Sunday, June 9, 2013

Transition pan repairs

Have only had time here and there to work on the car, been busy with all the things that summer seems to bring with it.  Yet, I have still managed to accomplish stuff, even if it takes a while.

So with the frame rail out, I have been patching up the transition pan and getting it into a condition worth welding the frame rail to.  Nothing to spectacular about this work, determine what needs to be patched, determine shape of patch, cut patch out, bend and form patch if needed, cut bad metal out based on patch (easier to get a good fitment this way), clamp patch in place, and weld it in.

The worst part of the whole thing was probably chasing down all the stupid pinholes.  I decided I would try the Harbor Freight brand of flux core wire, and while I like how it flows, I don't like how it tends to leave voids if I try to weld in short spot welds.  If I am doing a straight bead it tends to work pretty well. Looks like I may end up going back to the Lincoln brand as it seemed to be more forgiving on the smaller welds.  

After I got the patches in, I fit test the frame rail and checked all the measurements I could.  Unfortunately the frame rail must have been sagging quite a bit more than I realized since most of the height measurements seemed to be off a bit.  I am just going to have to trust that the transition pan is located properly.  It should be as the car is well supported and the pan is still attached to the wheel wells, and the wheel wells are still attached to the rest of the car.  The good news is that the width measurements are right on with my measurements, and the measurements given on my frame diagram.  Hopefully I can get it welded in soon, I don't like the idea of it sitting without the structural support for to long.

After that I started working on some of the cracks that have developed around the shock mount access holes.  I may not be able to completely repair those as I may have to take the shock mount completely off in order get access to both sides of the metal in order to reshape it.  It has caved in a bit and a couple cracks have started to overlap. 

First patch, getting ready to cut out the rotten metal.

Patched clamped into place

Welded in and ground down.

Next patch with template and old metal.  The partial circle on the template is what was left of the seat belt hole.  I will drill it out later and get the mount welded in at that time.  I may have to adjust it a little bit depending on how the frame rail fits in the area.

Second patch welded in.

The next few small patches.

Where they will be going.

Old metal removed.

New metal ready for welding.

Everything welded and ground down.

Painted it with some Zero Rust for protection.

Torque box seems to fit right where it belongs.

Looks pretty good from here.

It's actually flush at the front of the shock mount, and the back of it where there seems to be a gap, is where I had to bend that flange out of shape.  It actually fits pretty well with that in mind.

Back end looks right on.

Found me a friend to help with maneuvering the rail into place.  While he was over, I made him help with the patches,  and I showed him how to weld.  With a little practice I think he might do okay.  

Got started on the cracks.  This was the easiest one.  I drilled out the ends to stop them from spreading further, and beveled them with my dremel for good weld penetration.  My thanks go out to Sven for showing the proper way of fixing these.  Might not have drilled the ends first if I hadn't seen him do it on his blog.

After it was ground down.

Add some paint and you can't tell that it was ever there.

Another crack.  This one is laying over itself by about 1/8th of an inch.  Have to see what  I can do about that.

More cracks.  This is a huge mess, have to work it out a bit at a time sometime in the future.  Might have to take the shock mounts out first.