Monthly Archives: December 2012

On the straight and narrow

2012.12.31 - Ford (1) 2012.12.31 - Ford (2) 2012.12.31 - Ford (3) 2012.12.31 - Ford (4)Friday we removed the damaged bedside and replaced it with a new one. Today we started working on the door sills.

The frame machine does a great job straightening twisted metal, but it can only do so much. After the structure of the car is straight new sheet metal can be welded in for a finished look. In the first photo we are cleaning up the weld lines so that after paint the seams where the new metal was joined to the old will be invisible. We do that by first grinding the welds smooth then covering them with body filler so the join line disappears.

The second photo shows the sill from the outside. Don’t worry, those horrible looking panel gaps are an illusion. The small rear door is slightly open and the front door is missing completely. With the doors in place and shut the gaps are spot on.

In the third photo the body filler has dried and been sanded smooth, hiding the repair. The areas where the two panels were grafted together and welded are sprayed with primer to promote paint adhesion and prevent rust.

In the fourth photo you can see that the new bedside received the same treatment. The welds, which were ground smooth on Friday, were covered in filler to hide the joins then the whole area was primed.

Now that the reconstruction of the truck is complete and all the panels are straight with the proper gaps, all we need to do is get it put together and painted.

The end is near

2012.12.31 - Chevelle (1) 2012.12.31 - Chevelle (2) 2012.12.31 - Chevelle (3) 2012.12.31 - Chevelle (4)We are approaching the end of the work on this ’67 Chevelle … we only have a few odds and ends to finish up, and throw a bucket of water over it, before the car will be ready to turn over to the owner.

The first two photos show the inner fenders, which we painted Friday, installed on the car. The camera flash makes them look like they have more gloss than they do as these are finished in what it becoming our standard engine bay color, a semi-gloss eggshell black.

The third photo shows the doors on the car getting a bit of sound deadening. This is some leftover material from the El Camino project and rather than throw the excess away I slapped a few pieces on the door here and there. Every little bit helps, ya know.

In the fourth and final photo you can see Chris installing the inner door panels and affixing a bit of trim on the doors. This door also had some of the sound deadening material applied under the door cover.

I expect the owner will be able to pick up his car this week. Not a bad way to start out the new year … driving home in your freshly painted classic car.

Adding some sparkle

2012.12.28 - Chevelle (1) 2012.12.28 - Chevelle (2) 2012.12.28 - Chevelle (3) 2012.12.28 - Chevelle (4) 2012.12.28 - Chevelle (5) 2012.12.28 - Chevelle (6) 2012.12.28 - Chevelle (7) 2012.12.28 - Chevelle (8)Yesterday and today we cracked on getting this magnificent 1967 Chevelle SS buttoned up by adding the last piece of sheet metal then added some sparkle by installing the trim.

The first photo shows the car with most of the side trim in place … but something is still missing.

The second and third photos shows Chris working on on the hood, the last piece of sheet metal to go on the car. Once the hood was installed and aligned, we moved on to the bumpers.

The fourth photo shows the rear bumper installed, along with all the rear trim. If you overlook the protective layer of dust, the car is beginning to look quite sharp.

In the fifth photo Chase (under car) and Chris install the front bumper. The finished front end is looking very tidy indeed in the sixth photo.

In the seventh photo is a good example of the High Performance Finish. That’s not a picture of the sign that hangs on the wall in the shop … that a picture of the sign that hangs on the wall in the shop reflected in the roof of the Chevelle. I think the owner will be well pleased with the finish.

The last photo, number eight, shows the inner fenders and the battery tray, the last few items in need of attention, in the booth getting their coat of paint. After they are dry these pieces will be bolted into the car.

This Chevelle has been a real pleasure to work on. Being this is a nice straight original car, all the body panels fit as they should and that make our job a lot easier. But we are near the end of this project and I expect to turn the car over to the owner one day next week.

If you would like to see this car in person plan on attending the 11th Annual Shriners Drag Racing and Hot Rod Expo February 1st and 2nd, 2013 at the Greensboro Coliseum. JMC AutoworX will be displaying a selection of cars we worked on this year, and this lovely Chevelle will be one of them.

