Monday, June 29, 2009

patching up DS freshair hole

I only had about 90 minutes to work tonight so I figured I would start on the hole left by the fresh air diverter and the accompanying rust hole around it. It doesn't look like that difficult of a repair but getting the cutoff tool and my XL hands in there was quite a trick. I did most of the welding left handed. I didn't have enough time to start grinding everything down. I'll get to that later in the week.
the diverter hole and it's friend
the patch and the cut line
the patch rough welded in

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hole at mudsill and clearing out fresh air duct

I decided to start tackling the fresh air ducts today. I started some of the prep work a few years back, but never fully cut out all the bits and pieces. After about two hours of cutting and grinding, my arms were killing me. Holding a 7" grinder into a wheel well is more exhausting than I would have guessed. I was able to get about 90% of the metal cut out. I'll get the rest of it later this week.

After my arms were dead, I decided to work on something topside, so I repaired a couple holes around the gas filler. They were in the typical spot above the mud sills. The paint was bubbled up there, so I figured someone had filled them up with bondo... I figured correctly.

I also got to test out my new autodarkening helmet today. $40 on ebay. The glass is MUCH clearer than the one I bought 6 years ago (now broken). My sheetmetal welding abilities are much greater with a helmet like this rather than a fixed lens.
Fresh air duct partially removed from a few years ago
90% completed
Bubbles in the paint... You know what that means!
Repair area. The patch is on the right.
Area welded up ready for grinding
Area ground down and finished.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Trunk Lip Complete!!!

Had two more spots to complete on the trunk lip. I did the work in two sessions, about an hour when I got home from work. I got the spots ground out, then my dad and his wife's grand daughters came over to see the progress on the Ghia. They spent about half an hour and I got both spots welded up. My wife then reminded me that Thursday was our night to go out and eat, so we headed off to eat for a couple hours. When I got back I spent about 15 minutes grinding and cutting the pieces down.

It was nice to step back and crack a beer and admire the work. Too bad no one will ever see this after I put the weather strip for the trunk lid on... I guess I'll know that it's right!

The three sections complete on the passenger side
Whole trunk lip complete!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hole Patched and Trunk Lip Continues

Just a quick hour to work on the Karmann Ghia tonight. I patched up a hole in the inner fender where the air duct held water. I also continued patching up the trunk lip. Looks like I have about one more hour and the lip will be complete.

After the lip is done, I'll probably start blasting the car again. I'd like to get the trunk area cleaned up and I know I will uncover some more holes whilst blasting it.

Small hole and it's patch
I wound up chasing the hole all around. I think I used enough wire to just fill the thing without the little chip I used

Ground down
Here's the lip section welded up. I know it's getting redundant, but hey, it's progress.
Lip section finished up.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

More Trunk Channel

I continued work on the trunk lip tonight. I did two sections, one about 4" long and the other about 7" long. Not too much trouble with this one. I ground out the bad metal and then I cut strips about 1" tall and as wide as the areas I ground out. I welded everything up pretty quickly (I surprised myself with how quickly it went.) I pulled out the massive 7" grinder to do the rough finishing. Man that thing really cuts down the time required to finish compared to my favorite 4" grinder.

This piece of the project is something I have been afraid of since I started the restoration. I really didn't have any troubles and it was much easier than I thought it would be. I just have two smaller sections to do on the passenger side, then it's back to patching holes.
Bad metal ground off and ready for new metal
New metal clamped on the first 4" spot

The first 4" ground and finished.

The whole drivers side complete. Much better than it was a couple days ago. The black spots on the right aren't waves in the metal, they are spots where the paint caught on fire.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

More on the Trunk Lip

I finished up the welding on the first section of the lip and fired up the second patch for the lip. The more I looked at it, the more I realized I have a lot of work to do to get the trunk lip wrapped up. I guess it's like eating an elephant, I'll just take one bite at a time.
Finish welding on the first section
View from the outside of the fender toward the lip
Lip cut to size and ground off
Interior ground down
Arrows indicate welds that need to be cut off and replaced (11)
Arrows on the other side (17)
Here is my high dollar sheet metal break
Second section cut out and ready for replacement. Part of the channel was rotten too. It was right above the mud plate.
Channel piece welded in
Channel piece cut off and ground down
Interior welded up
View from the fender
Everything cut and ground off

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Trunk Lip Episode 1

I wanted to test the waters for repairing the weatherseal channel lip in the trunk area this evening. I picked a 6" section that needed a hole patched up as well as a new channel lip. I spent about 15-20 minutes to bend up my patch section and then cut out the section of the car. About 15 minutes worth of fitting up and the patch was ready to weld in. Unfortunately, my welder was being tempermental and didn't want to feed the wire. After about 45 minutes of tightening the feed rollers, checking for interference, looking for kinks etc., I yanked the spool and put on a new one. Wouldn't you know it... The new spool fed like a champ. Looking back, I've had a ton of issues with that spool since I put it on. It's Hobart .024 #2 "Weld-It" wire. I the new roll is Lincoln .024. Maybe there was a tolerance issue with the Hobart wire, I don't know.

The holey area in need of a patch
Patch cut and fit up. Like my high dollar tweeking tool?

Patch tacked in. I'll have to finish the welding tomorrow night.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Grind it down

I ground down my welds from last night. I forgot to fish for pinholes. For those who don't know what that means, sometimes after you grind down mig welds you'll find very small pinholes in and around the weld bead. This happens because the sheet metal is thin and the welds are thin, so you grind off bits below the point of pentration. Also if your welds don't overlap properly, you get cavities in between spots. I have been without my auto darken helmet, so it has been difficult to hit the right spots using the traditional point, nod, squeeze method. I usually put a 500W halogen work light behind the patch and look for light coming through.

I am getting ready to take care of the lip that holds the weatherseal around the trunk. You can see from the pics that it is rusted at every spot weld. Has anyone done this before? Any advice? I know there are two layers, one from the fender and the other from the inner fender. I suspect I'll take a piece about 1" tall and weld it to the inside then trim it to fit. Maybe I'll keep the part attached to the fender and weld the thing back full???

grinding done on last night's patch
Weatherseal lip from the top
Small rust hole
Small rust hole filled in and ground down

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Patching Hole on inner fender

I continued pushing forward patching up rust holes on the ghia. This hole is on the driver's side near the spare tire area. I have removed the fresh air duct from the other side of this metal. If you have seen the concept rendering I did, you'll remember that I am closing off the nostrils, so the ducts will not be replaced. You can also see in the first pic that I have a fair amount of work to do where the inner fender attaches to the nose. I am not looking forward to that job.

Here is the hole
Hole with patch made and marked out for cutting

patch welded in and ready for grinding.

Nose bead question

I want to make a tool to reform my nose bead. Can someone tell me whether the factory profile for the ridge was more like #1 or #2 in this picture?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hole in trunk filled in

The PO cut a hole under the dash. My guess is he saw one too many episodes of BJ Mackay and his best friend Bear. I spent a couple hours undoing his hack job. Nothing major, just a little patch with some contouring.

Hole that PO cut
Patch after 10 minutes of fitting and 2 minutes of shaping
Patch 90% welded in. Check out the hole on the left side... Had to weld that mistake full (turned a 10 minute job into 1 hour)
Final grinding done

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pics from yesterday

English Wheel with super structure attached (much stiffer now!) It clears my lowered duct by about 2"
Here is my planishing hammer after polishing. Looks good but...

At close inspection you can still see traces of the machining.

Goodbye mirror finish, hello metal file.