I am in the midst of the break down of my 65 Tempest Custom for a frame off restoration. It will be a "take your time, high quality" restoration but not a "Oh my god, your spatter paint in the trunk is a fraction of the color spectrum off".
I have been working my way back on the breakdown: front end is off, engine is still in the frame but the connections between it and the body are off, interior is out and today will working on the rear trim, bumper, lights etc. Plan was to roll the frame out after making a body cart like Squid's 67 resto. Squid's Fab 1967 GTO Frame Restoration Page
(if you havent seen). Thereafter I have some concerns here was my order of operations I had planned but let me know if I am off base please:
1) frame comes out, engine goes on the stand, disassemble suspension, blast arms, clean frame and address any issues with body mount rot (if any), new fuel lines (has new brake lines), fresh suspension and brakes.
2) While body is in the air, resurface underside of floors (NOW, this is where some grayness comes in for me). My trunk needs to have the patch panels done at the braces. Im worried if I do them while the body is off the frame I could shift the mount holes around by a little bit and they could not line up when I drop it back down on the frame. BUT, if I do it on the car I'm worried about messing up my nicely prepped frame.
3) My pax 1/4 panel needs help, btu I think its still salvagable. Its got a big dent at the pax door, ripples all over from a prior owner attempt at body repair and a nasty weld scar up the middle of it and on the body line crease at the top. I really would prefer to try to fix it first before doing a full 1/4. Should the body be on the frame for this? I feel like it would be easier if it wasn't but I dont want to change geometry by accident. Should I make sure all of the inner trunk work is done first? The seams of the inner rear fenders to trunk floor could be re welded together and braced a bit better.
4) should engine go back in near last? Engine mechincally is mostly done. I want to make a tweak to the water pump and do a fresh couple seals, but it was my daily driver and looks and runs great. Just not sure if i should get it back in the frame before paint or not.
5) ALLLLL the body work - what should the timing be? On the frame or off the frame? Again, just trying to protect a fresh newly done frame and make sure I am not closing off work area etc.
5b) I have two other interesting issues. One, my roof has a few dents and some are like the old oil cans where they will ping up or down based on pressure on them. Was told heating with a torch and then putting a rag soaked in ice water could help shrink them back. Any other good ways to get dents out from the roof? Also at some point the car was near a fire (what caused the 1/4 panel issue in the first place I think. Anyway, I believe it caused the roof cross members to sag. The one from front to back is mostly maliable, and hangs about 1" too low at the center point. The side to side one hangs about the same but is made of ship iron I believe because I can not bend it for the life of me. I was thinking I should drill out the spot welds or cut the supports near where they join the roof and try to reshape them by hand and weld them back in. They should contour to the roofline with basically no gap but with some padding between them and the roof correct?
6) then prep the body and paint. Should I leave the fenders off the car for paint? What about doors and trunk?
7) windows and interior "softs"
8) then trim inside
9) I will be doing a vinyl roof. Should that be dead last?? I know I need to paint the roof anyway before that goes on, but for sake of "wasting" paint and $$ would doing some rattle can Eastwood chassis paint be silly? Or just spray it body color and call it a day?
10) then outside trim?
Thank you guys VERY much, I know I write a lot.
So far the breakdown has been great. Was hoping for some old 60/70's stuff hidden in the car, but nothing interesting. I did find that my rocker panel was welded to the front fender though and some weld lines on the rear window inner "door" area. Must have been popped before in its life. Frame is great and so are the rockers so who knows. The fender looks original too.