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Hurmeez last won the day on June 28 2017

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  1. It's been a long while since the last post and I don't feel like I've done enough for a full post yet, but I do want to put something up to show what I've been working on and to say that neither me nor the project is dead yet. I had typed out a nice post but then the browser crashed and I lost all of it so this might be a bit less polished than usual as I try to rush it out. I carried on from the driver's side guard lip by doing the same to the passenger's side. It didn't take long to get the lip cut out and the new one tacked in. You've seen this all before so I shan't write too much about it. No sooner had I tacked it in, that half the bloody car fell off in my lap! I let myself be convinced by those less directly invested that this would be the best way to tackle the whole thing. To be clear, I agree with them, but damn is it not confronting to see it on the floor like that. This way I can get good access to properly panel beat all the welds, as well and ensure all the inaccessible cavities are properly sealed up and corrosion protected before I put it all back together. For example, see here the bare metal and (house) paint flaking off the inside of the lower window panel. I can paint this up properly and have total piece of mind when I weld the quarter panel back on. You can see also how much better access I have to cleaning up the weld on the wheel tub as well. With the quarter off, I had a nice easy down hand weld to get the arch final welded, then I stripped the panel inside and out. I then spend the next 50 hours panel beating the lower rear corner to clean up the patch welds and sharpen up the body lines that run back from the rear of the wheel arch. It's sitting with a guide coat at the moment so it looks far more wavy than it is. The welds themselves are pretty hard to spot at this stage if you didn't know they're there. I'm not very good at it but I'm enjoying the process. I still have the whole of wheel arch weld itself to handle as well, hence not feeling like enough progress to warrant a full post. Hopefully by the next post I'll have it welded back on the car and looking straight as an arrow. Here's wishing everyone a happy new year since it will likely be after that at this stage. Cheers.
  2. Thanks man. I think I'm slowly getting better at it with each panel that goes on.
  3. To explain the previous change in direction a bit, I'm trying to do everything the right way, taking my time and getting rid of any and all rust in a way that's going to mean it's not coming back. Previously I could be found guilty of rushing things a bit under the naïve notion that I could have it on the road ready for the end of high school. Well this is the start of my fourth year graduated now so that's obviously out the window. So for a while now I've been putting far more effort into doing everything the "right" way, rather than the quick way. With that in mind, the next logical step is to sort out the rear guards. That's going to involve a fair bit of panel beating to make any butt welding come out well so any extra access I can get to the rear quarter skin the better. Which means it makes more sense to sort it out first before any of those flash new panels I made go in. So of course I elected to ignore all that and cut out and replace the inner wheel tub instead. I did both sides, hence the last photo showing the wrong side. I wanted to kill two birds with one stone here. First, I had a good chance to acid etch any rust starting in between the skins and prime it all so it wont start again. It also let me rebuild the seat mount lug with an M8 captive nut. I don't know what the standard thread was but I've lost the special shoulder bolt for it. I figured M8 would be a sturdy enough size (bigger than the captive nut that was there) and it'll be easy enough to make myself nice new shoulder bolts to fit. You might also notice I stich welded the wheel tubs to the rear floor section as well. Should help to add a bit of strength. Who knows. Finally I got around to the wheel arch. Someone had previously "rolled" the guards by cutting slots with a big fat slitting disk and hammering them up. Obviously, this didn't lend itself to corrosive longevity. I started by chopping out the shitty rusted lower edge of the tub and replacing it with new steel. It took a good bit of fiddling around but I got there in the end. Didn't take any photos of the process. Dumb. Still, I'll probably not take any when I do the other side either so that should even it out. All the bare steel was painted with two coats of Hammerite. Possibly not the best option but it's what I have and it's mostly to keep everything good until a proper final paint. Next was to offer up the repair panel. It almost feels like cheating to use an off the shelf panel but sometimes common sense does prevail. I made up a few of these snazzy clamps to hold it all together while I tacked it. They turned out really well. They're really common but if you're not familiar, it's just a piece of square tubing with a slot, and piece of threaded rod tacked to a 1mm steel tab. The tab pokes through the gap and has a hole drilled in the other side to receive a short piece of 2mm filler rod. The nut pulls everything up flush and bingo bango, tacks ahoy. All tacked. And all welded. This was a mission and a half. Something like four hours of welding and hammering and probably close to five meters of TIG rod. I did get a bit of shrinkage warping, unfortunately especially the section that's over the vertical brace member that ties the outer edge of the guard to the rear quarter structure. This makes it next to impossible to panel beat it effectively with the tools I have, though I think I ended up getting the whole thing good enough to skim with a thin layer of filler and call it good. That or I might win the lottery later on and get someone who knows more than me to give the whole car a once over. Dreams are free. The matt primer really hides a multitude of sins but it actually is pretty damn good. Still could do with a tickle here and there but I'm still happy with what I have achieved. I got the lip folded up and stitch welded too. Check out the leg! Pure horsepower there! I'll properly seam seal them and fill it all with cavity wax come final paint and assembly. With those folded up, I mocked up a wheel to see how it could sit. I refuse to say fitment. Or flush. Yuck. Much less yuck. Sweet even. Even slapped a few extra lowering blocks in there to get the ride height correct. Could come down another 30mm or so I reckon. Final note/detail that doesn't really fit anywhere in the story. I changed how the wheel tub transitions to the outer skin. The factory setup makes a nice little shelf front and back to collect dirt and grime and shit and keep a good supply of moisture next to the panel and make a nice little rusty ecosystem. I changed it to be a free drop straight from the wheel tub to the ground and not provide anywhere for anything to collect. It's not quite as clean on the outside but a little wipe of filler and it'll be fine. You'll never be able to see it from any normal viewing angle anyway. The panel beating still isn't perfect. Ideally I need a set of spoons and a slapper to get it all where it needs to be. That'll be my next birthday present to me I reckon. Next job though will be to do it all again on the other side. I know how to do it now so hopefully it'll be a little quicker. We'll see. Again, thanks for reading. I really appreciate it.
