1969 Olds Cutlass Convertible Restoration
Page 3 

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December 17, 2014

 I've finished off a couple smaller projects and am back for more fun on the Cutlass! 

The word of the day is "RUST REPAIR", (I guess that's two words).


There is some rust in the floor pans that needs to be addressed.  It's about the same on both sides.  Pretty typical for a convertible of this age.

The rusted areas are mostly following the front and middle floor supports.  Once the get filled with dirt and debris they hold moisture and rust the relatively thin floor pan.

Since the bulk of the floor is in solid condition I've decided to patch the bad areas instead of replacing the entire pan.

On the left you can see the area I've marked out to cut and replace.

I carefully cut and trimmed a section from a reproduction floor pan.  This is the part that seems to take me forever to get just right.

On the right you can see the dime sized gap I left for welding as well as holes drilled to replicate the spot welds .  I've also created the holes in the proper locations for the seat mounting and seat belt retractor. 

About time to melt it all together!



The area on the front of the passenger floor pan was handled in the same manner. 

There is a mount for the seat that needs to be removed and
 carefully located and welded to the new repair panel.


After a WHOLE lot of work this is what I've got. 

The perimeter was slowly welded and then the welds were dressed with a grinder and sander. 


Before I tackle the drivers side repair I removed the steering column, brake and accelerator pedals to gain some room to work.

I'm also going to remove the dash from the body in order to restore it and gain access to the heater box on the firewall.


Probably the most difficult dash panel I've ever removed!  Small nuts holding it on from behind in the most inaccessible places.

The heater assembly was also removed from under the dash and the firewall.  It will all be replaced with a new Vintage Air unit.


POOF!  Just like that (and about three days work) the drivers floor is also done.
I'll finish dressing these welds and after the floor pan is epoxy primed the seams will be invisible.


Next up is removing the stainless trim and weatherstrip from around the windshield and A pillar.
Once that was carefully taken off the cowl screen, garnish moldings, interior rim, rear view mirror and windshield came out.


Before I separate the body from the frame I need to remove the convertible top frame.  It is in incredibly good shape and the hydraulic pump and motor works flawlessly.

This sucker was heavy!


This is the well or boot that the top folds into.  It's put up with a lot of crap and will be retired.


Now that the body is pretty much stripped to nothing it's time to separate it from the frame.  In order to prevent it from folding in half once the frame is removed, several 1 inch square bars are welded in place to not allow the body to flex in any direction.


All the rusted up body bolts were eventually removed and the body hoisted up in the rear and supported, then the front was lifted clear......


....then the frame was rolled out the rear and outside for now.


Here is the body on the rotisserie.
Now I can sandblast, repair and paint the underside.
The frame unfortunately looks to be in very poor condition and will need to be replaced.

Lots more to come!

Check back often.

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