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First Gen Camaro Restoration - Block Party
We Tag Along As Classic Restoration Enterprises Block Sands And Jambs An L78 Camaro Convertible
Frank H. Cicerale
Apr 1, 2009
Classic Restoration Enterprises Inc.
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First Gen Camaro Restoration - Block Party
Before any work was done, the doors and quarterpanels were misted in a light coat of primer. Our man, Martin Zamora, who was the one tabbed to perform the bodywork on the Camaro, then ran his hands over the panels to feel for any obvious high or low spots.
Martin proceeded to commence sanding with the long block, running it lightly over the passenger side door panel first. He let the block and the sandpaper do all the work, as the light pressure he applied allowed the block to take down the primer, yet reveal all high or low spots without getting to bare metal.
To avoid taking off a load of material in one shot, Martin used 320-grit sandpaper throughout.
Once the portion of the door above the bodyline was sanded, Martin went below the bodyline. While below the bodyline is sometimes a portion of a car an auto body or restoration shop will in a sense overlook, with this car being a full-on, high-end restoration, Melvin and the crew made sure that every facet of the body would be done the same.
Here, you can see some low spots on the passenger side quarterpanel. While Martin prefers to work the metal as opposed to using filler, small spots such as these are easier to be made whole with filler as opposed to spending time working the metal and possibly making the situation worse. This is what blocking a car will, do--it reveals any low spots (or in some cases high spots) in the metal.
Once Martin was finished with the long block, he moved onto the round block, which he used for touch up work and the small area by the window.
There were a couple of low spots on the door that required filler, so Martin whipped up a colorful concoction of Evercoat lightweight filler and the correct amount of hardener.
The filler was then applied to the car. Instead of lumping it on that one spot, making for a glop of filler that would have to be removed, Martin spread the filler out evenly over an area encompassing the low spot and a decent portion of surrounding metal. This helps to keep the coat thin, meaning that the filler will be sanded off the unneeded areas, and there will not be any excess on the panel.
Martin used a small serrated file to shave off the excess filler once it had hardened and dried. This is done to alleviate having to sand for months on end to get the unneeded filler out of the way.
The long block was then used to sand down the rest of the filler. The result was the removal of the filler around the low spot, with the slightest amount of it filling in the depression.
Once the sanding was completed, Martin once again used his hand, running it along the door to check for any blemishes he might have created with the application of the filler.
There was a small dent in the lower rear bumper valance that needed to be pulled out. To perform the task, Martin used a stud gun to insert six studs around the perimeter of the dent.
He then used a slide hammer to pull the dent out.
Martin then mixed up and applied a light coat of filler to the area where the dent had been...
...and then sanded it off. There was a small low spot that ended up being filled, but the dent itself was gone.
Once all of the block sanding and requisite filler applying was done, it came time to put on the front clips (both front fenders, the radiator support, and the hood) to check and align the gaps.
There are three spots on the fender in which you can adjust it and set the gap. One adjusts the height of the fender, one the inner and outer position, and one the forward and rearward position of it. Martin played with various size shims to obtain the perfect gap adjustment, which is what you see here.
Martin then installed the hood hinges and the hood to set the gap for that in relation to the fenders.
Here is the Camaro before the block sanding and gap alignment was performed.
Here is the same car at the same angles right before we rolled it into the paint booth to jamb the doors and trunk. While still a long way from hitting the open road, the car is starting to look like something.
According to Classic Restoration's Melvin Benzaquen, painting the jambs of the doors and the trunk is easier to do when the car is not painted. With that in mind, the Camaro was rolled into the paint booth, where the trunk and surface of the car was masked off with plastic to prevent overspray from making its way into the trunk or on the convertible top.
Once the car was masked off, the door jambs and trunk jamb (the latter seen here) were hit with a coat of grey primer.
Once the primer was dry, two coats of Daytona Blue (which was previously mixed) were laid down, with a few minutes time between the coats.
Last but not least, a liberal coat of clear was sprayed on. After the jambs are dry, the flanks of the Camaro will be wet sanded to get any overspray off. Then the F-body will go through the paint process, starting with the primer.
Here is the finished product. Neat, huh? We can't wait to see this car when it's done and slathered in its Daytona Blue.
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