  4. It's crazy, I try to knuckle down in the time I have, perhaps at the expense of quite so detailed photos as I have done in the past. And yet, when I do remember to update on here, I find I have so many photos and done so much more than I realise. So, to begin. I cut out the rust in the lower right rear wheel arch, giving myself a decent window to have a look at what I had to deal with. Not great but not disastrous. I focused on repairing the wheel tub itself first, while I had good access to both sides. It took me a while with lots of fiddly hand forming but I was happy in the end. With that squared away, I made up a patch for the quarter panel itself and stitched it in. More careful forming over the bench and hammer and dolly work. I wasn't completely happy with it to be honest. You can see it is pretty much dead straight across the bottom, almost appearing to bend down at the front slightly. It doesn't look right, even when standing a distance back and at a more realistic angle. Later on, I actually ran a slit from the front right to the back and lifted the front edge up by about 25mm or so, tapering back to nearly nothing at the back. It made it much more closer to where it should be and looks a whole lot better. There will probably be photos of this later on but take my word for it for now. Finally, with the body work side completed to a point in that area, I could have a crack at my dastardly plan I mentioned last time. I've long known that the battery isn't going to have a home in the engine bay. With that silly big V6 in the way and the overkill intake and such, there's simply going to be no room. Hell I'm still not sure headers will be a given yet but that's a problem for later on. So, where to put it? I had thought about using the spare wheel well back in the day but I've since decided that I like the idea of having a spare after all. Then I had thought about utilising the space ahead of the rear wheel tub and aft of the B-pillar. But I think it's just going to be too narrow to get a decent size erg box in there. I have heard of people making tool boxes in the rear floor, behind the fuel tank and under a false floor panel. I liked that but I thought I could do it a little more elegantly. Here begins the idea that last time I said I'd talk about assuming it worked. Well spoilers, but I'm talking about it. That weird double skin area in the right rear quarter seemed like a perfect spot to me. The plan was to rebuild the area rear of the latitudinal member into a battery box, and then merge it with the panel fore of the member to blend it all back to how it would be from factory. I had a pretty small area to utilise here and I wanted to make the most of it, so very accurate measurements and templates were going to be the order of the day. I broke out the aircraft structure text books from last year and blew the cobwebs off what I had learned. Howzatt!! The goal was 275mm. Trust the maths man! It's friggen magic! Of course for all you know I just put the steel rule on the right number since you can't see the zero end, but let me assure you, that could not be further from the truth. Sits in there proper nice. So I used the same measurements on the steel, used the only bit of steel tube I have lying around to form my radii around, and folded up the final version. Gotta be happy with that. Note I added the dimple for a grommet to cover access to the spring hanger, same as on the other side of the car. Of course this will mean the battery will need to be removed to pull off the rear spring mount, but that's no real big deal. Next thing was to merge it into the forward part of the original panel. I had considered repairing the old one but in the end I decided I was better off to just remake it. Turned out easy enough. I had hoped to weld the two together before installing them but the shape simply wont allow it. Perhaps if I had the whole quarter panel off then it'd be a piece of the proverbial, but for obvious reasons, yeah nah. Finally, that just left the brace panel between the wheel tub and this second panel. Same deal as before, easier to make new than repair so that's what I did. It looks a bit rough but again, all hand formed and it's going to be covered in underseal in the end so I'm not worried. And with it all installed, it looks something like this: Compared to how it was. Looks mint as to me. I still have to work out the covering panel for all this and getting access to the battery and such, but for now, I'm pretty stoked. Next up will be to weld this lot in and find something else to do. Or of course I could chop the wheel arch out and do something completely different. Brilliant. We'll see how this goes later on then. Thanks for reading.
