My Nova

page 25

April 2016 - April 2017

Well, it’s been a long time since I made an update but it’s just because I’ve been working a lot on the Nova! As you might have seen on the previous page I hung the body in a rotisserie had bought a MIG welder and had started making repairs. By now I have finished making the repairs on the body, it took me exactly 1 year, a lot of evenings and weekends but I got it done 😊

After the rear of the car was done I continued with welding the trunk repair panels and trunk drop-off panels in place.

Next I started repairing the right rear quarter….I got it done but it took me so much work and it will require a bit more filler then I would have liked. From what I’ve learned by doing all this work myself I know now that it’s quicker and easier to just buy a whole quarter panel and weld that into place. However this exercise has improved my skills so it isn’t a real waste of time in the end.

I cleaned out the trunk and applied a little filler to prepare for paint.

I heated the front seat mounting reinforcement plates so I could shape them to closely follow the contours of the floor and then welded them to the floor.

Applying seam sealer.

Some more repairs on the area behind the rear bumper.

Since the bottom of the car was in good shape now (except for the firewall and rear wheel wells) I started applying seam sealer and painted the floor on both sides. This made it all look so much better, made me feel good on all the work already done and it got me motivated again to continue. A project like this takes so much time and effort that sometimes it’s hard to see the the end of it.

I continued on the right rear quarter and found the outer wheel well was so far gone I had to buy a new one. I had to cut it in 3 pieces to get it in place….(more work/welding, see my previous comment on replacing the whole quarter) More fabrication of patches to recreate the body but I got it done…then seam sealed and painted the right side wheel well, another job done. I rolled the body out the garage, it’s nice to see the work from a distance. In the garage is little space so I’m always standing close to my work and it’s hard to get an overview sometimes.

When you start welding and it starts find out there is a bit of lead there.....get the torch to melt it away and have a complete new hole in the body where the lead was used as body filler. :-(

I painted all drain plugs and put them back in the body using seam sealer.

Next was the left side outer wheel well…. The top part was rusted out and a previous repair was poorly executed…so I cut out the bad part and cut the same part from the donor car.

Some smaller repairs to the firewall.

Test fitting the quarter repair panel.

Did some more repair work on the inside of the firewall and painted it.

Welded in the quarter repair panel and outer wheel well repair piece, the rear of the body was done now…time to move on to the front!

I rolled the body out of the garage again to have a good look at it and make a plan of attack for the remaining work.

The cowl area below the A-pillars behind the firewall were some bad spots where rust had made holes for water to enter the inside of the car. Because of the limited access I cleaned the areas, treated it with rust encapsulator and made patch panels to glue in place with seam sealer. Next I made patch panels and welded them into place to close the cowl below the A-pillar.

I used donor pieces to repair the cowl area but some pieces were bad on both cars so I still had to fabricate patch panels.

Well, it was time to say goodbye to my favorite sweater... I've had it since I was 13 (around 1982) and have used it for working on my bikes and cars since I was 18 I guess. It has been caught by wire wheels, was thin from washing it so many times and even caught fire a few times. Turtle necks are perfect when working underneath a car, it keeps the dirt from getting in your shirt.

I welded some bolts to the body to act as electrical ground bosses. This way you are sure to have good electrical grounds and do not have to remove paint to get it. (introducing potentional new rust spots)

Before I took the body off the rotisserie I took the cowl area, rockers and roof to bare metal since it was easier to do with the body on it’s side. It’s easy to dent the roof when you stand above it with a machine, applying too much pressure, now I was standing next to it everything was easy to control. The door openings were just sanded and everything was sprayed with a coat of 2K epoxy primer.

The VIN tag ready to be re-attached. This car was assembled in Antwerp, Belgium. GM cars were shipped to Europe in parts and assembled in GM plants since importing parts was cheaper than importing cars.

Next was getting some color on the firewall and dash.....



You can reach me by e-mail at: pro-touring @ hotmail .com