With the Art Morrison chassis for the 2011 AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tour's '55 Chevy completed, Chris Sondles and the crew at Woody's Hot Rodz turned their attention to the body. As true authorities on Tri-Fives, they knew where to look for trouble on our two-door-and believe us, they found it. Over the years our Tri-Five had been subjected to corrosion, general wear and tear, and repair work, ranging from miserable to passable. But at Woody's there's only one way to do things, which meant if there was any part of the body that wasn't perfect it wasn't going to be that way for long.

At first glance our Chevy's shell looked good but primer can hide a multitude of sins, and after a trip to Ken Engel's Powder Coating Specialty for sandblasting it was obvious there was much to be done to make it right. Of course the first rule of sandblasting sheetmetal is to not make it worse by heavy-handed methods, too much air pressure, or media that is too coarse. Engel has earned Woody's confidence and the results show why-while we were left with less than perfect sheetmetal, it was perfectly clean and no worse off for being blasted.

Once back at Woody's it was obvious it would take some effort to make this diamond less rough, the complete floor, rockers, lower quarter-panels, bottoms of the doors, and the ends of both fenders would have to be replaced. While that seems to be an enormous undertaking, it's made much easier thanks to the precision replacement panels from Danchuck Manufacturing. One look at their catalog confirmed that they offer everything we needed:

PN Description Qty
12138 Full Floor with Braces Two-Door sedan 1
10013 Headlight Patch Panels 1
10014 Headlight Patch Panels 1
2772 Fender Lower Panels 1
2773 Fender Lower Panels 1
2987 Lower Quarter-Panels 1
2988 Lower Quarter-Panels 1
1831 Rocker Panels 1
1832 Rocker Panels 1

In most cases, replacement panels come flanged, which allows a little "wiggle room" in the fit and makes a natural recess for welding. Generally the procedure consists of holding the replacement panel in place, allowing for the width of the flange, and then removing the sheetmetal to be replaced with a cutoff wheel or plasma cutter. In some cases the replacement panels are held in close proximity to the body with clamps and butt welded in place. This is usually done when the patch panel is cut down in size.

Our '55 is off to a good start to having a beautiful body but there is still much to be accomplished so follow along-then plan on joining the 2011 AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tour to see the results for yourself.

SOURCE
Miller Electric
1635 W. Spencer Street
Appleton
WI  54912
920-734-9821
www.millerwelds.com
Blasting Specialties and Powdercoating
2937 Vail Ave.
Commerce
CA  90040
323-721-5020
www.blastingandpowdercoating.com
Yogi's Street Rod Accessories
Lawrenceville
CA
800-373-1937
www.yogisinc.com
Woody's Hot Rodz
812-637-1933
855-567-1957
www.woodyshotrodz.com
Danchuk
3201 South Standard Avenue
Santa Ana
CA  92705
800-648-9554
www.danchuk.com
  • «
  • |
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • View Full Article