Clio gets refreshed ! (The ballad of the leaky power steering)

Today was the day..the day the 172 got its leaking power steering sorted.

First up was some unit shuffle to free up space.

An eclectic fleet selection.

Then it was time to batter the Clio up onto stands for initial inspection.

It became obvious that this was to be an involved job.
This is where the pipe goes into the pump. Replete with alternator mounting bracket and alternator.

Luckily, there is a union further down the pipe that you can disconnect this end from.

A 19mm spanner to hold the main union with the sensor in it, 17mm spanner for the union on the pipe. The rest of the pipe disappears under the gearbox mount and over the gearbox itself.

I got as far as these discoveries and made a tactical decision.
Wait until Brian got here with the replacement pipes so we had a reference model.
I passed the time by washing the GSA:)

That done and Brian arrived.
We worked out the route.
It starts at the pump at RHS front
goes down and alongside the bottom rad hose, left and up over the gearbox
then left again to the exhaust where it ducks under and is held to the rack before a final 270 degree turn to mount into the rack.
The Gearbox mount has to come out, as does battery tray.
We powered on, in between sweary words.
First up was ostensibly the most difficult bit – the 17mm collar bolt on the line at the rack end.

This 17mm crowsfoot spanner was modified to allow for better articulation between the pipes on the rack.
We used the crow’s foot to loosen it initially – the other rack pipes made it impossible to get more than 1/8turn at a time.
Once loose enough, it was turned out by hand, and we sought the next couple of mounts.
They were to be found in handily inaccessible places – the first onto the rack with the 13mm nut obscured by the exhaust heat shield.
The second had a round headed bolt, and no real way to get to the nut on the other side. A gearbox mount, the steering rack and the subframe also conspired to remove access.
Luckily, the clamp was of a sort where a well placed screwdriver can prize it open, releasing the pipe.
Next up was removing the gearbox mount and the battery tray – Brian is ably driving the bolts out here.

The battery tray removed ( Pro tip – smashing FUCK out the central bar in the rubber mount helps you separate it..) we were able to see the 3 16mm bolts that hold the gearbox mount to the casing.
With those removed, we could lever up the lower part of the gearbox mount, and get to the 13mm bolt that holds the pipe on at the top of the gearbox.
Round the front and there is a hugely long 16mm bolt that holds the pipe to the front of the gearbox. Again, the subframe and various erroneous pipes caused access issues, but we eventually succeeded.

I think the feelings are clear in the above pic. It took 5.5hrs for 6 bolts!
With the old one out, I saw fit to clean up and derust the replacement- never wanting to face this job again.
Once the paint was dry we got on with feeding it back through.
At close of play, the rack end was back in, and the other 2 rack mounting points were on.

Pt2 follows

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A Spherical Challenge

Having had the success of getting the Oxford moving again, It was time for me to repay a favour to another friend who has helped me with car related activities.

Some of you may remember Richard, the chap who successfully guided me through the unknown world of GSA servicing.

He had procured rear spheres for the GS Pallas he owns, and asked me to help him fit them.

On the GS/A the front spheres are apparently a fairly simple process to change ( and one I intend to experience shortly). The rears, however are much more involved.

Looking slightly less glamorous than the last time I saw her..

He had the car up on stands, and the LHM system depressurised.

He also showed me his latest invention – the pipejack!

It uses a length of steel tubing to increase the lifting range, so the spheres can come out past the rear arm.

We started off by having a look at the job –

Above, you can see the sphere on the left, the 8mm union for the high pressure pipe into the strut/cylinder (to right of the sphere) and the trailing arm and caliper that we had to work around.

At the other end are the bumpstops and the securing pin that hold the bottom of the strut in.

The small hole in the middle of the picture is where the pin locates.

Said pin.

With this and the bumpstops removed, we set about getting the sphere and strut out.

We undid the 8mm union, and attempted to compress the strut (making it shorter and easier to lift out).

It was at this point we realised that there was still some residual pressure in the system – waggling the high pressure pipe until it unseated from the strut resulted in a small fountain of LHM and a strut that was easy to compress.

Post LHM fountain clear up

Next was removing the return pipe from the gaitor, and undoing the 11mm bolt that holds in the strut retaining clip.

You can see the bolt hole just at the end of the high pressure pipe in the middle of the pic.

We managed to crack off the sphere in situ and remove it separately from the strut. This was done as we were struggling to get it out past the arm (the other side proved this to be possible!)

With the strut removed, we cleaned it up and inspected the gaiter and seals for damage. Additionally we swapped the seal in the high pressure inlet for a new one.

