Now I could start to assess the extent of the rust damage properly. Some of the worst areas are both rear floors above the trailing arm mounts – which have been patched in the past. Here’s the LHS:
As you can see, someone has welded a patch over the rusty original metal – it even goes across the drain plug. The patch has had some primer on the outside but is bare metal inside.
On every car I’ve ever worked on, I find that repairs done by a garage almost always have to be removed and re-done. There’s 4 or 5 patches like this that will have to be replaced with proper butt-welded metal. I’ve also found about a dozen other areas that need minor repairs – footwells, LH flitch, rear panel, etc.
Today I started cutting out the rear floor on the LHS. You can see the underside in the picture above and the topside don’t look that pretty either:
After welding in a brace across the door aperture, I started cutting. It was hard work cutting through this lot and here’s why – 4 layers of metal, bodge after bodge after bodge!
It took ages to sort this out – repair plates were welded to the sides of the trailing arm supports that were very difficult to get at with the angle grinder.
After a couple of hours work, the area was relatively clear of all heavily corroded metal:
Next I made up and welded in a floor section. I was offered a floor repair panel for about £85 but I’ve read from other people’s blogs (and seen photos) that they don’t fit too well, so decided make the repairs myself. I’ve still got another “L” section to make up to replace the rot under the seat rail and replace a previous patch. The original floor section drops down and fits underneath the trailing arm supports. This is too complicated for me to fabricate, so I’ll make up a separate web and weld this in later:
And here it is with the closing panels in place, again using home made sections. All the seams are welded so should present fewer moisture traps than the original:
Here’s this area finished, painted with epoxy mastic and the welds sealed. Looking like a patchwork quilt but its solid and should last another 30 years: