some hard to sand off by hand!

Primed and seam seal applied.

Two coats of satin black and it is all done.

Next I’ll get the fender in place. After that I need to go underneath and do a little patching on the body brace where it extends under the area that I patched on top.

Working on a nasty corner

Right side – rear door bottom edge or what used to be!!! The black on the left is the new rear fender test fitted. The bottom edge for the rocker is totally gone and along with the other missing areas.

A new piece of galvanized metal bent into an L shape to extend the rocker panel edge back. The rivets on the outside face are insets so the face is flush with the metal. I used a 1/8″ drill for the rivet hole and then a 1/4″ drill to make the inset for the rivet. I believe there are special drills that do both jobs at once. I must check them one as they would be handy. I”m loving my air rivet tool!

I’m making patterns before I cut the metal. This piece will have a compound curve.

The slice in the center had to be opened up some. The patch had to fit the curve of the fender and then be wrapped around the remaining door post.

Another pattern and the cut metal with it’s basic bend plus marks to drill. I drill a few spots before setting it in place. With those riveted I can drill and rivet the rest.

Patch in place. The door post had been depressed for the old patch that I removed. It is handy to fit in the new patch which will allow me to fill over the patch with body filler (Tiger hair and bondo) the five rivets on the vertical section are inset so they can be covered with filler. Even though the rivets are inset I will go over them with a grinder and flapper wheel to get them perfectly flat.

Next is finishing up the last of the body repairs 🙂

Delays and more delays!

What with spring on the way and all the chores that entails, and to boot I pulled the ligaments in one leg. That got better and now the other leg is giving me grief. So not much happening on the Studebaker front.

But I’m getting back to it slowly. The trunk is now covered with two coats of ProForm undercoating. Smelly stuff, but it does a nice job. It is paintable and so I can cover it with carpet and it shouldn’t stick. It will help with sound deadening as well – or so they say on the can,

Now it’s back to the body repairs.

Slowly forward a bit more

Left side door post repairs completed.

I scraped all the old undercoating off the trunk floor then cleaned with parts cleaner and then thinners. I then painted all the seams with the Proform liquid, paintable undercoating that still had undercoating I couldn’t remove. This will allow the seam seal to stick.

I applied a generous coat of seam seal to all the floor joints. Next step will be to paint most of the trunk panels with Proform undercoating. I don’t plan on painting the trunk. I hope to use some form of black carpet-like stuff on the sides and floor.

Right fender test fitted. Fender fits OK, but the rocker panel doesn’t want to fit properly. For some reason it get stuck under the fender lip and can’t be raised high enough along the floor edge to allow good fitting under the door. I will have to modify/rebuild the rocker panels to get around this. Maybe I have the wrong rockers. Can’t remember where and when I got them.

With the fender in place I can do the inner fender repairs needed. As with the left side I’ll form a number of overlapped pieces for the attachment of the fender.

I finally gave up on hand riveting and bought this air riveter on Amazon for a bit under $100. We’ll see how well it works!

Doing the body work, but I far more enjoy the mechanicals.

Slowly slowly forward.

Right hand trunk corner removed using a zip cut wheel on the grinder.

Patch in place with bump for spare tire. Now I’ll do a cleanup, fill the assembly holes with plugs, paint seam seal over all the joints and paint with ProForm paintable undercoating

Trunk patch in place and supporting strips riveted in place. A few small patches added to clean up the back half of the fender.

Two patches for the upper area where the fender is attached to the body. One behind and to give support when pulling the fender in and one outside to seal off the inner body from the wheel splash. The front of the body is looking nasty and will have to be repaired.

A little hard to see, but I’m using inset rivets where the fender will be bolted to the body. I’ll grind the strip a bit to get it perfectly flat.

Old rocker panel removed. I cut it off on top and underneath with the zip cut. In both cases keeping away from where it was spot welded to the body. I then when back with a grinder and removed the spot welds and what was left of the old rocker. I have left the spot weld strip on the under support panel part as it will not affect the position of the new rocker very much – it would be a bear to remove the welds underneath, just too much grinding in a tight space even with a mask on.

Next I’ll test fit the new fender and decide how to repair the front section of the body where the fender is attached – see 3rd photo above.

Fitted fender plus

Final fitting of the rear fender. Sure looks better!

With the fender in place I can finish the patching on the rear corner.

Last patch in place and filling with tiger hair and final over coat of bondo.

Repairs started on the right side. Hopefully what I learned from doing the left side will help on this side. About the same amount of rust, but in different places.

Spring has finally sprung down here in Nova Scotia. So now yard chores are underway which will slow my work on the ’66, but I should be able to keep the restoration going.

Fixing the lost corner & fender fitting

Rear corner just ahead of the rear wheel on the left side. Lots of bends and multiple angles. A job for someone with expert metal shaping skills. That’s not going to happen so lets see what I can do.

Five separate pieces fitted so far. Still need one more between the doorpost side and the outside edge of the floor. I’ll do that once the fender has been finally fitted on.

Small patches of fiberglass over each of the unwanted trim holes on the fender. I used two coats of resin over the bare metal.

Fiberglas patches coated with ProForm liquid undercoating.

Time to fit the fender. A coating of seam seal on the contact edges of the fender and the body.

Fender in place. I adjusted it as best as possible. Fender fitment back in the day wasn’t all that good. As a result fitting is a compromise between all the matching edges. The door gap is a tad wider at the top so that the rear between the trunk lid is not too off. The match to the door shape is good with it being a little out at the bottom. The door rubber may help compensate for this.

While waiting for the undercoating to dry I cleaned up the right side in preparation for patching.

Handy 3M cleaning wheel. You can get them for your drill or electric 4.5″ or 5″ grinder.

Next I go back to finish the corner post patching and final install of the rocker panel.

Rear sway bar twists

Rear sway bar and links. This wasn’t on the car originally and the manual and parts books don’t give much info on how and where it is installed. I picked up new rubbers and mounting brackets (brackets and rubbers from Stude Intl). So now I just have to figure out how it fits in.

Really not a lot of room to fit the bar. First I tried it over the rear end where there is some room, but I can’t fit the links to the bracket under the rear spring or the bar to the frame. It needs to be further ahead. One thing the parts books helped with was that the link connection is to the rear of the axle. So next I took off the bottom mounts for the shocks and squeezed the bar behind them. Just not enough room there for it either.

So next I bit the bullet and detached the left muffler/tail pipe and pushed the bar in behind the exhaust pipes.

Success at last. The links fit and the frame mounts like up with the pre-drilled holes on the frame. One frame mounting hole is shared with the exhaust bracket mounting plate. Really helpful that the frame mounting holes were already there.

All hooked up.

Qquite a bit of scraping on the bar so I will touch up the paint when I do all the attaching bolts and nuts.

Next, its back to the patching.