This is just a stark shot, isn’t it? The car was stripped down to its skeleton before, but it still was all tied together—removing the rocker from below the door opening is a huge step. But it’s not as dramatic as it looks, with the front and rear of the body supported and secured to the jig's frame in several places at factory locating points.
The new outer rocker is fitted and clamped to the body.
Up front, a new inner kick panel is fitted and clamped in.
The factory installed galvanized inner support member carries the load from the wheelhousing and framerail though the rear torque box, stiffening the rocker. If you need this portion, AMD offers a replacement.
With the outer rocker and the inner brace clamped in place, the spot welding machine goes to work securing it all.
Up front, because of the way the panels are assembled, plug welds are made with a MIG to secure the rocker to the new kick panel.
Once the braces, kick panel, and outer rocker are welded in, the inner rocker is installed. Notice that AMD sprays everything with primer every step of the way.
The inner rocker, fitted, clamped, and welded into the car. The door opening, one of the most critical dimensions on the car, is back to factory specs. While this was all taking place on the passenger side, the same was being done on the driver side.
The sides of the cowl/firewall area are made up of several different stampings. A little tweaking and fitting is typically required here, to get the reproduction pieces to lay in just right. Individually, there’s some give to each piece, but once they are clamped and welded together, tying the firewall to the doorjamb area, they form one of the strongest areas of the car.
There’s a solid day’s worth of work to fit the cowl sides to the firewall, the cowl top, and the front of the doorjamb/A-pillar area. The amount of clamps used makes the front of the car look like a porcupine. Nothing is welded until it all fits together perfectly.
While on the subject of firewalls, there are options now for firewalls: factory A/C, factory without A/C, or a smoothed firewall. All fit as though they were original.
Rather than replace the entire dashboard assembly, the dash face and lower portion of the original stamping were retained, with the new top being cut away from a complete repro unit. Again, AMD opts to keep as much of the original, factory-fitted, usable metal as possible.
Once the firewall is welded to the body, it’s time to move on to the top of the cowl and the dash, which are tied together. Anyone who’s ever looked at more than a handful of 1967-69 F-bodies knows they rust at the front of the dash, behind the windshield. This car was no different. A reproduction dash was fitted in.
After the new dash is fitted and clamped securely in place (AMD has a wall full of clamps, and uses most of them on every car), the dash and cowl top are spot-welded together, while the seam inside is welded to join the new metal to the original lower dash.