View Full Version : Ack! bodywork nightmare

02-24-2015, 09:25 PM
The wife wanted me to strip the futura-sprint and get it repainted by July 26th.

Well the car could use a repaint, so i went with it and began stripping the car. .

Ack look what I've found...

02-24-2015, 09:28 PM
More discoveries..

02-24-2015, 09:33 PM
And more surprises..

Hope the website doesn't think im a spamer

Good news is the hood, roof, and trunk lid are straight

02-24-2015, 10:11 PM
If you have the time, bodywork can be rewarding but it sure is a lot of work! I dread digging into my 15 year old paint job one day. I'm sure I'll find lots of surprises.

So how are your welding and Bondo skills?? When I start mine, I'll probably do what Patrick did. Farm out the sheet metal, do the filler/sealer/primer yourself and then find a decent shop to shoot the base and clear. Extra clear so you can cut and buff.

02-24-2015, 11:18 PM
WOW, really interesting Nathan. No telling what you'll find when you strip something 50 yrs old.
Here's a few pics of my passenger side fender. When I first saw some of these pics, it took me a while to figure out what I was looking at...the filler is over a half inch thick in some places! :doh:
Ended up getting a new fender and fortunately the rest of the car looks relatively good.
The amazing thing is whoever did it before you obviously did a pretty good job for you to not know at least some of that was there.

02-25-2015, 09:18 AM
I knew the quarter had issues, just didnt know they were that bad.
I checked the car with a magnet before buying and apparently i used to strong of a magnet because i uad no idea how bad the bondo was.

Im ok with the patch panels while not the best work its wasnt half had plus i had no idea they were there.

The car has been painted 3 times. Factory then a pearl white.
Who ever painted it pearl white did the decent bodywork. Used good filler and pulled dents using the makes lots of holes method.
Third paint job was the maroon paint. Not only did the paint and clear coat fail, but the body work was shoddy. The used the regular pink bondo and lots of it. I found their bondo over the second guys bondo. They also installed the replacement quarter and tail light eyebrow and did such a wonderful job that i now get to redo it.

Kenny, my bodywork skills consists of sanding like no other.. i have an idea on how to use bondo but no idea if i do it correctly. Nor do inhave the patience.. I have no idea how to use a hammer and dolly but I'm going to learn and learn fast if I'm going to get the car finished by July.

I may be finding someone to help me on the repair of the quarter panel.

Good news is harbor freight has some inexpensive body working tools.. im even thinking of buying the stud welder dent puller.

I have a few rust pin holes to repair.. from fender eyebrows and a lower corner if i remember correctly.. i circle the areas with a grease pen as i find them.

02-25-2015, 09:28 AM
Oddly, I prefer the metal work over the filler/smoothing work. But looks like both of you guys have a lot of metal work needing to be done. In the past I would have Bondo'd over stuff like that too, or drilled a bunch of holes to help hold the Bondo onto the panel, but now, in my old age, I pound out or weld in new metal and use way less filler - even if the metal below it still looks yucky.

Personally I was amazed to see they found a pair of reading glasses embedded in the Bondo...

02-25-2015, 10:26 AM
Nah, they're my reading glasses trying to show how deep the filler was. Was the only thing I had in my pocket other than the camera. The media blaster brought the metal rod over afterward.

The replacement fender is in much better shape. :-)

Metalwork isn't hard, just takes time.

02-25-2015, 01:00 PM
All i want to do is cry..

I have more pictures to post later.
Picture 1. The point that is now a wing.. pushed in really bad
Picture 2. Attempt to show how wavy the quarter.
Picture 3. Another patch. Plus a few pin holes to the left.
Picture 4. How far i sanded till i reached bondo free.

Good news.. the quarter is finished and i have no other surprises.
Even better news is the car is probably 2 tenths of second faster in a 1/4 mile now with the weight reduction.

02-26-2015, 02:50 PM
Well, you got one small piece done Nathan! :BEER:
It's your baby, and it is what it is. What's the next step?

02-27-2015, 06:01 PM
I have a door and a fender to finish stripping paint from.

Then i have to remove front and rear windows and door windows.

A good wipe down and dust removal.

Then i guess start banging on metal in an attempt to make it dent free.

Worst i can do is make it worse.

I'm not sure on how to fix the drivers quarter.

