The first picture shows the patch panels I installed. The entire lower portion of this hood was rusted out and previously bondo repaired by the previous owner. Although the Bondo was placed years ago, it never completely cured. (I guess they did not mix the proper amount of hardener? The roof repair just above the drip rails was repaired the same way.
Here you can see the roof cut I made to eliminate the old shoddy repair. I have to admit, this was my very first attempt to MIG in a patch panel, I was very nervous, but I had practiced on scrap skin prior to attempting the actual car repair. (still made me nervous until I saw it was going better than expected).
This picture is the original condition of the dash, it was spray painted blue (everything was blue, even the chrome!)
I removed the dash and stripped it down completely, painted it red, took the gauges apart and cleaned / painted new numbers, needles, and added a new shiny trim belt down the center using tin from a hardware store epoxied and fastened to the dash. (The tin is used in the construction of metal A/C and heating ducts.)
The last photo is the completed roof patch panel Mig'd in, ground smooth, with just a skim of Bondo, and a dusting of red primer. the removed rusted original panel can be seen laying above the drip rail to the right of where the patch was placed. For my first attempt I am rather proud as to how this came out.
You can be proud as heck with that work, it looks outstanding. I had to pound out the lower front fender after someone had moved the car with a dolly and turned too sharp, collapsing the lower part. I also removed the large lower rocker trim panel clip which left a big opening. I pounded out the dent and closed up the hole and it actually worked out great. I almost hurt my arm trying to pat myself on the back. When you've never done these things before it can be very daunting. But you never know until you try. Just think of all the things that opens up to you/us when we learn these operations. From repairs to customization, there's so many things that can be accomplished. Nice job.
You are absolutely correct Mark, there is a great sense of accomplishment when trying something daunting and new, and completing it successfully. Just when you think you are becoming a master mechanic, you view some of the other posts and see the awesome capabilities of others. Really brings you back to earth,...... Humbling just humbling.
Man, I never cease to be amazed at the skill and creativity of the members of this site!
As you can see on the hood patch work, I tried to cut out a long large area that covered a long distance horizontally and then had a vertical component (like an "L") that traversed an area of the hood with a lazy S type of curve, (from the lower hood grill lip, up towards the top of the hood). Originally I cut the whole L shaped area out and traced the complete area out onto the new metal. I tried to install this new "L" shaped patch as one piece. That's when I witnessed first hand how much the metal actually moves in many directions when the heat of the arc is applied. So on the second attempt, I shaped the lower component by slightly bending it over a 4 inch pipe. That welded in much easier. (You also have to remember to move from one side of the patch to the other, do not stay in one area too long). Next I installed the smaller vertical component, carefully matching the curvature of the hood. It also helped to gently tap the metal back into position as you went along.
What Vall said. That BOOOOK is going to rock. I'm glad I'm getting a chance to watch it evolve. You commented on how everyone does so much work, fabricating etc. That was so much the norm back when these cars were rocking the drag strip. Much of it was all home built. Which is why there was so much variety. Not cookie cutter cars. We're just following the old building "codes" of the day.