veryhot_post in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS) Author Topic: 71 'Cuda restoration  (Read 7638 times)

Offline Tunis

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71 'Cuda restoration
« on: March 28, 2017, 04:24:52 AM »
Time to bite the bullet and start over again, not too many pictures and progress yet, so I should be able to move the thread here without too much effort. Apologize to anyone commenting on the old thread at cc.. Anyway, the first couple of posts will be a plain copy & paste...


Hello and welcome to my restoration thread!
This is the first post of many to come. I bought the car on eBay on the first of April (hmm, it really wasn't a joke).

In summary, this a real BS23 'Cuda with A/C, A22 rubber bumpers, A62 Rallye instrument cluster, 383 4-speed in my favorite color FE5. All the panels look like junk at first sight. Will be fun to see if there is anything salvageable.
Well I got it home (to Sweden) a week ago (in 2015) and have started to inspect the car.

2015
My goal this year is to take it apart as much as I can and get the front of the car stripped down and primed. I don't have a lot of time, money or knowledge of how to restore a car, so this will most likely take a long time to complete. I want to do this correctly. The front frame rails are solid but there is some damage on the passenger side. Will look into that later. Radiator support and cowl looks solid. All bolts, screws and attaching hardware is rusted but not to bad. I guess this is to be expected. What is the best way to restore the bolts, or should I just buy new bolts, screws etc?

Where is this project going?
I'm 99 % sure where I want to take this project (1 % uncertainty is if I find the matching numbers motor) and that is a Hemi clone. I have a 472 Hemi in parts and the engine build will be included here later. Transmission will be a Passon Performance 18-spline 4 speed overdrive and I plan on a B-body Dana for the rear. I also have a FAST XFI 2.0 with traction control to complete my build. I really hate carburetors..   :tired:

Will post some pictures when I decide where to store all restoration pictures.


Linkback: https://forum.e-bodies.org/your-restoration-project-roseville-moparts/10/71-cuda-restoration/1231/
« Last Edit: March 28, 2017, 05:24:44 AM by Tunis »

Offline Tunis

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Re: 71 'Cuda restoration
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2017, 04:28:03 AM »
So, it has taken me over a year to continue my restoration project. Better late than never right?

First a little recap. The following two pictures were taken by the seller.
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I don't have any pictures of it when it got home. I guess I was so pleased with finally having a 71 'Cuda that I forgot to snap some pictures of it. Anyway, it was missing some parts, no bumper brackets, emblems were "lost" going from the seller to me, etc.

So what has happened this past year? To me, a lot of things has happened that made this restoration process a little longer than it could have taken, but it could have taken considerably longer to get where I am now. At the time when I bought the car, I lived in an apartment and I had my 70 'Cuda 340 4-speed car at my friends place which is some 30 minutes drive away.

My friend was able to clear out some space for me (I'm very thankful for that Sven!) to store the 71 and I was able to work a little on it, but the drive and the fact that I couldn't do any metal working on the car there, meant that progress would be slow.

After the car got home last summer, I started to take it apart. I did know it was a restoration project, I just didn't know how bad or good it would be once I got it down to the bare unibody.

First thing, get the engine out.
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Engine is out, next step remove transmission, which is the matching 23-spline 4-speed, this will not be put back into the car.
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Transmission getting removed.
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Removing head lamps, A/C condenser etc. In this picture the vast storage space (shed) is visible. Clearly not the best place to start grinding and welding...
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Offline Tunis

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Re: 71 'Cuda restoration
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2017, 04:29:23 AM »
Removing the fenders revealed damage to the inner fenders on both sides. There is rust damage where the hood hinges are bolted and on the flares as is visible in this picture.
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Passenger side is in much worse shape than the drivers side. The door post, cowl and rocker panels have damage, both rust and previous collision damage. A 90 deg bracket is welded in place to hold the passenger side fender. At this point it doesn't seam like an impossible fix...
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Just patch in a piece on the cowl and fix the door post and it should be good to go.
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Firewall has some areas where there is suspected rust damage
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Driver's side door post and cowl looks much better than the passenger side, but we will see...
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On the plus side, the frame rails looks quite good on a first glance. Here is the passenger side.
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Driver's side
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Passenger side rocker to door post, some rust has gone through the rocker.
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Passenger side floor. Poorly patched together.
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Driver's side
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Removing the windshield, which was a pain in the a$$ due to some glue/silicon that was used to keep it in place revealed rust damage around the windshield under all glue/silicon. The dash is cracked, but that is likely to be expected..
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Removed the dash.
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Removing the heater.
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Firewall doesn't look to bad at this point, some damage where the drain on the cowl is.
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Re: 71 'Cuda restoration
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2017, 04:29:23 AM »

