So then I got my grinder out and started cutting…

ok so maybe it didn’t start with cutting, there was some measuring, staring, thinking… then finally cutting. So where to start? was really hoping the next post was gonna be bam! one side done, but I seem to underestimate just how long it takes to cut stuff off the car. either way, progress is being made… here’s where I am at as of today.

So after my last post I was on the hunt for some inner sills, but it seems with Corona going around panels are becoming harder to get, luckily I have most of what I need… Unfortunately I didn’t plan on inner sills, it is what is, so I did some measuring took a guess on the metal gauge and ordered some sheets to do the inner sills, I don’t plan on doing full length sills, mainly because the front pan sections were replaced at one point and thats basically the only spot the rust wasn’t. So I cut a section of the inner sill out and brought it to an HVAC shop that was nice enough to let me use their sheet metal brake… not gonna lie the lady working the front office did all the work as i’ve never used one before, she’s a champ though and pretty much eye balled the bends I just pushed the other lever as the brake was like 10 ft long.

So this post isn’t really going in the actual order of how things were accomplished, its been a few days so I’m just mind dumping the progress, honestly I don’t think anyone will notice…. or maybe, thats coming up later.

Knowing I am replacing both heel board subframe mounts I wanted to make a jig rather than keep lifting the rear subframe up, its assembled and heavy. so using the repair panel I made some plates to bolt to the existing mount, then welded some square bar between the two. I also tested the bar against the subframe trunion’s and was happy to see it line up. I will most likely still test fit the subframe before doing the final welding on each side, just as extra piece of mind.

Ok now the cutting starts… I decided to start on the left side of the car, not that I had much choice as I have all the panels for the left side. Previously I posted I added bracing to the car… this is making life difficult, because I had no intention of doing inner sills, so the companion bin is in the way, and the brace bars are welded in front/over it, I am doing my best to cut around it and drill out the spot welds on the floor/inner sill.

Seeing pictures are worth a 1000 words I decided to post them first then explain what we are looking at here progress wise. Because this quarter panel is in decent shape I bought the magnum lower repair panel (hence the small access cutout), knowing I would need to get access to the inside to properly repair the heel board + inner sill, this spot I knew needed help. Obviously from the first opened up picture you can see the heel board mount’s rot, this extends to the inner sill and the closing panel. I also cut out the rot on the floor pan around the drain hole, I was originally going to weld all the floor holes up but have since decided I will plug the good ones with rubber plugs, and the bad ones will get welded. The wheel arch also had some rot where the closing panel attached so it was cut out. I also started cutting the inner sill/floor pan just past the crossmember location, I did a check with the inner sills that were made up and they bends are really close so they should work out pretty good.

I also noticed I will need to make up the inner sill stiffener, I thought I could salvage it but it is rusting underneath, seems like an easy panel to make and only seem to attach to the inner sill and the heel board closing panel. I may also test fit the door to see if it clears the brace bars. If it does, I may start removing the door step as well, at least in places that will help me get the inner sill off. I have to replace the A post and hinge panels so they are next in line… assuming the bracing isn’t a problem.

As I mentioned before the order of things isn’t exactly how all this went down. Somewhere between cutting the inner sill section and making the subframe jig I decided to stop and clean my garage. Sometime you just need to stop and clean the workspace I guess… as you can tell it was a disaster…. what you can’t see is the rear subframe laying right behind the car, it would have been a major pain with today’s work.

Then after some time consolidating boxes, moving more parts to the basement it was all clean.

Guess that is all for now, kind of glad I posted today, as this thing is getting pretty long. Seeing I am working on the car most of the week I might have daily updates, pretty much will be more pictures and less writing.

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