Author Topic: Saving a 4 speed JH car  (Read 12477 times)

Offline Beekeeper

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Saving a 4 speed JH car
« on: November 28, 2016 - 12:17:23 pm »
So I finally got a bunch of things off my plate and I am ready to take on a fun project. Have plenty of them waiting but I decided to start with a JH 4 speed car that I originally picked up to flip. This car is very rusty but I knew it was worth saving because it is an original numbers matching N code 4 barrel 383 car with a 4 speed. This car was one of 453 cars made with this RT engine and a 4 speed. I like it because it is the cool burnt orange color in and out.

I started working on the car in earnest last month in my spare time. I have made a few metal repairs that I will start posting now that I figured out how to link photos in a post. For starters, i'll put on a few pics of how bad the car was when i got it about a year ago.








Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2016 - 12:20:05 pm »



Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2016 - 12:24:43 pm »







Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2016 - 12:29:04 pm »







Offline anlauto

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2016 - 12:32:08 pm »
Neat car ! What are your plans for it ? Don't say an RT clone.... :-\
I've taught you everything you know.....but I haven't taught you everything I know !
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Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2016 - 12:34:01 pm »



Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2016 - 12:38:54 pm »
Neat car ! What are your plans for it ? Don't say an RT clone.... :-\

Good question...definitely not a clone! I have a real RT car in addition to this but this one intrigues me because it is different from the crowd. My wife thinks I should dump this one and keep the RT because it is also numbers matching 4 speed but she likes the Go Mango paint and the black interior. To me, it is cool but this one is unusual. I am toying with the idea of keeping this one and restoring it to it's original sleeper state and selling the RT since that is the car people will pay more for.

Even if I sell this car, I want to fix the rust first and get it ready for someone to slap paint and interior on.


Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2016 - 12:49:46 pm »
So you can see that it's pretty rusty. Floor boards need patches as do the front and rear frame rails. Trunk and rear quarters will get replaced. small holes here and there on the side of the cowl and the firewall here and there. Inner fender panels are trash and radiator support needs help. Trans cross member is also in bad shape but still attached and holding the car squarely. I started with the front right quarter and am working back. Once that area is solid, I'll do the left side and get the whole front of the car back to good solid shape before moving on to the rear.

Here's a few repair shots of the radiator support and right front rail.








Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2016 - 12:59:10 pm »
Have more photos on my phone I'll try to add. Basically, I saved the top radiator bar by butting out the rust and grafting in new metal of the correct thickness. Took me many hours but you can't tell it was ever damaged. The side radiator panels were originally for the 22" one but all I could find were 26" ones so I upgraded. The frame rail repairs are all done and smoothed out (pics coming). I was careful to slice out rust to solid metal and replace with the correct 14 gauge metal. All holes, notches, and bends are exact as original. I welded in reinforced plates on the inside for the bumper bracket as well as new heavy duty nuts. From the outside, you can't tell a thing. I even put a heavier reinforcement brace on the inside (the original was cheesy).

You may be wondering why I didn't switch out the whole rail with new. They make nice ones with inner fender panels and all components attached. I considered it but I am trying to save as much original metal as I can despite the extra work and of course I am trying to keep the costs down just in case I sell. Probably the biggest reason was I was worried about getting the alignment and geometry back to original spec without the aid of a jig.


Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2016 - 03:13:16 pm »





Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2016 - 12:49:29 am »
once I finished the front frame rail and radiator support side piece, I still couldn't weld the inner fender panel on because I needed to do some firewall repair where the bracket attaches. Once that was out, I decided to cut away the rust from the side cowl panel so I can fit and patch both at the same time. Of course with those items opened up, it seemed like a good time to fix the front passenger floor pan. Once the pan was out, it seemed like a good time to do repairs on the trans cross member areas that were rusted. I can see why body guys don't like giving quotes. Last week I repaired the trans cross member. It came out great and from the outside you can't tell I repaired it.

Today, I spent some time fitting the new front passenger floor pan. Fits like a glove now. I have been using Lord Fusor metal bonding sealant where all metal overlaps but had to order another tube so I'm on hold a couple days. The stuff is great and you can weld through it while it's still wet. Plan is to seal/bond the floor patch to the cross member using screws to get a tight fit. While it dries, I will butt weld the panel to the rest of the floor. Once I grind down the welds, it should be smooth and seamless. Then I can start moving back forward starting with firewall and cowl patches.

More photos coming soon.

Offline jimynick

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2016 - 09:43:53 pm »
Good job! You may, if you haven't already, find more and more rust as you open this thing up. I changed the inner and outer door hinge pillars on mine and when I removed them, found perforation inside and under them to the rocker. Get the dash out and get up under to check the firewall upper section; they're prone to the stand-up lip for the cowl vents rotting  and the top of the firewall as well where the schmutz laid in and on them. I really should try to figure out how to get my pics into a build thread for this kind of stuff. Keep going laddie, you're into it now!  :thumbsup:

Offline cudamadd

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2016 - 10:17:23 pm »
Great job ,nice colour como . If you keep her or sell her time will tell i guest  .But the fact you are going to save this car awsome . p.s nice pictures  :cheers: :aussie:
Go 4 a spin Ya Why Not.

Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2016 - 12:16:36 am »
Good job! You may, if you haven't already, find more and more rust as you open this thing up. I changed the inner and outer door hinge pillars on mine and when I removed them, found perforation inside and under them to the rocker. Get the dash out and get up under to check the firewall upper section; they're prone to the stand-up lip for the cowl vents rotting  and the top of the firewall as well where the schmutz laid in and on them. I really should try to figure out how to get my pics into a build thread for this kind of stuff. Keep going laddie, you're into it now!  :thumbsup:
Thanks jimynick! I do have the windshield and dash out now. Didn't see any rust in those areas but once the floor patch is welded in, I'll get my head up in there and check it even better.

Enjoying the metal work so I plan to stick with it all the way through. Nice not having to rush things so I can get it just right without any time constraints.

Great job ,nice colour como . If you keep her or sell her time will tell i guest  .But the fact you are going to save this car awsome . p.s nice pictures  :cheers: :aussie:

Thanks cudamadd. This color combo is really growing on me. Black interiors are nice but orange is just wild.

Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Saving a 4 speed JH car
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2016 - 12:22:16 am »
Been having crazy ideas about adding body stiffeners as I go along for better handling. The best place to start is before I weld the inner fender back on. The ones I have in mind weld on and are well hidden. Given this is an unusual and numbers matching car, would such a thing hurt the value?