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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the interest of posting new threads......


The lower birdgage on my '63 is rusted out. So, I have begun the process to replace it. This is just one of many such tasks for this body off restoration


The following pictures show the rust on the left side. The ride side is just as bad, but I will start with the left.







Notice that all the rocker molding brackets have been cut. This '63 had side exhuast on it when I first bought it.



I knew I had to replace this some 10 years ago.....so back then I bought replacements from some poor donar vette. Let the fun begin
 

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wow, as you know my body is off too. i sure am glad my birdcage is cherry!!! thats not a job i would look foreward to.:smack :smack but then again i got my own issues to deal with!!:rolling: :rolling: good luck.:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Well, I'm starting to have second thoughts about this. The big issue is that the front half of this thing has about 15 spot welds. Each one will need to be grinded out. This is easier said than done as the channel is difficult to get serious power tools into and the steel is actually quite thick. The other issue is that there are some rocker panel fiberglass that is riveted to it. This is a problem because those rivets are behind the outer most panel and can not be accessed without pull off glass....which I don't want to do. I could remove the rivets, but I would not be able to put them back.
The back half of the piece is really rotten. I'm starting to think that cutting the back section off and welding in a repair section may be the right path. Yet, there is little room to weld and it could damage the surround fiberglass or even start a fire.
I'm going to spend some more time looking it over and developing a plan.

:cheers:




Wait, maybe there is hope for the spot weld problem:
Spot Weld Drill

:thumbsup:

and maybe I can use a pop rivot for the panel rivets?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Big pictures

here are a few more pictures of the progress.


This is the rear section, where I had begun to disc out the spot welds. I have to welds marked with black pen.


I ended up buying a special hole cutter as mentioned above and I was able to drill out all the spot welds. It was not easy, but here is the channel removed



Channel top side:


This is the forward portion of the birdcage looking up into the channel area. The circular spots are where the spot welds were/are. As you can see there was rust between the sections of the cage that were welded together.


Same thing, but the back area:
 

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split 63---

your pics were so big i couldnt even post a reply. you seem to be about where i am in your resto but your car is much worse than mine. thats bad birdcage damage... where in ca. are you??? if you are close enough i can come look, if not, i will answer any questions you have. birdcage repair is somthing i havent done but i know how it is put together, you have the right peices. get back to me, its late,
 

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Check out the two part urethane for installing the new pieces. Body shops install new panels on cars with it. You Fit the piece, apply adhesive, hold it in place with self drilling Stainless Steel screws till the stuff cures. Grind off the screw heads and your done. Al W.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
your pics were so big i couldnt even post a reply. you seem to be about where i am in your resto but your car is much worse than mine. thats bad birdcage damage... where in ca. are you??? if you are close enough i can come look, if not, i will answer any questions you have. birdcage repair is somthing i havent done but i know how it is put together, you have the right peices. get back to me, its late,
Techron,

I have no questions, I was just posting this as I thought others would find it interesting. Fundamentally the process of this repair is fairly straight forward. The replacement rocker channel is ready go in except that I wasted a week waiting for Zinc Chromate paint from Corvette Central to arrive. Once it did I sprayed it on only to find that its not even close to the original color.
So now I'm waiting on some Zinc Chromate paint from an Aviation supply house. My hope is that it will be here Friday. Man, it better be right this time. Otherwise I may just have to buy general spray paint that is close.

Prior to the Zinc CHromate mess, I sprayed it with DP40 Expoxy paint. So the Zinc Chromate is just for looks.

Once I get the color right, I will weld it in place, and it will be done.

One disturbing issue I'm finding as I work on any part of the birdcage is that there is rust between every two spot welded pieces of the cage, inside the cabin or out. This makes sense since the surfaces were bare steel when they were welded. In the areas I have repaired they will be painted were the pieces come together. I ran a test and found that my mig welder vaporizes the DP40 primer as it welds through it, so I coated everything.

Oh, and who shrunk my pictures? Whould you believe those pictures were 1/2 the size of the originals? :cheers:
 

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Split63,

Been following your thread with great interest! I too will have to replace the rockers in my 64....someday!

I LOVED the full size pics....not to big as to stop a reply?!?! Guees it depends on your screen size. But with those huge pics... I could really see the detail! Loved em...keep em coming.

