Slow Car Fast
January 1, 2009 - Now, the big question.
How's the rust? Despite the appearance in this picture, it's actually looking really good. You're looking at some of the carpet underpad stuck to the floor, for one thing.
There was some surface crust on the transmission tunnel on the passenger's side - displayed here - that I suspect was related to the AC. But all that metal will likely be replaced anyhow, and it showed no signs of weakness under a screwdriver attack.
The side sills also look solid under the vinyl cover on first inspection. I'll hit them with a Scotchbrite wheel and make sure. The floorboards have an asphalt matting on them from the factory that could hide any sins, but it's not showing any sort of cracking or distress that I associate with the eruption of rust underneath. A good inspection from under the car confirms this.
I think this car is as solid as it appears.
entry 120 - tags: rust
January 14, 2009 - Before I could attach anything, I had to clean off the frame rails.
That's some good looking metal for a 37-year-old British car! I used a wire wheel on my angle grinder to clean it up. Really, I don't need to clean up the side of the original frame rail as I can't weld to there, only the edge.
entry 142 - tags: suspension, rust, frame
January 16, 2009 - Yuk.
I'm removing the asphalt sound deadening from the floorboards so I don't set it on fire while welding to the floor. It's coming off fairly well with a hammer and chisel, so I'm going to pick up an air hammer on the way home from work today to expedite matters. Then the condition of the floorboards will be revealed, but nothing I've seen so far leads me to be concerned. It looks bad in pictures, but all the rust is just surface scum. I can't believe I got so lucky!
entry 145 - tags: interior, rust
January 17, 2009 - Unfortunately, the car was not completely rust-free.
Even before all of the asphalt was up, this section came to light. There's a hole in the top of the sill as well as this damage to the floorboard at the base of the sill. Not too much, though, and it's restricted to the area that can be seen here. It's an easy patch job, no need to bother with new panels. I'll probably cut out the floor between the sill and the raised bit, then put an L-shaped piece of steel in to tie them together.
With the rest of the floors cleaned off on both sides of the car, this was it for rust. Everything else looked just fine. There's still asphalt on the raised ribs on the floor in this picture though, and that makes it look a little dodgy.
entry 147 - tags: rust, floors, asphalt
November 18, 2010 - Work continues.
I'm going to fix up the slight bit of rust on the passenger's floor - these two sections will be trimmed out and replaced.
Meanwhile, the radiator has been pulled out. The new one will be ready today and I'll start working on modifying the bracket at the front of the car.
entry 458 - tags: cooling, rust
November 22, 2010 - It hasn't been all radiator work here over the past few days.
I also repaired the floor. First, I cut out the rotten section including one small patch on the sill. A patch (of fairly thick gauge) was welded in. Nice and solid, ready for another 40 years.
entry 462 - tags: rust
November 22, 2010 - Next step: seam sealer.
Makes for a nice smooth finish and protects against pinholes.
entry 463 - tags: rust
November 22, 2010 - The final step: POR-15 rust paint.
As you can see, I didn't just paint the new patches. I also painted the new radiator support and the entire interior up to the top of the transmission tunnel. My friend Eric and I used to joke about a POR-15 dipping vat, and this looks pretty close! That sheetmetal should be nicely protected against future corrosion now.
Looks pretty good, actually.
entry 464 - tags: rust, paint, POR-15