Varying Stages of parts preparation
Using the same method as before, with punching, stripping off the paint, and painting with weld through primer. Welding on the end cap onto the rocker panel was a royal pain as the rocker panel had to be tensioned to line up correctly.
Test fitting the Parts
As I am kinda short on vice grips, test fitting such large parts is somewhat problematic. I can now appreciate the "cleco's" my dad uses at work, though they are primarily for riveting. The parts at least test fit OK.
Welding Start, under the DoorAfter the parts are positioned and the door is closed over the parts, the welding begins. I always start welding with a bit of trepidation. Not having much practice leaves me somewhat apprehensive of starting, but the work won't get done unless I begin. And if I mess it up, well, I have only myself and my inexperience to blame.
Door removed, working on the insideThe welding up to this point is going pretty slow and smooth with no major problems.
Under the BonnetWelding this area was somewhat more difficult as there was no place to put a clamp. I clamped the closest spots that I could get it on. From there it was pretty apparent that I wasn't going to make a good connection on any of them. The metal I was welding to was deformed when I removed the old metal. I settled on whacking it back into seemingly flat from behind and got a semi-flat surface. Once that was done, I started the dance of pressing onto the new metal to make it flush to the metal I was welding to and positioning the welder to weld it. I really could have used a clone, or at least an extra hand or two grafted on to get it done. Once welded, I hammered from the back to close any gap left over.
Problem AreaI have an area that I have a problem with. I won't be doing any seam welding as I don't have the skill, and that area with the two holes, the metal underweight is far from being close. This area was welded with bronze and filled to meet the metal. I will leave this to more experienced people to finish up.
Finishing PartThis part was removed to be able to put on the new metal. It was a royal pain to re-weld on. 22 weld points never seemed so hard. I couldn't get the top to adhere when welding. I moved on and was able to finally get it, once the rest were welded. The small hole filling took me a bit to figure out but It got done. Once complete, it had to be hammered back to meet the metal around the welds.
Putting the Door back on!It was do or die time. Would the door fit? Of course it fit. Why do I ever doubt myself. Overall I am really happy with the fit and the meeting of the lines. I am not so happy at the front and where it meets the rear fender as it didn't meet up very well, but I thing with a little seam welding and a bit of bondo it will work out just fine.
Taped up to protect the seam weld pointsI taped over the areas that are to be seam welded as I will not be able to address that in this visitation of the car. Overall, it was a lot of work, a lot of learning, but the final product looks really pleasing. I has only one weld at the bottom that I burned through both the backer metal and new metal through the thin point, but luckily it made a good weld and worst case, I can add metal if I am careful with the welder. I will likely fill it with bondo and move on though.