Another great project that I can relate to, thanks
Managed a couple of hours last night which was a much needed de-stresser after a rubbish day at work. Fitted the chassis rail gusset to the inside of the engine side of the rail. Simple case of plug welding it on, but with the prep work before and tidying up the welds afterwards and then adding some seam sealer, the time just seemed to evaporate.
Next jobs are to drill the outside repair panel of the rail for clecos and spot welds. I can use the clecos to hold the panel in place then to ensure everything lines up. The outer repair panel will be the last piece to be fitted as the chassis rail top needs to go back in first. Sounds simple when you say it.
Managed another couple of hours tonight. Time was mostly spent getting things lined up with the clecos and fitting together. Need to spend some more time on making things fit properly then it'll be time to drill for plug welds and start putting it all back together.
I'd been thinking that I didn't really want to swiss cheese the repair plate to be able to use clecos to hold it together whllst plug welding so here is the solution. Create some cleco washer plates, then drill the plug weld holes and the clecos can then still be used. Did a bit more prep work getting ready for welding. Hopefully start putting it all together next time I am in the garage.
A couple of decent size locking C clamps would hold that plate to a chassis rail without drilling any holes in the lower plate and would pull it down for your welds further up as well. Move them along the plate as you weld it to keep it tight down.
That's a fair point, but unfortunately I tried that to start with and it doesn't work. Once you have an appropriate locking force on the clamp it distorts the gusset in the chassis rail so the outer repair plate moves just enough so that it doesn't fit as it should. The big problem is the join at the bottom of the rail.
If I had welded in internal tabs or put a backing plate onto the rail then the technique you've proposed would at least stop the repair plate going to far in, but there'd be nothing to stop it popping out (which is what it does as the clamp is tightened) without yet more plates/tabs temporarily added to the outside.
The outer repair plate has to be plug or spot welded to the internal gusset to replicate the original design. Hopefully this is the simplest path - although I am definitely still learning as I go along I haven't seen much posted in the projects section about using clecos so hopefully this approach might be useful to others in future.
After a little more prep work yesterday, the chassis rail top is now welded in place. Took my time carefully clamping it all in place and getting good contact for the plug welds and as a result I'm very happy with how it's turned out. Needed to get the dolly hammers out for one or two little bits to get things back into the right shape and a little more work is needed to get it right for the fitting of the outer repair plate right in one specific spot. Took some pictures, but didn't get a chance to upload them last night. Really feel like I'm moving forwards now.
Here's the chassis rail top welded in from the last session on the car.
Today I finally welded the chassis rail up today. I'll let the pictures do the talking.
I also chopped a section out of the repair I'd already done on the wheel arch. When I welded it up I didn't get the panels of the two sides of the weld flush and attempts to fix it afterwards had just created a mess and thin metal. In hindsight the best thing to have done would have been to slit it with a cutting disc once I realised the problem and re-weld it, but I'll know for future now. Welded in this repair patch.
I also did some seam welding...
hindsight is a wonderful thing mate.. if its any concelation even after years in the trade theres still the occassional "if only" moment from time to time...
on a positive note your welds seem to have come on remarkably.. you appear to have adopted the "blob-pause-move-blob-pause-move" method... usualy the best way on thin stuff...
Thanks Stu, it means a lot to get compliments from people you respect the work of! You're spot on with the technique, not the quickest, but I am finding speed is a false economy. Better to take time and get it right than have to redo it.
My free time today was spent grinding down welds and starting to prep for the next panels. Time seems to evaporate in the garage at the moment.
Fairly busy week and I didn’t make much progress until the weekend. I did get some work done though – fitted a replacement section to the wishbone mount support. I’d had to chop this off to fit the repair panel on the chassis rail.
Then rather than start on the inner wing repairs I decided that I would repair the hole I’d found at the back of the wheel arch behind the underseal. Not sure what made the rust start here, maybe a really big stone chip that pierced the sealant and chipped the galvanised coating on the steel. Still fairly big hole near this stud, so chopped it out.
Repairing this was a right pain in the ****, because I kept thinning out the metal too much trying to clean up after welding and in the end decided to be less worried about how it looks in favour of structural integrity. The finish here isn’t great, but it’s not going to be seen and I didn’t want to make the metal too thin grinding/sanding it down to smooth the welds.
The photos makes it look less well finished than it is (the flash casts shadows and picks out fine details) and once I had painted some POR15 over it, the end result was okay.
Yesterday I did some more tidying up of welds and then cracked on with something I’ve been meaning to do for a while, reinforce the wishbone mounting points. I had been lucky enough to be given a piece of 3mm angle iron which I’ve chopped and modified into reinforcement brackets. These took ages, but just need to be primered and welded into place now.
I’ve also plated the main support leg for the wishbone mount:
Very nice work, mate. A credit to you.
Over the last week I managed to sneak in a few hours on the car and transformed cardboard templates into sheet steel and then formed it to the correct shape, drilled it and prepped it.
With all the bends and unique qualities of this patch and probably because I tackled such a big section all in one go, it didn't go quite to plan and I had to weld in some filler sections and then grind them flat. A lot easier to do on the workbench on teh repair piece than once it's fitted to the car.
In the end, managed to get it all welded in place yesterday. Just need to do a couple of welds from the interior footwell.
Also welded in the wishbone reinforcement mounting brackets.
And welded up the chopped down gear box mount. Quite transformed from when it used to double up as the battery tray mounting.
Nice work, as always. I love following threads like this, but then I feel guilty about not doing more work on my car - damn you, internet!
Bloody hell Cris, you really do get everywhere!
says YOU!!!! lmfao......
Plan b is much better for the steel and hammer will have worek hardend the steel like mad making it far more likey crake
I've told you before, I'm God, I'm everywhere.
Apart from those bloody blister packs they put wiring bits in, nothing in the universe can open those.
Has God had time to contemplate sorting out rose jointed droplinks yet
God's snowed under with the race cars and making lower braces at the minute...
The place I was hoping to get back to me on the custom bearings never did, I'll have to take another look at 'em.
Oh, dear. Were going to be overrun with northeners soon
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