Shiny sphere

Back in place, and ready to float!

The sphere and strut were joined and refitted – the hardest task of the entire job was ensuring the high pressure pipe union was aligned properly, to avoid stripping the threads in the aluminium strut.

The locating pin and bumpstops were refitted, along with the strut retaining bracket and 11mm bolt.

After a short break, we moved round to the LHS and set to work.

In this instance, we were able to get the rear arm high enough up to remove the strut and sphere as one unit.

Again, cleaning, checking and new sphere fitment occurred.

We were losing light as it ticked towards 10pm..

Once reinstalled it was time to repress

Escape from the Unit – the Oxford rides again!

For the past 5.5 months, my 1959 Morris Oxford has languished in my mate John’s unit as we spent inordinate amount of time welding.

During last week, John had finished off the final piece of welding needed – completing the spring hanger box.

This meant we were ready to get going on the preparation and treatment of all the panels let in.

On the inside, my brother wire wheeled the original sealant off the floor pan, allowing us to get some Vactan onto it.

Whilst this was going on above, I was under the car, applying copious amounts of seam sealer and Vactan to the underside.

You can see clearly the “one foot at a time, sweet Jesus” approach that was taken. Although it looks a little patchworky, it is all new, solid metal and well joined.

Whilst the Vactan dried, we retired to a local rest your aunt and procured food. My brother saw fit to get a mascot for the Oxford!

Convivialities over, it was back to the graft of the day.

On the inner floor we got a couple of coats of primer down, the expert masking was achieved with dog poo bags.

Underneath, we went directly to underseal – using Gravitex via an air fed spray gun. This was brilliant to use, the gun didn’t clog, and the pressure was easily controlled.

We only sprayed the new metal, as I’m planning to clean back the rest of the underside (likely one wheelarch at a time) and get it prepped for undersealing.

With the underseal applied, we put the Oxford back on 4 correctly inflated tyres and worked out what was left to do..

Inside, a couple of coats of satin black were applied and left to dry. Amazing how a coat of paint can make things look much better!

After some time that was spent attempting to round up tools, parts and wing retaining bolts, she was ready for a test drive.

But first, a blessing from the mascot!

She started straight off the key, and we performed some systems checks.
All lights were grand, but we had a couple of areas of concern.
Firstly, we had an odd cavitation sound coming from the fuel pump – this turned out to just be a low fuel level in the pipe to the pump – having drained back into the tank after sitting for 5 months.
It soon quietened down once the filter refilled.
Secondly, the wipers had decided not to play. Tickman opened the passenger glovebox and waggled wires until they were functional:)
Once squared away, it was time to refit the front seat ( 2x tiny bolts).

Luckily the seat box we’d removed was in the right place and at a reasonable height!
The wing mirrors were adjusted up, and it was time for a shakedown run.

I think John’s face sums up the relief well!

The test drive went well, she was pulling strongly (or as strongly as her old b series would allow), and the brakes were better after the adjustment and new fluid done some months ago, although there is a slight pull to the left.

I’ve missed this view!

One successful mile down, it was time to crack on with the main event – moving her to a new location!

John got an action shot from the passenger seat of the GSA.

Not being the biggest truster of 59 year old fuel gauges, I saw fit to get some fuel sloshed in.

Look at the concentration!

Thereafter, we did about 60 miles to the new storage space, with the old girl performing admirably:)

On the way down, we had to climb some steep hills, and the GPS Speedo dropped to 47 mph on one occasion.

We also crossed the new Queensferry Crossing Bridge, and it struck me that I was driving a car that was older than the Forth Road Bridge that the Queensferry Crossing replaced!

Anyway, I digress. There was no cause for alarm and the trip was completed successfully – ending with a quick fleet portrait.

She was then tucked up and left under the watchful eye of the Mascot!

Hopefully now she is closer, I can spend time working on her more frequently – so her condition will continue to improve..

Citroen folks worry not, I have a tasty GS/A based update to write shortly – properly good LHM based fun!

Duelling Welders

After the successful double header on the Oxford, it looked like progress was good. Time to capitalise on the positivity and keep up the momentum.

I arranged with John to spend last Sunday at the unit, and also roped my brother into helping.

To add an element of excitement to the venture, I put the GSA in for an MOT on the Saturday morning to see what it needed.

The MOT tester was most complementary, and found only 2 areas of concern – the front RHS floor and RHS rear sill. There were no advisories. Thankfully this confirms my thought that the GSA was a fundamentally sound car in need of light recommissioning.