Bed-side manner

2012.12.28 - Ford (1) 2012.12.28 - Ford (2) 2012.12.28 - Ford (3) 2012.12.28 - Ford (4) 2012.12.28 - Ford (5) 2012.12.28 - Ford (6) 2012.12.28 - Ford (7) 2012.12.28 - Ford (8) 2012.12.28 - Ford (9) 2012.12.28 - Ford (10) 2012.12.28 - Ford (11)Remember the Ford Ranger with the crunched up side? It is back in the shop after a visit to the frame machine to make the structure of the truck straight and square. Now that the truck’s bones are good, we can get on with the cosmetic repairs.

The first photo shows the truck with the two replacement doors in place. The rear door is a used item that we will respray which is why part of the door is gold.

The second photo shows that the bed is still on the work bench. We will have to strip the damaged side and replace it with the new side … and that involves a lot of drilling and welding.

Pictures three and four show me working on drilling out the spot welds used to hold the bed together. I have a special bit in my drill that is made for cutting out just the spot weld. It is time consuming work, but it is the only way to remove the outter panel without damaging the inner panel.

In the fifth photo I am using an air chisel to carefully open up the seam after the welds have been broken.

The sixth photo show what all the drilling and chiseling was about … the removal of the bed side.

The missing bed side leaves the bed portion of the truck rather unsightly so a new panel is fitted into place. I am pushing and pulling on the new panel in the seventh photo to make sure it is properly aligned before welding begins. It wouldn’t do to have to remove the panel again because I didn’t get it properly aligned before fixing it in place.

Once I was happy with the panel alignment I began welding the new panel into place. You can see the process in the eighth photo. Welding of body panels is a time consuming task because you have to weld a spot and then let it cool. Applying too much heat will cause the panel to warp, which means additional time and effort to repair. To get around the wait you weld on one end of the panel, then while that cools you move on to another section.

The last three photos, numbers 9-11, show the new bed side welded into place. Ford uses a fancy robot with a spot welder to grip both sides of the metal with welding electrodes, making a weld between them. We aren’t that high-tech here at JMC AutoworX so we do our welds the old fashioned way … with skill. But as you can see in these three photo the end result is the same. The bed side is firmly attached to the inner bed panel and is ready for paint.

Next week will once again supplant Ford’s fancy robots with old-world craftsmanship when we repaint this Ranger with a nice coat of bright red paint.

JMC AutoworX will be closed New Year’s day

JMC AutoworX will be closed Tuesday, January 1, 2013, for New Years. We will reopen on January 2nd to help you with any of your auto body repair needs.

And remember, as much as I would like your business, please use good judgment and be safe on the roads.

Merry Christmas

2012.12.26 - Ford (1) 2012.12.26 - Ford (2) 2012.12.26 - Ford (3) 2012.12.26 - Ford (4) 2012.12.26 - Ford (5)Good thing we were open today. The owner of this Ford Explorer received a tail-lamp tint, in the form of a gift certificate, for Christmas and she was at the shop bight and early this morning to collect. Better get cracking then.

The first photo shows the lenses out of the car and in the booth. We only lightly tint the lens’s as we don’t want to dim the tail or brake light because of safety concerns. Having her tail-lamps tinted … good. Having her car damaged because a driver didn’t see the brake-lamps … not good.

After the lens’s are dry we put them back in the car. That’s what I’m doing in the second photo.

You can see in the third photo the lens’s look quite dark and match nicely with the black-out trim on the rest of the car. But while they look dark, they really aren’t that dark and the light from the tail-lamps is reduced hardly at all. The fourth photo shows how the tail-lamps are clearly visible, even during the day, and the last photo, number five, you can clearly see the brake-lamps and backup-lamps.

It is understandable, but most of the people I talk to wish they weren’t having the conversion. After all, who wants to deal with the hassle and expense of having their damaged automobile repaired? But this morning the customer was actually glad and excited to see me. That was a nice change of pace.

