BUILD THREAD Project Olds Cool (Updated 3/17/19)

old80cs

old80cs

Apprentice
Jun 27, 2013
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Massachusetts
Wow.......that looks great, Donovan, nice straight panels and uniform gaps. Really nice work!
 
Rktpwrd

Rktpwrd

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Feb 2, 2015
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I know what it's like to make those doors fit and I must say it looks freekin good! Did you have to twist the shells at all? I tend to use a bundle of rags raped up tightly in the jam and some stedy pressure rather than the old school block of wood or dolly on edged parts. It seems to save me a lot of time with no scratches.
No, the shell of this door was actually remarkably good and straight. It does have just the slightest hint of a twist to it, the lower rear corner sits in about a 1/16” or so to the rocker but nothing that will be noticeable once the rocker trim goes on.

I’m intrigued by your method, I have run into slight twists in G body doors before but have never had much luck in fixing it. How successful have you been in doing this? I’m concerned that if I try it with this door at this point I could end up doing more damage than good. If it works quite well then I may try it on the driver’s door or the next time I come across it.

As for setting the gaps and aligning the panels, Mike and I have gotten pretty good at it. We think very much alike, are similarly picky, and usually anticipate what the other is thinking. This all works extremely well for getting things to cooperate the way we want them to. There were only two nights that went into bolting up the door and fender and aligning everything, probably only about 4-5 hours in all.

Thanks for the compliment on the panels and for the tip on correcting twist. I really appreciate it.
 
Clutch

Clutch

Comic Book Super Hero
Apr 7, 2017
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Brick NJ
No, the shell of this door was actually remarkably good and straight. It does have just the slightest hint of a twist to it, the lower rear corner sits in about a 1/16” or so to the rocker but nothing that will be noticeable once the rocker trim goes on.

I’m intrigued by your method, I have run into slight twists in G body doors before but have never had much luck in fixing it. How successful have you been in doing this? I’m concerned that if I try it with this door at this point I could end up doing more damage than good. If it works quite well then I may try it on the driver’s door or the next time I come across it.

As for setting the gaps and aligning the panels, Mike and I have gotten pretty good at it. We think very much alike, are similarly picky, and usually anticipate what the other is thinking. This all works extremely well for getting things to cooperate the way we want them to. There were only two nights that went into bolting up the door and fender and aligning everything, probably only about 4-5 hours in all.

Thanks for the compliment on the panels and for the tip on correcting twist. I really appreciate it.
I hang a lot of doors. Well all panels in general at work and my rag technique I would say is about 99% successful. It's something I picked up when I was a flat rate butcher lol the trick is to keep the rags raped tight! I lay one on a clean surface and ball up the other on top of it than tie the bottom one around them said tight as I can. It works for almost any hinged part. If I do one this week I'll try to snap a picture for you
 
Rktpwrd

Rktpwrd

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Feb 2, 2015
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If I do one this week I'll try to snap a picture for you
Thanks Eric, I’d appreciate that. I’m interested to see where exactly you place them in the jamb and in relation to the door to get the maximum effectiveness.
 
Clutch

Clutch

Comic Book Super Hero
Apr 7, 2017
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Thanks Eric, I’d appreciate that. I’m interested to see where exactly you place them in the jamb and in relation to the door to get the maximum effectiveness.
That depends on how bad the door is. are high-volume shop has a revolving door for so-called body man that can't pull it off and often I'm left hanging painted doors that someone else skinned that weren't fit things like that I guess you could say I'm The bag Man. I've had some pretty miraculous make it work scenarios come out okay. If it seems a Piller is in at a hinge I'll close it in the hinge. If I'm say good ...at the A and it's way out at the top of the B it goes in the bottom corner when I close the door but I always put it where there's meat on the chell so the hole panel twists not just the edge. It's a pretty simple theory. So far this week I've done 6 cars but they were all front or rear impacts so I haven't been able to use my trick and get a pic for you.
 
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Rktpwrd

Rktpwrd

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Feb 2, 2015
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Alright gents, it’s been over a month since the last real update, and since before Christmas, so I’m way overdue to update this thread. It’s likely gonna be a biggie, so please bear with and thanks in advance for the interest.
Here goes.

At the end of the last update, I had finished block sanding the first application of primer on the passenger’s side door, and was getting ready to reprime it. Here’s the door after that was done:

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I also high build primed the matching mirror parts at the same time:

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Over the Christmas break, I went into the shop at work and bead blasted a bunch of miscellaneous fasteners, and got them and the door hinges into color. The fasteners had to go two different colors, body color white and semi gloss black, they got divided up and placed onto cardboard for an application of etch primer and color:

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Here’s the hinges hanging up in the booth after I was done, they turned out really well with no runs:

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Since I knew I was going to be going into the shop, I brought the door latch with me for a soak in the Varsol tank and a good cleaning. As you can see, it was pretty gnarly after 38 years and full of crud:

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The Varsol did an ok job of getting rid of the majority of the nastiness, but I wasn’t totally satisfied with it, so I ran it through the bead blaster afterwards as well. THAT worked really well!

