1971 Camaro Bodywork - Back To The Street, Part 7

We Prepare The Body Of Our '71 Camaro Project For Paint With Some Grinding, Blocking, Sanding, And Priming On The National Parts Depot Sheetmetal.

Mike Ficacci Aug 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)

Both the driver- and passenger-side doors needed new skins. We started by grinding off the crimp flange of the factory doors that hold the skin on and drilling out any spot welds that we came across. Using a chisel and a whole lot of grinding, we were able to pry the old door skin away from the frame taking much of the problem area with it.

Using seam sealer, we liberally made globs where the frame and skin will meet. This will hold the door skin in place as we are reinstalling the crimp flange, and provide a vibration-free door down the road. The last thing we would want is the door skin and frame to separate from each other.

Sucp_0908_16_z 1971_camaro_bodywork Door_skin 4/23

It was then time to place the door skin on the frame with the help of two volunteers. Seam sealer takes some time to set so there was no rush positioning them in place. Once satisfied with our positioning, we let the sealer set. We will be banging away on the crimp flange shortly.




Sucp_0908_17_z 1971_camaro_bodywork Flange_fold 5/23

Using a hammer and dolly, we cautiously folded the flange over the doorframe. Using a dolly on the underneath of the door is essential at this point to ensure the skin side does not bow out during the process. Never use just a hammer, as the results will be subpar.




Sucp_0908_21_z 1971_camaro_bodywork Spot_welder 6/23

The final step was to use a spot welder to ensure the piece does not move. A spot welder, such as this one, saves a great deal of time and many of them can be run off a 110-volt source unlike MIG and TIG welders which require a 220-volt source.


The hood was the largest single piece on the car. As with the door skins and fenders, we ground it down to bare metal then covered it with a thin layer of body filler. Then, blocking and sanding commenced to achieve a perfectly consistent finish. Many of these pieces were gone over multiple times with the same process to achieve the perfect finish. Body filler, sanding, blocking, body filler, sanding, blocking, and over again.

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