1983 Ferrari 512 BBI - Twin Turbo
This is a very cool car. It has was modified with twin turbos, high pressure fuel rails, a modern ECU and individual coil ignitions. Unfortunately in order to avoid a wandering Deer, it came in contact with a guardrail and did some damage. Basically no body shops would touch the repairs, Ferrari of Denver even turned the work down. I saw it as a challenge.
Not only was the outer aluminum skin damaged, but the inner structure was bent/twisted/broken on both sides. I had to determine where parts were bent and work both the structure and aluminum skin at the same time, little by little til body line were matched back up and the shape was correct. I made a lot of templates to match the repaired side to the undamaged side.
Progress pictures of beating the skin back in shape and getting the rear bonnet to line back up. The impact shifted the whole rear over and broke the mounting points. Who ever installed the turbo kit cut some important structural braces that keep the rear in shape. Had to order some steel in metric sizes to match the original frame work. These cars were basically hand made, so there really is no replacement parts available and the tolerances are such that they would not fit without a lot of creative adjusting.
We are also eliminating to US mandated side markers and the rubber bumpers, now the car will more closely resemble the Euro version. The aluminum is tricky to weld, it is impregnated with sealers, paint, undercoating, ect on both sides, so it is hard to get clean and get a decent weld. Lots of constant cleaning and going slow.
Eventually it all got hammered and welding back in shape. Time to epoxy seal, prime, and block sand.
Here I am re-building the front fender lip, inch by inch. The whole front bonnet is one large part with a tube frame sub structure. It is hard to work on the outer skin with all the tubing in the way.
The front and rear bumpers are more just fiberglass valances, than real bumpers. The front one was pretty demolished on the driver's side.
What I like about fiber glass is I can make mold out of just about anything rigid and with resin and matte rebuild the bumper. I kept matching broken edges together and fixing each break one at a time. I would grind back on each side of the break to allow for new matte and resin. If needed I would reinforce the back side of the repair as well.
Clamps, making tape, cardboard, vice gripes, wire, wood.....what ever it took to hold the shape til the resin cured.
Fixing these is not very high tech, it is more and art and a lot of patience. I wanted to fix the front bumper before I fixed the front bonnet, that way I could use the mounted bumper to align the front end. The breaks were such that after matching them all up the shape came back to original. We also are eliminating the rubber portion of the bumpers, so I glassed/matte'd in all the holes. I make use of about 5-6 different products to fix and repair glass parts.
The rear bumper was not as bad, lots of cracks and spider web cracks. Static electricity and sanding dust show all the tiny cracks in the finish.
Time to primer and block sand all the repairs. The project is off to another shop to be painted.