As an added bonus, the next car in for MOT was this NSX – It may have supercar looks and performance, but the tester certainly found the control systems annoyingly conventional;)

Given the fairly simple fail, I thought I’d treat the GSA and actually do some work on it.

First up was the fitting of 16″ wipers to remove the “piss holes in snow” visibility the fitted 12″ wipers afforded.

I went for the aero wipers for 2 main reasons:

They were readily available

It’s a fun way to annoy some friends:)

That done, it was a case of loading the GSA for the welding assault that was to come, and retire to bed early.

Sunday broke sunny, and my brother was early to arrive. This meant we made great time to the unit, and we’re keen to get started.

We decided on a setup where one car was prepped whilst the other was welded – avoiding any issues with waiting for tools etc.

Honestly, it wasn’t just a “johnworkfest”, I did work when not taking pics!

The strip back on the rear sill of the GSA was lovely and simple.

Start car

move lever to “High”

Place axle stand

move lever to “Low”

One jacked car!

The section was cleaned back, and only needed a relatively small patch.

We cut out the frilly bits and patched in fresh metal before coating it in Vactan and slathering on underseal.

At the same time, John was hard at work deciding how to create something approaching the original floor shape at the rear seat.

Underneath, this forms onto the extension to the spring hanger ( or at least it would, if one were present!)

We took our usual “two L” approach to the sill, tying outer to mid and mid to inner.

At the other end of the car, my brother (also John) tackled a potentially difficult task – that of sparkplug replacement.

We had no real reference for when they were last replaced, and some concerns over the reusability of the ancient HT leads.

We need not have worried – all 4 came out well, and the leads sustained no visible damage.

The plugs tell a tale of rich running but whether this is actually reflective of the engines state, or just a consequence of lots of short time, full choke running whilst being moved around the unit is yet to be determined. Once I get a chance to drive her on the open road we will discover more.

Back on the GSA side of the workshop, cleaning back had progressed to the front floor.

The pile below speaks volumes of the damage water trapped under flaking underseal can do.

What started as a 4″ by 1″ hole wound up being 3 separate holes in the floor.

Reaching them to cut and dress back with the grinders was not exactly fun, more like a crash course in contortionism.

Eventually, that was done, panels cut and welding complete.

There was some minor cosmetic rust to clean back and Vactan – now all I need to do is source the correct paint colour .

Time to concentrate on the Oxford.

John had made significant progress in connecting up floor to sill, including getting the slope angle for the top of the spring hanger extension.

To finish this floor section off, we needed to have a sill to return onto. None was forthcoming!

We’ve been here often enough before – time to magic up some panels, and find a way to attach them to what was still in existence.

Whilst we did this, my brother was seam sealing all the work that had been completed and Vactan’d.

We’re using tigerseal applied by caulking gun as the underseal – I’m much more concerned by effectiveness than by looks!

The underside is still to be done – something that can only really be done once the welding is finished.

Speaking of that..

The last pieces of sill were let in – so we are now solid from A to C pillars on both sides!

We celebrated by letting it more floor

Then it was time for a rivet seeking grinder to be deployed. The drivers side rear wheelarch had seen similar treatment to that of the passenger side – pop rivetted thin panels applied to cap off the end of the sill.

Removal revealed an opportunity for CAD (Cardboard Aided Design)

A template was duly rattled up, with the intention to form the curves required once tacked onto the car.

The finished result was successful, and significantly more suitable than that which preceded it.

This just leaves some capping of the outer sill and the spring hanger to box back in.

It is tantalisingly close to actually being done.

And Sill it continues (pt2)

After a goodly feed at John’s BBQ on the Sunday evening, the bank holiday Monday broke dry but cloudy.

The GSA sat slouched, awaiting instruction.

Arise, Sir Weldalot

Only a short commute stood between me and the smell of molten metal.

Once again, John was “proactive” with the grinder – we were on a mission.

We were right at the most complex area in the front of the car – the jacking point.

In this circa 1 square foot, we had the following:

Outer sill

Mid sill

Inner sill

Jacking point tube

Reinforced c section

Floorpan

Seat box

As you can see, access with a 4 1/2 inch grinder was challenging. That said, the amount of cutting required rapidly reduced the disc size, so it was just a case of planning the cutting order to unpick everything.

To make it simpler, we had to remove the seat box to get at the floor underneath.

This meant that we’d be playing with the mounting points for the handbrake lever too.