  5. I can try but I wouldn't hold my breath. It's actually my mates dad that's doing the work and I don't know how tech savvy he is.
  6. It's actually based on a Maserati of some sort, don't know off the top of my head. And it's all custom made aluminium body panels. I think the story goes that a guy came to him with an original hens teeth engine and asked him to build the car around it. It's an absolute work of art.
  7. So when I finished the last post I said to myself that the next one should be less wordy and just let the pictures do the talking. Now bear those good intentions in mind as you read the following. I did say that I might need to go to Palmside for the repair panel for this one, which means I am all the more proud of what I was able to pull off. Considering I only have the bench and a couple of hammers and dollies to work with, it came out pretty close. When you see the photos side by side it looks like the rear sloping section is slightly further forward than the original, especially compared to the shackle bolt access hole, but I'm planning to run an early Mondeo space saver or something so I'm not too worried. My cheviots wouldn't fit in there originally anyway so no biggie. Looks pretty good in the hole too. I left the front edge unfinished for now until I figure out what I want to do with the wheel tub and how to connect the two together. You might have noticed I also reused the original strap bracket thing too so, um, neat? So with the inside panel sorted I started on the outside. I started by stripping the paint back, along with the bog. So much bog. Ain't she purty? After setting to with the bench, hammers, and dollies again, I got this whipped up. It looked pretty good and I was preparing to tack it in but as I cleaned up the inside of the rear little corner piece I was finding more and more pitting so I figured I might as well do the whole job proper. Believe it or not, this was roughly formed with a rubber mallet on the grass on the back lawn before I did the final fettling the normal way. If it works it ain't stupid right? And so next began what I can honestly say is my most successful panel welding so far. All told it was about two hours to get to this point, welding 10-15mm each time and hammering on each weld to keep the warping to a minimum. I left the front little bit untouched for now because I'm planning on replacing the wheel arch at some point so I'll finish it off when I get that finalised. Some more panel beating and a quick coat of primer later, I got this: Lighting it from a very oblique angle exaggerates the imperfections but it gives a good idea of what I'm dealing with. I've since spent more time sorting that out as best I can and made some good progress. I don't think I'll be able to get it mirror straight with my abilities but it's pretty close now and a couple of coats of high build primer should get it there. It's a damn sight better than it was in any case. The last panel I wanted to play with in this area was the lower part of the door surround/quarter panel attachment point. This bit. As you can see it's pretty lacy and I wanted to change how the panel fitting worked so I make a replacement up that was slightly different. It's the top one here obviously; the bottom being the now installed quarter patch. You can see the flange where it used to sandwich between the quarter and valence has been folded over and an extra flange added to sit flush with it. From the inside: This is going to let me plug weld the valence directly to that flange and remove the protruding section that they all have from factory. It obviously worked fine for Ford and made it very easy to manufacture but I don't like how it looks and it's always been my plan to remove it. I realise it'll be hidden behind the bumper in the end and no one will ever notice but that's no reason not to waste a few hours on it for me. The finishing touch for this area was to add in the dimple for the bung that covers the shackle bolt access hole in the inner wheel well panel. I could have just left the panel straight, but then anyone who saw it might begin to suspect that the car wasn't a completely standard, unmolested example of a 77 Escort Estate. Obviously that's not something I'm willing to risk. All you need is a lovely wee die like this and you too can keep all the anoraks fooled. I'll take the hole out to final diameter at some point. Don't rush me. I just spent something like three hours hack sawing through this so I'm a bit tired actually. Over the course of making up these panels I did a few plug welds with the TIG. I was quickly convinced I should get myself a MIG before doing many more. So until then, the panels are going to sit nicely in the corner, ready to go when called upon. In the meantime, I've opened another can of worms. The driver's side quarter has similar rust problems, though not as severe. I figured I might as well crack into it while the techniques are still fresh in my mind and I can't progress on the other side. I started by stripping the paint again. And the bog. Even more this time. I'm reminded again how thankful I am to whomever bodged the shit out of this car didn't just scrap it. Cause judging by their skill level, they really should have saved themselves the effort. And then where would I be? This patch it going to need some considerable beating around so I'm definitely going to need access to the inside of the panel. Which means this has to come out. And this. . It's a weird, almost double skin design, but not really, with a decently voluminous inaccessible cavity between the quarter panel and this inner one. With no drain holes either. Of course. So any dirt or water or bolts or bread ties or bookmarks or whatever that falls down there is gonna stay there. Until it rusts itself a nice access hole anyway. But it comes out easy enough in the end. I love spot weld drills. I have some plans for this area. It'll mostly be back to standard with new steel and better drainage, but I also have an idea for the back-most section that I'll reveal later on, assuming it works. Soviet space program style. In the meantime I'll get myself a welder sorted out and keep chasing my wheel arch lead. I'm not sure I stuck to the plan with being less wordy but hopefully it's been entertaining nonetheless. Thanks for reading.
