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kev's restoration - viper blue tsi


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#1 kev

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 08:04 AM

I finally got around to uploading some pics of my blue car's progress.  Lately with work, grad school, and other projects, I have barely been able to work on her.  

This is my 87 viper blue conquest that I drove back in college.  This is my long term conquest project.   Most of you know about the engine I am building for it and such so I won't go into that part for now.   This thread is for the restoration of the car body.

The quarters were a bit rusty so they have been removed as seen in the pics via cutting all the original spot welds.   Most of the undercarraige has been stripped to bare metal but I still have some final cleanup to do with it.  I am having sandblaster problems currently which has been holding me off (my air compressor just isn't powerful enough to blast efficiently).   I also have to finish welding in a new framerail and do a bit of rust repair on the drivers rocker panel.  

I will let the pictures do the talking from here.  As you can see, I have a lot of welding, sanding, blasting left to do:

























#2 Indiana

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 09:37 PM

I was wondering what one looked like with the Qtr. panel removed.  I have one car that needs a new one.  What did you use to cut the spot welds?  Did you use one of those barrell tube cutter thing bits?  I have seen them but didn't know how well they worked.  I had to replace a quarter panel on one of my 64 thunderbirds, it was about 6' long.  I just found the welds and blew them out with my plasma cutter.  

#3 kev

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 11:42 AM

I used a standary spot weld cutter.  THey work pretty good but you first have to centerpunch each spot weld so that the cutter will not walk.  I broke 3 cutting blades on my cutter before I realized this.   If you centerpunch them, they work like a charm.

You have to watch the pressure you put on the cutter though, I did drill through the back panel a few times by pushing too hard.  THis jap steel is thin!   No big deal though, I'll fill the holes up with my MIG.  

Actually the undercarraige is in very good shape for a car that lived its life outside in PA.   You should have seen what this car looked like when I first bought it.  I already did bodywork to it once but used fiberglass/bondo instead of welding.   THis time it is being done right.    All the rust is actually an easy fix, nothing is too far gone.  THere is plenty of good steel to weld too and I have all non-rusted orignal parts that I cut off of my parts car (the one in my signature).

kev

#4 kev

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 06:55 AM

Well, I'm finally back to work on this car.   Last weekend I drilled out all the spot welds for the drivers side frame rail and removed it from the car.   It did not have any rust damage.   However, it appears that the previous owner bottomed out the car on a curb or something because the rail was litterally crushed.   When it happened, it also flexed the body some because the door has always been hard to latch.   Since pulling the frame member, I was able to line up the door again and after picking up a few shims for the door latch, it looks like everything will be back inline again.  I have an original brand new frame rail to be welded back in.

Also I found two other small areas of rust on the drivers floor board but nothing bad.   I also cut out a small amount of rust on the drivers rocker panel and fabbed up a new piece to be welded in.

Mostly, I have been concentrating on the rust at the pinch joint of the floorboards to the rockers on the drivers side (the passenger side is not rusted at all believe it or not).  I removed about a inch of metal all the way along the rocker on the floors.  I am still trying to remove all the rust before starting to prep up new steel.   The pinch joints are a bear because you have three layers of steel all spot welded together.   In my case, the rocker skin is solid but the two other layers are rotted.  So trying to pry the pinch joint apart without damaging the rocker is fairly difficult.   When I get it all ground down, I will take some pics of the floorboard.   It looks like swiss cheese at the moment, but soon there will be no rust.   I also have new floor sections that will be welded in.  Well not new, but used non-rusted pieces.  

Also I cut out a few of the unused brackets in the engine compartment, such as: cruise control bracket, ABS brake mounting bracket, old air box mounting brackets, etc.   My goal is to get the engine compartment nice and smooth and only leave in the brackets and holes that actually will be holding necessary parts like brake lines, power steering lines, battery, coil, etc.   Everything else will be ripped out or weld filled up.  

It is moving along, slowly but surely.

kev

#5 kev

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 09:50 AM

Drivers rocker panel and frame rail are finally all welded up.  Only took me two months of work!  And I have been working on it at least two nights a week and about everyother saturday!   I will have pics shortly.  