02-28-2015, 07:20 PM
Ack, keeps getting better.

Passenger door is stripped.. no surprises.

Passenger fender is stripped.. yippy surprises..

Someone was nice enough to fill rust holes with bondo..

Good news is the paint is almost all removed.

Bad news, after really looking at the rear quarter panel, i discovered that the arch / curve of the top of quarter is flatter than the passenger side.

Either its a poorly made replacement, made to fit by flattening the arch, or the quarter is off an earlier car.. if earlier falcons even have different quarters...

My solution is to cut off the old one and replace it, or try and add more arch/curve to what in have.. not sure if that can be done.

03-03-2015, 11:12 AM
Ok sanding is mostly done.
Just the front gravel gaurd and tail panel remain.

I started or as i should say attempting my hammer and dolly work.
So far i have successfully chased my dent up and down the quarter panel about 4". There is a skill I dont have and you tube hasnt helped.


03-03-2015, 11:49 AM
It is an art, for sure. I do pretty good at it, but the problem usually is that metal stretches when you hit it. You often need to shrink it if you work it too much, which is oh-so fun as well. Maybe YouTube has videos on shrinking sheetmetal.

I meant to comment about the previous photos - went forth and back between them to see what you were referring to - but couldn't see it. Just keep at it and remember even Chip Foose uses bondo. :banana:

03-03-2015, 03:45 PM
Here are some pictures with a poor mans panel guage.

03-21-2015, 03:18 PM
Nathan, how's it goin? What's the latest?

03-21-2015, 05:05 PM
Slowly stripping paint from the jams..

Im talking with Phil about possibly keeping him employed after he's done with a 4 door falcon..

I have a right fender to patch..

And 2 quarter panels that i dont know how to fix.

Oh and i learned that i dont have the skills for dolly and hammer work.. i make things worse..

03-22-2015, 12:38 AM
Yea, I know the feeling, sounds like my experience with some of the trim!
I know if I would have done the body work myself I would have made a lot of mistakes. There's a lot of satisfaction with DIY though.
..but some jobs are more difficult than others.
..sometimes there's just no substitute for good training and experience.
I like to believe I have some talent and I can do anything given enough time and do-overs...or, with a mentor or personal trainer...but sometimes it's better to do it right the first time. I only have one falcon and it's been in the family for 53 years.
You're lucky to be close to Phil...

06-27-2015, 06:48 AM
Well, I've slowly getting the car done.
I've been doing the work myself with the help of a friend.

May not be body shop perfect but its looking good and its not breaking the bank.

The pictures of the car in primer are after the first sanding.

I stripped the car, we made any metal repairs, pulled dents, patched rust, etc. The rear quarter needed to be cut off and rehung, but i was a chicken, so we fixed what was there.
We cut the welds at the c pillar and tail light bucket. Using bottle jacks and a dolly we reshaped the top of the quarter panel and brought the arch back which pulled the trunk jam back into alignment.
Then welded everything back together.

Covered the car in a etching primer, then an epoxy primer, skim coats of filler (magic dent be gone) more primer, block sanding with 180, more primer, block sanded with 180 again, more primer block sanded with 320 final coat of primer and block sanded with 400.
Then sealer, 3 coats of paint, and lots of clear.. thinking 5 coats.
With removal of 2 during the wet sand and polish.

Final color will be Kona blue used in 2010 to 2015 on mustangs.

Just waiting for cooler weather..

06-29-2015, 10:14 PM
Looks way gooder. Should look really good!

07-06-2015, 07:09 AM
Well, the car is sprayed.
Got up at 4 am Saturday Morning to spray it to beat the heat and the possible wind that didnt arrive till Sunday.
Spent yesterday wet sanding. The car was pretty smooth so we started with 1200 followed by 1500, 2000 and then 3000.
The top surfaces got the 3 stage 3m cut and buff.
I should have the rest of the car finished today.

Paint was 2 coats sealer.. came out of can really thin.
3 coats of paint. Have little less that half a gallon remaining. Perfect for touch ups.
Went through 2 gallons of clear.. yep i wanted it deep..

I'm having a window guy install my glass for me. Removing glass i can do. Installation with trim and no leaks, i have less than successful track record..

07-06-2015, 07:49 AM
Nice...lookin really good !

