Monday, 11 March 2013

Nearly Starting To Look Like a Car Again.

Cracked on with the front panel work this weekend. Started out by propping the car up on axle stands to get the scaffolding pole out of the way as recommended by a wise elder of the mini forum. Then I clamped up all the front end panels and test fitted the bonnet to see what kind of situation I had on my hands...

I found it was really worth putting the subby back in and bolting it up properly with bushes. This way I knew I was putting the panels in the right places and I (hopefully) wont have any nasty surprises further down the line. Thats the plan, anyway!

Front panel to wing situation on the off-side not looking too bad.

Not so impressed with this train-wreck of panel alignment though. That is supposed to be a heritage wing too. Surgery will have to commence here soon.

This area looks OK I think for this stage of the fitting. The wing can be hammered down over the slam when I come to fit it properly.

Same on the nearside.

When I was happy that I'd got the front end panels in the best possible place, I drilled some holes for clecos so that I could get them all back in position again easily. Then I took the whole lot apart. All mating surfaces to be sandwiched together were double coated with POR15 and left overnight. A double row of holes was then made for plug welding. (I looked back through my old photos of taking the old front panel off to remind myself about the amount of weld needed here.)

With the panel clamped and bolted in place, the small area of paint through each plug hole was removed with a nail to bare the metal. I put an old sheet over the subframe to prevent any flying weld from burning the paint.

Get yer weld on.


By this point it was starting to get dark, but here are some grainy photos of the finished product after some grinding and primer.

Next job! (Yes it was a busy weekend.)

This is the one good wing I managed to save from the car. It obviously isn't original because: A) its in quite good condition, and B) because it looked like it had been welded on by a 5 year old. Anyway, I wanted to strip it to bare metal before putting it back on.

Much Nitromors and strip & clean disk action later, and this was the result.

On the back, there was a small area where the underseal was peeling off because it hadn't bonded to the metal properly. Heritage sticker! At least I know its genuine :)

Much turps sub and wire twist cup action later...

In other news, the great suspension parts rescue operation continues. This week, the swivel hubs emerge from a 9 day spell in a bucket of malt vinegar.


After. I DO LOVE lidl 22p malt vinegar!

And thats all!


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