When I received my body, the gelcoat was in excellent shape. But as I began to work on it, I learned although the body looked good, the edges were horrendous. The glass cloth had separated, or wasn't filled, there were all kinds of voids. No where near ready for final body work. I chose to correct these.
I wanted the car to appear as an aluminum car. We have all seen persons come up to a car and put their hand under the edge of the fender well, trying to feel if it is fiberglass or aluminum. I wanted to pass this test. Studying the CSX cars, I learned there are three different types of edges on the body:
1) Wire supported rolled edge: the aluminum edge is rolled around a 1/8" wire. You will find this on the wheel wells and front valance
2) rolled edge: the aluminum is rolled back on itself, making it double thick (.100") the edge is radiused on both sides. This is found on the rear valance
3) Cut edge: the aluminum is just cut off. the only radius on the edge is a slight rounding caused by sanding and subsequent paint application. You'll find this on the louver openings, exhaust openings, oil cooler opening and engine compartment opening.
4) Skin over frame tube edge: the skin is rolled over the frame tube and riveted to it. You'll find this on the nose scoop and passenger compartment
I built up and finished the edges to match those of the aluminum cars.
I found the thickness of the body was not consistent and the height (where it was trimmed) varied considerably. I built a guide to fit my spiral cutter woodworking tool and with a carbide cutter, was able to trim these edges so they looked the same and were uniform thickness. Once the panel line was established, I could then radius the edges appropriately to simulate the aluminum panel. At this writing, I have about 60 hrs into this and feel I am only about 1/2 done.
More to follow
©2009 - Paul R. Proefrock