07-06-2015, 09:38 AM
You're in the final stretch now. Can't wait to see it!

07-06-2015, 10:44 AM
I'm sure the pictures are not doing it justice, but you can see all the tools on the wall in the reflection - so that's a good sign! It's going to be pretty sweet I can tell.


07-06-2015, 06:13 PM
Here's pictures from today.
Whole car 3 staged cut and buffed.
I'm not going to lie.. i didn't spend a lot of effort from the top body line down..

There's a few flaws in it, but for what i want to do with the car it turned out awesome.

Windows go back in tomorrow.. and I'll start adding more trim..

Question.. how does the drip rail trime go back on?

Does anyone have a set of door locks for a 63? I have a set of 62 and older but they're different.

I guess the pin cover fell off one of the locks and the pins are lost..

07-06-2015, 07:04 PM
Hello, Nathan.

I noticed that your gas cap has a Falcon emblem on it. Did you do that, or was it like that when you got the car?

Can you post a close-up of it?

Thanks, Dennis.

07-06-2015, 07:12 PM
It was on it when i bought it.

Its just hot glued or epoxied on..

I personally would have drilled a hole and used a barrel nut or whatever the term is for the little clips that hold the emblem to the roof piller..

07-07-2015, 09:16 PM
Got a little bit more done today..

Window glass back in..
Rear turned out great..

Front not so much.. window shopping i get to go.

All i have left to install is.. grill, headlight bezels, and everything on the right front fender.
Oh and a front windshield

07-08-2015, 02:29 AM
Hello, Nathan.

Thanks for the photos. When I look at the third photo, I see a blue Mustang followed with what looks like a Model T hot rod, and then a yellow Gremlin. In the center of the photo is a nice elderberry bush, a little to the right it looks like a green Neon. What is the white station wagon all the way to the right?

That was clever of someone to think of decorating the gas cap cap with a Sprint emblem. The emblem is perfectly sized to match the cap.


07-08-2015, 07:54 AM
Good eye..
Actually green car upper left is a subaru legacy.
Middle green car is a 56 ford sedan.. my friend is trying to trade me it for my falcon.. i like the car, but not willing to give up the falcon.
The white car you asked about is a Studebaker station wagon. Pearl white with purple and orange flames. Has a matching surf board too.

Theres a cool 50s chevy monster truck and a 49 merc too.

07-08-2015, 10:45 PM
Got the windshield in today.
Got all the front trim on.

Only thing i have left on the outside of the car is door locks and antenna base.

I might be able to use parts from a spare lock to fix my broken lock.
I have no idea where the antenna parts went.

Speedo broke on my way home.. said i was doing 50 when i was doing 70.. i knew it felt faster. Oops.

Get home and run out of gas. Then the car wont start because i ran it dry..

Its been a long day..

Heres more pictures.

07-09-2015, 02:58 AM
Got the windshield in today.

Hello, Nathan.

How did you remove and re-install the top strip of windshield trim on the hardtop?

After you removed the top corner pieces, did just pull the top strip off horizontally (left or right) and slide it on and off of the clips?

Or do you lift it upward and then twist it forward to get it off the clips?

Can you describe how you took that trim on and off?

Thanks, Dennis.

07-09-2015, 11:39 AM
Lift and twist. Kinda like the drip rail trim down the side of the roof.

Reinstall was catch front edge of trim in the clips and snap back in place, tapping with a rubber mallet.. then install the 2 end screws..

Looked correct till i got home. I think it lifted off 2 of the clips..

Get to take it apart and try again.

07-09-2015, 07:52 PM
Got the bumpers cleaned up and back on the car.

Started cleaning interior.

Hope to have it show ready by Saturday.

Im in need of some parts..

On the back of the door lock is a arm that connects to a rod that connects to the lock button.

I need the arm from back of lock to the rod.. see picture below.
And a million dollars.. otherwise im all set..

07-10-2015, 09:22 PM
All back together. Except door locks.

Washed, polished.. no wax...

Oil changed, transmission flushed, gear oil checked and coolant topped off.

Runs a little warm.. 200 degrees today 97* outside..
Might need to order that radiator.

Here's a few more pictures

07-11-2015, 03:03 AM
Hello, Nathan.

