Bertie's Journey! 1973 panel van

Discussion in 'Restorations' started by Louise, May 21, 2019.

  1. Excellent! Is it still Rob running the courses? He's such a nice guy. Think he said he used to own a westy at one point, and had an old MG kicking around when I went down.
    Keep an eye out on Gumtree, got mine for £80 I think and have done the whole van with it.
    Get yourself a 10-20L bottle of gas; the little bottles don't last very long. Get the metal back to shiny metal and you'll be golden to weld some fresh steel in.
    Coco likes this.
  2. I’m honestly not trying to pick holes in what you are doing. I totally admire you for having the guts to get stuck in and learn, I’d love to learn how to weld properly myself , but I’m curious why you are starting on the inside first?

    Once you expose the rotten outter panels and sills etc, if the rust extends inwards then isn’t there a risk you’ll need to remove the work you’ve just done to get to it?

    Seeing as it’s normally the bottom six inches that goes on these first, Isn’t the normal way to work bottom to top, out to in.?
    Coco likes this.
  3. I’m doing in and out at the same time really. I just fancied removing the floor to see what was going on there. I removed the interior first as I saw damp & wanted to see what was going on.

    I also don’t have any garage to store Bertie so am waiting on making big holes on the outside until I actually have a welder to fix it pretty sharpish (like, same day).

    I’m also not going to be fitting anything in the interior just yet so it won’t get covered up.
    Cloppper likes this.
  4. Yes it’s still Rob. He’s a fantastic guy & an amazing teacher. Just great!!!
    Ermintrude and JamesLey like this.
  5. I spent about 5 hours today removing layers of paint & rust on the areas pictured. Started on the roof but then my arms ached from holding the grinder above my head. Moved onto the bulkhead, then did some of the floor. The poly wheel disintegrated within 20 mins, the 40 grit disc is about half worn & the twisted metal wheel has started shooting bits off at me - ouch.

    Found more rust holes.

    I feel like at this speed, it's going to take me 3 years to remove everything and a million pound in discs. Is there a quicker, easier way to remove rust and paint?! I'm aching in places I didn't realise I had muscles. Feeling a bit meh at the moment!

    IMG_9978.jpg IMG_9971.jpg IMG_9969.jpg IMG_9975.jpg

    Coco, .CK., Cloppper and 1 other person like this.
  6. Great progress. Do you use a flap disk and/or a wire wheel on an angel grinder? The other way I know is pay someone to either dip and strip or blast it. See what the panel suggests, they may have better ideas. Yes, it's hard work by hand, bit by bit, would be the best advice I could offer, sorry.
  7. Get used to getting through loads of flap disks and poly strip discs. It will cost you a fortune but its the only relatively easy way to get back to bare metal.
  8. Are you sure you need to do so much back to bare metal.

    If the existing paint is sound and there’s no rust under it just needs a rub down to smooth the surface.
    Coco, Baysearcher, Kruger and 2 others like this.
  9. The area of the interior I’m looking at are either rusty, or the paint is bumpy - so I am not sure if there is rust underneath. Some areas that look rust free have sticky stuff all over it so have been sanding it off as white spirit isn’t shifting it.
  10. Did tons of research on the best way to remove paint & rust without wrecking metal & the results suggested that these are the bees knees. A guy reckons he did a whole beetle with ONE disc!

    Luckily found an awesome supplier 15 mins away! Will be trying these out tomorrow. I bought 2 to start with!

  11. Looking good and surprisingly solid so far for a RHD panel!
  12. What year is it ?
    Seems previous owners have put early front on...looks late late bay
    That’s a whole lotta work stripping back to bare metal ...what about paint stripper?
  13. It certainly has 1975/76 traits to it, ie, engine lid, indicator stalks, round chrome fuel cap and dash clocks
    lhu1281 likes this.
  14. '73
  15. Spent the day re-rusting half of the roof with the new discs I bought. So much stronger! Put a layer of kurust on after I finished - there was a lot of black! So I'm glad I did. Then put on a first coat of rustoleum primer. It was a bit thick, so I'll probably thin it down for the 2nd coat & the other half of the roof. It'll be covered so wasn't really fussed about getting a perfectly flat finish.

    Off to Dorset Volksfest tomorrow for the day, so gave him a quick wash this evening too. :)


    F_Pantos and JamesLey like this.
  16. Ah DVF is only down the road from me! Didn’t get to it this year though.

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  17. Have put more primer on the roof and added some to the bulkhead. Lots of small holes in the bulkhead, not sure if I should be filling them or leaving them as they'll be covered.




    Spent an entire day trying to get sticky stuff off the wall using WD40. As the sticky stuff was just getting stuck in any sander or preparation pad that I was using. Horrendous day... boring & nothing to show for it.


    But with the sticky off, I was able to treat the bits of rust & prime it.


    Moved onto the next panel & had a closer look at the rusty vent. I started by trying to remove as much rusty, flaky metal as I could. But then I panicked as I saw daylight.




    I went to look on the outside of the van & this is what I saw. :(

    IMG_0508 2.jpg
  18. Out came the grinder, and it didn't get any better. 5mm of filler in places, and 8 coats of different coloured paint, maybe even 12 with primer layers. It looks like a gobstopper!!!


    IMG_0505 3.jpg


    I feel, for the first time since owning Bertie, a bit lost as to what to do next!
    Coco and JamesLey like this.
  19. Take it back to bare metal to see how rusty it is. You’ll either need to weld in some fresh metal or get a cut from another van if the vents are gone.

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  20. When I feel daunted by something like this, remember it’s a series of small processes, break it down. You know it needs to be cleaned back to see how bad it is, so do that. Then you need the new metal that’s going to make the repair, so get that. Then cut out the area back to solid metal. Then check your new bit fits. Then weld it. Etc..

    Each small stage is less daunting than the bigger picture. And with each stage completed, your confidence grows. Before you know it, it’s done and you’ll look like this
    Coco, nicktuft, Louise and 3 others like this.

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