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Old 10-11-2017, 10:23 AM   #1
ss400rscamaro
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Default Birdcage Repairs

Hi, I am getting ready to repair rust on my 73s birdcage. My question is what panels do I need to remove to replace the rocker channels. I think i'll have to remove the panel where the door striker is. What about the panel that covers the rocker channel ? I already removed the front clip and am about to remove the firewall.

And does anyone have pics or advice for removing the panels so when I go to put them back on they are lined up right ?

Thanks,


in this picture you can see rust that I will also be repairing.





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Old 10-11-2017, 07:22 PM   #2
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This is what I have learned from reading threads on here and just googling this type of repair . Plus I'm in the middle of doing what your about to start.

Some of these will sound strange at first but they will help later on .

First thing is to measure just how thick the glue that's been used is , that will help put it back together if you know just how close the parts ended up originally. Save you from trying to force it closer than it ever was .

The firewall has lots of rivet holes in it , as long as your careful removing it , they will guide it back perfectly .



sounds like the rust is right across the front lower screen frame as well , is the no2 mount area ok ?
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Old 10-11-2017, 07:46 PM   #3
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again , not sure just how far you have got with the area in the red square but here's how mine looked after I sandblasted it in my backyard so I could see whats going on .


you can see the red areas where rust has started in between the plates and is swelling them apart .
The two layers , blue is the end of the main sill panel that runs right along the door way.

It would be a massive job to remove the whole door striker glass cover panel , I have seen guys (on here) just cut the lower section away to gain access . BTW I cut a section from the B pillar (right behind the red mark ) and welded in a new piece ,before replacing the bracket , without touching the glass around it , just go slow and do small welds and let it cool .
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:57 AM   #4
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Watching this with great interest. Mine is worse on the 69 project....
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:57 AM   #5
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I did this job on one. One of the toughest jobs on a Corvette imo. Here's a pic with the repaired rocker channel almost ready to go back in. You can get an idea from the pics what fiberglass I removed for access.
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Last edited by 69L46vert; 10-12-2017 at 12:05 PM. Reason: Added 2nd Pic
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Old 10-12-2017, 03:58 PM   #6
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Ok i'll do the repairs without removing any unnecessary panels. i will take pictures as I go through this process and update this thread with them. For now here are a few more pics of my birdcage.






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Old 10-12-2017, 04:16 PM   #7
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yes , that sill panel has had it , but what's left of the A and B pillars? Forget about the windscreen surround for a minute

Need to see the body mount areas and above .Your last pic ,would like to see how it is above that end and where the no2 mounts go from the inside of car

I know Big City corvettes will sell you some nice condition cut outs from good cages , it just depends on how much you need .

Or alternately a parts car for its cage .
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Old 10-12-2017, 04:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 69L46vert View Post
I did this job on one. One of the toughest jobs on a Corvette imo. Here's a pic with the repaired rocker channel almost ready to go back in. You can get an idea from the pics what fiberglass I removed for access.
looks like you didn't have to worry about rust around your windscreen ?

mine was worse at the front but the B pillar end was not so bad as yours . Certainly a great feeling to get it done and all painted up so it wont go bad again.

Last edited by bazza77; 10-12-2017 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 10-13-2017, 07:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bazza77 View Post
looks like you didn't have to worry about rust around your windscreen ?

mine was worse at the front but the B pillar end was not so bad as yours . Certainly a great feeling to get it done and all painted up so it wont go bad again.
Hi Bazza, Yes, I did replace the windshield frame and glass but no pics of it. It was the first thing I did. My pass side rocker was fine so only had to do the driver's side.
Buying used rocker cut outs from another car is a good idea. I've seen them on eBay. I almost went that route. Caladonia made new replacements at one time but last I knew they ceased producing them. I was never a fan of the rocker channel "insert reinforcements" but others have used them with good results.
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Old 10-13-2017, 07:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 69L46vert View Post
Hi Bazza, Yes, I did replace the windshield frame and glass but no pics of it. It was the first thing I did. My pass side rocker was fine so only had to do the driver's side.
Buying used rocker cut outs from another car is a good idea. I've seen them on eBay. I almost went that route. Caladonia made new replacements at one time but last I knew they ceased producing them. I was never a fan of the rocker channel "insert reinforcements" but others have used them with good results.
I almost bought some good condition replacement sill pieces from the USA but the shipping costs would have made them almost the same price I paid for a local 74 parts car that had a good cage .Mine were too far gone for the inserts as well. Also getting them out of the parts car was great practice for the real job

You certainly got out of that cheaply , only one side needed doing !

Last edited by bazza77; 10-13-2017 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:10 AM   #11
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ok i got the firewall off. Here is my birdcage. I have a ton of work to do.














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Old 10-16-2017, 02:19 AM   #12
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what's the plan of attack ?

do you have any pieces to replace those areas yet ?
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:34 AM   #13
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I havent bought anything yet. But we plan on starting at the bottom and working up. we'll start with the drivers side, thats the worst side. We'll make a structure inside the car that bolts to the birdcage and the doors so we can line up the door gaps before anything gets welded in place. Then buy as much new pieces as I can and anything i cant we'll make.
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:30 AM   #14
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Hmmm , that's a lot of welding and patching to do .

Have you thought about just putting another cage in ? your only about 18 or so rivets away from dropping the sill panels and all forward off right now .

That would leave the bottom of your B pillar in, and you could cut as 69L46vert did and join the new cage on........and that's it .

Just my idea and how I would do it , I have done one cage repair but I don't claim to be an expert for sure .

Those that do this for a living can tell me what's wrong with my idea for sure
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