New parts: Positioning, welding, tinning and painting. Back
mid sill preparation The last you'll see of the inner sill I hope. The mid sill outer piece was firstly prepared with primer and then with two component paint on the inner side. This was instead of the original plastic coating it was supplied with; maybe a mistake? The panel was cut-to-fit near the top front where it fits inside the 'loose' upright panel (seen painted black below). The rear six inches had to be modified to fit where it meets the curved section coming down from the rear door-edge. All perimeter edges were drilled at approximate intervals before-hand with a 5.5mm bit for through welding.
sill outer welded front Two pictures showing the front and the rear of the fitted center outer sill panel. The shots were taken before the welding was cleaned-up showing the through weld technique (or whatever it is called). A nasty but necessary job is the lower egde welding of this panel. I line welded it at regular 5cm intervals all the way along and am gonna hope the vehicle inspector thinks it's good enough. Sure it lets water up the inside but it lets it back out again too. sill outer welded rear
Door I was told afterwards to check whether the door would fit without fowling. Ooops. A neat trick to fit/remove these doors is to get an old office swivel chair which is height adjustable. Luckily the door fitted, apart from the subtle sag due to a worn hinge-pin. Notice the wider gap at the upper hinge area and the mis-match on the chrome horizontal.
front repair panel The door was removed and refitted several times whilst positioning and fitting the front repair panel. Again the inner side was prepared with primer and then with two-component paint. Rather than cut the 'true' edge of the new panel I found it easier to trim back the edge of the original wing until I was happy with my fit line. The edges of both which were to be welded were prepared and cleaned. The original wing edge was then notched with a 'juggler' tool (I think it is called).
front repair panel It is slightly tricky and time consuming fitting these panels but you get the hang of it eventually. The repair panel was made to overlap the original wing by approx 1cm with the new piece being on the outside. I used a vice-grip clamp tool to hold firm the lower edge to the sill whilst the edge to be welded was positioned. The block of wood inside the wheel-arch area is an attempt to keep the weld line as flat as possible, it has a tendancy to curve inwards. Although the pictures show the weld-line already cleaned-up, I spot welded about every 10cm to begin with before welding at a spacing of 5cm's. It is vital to keep the welded area relatively cool so not to introduce any warping of the panels.
front panel resin applied A great picture of my friend Kjell-Roger beginning his 'tin-filler' stuff. It's great to watch being done, obviously not as easy as it looks. This shows Kjell at the initial resin-paste stage, to which one melts the tin.
rough tinning result This procedure leaves a very rough tin covering over the welded line and will prevent any rust coming through as well as strengthening the join. Yeah it burns off some of that nice paint but that's going to come off anyhow at the filler stage. The coarse tin finish is rasped off with a file.
shiny resin before tin The shiny silver stuff is the melted resin before the tin goes on. OK these two pictures are back to front. The important things here are the wooden spreader spoon and the cold, wet cloth to stop the panel from twisting.
rear repair panel spot welded A lot more difficult than the front panels to get to fit correctly due to the curve at the forward edge, plus this one must fit on all four sides. Spot welded the same way as the front wing (every 5cm) but seems a lot more solid when done due to it being supported on all four sides. Clamped along the lower edge with the vice-grip. Remember to remove the original noise-dampening material from inside...
Driver side done So that was about the first side complete, in terms of new panels anyhow. I kind of liked it looking all silver and shiny. Shame to have to paint it. So after cleaning it all up with thinners...
Primer paint was time for the primer paint. Just pure luck that it comes in the orangy / yellow colour. The two component stuff makes an evil smell by-the-way. All told I was more than satisfied with this job and possibly didn't have enough faith in myself. Looks good methinks and feels good when other real mechanics come around and praise your work.