The last month has been spent pulling the parts the ‘new’ shell apart, drilling out the thousands of spot welds that hold these things together.
My aims here are two fold, the first being to get the floor and firewall sheet metal out of the way, as there are too many pieces to try and trim up and fit all one once, so I have decided to get the chassis sections all fitted in one go, then add the floor in as a second step.
The second is to pull enough of it apart that I can get to all of the inside layers of metal that make up the A-pillar, so that I can join it all back together stronger than factory.
Below, the floor is almost completely separated from the chassis rail.
The outer skins unpicked, and test fitted.
With all of the firewall and floor removed, it was time for a test fit of the rails etc.
Doors and 1/4 panel on, to make sure the fit is good. The red door doesn’t line up – it sticks out at the back lower corner – and I’m not sure at this point if its the car or the door.
Before moving on, I got another door and fitted that. It’s within a mm of perfect, so the red door has a twist in it after the crash. At this stage its held together with about 5 tex screws, so hopefully I get that last mm right when its clamped properly and welded.
Next it was time to clean up all of the joints and overlaps, get them all painted with a weld-though primer ready to be permanently attached.
The first join to get right to make this all fit is the bottom of the windscreen. The parts of the red car here were bent, but its the area that has the chassis number, so I wanted to keep that bit intact.
After some tacking, and work with the hammer and dolly I have the red parts straight again and lined up with the donor parts.
Tacked all of the side joints into place and refitted the door – lines up better than it was before the crash!
Have one issue to sort out, the rail has to pull forward by a couple of mm to line up with the front cross member. The tops of the towers are in the right place, as is the door opening, but the rail itself needs a little pull.
All of the front suspension pickup points have been attached to the car, and they are all lining up enough that I can get all the bolts in, so its close to being perfect. I also have the strut brace fitted, and have the towers all located correctly, happy with how its all coming together so far.
Next weekend, will pull the rail forward a couple of mm, recheck all my measurements again to make sure its all square, then I can start welding it together for the final time.
After that, the fiddly bits of trimming the floor pieces to match up to the existing car, then the joy of welding thin steel for hours on end…..