This rust was a surprise - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-29-2020, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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This rust was a surprise

I was picking around my firewall as prep for cleaning up some of the extra holes and found an unanticipated issue. I put a needle scaler to the seam sealer along the top of the wiper cowl and it pushed through in several places. This is an intersection of 3 panels: Top of the wiper cowl, bottom of the wiper cowl, and the firewall. I went a little pale and called the paint shop - they won't be ready for me for 5 more months so I'm discovering that I can in fact fix this. The second picture is with the repair started. I'm working in sections because it allows me to clamp the sheet metal together easier and keeps the complicated sections as smaller pieces. I got lucky with the rust stopping before the hood supports.


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1969 Impala convertible build thread here:
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-29-2020, 10:09 AM
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That was a fun area on my 63 hardtop as well. I couldn't figure out a way I was going to get to the back of the weld to grind it down, so I just POR-15 the inside of the cowl. This is more a race car that looks good at 10 feet than a show car anyways.

1963 Impala Convertible (Frame off resto-mod in progress)
1963 Impala 2 door hardtop (Pro Street build in progress)
1963 Impala 4 door hardtop (Parts car)
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2020, 02:39 PM
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That would have sucked to come across for sure.

Like you said though, You totally got that under control!

.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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It's moving along and I'm gaining some confidence in working with it. Overall, I would describe the experience as "harrowing." I've gotten through what I think is the worst of it and just have to finish it out. Lot of overlapping panel stampings on this car.

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1969 Impala convertible build thread here:
https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...ghlight=impala
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 11:25 PM
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Just be glad you don't have front rocker extension rust. They don't make reproduction and trying to make the right bends and angles to make the finished product look close to factory was fun. Luckily I had another car to look at so I knew what was visible in the end and how it was supposed to look.

1963 Impala Convertible (Frame off resto-mod in progress)
1963 Impala 2 door hardtop (Pro Street build in progress)
1963 Impala 4 door hardtop (Parts car)
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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I do have some on the driver side due to a mouse nest clogging the drain for years...

There's enough that I (or the body shop) can copy the shape before cutting it out.

1969 Impala convertible build thread here:
https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...ghlight=impala
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-05-2020, 10:44 AM
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The drivers side is a little more difficult to get all the bends right for the rocker to mate up but this is what I started with and what the piece I had to make looked like.
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1963 Impala Convertible (Frame off resto-mod in progress)
1963 Impala 2 door hardtop (Pro Street build in progress)
1963 Impala 4 door hardtop (Parts car)
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-05-2020, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, you were a lot worse off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadwolf View Post
The drivers side is a little more difficult to get all the bends right for the rocker to mate up but this is what I started with and what the piece I had to make looked like.

1969 Impala convertible build thread here:
https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...ghlight=impala
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-09-2020, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Can finally start what I was doing in the first place. Closing up holes in the firewall.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-10-2020, 10:57 AM
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I was just looking at your pictures and is your car a factory AC car as the firewall looks nothing like mine did before I started.

My heater holes are all now welded shut as you can see in the picture as a Pro Street car doesn't need a heater.
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1963 Impala Convertible (Frame off resto-mod in progress)
1963 Impala 2 door hardtop (Pro Street build in progress)
1963 Impala 4 door hardtop (Parts car)
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-10-2020, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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It was factory AC but has since had a Vintage Air unit installed. I'll be closing that hole up.

Did you put a sheet of steel of your existing firewall or just cut out everything? You don't look to have anything stiffening the firewall panel.

1969 Impala convertible build thread here:
https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...ghlight=impala
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-11-2020, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
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It was factory AC but has since had a Vintage Air unit installed. I'll be closing that hole up.

Did you put a sheet of steel of your existing firewall or just cut out everything? You don't look to have anything stiffening the firewall panel.
I just cut steel to fit and weld existing opening shut. Nothing new got cut out. Now with that said, by the time this car is done the firewall and almost all the sheet metal will just be along for the ride once the new frame 2/3 frame and 12 point cage is installed. The only areas that may see a little stress are the rockers, but they will have a 1/8" sheet of steel added to the inside for further stiffening. My car is going full Pro Street so I have to have a cage built that at a minimum is qualified to 8.5 seconds. Right now that is where the discussion and goal is leading us. A lot more work has to be done to go from a certified 8.5 chassi to a certified 7.5 second chassi.

Once I finish up the body work the rest of the trunk floor and wheel wells will be cut out to make room for 40" diameter and 24" deep tubs. I also have to build a 4 X 16 foot metal table that can be leveled to do all the frame construction and mods on as my garage floor slopes towards a center drain and you need good established references to measure from to make sure a frame is straight.

1963 Impala Convertible (Frame off resto-mod in progress)
1963 Impala 2 door hardtop (Pro Street build in progress)
1963 Impala 4 door hardtop (Parts car)
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-11-2020, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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I would like to see what's going on with your frame. When the car's out at the paint shop, I'm thinking seriously about building a brace like the one in this thread:
https://v8tvshow.com/V8TV_2/index.ph...ation?start=42

My car has a heavy pro-touring theme but it will be more geared towards "touring." I thought big GTs were a thing of the past but looks like with have a swan song with the BMW 8 series.

Also going to have the shop put in a removable 4 point bar so I will be able to participate in the odd racing event. It would suck to drive the Power Tour again and not be able to run a drag strip. SCCA is apparently in discussion about adding the class 2 requirement for all convertibles that don't have factory rollover protection.

1969 Impala convertible build thread here:
https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...ghlight=impala
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2020, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Man this is getting tedious. Through the hard parts though and in the home stretch.

This is my 2nd attempt at bead rolling a panel. The 1st one was not straight enough for my liking so I did it again. Ran out of sheet metal as a result so I'm in holding until the next panel shows up.

It wasn't strictly essential, but I was able to keep the part number stamping on the firewall.

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1969 Impala convertible build thread here:
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2020, 06:16 AM
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Just watching its progress puts me at the edge of my seat. Since you're already in "the home stretch," I'm guessing that it would all go well.
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2020, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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You would think but something always seems to happen on a 50 year old car, not unlike it's owner.

I'm finding even firewall bodywork frustrating at this point. It's tedious work no one will ever see and just want it does as correctly as it can be.

Knowing the paint shop charges $90/hour to do this very same thing is also motivating.

1969 Impala convertible build thread here:
https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...ghlight=impala
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-22-2020, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thought I'd never get here. Welding along the top of the firewall to re-attach.
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1969 Impala convertible build thread here:
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