Wednesday, December 29, 2021

I Think It's Getting Worse

I think I've gotten into more than I bargained for.

I have made progress, though - 

I replaced the passenger's side "dog leg" and fixed up the sill.

I then uncovered some more patch work on the front passenger's wing (which you can see in the above photo).  I made an inner and outer panel and repaired them, but I am not satisfied with the result; there are still too many pinholes in the outer panel and I couldn't get a solid weld on the bottom of the panel.  I will purchase a repair panel and cut this all out, then replace it.

I also used my new fancy stud welder dent puller on the rear passenger's wing, which turned out pretty okay given it was my first time and I made more holes than I wanted while doing it.  Then my neighbor came over and showed me how to do this right.  He's good.

I used my new knowledge to do a much better job on the top of the wing, where it had been bashed in pretty badly.  You can hardly tell now.

Finally, I took care of something where I am pretty proud of the result.  The top of the wing by the door opening had been bashed in (what HAPPENED to this car?) and was of course "filled" with body filler.  I straightened everything out as best I could to close the gap, then made a little patch and welded it in.  After a little work to add metal to the edge, the gap looks... pretty good!  And you can barely tell where I did anything.

It looks SO much better than before... and it's all metal.

I touched up a couple of other holes, including the spot where one of the top studs fits so it's secure (as opposed to being bondoed, which doesn't work for fittings).

But then I found this.

I knew the outer panel was bad, but I didn't expect the inner panel to be that rotted.  (I cut the rot out - things don't usually rust in rectangular sections).  So now I have to fix that before trying to fix the outer panel.

But that's a lot to have done in a couple of days.  I have to fix the headlight bucket and replace my repair on the front wing, and the passenger's side is pretty much done metal-wise.  I will be using filler to make things look good - but a lot less than was there, and it won't be "structural".  This car won't be perfect but it will be solid and safe.

Then, it's on to the driver's side.  I know there's stuff there.  I have already ordered the driver's side "dog leg" knowing it will need replacement.  The sill is probably somewhat rotten too.  But one can hope - I expected worse on the passenger's side than what I found.

Then I have to fix the trunk (where I started all of this), and the front and rear aprons.  And THEN I have to scuff the whole car down, and THEN I get to do the filler work.  Oh, and I have to get the driver's side splash panel off so I can remove the antenna.  That ought to be a bunch of fun.

But after all of that - I can paint.  And then I can assemble.  At least I know she runs and will drive.

You know, I said I wouldn't do this again.  I suppose it's not exactly the same as Gidget's "Six Million Dollar Man" reconstruction.  But whoosh, I didn't want to do all of this... but the car will look really good and be safe, so it's worth it in the end.

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