Rear torque box, fender well
Last time I was removing rusty metal , floor pan, frame rail, etc. This time I remove more rusty metal, and start patching the left rear fender well. First I cut the rusted rear torque box, and part of the frame rail that had a rust hole. As you can see from the pictures it a fairly short piece. I ordered a full left rear frame rail, just in case the spring perches at the rear are also rusted out. It was cheaper to buy the complete frame rail that the individual parts. I figured I can cut out what I need and section it in.
With the inner frame rail and torque box out of the way, it was much easier to cut out the rusty metal in the fender well. I ordered a new fender well, but after sanding the rear quarter down looking for rust and not finding any. Also if you look at the convertible frame picture, there is a lot of bracing welded to the fender well. This seemed like a lot of extra work, so I decided to weld in patch panels.
First job was to remove the under coating. a heat gun and scrapers, and a lot of time got that stuff out of the way. The car must have been under coated a while after it was driven. Additionally who ever did the job did not clean the car before. During the removal, I found pockets of clay, and dirt, and few new small rust holes hidden under the coating.
The first repair was the on the leading edge of the fender, as you can see there is a small rust hole I found under the paint. To patch this I used a large copper spoon and clamped behind the hole. This helps to spread the heat, also welding does not stick to copper, which is a very cool feature. To weld the hole I set my wire feed welder on the lowest setting, since I’m only trying to fill the hole. Also the metal is very thin and I did not want to burn the hole bigger with more current. Once the hole was welded up, I sanded down the excess weld. As you can see from the photo the hole is gone, and only good metal is there, very little filler will be needed.
the fender well itself, had to be cut out using a cutting wheel. I used removed part to mark the new fender well and cut a patch panel, that will be butt welded in. One trick that is very helpful, is to shine a bright light behind the area you are welding. As you weld you can see any pin holes or gaps as light spots. I kept welding up until I could not see any light shining through. This will help make sure that water does not get by my patches.
The next area is at the very top of the fender well. This patch took me a whole day to remove and weld in a new one. I used the same technique as the last patch. Except that cutting, clamping and welding the patch in all while upside down is not fun. But most any sane person would know that. I did not patch the rear part of the fender well, as I will cut that area out when I start patching the trunk.
Next time we weld in the new inner frame rail, and I fix up the new torque box, to make match the original one.