Just a quick update, been working hard but managed a VW’d festival (in my Mazda!!!!) and some time in the garage. Got as far as cleaning up the rust and old paint on the left side of the car and doing a trial fit. The nose is slightly too long at the moment to get the proper bonnet clearance so I need to file a little off the new panel.
The panel pins are very helpful and saves tack welding for really big panel connections like here, where four panels have to line up.
The new panel needs a lot of adjustments to fit properly but the alignment I have here is pretty good for starters. I did cut too much off originally but welding back in a strip of metal to fill the gap but this is where I’m going to shorten the panel, with my file (electric) to get my bonnet clearance.
Once it all fits correctly I’ll weld in the bottom of the spare wheel well and the left inner wing but remove the front apron ready to do the right inner wing.
With the front in bits, it’s been a good opportunity to clean and remove any rust and paint as well as treat the area. Anything I can’t clean now will be done when I remove the body again at a later date.
Also I’m planning on fitting gas struts to the bonnet hinges because one of the slides has bent out of shape. Using 300mm universal struts bought cheap off eBay so I’ll let you know how I get on.
A quick update.
Managed to adjust the new panels by about 10mm rearwards and now it all fits. This is where the panel pins are a bonus because adjusting holes doesn’t take as long as adjusting welds.
Also chopped off the other side and started lining up the new panel. Had to shift a few bits around in the garage for access.
I didn’t cut off as much on the drivers side as I did on the first side because there was a lot less rust. I spent some time removing the bonnet seal mounting rail because this is a major water trap and there is always rust under it.
Another quick update
Got the other side all lined up ready to weld.
Panel pins, hammer and dolly and clamps very handy to get the panel to fit properly.
Will finish the welding soon and after some cleaning up I should be starting the rear. Finally!