Steady Eddie 72 Body Restoration

Discussion in 'Restorations' started by SteadyEddie, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Thanks all.
    Agreed, the sills aren’t ideal and weren’t done recently. I’ve jabbed at them with a screwdriver and haven’t gone through so they’re strong enough but I have no doubt they’ll be rotten underneath. The thing that’s putting me off is the sounds of how tricky the sliding door runner can be to fit and it doesn’t look like many people make good replacements. I know once I attack the sills the runner will come out as well!
  2. Agreed they're a horrid bit to replace. I had to completely remove ours to repair it. I'd just pick a bit and work your way round the bus.

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  3. Back at it again!

    I didn't have much time this weekend but I have the rest of the week off so should make some good progress this week!

    Most of my time has been spent unpicking spot welds all over the van, a little tricky spot is the right rear corner between the wheel arch and corner panel, a third panel from the engine bay under the fuel filler cap joins into a triple seam so it has to be saved and can't just be cut out.

    On the other side there was a lot of work to do getting the badly replaced rear arch unstitched from the pillar and old panels behind the sliding door, the cuts and welds had gone through onto the pillar so there is no clean way to remove it.

    Annoyingly the arch panel includes a C shaped section to hold the rubber seal around the sliding door but this has to come off too, I may have to fabricate something to suit.

    Anyway, regrettably, that led me onto the sills...

    I cut out an overlaid repair on the offside middle and oh what a mess
    Note the original panel has been cut but not enough so the replacement was placed over 3-4 inches of the original and stuffed with buckets of filler. Also the pillar repair is terrible! - new pillars on the shopping list.

    With that out of the way I found the first inner seal was full of holes.

    Peel it back and, surprise surprise, an identical and rusted sill underneath. @JamesLey You'll be pleased to hear I have a sill set on the way!

    I'm going to need some more cutting disks at this rate.
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  4. Cracking on with it mate! I'd highly recommend a finger file sander if you don't have one. It makes quick work of spot weld removal, instead of drilling them out just grind the top panel away. Pretty much the only time I use a spot weld drill bit is if I need to keep the panel that I'm removing. The klokker rear arch repair panels come with an oversized lip that you might be able to bend into a channel shape. I had to do that for the bottom 2-3 inches on ours and it came out ok.

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  5. Yeah I've been contemplating a narrow file sander and a dremel tool for some time but I suppose I might as well bite the bullet and get them bought. As they say, work smart not hard!

    Sent most of the day prepping a sandblaster with my neighbour who is building a mini. If I can keep stripping this week I may have it sanded by the weekend :thumbsup:
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  6. So, the cutting continues, and more bodged repairs are uncovered!

    I've taken this week off work to crack on with the van, hopefully I can put everything back where it came from :confused:

    So what have I actually achieved, well I got myself a powerfile, oh what a hungry little devil it is, I've chomped through plenty of belts (thankfully I bought a bulk of 100) and got the sills out cleanly.

    the right hand side came away a dream but the left under the sliding door has been a pain and took the best part of a day and a half just to gently strip rust from good metal.
    This was part way through cutting. From what I can tell there is the old inner skin against the H bars and top hats, followed by the sliding door runner, but the door runner had three lips of rusty metal hanging down from it. You can see two which I've cut in the photo below but there was a third right on the outside lip which I cut off earlier.
    I couldn't tell what they were attached to originally becuase there was nothing left of them! I can only guess they sat on the lip on the lower sill to take some weight. Tell me if not, otherwise I'll try and fabricate something to that effect later.

    Anyway, enough pondering, more cutting! so this is what I'm left with at the moment

    I think the sliding door runner will survive with a little loving but those keen eyed among you may have spotted the remains of a H beam in that photo, yup, the only thing holding that together was silicone. I guess the underside isn't quite as good as I'd hoped.

    At this point I need to sandblast or clean and scrape all the underseal and pitted rust off before I can weld anything on, The sill will guide the rear wheel arch, which will guide the rear corner, which needs to go underneath the boot lid hinge panel, in short, everything's waiting on sandblasting.
    Coco and JamesLey like this.
  7. So while I wait for a delivery of sand, I started pulling the windows so they don't get scratched or burnt. As before, the windows are a bodged mess!

