I thought I’d get a blog started, let’s see how this goes!!!
I’ll start with what I’ve been going over this week, then in future installments I’ll delve into my murky automotive past.
This week has been interesting for me, I’ve been doing some body repairs, which is new to me. I spend a lot of time welding heavy steelwork, but thin body panels are not something I’ve done much with, and was worried that I might just blow holes all over it.
I’ve dine a lot of reading, video watching, and watched pros doing repairs to, before I felt confident enough to try it myself.
Hope you find this interesting…
I’ve been repairing my bonded windscreen frame on my Mercedes Atego 7.5 ton lorry. It’s been leaking in at top for a few months due to rust letting water past the bonding seal.
First I took the screen out…
The rust was pretty bad at the top, but only on the surface, and there was a really bad area of rust at the bottom of the frame that had rusted right through!!
I started by removing all the rust with a wire brush on a 4.5 inch angle grinder, this stripped all of it out back to clean metal.
I used Jenolite rust converter over all of the bare metal, then I painted all of it with rust preventing Rustoleum primer.
I left this over night to dry.
The next day I started the repair at the bottom, first I cut cut the rusted section using a metal blade on a multi-hoop, because I could keep the tool to a shallow depth and there was no sparks, seeing as I wasn’t 100% sure what was behind the panel.
Once cut out, I got a piece of cereal box to make a template, I held it over the hole with a couple of magnets, then tapped along the cut edge with a small tack hammer, this marks the edge to be cutout very accurately.
Then I laid it onto some 1.5mm plateaus scribed round the edge ready to cut the repair piece.
1 little tip, I find it useful to wear a head torch while cutting the steel, the light catches the scribbed line better to make it easier to follow.
I then cut the plate to shape using a thin 0.8mm cutting disc in the grinder, these discs cut quickly, without a lot of heat and sparks.
After that I marked all the original spot weld holes, and trial fitted onto the frame.
There was a couple of places that need shaping to finish the fit, I used a nice, light, delicate tapping hammer for this job.
I then drilled the spot weld holes in the plate and tack welded it in place, and plug welded all the spot weld holes.
After this I started to weld along the joins, being careful to keep moving all round the plate so I didn’t get any area to hot, to stop any distortion from happening.
After this, I flattened the welds to the panel with a flap disc on my grinder, then gave it a fresh coat of primer.
I think it blended in pretty well, I could hardly see any joins once it was painted.
I left it to dry over night, the next day I sanded all the primer down and put a skim of filler over the pitted areas that will be visible once the screen has been refitted, and gave it a coat of high build white primer, so it’s ready for a top coat.
I’ve left it now until next week for the primer to fully harden before final sanding and the top coat being applied.
I hope you like this blog post, I’ll be updating the blog as I go.