Friday, August 15, 2008

Part II - Still catching up...

I finally got around to startng work on the body of my bug this past week. There were a couple of spots that I really hadn't taken into account when looking for rust. Other than that, I knew that the car did indeed have a notable amount of spots that rotted through. I just didn't realize the severity.

After stripping the body to bare metal, I found some pinholes in the sheet metal just behind and below the rear quarter window. One thing I found to be very true... Where there are pinholes, there will be bigger holes. When I sanded the area, the hole grew to about the size of a Nerf football. I think this area will be the most challenging since it's very visable, and the body has many contours at that point.

After uncovering the mess on the back quarter panel, I started poking and prodding the heater channels since rust loves to accumulate there as well. Over all, the heater channels were in surprisingly decent shape with only minor repairs necessary. The front toe boards are rotted out just where the heater channels meet them. They were also rotted out at the rear running board mount, just above where the jack support sits.

Before the repair:
After the repair:

I still have to finish a few welds to fill in any pinholes on the repair panel, but I'll need to grind down the spot welds that I did already to make a smooth work surface. Not too bad of a job for a novice right? While I was at it, I decided to tear out the rear heat ducts that reside under the back seat. I found plenty of rot there too. The passenger side was alot worse than the drivers side, which means I will need to purchase a full cross member repair panel for it.

Passenger side:

Drivers side:

I decided that for the drivers side cross member, that a patch using heavy guage sheet metal would be adequate. After some cutting and bending the metal with my vise and a hammer, I was able to make a patch that fit very nicely, and is every bit as strong as the original. I still need to grind down the welding.

Drivers side after repair:

Next I will be finishing the spot welds on the back of the heater channel, then moving to the front of the drivers side heater channel and toe board area.
More to come!!!.......

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