I am NOT a good welder, lol.  I spend all of my time filling holes that I blasted through inadvertantly.  I am getting better though.   It is good that I started with undercarraige work because it isn't visible when the car is done.   I am starting to get the hang of welding with my MIG now, so the viewable body work will come out much better.  Still the undercarraige is solid and looks pretty darn good considering how much of a novice I am with weld repairs.

Well, I will take some pics this week and post them.  

Next up is the drivers rear quarter panel.   I started to remove the donor panel and am just beginning to prep the car for its installation.

kev

#6 mandoknight

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 10:23 AM

hey Kev get me a couble of pics around the drivers side frame rail,  did you remove the frame rail? I am just a few steps behind you in the process and any info you have, I need.
Thanks Chris

#7 kev

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 10:35 AM

Will do.  

Yes I removed the complete framerail section.   I could not buy an original drivers framerail (mitsu discontinued them) so I used a brand new passenger side framerail on the drivers side.   It wasn't as easy as I planned.   Turned out that the passengerside frame rail section is about 3/8" taller than the drivers side rail.   Thus I had to modifiy a piece that ramped up in order to weld the frame section to the existing frame support.   All in all, it came out pretty good and is more structurally sound than the existing frame section.    I plug welded the frame section in just like factory but then seam welded about three 4" sections to the floorboards.   Combined with the big hanking weld to attach the frame section to the existing frame support, this puppy isn't going anywhere!  

I will get you some pictures, it is hard describing what I did in words.    Unfortunately I didn't take any pics of it in the middle stages (after the old frame section removed but before the new piece was installed), but the final pictures will show what I did.

kev

#8 kev

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 01:51 PM

Ok, here are my pics.

Drivers floorboard after repair.   I went with a lap joint for increased strength even though it has that viewable lip.   I will be blasting all this steel back down to bare metal, por-15ing the full undercarraige, and putting a sandable seam sealer over all the welds such as this one.   In the end, that lip will never be noticable.  Note, the crap that looks like weld buildup in the end of the depressions is actually just undercoating that I never removed.   It will be removed and the floorboard will look very clean in the end.


Here is another view of the floorboard and it shows the frame rail section I welded in.  Notice that I had to weld in a passenger style frame section on the drivers side due to Mitsu discontinuing the drivers rail part sad.gif


Here is a view of the front of the frame member.  As stated in an earlier post, the passengerside rail is 3/8" higher than the drivers rail.  Therefore I modified the rail to fit.   The spool piece between the new framerail and the support structure wraps around the framerail and is plug welded on each side by 4 plug welds a side.  Plus the ends are all seam welded and the underside (ramp section) is seam welded all around and the plug welded on the corners.   This puppy is going nowhere!   I was not happy in the difference in heights but I think it came out good in the end


Here is a pic of the rear of the rail.  Looks weird with the roundout for the cat on the drivers side of the car, hehe.   I had to push down the floorboard slightly as well as bend the back of the rail to get everything to line up.   Looks good though now.  In a later pic you can see some of what I did when looking at the top of the floorboards.

Here is a pic of the top of the floorboard.   You can see the floor piece I welded in on the side and I also cut about 50% of the rocker panel out and seam welded an original piece in.  I still have some welds to grind smooth on the top of the floorboard.



Another pic of the top.   I did patch in a few other sections that were rusty towards the pedal section of the floor.   The full top of the floorboards will be blasted, por 15ed, and I will glue on sound deadener similar to the stock configuration.  I.e. none of this area will be viewable when done, not to mention that carpet goes over it all too.


Here is another pic of the top of the floorboard.  I had to cut a piece of the seat support out to weld in the floors, then weld the seat member back in.   I still need to weld the other seat bracket (it is laying on the crossmember on the top of the pic).  I want to put the actual seat in before I weld this piece in just to double check alignment.  


