Project Update! Body work complete

So it’s been quite a while since the last update. Since I last posted, all of the body work has been finished, and assembly has started. For this post I am going to focus on updating the status of the body work itself and everything we did to get it as close to perfect as possible.

Last post Image Auto Body had finished up welding all of the assorted holes shut (side markers, old mirror mounting holes, various holes in the engine bay), started pulling dents out, and fit the new fiberglass trunk.

After that was the continued work on refining the body and fixing all of the visible defects and issues. The side of the 510 features 3 prominent body lines, 2 very visible. The 3rd called a “ghost line” is about 2 inches below the main body line and is very easy to remove when prepping the body. I wanted to make this line was preserved since the removal of it really makes the sides look off. So I made sure to stress to the team at Image that they keep that line intact. You can see in the progress photos below the two distinct body lines and the prep work to keep the body as smooth as possible.

Along with preserving the original lines, removing 45 years of dents, dings, and general abuse was key. If the car was to match all of the modern updates, the body needed to look as new as possible. This means replacing panels, cutting out rust, and making sure everything lined up properly. Eventually all of the work was finished and we ended up with a fairly yellow patched body (all of the finishing putty/etc. No bondo was used to fill holes made by rust.

After all of the final prep was done, it was time to prime and paint. After bouncing around between about 5 different colors, I settled on Jeep Anvil Grey that first came on the Rubicon and Wrangler. While being a modern color it still fit the old school still being a non-metallic color.

Patches, Welds, and Fixes – Bodywork Update!

As mentioned in my earlier general update post, the 510 is currently sitting snugly at Image Auto Body in South San Francisco. The same team that did the wide body install and full repaint on my STI, Image is hard at work bringing the 44 year old chassis back to life.

My goal with the body is to clean up and remove all of the dents, shave/fill the front and rear side markers, replace/patch the passenger side quarter, weld rear wheel wells shut and smooth out to accomodate much wider wheels/tires, and then shave/smooth the entire engine bay of all un-necessary holes.

Along with all of the above, the team at Image will also be fitting my new fiberglass trunk, rear bumper, and fender mirrors.

Stopping into the shop last week, I was pleasantly surprised with the progress they have made in the past 5 weeks. The majority of the holes in the engine bay have all be welded closed and ground smooth, the rear quarters were welded closed where we had cut for the fender flares, and the trunk was fit. Along with those some of the other exterior areas had been filled and smoothed such as the side markers and lower trim holes.

Next up will be fitting the tail lights to make sure all of the rear body lines are proper, pulling some of the larger dents out, smoothing the engine bay further, and prepping for paint.

Check back soon for more updates! I’ll be writing about my interior plans and the brake setup next entry.

Updates and progress

So it’s been quite some time since I have updated the blog/status of the project. (Almost 10 months!!) 2016 has been a whirlwind of craziness which left me with little time to update the blog. I have however been documenting and making great progress on the project over the past few months.

While I was away from the blog I was able to finish up all of the prep and fitting before taking the shell to the body shop to begin it’s transformation into a beautiful shiny “new” car. ¬†Over the next few days I will begin posting updates on how I got to the point the car is at and where it’s going.

Final shot before towing the car to the body shop.


Mert and Winston of RBMS Auto Care happy that my car was finally out of the shop and not squatting on the lift in the back corner!


Drop off at Image Auto Body!