Malibu Monday: Fitting the Malibu’s Firewall with a Pre-Fabbed Panel

Much like the rest of the body of American Modern’s 1965 Malibu SS, the classic Chevy’s firewall needed a little bit of work. But instead of tackling a traditional patch job to fill in all the unneeded holes, Claims Specialist Rick Drewry opted to fit the Malibu with a pre-fabricated panel that will completely cover the original firewall’s metal, covering all the holes and giving it a much cleaner look. Check out the process in the video above.

While the American Modern crew officially got the engine back on the frame a couple weeks ago, there is still a lot of work to be done before everything can be bolted into place, including the patching of the firewall.

So with the engine back off the frame and out of the way, the needed metal work can commence.

Now in order to get a tight and even fit with the new firewall patch panel, Drewry decided to drill small holes along its edges and attach the panel to the firewall using screws before even starting to weld. Then, once the exterior weld of the panel has been done, the screws can be taken out and the holes welded shut. This guarantees a better fit and placement of the patch panel.

Drewry then fabricated a smaller panel to cover a number of remaining imperfections on the driver’s side of the car’s firewall. With both panels welded in place, the Malibu will have a completely smooth firewall.

With both panels screwed into place, Drewry takes to welding the metal patches into place, after which the welds are ground down smooth.

Once the screw holes are welded and the border weld is ground smooth, a layer of body filler is added to the firewall to insure a completely smooth surface.

Be sure to check back next week as the crew of The Build moves further with their ’65 Malibu SS.

About the author

Lindsey Fisher

Lindsey is a freelance writer and lover of anything with a rumble. Hot rods, muscle cars, motorcycles - she's owned and driven it all. When she's not busy writing about them, she's out in her garage wrenching away. Who doesn't love a tech-savy gal that knows her way around a garage?
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