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After thoroughly cleaning and blowing it out, a quick shot of etch primer and semi gloss black got it protected and looking as good as new again.

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Back home, I returned my attention to the door, and finally applied the new seam sealer around the door perimeter and the seams on the body around the jamb:

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With that done, it was time to get everything masked up and ready to shoot some color:

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As with my usual procedure for the insides of the parts, first was a couple coats of epoxy...

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...followed by 3 coats of the Cameo White.

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Continued >>>
 
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Rktpwrd

Rktpwrd

Royal Smart Person
Feb 2, 2015
1,932
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
I very nearly had a major disaster on my hands just before this point. I had gone to my local bodyshop supplier before the holidays to ensure I had enough paint to do this while they were closed, because I knew I was getting low on the white paint.

It was around midnight on a Sunday when I was shooting this, and after applying the epoxy, I opened the partial can of white I had left. “Hmmm, not sure I’ve got enough left here to spray everything”, so I cracked open the new quart I bought. Imagine my surprise when I removed the lid and found I had a quart of Aztec Gold Pearl Metallic!

WTF!?!?!?!?!?!?

I found out after the fact that apparently someone had a dyslexic moment when mixing my paint, and had inadvertently mixed up the last two digits in the paint code.
At the time however, I was between a rock and a very hard place, I had fresh epoxy on that was ready to be topcoated over, and hardly any paint. I rolled the dice, mixed up what I had left, and got to spraying. I figured if nothing else I could at least get either the door or the jamb sprayed, but I doubted I’d be able to do both.

At the end of the first coat on the door, I popped the lid on the gun and took stock of how much I had used. Again, I rolled the dice and took a chance and sprayed a coat on the jamb. Evaluating the remaining paint after that revealed that I might, JUST MIGHT, have just enough to get all 3 coats on everything out of it.


The gun sputtered out the last drop of paint at the very end of the third coat, and as they say, the rest is history. Feeling more than lucky, I cleaned the gun and pressed on. I mixed up a small batch of the grey to shoot the tops of the panels where the two-tone break would be, and sprayed that as well. Here’s all the stuff finally in color:

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I made one small error in applying the grey inside the jamb, I ended up with it being a little lower below the two-tone break than it should’ve been. You can see it pretty clearly in this pic with everything unmasked:

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I’d have to go back and correct this later.
The fuzzy “overspray” look inside the edges is actually fully intentional, the factory never bothered to mask a hard line inside the edges, and I wanted to duplicate that, so there it is.

Knowing that reassembly was in the very near future, I placed an order to RockAuto and got some new door weatherstripping and outer door handles coming. In the meantime, I began by reassembling with what I had. It was finally starting to look like a car again with parts going back on instead of coming off:

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After digging through my stash of mostly useless crap, I even managed to find three of the missing plastic plugs to go in the bottom of the door!

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With a little cleanup, I managed to get the wiring boot looking like new and reinstalled as well.

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Another thing that had bothered me was the gross primer overspray that was on the end of the AstroRoof drain hose from the previous paint job. It took a little doing, but even that came back nicely:

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By this point, the holiday break was over and I was back to work. After work one evening, I had Mike swing by and give me a hand hanging the door back on again. For a preliminary hanging with no fender in place yet, it aligned pretty good.

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The first of my RockAuto orders showed up, the weatherstrip seals are Metro SuperSoft to match the roof rail seals and fit very well. No complaints other than the door is quite a bit harder to shut due to the thickness, and them not being 39 year old compressed ones anymore. To be expected.

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Continued >>>
 
Rktpwrd

Rktpwrd

Royal Smart Person
Feb 2, 2015
1,932
6,127
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Another evening, and another visit from Mike and we had the fender on and aligned fairly well. I would go back and tweak and fine tune the fitment a bit more later, but in the meantime the gaps and alignment were looking pretty good:

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I mentioned earlier that I had made a small mistake with the two-tone break inside the rear of the door jamb, it was now time to go back and correct it.

After prepping the entire area, I reapplied a bit more seam sealer too. I wasn’t happy with the pattern it left when I applied it the first time, and there was actually even a little pinhole near the bottom that I had overlooked. Here’s the area in question, all masked up and ready to re-spray:

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Here’s the masked bandit behind all this insanity, also known as yours truly. This is the closest you guys’ll ever get to getting a selfie from me.
Lol

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The photos don’t show it, but the first thing that got sprayed was the white. It went up slightly higher than the two-tone break, and then I had to stop there and let it cure overnight. The next evening, I ran a soft edge mask line over the white right at the break line. This would allow me to more accurately control where the separation between the colors would occur. Because I’m only spraying single stage paint at this point and unable to do a blend with it, the grey had to be sanded and prepped up to, and all around, the quarter glass trim. All the way right up to the roof.
Pic with the grey done but still masked...

