|Winding Road Classics, LLC|
|Building cars you love to drive|
Now comes the fun part, because I got to watch. These guys were very talented and you could tell they were careful. I made sure they realized that the Fiat has some pretty thin metal, especially on the doors, roof, hood, and bonnet panel.
They used a combination of media and took about three hours to get the whole car and all the parts done. It would have taken many days to either mechanically or chemically strip the paint.
Nothing bad revealed from this angle.
These small spots are on the right front fender down low. There are definite holes and this will require some patching. Fortunately it won't be very difficult.
This will be the difficult part. This is looking down into the front compartment where the battery sits. Major rust through, but it's all clean now, and since it's been media blasted I can tell how far out to replace metal. We shouldn't be able to see the floor from here, all that metal is gone and will be fabricated and replaced.
This is the "finished" product of the media blasting. The large white patch on the door and smaller patch on the rear corner are old bondo repairs. They are actually quite good as they stuck and seem to be smooth, but the one on the door will be wire brushed out. If the media blaster had been too aggressive he could have work hardened the metal and warped the door panel. There is a large dent, probably from someone leaning on the door or pushing it shut with their knee. It won't be a problem to straighten out.
That's the big news for now. I have everything clean and will be treating and priming next week. Then I will start on the floor replacement and the patch panel in the front. Once all the body work is done, I can start on the mechanicals.
Floors are now in place and welded in. I was going to replace them like doing a patch panel, but as I got to looking, I found that I could easily access the spot welds. So as I started drilling them out, the old floor got loose and with just a little persuasion, came out pretty easily. Then I was able to get to the space between the inner and outer rockers, under the door sill, and rust treated that area and then painted there to prevent future rust.
The new floors were then trimmed in a couple of spots and clamped in place. They were then rosette welded through the holes where the old spot welds were. This is about the most original type repair possible.
Here is a picture of the driver's side floor fitted in place before welding.
Now a shot of both floors welded in. You can see where the holes were used for rosette type welds. This is how it is done when you don't have a spot welder, or when you can't reach the spot with a spot welder. The quality of the metal is really good on this car. I don't know enough about the metallurgy of the time vs. ours, but once clean, the metal welds really smooth.
Next up is the damage on the front of the car from years of a battery leaking and causing some major corrosion in the front compartment. There were some pictures earlier, and now I have started fabricating patch panels and repairing the whole area.
This is just the beginning of the first part of a front patch.
The same panel looking down into the front compartment. I removed the batter tray and another will be installed. The rest of the front panel will be fabricated as well as the inner panel to complete the bottom of the front compartment.
When the body was blasted, it revealed a few trouble spots, some minor rust through on the very front of the fenders. I fabricated a small patch panel and welded it in. Here's the result, with the rust perforated piece held above the repair.
That's it for now. Another repair on the other fender, then some more fabricating on the front compartment panels, and then it's ready for overall bodywork (not much) and then primer. After that I'll start on the suspension pieces and then the engine/transaxle.
This is the front panel after three separate patch panels being formed and welded together.
This is the view from the backside of the newly formed area. This will be covered with undercoating as the original was.
This is looking down into the area formed by the new patch panels. You can see the drains, including the one formed in the middle of the new metal. Their is a bumper support which will be rewelded in here where the three holes are under the louvers. Then the battery support tray attaches to that support and will cover this area. The battery leaked in the past which caused this section to be completely rusted out. I have all new metal in place replacing all the rusted out metal and welded in solid.
Passenger door with the old body filler removed and dent worked out.
Passenger door after dent removal. Weld spot in middle was one rust hole that I welded shut. There is a door brace inside which hampered the work, but it is mostly smooth. A skim coat of body filler will be used to achieve a smooth surface, and the repair will last.