Welcome To The V8 Speed and Resto Shop! Forums V8 Forum V8 Speed and Resto Shop Car Builds 1970 Buick GS 455 Stage One Body Restoration

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  • #4762
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    1970 Buick GS Stage 1 Sheet Metal Restoration

    This 1970 Buick GS 455 Stage One car is one of 1785 hardtop automatic cars, and it came in pretty rusty! The V8 Speed & Resto Shop crew is tasked with replacing the rusted sheet metal with new steel to bring this car back on the road to recovery!

    In this case, the customer removed the body of the Buick and restored the chassis himself.

    This is what the body shell looked like when we brought it to our shop.

    #4763
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    We knew the quarters were rotted beyond repair, so some large sections were trimmed out to give better access to the inner structure. The body was going to the media blaster, and it is faster and easier for the blaster to clean the structure with “windows” in the quarter areas.

    The GS hood came back pretty solid, but with some dents in the outside skin. Not a big deal to fix.

    We didn’t allow the media blaster to strip the hood skin, as we like to do these with a dual action (D/A) sander to prevent warpage.

    The door shells showed some rot in the structure…

    …and also in the skins.

    #4764
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    The deck lid had some pin holes in the skin.

    The parts were all cleaned and hung in the booth for a bath in epoxy primer.

    #4765
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    The media blasted body shell showed us what we had suspected all along… this car needed quarters, a trunk floor, and repairs around the window frames.

    Surprisingly, the front of the floor and dash were not as rusty as the back half of the car.

    There were sporadic holes and rust, but nothing nearly as severe as the rear.

    #4766
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    There were variety of small rust holes throughout the cabin floor, on the dash, and around the window frames.

    #4767
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    Once the crew got a good look at this car in bare steel, they wheeled it into the paint booth for a coating of black epoxy primer.

    The primer is used to protect the steel from rusting, and you’ll notice that not all areas were primed, as much of this sheet-metal will be removed. It did not make sense to wastefully spray primer on steal that would be cut off and discarded.

    #4768
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    After the primer was applied, the Buick’s body was installed on the body jig, and the metal replacement began.

    The crew started by drilling out the spot welds that held the rear wheel tubs in place. This car will be utilizing reproduction sheet-metal as manufactured by AMD.

    Once the spot welds were drilled, the rusty wheel tubs were removed and the new reproduction inner and outer wheel houses were installed.

    #4769
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    This project is a little bit of a jigsaw puzzle, as the trunk floor will be replaced as well. The wheel tubs were welded together, and then attached to the inner structure of the car, but not attached to the trunk floor.

    We obtained a replacement trunk floor from AMD, but this piece is designed for a 1970 Chevelle and not a Buick Skylark or GS. The difference is in the back part of the floor where it attaches to the floor structure of the Buick, as they are simply different shapes. However, our crew was confident we could install the floor without it looking like it had ever been repaired.

    The trick was to remove part of the floor section where it flattened out in the back and adapted to meet the angled trunk floor section of the Buick.

    #4770
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    This area was then butt welded together, and all the welds ground smooth. The rear support panel was removed from the car, and reinstalled after being repaired.

    The weld is in the ground area, now metal finished and invisible. The plug welds are from the lower brace on the outside of the car.

    #4771
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    Next came some test fitting of the trunk drop-off panels…

    #5143
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    Jumping ahead just a bit, but here’s the video on the quarter panels.

    #5177
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    The reproduction lower trunk floor extensions required some re-working to fit.. but Adam was able to make them work. At this point, the quarter panels have been test-fitted on and off many times to make sure all the attachment points are correct.

    #5178
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    Here, the driver quarter panel is being test fitted and eventually welded in place. The panel attaches to the car’s structure all the way around its perimeter, and will be attached with traditional plug welds and resistance spot welds where ever possible.

    #5460
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    We didn’t show it before, but the trunk lid, doors, and quarter extensions were all test fitted before the quarter panel welding was done. Here, the passenger quarter panel is being fitted and installed after many test fittings.

    #5461
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    More work on the trunk extensions…

    Welding it all up.

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