Picked the best grill out of the stash, but it still needed a fair bit of work. Lots of dents and scratches all over, some horizontal bars were twisted a little, and the anodising finish was worn.
First up was stripping the anodising off the upper and lower sections, using 80/120 grit sand paper. Made a custom block to suit the angle and avoid distortion. Once the anodising was removed, stripped off as much of the old paint as possible, and got to work on the horizontal bars.
Most of these had a few dents from stone chips over the years, and some were bogger than others. I made a die to fit the bars from behind, and punch out the dents, then file finished nice and flat.
Then back on to the upper and lower sections, with 360/600/800/1000/1200 grit wet and dry paper to get it all perfect, with a quick buff to checks it's all good, before cleaning, etch primer, and then leaving it to cure before sanding ready for a finish coat of satin black.
Labour during this period: 7.5 hours
Strip anodising 1.5 hrs
Fix dents 2.5 hrs
Sand and buff 1.5 hrs
Primer, sand and paint 2 hrs
Whilst the body is getting worked on, I wanted to start on the trim work. After going through a few sets to pick out the best pieces to start with, we got to work.
The alloy boot trim pieces I had were good, but did have a few marks which would be simply too hard to remove. So the decision was made to purchase a new repro item from New Old Car Company in QLD. I checked out a number of samples from a couple resellers, but they all had a clear coat paint defect at each end. I took my chances buying direct, but the same result unfortunately. But this just gave me the ability to improve on the quality, but stripping and polishing them before clear coating again.
To do this we sanded back the finish on the flat sections, then ran through 360, 600, 800, and 1000 grit. From there we used a hardstand buffing unit, with cotton buffs and Merzerna dry compund (medium and fine). An hour to tape it all off, then we used a metal cleaning spray, followed by 4k clear mixed with red candy.
The tail lights are by the same vendor, and over all the quality looked pretty good, bar on defect on one of the vertical tail light bars. Easy fix though. We prepared the chrome same as the alloy, and sprayed 4k with red candy. (i forgot to spray the middle verticle bars, will rectify that later).
The wheel arch moulds are by Rare Spares, and although nice, they had a dull finish. I wanted to rectify that, which would potentially ruin the matte red painted centres. So the red was stripped off first, then we got out the wet and dry sand paper to brighten up the metalwork.
Unbelievably, there were actually some file marks on the wheel arch trims, so we hit these areas with 360 grit first. Everything else was hit with 600, 800, 1000, 1200 and then 1500 grit. From there we buffed as per before. Way too much time was spent masking off each trim, before spraying the same 4k clear/candy. I went with candy to make everything match. It was always unusual to me that the HK GTS had candy red boot strip and front grill badge, then matte red wheel arch trim, then semi gloss GTS badges.
So we made them all red candy. Including the badges.
To do the badges, once again we used paint stripper to remove the paint, and a small brass wire brush to get into the corners. Metal cleaning prep spray, then 4k clear red candy. This process was used for the GTS badges, the glove box badge, the front grill "Holden" badge, and the 327 "flags" . For the glove box badge, we also used blue and black candy, and for the "flags", white as well. The effect this has is amazing in person. The colours really pop.
Labour during this period: 15 hours
Strip paint 2 hrs
Sanding and buffing wheel arch trims 6 hrs
Sanding and buff boot trim 2.5 hrs
Mask tail lights, boot trim and wheel arch moulds 2.5 hrs
Paint alloy and stainless trims 1 hr
Paint badges 1 hr
The front crossmember locating block was fitted, welded, and made smooth. Much nicer than original, which had some gaps in each side.
Replacement sections from Rare Spares were checked against the original quarter, which was then trimmed in preperation for work to be done on the rear sills on both sides.
The left side was tackled first, with the inner sill completely removed and replaced, along with new sections for the rear under the beaver panel, and the fronts of the wheel arch. As previously, new parts were supplied by Deano's Auto Restorations. At some point in the past, the wheel well was cut to access the inside of the rear quarter, and knock it out. This was all fixed up and welded back how it should be.
Similar work was done of the right hand side, but this time the spare wheel well was fitted. It had been replaced with just a flat section of material in the past, so removing that and getting it back to factory spec was on the cards. To ensure all this was going to fit nicely, the rear quarters were clamped up to work off.
The inner beaver support and front of the wheel arch also got fresh new metal.
Labour during this period: 96 hours
Sill panels floor and inner panels 43 hrs
Reshape repro 1/4 sections skirts and rails 14 hrs
L/h inner 1/4 trans tunnel r/h inner 1/4 and spare wheel well 39 hrs