1979 Monte Carlo Body Repairs

I have finally gotten to the body repair on my 1979 Monte Carlo.  The roof was peeling, it was a landau edition and the roof was changed from a vinyl roof to a normal hard top.  This work was now coming undone and was peeling off.  This needed to be repaired since the rust was spreading underneath the original fix and making the material they used come up and bubble.  In some places it was actually missing!

Below is the way it was when I originally purchased the car.  It did not look too bad, but after sitting in my driveway all winter the bubbled sections got worse and some of the material had peeled off.

This is how it looked when I got it, you can see where it's bubbling.

This is how it looked when I got it, you can see where it’s bubbling.

My plan was to peel off as much of the material that would come off and to sand down the rusted spots to bare metal.  I used a scraper to get the material to start coming off but was able to pretty much peel the stuff right off the roof of the car.  The scraper was just needed to make sure I cleared the entire section; I removed all of the material that I could and left any that would not come up after hitting it with the scraper.  I wasn’t too crazy with the scraper because I did not want to damage the roof.

This is the roof area that needed repair, all the material that i could remove had been removed.

This is the roof area that needed repair, all the material that i could remove had been removed.

I then used 80 grit sandpaper to remove the rust and get it down to bare metal.

Roof sanded down to metal

Roof sanded down to metal, I used a vacuum and some water to remove the residue that is visible in this picture.

Bondo was the solution to this problem.

I am no body man but I did not really want to pay someone to do these repairs for me so I decided to give it a shot.  Since the goal of this car is to flip it, I wanted to spend as little money as possible.  I figured the worst case scenario is that I completely screw it up and have to take it somewhere to get fixed the right way.  Following the directions on the can of Bondo, I mixed the putty and hardener to guestimate specifications and went to work.  What I found is that you don’t really need to be that good at this as long as you are willing to sand and re-apply a couple of times.  I originally plopped the Bondo into the gaping hole and filled it in.  It hardened and what I had left was a bumpy lump of Bondo where my hole used to be.  Using some 80 grit sandpaper, I was able to sand it down to almost a smooth finish but needed to re-apply again to get the body to look level.  Another shot at this and I sanded it one last time with 320 grit sandpaper and put a coat of primer on it.  It’s not perfect but it’s a lot better than it was!

This is the first Bondo application

This is the first Bondo application

This is the last Bondo Application, this was right before spraying it with primer.

This is the second application after being sanded.

This is the finished repair

This is the finished repair

There were a couple of other spots that needed repair as well.  Both trim pieces above the doors had rusted out holes that I filled in with Bondo and primered.  I followed the same procedure as above to get as good a finish as I could.

This is the A pillar before primer, it was pretty much the same on both sides.

This is the A pillar before primer, it was pretty much the same on both sides.

This is the A pillar with primer

This is the A pillar with primer

The hood also needed some repair, but this was just a matter of sanding down the rust on it and a spraying with primer.

Rust on the hood

Rust on the hood

Rust on the hood sanded down

Rust on the hood sanded down

Hood Repaired

Hood Repaired

This car is now ready for paint, I actually plan on plasti-dipping it in a similar color as the original paint and doing all the trim in black, this should fill in any imperfections in my repairs and it should look pretty mean when it’s done!

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