Friday, November 27, 2009

Passenger Side Inner Fender Section Welded In

I have something to be thankful for today; I just welded the last major section of sheetmetal into the front end of the ghia! I still have the headlight buckets, and actual bumper mounts, but all the trashed/rusted body parts have been repaired, replaced or restored from the hood forward. I welded on the patch I made a couple days ago after about an hour of fitting and trimming. The extra time spent making sure the welding gap was even paid off tremendously. The two panels welded up like a dream. I did run into a spot where some blow-through occurred, but it was pretty small and probably due to a small spot of rust and not poor fitting panels.

After I got the panel welded up, I turned my attention to removing the passenger side seat rails from a section of floor pan that has been sitting on my shelf for 15 years. I tried to drill the spot welds out, but as usual, I wound up grinding everything apart. It looked like the VW spot welder must have had offsets on the tongs. Contact would be made on one side of the panel and it was a 1/8"-1/4" off on the flip side. So, even though I drilled completely through the center of the weld, the flip side of the weld did not break... I don't think I'll ever win any spot weld breaking contests.

On a sad note... My compressor has developed what appears to be a terminal affliction. She is slowing down under load and not running smooth. I bought her for $150 back in 1995 and I've spent about $20 on her since... I've surely gotten my money's worth, but I can see our friendship is drawing to a close. I am now on the hunt for a 2-stage compressor pump. If I can find one on ebay, I'll use it on top of my old tank... If I can't find anything worth while, I'll have to scan the classifieds for an entire unit. Please keep my "Black Max" in your thoughts.

Lower inner fender section clamped up and ready to weld
Finish welded in place
A photo of the filled in air grills
the seat tracks before
3 hours later, the seat tracks are off the pan. I welded a piece of sheet metal (an old rocker stiffener) in between the rails to keep them straight during the removal.

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