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...and after unmasking:

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Much better.
Injectedcutty asked me why I cut it in at a 45 degree angle to the vent, and then sprayed the rest of it a bit lower. My answer was because I really liked the way it looked with the grey extending to the bottom of the roof rail weatherstrip when it’s in place (as seen above).

Moving always along, with the panels all now bolted back on and fully aligned, I was able to get to spraying some of the stuff that I was really looking forward to. First up was the top of the fender, then followed by the top of the door. They had to be sprayed separately to get the proper coverage all the way around. That meant running the two-tone line while everything was assembled and aligned, then pulling the fender back off and masking everything up.

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I love this color, TONS of metallics under the flash of the camera!!

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The next day, it was time to unwrap my “Christmas” presents, and get them ready to go back on:

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And Voilà, with the fender reinstalled!

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I made sure to properly and carefully wrap the color over the edges of both the door and the fender, so nothing will look out of place when it’s all reassembled. The ledge that the hood side bumpers rest on made for a nice break line:

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I didn’t mention it earlier, but when I painted the top of the door, I also hung and shot the mirror parts and the fender mounted signal indicator. After reassembling the mirror, I just had to see what the parts looked like back on...

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And one more overall pic, because who doesn’t like pictures?

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Continued >>>
 
Rktpwrd

Rktpwrd

Royal Smart Person
Feb 2, 2015
1,932
6,127
113
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
It was about this time that the second part of my RockAuto order finally arrived, and boy let me tell you, what a disappointment. The replacement outer door handles are Dorman/HELP brands, and the finish on them is complete crap. I’d honestly be embarrassed to put these on a beater daily driver. While the construction and new springs are fine, the chrome is appalling. You can see the waves in the chrome and the imperfections even through the packaging:

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If it wasn’t for the fact that I had broken one of the mounting studs taking it off, I would’ve reused the original GM handle.

Never content with settling for mediocre and always creative, I decided to borrow a little mod from Jim (aka LiquidH8). I took the grinder to the handles, and removed the raised ridge from all around the perimeter, flattened out the wavy centers, and removed all the chrome. Whereas Jim painted his handles body color, I decided to give it my own spin and put the brushed finish on them to match the rest of the trim:

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As compared to the OG GM handle:

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The result is certainly different than stock, but perhaps a bit simple and a little boring. I’ve got something in the works to spice these up a little bit, but it’s still up in the air as to if it’s going to be possible to do it or not.
Stay tuned for that.

Another small side project that I wanted to address now that the signal indicator housing was painted, was to refurbish the lens for it. This is what the lens looks like removed from the housing.
Front, or outer:

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And the backside:

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I found some transparent paint in both blue and amber at a local hobby shop...

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...and after individually masking each section off, sprayed the backside of the corresponding sections:

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The lens reinstalled in the housing, this simple little restoration should really help the effect:

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This past week, I wanted to start to address getting the door belt moulding fixed up and the brushed finish on it as well. I chose the second best one of the spares I had (the best being reserved for The Juggernaut), and after giving it a good cleaning, assessed it.

It had the typical dents and scratches from nearly 40 years of use and abuse...

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...but was certainly restorable. After giving it my EasyOff oven cleaner treatment to remove the clear anodized coating, I proceeded with gently tapping out the dents and sanding out the scratches.
At the end of it all, it turned out flat as Kansas, and straight as an arrow. I’m very pleased with the result.

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Shameless pics of it mocked up on the car:
😁

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And FINALLY, we’re pretty much up to date with where I’m at currently. I have come to a bit of a standstill on being able to proceed with the trim, I need to get the outer handles back so that I can matte clear them and the belt moulding at the same time. I’ve also decided that a gloss grey stripe on the quarter and belt mouldings will look better than the matte grey I’ve got on the quarter moulding currently.
So that’ll get done hopefully soon too.

Other than that, the front fender needs the blocking out completed on the lower section now that it’s bolted back on the car and not flimsy anymore, and then it will receive another coat of high build. That will finish off the work that was needed on the passenger’s side. Rather than immediately jumping over onto the driver’s side, I’m going to take a small break from doors and fenders, and get back to the AstroRoof restoration. That should be a bit of a nice change of scenery.

I know this was a massive update guys, and my apologies for that. If it’s any consolation, it was just as daunting to sit down and compile it all. I’m gonna try to get back to doing weekly updates, it’ll be much easier on all of us that way.
That’s all for now, thanks as always for following along.

D.
 
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