Here is the rocker panel all welded up.   I cut out and rewelded a 14" section due to rust.   Unfortunately, before I welded the new piece in I sandblasted the rocker panel.  It actually warped the metal around the area where I cut the old piece from.   That was a bad mistake.  I tried to get it square again but it still has a ripple.  I will have to put some bondo over this area to smooth it out.


Here is a close-up of the section welded in.  Note, there is NO bondo applied yet.  This is all solid steel with just a layer of primer over it to keep it from rusting.  It will go back to bare metal and I will smooth it out nice with bondo before paint.


Another pic of the rocker, you can see the wave in this pic good.  Note that the bottom pinch joint used to be a mess due to people jacking the car up where they shouldn't.  I straightened it out good.  I also had to drill out all the spot welds on this seam because the floor was all rusted along with the rocker support.   So I had to peal away the outer skin of the rocker to remove all the rust from the inside.  After welding in the new rocker support and floor, I carefully bent the rocker outer cover back into position and plug welded the holes I originally drilled out.   Looks pretty good I must say!   Remember, that is all steel - no bondo!  I will put a seam sealer over this lip before paint - after it is por-15ed of course.


Here is a pic of my donor drivers quarter that I have started to remove from its old shell.   In a few weeks, this will be on the car.   I still have to do a bit of prepping before it can be welded in place.   I have to sand down all the pinch joints, do two small rust repairs on the quarter reinforements, and then the quarter will be ready to install.  Note, the red circles are dents that I inadvertantly put into the quarter when I shipped it from my parents house to my home last year.  They will require a skim coat of bondo later on down the line once the quarter is stripped to bare metal.  I will try to carefully press them out once I get the skin off of the old support.


Once the drivers quarter is on, I get to do this all over on the passengerside!  Oh boy!!! lol.    The passenger side is easier though.  The frame rail section was already replaced a few years back professionally and is in perfect condition.  I just have one spot to weld in on the rocker panel, one small area in the passenger floor and of course I have to weld in the quarter skin.    [img][/img]

#9 kev

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Posted 04 November 2004 - 01:40 PM

The first few pictures are small repairs I had to make to the quarter reinforcement prior to installing the quarter panel.   They were very minor repairs but I snapped a few pics of them:






The next two are pics of the quarter skin cut off the donor reinforcement:




The next few are the quarter on the car.   Sorry, I meant to take some pics of it clamped up prior to welding but I forgot.    What I did was clamped the panel in place and also used rivots to hold everything together and finally welded it solid.  Then I drilled out the rivots and welded up the holes left behind.







The next pictures are the progression I took to weld in the replacement drivers rocker panel section that was rusted out.   I used the exact original part off my donor car.    A few pics are missing like the area that I fixed on the floorboards (you can see that it is cut out in the one pic).   I also por-15ed all the inside surfaces prior to welding.


old piece - marked:


new piece - formed (and with small repair):



getting ready to cut old piece after it was remarked:

old piece cut out (note section removed on floor - this was replaced prior to welding in the new rocker piece but I forgot to snap a few pics):


new piece tacked in:


new piece welded solid:


finished product after grinding (but prior to primer)




There you go.   I will try to put the pics on a different host site such that I can link the actual pictures in rather than just put the urls.

kev
[/img][img][img][/img]

#10 kev

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Posted 04 November 2004 - 01:41 PM

Got more pics  .  I also know that the pics in my earlier posts on this thread are not working.  Gary's site shut down for the time being but he is hoping to get it up and running again soon.   I will fix all the links when he does.


For now, here are some more links to my yahoo folder.   First off are some pics of the full car.   Brett, bld127, came over last weeekend to give me a hand putting on the drivers door and aligning it up.   The door never was perfect from the start due to a minor accident early in the cars life.   I can't believe that after cutting out 50% of the rocker panel, the frame rail, the floor, and the quarter panel, that in the end we were still able to align the door up even better then I ever had it before!   It is not absolutely perfect but it is damn near close!   Again,  thanks to Brett for driving 3 hours to come out and give me a hand.   I'm learning a lot while working on this car!!

