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Old 09-25-2011, 03:50 PM   #1
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1968OldsMan's Avatar
Member Since: May 2005
Default C3 Body issues/ Repair Questions.

I just bought this vette for next to nothing from a neighbor where i used to live (Actually learned how to drive on this car). I knew there were issues with the body my questions are what "Should" i expect to pay for these repairs. I'm aware i need a repaint thats happening once i iron out the L88 Hood, Flares, and air dam.

My father suggested i post something on here about it and inquiring if the rear is a "weak" spot on these cars or if I should have something "Extra" (if so what?) I'm not familiar with fiberglass body work and i'm starting to look into body shops specializing in fiberglass repair (in the Northeast if anyone knows and good shops feel free to let me know).

These are the culprit areas: The rear one is hard to see (Cell phone pics)Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:53 PM   #2
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Member Since: Mar 2010
Location: Surrey British Columbia

Congrats on your new "addition".

I'm over halfway through the restoration of my 80 Vette. Speaking from my own experiences... I had two damaged spots on the body of my car; both on the left side. The first was at the tip of the front left quarter panel. The second was at the end of the left rear quarter panel. After lifting the body in the Spring of 2010, I crawled underneath to inspect the back side of this holes. The damage wasn't caused by anything striking the panels. The damage was as a result of weak epoxy adhesive; adhesive that was used to glue the quarter panels to their respective front and rear tops. The adhesive was cracked over the bonding strips. This caused the joints to separate enough to damage the body panels. From what I understand this is a common occurance with older Vettes that have lots of miles.

I've never repaired fiberglass body panels before, but I did my own because of the info that I picked on this forum. The alternative was to pay someone else a small fortune to do something that I could do myself. My Vette has SMC panels so I had to use a fiberglass resin specifically made for SMC. To use anything else would be disasterous. I used a belt sander to sand into the body panels a V-groove over the bonding strips (but don't do through the strips). Next I mixed some resin and brushed it into the groove, then laid fiberglass matt (not cloth - it has to be matt). I kept piling on the layers of resin, matt until the final layer was lsightly proud of the surface of the body panel. Then I hand sanded. I did all four major body panel seams (2 on the front/ 2 on the rear - left and right sides). The cured resin and matt now holds the panels securely to the bonding strips. The body is rock solid. I can now remove the front and rear clips from the Bird Cage without risk of the clips breaking apart and the previoulsy weak seams.

It doesn't sound like you want to do the body the work yourself which is cool. But to answer your question, a weak body spot on older - high milege Vettes are the body panel joints. This is something you should really check-out.

(Sorry I can't see your pics. I'm at work and my employer has the gall to restrict to my internet access when I'm here. )
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:12 AM   #3
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Member Since: Sep 1999
Location: Plano TX

(I can see the pics).

I'm not a pro, but I can't see these spots being weak from the factory... I think the car has been hit and poorly repaired. Only way to know what you're facing is to strip all the old paint off so the damage/repair becomes visible.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:07 PM   #4
Keith Carlson
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Member Since: Aug 2011
Location: Mesa CO.
Keith Carlson

Originally Posted by zwede View Post
(I can see the pics).

I'm not a pro, but I can't see these spots being weak from the factory... I think the car has been hit and poorly repaired. Only way to know what you're facing is to strip all the old paint off so the damage/repair becomes visible.
Good advice.

The "straight vertical line" on the right fender below the factory seam could very well be a "spliced" lower panel that someone at sometime may have sectioned. That was typical in many shops back then-get paid 12.0 hrs to put a lower fender on and do the job in a lot less with a partial panel replacement.

Remove some of the old finish and check it out.

What a great deal on your car and have some fun!

Last edited by Keith Carlson; 09-26-2011 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 10-11-2011, 01:50 PM   #5
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Member Since: Sep 2011
Location: In the booth Maryland

Great find, I agree with Kieth and Swede, remove some finish and you'll have a better idea of what you've got.

Some years back in my area it was common practice for bodymen to repair a panel that was written for replace and split the price of the part with the owner. The only time I was ever fired from a shop it was over me refusing to fix a panel that was written for replace. Now a days I don't see that as much, shops are doing everything they can to get and keep business
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Old 10-11-2011, 01:50 PM
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