file 1969 Chevelle SS396 / 454 Complete Build Thread

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08 Dec 2014 16:49 #40 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: 1969 Chevelle SS396 / 454 Complete Build Thread
Once the toe boards were repaired, the main cabin floor was ready to come out. It looks a little daunting on the jig with absolutely no floor, but the jig legs ensure the shape of the body structure does not change.





The OPGI floor section runs from the driver toe board all the way to the backseat support. The challenge was not only to change the floors, but also to repair rusty wheel houses without damaging the newly installed quarter panels.

The body was temporarily removed from the jig so the new floor could be slid in from the bottom, than the body was re-fixtured in proper position.

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08 Dec 2014 16:49 #41 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: 1969 Chevelle SS396 / 454 Complete Build Thread


Many hours were spent carefully removing and trimming the center floor section. On a GM A body like our Chevelle, the floor is an intricate sandwich of layers, weaving through the rocker panels, floor, and various braces and supports.



The challenge was not only to change the floors, but also to repair rusty wheel houses without damaging the newly installed quarter panels.

Plasma cutting the large areas and careful spot will drilling allowed our team to separate the quarter panel from the wheelhouse without causing damage. However, there were areas where we drilled through the quarter panel which would require re-welding after the new wheel houses were installed.



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08 Dec 2014 16:50 #42 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: 1969 Chevelle SS396 / 454 Complete Build Thread
At this point, we began to mock up and test fit the wheel houses and trunk drop off panels, in addition to test fitting the rear trunk section. This is a tedious process involving installation and removal of these panels multiple times to ensure proper fit. We also installed The main cabin for to make sure it fit properly and harmonious we with our other new sheet metal panels.







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08 Dec 2014 16:50 #43 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: 1969 Chevelle SS396 / 454 Complete Build Thread
New rear outer wheel houses and trunk drop-off panels were obtained from OPGI and installed. The process involves much test fitting, removal, trimming, and re-fitting to get it all to fit properly. T The panels are then punched with holes for plug welding.







Once the wells were in place, the trunk floor was trimmed, fitted, and punched with holes in much the same manner.







The whole assembly of tubs, drops, and floor were clamped in place and test fitted multiple times, then screwed together with sheet metal screws before welding.

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08 Dec 2014 16:50 #44 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: 1969 Chevelle SS396 / 454 Complete Build Thread








This floor comes with the seatbelt mounts and seat brackets preinstalled, along with brackets for a floor mounted center console.

Only when all the panels fit properly were they welded together.



Soon, our body shell was one solid piece again.

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22 Dec 2014 13:39 #202 by oestek
oestek replied the topic: 1969 Chevelle SS396 / 454 Complete Build Thread
After the floors were complete, we attached the body shell to a rotisserie and sent it out to be media blasted. This revealed more rusty areas around the windows, top of the dash, and the rear package tray. These areas were all repaired with new steel after the shell was coated with a black epoxy primer to prevent rust.











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