Once again, it’s been a very long time since my last post. However work has continued steadily. Next up is the right hand sill and the adjacent rear wing. This sill was in somewhat worse shape than the other requiring a few patches to the inner sill and complete replacement of the fore and aft sill stiffeners.
After the usual fettling they were cleco’d in place, all surfaces blasted and primed with either Weld Thru primer or self etching primer, depending on the exposure to subsequent welding heat. After that came the laborious outer sill reshaping, fitting and punching for plug welds. Then a final blast and prep with primer(s) and CRC marine corrosion inhibitor.
Here’s some of the torture devices to hold the reluctant sill in place.
Now to the rear wing. Here’s an exterior shot. Doesn’t look too bad.
But as well all know, Jags rust from the inside out. Here’s the inside.
Since I will be removing both the inner and outer arch, all curvature reference will be lost, so a set of measurements are taken every 6 inches or so along the arch.
Now a first exploratory cut. Not only is there rust but collision damage too.
To get past the rusted area and the worst of the collision damage I used most of the Robey patch panel—reshaped for compound curvature and extended to cover the sill seam.
With the inner arch peeled away, I have access to the collision damage and can scribe the fit of the patch panel.
Patch panel gets the traditional blast and prime treatment.
Random tack welds in progress. You may recall on the left hand side wing I fabricated and welded the inner arch and then the outer. This had the advantage of establishing the arch curve with the inner panel and leaving a good edge for clamping the outer arch. The disadvantage was once the outer panel was welded I lost access to the inside so any heat deformation could not be effectively dealt with. So this time I’m doing the outer panel first, so I can get behind it after the welding for additional shaping. I can also verify I’m getting good weld penetration.
After post weld shaping, comes the usual grinding, blasting and priming.
Next an inner arch panel is fabricated from sheet stock. I tried to re-use the flap of original inner arch steel but it was hopelessly distorted from bending it out of the way. I had hoped to bend it back and weld but it came out terrible. So I cut it back out and started over. Live and learn.
The welding access gets pretty tight but the rotisserie makes it reasonable. I can’t imagine doing this project without a rotisserie. The shop vac is there for fume extraction. Weld Thru primer creates a LOT of fumes.
After endless hours with the slapper, shot bag, hammers and dollies, I settle for this. Not perfect but not bad and quite a bit better than the left side where I had no post weld access. Of the two approaches, this is far better in my book—which maybe I’ll write someday.
So that’s it for the sills and wings. This brings us up to about mid September 2011. Next up is fairly extensive collision damage near the taillights.