Sunday, July 12, 2015

Fabrication - Patch panels: Part II

Summer holiday has been dealt with and some progress has been made!

I have made few patch panels and now there is more new sheet metal in the left front fender well than old metal and even the lower part of the suspension tower got rebuilt.

Also my friend shot blasted some parts for me again. Should be easier to weld new coil-over tubes to the hub assemblies and paint the parts when the time comes. Might be that my friend will have to shot blast them again before paint if rust gets to the parts.

Let the picture avalanche commence!

Suspension parts loaded in a container and going to my friends house to be shot blasted along with some "bribes" for his hard work.

The outcome of the shot blasting.
He uses a tumbling machine and small metal balls to get the result seen here. If I may say so myself, they look very good for their age and my friend did very nice work!

Here I got a bit side tracked for a moment and looked at the rear fenders.
I drew a line to where the angle goes in the side panel to see how much would have to be repaired before I will cut the fenders for the over fenders.

As one can see the right side (lower photo) is much better than the left side (upper) and I might get away with just cutting the fender and the over fender will take care of the rest. On the other hand something must be done for the left side... Unfortunately!

I'm using this car and picture (Line added by me) with the Works fenders as my reference point, when deciding where to cut.
As one can see, the over fenders are situated quite high and therefore the original fenders are cut reasonably high also. By doing these over fenders the rear fenders are salvageable with much lesser work than by just repairing them with sheet metal.

Next patch of old sheet metal cut off.
Luckily the inside of the frame rail just looks bad, as it was in rather nice condition!

Patch panel marked up...

...and cut...

... some more cutting and grinding...

...test fitting and cutting and grinding some more.

Finally the panel fitted like a glove as Ace Ventura would say and I got it tack welded.

Here the panel is welded firmly in place and the work with rebuilding the lower part of the suspension tower could begin.

Tacked patches in place.
All patches in the fender area are made with 1.5mm sheet metal so rigidity should increase nicely with these repairs.

All welded up.
I just hope my welds have enough penetration, but by the looks of the discolouration, I would guess that the welds should hold just fine.

Also around this time, I made the decision to go with 0.6 wire. Welding new metal to old one became so much easier as it doesn't blow holes in the original sheet so easily.

Next up was the left front tow point mount.
This was heavily corroded and someone had "repaired" it by welding additional sheet metal over the corroded part... and welded it very badly.

I just cut it off and began making new panel and mounting hardware for it.

New vs. Old.
Old had practically disappeared. New one is made with 8.8 grade nuts and 1.5mm sheet metal welded to 1.5mm sheet.
I just tack welded it in place and began tacking it more securely.
Here you can see it all welded up and looking rather nice, if I may say so.

How the car was left after the holidays.
More has been repaired of the left fender well than has been left untouched and some small holes I just tack welded shut and rebuilt the corroded metal that way.

Still much to do with this fender well and general area!

I must not forget the vast amount of work ahead of me... Here is a shot of the right fender well.
Same repairs have to be made and some more along with the flooring and frame rail!

Next Saturday the work continues with left fender well with even more patch panels. Of course when I have made all repairs to that area, I will be seam welding it for even more rigidity.

So to the next time!

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