Pls keep us updated with your great work!

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Split63,

Been following your thread with great interest! I too will have to replace the rockers in my 64....someday!

I LOVED the full size pics....not to big as to stop a reply?!?! Guees it depends on your screen size. But with those huge pics... I could really see the detail! Loved em...keep em coming.

Pls keep us updated with your great work!

Cheers
If you click on

<<<---------- "My Corvette Photos", the big pictures are there.

More pictures to come soon. Still waiting on the Zinc CHromate Primer in order to finish. :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
uodate - painted

After much waiting and disapointment, none of the Zinc Chromate primers that I ordered matched the color of my late '63 birdcage. They were all too dark green, with not enough yellow in them. So I emptied a spray can of ZC into a jar, and I added another color which was too yellow. After a little mixing, I had a color that looked nearly perfect.
This rocker channels now have a layer of epoxy primer, Dark Green Zinc Chromate, and the custom ZC green. That should take care of the evil rust.

Now that they are painted, I can put the left side on the car. More pictures to come.

:cheers:

The white, white paper towels should give you a sense of the accuracy of your monitor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Continueing......


After a test fit, I discovered that three of the Door Sill plate mounting holes
on the new rocker channel did not line up with the holes in the body
fiberglass. So I welded in the three holes and repainted those areas.

I did some experimenting in terms of the best way to weld the replacement
rocker in place. I found that drilling a hole was better than grinding a slot.
The slot was too narrow and the weld would not penetrate enough for a
strong weld. The hole was better in that I would start the weld in the center
of the hole, welding on the birdcage first then begin following the edge of the
circle until I reached the starting point.


Here is a picture of the Prepared rear portion of the replacement channel
********** CLICK ON IMAGES FOR LARGER PICTURE ************


Here is a picture of the rear birdcage Rocker channel attach point. Once I
drilled all the holes, I once again test fitted the rocker channel. While it was
in place, I marked the corresponding position of the holes on the body
birdcage. I then removed the rocker channel and grinded the primer away in
those areas with a dremel too. By the way, a dremel is a must have for this job.
In this picture you will notice what looks like black cloth on either side of the
birdcage. This is Carbon cloth that can withstand 2500 degrees F. I have
wedged it up between the body fiberglass and the birdcage. Without this,
the body fiberglass would become damaged or catch fire while mig welding.
You can buy this stuff at Home Depot in the Plumbing section where they
offer copper plumbing parts and copper pipe welding supplies. It cost about
$16 for a 12"x9" section.


This shows the rear of the channel right after it was welded.
The bolt/nut shown was temporary to force the rocker channel and bridcage
to fit tightly for welding.



Looking through the door pillar opening


Looking down at the door sill examining the alignment. Notice the smaller
holes at the top of the picture. These holes take the large flat heat rivets.
Notice also that the two holes for the Door Sill plate in the fiberglass don't
have holes in the rocker channel. These are the ones that I filled in as they
were in the wrong location.


Once the rocker channel was completely welded in place, I took the dremel
and ground down the welds until they looked and felt generally smooth. I then
poured Zinc CHromate down on top of the rocker channel from the various
openings in the body. The primer flowed between the welded portion of the
birdcage, hopefully sealing them from future rust.

Here it is installed



I had uploaded more pictures, but to my surprise they are not there. Could it be they have been filtered? Is this the CF again?
 

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hello guys
just signed on!.new at this stuff,i have a 65 conv.,and my headlight switch,will only raise my lights,not lower them.anyone know what to check!!!!!.this is driving me crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dennis
 

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hello guys
just signed on!.new at this stuff,i have a 65 conv.,and my headlight switch,will only raise my lights,not lower them.anyone know what to check!!!!!.this is driving me crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dennis
Welcome.

FYI not nice to threajack .... try posting your question in your own new thread.

Cheers!
:cheers:
 

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Birdcage repairs

Great pictures and great job on the rocker repairs. That is a huge job but rewarding in the end. These birdcage repairs are just too much fun. :laughing:
 

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Great pictures and great job on the rocker repairs. That is a huge job but rewarding in the end. These birdcage repairs are just too much fun.
:agree: :agree:

It looks like an easier job on the c2s?
Wish I had California rust:D

Just going through the same thing on my C3.....I feel your pain

 
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