A Punch in the Nose

As the the left side of the van neared completion, attention was focused on the front nose section. As you can see from the header picture, of the van on the tow dolly, the front was in an accident at some point, and poorly repaired.

Rot at base of window frame

Rusty outer valence

Rusty inner valence

Aside from collision damage, the windshield frame and front valence were heavily rotted and beyond simple repair. They required complete removal and replacement. More cash please.

Okay, so I hoped to save some money by buying a KlassicFab windshield repair piece. And simply replacing the lower inner and outer valences and repair nose dents as needed…

                                             KlassicFab Windshield repair piece

Unfortunately, I really should have assessed the nose damage better before I ordered the KF piece. Once I ground off the 1/2″ to 3/4″ (not an exaggeration) of bondo from the face, I could see the substrate was beyond salvaging. So, with a contribution from my father-in-law, I ended up ordering a complete nose replacement panel. And selling the KF panel on craigslist.

The panels are readily found for about $220, but shipping nearly doubles that!

To complicate things, this nose piece was for a later bay bus, with the high indicator light recesses, raised nose emboss, and lower valence edge. All these things require a lot of detailed mod work to make correct for a 71′. More beer please.

So off with the nose…

A new inner valence was welded in. Since I needed an early bay nose (and only a late nose was available) cut off the lower section of the new nose panel and welded in a lower outer valence for an early bay. Then, I needed to remove the upper cutouts for the later bay turn signal lights and raised embossed logo mount.

New nose panel with early bay mods…

Then, I needed to remove the upper cutouts for the later bay turn signal lights and raised embossed logo mount. After some fine tuning, bare metal primered with epoxy, followed by urethane.

 

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