Luckily i finished all the outstanding welding work to the monocoque itself a couple of moths back, but its been quite a long process because as we all know repair panels are pretty hard to come by and the price can be high.
Thats been a major reason for the time to do this so far, its been done on a very restricted budget.
If id have had to subcontract out the work to the body, ie the welding and panel fabricating jobs, i couldnt have done it, itd have been too expensive, so panels/patches had to be made not bought.
Its been expensive as it is what with almost all parts being replaced for new, but that cant be helped and i always counted on doing it pretty much like i have, besides, i never really "own" a car until ive had its guts out all over the floor and know everything i can about it.
So anyway, a few more photos.
The climate in this country isnt too grand at the best of times, heck it peeved the romans no end and even they buggered back off to sunier climes, so its hardly surprising that the poor old quattro was suffering from some weather and monkey induced damage.
One of the first jobs was to start repairing the jack up damage to the sills.
Obviously some folks dont give a hoot about where a jack goes and it shows...
The damage here has come about because the body coatings been damaged by jacking up without due regard to protection of it with a rubber pad or similar, rust gets a hold and the whole area gets weakened.
The end of the sill had broken away (behind where the trailing edge of the wing bolts down) and a quick shot with the grinder had it away meaning i could take a picture inside the sill.
Still had the original wax in place but obvious signs of rust creeping along the seam which needed cutting out.
This is on the drivers (rh side-im uk remember) and the corrosion extended about 18 inches along.
3 layers of steel to get to grips with here and rebuild it all to be as close as it could be to stock.
At this point ive removed all the rot from that damaged area and made good the end of the sill.
Still needed final fettling but thats just cosmetic.
The whole area is very much more solid than before, i felt at one point id be like Fred Flintstone with my feet providing stop and go action...
A spot of bubbling at the rear arch turned into a major job.
Cutting the affected part out revealed a corroded inner arch as well as its return flange...agh, hate doing these, theyre so involved!
Always turns into something bigger dosent it?
Not too put off i formed a cunning plan....... to forget all about refurbing it.....well not really i was quite into it at that point.
Leading edge of the arch was toast as well as the jacking pont at the rear.
Lots and lots to think about here, not least keeping the relative shape of the arch and its structure in 3d space.....headaches.
First thing- leave the inner arch alone at this stage and fabricate up the outer skin replacement, you can still hang that where it should be using what you still have of the old material under it.
Fabricating that skin wasnt easy either as it has more than a few elements to it and shape and contour changes, and im no panel beater.
I am dogged tho which might be helpful.
Started like this.
Made a cardboard copy (very rough indeed) of the basic shape by impressing the edge shape onto it from the car then transferred it to sheet steel and starterd to hamerform the curve of the flange.
First ever attempt at something so complex.
Sturdy metal table is oh so useful. And ear defenders.
Pryed up an edge bit by bit all around the curve then steadily hammered it into shape.
Until after a few hours of clanging and no doubt irritating the neighbours across the way, i got this panel made up.
Quite pleased with it, but did it fit?
Heck yeah! Pretty much on the money. Only needed to be fettled to fit the hole id cut out and then itd be good to go.
Self congratulations and much handshaking gave way to the sudden realisation that the inner flange and arch was going to be a sight harder as it had an even more extreme shape....how the heck?
Can only say that i went at it in the same manner, cardboard, steel, table, little block of wood and a hammer or two.
Surprisingly it seemes to have been easier than the outer skin, at least thats what i felt about it.
It too came out pretty much on the money, such good luck!
One on top of the other.
Presenting the inner repair arch panel up and marking a place to cut it to and lap weld it in place took a while as it was a judgement call on where to remove the material to as i had to get the rot out and try and juggel all the points it needed to pick up, still it worked ok.
Obviously just tacked on here.
By now it was time to address the jack up point and sill corrosion.
1mm cutting disc did the job nicely.
And allowed me to fabricate a repair.
Along with an end to the box section to tie it all in when ready.
Once happy that it would all go in as it should i set about prepping up to weld it all together.
I used plug welds and did them infrequently to prevent distortion as much as possible.
I didnt seem to encounter any real issues as it all just "went in" ok. Weird really as its quite a complex repair now that i look back at it.
Wouldnt want to take it on for someone else i must say.
Barest skim of filler later and its looking pretty good.
Just in time for the other side.....