Saturday, August 8, 2009

Front Apron Goes In

The Ghia received it's new front apron today. I started by marking the center of the panel and the center of the horn opening so everything would line up correctly later in the day. To fit up the new panel, I first cut out the old tire bubble so the new panel could fit tight to the body. Then I marked the top edge with a sharpie. From there I decided that I wanted to trim the new panel's width. I marked on the car where I wanted the new panel to stop. I then cut out the old (leaving about 1/2" where the panel met the lower inner front panel). Where the apron attached to the lower front panel, I ground down the whole strip rather than drill out the spot welds.

After I removed the panel, I took a wire brush to the mating surface of the horn bracket and the lower front panel. I also ground off what the wheel couldn't remove.

Then I used my HF panel clamps and fit everthing up. I had to touch up a few areas, but for the most part everything fit tight. Once everything fit, I spent about 2 hours tacking and welding everything together (4 hours total fitting, cutting, welding). I still have to weld the back edge to the lower front panel, fill pin holes and grind but I am 90% on this panel.

Panel cut out (notice the horn bracket is still in place.)

Panel clamped up for fitting

Panel welded in

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