I think I need to sell more gift certificates.

Tight squeeze

2012.12.26 - Chevelle (1) 2012.12.26 - Chevelle (2) 2012.12.26 - Chevelle (3)2012.12.26 - Chevelle (4)It’s a good thing that Chris isn’t claustrophobic. Today, after three or four tries at aligning the trunk, we finally decided that the easiest way to do it was someone would get in the trunk while the other stood outside and pushed and shoved. Once the trunk lid was in place, the person inside the trunk could tighten it down.

The first photo shows Chris working his way into the trunk. Chris is a pretty big guy so it was a tight squeeze.

The lid is going down in the second photo. I took a photo of him curled up inside of the trunk with the lid down but it came out fuzzy so I didn’t use it in this post. He was curled up pretty tight and there was a fair amount of bumping and banging in there, along with some muttering, as he moved around.

The third photo shows me yelling, asking him if the keys to the trunk were in his pocket because I couldn’t find them anywhere. Actually, this was staged photo for comic effect. Yes, Chris is in the trunk but the trunk lid didn’t even have the latch attached yet so Chris couldn’t be locked in the trunk.

Just to prove that Chris got out of the trunk no worse for wear, the last photo, number four, shows him test fitting a bit of trim to the trunk lid later in the day.

In the past I’ve done my fair share of crawling in and under things as Chris did today. But if he thinks this one was bad … wait until he has to get in the Mustang.

JMC AutoworX is open for business

After enjoying Christmas with our families, JMC AutoworX has reopened for business today to help you with any body shop related needs.

JMC AutoworX is closed

JMC AutoworX is close today in celebration for Christmas. We will reopen for business tomorrow to serve all your automotive body repair needs.

From the JMC AutoworX family to yours, we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Doing a little work on the side

2012.12.24 - Chevelle (1) 2012.12.24 - Chevelle (2) 2012.12.24 - Chevelle (3) 2012.12.24 - Chevelle (4) 2012.12.24 - Chevelle (5) 2012.12.24 - Chevelle (6) 2012.12.24 - Chevelle (7) 2012.12.24 - Chevelle (8) 2012.12.24 - Chevelle (9)It’s Christmas eve so we didn’t do a lot around the shop today, but we did work on the Chevelle some. It’s surprising what you can get done when the phone isn’t ringing off the hook and you can focus on one thing for more than five minutes.

In the first photo Chris and I are hanging and aligning the door. Hanging panels on older classic cars isn’t any more difficult than doing the same job on a modern car, but they are much more fiddly. We worked on the car for about 3 hours mounting the door and fender, and the bulk of that time was spent tightening the bolts, checking the gaps, loosening the bolt, moving the panel, and retightening.  It seems like just when you get the gaps perfect in once place, you mess the gap up in another, so it is dance to get everything as close as possible at the same time.

The second photo shows me hammering the door into place for the final time. Now that the door is aligned we can move on to the fender.

In the third photo Chris and I are mounting the fender. The fender isn’t heavy, but it helps when there are a couple pairs of hands to hold and align slots and bolts.

In the fourth photo we are finger tightening the first set of bolts so the fender will sit in place and we don’t have to worry about it falling off and getting damaged.

In the fifth photo we are beginning to insert and tighten the other bolts to see how the fender sits on the car. We will install and remove these bolts several times, inserting and removing shims, to adjust how the fender fits on the car.

In the sixth photo we finally had the top and bottom of the fender where we wanted it, so it was time to put the screws to it so the fender is secure.

After tightening the fender down tight the fender moved just enough that I was no longer happy with the bottom gap, so in picture seven we loosened the bottom bolt yet again and applied some muscle to force it back into place. While Chris held it in place, I tightened the bolt down again so it would stay.

The last two pictures, number eight and nine, show left side of the car with the door and fender on and properly aligned. You can’t see it in these pictures because the car is so black it sucks up all the light in the room, but the panel gaps look pretty good. Not a bad way to end the day before the holiday.

Wednesday, when we return to work, we get to repeat the process on the other side.

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