How to Apply LizardSkin Insulation to a Chevelle Engine Bay - 1967 Chevelle
After I got over the initial novelty of putting a big block in the Chevelle, the reality of the task started to sink in. I’ve done this dozens of times and I still hate it. A lot like painting in the garage and dealing with all the overspray and mess, once it’s been a while you talk yourself into it again.
Something that set this one apart was the fact that when they undercoated the car, they were nice enough to go ahead and spackle the frame with it too. That’s pretty special. I started with simple green and a pressure wash. That helped get the grease and oil off. The undercoat remained unmoved by my gesture.
The experience I’ve gained from removing undercoating is now etched in my mind. Just like six pack abs, there’s nothing that really works except sit-ups. Oh sure, you can buy magic potions and contraptions that make the promise. In the end, the only way to really get what you’re looking for is hard work.
So scrape, I did. For what seemed like months. I used Speedway's Multi Purpose Offset Scraper to get the job done. In reality, it only took a weekend before I discovered a neat shortcut. An oscillating tool. It’s like the saw that they use to cut a cast off your arm. I’m not sure what exactly it was designed to do but it made quick work of the coating.
While not perfect, it’s a lot quicker than a putty knife, which had previously been the go to tool. I also found that the sharper the edge stayed the less it gummed up. After the big areas came off, there was a lot of clean up and wire wheeling done.
*Pro tip, sweep often. Your creeper wheels will grind it into the concrete and you’ll have to scrape the same undercoating twice. That sucks.
Once the metal was clean and shiny, I wiped it all down with lacquer thinner During my short stripping career I had disturbed the sealed body seam across the firewall. I plan to use Lizardskin Ceramic Thermal Insulation and Sound Control Insulation up to this line to keep heat and noise from getting through the toeboard. I don’t want to go all the way up because I do not want to disturb the body tag on the firewall.
I’m picky and I’m also very messy with caulk and other goopy stuff. So naturally, I taped off the area to be sealed.
After the sealer dried I went to work closing up the extra holes in the firewall. Some factory, some hacked in over the years. I plan to use a Vintage Air Surefit system on this car. This setup is contained on the inside of the firewall. To maintain a “Day-2” hot-rodded original feel, I also plan on using a factory heater delete panel to cover the engine side of the firewall. The issue I found when test-fitting things was that the upper heater hose opening peeked out from behind the delete plate.
I didn’t want to totally close the door on being able to install the stock heater, just in case things didn’t work out on affording the A/C setup right away. So, I welded in a crescent moon shape to close the gap that peeked out. It could also be opened up to be round if the heater core needed to be put back in.
After I was satisfied with the shape of things I put self-etching primer on the front frame section and firewall. From there the firewall got the Lizardskin treatment with a topcoat of semi-gloss black. The frame and steering box were painted high-gloss epoxy black.