A labour of love

Left hand side rebuild part 1

Left hand side rebuild part 1

With the main panel replacements finally finished on the right hand side of the car, I wasted no time in moving onto the other side before I lost my momentum. I’m not going to be posting too many updates about it since it’s basically the same thing all over again – but here’s a quick compendium of progress updates, just for historical completeness!

As I hoped, and you can probably see in the picture above, this side is in considerably better shape than the driver’s side was. I’m still going to be replacing many of the same panels, but there is going to be a lot less patching of the surrounding areas needed, and mercifully the chassis leg is still completely sound.

There is a fair amount of lovely overpainted rust in the corner of the rear quarter light, but again not as bad as the other side. I have the full rear wing panel for this side too, so this is all getting cut out.

First job was some quality time with the spot weld drill and grinder, and the boot floor corner and floor cover support were soon history, with the surrounding area all cleaned up for the replacements to go in. The inner wheel arch did have some similar localised rot to the other side, so that was all cut out and will be patched. The outer wheel arch on this side is very saveable, which will save me a whole lot of time after all the fun I had replacing it on the other side!

I very quickly got the new floor cover support and boot floor corner welded in, and then moved on to looking at the inner wings.

The inner wing and internal C-post panel have both been affected by the rot in the corner of the window. I’ll be replacing the whole C-post panel since it makes the job of cutting out the wing a lot easier and it’s not a difficult panel to replace, but the inner wing panel only has that localised rust in the corner, so will be leaving most of it intact. Fortunately the Heritage panel comes in two pieces, just held together by one spot weld, so I will simply replace the smaller section up to the vertical join you can see to the right of the picture below.

That lot was all quickly cut out…

…and then it was straight in with new metal. Feels like I’m really flying with this side now after figuring out how to do all these jobs the hard way on the other side.

So now, before I can get on with fitting the new wing, there is just the small matter of replacing the external sill. After a bit more antisocial behaviour with the noisy tools, I had most of the remaining rear wing off and then quickly hacked off the old external sill. Like the other side this was still in pretty good rust-free condition from when I replaced it years ago, but had the same problems with fit, so had to come off.

Next jobs will be to dress that area up ready for the new panel, repair the small patch of rot you can see in the wheel arch, and then carry on with fitting the new sill and wing. Part 2 of this will follow in the hopefully not too distant future…

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