1956 Chevrolet Belair Restoration Project — Part 16
By Steve Nicholson
Now with the metal work finished on the body, and the body sandblasted and coated with epoxy primer it's time for the final work of smoothing out the metal with body filler and primer.
With the body still on the rotisserie, we started on the underside of the floor first. We wanted to cover up the welded seams of the floor panels we had welded in. There were a few dents in the floors that we removed also, mainly in the transmission tunnel area.
Body filler can be used over epoxy primer as long as the primer has been prepared properly, such as sanded and cleaned. We sanded the epoxy primer with 180 grit and wiped it down with some Wax & Grease Remover before applying the filler. We also used compressed air to remove the dust prior to each layer of filler.
The rotisserie makes the repairs to the bottom of the floor much easier. Here we have some of the body repairs in the transmission tunnel already finished and primed.
Basically what we are doing is filling the areas that have been welded on. We wanted the underside to look untouched and original without a bunch of welded seams showing.
We now have the complete underside repaired and the repaired areas have been sprayed with 2K filler primer.
Next the body was bolted back on the chassis for the final repairs to the quarter panels, doors, etc.
Once the body was bolted down we started the repairs to the inside of the trunk. The welded seams were covered with a thin layer of filler to hide the welds. The areas were then sprayed with a 2K primer.
Next up was to install the doors and start the filler work on the sides of the car. Although the entire quarter panel is covered with filler, the filler is not over 1/16th of an inch thick. Nice metal work and preparation is a must before apply any body filler. If done right, plastic filler will last as long as lead filler, if not longer. You cannot use plastic filler to fill up rust holes or trim holes. Plastic filler will fail just like lead filler if moisture gets in behind it.