Offline Tunis

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Re: 71 'Cuda restoration
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2017, 04:30:25 AM »
Continued with the roof to remove the vinyl and see how the roof has survived the past 45 years. Found one hole.
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And some damage where the quarter meets the window (don't know the name of this)
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Is this factory markings on the roof to know where to place the vinyl?
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Doors look good, that's at least something :)
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A couple of shots on the inside.
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Found some plastic filler, almost a centimeter thick  >:(
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Rear window has damage all around. :(
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Original? gas tank removed, almost zero damage to it.
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Started to work on the driver's side quarter panel. Almost wish I didn't..
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Passenger side is worse...
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Offline Tunis

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Re: 71 'Cuda restoration
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2017, 04:31:35 AM »
Here is a neat tip for yah! How to fix a quarter panel with nothing but plastic filler, primer and paint.

1. Put paint the paint gun.
2. Use the empty paint can to make a structure onto which you can apply the filler. Attach the can to the car using wood screws or staples, in fact use anything you have available that isn't proper sheet metal.
3. Apply filler.
4. Paint the thing.

And here is the result. Good job right?

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Use as much filler as you need.
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Is this a stock bracket hanging down on the passenger side?
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The car then sat like this until June of this year.
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Re: 71 'Cuda restoration
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2017, 04:35:36 AM »
So this year me and the wife bought a house, finally. We moved in January. There was a garage (45 sq meters or 480 sq ft for you Americans), but it wasn't finished which became the first task. I had to do pretty much everything to get it to were I needed it, walls, floor, electric etc. But after long hours working on it, it was finally done.

The first thing I did was to bring the car home, with a little help from another friend (pictured)   :ohyeah:

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At this point I knew that I would need to bring the car in and out of the garage to do heavy work on it such as blasting it down. I also wanted to be able to move it around in the garage, while being fixed as I needed to remove body panels. So I built a jig for it.
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Placing the car on the jig was a challenge. Should probably invest in a lift at some point if I'm gonna restore another car...
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But it turned out great I think.
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I started to sand blast it.
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Only to discover that the firewall was in much worse shape than I had thought.
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A-pillar corner to cowl is also bad on both sides, no surprises here...
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At this point I was advised (by a third friend who has actually restored a car before) not to try to fix the firewall, but replace it. So that is what I will do.

No more firewall... :(
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A-pillar corner is gone.
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At this point I know this car rather well and it is really poorly put together from the factory. The gaps and alignment in the panels are appalling. Just look at this rather simple piece.
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Re: 71 'Cuda restoration
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2017, 04:36:43 AM »
Removed the right door post to fix damage in the right rocker panel.
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Here is the damage to the rocker panel, both rust and collision damage at some point.
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And this is a shot from last night after an entire day of sand blasting the remaining pieces of this poor Cuda.
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I will try to update this thread more often now when I finally have both time and a place to work on the car. I will bring it back and beyond its former glory.

Per

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Re: 71 'Cuda restoration
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2017, 04:36:43 AM »

Offline Tunis

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Re: 71 'Cuda restoration
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2017, 04:37:44 AM »
So, I did not keep this thread up to date.. Been working a lot on the Cuda and my day job and have not really had the time to update this thread. Then all the pictures I had at photobucket disappeared  :stomp:

Moved my pictures to another location and will now continue with the story. This is all before Christmas.

Cut out the sides of the quarters to be able to media blast the wheel wells and remaining structure which will not be replaced.
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Then media blasted everything above the rocker panels and top of roof.
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After all the media blasting I fixed the panel under the firewall on the drivers side, don't know what this is called and I don't remember what was attached to this hole? :clueless:
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Start working on the damaged rocker panel, fabricating a new corner by comparing to the drivers side.
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More to come...
 

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Re: 71 'Cuda restoration
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2017, 04:38:45 AM »
Still before Christmas and the cold and damp weather of south Swedish winter I continued to work towards a goal of having the body in primer before Christmas and by body I mean the sheet metal that will not be replaced.

Repaired the front frame rails on the passenger side. Before:
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After:
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And then a minor repair on the drivers side. Before:
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After:
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Then a coat of epoxi primer  :bigsmile:

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More updates to follow shortly. This was still before Christmas and I have done a little more since then which is yet to be revealed.

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Re: 71 'Cuda restoration
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2017, 04:39:34 AM »
I disassembled the dash and had the dash pad sent for restoration as I continued to work on the body.
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Test fitted the lower cowl/door hinge panels on the passenger side
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And replacement firewall piece
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The lower cowl pieces from AMD do not really line up as good as they should and had to be modified some, that is something that I keep encountering as I go along :(

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Re: 71 'Cuda restoration
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2017, 04:40:25 AM »
The time had come to spray some paint on some parts. First up were the inside of the cowl and firewall area.

