Thursday, April 11, 2013

Toe board

I started this installation about two weeks ago.  I didn't have much time to work on it last week, so I just cleaned some stuff up and fixed some welds I wasn't happy with.  This week it ended up being rainy and wet on the first day, so I didn't get anything done.  The next day wasn't to bad, just kind of cloudy and a little cold.  So I put on a couple of extra shirts and dug right into the patch.

I started by marking off where I wanted to get started and cut out the area.  Most of it was already gone, I just wanted to get rid of all the holes left from the rivets the PO used to attach his bad repair.  With that out of the way, I got looking at it and decided that I wanted to square things up a bit.  I wanted to save the area under the steering column hole and the brake cable hole as they are not reproduced very well on the panel (or not at all).

After I had it a little more square, it was just a matter of trimming and fitting the patch until I was happy with how it looked.  Prepped all the surfaces, clamped it in place, pounded a few places with the body hammer to ensure tight fit, and warmed up the welder.  After a little while, and lots of moving around the panel trying to keep it relatively cool, it was welded in.  I think it turned out rather well.  Everything lines up pretty much where it should and it looks so much better than the hole that used to be there.

You can see that it isn't welded up near the top in the left side.  I left it that way on purpose as I need to replace that upper portion of the firewall.  Before I do that though, I have to pull off the cowl and fix that damage there.  While I am in the area, I will need to take care of the side cowl panel as well.  Things for the future as I don't have the panel to repair the cowl yet.  I will leave it alone for now and come back later.  The plan is to head back and get started on the drivers side wheel well and the rear frame rail.  I am really not looking forward to this part of the repairs as it looks like it is going to be a pain in the butt.  Oh well, it has to be done sometime I suppose.

My initial cuts.  I wanted to see where I really wanted to start the actual patch.

Rivet holes and some metal gone.  To many angles for me though, don't think I want to do that much trimming of the patch panel.

Taped off a little more for removal.

That's better.  Shouldn't be as hard to duplicate on the patch now.

Fitted and located all the holes for the rosette welds.  You can see some extra holes next to each other in the middle.  I have to admit I screwed up and wasn't paying attention before drilling them.  Measure twice and drill/weld once.  I pulled out my copper heat sink and filled them in before the final prep on the panel.  Hopefully I learned my lesson.  It may not be so easy to fix in the future.

Ground off all the paint in the spots where the welds are going.

Drilled, painted the backside with weld through primer, and waiting for it to dry.  The two smaller holes are where the clecos are going.  I used them to make sure everything lined up in the same spot as I took the panel on and off.  I'll drill them out using my spot weld cutter later.  I am finding the tool to be rather versatile that way.  In fact I drilled out all the holes with it.  I started with a 1/8 bit and used the spot weld cutter to just drill out the panel.  I found it goes much faster this way than trying to step it. 

Welded in!  I ran out time this week and will have to finish grinding it down next time.  After some paint it should look pretty good.  The butt welding went very easy on this panel.  Good penetration and it doesn't look like there will be a lot of pinholes if any.  I was pleased with how it turned out.


  1. Great progress Grant! Are you planning a one-piece floor install?

    1. I wish I was, I bought the floor repair kit which means full length floor pans. If I had known better at the time, I would have gone with the full floor. It's that whole looking back thing. I can pretty much guarantee my butt welding is going to be pretty awesome by the time I'm done.

  2. Looks good Grant! Cool idea to use the spot weld cutter to drill with. Makes a nice clean hole.

    1. I like how it tends to make a plug instead of a bunch of shavings. Clean up is much easier that way.

  3. Boy Grant. That is Deja Vu for me. You sure you didn't just cut-n-paste the pix from my post?? (LOL) Looks like great work to me. And you're right. Your butt welding will get better. But if you're like me, your "pickyness" will also increase. I better get busy before you catch up to me! :-D

    1. I don't think you'll have to much trouble staying ahead of me Dennis. With the rear frame rail/torque box needing complete replacement, it is going to take me a while before I can get into the wheel well, trunk drop off, quarters, etc.