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03/01/2009

Well the new years started and we're coming towards the end of the christmas/new year break, the V8 passed its MoT with flying colours today so on a high from that, I thought it time to do some work on the A. I've had a look at the OS rear quarter and OS rear wing and decided that the wing repair was most urgent as it needs to be structurally sound to be able to fit and remove repeatedly.

From the photo's below you can see that it's anything but sound. First step was to clean it back to bare metal to see what I've actually got. It seems to be sound but lightly dented all over and frilly towards the edges. i think this is going to tale some time to repair before I go anywhere near the repair work on the inner wing area, which is mostly either very rusty, bodged or has dissolved over time.

The most serious piece to be repaired is the missing piece of wing along the top edge. This will be the first port of call with the grinder and welder, I need to stop the wing from flexing in this area very soon. As can be seen from the photo's below, the rear wing is from a 1600MkII and it needs the light mounting holes welding up and re-drilling in the right place.

   

You can see from the above that this wing has had several colours in the past. I've also found that the whole wing has had a skim of filler, this seems to have been applied to cover poor panel beating as a result of damage. All the filler's gone now and some careful attention from a hammer and dolly should mean no filler but maybe a light coat of spray primer/filler. The rear part of the wing seems really good with no damage at all. The front part of the wing is a different story. In a previous life I think it may have been part of a submarine!

Upon further investigation the leading edge of the wheelarch, about 3" in seems to have seen some previous panel beating action from a PO or by a body repair shop. It's been poorly done, but I think I can improve on it. That'll come later, for now, I need to repair the top front of the panel to try to stop it flexing.

Out with the cereal box and scissors to make a template, transferred it to some fresh steel and cut it out. Now for the tricky part. This repair section has a 90 degree bend, a curve across the top face, a curve along the side face and a twist along it's length - Wow! This involved bending, panel beating over a number of diferent dollies and a new technique for me - cold stretching. Practical Classics ran an article on cold stretching and cold shrinking recently and very useful it has proved too. I'm rather pleased with the finished result. It's probably the most complex repair panel I've had to fabricate and it fitted in perfectly. I suspect when final prep comes about it'll need a thin coat of primer filler paint and that's all.

 

As you can see, a complex shape and not too shabby a fit either ...

Having completed this, I promptly ran out of Argon. Load of problems finding a replacement source. In steps James, with the solution and a VERY pretty Austin 7 trackday/road car. Pictures to follow in the Friends cars pages soon. Having a fresh supply of gas I can start welding again soon, thanks James.

 

New Argon cylinder installed and we're off and running again. The next thing to tackle was the OS rear inner wing. A PO had bodged a plate over the joint between the side panel and the rear deck panel, it looked like it was pop riveted on, surely not! In fact it WAS pop riveted on with three small brazed joints and loads of filler and rust!

 

 

So, out came the grinder and cut off saw to get rid of the rot and find some sound metal to weld to. Having done the surgery I had another complex shape repair panel to fabricate. Surprisingly it didn't take too long, just lots of fine fettling to make it fit properly. Having welded it into place and trial fitted the inner wing repair panel it became apparant that the rear deck panel is not quite the right shape. This was confirmed by comparison with the NS in the same area. The difference is quite subtle and some gentle hammer and/or mallet attention will be required. Watch this space.

 

 

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