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Time to test fit the cowl.

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When everything was looking good, I welded the firewall in place.

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And finally the cowl was welded in place. It is starting to look like a car again  :jumping: :jumping:

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Re: 71 'Cuda restoration
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2017, 04:40:25 AM »

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Re: 71 'Cuda restoration
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2017, 04:41:17 AM »
Took the time to media blast the dash frame before sending the dash pad to restoration. Added a couple of coats of primer to it then some black paint. Couldn't help it but I test fitted the dash frame in the car just to see some progress...

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Time to do some minor rust repair on the car. Starting with the wind shield area.
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Onward to the left wheel wells. Here I had to cut up the rocker panel to access the little remnants of metal left so I could recreate it.
This wasn't the easiest part to repair so far and it took several days to get it just right.

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Re: 71 'Cuda restoration
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2017, 04:42:26 AM »
Time to start working on the doors. I removed a couple of pounds of filler from both doors and found them full of holes, some drilled and some caused by rust. I don't have a picture of the doors at this point, but they will need new skins which I have ordered.

I also bought some new hinges from AMD, both upper and lower. The lower worked perfectly with super tight movement, the upper were a different story. Look at the following pictures, how could AMD get this measurement so far off?   :pullinghair:

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But that was the least of my problems as I could grind the holes a little bit larger, but still annoying.

The bigger problem was with the door pushed on the hinges fully towards the body, there was still a gap of almost 1/2" to the rocker panel. And that was outwards from the body, not down to the border of the rocker.

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This had me puzzled for a couple of weeks as the door lined up perfectly against the quarter panel. I have figured it out now and a little massaging of the hinge area of the body helped get the hinge further in and the lines are almost perfect!  :bigsmile:

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I started working on my front fenders and removed about the same amount of filler from them as were on the doors and quarters. A lot of drilled holes in the fenders, but not much rust if any. I will try to save them as I can't afford to buy new ones and want to see if it is possible (for me)...

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proxy in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)

proxy in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)

proxy in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)

proxy in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)

And finally the header panel was cleared of filler. Will work on that when the fenders are good to go. A couple of holes and dents, should be fixable if the fenders can be fixed.  :)

proxy in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)

This is what I have been doing this week. Now the temperature has dropped down to below freezing and my air compressor is struggling. So I will wait out the cold indoors. Will start work on the fenders as soon as I have some compressed air to work with so I can start welding up the fenders.

Offline Tunis

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Re: 71 'Cuda restoration
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2017, 04:43:22 AM »
I don't update this thread as much as I would like to. Anyway, time for another round of pictures and continuation of the story.

After media blasting, I found some more holes and welded up a couple of holes.

proxy in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)

proxy in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)

proxy in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)

proxy in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)

Eventually I spent too much time on the fenders without being sure I could rescue them. I guess in the end it is up to the guy doing the paint to determine if they are good enough to save. All I will do is fix the rust, holes and try to get them as straight as possible.

One of the things I wasted my time on was this part (the one on the right) of the fender were the factory didn't line up the two pieces of sheet metal before welding them together.

proxy in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)

A closer look, where it's clear that a piece had to be bent to access the threads under it.

proxy in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)

The bottom doesn't look to be out of place as much as the top.

proxy in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)

I sure didn't want this, so I spent a few hours fixing it. First separating the parts.

proxy in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)

Then sand blasting the rusted areas.

proxy in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)

Applying some weld-through primer to both parts.

proxy in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)

Then welded it back on.

proxy in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)

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xx in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)
Re: 71 'Cuda restoration
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2017, 04:43:58 AM »
I have a lot more pictures of the fenders, but I'm sure they get quite boring after a while. After working with the fenders for a couple of weeks, I really wanted to start with the body again. The next part was going to be the right quarter panel, which was going to be a simple replace operation... Yeah right...

proxy in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)

So the roof needs a little patch where the roof meets the QP.

Cutting away the remaining pieces of the quarter panel.

proxy in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)

Had to test fit the new QP  :ylsuper:

proxy in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)

Before quarter panel could be installed permanently, the inner structure had to be repaired.

proxy in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)

It has rusted away quite a bit and a new piece had to be fabricated.

proxy in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)

And finally welded into place

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xx in 71 'Cuda restoration in Your Restoration project (ROSEVILLE MOPARTS)
Re: 71 'Cuda restoration
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2017, 04:43:58 AM »

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