You did a gigantic amount of work in a very short span of time. The car is gorgeous. You are going to get a lot of compliments when people see it.



07-11-2015, 05:29 AM
Went out to lunch yesterday after I washed her, some guy going the other direction got whip lash looking so hard he almost rear ended the car in front of him. I mean lock up the wheel hitting the brakes so hard while diving into the bicycle lane to avoid hitting the other car.

First show is today, we'll see how she runs and does.
She was running great until I ran out of fuel 100 feet from the gas station.. now she doesn't idle as well. I've must have sucked some crap into the carb.


07-11-2015, 08:35 AM
How did you remove and re-install the top strip of windshield trim on the hardtop?

I couldn't get that piece off when I did my "3-week makeover" several years ago. To this day, there is still a piece of tape on it that I couldn't get off after I got it back from the paint shop!

07-11-2015, 03:51 PM
Well, mother nature decided today would be a good day to rain. All day.

The car leaks, around my new windshield and gasket..

Car got lots of attention.

Bought seat belts, oval air cleaner, and peep mirrors for the falcon.
Found some cool tri bar center caps.. they will look good on a 61 shasta trailer.

Here is a picture from today not at the show.

07-11-2015, 08:58 PM
Wow! That really looks great Nathan (and Jen)! Can't wait to see it up close. Even looks good in the rain!

07-11-2015, 10:27 PM

What is everyone using for side view mirrors?
I bought some 4" clamp on peeps. Wouldn't you know it they wont work with a hardtop.. no place to clamp them.

So the wagon got some nice blingy mirrors.. cleanest part on the whole car..

Next question wwhatnis normal operating temp for a 260ci bored. 040 over? It was 82 today and the thing would hover around 200* which is ok, but id prefer it running a little cooler..

I'm thinking the radiator isnt flowing very well.

07-11-2015, 11:02 PM
The thread title needs to be changed to "Absolutely Beautiful Falcon". Hope we get to see it soon in person.
I can't help with the question about the temperature with a 260. My 347 used to run just a little hotter than hades before I put the four core radiator in. Now it stays at 180.
Beautiful work. Larry

07-12-2015, 10:21 AM
Before I rebuilt the 260 she'd get up near 220* on hot days..
It had head gasket issues..

I dont have the orginal radiator but im not sure how many core it is. I think its 3 core, but im sure its clogged and not working at 100%.

Im looking into radiators as i type.
Torn between brass copper or aluminum. Probably go with aluminum

07-16-2015, 03:46 PM
Hello, Nathan.

What is the white car that is parked to the right of (behind) yours?

The hood on it protrudes past its grill and it looks like it has hood scoops built into the leading edge. The fender ornaments and the wrap around windshield look great.

And what is the big black sedan to the right in the photo?

I'm partial to Falcons, but I love old cars in general. At car shows I go from car to car saying "Wow!" ... "Wow!" ... "Wow!"

Thanks, Dennis.

07-16-2015, 08:46 PM

Pretty sure it was a 59 chevy might be a buick.
Dont recall what the black car was.

I hit the swap meet really hard, but it was difficult because of the rain. Had to cover it 3 times to make sure i saw everything.

Walked over 10 miles searching for swap meet treasure.

07-16-2015, 09:24 PM
Looks like my oil pan is leaking..
Possibly the rear main too..

Guess what I'm doing this weekend.

Not sure I'll be bring the car with us to the Show in 10 days..

07-17-2015, 11:25 AM
Hello, Nathan.

What is the white car that is parked to the right of (behind) yours?

And what is the big black sedan to the right in the photo?

Yeah, the white car is a '59 Chevy. My dad had a '59 El Camino for a while when I was a kid.

The black sedan looks like a bone-stock Model A Ford!

07-17-2015, 11:16 PM
Rear main and oil pan are fixed.

Car is running funny.. not sure if its electrical or carb related..

Gotta do a little diagnostics first. Seeing how the tachometer is acting funny I'm guessing electrical.. i did remove the ground wire while dropping the oil pan.. starter had to come off.

Waiting to order a radiator.. $90 spent on oil, and gaskets was not planned.

07-20-2015, 10:42 AM
Tachs on these have been known to cause issues. It is in-line with the ignition circuit, so I think you can bypass it to see if the problem goes away.

It's always something. Ask me how I know.