1956 Chevrolet BelAir Car Restoration Project — Part 5
By Steve Nicholson
Since the last article the rust repair parts from Danchuk arrived. We removed the engine and transmission before starting the rust repairs. Our customer picked them up and then delivered them to his engine builder.
We received six floor braces: four of which were the ends for the long braces, two are the short braces underneath the seat. We also are going to replace the seat reinforcement panels. Included in our order were the very rear section of the trunk floor, spare tire well, rear tail panel, rear trunk floor brace, left rocker panel, and three panels for the right floor. We decided to replace the right floorboards in smaller sections rather than installing a complete right floor panel.
The right rear floorboard had a piece of metal tack welded in place with duct taped around the edges. We removed the panel to find that a huge hole in the floor had been cut out. The right front floor panel was rusty, most likely from a heater core that had leaked for years.
We cleaned the floor braces and applied some self-etching primer to the insides of the braces. This will protect them from rusting out in the future.
The next step before starting the repairs to the body is to get the body sitting back on the frame as it came from the factory. Included with our sheet metal order was a body to frame pad kit and a body bolt kit. We unbolted the body and installed all new rubber pads where we could. Some of the braces we so rusty that there was no metal to rest on the rubber pad. With the body sitting on all new pads it relieves the stress of body sag from the rotten and collapsed rubber pads. It will also allow us to set the new braces at the same height as the rest of the braces in the car before we weld them in.
There were three boxes that arrived form Danchuk that contained the replacement sheetmetal.
These are the floor braces that we will be installing in the car.
We removed the engine and transmission for the customer to get them rebuilt. It also will make the repairs easier without them in the car.
This is the engine and transmission out of the car.
We cleaned the braces and applied a good coat of etching primer to the insides of them to prevent them from rusting in the future.
We will be making some repairs to this area also. It was cut out for the 4-speed shifter and had some welding done on it, apparently to make the hole smaller.
This is the passenger front floor rust.
We discovered this panel after we removed the carpeting. It was tack welded in and then sealed off with some duct tape."
This is the large hole that was underneath the panel."
More to come!