1968 Pontiact Firebird's front bumper removed to get the engine off.

Front Bumper Removal & Part 1 of Front End Restoration

After the Firebird’s interior floorboards were replaced, I decided to start working on the engine and front end area. Our plans were to rebuild the engine with new aftermarket aluminum heads and clean it up. The best way to remove the engine/ transmission is to remove the whole front end and since it was very rusty up there, it definitely had to be taken apart for restoration. Removing the whole front end seemed like the only reasonable way to get the engine out. Also you will find out there is more rust than expected. It was a mess and took a lot of patching up holes with the welder.

So the first thing I did was remove the front fender/ quarter panels, the front bumper, and then later on the radiator support. TIP: Be sure to get some good penetrating oil for rusty bolts.

Some of the bolts were so rusty that I had to use a cut off grinding wheel to cut the bolts and it can be hard to reach inside some of the tight spaces. It can be tedious.

You can see a larger picture of the Firebird’s front bumper and front fenders removed below. The fenders wheel wells and radiator support is still intact but a post will be shown soon of them removed as well.

1968 Pontiact Firebird's front bumper removed to get the engine off.

If you have any questions or a better tip for removing the front end for taking the engine out, post it below. Thanks for checking out my 68 Firebird site.

A fully restored 68 Firebird floorboard with seat supports.

Restored Interior Firebird Floorboards

I showed before a post about the process of welding in the new floorboards, but forgot to post a final restored picture of the Firebird’s floorboards with a new coat of paint. You can see below an enlarged photo of the 68′ Firebird’s new floorboards. Looks a lot better than the old rusty floorboards.

A fully restored 68 Firebird floorboard with seat supports.

The paint I used was an heavy duty Chassis Saver paint. I believe you can spray it on, but I brush it on and it surprisingly looks great. You can see the start of restoring the floorboards on my post about removing the Firebird’s rusty metal.

I hope the tips help and feel free to post a comment below.

Newly welded 68 Pontiac Firebird floorboards sheetmetal.

Welding in New Floorboards

The previous post talked about the start of restoring and removing the rusty Firebird floorboards and this post will talk about welding the new floorboards in place.

First thing that I had to do was clean the areas of the metal where the new weld would be. I usually use a wire wheel brush which is hooked up to a angle grinder. Use a grinding wheel if its tough removing heavier rust & paint. Then wipe up those areas with lacquer thinner or wax & grease remover to remove any residue and make sure the surface is clean.

Once the new floorboard sheet metal was placed & lined up inside the car, I tack welded in various places around the sheet metal. I didn’t bother using cleco clamps since it wasn’t hard holding the new floorboards down while I welded them in place. There was little modifications that I had to make such as cutting excess metal off, but other than that, it went smoothly.

Welding in Seat Support

Painting the 68 firebird's floorboards and welding in the seat support.The next step to finishing the floor was to weld in the seat support on top of new floor boards. The old seat supports were a little rusty so I cleaned them up with a wire wheel brush and painted them with a chassis saver paint. As you can see from the picture, I also painted the floorboard area where the seat support would cover so that it doesn’t rust in the future.

Once the paint was dry, I lined up the seat support onto the floorboard and welded it in place. Then just clean up the metal and paint.

Removing OverLapping Metal

Obviously the bottom side of the Firebird’s new floorboards had to be painted as well, but before I did that, I cut off the overlapping excess sheet metal with a air powered cut off wheel. This is key to rust prevention because the layers are hard to paint completely inside and water can get caught in between them.

-Created, Maintained, Owned, & Powered by Eric R. W.