Monday, December 23, 2013

More frame rail repairs

This post is a long time in coming due to the fact that winter has now officially made its presence known.  I didn't want to get stuff written down until there was enough content to make a decent post.  Here we are then.

We left off with the rail wide open and looking kind of rusty inside.  I forgot to take pictures of it, but I treated inside the rail as far as I could with prep and etch, and painted it.  I then fit the new piece to the rail, marked it for trimming, cut it to size, drilled the holes for the welding, painted the back side, prepped the edges with weld through primer and set it into its permanent location with the welder.  I finished welding the radiator support to the rail as I hadn't finished it due to being uncertain as to the fate of this rail.  Ground everything down and then sprayed some zero rust over it for protection.

I had barely made it to this point and had to quit for the day because it was getting dark and cold.  The next day I woke up to everything covered in snow.  I now had to wait for the weather to improve before I could get back to the car.  It took longer than I had hoped as it was getting down into the negative temperatures at night.  Brrrr.

I finally had a couple of days warm enough to come out and work on the car.  It was a balmy 35 degrees or so.  I moved to the back of the rail and cut out the rusted metal.  I made a couple of flange pieces to support the metal patches and plug welded them in.  I then measured, trimmed and fit the pieces and proceeded to plug weld them to the flanges and butt weld the seam.  Ground that down and moved to the next issue on the rail.

I had rust scale splitting apart the seam between the pieces that needed to be addressed.  So I cut the spot welds holding the two pieces together, split them apart and cleaned the rust out.  I tried to get as much out as I could, but because I didn't want to cut it completely apart, it was a tight fit for me.  I managed to get it cleaned up to my satisfaction, treated and painted.  It really was not all that bad inside.  It should last quite a while more.  I then fit it back together and welded it back up.  Now I must wait until it warms up again, since more snow has made its way into my life.

Radiator support welded to the rail, and fitting the side piece.

Here we are from the side.

Everything welded together.  It was fun getting everything flush up front.  The replacement piece didn't have the bend that the rail did.  I had to apply the hammer pretty liberally.

All welded up.

Welds cleaned up.


I had cut this out while waiting for the paint to dry on the back side of the front piece.  I made sure to take measurements to ensure it went back in without getting off kilter.

And the snow hits, guess I have to wait to finish the back side of the rail.  By the way, that is about 20 inches of snow.

Flange welded in on this side,

and the other side.

Patch welded in on this side.

Ground down.

Fitting on the other side.  If you notice, there is a gap between the two pieces.  The rail originally was this way.  The patch I ordered was all one piece and was meant to be welded in as such.  I was having issues getting it to fit properly and the floor extension didn't fit over the patch piece.  Turns out that the patch was a little to big for the replacement floor extension.  Good thing I fit it all together before welding it in.  That would have been much harder to fix than it was cutting it apart here.  This also has the benefit of being like the original rail here, and everything fits.

Welded in.

Ground down.

If we go back to this before pic, you can see the rail being split apart by the rust scale.

At this point I was separating the two pieces so that I could get enough space to brush out the loose rust, and then spray my rust treatment and paint inside.

All welded back together and ground back down.