Build Thread '83 T-top Coupe - Cliff Notes Edition


I think I've messed my pants
SN Certified Technician
Nov 28, 2015
Soooo, It’s fully welded in. Some welds were easy and turned out decent

and then there’s the pinch weld:nonono:.

I knew going in it would be a pita and I wasn’t disappointed. I went along the bottom of the seam and placed tack welds down the entire edge of the seam. Like 18 bagillion spot welds. I figured this would stop the crap from coming out of the seam and make for maybe a prettier weld. As usual, I figured wrong. I persevered and did the whole seam though. It’s ugly as hell, but it can be ground down nice and pretty fairly easy

Once I dress those welds I’ll be able to see areas that might need some touch up welds.

It’s disappointing in a way not being able to figure this pinch weld area out. But it’s great to have it over with.

So, here’s what’s coming. Tomorrow night I’ll be dressing those welds. I’m not sure if it’ll all be done tomorrow night or not. Right now I’m planning for two nights of clean up. Then paint Friday and on to the rear end for the weekend.
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I think I've messed my pants
SN Certified Technician
Nov 28, 2015
Ok, all I got done tonight was the pinch weld area. This much just about had me worn down to the nub.

It still needs some evening out with a grinder wheel. That’ll be tomorrow night.

It needs about another fifteen minutes of work. All this will be smoothed when I get to the bodywork stage on the body. Tomorrow I’ll get all the welds on the sfc side smoothed as well as the finishing of the pinch weld area.

So far it looks like I’ll be dropping the IRS this weekend. I need to go buy some things (partially tools) to go on with this step.:taco:

First is an extra jack. I’ve been wanting a larger one than my little bitty sucker I have now. I’ll need two to safely crawl under Booger to unhook the IRS. Then I’ll need some decent storage containers for the odds and ends I take off the IRS frame.

I‘ll be stripping it down completely so I can have an easier time fitting it up as I do the new uca area support, and then the hard tail. I’ll get it powder coated after the hard tail is done.

This is on page 295 of the full thread! Seems to be a lot of bull:poo: going on over there!


I think I've messed my pants
SN Certified Technician
Nov 28, 2015
So, super genius here woke up with an kind of worked.

So this puts me somewhere slightly above idiot and quite a ways below genius. Definitely not moron though.
I would have hit genius had I done this idea prior to ever dressing the welds in the first place. So, the idea is to measure down 1” below the top edge of the pinch weld and run a piece of 3/4” tape along the seam and grind a hard line all the way down the seam (The reason for 1” is that it allows for about 1/8” of weld below the actual pinch seam). Make it where you can still see the separate connecting pieces, the pinch weld and the support. I would love for it to be smooth metal the whole way down, but reality of welding the seam and getting clean welds isn‘t possible for me. Plus this side’s pinch seam was hammered crap when I got it out of the SY.

So pictures. First one, before super brain came along.

Next with the line ground along the seam. Keep in mind this would be more visible had I started this before having done the initial grind. It doesn’t look real straight, but that’s mostly an optical illusion due to the different slants of the weld. The seam area will easily cover with a thin layer of mud and look uber cool.

I got a bit into the sfc side. That was fun. It cuts fairly easy, it’s just that the carbide bit leaves :poo: ton loads of little super duper sharp shards of metal. I had to stop because I didn’t have back up charged batteries...... :nonono: damned nube.

So, the lessons learned from this side will be put to use someday when I go back to the other side. I still need to finish the pinch weld area on that side.

This means I’ll still be grinding tomorrow. NBD though. Even if it took into saturday morning, I’d still have lots of time to change up how the car is setting and get the IRS out.

BTW Chris @Hoytster ? You’re right about that clearance between the IRS and the uca mount being tight! I hadn’t looked at that before. I’ll do a crap load of measuring with and without the IRS frame in before ever welding.


I think I've messed my pants
SN Certified Technician
Nov 28, 2015
Ok, I finally got the IRS dropped, yay! That last bolt on the front left was the only one that required me to be fully under Booger again. I’ll get it stripped down tomorrow.

Now, here’s the next area of modification. The upper control arm mounts. You’ll notice five different areas of concern for me. First in green are the dumbo ear mounts that normally clear the IRS by the narrowest amount, and I mean narrow, like 1/4” separation. They’ll be gone. Got to go back to hf and get a few spot weld cutter bits.

Then comes the other three that I want to keep and maybe slightly modify. In yellow is the backing plate that’s welded to the floor pan. I think it’ll stay.

The other two in red are the support plates for the rear seat belts. I need to maintain them. Though they may be slightly modified and trimmed at the top so the 2x2 tubing will fit. Then I’ll weld the trimmed part to the new tube.

Here it is higher up in the air than it’s been in a long time.

This final picture just seems to excite me, lol! I’ll be playing under there for a bit. I’m looking forward to making that trans tunnel all green.

I didn’t get much done this weekend, but I’m set for the next stage tomorrow!

Tomorrow’s plans are to just strip down the IRS and stop by hf to get the spot weld cutters.

This IRS is going to be costly, I’ve already added up $2500 in modifications for it. That’s OK though, it’ll be totally bitchi’ when it’s done.


I think I've messed my pants
SN Certified Technician
Nov 28, 2015
To start off, the chrome socket did just fine. :nice: Plus the impact did just great, no problem taking off the castle nut on the half shaft.

Here’s something peculiar, look at the banjo bolt holding the brake line to the caliper. It was like this on both sides. I couldn’t get it off in a timely, so I clipped the hose and pulled the calipers off.

Here it is nekked.:eek: It does weigh around 50-60lbs. Feels like a feather after moving it so much with it assembled.

Here’s a pile of parts early.

And a pile of parts finished up.

It‘s time to go buy those spot weld cutters now. I forgot to get them before because I’m stupid.....:scratch: Tomorrow night I’ll be up Booger’s rear to my elbows.
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