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June 16, 2005
4.0 Hours

Trunk Repairs, Part 1000

I'm still working, still here, don't worry. I'll admit that it's been tough lately to get out into the garage and patch the trunk, but I've been trying to repair one hole each night. Unfortunately, last week had record heat sweeping through north east Ohio, so it wasn't much fun wearing long sleeves and long pants to do some welding and grinding and not much has been done lately. I'm pretty tired of burning through, so I aggressively started cutting out bad metal instead of trying to weld it up. It takes more time, but it gives better results.

The first thing I attacked was the left side body mount which was badly cracked. I tried welding up the cracks and hammering it flat again, but the crash that damaged the left quarter panel stretched and distorted the metal so badly that I couldn't save it. So out it goes.

Driver's side body mount was beyond saving.

Before I could repair the body mount, I decided to fix the inner wheel well. I've replaced the rear sections on both sides of the body, but the section forward of the body mount was pretty well roached out. When the quarter panel was replaced, the seams were not well aligned and only welded together in a few places, so there were gaps that allowed water into the trunk. Since this may be noticeable in the future, I wanted to make the seam straight and clean, so I cut it all out.

My original thought was to replace the outer panel and simply weld the inner panel to it, but then I found that the inner panel was equally rusted out and had to remove it as well. As I've done in the past, I used a technique I call "sculpting" where I weld the replacement metal to the trunk floor at a 90-degree angle, load up the seam with heavy weld bead, then grind it down to the original contour of the bent metal. I used it on the other side of the body mount on the left side.

Outside of wheel well patched. Clamps are for spot-welding inner
and outer panels together.

I used my "sculpting" technique to create a radius between two
pieces of metal that will look 100% original after I dress the welds.

After that, I ran out of Argon for my welder, so I had to stop. I'll get more tomorrow after work and try to finish up the trunk this weekend. I'm almost there, just a few more patches.

Two patches to go, then a lot of grinding on the seam (arrow).

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Last modified on 06/23/2005

Thanks, Fidget!