1973Nova

1973 Nova rust repair and restoration done by Brian Wolfe.
SANY1616  This is how the Nova looked when it came in.  Close examination showed it needed alot of attention. SANY1617  This is how the Nova looked when it came in.  Close examination showed it needed alot of attention. SANY1618  This is how the Nova looked when it came in.  Close examination showed it needed alot of attention. SANY1619  This is how the Nova looked when it came in.  Close examination showed it needed alot of attention.
SANY1620  Showing signs of 1/4 panel wheelwell rust and previous quick repair. SANY1621  Rear tailight panel rust and body filler slop to fill it in.  The mounting rail is completely rusted away. SANY1622  Some nice trunk floor quick patches that someone did to plug some holes. SANY1623  Inner 1/4 panel trunk drop rust.
SANY1624  Inner 1/4 panel trunk drop rust. SANY1625  The door had been massively stressed and the outer skin had broken free from the window frame creating a big gap that will need closed up. SANY1626 SANY1627  Drivers door gap and alignment before repair.
SANY1629  Drivers door gap and alignment before repair.  Too Tight! SANY1631  Door frame gap from window frame to body.  Would have been a massive wind noise source. SANY1632  A pillar crack from the body twisting from motor torque.  Was jacked to proper positon and tack welded to verify, then finished off. SANY1633  Drivers door jamb cracking from body twist.
SANY1634  A pillar crack on Passenger side from body twisting. SANY1635 SANY1636  Drivers 1/4 panel removed to start the cleaning process. SANY1637  Fitting the Drivers 1/4 panel after trimming it down to a good joining area.
SANY1638  Small patch fabricated from flat sheet to repair the trunk drop on the Drivers side. SANY1639  Showing the rusted trunk drop area that will be patched. SANY1640  Trimming the outer wheelhouse further to repair the bad section but retain the factory strength were possible. SANY1641  Another rust quick patch job on the Inner wheelhouse rear section.
SANY1642  Getting a small patch tacked in on the very back inner structure. SANY1643  Drivers trunk drop front section trimmed and fitted closer for final time before welding it in. SANY1644  Another wondeful view of the old quick patch job on the rear Inner wheelhouse on the Drivers side.  It was overlapping just asking to rust away. SANY1645  Fabricating a new proper patch from flat sheet to repair the rust and previous patch job.
SANY1646  Drivers Outer wheelhouse final fitted, trimmed and tacked into place.  1/4 Panel was temporarily installed to verify proper positioning. SANY1647  Another view, and you can see the plug weld holes awaiting the Inner wheelhouse patch. SANY1648  Finished welding in the inner wheelhouse and trunk drop patches, ground smooth and epoxy sprayed to prevent future rusting. SANY1649  1/4 panel back on, making sure fitment was still good, and then clamping and tacking it in place.
SANY1650  Showing the butt fitted joint so there is no overlap to promote future rust.  Takes longer, but is much better and easier to straighten so less filler is used. SANY1651  Showing the slow process of progressively tack welding it on to minimize heat buildup. SANY1652  Further welding. SANY1657  All welded.
SANY1658  Stripping the 1/4 panel and weld area straightened and smoothed. SANY1659  Another view of the installed 1/4. SANY1660  Showing the inner wheelhouse patch installed.  Weld through primer was used between the joining panels to coat and protect it from corrosion. SANY1661  Trunk drop showing the plug welded and smoothed lower edge, and then the fabricated patch towards the front installed.
SANY1663  Another view of the trunk drop welded and smoothed. SANY1664  View of the joining wheelhouse pieces and the wheelarch smoothed. SANY1665  front edge of the 1/4 welded in (also to the inner structure) and smoothed to look like original. SANY1667  A view of the 1/4 to rocker joining with proper fitment.
SANY1668  Another view of the door jamb edge of the 1/4 panel install and some of the upper weld that was straightened and smoothed. SANY1669  A shot of the welded seem showing that the warpage was all controlled, stretched back out and smoothed with an "Easy Shrink" Shrinking Disc.  This will allow a very minimal amount of filler or polyester primer to make it completely smooth.  Takes a little more time and patients, but makes for a much better longer lasting repair. SANY1670  Showing the welded and smoothed seam in the rear of the 1/4 about an inch from the back corner. SANY1672  A far away shot of it all complete and stripped, a much nicer install than you will find most of the time.
SANY1673  Showing the nice and even door gap which makes for a much better quality car. SANY1674  Another far away view installed. SANY1675  Another close up of the upper weld seam that will easily dissapear with high build polyester primer, or a very thin skim of filler.  This is how I like to do it if possible. SANY1678  Showing the 1/4 to wheelhouse flange properly fitted and welded.  No massive amounts of seam sealer needed here.
SANY1679  Another view of the same SANY1680  Showing some of the top damage that was straightened as good as possible and carefully smoothed with the Shrinking Disc. SANY1681  Showing some of the top damage that was straightened as good as possible and carefully smoothed with the Shrinking Disc. SANY1682  Showing some of the top damage that was straightened as good as possible and carefully smoothed with the Shrinking Disc.
SANY1683  Showing the trunk drop that is rusty, coming apart and dripping with filler on the 1/4 panel. SANY1684  Rusty trunk drop. SANY1685  Wheel opening is rough and full of filler. SANY1686  Outer wheel house rusting out between it and the 1/4 panel.
