Between Friday and now I made much more progress on getting the front end of the Chevelle taken apart for refurbishment.

Friday I got the radiator, condenser (yes it has factory A/C), hood latch, etc. out of the way. I then caught up on my backlog of people telling me to take a hike, and took a hike.

In the above picture it begins to show what I was talking about with dirt - everything is covered in rubbery undercoating and a thick layer of brown dirt, mostly stuck into the rubber which means it doesn’t come off (short of a close-up with the pressure washer). Fortunately I’ve been pressure washing everything that comes off; unfortunately there’s still a lot of undercoating I’ve got to figure out how to completely remove. I’m glad it’s there (it’s the only thing that kept the car in such good shape) but it is done now and can go away.

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Saturday I got the rockers trim taken off (rockers are in good shape, which is a relief since I’ve never had that trim off). Bottoms of the fenders are shot, but I already knew that. I then was able to take the wheels off, remove the inner fenders, and put on the old steel wheels, which haven’t fared so well in their new laying-outside life at my dad’s. I’d rather beat these up than the good ones while I work.

Original 14" steel wheels, only rusted after sitting outside for a few years. They have about 1/16" clearance to the brake calipers. Enough to roll around on but I certainly wouldn’t want to drive it like that!

With that taken care of, today I was able to remove the fender extensions, fenders, and some other stuff. As was known, the bottom (behind the wheels) of the fenders is gone, and someone at some point just bondo’ed over it. They also went over what was left of one of the bolts that’s supposed to hold the passenger’s fender on, which was interesting but in the end not too bad since it was just rust.

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Upper right you can see the remnants of a massive brick of bondo enveloping the bolt that should have been holding the fender on. The frame is in good shape (chunky undercoating looks bad, I know) and rockers right behind here are solid, which is great news.

So here’s where I’m at now. I have a couple brackets and such to take off, then the core support can come off and the bodywork will be fully removed. I guess from there it’s time to take apart the HVAC stuff, wipers/other cowl stuff, and get the engine ready to pull.

It’s not rust, it’s dirt (mostly). A wet rag and some scrubbing makes it go back to black undercoating; if the undercoating chips or peels, it’s mostly factory paint behind that.

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Not really sure where I’m going to put the engine when I get it out of there; I’ve already got the 350 core taking up prime space in between the cars. It’s a bit too heavy to do like all the other large parts I’ve been removing, and pile it in the basement. I’ll figure something out, though.

At some point I need to tear into that 350 and find out how much machine work it’s going to need, too...