Had some time to start on the other heater channel and this side was so completely shot, so that taking the old Channel out didn’t take very long.
Deciding to take a bit of time prepping the panels before I started welding has pushed me into doing an “in depth” clean and modification on the new parts before I even go near the car with them.
Starting with the “new” repair heater channel assembly, I noticed some surface rust on the inside.
This needed some proper investigation. So out with the drill to remove all the spot welds on the bottom closing panel.
It took some time to remove but I think it was worthwhile due to the amount of work I need to do on it to make it good. This does show that unless you want to restore your car again a few years later then it’s well worth the time and effort to get these parts properly prepare and protected.
After I removed the internal heater pipe and rust, using the wire brush with the angle grinder. Another point I did learn is that if you are using this method to remove rust and old paint, give it a good rub over with low grit sand paper because the wire brush tends to give a polished finish that paint finds hard to stick to.
After a quick wipe with rust treatment I was ready to paint and rebuild but I wanted to improve the air flow of the heater pipe so time to buy some steel tubing to replace the pressed steel part.
Splitting the original pipe in half made it easier to use as a template and cutting with a hacksaw, a few slots at a time I could get the correct bend on the pipe.
A bigger slot slot was needed for the 90 degree bend at the front and using the outer panel I could oreintate the bends in the correct directions
A bit of welding, trimming and cleaning it was ready for a bit of paint. I did pore some primer inside the tube and rolled it around for a bit to hopefully coat the inside as well.
Im not using the floor heating slot so I’ll be blanking this up before the channel goes on the car.
After cleaning and prepping the closing plate I carefully lined up both parts and clamped them together ready to weld.
Taking my time again to prevent warpping of the metal and using lots of light I welded the parts together.
Before welding I did wrap the heater pipe with exhaust tape. I want the heat to demist the windscreen on those wet summer days rather than warm the car and with wrapping the pipe I should get a better flow of hot air.