We took actual measurements at this point. That felt a bit odd, but made sense. I did manage to confuse John by asking for panels 270mm by 5inches;)

John did the fiddly bit – finding all the spot-welds on the seatbox, then removing all the rust.

After this process, the edges of the box were drilled, then flattened so we can puddle weld it back in.

I set to removing the sill side handbrake mount from the old inner sill,

We’d have liked to leave this in place, but the inner sill had been plated and was rubbish.

Again, many measurements were taken before any cutting, it was then welded in. We’ll tack the seat box in place and trial fit the handbrake to double check and ensure we’ve got it in the right place.

Next up was putting some floor back in!

We straightened up the cuts and and formed the panel. Happily it was pretty much flat, bar a folded return o we could puddle weld it onto the inner sill.

We also drilled it to puddle weld it to the C section strengthening at the jacking point.

That panel in, it was time for home!

GSA Becomes a Showcar!

I’m not usually one for attending car shows, however, on Saturday I washed and cleaned the GSA as I’d been invited along to the Stirling and District car show by the Citroen Car Club Scottish Section lot:)


I fear that the material in this car has been comprehensively killed by UV – This is what came off the parcel shelf when I turned it upside down.


She was parked up gleaming, but I awoke to a most unpleasant sight. The wood pigeons had done their worst overnight!

Once that was all washed off, I set off for Stirling to meet up with the rest of the cars – arriving into Stirling Services was a heartening sight, with classics of all types and ages milling about.

I was immediately drawn to Traction Avant – a lovely imported car is a stunning dark blue!


From there we took a sneaky backroad to the showground, and got ourselves on stand. As you can see, a Slough built Traction Avant had also joined us – it was interesting to see all the differences between the two present (much like my GSA and the GS also present)


Once the show was open to the public, the old gal seemed to attract a fair bit of attention – and I was happy for folks to sit in it and try to comprehend the controls:)
A few also wanted to see it rising – again, only too happy to oblige!
The visa/GS/GSA/2cv all seemed to draw people who’s parents/grandparents had one – was nice to see them remembering trips out:)
Had a couple of chaps saying they wouldn’t know where to start with running an older car as a daily. I spent some time talking them through the joys* and as one remarked “the only way to learn it is by doing it”
I spent a fair time wandering round the show too – helluva lot of good cars kicking about – I’ll likely write a blog on it later:)
Thanks to the car club chaps for the invite!

And Sill it continues.. (pt1)

Last time on the Oxford, we’d got tore into the drivers side -repairing the front wheelarch, and discovering a lack of inner, mid or outer sill. The floor was somewhat lacking too.

Losing the MIG tips thankfully made me stop and pack up.

I had a week’s rest then prepared for a double header – working the Sunday and Monday due to a bank holiday.

I arrived fairly early on the Sunday morning and bumped into an old friend – my old ph2 172.

Anyway, I digress. Upon arrival, we took stock of the scene before us. Yet again holes abound where there should be metal.

Undeterred, we decided on a plan.

The top of the inner sill was solid, the mid sill had some solid metal (approx 1.5 inches deep from the top) and the outer edge of the outer sill seemed solid.

This meant we could use L shaped panels to join outer to mid, and mid to inner sill. New metal in all 3 sills. Tremendous. Except there was so little metal in the car, we had to work with doors shut to avoid any folding.

It started off well. We did outer to mid first – giving us rigidity right into the a pillar. It also meant we could keep a roughly correct profile to the outer sill, as it only really changes underneath.

After a scary initial opening of the door, and a much more reassuring re closing, we were ready to tackle mid to inner.

This went fairly simply – once shaped it dropped in and was easily tacked to the top of the inner sill, and the bottom of the panel joining mid to outer. Thereafter, it was seam welded

The smaller section in the floorpan was also filled in – needing a step bent in to match the original pressing.

That done, it was time for a codown break – the interior of the shed was blooming warm.

With a chilled bottle of water, I sat and admired the view. 1957 Morris Minor Vs 1980 Citroen GSA.

All too soon, the break was over, and it was back to the sweaty business.

Working along the sill, it became apparent that the rot had set in significantly in the floorpan too. We decided that we may as well cut back to solid metal.

Behold the motivating shots I took.

Taken underneath the car, with the door closed.

You can see we’re up to the seat supporting box and jacking point

We couldn’t let in any floor panels until we’d built a sill to weld to.

Puddle welding lying on the floor with just enough room for helmet or torch, but not both was interesting.

