Friday, January 18, 2013

Spot Weld Hell

Just a note on spot welds.  I hate them. I'm glad they're there, but getting them out is a pain in the you know what.  UNLESS... you have a spot weld drill!  Then it's only a major inconvenience.

I bought a half dozen 1/4" spot weld drill bits and used my trusty Craftsman single-speed drill from the 1960's I bought from a friend of my wife's (along with lots of other awesome garage tools and toys... Thanks, Joe.)  Here's a small sample of how many spot welds there are for just half of the floor pan.  Just count the dots.

By the time I finish this, I estimate I'll have drilled out a thousand spot welds.  Of course, then you have to plug weld to attach the new parts.  I get really good at that, eventually.
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I took a bunch of pictures for posterity (and to see just how bad the damage really was).  These are from my favorite vantage point--laying the car on its side and working standing up.  The body shell is really not that heavy, and I could easily dead lift it.  Once on its side, it was quite stable.  Don't worry... it gets better, eventually.


Sand.  Why does it always have to be sand.
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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Out Comes the Floor

Having gotten over the shock, and removing about 5 pounds of sand, I decided it was time to go for the gold.  In other words, take it all off!  I figured I could remove the entire driver's side floor without any serious structural problems.  I mean, I already had those.

I don't have pics of the dismemberment, but you can see where I ended up.



And here's what came out, like an impacted tooth.  Dad had welded a steel plate in for reinforcement between the (missing) original floor and the patch panel.  That was a tough job!

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Let the Autopsy Begin

Time to get serious and see what's inside this thing.  I knew that my dad had done a lot of patch work, and what he did held up fine for a while, but I figured it wasn't as tight as it needed to be.  And I was right.

Looks OK, right?

Not so OK after all.  There's almost nothing holding the bottom door hinge to the car!

This is not pretty.

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