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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This 1965 Chevrolet Impala came to us after and restoration was started at a different shop. The car has been in the owner's family since 1970, so we were honored and excited to bring this one back to the road. The recipe calls for a 6.0 LQ9 V8, 6-Speed manual transmission, and updated Ridetech suspension, all while keeping a smoothed-out stock appearance.







This car had seen years of daily driving and occasional racing use, and was showing signs of deterioration. It arrived in our shop having been media blasted and sprayed with a black epoxy primer. At first glance, we noticed some rust around the window frames, in the deck lid, and that the previous repairs were not complete.







 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
After a thorough inventory of the supplied parts, the crew began the metalwork.

The first project was to close the stock antenna hole using a steel insert. The piece was made and fitted to the hole, MIG welded, and ground smooth. We're using an HTP MIG 200 welder for this task.










Next, the crew began the rust repairs around the rear window frame. These window channels held water and rusted all the way through. The rusty metal was cut out with a thin 3M cutting disc on an air grinder. A new channel was fabricated using a shrinker/stretcher, welded in, and ground smooth. Gray primer prevented further rust.











 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Similar repairs were made to the window channel around the windshield in the areas where the metal had rusted thin.





Next, the rear window filler panel was removed for additional rust repair.



The rearmost edge of the structure had rusted away.



A new channel was bent in the Mittler Brothers Box Pan Brake and contoured to the correct shape.





Then it was welded in place with an HTP Quickspot II resistance spot welder.



Next, the middle part of the structure was measured, and a cardboard template was made to assist in fabricating a repair section.





 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The upper portion of the repair section was punched with a dimple die on a Mittler Brothers brothers punch in order to replace the original flared holes. These holes provided strength for the panel.



Then, the curved lower section was TIG welded to the upper. Soon, the rusty portions of the structure had been completely replaced.



A contoured lip as added to mimic the shape of the original.

http://www.v8tvshow.com/1965_Impala_SK/slides/1965_Impala_SK_10.30.13_17.JPG[img]

[img]http://www.v8tvshow.com/1965_Impala_SK/slides/1965_Impala_SK_10.30.13_25.JPG



Once the piece was welded in place, it was cleaned with a wire wheel and 3M rowlock abrasive discs, and then sprayed it with primer.



A new filler panel was obtained from Classic Industries, and welded in place over the lower structure to complete the repair.





 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The tail pan section was rusty and damaged, so the crew removed the original panel by drilling out all the spot welds holding it in place.





Note the support rod welded in to keep the decklid opening the correct size.




A new panel was obtained from Classic Industries, and it was fitted and welded in place. Note the fitting of the deck lid and tell light packets in this process to ensure all the panels fit properly before welding.





 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·








A close-out panel was made and welded in to smooth the firewall.



The rear package tray was damaged, so new panels were cut to size and welded in place.





The panel was strengthened by adding ribs with a Mittler Brothers bead roller. They were held in place with some Eastwood panel clamps.



After welding, the panels were ground flush to complete the repair.



 

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Have you ever considered moving the VIN tag to the top of the dash like on a modern car just for Giggles?

I noticed that you used a shrinker to form the radiused corner to the rear window frame. For those who have not seen one in use and wonder whey they would need to buy a cheap Chinese made one from Eastwood to add to their metal working equipment could you get a couple of shots showing how it works.

Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Have you ever considered moving the VIN tag to the top of the dash like on a modern car just for Giggles?

I noticed that you used a shrinker to form the radiused corner to the rear window frame. For those who have not seen one in use and wonder whey they would need to buy a cheap Chinese made one from Eastwood to add to their metal working equipment could you get a couple of shots showing how it works.

Big Dave
Hey Big Dave,

We use shrinkers / stretchers all the time. Good idea on the how-to, I think that would make a great video. We'll shoot one and post it up. Let me know if there is anything else you'd like to see!
 

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Excellent work, another one being saved, Can't wait to see more updates and of coarse the final results.
 

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Glad to see you posting project pics here Kevin.

It's great to hear the owners are saving it and doing a full-on resto with lots of updates ala Pro-Touring style.

The pictures make feel like I was practically in the shop with you guys! That old ride definitely had it's share of rust in the trouble areas. Keep up the good work and updates!
 

