Ford Focus MK1 Estate Sills etc

  1. Onoff Member

    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    Sevenoaks, UK
    Rather than hijack someone else’s similar thread I thought I’d best start my own.

    So my 1998 2.0 Ghia Ford Focus estate (140K) is in dire need of some sill work which I plan to do myself. Bought cheap off a mate circa 2011 when I lost my company car, he was always big on washing and polishing on a Sunday but never went near the underside with a hose. Anyway, the MOT runs out 21st of this month but I’m kindly being lent a Golf loaner for the duration. Hopefully then the pressure to get it done should be off a little and I can take my time, I am incidentally the original Mr Slow!

    So I’ve a few questions for the collective here please.

    Inside or outside – I’m lucky enough to have a double garage though as well as two Capris awaiting restoration it’s crammed full of general accumulated stuff. I reckon though if I get going and shift one of the Capris I can get the Focus in there.

    The BiL however, an agricultural mechanic (by apprenticeship) who’s used to working in the dirt, has said “You don’t want to be working inside…because of the fumes!”. As in grinding & welding. Surely if I just leave the front door(s) open?

    The bonus is he's on hand for advice but I think we fundamentally disagree on the "how". I'm thinking front wing off and replace the whole sill. He is I think more "just replace the area you need to".

    Experience – I’ve genuinely welded years back on all forms, MMA, gas, TIG & MIG. I’m going back to college 34 years ago and then very occasionally since then, mainly using a borrowed arc set or I think half a dozen times with the MIG to repair the odd gate or lawnmower bracket. I’m a dab hand (I think) with sheet metal .

    Equipment – I’ve a Clarke 130 MIG (recently used on the nephew’s car so all working) and the Aldi inverter arc. I’m wondering if for this I should buy a TIG kit to go on it?

    Spot weld drills – 6mm or 8mm? I prefer the solid, one piece spot drills. Only really used them in anger to de-spot the Capris when removing panels, like wings and the bubble on the scuttle. Assuming they’re all blunt I was going to get some more. I favour Dormer. On eBay I see some say Bergen make ones claiming “cobalt tip”. I thought these things were HsCo all the way through?

    The plan – The BiL seems dead against butt welding which I favour. He’s suggesting a lap joint (he has a joggler I can borrow) or “a plate behind”. I just think it’s building in rust traps. I was aiming to butt weld and get some Intergrips to assist. I fancy these “hard drive magnets”, heat then doesn’t affect them? I'm familiar with the "lay the new sill over the old and cut through both method".

    Looking at the pics below I'm assuming it's the usual "3 panel" arrangement of tuned down floor lip, inner sill then outer. I know I'm going to have some issues with the floor and inner sill lower edge. Wondering if best then to put the outer sill on first to have something to butt the floor and inner sill repair sections up to?

    Petrol tank – The pipe from filler to tank is corroded so I’m thinking to remove the tank is safest? There is the odd whiff of fuel after filling up.

    A while back I had some work done on both rear arches and the first 300mm or so going forward on the sills. (I wasn't in a position time wise or mentally to do it myself then). Just to scrape it through the MOT. It was new metal put in but tbh I should have taken out the God awful felt arch liners as they've undone a lot of the work. Really this needs doing again. Could be fun removing it as the repair sections were fully welded.

    Back in 2015 then:

    SAM_2298_zpsj1s8homj.JPG

    SAM_2299_zpswqasviph.JPG

    Some of the bits that came out:

    SAM_2300_zpsasseiq0m.JPG

    And now. I basically ripped off a whole length of underseal that was keeping everything together:

    32932283266_e6fd4323de_o.jpg

    You can see where the new bit stopped:

    32592218130_d2826e25a9_o.jpg

    Tbh I guess I won't know how bad it is until I start. The quicker I start the sooner I'll know!

    Any pointers appreciated!
     
  2. steveo3002 Member

    Messages:
    4,002
    cambridge uk
    is it worth doing up? will cost you a fair bit to do a nice job that looks smart and its still £400 car at the end of it , we have a hatch back with similar miles and its close to being worn out

    i think i would just replace it

    re working inside ..my biggest worry would be stuff catching light from the sparks , or if the cars goes up it will take everything with it
     
  3. Onoff Member

    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    Sevenoaks, UK
    Similarly that's crossed my mind! But I've got the sills already, sheet steel etc.

    More's the issue if I can get a replacement fuel filler neck/pipe. Then there's the state of the rear cross member etc though I've got a spare one of those too!
     
  4. steveo3002 Member

    Messages:
    4,002
    cambridge uk
    yeah all the rear x member will want refurbing to go back on which will be fun if its as rusty as ours , i certainly wont be restoring ours when the time comes

    im sure someone else would buy the sills...infact i think there was someone asking earlier in the week
     
  5. cumbriasteve

    cumbriasteve Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,135
    Location:
    Cumbria UK
    I would consider myself too long in the tooth for such an amount of work on what can't really be classed as a worthwhile vehicle to deserve it, the corrosion you see will likely be a fraction of what you eventually find, unless of course there are personal reasons why you want to or have to do it.

