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April 27, 2012

Front apron and inner fender sheeet metal...cont'd

After the spots are drilled out, I separate the panels (and whatever is left of the spot welds) with an air chisel. Key here is to only beat up the panel being replaced. The ones staying do get a little damage, but nothing a little hammer and dolly work can't fix.

Out with the old...

In with the new....

When you remove panels like this, it's critical to be sure things aren't going to end up in different
places after welding in the new pieces. A panel like this holds a lot of structure together - the surrounding structure can move when you remove the old piece and when you fit and weld in the new piece. One way to be sure things don't get too bent out of shape is to take before and after measurements of the front end, especially cross-ways as I mentioned previously. Another is to only do one side at a time - cut, fit and weld - before going to the other side. If you remove a who lot of structure at once, you could end up with a pretzel after all the welding heat is put in. Also - take a look at your jack-stand placement....I had mine at the front, near the rad support so they  wouldn't be in the way when I did the floors - but that puts a bunch of upward pressure on the front end - which would close this gap and make the new piece fit tight....I moved the stands back behind the repair and checked my measurements.

Below - someone over at GarageJournal.com asked if I found any other "mods" I'd have to fix....
Well, here's some major holes that where cut into the side cowl ostensibly to install some speakers. Once removed the holes where where patched with pieces of galvanized metal and secured with pop-rivets...not the worst repair, but we'll do it properly by fitting and butt-welding in solid pieces.

Even with the speakers in the hole I can imagine the driver and passenger always wondering why their feet where so cold when they drove this car!

Another anomaly are these holes torched into the shock towers front and rear. Apparently mechanics would cut the holes in the shock towers to access the A-arm end plugs, pop them out and install the grease fittings so the upper control arm pivots would stop squeaking and cut down on wear. Guess they hadn't invented hole saws yet....

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