So, having obtained the panels from Alun, I decided to make a start with the rear of the car, the o/s being the worst affected. Although I can MIG weld, I haven't really used it in anger over the years. Starting with the boot floor I figured would be a sensible place to start as although the welding needs to be strong, it doesn't need to be too pretty and I could gain a bit of confidence first.
I cut out all the rotten areas first along with some previous patches that had been let in.
The extent of the rot didn't really warrant full use of the excellent club repair panel, so I trimmed the panel to fit the area, with a slight overlap joint - not the best I know, but easier for me. I will make sure the repair is fully seam sealed after welding.
At this point, while trial fitting the panel, I couldn't work out the exact position of the repair panel in relation to where it is spot welded to the lower wing. Knowing the panel quality and fit to be excellent, I didn't want to fit it to find that the panels didn't marry up. To add to the problem, the lower rear wing is also very rusty, infact the lower seam is non existent - so I couldn't use this as any kind of guide.
So I parked the boot corner repair, and concentrated on the lower wing repair and that of the rear wheelarch too.
In general the outer wing is reasonable and I am sure this hasn't been previously repaired - there is no evidence of any repair sections being 'let in' before. I cut the rotten areas out along the lip, trying to retain as much of the original metal as possible. The leading edge of the wing above the sill had rusted out completely.
Removal of the outer section revealed, unsurprisingly, not much left in terms of the inner arch lip (aside from a lump of P38). I ground out the rot and will need to make some repair sections before the outer wheelarch panel is fitted - I have kept a set in the loft for many years.
I then moved onto the lower wing panel. Again, wanting to retain as much of the original steel as possible, I cut down the club panel to fit. At somepoint the car has been fitted with new bumper corners, however the fitment is not in the same place as the original and new holes have been made. I will fit originals back on, so decided to cut just above the bumper mounting holes so as i could use the mounting bracket to help align the new panel. I have joddled the edge of the original panel to overlap the new panel to try and prevent too much distortion.
Trial fitting the lower wing panel, along with the wheelarch repair and boot floor panel with clamps and self-tappers revealed the exact position of the boot floor repair panel - I needn't have questioned it, but I am glad I held off welding it until this point.
Then out came the MIG....more to follow...