Left hand Rear Wheelarch
(Above) This picture, taken from inside the arch facing backwards, shows the extent of the mess left by the previous owner under the layers of under-seal. I’ve cut the rear off the arch’s lip with snips then used an angle grinder to cut through the bottom-most portion. The whole of the bottom of the rear wing, where it meets the boot floor’s closing panel had been ‘repaired’ with chicken wire, tin foil, cardboard and huge amounts of filler.
(Above) With very little persuasion, this was the lump of crap that was providing structural support to the area around adjacent towing-eye. As I’ve said before on these pages, these bodges are dangerous; imagine being stuck off-road somewhere and being winched out. The car only weights about 1100 kilos yet getting the car out of a deep rut might require 1500 kilos or more – all through a steel winch cable attached to the towing eye. With metal around the area of the towing eye compromised with filler and bodged repairs there’s every chance that the towing eye might make a bid for freedom. And as any seasoned off-roader will know, there have been some truly bad accidents with steel cables being suddenly released when under tension. Even on normal roads a disaster could be around the corner if, say, loading the car onto a trailer or recovery vehicle using a bad towing eye (admittedly, that would be unlikely with a rear eye), or using the car to tow another vehicle.
(Above) With the rusty metal and filler removed there’s a load of daylight coming in!
(Below) Here with new rear portion of inner wing meets a new boot closing panel.
(Above) on the right near the welding cable you can just see the bottom of the towing eye in silhouette protruding from behind the closing panel.
(Above) Again, using templates and dollies, I made more repair sections to complete the job.
(Above) The bottom of the rear wing is tack-welded to the wing but heavily plug-welded to the closing panel. On a long piece of thin bodywork that is not carrying a huge structural load I tend to avoid seam welds as they can cause distortion. The small repairs to the rear of the arch have, however, been seamed because they form a the head of a structural ‘T’ with the closing panel.
(Above) Next, I used the templates from the right-hand side to make repair pieces for the ‘lip’ of the arch. After a bit of cleaning up with the angle grinder, they don’t look too bad. But the workshop was so damn cold that day I rushed the job somewhat and the shapes are not as good as they should be. But a skim of filler should sort that out. This out-of-sequence pic was taken after I’d finished and painted the inside of the arch – for those remaining inside areas see the next instalment.
NEXT: Those remaining welding tasks….