Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Nice one Nigel, the welding takes shape

Phase 1 of the welding - get the framehead on square !
Pretty important as otherwise I could be driving in circles all day. Fortunately my friendly local welder Nigel was able to come and weld it all up in my garage. This meant I could spend many hours getting it all leveled first. All four corners were on axle stands with spirit levels across the torsion tubes front and rear and across the shock mounts. Jigs were made to measure the distance from the chassis bearer to the rear torsion tubes and these measurements were checked throughout the welding process. Initially I had planned to replace just the chassis bearer and lower framehead panel. As I said under the 'Donor card' blog the original framehead had been welded so many times it was impossible to get ay repair panels to fit. Fortunately VW Heritage (see links) do this great framehead replacement panel with all 3 parts pre assembled.
The framehead was initially tacked on, and then fully seam welded to good clean metal. As a further precaution a slot was cut in the repair panel 4 inches along to weld through to the tunnel below. The new panel overlaps the original tunnel by at least 6 inches allowing this second weld point which we thought was important for strength.

Once we were happy that the framehead was on in the right place the floorpans could go in. I had again taken many measurements to be sure I knew where the pans started and finished. Pleasingly, with the framehead secure the pans went in on their markings. This confirmed 3 things, Nigel had done a good job with the welding, the measurements were correct and the new pans were a decent quality and the same as the ones that came off - result !
The lower edge of the tunnel, near the mounting lip had been damaged in parts by sitting water - mainly near the pedals, so some right angle steel was welded in to give strength back here, and for good measure carried right along the flat sections. The final stage will be to fill in a hole cut in the top of the tunnel by the last owner (lazy) and plate over the pedal mounting holes (I am not using the original pedal set up). Also holes in the bulkhead for the master cylinder etc need plating as they are for LHD ! Then I will pump the tunnel full of Waxoyl and ensure the dreaded tin worm is banished.


Sarah the Girlfriend said...

Well, I had to be the first to post a comment onto your blog. My lovely 'dedicated to his Nova car' boyfriend James. You know that you are definately going to achieve the 'on the road' date of 1st August 2007, agreed when you first bought her. I totally support your project and am happily always on hand to photograph your milestones. Just remember a nice big compartment for my shopping !!

Anonymous said...

Jim, glad your site is up and running. It will probably be ages before Lu nd Roy post anything, they always were a it slow :-))
Thanks for the picture as well, but you did forget to point out that Roy was the 'good looking' one, or has Sarah reconsidered?
Laters, Mark.