(Interesting in this instance can be conflated with frustrating)

After far to much “interest” it was time to take a wander in search of juice. Cue a spot of a relatively rare Renault..

Then it was time to get some welding tidied up using the world’s hardest working grinder – never have bearings complained so long and loud.

Now it was time to head to home. Dropping off John saw another ex-Fu’Gutty fleet member in attendance. The current owner of the 205 1.8d has done a grand job cleaning it up, and channelling the Rallye chic.

More to follow shortly:-)

Celebrating success on the Chuffing Citroen!

Yesterday, I set out to sort some of the foibles on my GSA – here’s the latest update on the work so far.
Fast forward to this morning, and it was time to get cracking.

We had 3 main goals..
1. Change the sparkplugs
2. Get it idling correctly
3. Sort the missing hotspot pipe.

As I said yesterday, the positioning of the sparkplugs was specifically designed to invoke innovation on behalf of the owner.

img_20180505_102735225429035.jpg

New Vs Old

My mate Richard proffered an exceptional solution to the thorny problem of introducing the new sparkplugs to their respective holes.
Step forth the ‘angle of dangle’ mod

a piece of silicone piping that makes seating the sparkplugs a doddle.
With them in, we reconnected the HT leads, noting that the original Bougicords looked a bit well worn – I’m considering getting a new set, and have some secondhand known good ones present as a backup just now.
Next we moved on to check the wee fuel filter in the carb – a 14mm bolt winds out to reveal a tiny little filter.

This looked reasonable, so we cleaned it up and refitted.
We gave the carb a dousing in cleaner, and with the car idling, you could hear it start to clear.
Eventually we had it idling on all 4 after a fashion, and it was time to move onto the next piece of the puzzle.
Even though the BMW e30s have distributors and rotor arms, I’ve never had to set the ignition timing on one.
And the last time I faffed with a dizzy was likely on my parent’s VW type 2 (aged about 13).
Time for a crash course then.
First up, we had a look at the dwell – it should be between 55-59 degrees (approx a 15thou feeler gauge). My car was showing 70 degrees.
Time to remove the distributor to adjust the points.
We started by noting the position of the marks on the body. These had been made by a previous owner – we didn’t know what they meant but a reference pic is always useful!


Access is bloody tight with inner wing and bulkhead restricting both backwards and sidewards movement.
We took the distributor cap off firstly to increase the available space.

Again, this is hardly in its first flush of youth, although the contacts looked servicable.
Next up was taking the distributor out. There are two 14mm nuts that hold the body into the engine.
The top one sits in a slotted hole,to allow for advancing and regarding the ignition timing (much like n alternator tensioner may work).
We got the distributor off and were able to identify that we had the glory of cassette points to deal with.


The small silver thumbwheel is turned (either with a screwdriver or a 3mm Allen bit) to open/close the points as required. A couple of attempts and checking got us to the magic 15 thou, and we put it back together.
Getting the distributor and cap back in place was a fiddly job, so we took it in turns – working until we got grumpy then swapping!
With it all back in place, we tried starting it, only to be met with no spark.
Mild panic ensued with much multimeter action and a distinct lack of 12v at the coil – odd given that we hadn’t touched it!
Methodical retracing of steps plus some problem solving showed us the fault lay on the ballast resistor. Eventually, we got the correct combination of connections to have her burst into life!
Relieved, I set to replacing the missing hotspot pipe. Richard had most generously donated a spare pipe he had.
Firstly, it was trial fitted to check for sealing at the top end – all looked very positive


Then it was time to attend to the obvious issues with it.. there were 2 holes in it.
In a harking back to the Morris Oxford, it was time to crack out the welder!

Holes filled and ground down a touch, it was time to refit it (3x 11mm bolts at the top, 1x14mm nut/bolt on the clamp at the bottom.)

We got the engine wholly back together and went out on a test drive.
Starting was nice and positive, and the idle was much better.
On the open road, it’s significantly quieter, and I’m now starting to see where these boxer 4 engines get their ‘turbine’ reputation from – ramp up the Revs and they get really smooth:)
I think there’s still some tweaking to be done with timing, as there is the occasional hesitation, but it’s a much nicer drive. Overall I’m very pleased!
A big thanks to Richard for All his help, knowledge and parts!
Have a picture of my GSA and his GS Pallas side by side.

Lastly, I took her out for a shakedown run and to get petrol as she has many miles to cover over the next two days..
She looks good in the sun!

Challenging the Chuffing Citroen.

Since I have had the GSA, there has been a persistent blow from the exhaust.
I’ve decided I like this thing sufficiently enough to actually attempt to tend to its issues..