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Great hands on photo's. From just looking at the first photo's you wouldn't know how bad the rust was. Please keep posting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Excellent work, another one being saved, Can't wait to see more updates and of coarse the final results.
Thank you!

Glad to see you posting project pics here Kevin.

It's great to hear the owners are saving it and doing a full-on resto with lots of updates ala Pro-Touring style.

The pictures make feel like I was practically in the shop with you guys! That old ride definitely had it's share of rust in the trouble areas. Keep up the good work and updates!
Thanks for the kind words, we will be adding lots more updates.

Great hands on photo's. From just looking at the first photo's you wouldn't know how bad the rust was. Please keep posting.
These cars can certainly hide their ugliness... now we sniff it out and make it go away!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The owner wanted the 6.0 LQ9 engine to sit as low as possible in the chassis, and he had a Cadillac oil pan in mind, so we notched the cross member to make it happen.







The doors had been butchered with speaker holes, so repair panels we made and welded in.







Under the car, this home-brew control arm support is going to be removed. The concept is solid, that is to reinforce the control arm mount for better traction and control, but the execution is below what is desired for this car.



The crew then lifted the body off the frame to be able to work on both sides of the floor on the rotisserie. There were still a ton of little holes to fill, and they wanted to get a good look at the repairs previously made to the bottom of the Impala’s body structure.





 

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Boy when they are talking perimeter frame they weren't kidding where they? I know Chevy, well all of GM's cars were really interested in a smooth ride back in the sixties (hence the twist-o-flex X frame cars of 1958-'64), but I thought they had a bit more substantial frame on the 1965-'70 models. Did you cut off any cross members that would have made that into more of a ladder frame (such as the transmission cross-member)? It doesn't give me a boat load of confidence looking at that frame as I see it in your shop when you consider the power levels of a modern engine. Squares are not the most ridged of constructs which is why all buildings have triangulating reinforcing beams in the wall and roves.

I would weld in two cross-members if that where my car (one a permanently installed cross-member that I could bolt a mid plate to and the second a safety strap and cross-member at the back of the tail shaft) that I would triangulate with additional braces to try and stiffen it up. It looks to be almost dropping under it's own weight.

Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Boy when they are talking perimeter frame they weren't kidding where they? I know Chevy, well all of GM's cars were really interested in a smooth ride back in the sixties (hence the twist-o-flex X frame cars of 1958-'64), but I thought they had a bit more substantial frame on the 1965-'70 models. Did you cut off any cross members that would have made that into more of a ladder frame (such as the transmission cross-member)? It doesn't give me a boat load of confidence looking at that frame as I see it in your shop when you consider the power levels of a modern engine. Squares are not the most ridged of constructs which is why all buildings have triangulating reinforcing beams in the wall and roves.

I would weld in two cross-members if that where my car (one a permanently installed cross-member that I could bolt a mid plate to and the second a safety strap and cross-member at the back of the tail shaft) that I would triangulate with additional braces to try and stiffen it up. It looks to be almost dropping under it's own weight.

Big Dave
In this pic, the transmission crossmember is not shown, which adds some rigidity in the stock design. However, we had the same thoughts, so we did add structure to the chassis. You'll see that in a future update!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
A previous shop welded supports to the floor to make the transmission crossmember. This isn't a good idea, as the engine and transmission are bolted to the frame, which moves independently of the body, albeit slightly. Also, the floor of the car was never intended to support a transmission, much less a manual behind a high horsepower V8. We removed it in favor of a traditional frame-mounted crossmember.





New fuel tank supports were installed, as these were neglected when a previous shop installed the floor pans. We also finished welding and grinding all the floor welds.



 

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I noticed that you used a shrinker to form the radiused corner to the rear window frame. For those who have not seen one in use and wonder why they would need to buy a cheap Chinese made one from Eastwood to add to their metal working equipment could you get a couple of shots showing how it works.

Big Dave
I don't recommend anyone buy the cheap stretchers from Eastwood or Harbor Freight. They are just that, cheap, and mine broke in the first 5 minutes of use. I returned them and bought USA made Lancaster tools and they are far away better products.

If you're going to buy fabrication tools, get good tools and they will work much better and last longer.

Nice work on the Midwest rust bomb. I see the quarters have been skinned with the oversize cover up panels. Are you planning to leave them or replace ?
 
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