    Have seen much worse brought back to life by dedication and hard work, though usually on a car with more of a classic or collectors status.

    I don't know why you are considering buying a tig set up for the task though, mig will eventually do all you want.

    Good luck if you go ahead with it and a project thread would be nice to follow.
     
  6. Onoff Member

    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    Sevenoaks, UK
    Tbh as SWMBO becomes more like the MiL I'm looking to spend more time in the garage. Can't really put a price on that...
     
    indy4x and galooph like this.
  7. rikrobson

    rikrobson Member

    Messages:
    3,314
    Location:
    Perth, Scotland
    I've scrapped better cars than that, but if you want to go ahead then here's my two penneth

    the looks like its a full sill replacement. you'll need to cut ou all the rus and then a bit more to make sure you are welding to decent metal. cjeck the inner sill and the underbody too. if these have tin worm its a much bigger job. youll need to make sure thet the body doesnt sag when you cut off the sill so you'll need to weld bracing across the door holes. but welding is all well and good if you can ensure the cut lines are even otherwise lap/joggle them.
    I believe that the MOT standard has changed again and its ok to spotweld the seam, but there may not be much seam to weld too by the looks.

    apart from doing the whole of the sill in a oner you could do it in sections. if you do this then dress the welds after and some body filler help smooth out any sudden joins.

    if the floor need to be done then the carpet need lifting and checking for cables etc and have someone firewatch. you'll have wiffs of smoke eminating from various bits of car and it will stink. as for fumes keep the garage door open.

    To be hones to looks like its just a bit pass it. id scrap it and get something else and spend the energy doing the capri's.

    but who am i to talk ! just did a puma instead of our capri!!!!
     
  8. Onoff Member

    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    Sevenoaks, UK
    I hear what's being said and respect everyone's take so thanks for that.

    Part of me still wishes I'd invested in Capri panels when they were cheap or indeed a few complete 3.0S models, prices are that silly! Even Bodie's 3.0S I think went for £55K a short while ago and that had been reshelled! Never figured how they got away with that, wasn't a new shell even.

    I wonder if we're past the point of today's £400 / scrapper being worth silly sums in 20 years.

    If nothing else it's practice for doing the Capris!
     
  9. cumbriasteve

    cumbriasteve Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,135
    Location:
    Cumbria UK
    If your MIL is anything like mine was then no job is too big or expensive if it means time in the sanctuary of a garage ...just do it no matter how rusty it is, in fact the more rust the better :thumbup:
     
    galooph likes this.
  10. angellonewolf

    angellonewolf Member

    Messages:
    1,675
    Location:
    bristol england
    if it not patchable it would be the bin for me aswell
     
  11. rikrobson

    rikrobson Member

    Messages:
    3,314
    Location:
    Perth, Scotland
    not a focus
     
  12. rikrobson

    rikrobson Member

    Messages:
    3,314
    Location:
    Perth, Scotland
    if the last 300mm is still ok i'd be tepted to to the front part in two parts. do the middle section and then the front.
     
  13. sg66 Member

    Messages:
    88
    Location:
    northeast
    Sorry, I would go with scrap it too, practice is one thing but it's nice to have something nice at the end of it, your still going to be left with a £400 car and a huge amount of time invested in it, your going to come across things you didn't forsee, things will snap that you thought would be fine. You know how it's going to go. Just because it can be done doesn't mean it should be.
     
  14. rikrobson

    rikrobson Member

    Messages:
    3,314
    Location:
    Perth, Scotland
    well at the moment its just scrap. its only £400 when you fix it!!!!
     
  15. steveo3002 Member

    Messages:
    4,002
    cambridge uk
    to be fair you can find 100k ish 2003 or 2004 for £400 , yours being a 2.0ltr wouldnt help it either
     
  16. frank horton New Member

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    manchester, UK
    didn't think the rust worm was a real problem any more....? what do I know.....
    I'd be looking at the rear disc's as well.....the rusty outer ring will affect brake efficiency.......
    Frank
     
  17. indy4x Forum Supporter

    Rust seems a bit hit and miss on the Ford Focus, some survive and sills are solid, others just fall apart. Just got rid of a 53 plate 1.6 petrol, looked really good apart from the sills, BIL has same year Focus oil burner and the sills are mint
     
  18. Onoff Member

    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    Sevenoaks, UK
    I've just stuck new Mintex discs and pads all round. Really needs new splash shields on the rear discs too...
     
  19. Onoff Member

    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    Sevenoaks, UK
    Really can't figure the reason behind the daft "felt" rear arch liners Ford fitted. It just holds mud.

    I wonder if they could be ditched and the whole area just Schultzed?
     
  20. jlloyd Member

    Messages:
    9
    Milton Keynes
    Hi all of this rust is standard on the bottom of a Focus Mk1 due to water getting trapped behind the gunk on the sill. i would cut out and patch repair and then find at the scrap yard a pair of early Focus black plastic over sill covers (you find these on pre facelift cars) fit these and job done.
     
    Onoff likes this.
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