SANY1687  Rust on the rear tailight pan and the light mounts. SANY1688  Rust on the rear tailight pan and the light mounts. SANY1690  Rust on the rear tailight pan and the light mounts. SANY1693  Rust on the rear tailight pan.
SANY1694  Wheel house rust cut out. SANY1695  Wheel house rust cut out. SANY1696  Starting to fit new 1/4 panels. SANY1697  Starting to fit new 1/4 panels.
SANY1698  Working on replacing the Outer Wheel House and sandblasting the rest of the structure that is covered by the 1/4 panel. SANY1699  Welding in Wheelhouse. SANY1700  Welding in Wheelhouse. SANY1701  Welding in Wheelhouse.
SANY1702  All fixed, now epoxy priming it to protect it and prevent future rust. SANY1703  All fixed, now epoxy priming it to protect it and prevent future rust. SANY1704  All fixed, now epoxy priming it to protect it and prevent future rust. SANY1705  All fixed, now epoxy priming it to protect it and prevent future rust.
SANY1706  Passenger 1/4 welded on and initial straightening and smoothing done. SANY1707  Passenger 1/4 welded on and initial straightening and smoothing done. SANY1708  Passenger 1/4 welded on and initial straightening and smoothing done. SANY1716  Working on replacing the rear tailight pan.
SANY1717  Old pan cut out. SANY1718  Trying to make it fit somewhat close. SANY1719  Cleaing the lower pan before welding the new pan in. SANY1720  Clamps, clamps and more clamps to make sure it stays were we needed it while fitting the trunk gaps.
SANY1721  All welded in. SANY1722  Double checking the trunk lid fittment after welding. SANY1723  Striped all down and welds smoothed. SANY1724  Fine tuning the trunk gap fitment.
SANY1725  Couple different views of the trunk gap fitment being fine tuned. SANY1726  Couple different views of the trunk gap fitment being fine tuned. SANY1727  Couple different views of the trunk gap fitment being fine tuned. SANY1728  Couple different views of the trunk gap fitment being fine tuned.
SANY1729  Rusty trunk floor has holes you can see through.  Not good! SANY1730  Rusty trunk floor. SANY1731  Rusty trunk floor. SANY1732  Rusty trunk floor.
SANY1733  A makeshift fiberglass patch had been used to cover the holes in a pinch. SANY1734  The old patch needs replaced. SANY1735  Making a paper template for the shape of steel that we need to cut out. SANY1736  Paper trimmed down close to size.
SANY1737  Bends, beads, holes, etc marked on the paper template to assist in the layout on steel. SANY1738  Drawn out on flat steel sheet. SANY1739  Initial bending and shaping of the panel to make the patch. SANY1740  Patch laid in and perimeter marked.
SANY1741  Cut out majority of the old rusty trunk floor. SANY1744  Found the gas tank brace was rusted off and needed patched. SANY1745  Better view of brace rust. SANY1746  Brace was structually ok for the most part, but had a few areas that needed TLC.
SANY1747  Need a patch in the dish were wet dirt had been sitting. SANY1748  Quick simple little patch. SANY1751  Ready to weld in. SANY1752  Patch welded in.  Good as new.
SANY1753  Fitting the trunk patch in place with brace fixed and holding it in place with screws. SANY1754  A couple of the flat spots in the other side of the trunk needed fixed as well. SANY1755  Bad spots cut out. SANY1756  Trunk all welded in.  View of the bottom.
SANY1757  Flipped over on its side. SANY1758  Flipped over on its side. SANY1759  View of the wheelwell patches. SANY1760  Other wheelwell.
SANY1761  Trunk floor all welded in and smoothed, looking much better.  Still have to weld a brace behind the holes in the front. SANY1762  There was some damage on the bottom that we had to work on jacking out, as the car was bottomed out real hard at one time. SANY1763  Another view of the damage. SANY1764  Another view of the damage.  May be hard to see in the picture.
SANY1765  A closer view of the damage. SANY1771  Inside you can see some of the wrinkled steel damage, as well as some rust too. SANY1772  A couple other small spots that needed fixed. SANY1773  A couple other small spots that needed fixed.
SANY1774  Passenger floorboard needed some quick rust repair as well. SANY1775  Another area that had been makeshift fixed before that needs addressed now. SANY1776  More prior damage, cowl gutter would lead straight into car.  Made a patch to fix it. SANY1777  More prior damage, cowl gutter would lead straight into car.  Made a patch to fix it.
SANY1778  More prior damage, cowl gutter would lead straight into car.  Made a patch to fix it. SANY1834  Car primered with Epoxy to protect it from flash rust until we get ready to do the rest of the body work, although it is pretty straight already. SANY1835  Other side. SANY1836  Ready to come back out of the paint booth.
SANY1951  Had some rust in the trunklid that showed up after sandblasting. SANY1952  Made a quick patch to the correct profile, and then smoothed it out with a little filler. SANY1956  Did a little bit of filler work and then primed the top, 1/4s and rear pan with high build polyester primer. SANY1957  Started sanding the polyester primer, and 1/4s are looking pretty smooth.
SANY1958  Other side and fender primed as well.