    Is there any metal left under there?

    And the windscreen came out with a bit of a wobble, almost no cutting needed.

    And the distractions continue

    I don't know what it's called but the kickboard between the cab floor and outer front skin has been bodged equally as badly as the rest of the repairs

    And same again on both sides of the inner dash panel

    Does anyone know how to re-wire this mess?:eek:

    Anyway, most of that was killing time waiting for sand, well it arrived today, described as 0.5-1mm grit, turns out it's more like 0.5-4mm and instantly blocked the nozzle and bunged up the entire hose and pressure tank. Many hours of sewaring, grumbling, thrashing and kicking later, it was unblocked. We found a 1mm siveve and managed to get about 10kg of usable stuff out of a 25kg bag. Tomorrow's job will be trying to get all the unopened bags replaced :mad:

    So, last thing this afternoon I cracked out the welder to fill some holes just so I could feel like I achieved something today. I've probably only welded less than 10 times but I'm chuffed with this, definitely my best weld yet

    At least today ended in a high, now to order some more parts and complain to the sandman! (does anyone else hear metallica or is it just me)

    time for a well deserved drink with the Mrs :beer:
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  8. I admire both your bravery and skill.

    Good work.

    art b and Skyelectrix like this.
  9. Looks very similar to what I have repaired on my van.
    Keep up the good work as doing a grand job :)
    Coco likes this.
  10. Shouldn't that read stupidity ;)
  11. thanks! it's always good to hear it can be fixed and I'm not just becoming the local madman with an angle grinder!
  12. It's always a little disheartening cutting out rust. Once you get some fresh metal in it gets better. Keep at it.

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  13. As a word of caution
    Commercial blasters haven’t used sand for a long time due to the danger of silicosis
    If it was me I’d use a proper blasting medium
  14. Those repairs to the front panel look great compared so some that were done to my westy. :eek:
  15. Thanks @paradox, It's actually glass shotblasting grit I ordered for that reason, I've just been calling it sand as it's easier than calling it something like shotblasting medium each time. Definitely worth flagging it though!

    ha ha, there may be hope for mine yet...
    paradox likes this.
  16. Another day another update.

    Without the ability to shotblast, the sills and major body panels will have to wait for now so, as if I didn't have enough bits partially completed, I turned my attention to the upper rear panel above the boot lid.

    The paint had bubbled all over and rusty streaks were all over it so I knew it had to be replaced. After almost a day of drilling and filing spot welds out, I managed to get it out. Without the pleasure of a shotblaster I faffed around with a wire wheel, a gentle belt on the powerfile, and rust converter to clean up the inside before filling it with hammerite.

    New panel welded in and primed, not an identical fit to the original but with some seam sealer and maybe some hi-build primer it should work.




    The last photo isn't too good as the light was fading fast but you get the idea.

    First proper panel in, we're making progress :thumbsup:
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  17. every little bit helps!
    SteadyEddie likes this.
  18. I’ve found hammerite ain’t what it used to be
    However this stuff is wonderful
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  19. Hmm ok, why isn't it so good anymore, is it just a poorer formula that doesn't last as long?

    This is what I've been using for what it's worth:
  20. Minimal update for today, I did some more cutting and grinding on the sills in the hard to reach places but nothing which is photo worthy.

    I then had a go at making new H bar ends to connect onto the sills out of 2mm sheetmetal. The bends worked ok but my attempt at plug welds failed and they snapped too easily.

    With my limited knowledge of welding I turned the power right up but that still didn't fix the problem, the arc kept attracting to the top layer rather than the lower one. I suspect the solution will be to simply drill bigger holes.

    By that point I was fairly sick of drilling so I can finish that another day. Instead I spent the rest of the day tidying the sheds to make room to carry on in the sheds on evenings after work. A week of working on the van is exhausting, I'm almost looking forward to going back to work just to get away from it for a bit, almost...

    My failed attempt at plug welds, I'll re-do them soon.

    This was half way through clearing out the smallest shed, we have three and I'm knackered!

    Unfortunately there won't be many updates for a while now, I've used up all my holiday for the year and am busy next weekend but I'll keep them coming when I can!
    nevthekombi likes this.

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