C. Beginning The Body Restoration - Rear Window Channel Rust

posted Apr 5, 2016, 4:39 PM by Dane Belden   [ updated Apr 5, 2016, 4:48 PM ]
Dane Belden, Belden Speed & Engineering, 1970 Chevelle SS, Window Channel Patch, Rear Window RustDane Belden, Belden Speed & Engineering, 1970 Chevelle SS, window channel patch, rear window rust

The original vinyl roof remains in place and aside from some minor separation on the passengers side rear it is in excellent condition.  Unfortunately what lays under it is not so pristine as you can see by the raised bubbles on the edge of the sail panel - signs or rust.  There are also some sign of rust stains in the trunk, but fortunately, no rust damage in the trunk itself, just stains from up above.

With some trepidation the vinyl top was removed - a process that was remarkable easy because the top itself was a bit brittle and the adhesive somewhat decayed.  What was revealed wasn't near as bad as it could have been, but to see the whole picture the trim as well as rear window and package tray must be removed.

Dane Belden, Belden Speed & Engineering, 1970 Chevelle SS, window channel patch, rear window rust

With everything stripped out here is the extent of the damage.  The passenger's side window channel shows rust over the entire quarter panel and the rust made it into the top of the sail panel all the way over to the ridge where the top and side of the sail panel meet on the quarter.  The driver's side was not nearly as bad with rust concentrating in the bottom corner and some pitting on the top plane of the sail panel.  There was also some weak area in the passenger side roof window channel that needs repair. Finally, the entire channel of the trunk filler panel was heavily pitted and will need to be replaced.

Dane Belden, Belden Speed & Engineering, 1970 Chevelle SS, window channel patch, rear window channel rust Dane Belden, Belden Speed & Engineering, window channel patch, rear window channel rust
Dane Belden, Belden Speed & Engineering, window channel patch, rear window channel rust

With the assessment complete, the work can now be planned.  Currently there are no reproduction patch panels for A-Body (Chevelle) window channels and window corner body sections.  The trunk filler panel which has the bottom window channel is available as a reproduction and one will be used for that portion of the restoration.  The remaining pieces will be hand fabricated and fit to the body prior to installation.  So the work required is:
  • Left and right quarter panel window channel patches need to be fabricated to be welded into the original sheet metal once the rusted metal is cut out
  • Small roof window channel patch is to be fabricated and welded in after the rusted area is removed
  • Passenger's side top of sail panel patch fabricated and welded in after the rusted area is cut out
  • Drivers side top and small area of side of sail panel patch to be fabricated and welded in where the rusted area is cut out
  • A new trunk filler panel will be purchased since it is available as a reproduction piece and the original panel removed and the new panel welded into place.