CORVETTE RESTORATION UPDATES

MAY 04, 2008 - REPAIR OF WINDSHIELD FRAME LOWER CORNERS: PART 3

 

 

 

 

   

Our repair of the lower windshield frame continues in this update as we wrap up progress on the drivers side corner.

As you recall, the replacement panel has now been welded in place and is ready for some 'finishing touches'. However, before getting to far into that, I decided to repair an area of deterioration located on the lower windshield frame cross member. As with all of these repairs, the work starts drilling out the spot welds, cutting out and removing the area of rusted steel.

Copyright - Tim Cote 2007

Copyright - Tim Cote 2007

Copyright - Tim Cote 2007

A paperboard template was then created and used to fabricate a patch from 16 gauge sheet metal.

Copyright - Tim Cote 2007

Copyright - Tim Cote 2007

Because I was unable to form the tight bends required for the patch from a single piece of steel this patch panel was fabricated from two separate pieces of steel and then welded together.

Copyright - Tim Cote 2007

After fabrication the patch panel was clamped in place and welded all around. Also note that a spot weld was added near the center of the patch piece. After welding the welds were ground down to provide a smooth, uniform surface.

Copyright - Tim Cote 2007

Copyright - Tim Cote 2007

With the horizontal cross member repaired it was time to complete the drivers side lower corner repair. The only work left to be completed was building out the hatched area shown in the photo below. Because this repair panel was from a late 70's Corvette building this area out is necessary to match the OEM equipment on this 71 Corvette.

Copyright - Tim Cote 2007

The modification was fairly straightforward. Several pieces of 16 gauge steel were cut to size, bent to shape and welded in place - one on top of the other. In total, three layers were used to build out the section.

Copyright - Tim Cote 2007

As I completed this repair, I made an interesting discovery. Rather than using a standard grinding disk in my angle grinder I decided to try a very course grained flap disk to grind my welds down. Much to my surprise this removed metal MUCH MUCH faster than a grinding wheel ever could. Although a bit on the expensive side, they work great and leave a very nice finish!

Copyright - Tim Cote 2007

After quite a bit of work, the nearly finished drivers side lower corner is shown below. At this point all that's left to be done is to fill a few of the minor voids and pits with some body filler to produce a nice and smooth surface to attach the firewall to.

Copyright - Tim Cote 2007

And here's a comparison of the original rusted out piece and the repaired corner. In the end the patch panel matches the original quite closely.

Copyright - Tim Cote 2007

All that's left now is to start this process all over on the passenger side lower corner. Work on that repair is currently underway and will be posted here in the near future!

Stumble This Article!


Total time spent on restoration to date:

596 HOURS

JUMP TO THE NEXT UPDATE -  WINDSHIELD FRAME PAINTING

Enter Corvette TOP 100 and Vote for this site!! The top Corvette Sites on the net rated by visitors! VettePics.com

Contact Us       Home       The Car       Before       Restoration       After       Resources

xxx,xxx