I should also note that I inadvertantly forgot to take a picture of the repair Brett made on the cowl of this car.  He spent most of the day Saturday hammering, bending, cutting, welding a piece of an old tempo fender into a very complex shape on the cowl of this car.   It turned out great!    

Pic of the car before we put the door on:





Pic of it after.   Note that we put the ground effect and fender on to help align it up.  These will be coming off of course to continue the stripping process and paint prep.






Next are some pics of the passenger quarter replacement.   It isn't done yet,  so far I have the panel on the car and the three major welds are complete.  I still need to do all the plug welding - only about 200 plug welds hold this quarter on!!   Nothing like spending 10 hours just plug welding one quarter panel and using up a full bottle of argon-co2 mix.

Here is the car just prior to panel installation.  All seams have been sprayed with weld through primer to prevent corrosion later on:









Here is the panel fitted on and lined up ready for tacking:






Next, tacked up:



Next, welded:




Welds ground down:  





That's it for now.   ok, have a question for you guys;  should I shave the door panels and locks?   I hate the look of those cheep black handles and old metal plug locks.  But I haven't done too much research yet on shaving doors.  I know the welding part will not be hard but I don't know what I will be getting into with solendoids, etc.  Let me know what you guys think.




kev

#11 quest925

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Posted 04 November 2004 - 07:37 PM

You are my idol...I wish I could have a space to work on my car, dammed impressive,
very grateful for the pics and how to!
88'Starion under full resto
98' M3 CVT 28k miles-mint
83 Audi UR Quattro-The godfather
07' Benz-whatever I have to drive for work...

#12 kev

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 11:11 AM

Looks like I have to rebuild this thread.  All the pics from Gary's site are gone.  Also my yahoo folders are missing for some reason.


Latest status is that the car was stripped to bare metal with exception the interior (it was just scuffed up good) and sprayed with SPI epoxy primer.  I'm am just beginning the putty work now.

I am starting to work on the doors again with shaving the handles, stripping, and getting ready for epoxy.  

It is coming along.

Here are some pics of the car when it was in bare metal.  I will have some more of it primered soon:














#13 bld127

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 01:06 PM

When are we going to see some new pics?  I know you have made some more progress.  Hopefully I can come out soon to give you a hand.
Brett
87 TSi - White, daily driver with some goodies
87 ESi - Viper Red, waiting for engine
88 TSi - Black, needs to be put back together
88 TSi - SHP, Red, parting out now!
87 LE - Atlantic Blue, sold

#14 88blkiroc

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 02:55 PM

Any updates available on this car? I really admire the work you have done so far. It looks great, but I makes me fear the day i start the body work on my quest  :shock:
Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

1988 IROC-Z Camaro, 1983 RX-7

#15 kev

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 01:01 PM

Couple more newer pictures (but still kinda old):



































#16 bld127

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 12:15 PM

Very impressive.  Have you hit the 1000 hour mark for time spent doing bodywork yet?  I would still love to bring the blue one out for you to practice spraying before you spray yours, but I really don't have the money or time right now.  Hopefully we can make a trip out soon.
Brett
87 TSi - White, daily driver with some goodies
87 ESi - Viper Red, waiting for engine
88 TSi - Black, needs to be put back together
88 TSi - SHP, Red, parting out now!
87 LE - Atlantic Blue, sold

#17 artinist

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 01:23 PM

great documentation.

years ago i did a roof swap on a rollover starion and once i had to change a good chunck of side section. the crashed starion we bought had run sideways into a pole right where the drivers door bolts to the body. had to cut the car all the way to the transmission and replace it. i wish i had documented them
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#18 BudweiserJason8

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 09:16 PM

WOW!!! This is a super project, you are going to have the nicest Conquest ever.

#19 Highly Boosted

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Posted 29 October 2006 - 09:14 AM

cant wait for more pics
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#20 freebird

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Posted 29 October 2006 - 05:32 PM

I have been wondering about this project.
Good job man!!! but, damn replacing the wire's is gonna be a biotch
lots of them under that dash laugh.gif
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