A friend with a glorious GS Pallas has generously offered to come round tomorrow to help me rectify the exhaust blow and try to sort the low idle.
I took the opportunity to do some preparatory work so as to best utilise his time (and to start to comprehend just what the little Citroen was made of..)
First, peruse the engine bay.


It’s a bit of a pickle – pipes, tubes and wires flutter back and forth, seemingly at random.
It’s certainly a lot more cluttered than the other flat 4 air-cooled engine I have any experience of – the venerable VW.
Ah well, let’s start at the top. The Airfilter is held on with some jubilee clips and (supposed to be) 2 8mm nuts.
The clips and single nut present came off easily, revealing quite the scene.

I’d say it’s safe to say that at least part of the exhaust blow is caused by the pipe that’s no longer present. This has obviously been an issue for a long time – looking at the condition of things I reckon this was done before import.
In preparation for trying to get a new one fitted, I thought it best to try and remove the remnants of the old.


This bottom piece had been jerryrigged to buggery with the clamp (14mm nut/bolt) slathered with sealant. And a bit of wood inside the pipe!

That done, it was time for the topside.3 11mm bolts hold the flanges together.


Whit a mess, and the cardboard ‘gasket’ was doing not a thing.
I stopped to have a bowl out of the air filter – not looking the best so I shall hunt down a replacement:)

Next up was the spark plugs. Tentative pulling at the HT leads resulted in them coming off cleanly – though I think they are somewhat past their prime.
Access to the left bank was ok, but the right was somewhat more troublesome. A plethora of bracketry and ignition paraphernalia meant that my short extension and plug socket were exactly the wrong length.

Nevertheless, persistence paid off, and I have 4 sooty plugs removed. Again, I suspect they were of the last millennium..

Check back on Saturday evening when I’ll hopefully have a positive post sorting update:)

The difficult second semester at Oxford

In the last Oxford blog, we reached the end of the welding on the LHS of the car.

This was a huge achievement, and left me on a bit of a high. Certainly the welding could not be called pretty, but at least I knew the LHS was solid again.

This was the starting point. Doesn’t look too shabby, eh?

Looking a touch closer shows some crustiness…

Time to bungee the door open and see what we have.

We removed the plastic sill trims, and the trim carpet. This revealed the full glory of the inner floor.

Regulars to this page will recognise the signs – superficial solidity somewhat subverted by sustained stabbing with a screwdriver.

The handbrake lever was removed to improve sill access (or at least what was left of it..)

This is the inner sill in the rear (handbrake has been flipped over for more access at the front)

It doesn’t look great, and looking under the car reveals that there are at least 2 patches attached to the original floor.

We decide to start at the front – after all, on initial inspection, the wheelarch looks much better than the passenger side!

Looking in some more depth at the external face of the panel, our hopes were quickly dashed.

Thats two large patches covered in blerg.

The vertical one is held on by 3 screws, and the horizontal one by rivets.

Disappointed, we started to tear them off.

This bottom patch came off by hand – essentially USELESS

The vertical patch appeared to be mainly sicaflex, aluminium and hope..

With them removed, the scale of the task actually became slightly less daunting.

What?

Yup – less daunting.

How so?

Simple, it was a 3 patch job, with no compound curves – so making the panels was much simpler than I initially expected.

The bottom of the wheelarch was squared off and cleaned for welding to.

We decided in a single patch running the full width of the wheelarch – this tied the floor into the wheelarch, and provided a solid base for extending upwards into the next patch.

Initially, the patches were plug welded in for speed and strength – getting the profile right and lining up things properly.

When a couple were almost in, I started to seam weld round the patches for additional strength.

You can see the spark reflecting off my heid..

Finally, all 3 patches were in.

I finished up the seam welding, and enjoyed the metallic think that the arch now made.

That done, it was time for a brief tidy up before the next steps.

So much crap and previous poor repairs..

Then, to the inside!

Another worldly glow from the high intensity lighting.

I set the “attack John” in for initial inspection – he stabs like a good ‘un!

There is definitely more inner sill here, but the issue is that it hides a non existent mid sill – so we’ve decided to cut it out about a foot at a time – this will give us access to rebuild the inner sill after a fashion.

Lastly, it was the turn of the floor to have a chunk removed.

This piece was nowhere near as large as the section on the passenger side, but it’s still a fair bit to pop back in.

Shortly thereafter “Barry Snotter and the mystery of the missing MIG tips” put an end to proceedings.

Until the next time!