I just realised that I haven’t posted an update about the welding of the body for quite a while. In fact, the last post about the body welding was over a year ago Blog post about the body from May 2015 (opens in a new window). There is a lot of work that has been done on the floor and we should soon be ready to paint! I hope…
The reason for the long delay are many:
(1) The garage I use, Castleman (Opens in a new window) have changed ownership and the guys have been busy with improving the workshop and upgrading the bodyshop machinery.
With those new machines you can do pretty much anything, from the front to the rear: Bending Roll, Bending Roll (or Bead Roller), English Wheel, Boxing Pan (the green one) and Guilioteen (to the left)
(2) I have not been able to find any reliable reviews with proper test results for the various methods for applying a rust protective base coat. There are different views about what is the best: 2 Pack Epoxi, Etch Primer, e-coating, Zink-based products and some firms even suggest they can galvanise thin panels (!). I have therefore decided to do a proper 2000 hours Salt Spray Test to satisfy myself what is the best way forward. 2000 hours is a long time so the test ran over three months plus preparations and was run by a professional laboratory in accordance with the ASTM B117 standard. We did the tests using 50 year old mild steel car panels to get the results as relevant as possible for a classic car restorer. I have also visited a number of firms providing rust protection services in the UK. I will write a dedicated blog post about the Salt Spray Test later on.
(3) There was quite a bit of work with the welding of the floor. A few panels have had to be made up, some others have been bought, some panels that had been replaced by the previous garage had to be replaced as they where not properly fitted. And cleaning, cleaning cleaning! I am very happy that we have opened up all box sections in the floor and cleaned them and treated them. As you can see from the pictures below there was hidden rusty, panel on panel welding, when the outrigger was opened. The plan is now to drill an inspection hole in all box sections in the floor so that we , now that it is clean, can apply the rust protective base coat with a special spray gun, as well as rust protect it with wax or similar. I will always be grateful to Clint and the Castleman team that the insisted that we should strip the underside of the car again as he felt quite suspicious about the quality of the previous garage’s work. I am glad we did because it revealed so much that needed reapir and cleaning. Imagine if I had not one this and after spending ten’s of thousands of Pounds on the more visible parts of the car, would have been faced with the new rust repairs would have continuously been needed on the floor. It is again confirmed to me that when restoring a classic car, every square millimeter needs to be checked, cleaned, repaired, replaced or treated. There are no shortcuts!