Today I added to rear panel tab to bolt the rear panel to the cross member. I primed and painted the back side of the replacement panel before setting the body back down on the frame and lining it back up with the body bolts.
Then I moved on to the passenger side rust through. I was going to cut out 2 different sections, the small floor piece and the bottom of the cowl brace. After looking at it for a little while, I decided to just cut one large piece out of the side instead. I’m glad I did that – it made it easier to get in there to replace the floor and cowl brace. When I peeled the skin back, I saw that the whole back side of the cowl brace was flaking rust and there was some rust in the tool box area.
I used a piece from the leftover rear patch panel to make the floor patch since it already had the correct lip on it. I cut the bottom of the cowl brace off as well.
I welded the floor patch in and started fabbing the lower cowl brace replacement. Yeah, not pretty at the moment. I am NOT a welder to start with, and trying to tack to half rusted old metal made it that much harder!
I used a piece cut from the tub skin I cut out to form it. I used a piece of cardboard to get the dimensions and folds right so that I wouldn’t waste metal (sorry, I didn’t take a pic of that). Then I transferred the template to the metal and bent it using the bench vise and a hammer. I’m kinda proud of how it turned out – being the first piece I EVER fabbed!
I welded the brace patch in with a bunch of tacks and then tacked the inside to the floor as original.
I used a combination of the side grinder, die grinder with carbide burr and angle die grinder to clean up my crappy welds as much as I could. Then I painted everything with a heavy coat of red oxide primer. Turned out pretty good!
I don’t think I’m going to replace the metal in the toolbox at this time – I really don’t want to get into removing the toolbox to get to it. I put a heavy coat of rust converter and primer on it instead. I will deal with it when the time comes.
Tomorrow I will go pick up a piece of metal to re skin the side and move on to the next project.