  8. So true to word I finished trimming and cleaning the ends of the chassis rails. I plan to trim these tabs off and replace them with some facing outwards instead. That will let me get inside the rail to clean it out properly and get some good rust preventative paint in there before the valence gets welded on. Before that though, I decided to make up the valence panel itself. I had planned to make a cardboard template to base my replacement panel off, but then I realised that if I just tacked the original panel back together it would make a perfectly good template itself. I had sliced it in half to get better access to the spot welds for removal but that was nothing the welder couldn't sort out. Finally, with the "template" back in one piece, I cut out some material and took it to a workmate's to borrow his swaging jenny. In a perfect world you'd make the whole panel out of one piece and reap all the mad cred for your panel beating skills. I realised though that I don't actually have anyone that I need to impress and it makes no sense doing something the hard way when the easy way reaps essentially the same result (cough cough sump cough cough). Also there was the fact that the swaging jenny's throat wasn't deep enough to reach the center of the panel if it was in one piece. So it came to be that the panel would be made in a total of three parts. I used the jenny to raise the long edges of each of the rectangular swages that run vertically up the panel. While I was there I also borrowed the sheet metal brake to put in the two flanges on the top and bottom, as well as the slight horizontal kink in the swages, about 25mm from the top flange. All the stretching and folding left the panel with some considerable internal stresses which gave it a fairly substantial twist along its length. Rather than trying to hard to correct it at this stage, I carried on forming each of the features in the hope this would help to relieve some of the stress and help straighten everything out. To finish each swage, I hand formed each end with a hammer and dolly, while using the vice as something of a stand-in anvil. I know that's one of the cardinal sins of vice ownership but I don't really have a lot of choice. They're not perfect and there is some bruising from being a bit overzealous with the hammer but it's good enough for the girls I go out with and it wont be visible when everything is painted and undersealed. These alone were enough to take the majority of the twist out. Next it needed a bend in the top flange to follow the original panel shape. The flange itself is around 25mm wide in the centre where the bend needs to be. That would be a fairly ambitious shrink even if I did have access to a shrinker/stretcher, and now without it's even more so. Happily one of the rear door catch bolts wants to exist in the same place as this centre shrink so by adding a cutout to go around the factory captive nut, similar to the factory panel, I made hand shrinking the flange much more doable. So the top flange is bent slightly while the bottom remains straight to weld to the outer rear valence. The top flange front edge was also trimmed parallel to the vertical section meaning the outer edges are narrower than the center. Looks pretty good so far. The last thing that needs doing to this centre section is the addition of the water drain points in the lower flange. The panel gets some speed holes from factory and wiring penetration points, all of which will love to scoop up water. Without some way to let this water back out you end up with a substantial rust trap. Ford knew this, hence there are these water drain points in the factory panel that I am going to attempt to recreate. Making my life easier again, rather than trying to form these points completely with a hammer and dolly and deal with mind bending shrinking and stretching, I opted to chain drill out the space above where the flange will be moved up into, then weld it back up once the desired shape was achieved. I don't think I got any photos of the welds but suffice to say I'm still getting my eye back in after the extended break. Nothing a grinder and paint can't fix though. That meant the centre section is more or less complete. But there are still the two outer pieces that need filling in. Starting with the driver's side due to its more simple shape. This one I did start with a cardboard template before having a go at the steel. It has a tricky double bend where the two folds are in opposite directions but overlap each other which the cardboard doesn't really conform to very well. This translated to similar problems with the steel and as such I didn't take many photos as I battled to fettle the panel into shape. Eventually though, I got the end piece tacked in place on the end of the centre section and fully welded up. Finally I gave it another test fit. I also folded the lower edge over to match the centre section but I guess I missed the photo of that. It ended up fitting really nice and tight up against the chassis rail and where the flange would be on the outer edge so I'm quite pleased with the result. Moving to the other end, the shape required is quite similar but the panel behind it is a bit different. On the passenger side lies the spare wheel well which had a flange on the rearmost edge for the rear valence to weld to. When I went to start working on the shape of the last piece of the inner valence, I realised just how poor of a state the wheel well panel was in. Being completely honest I fell down a rabbit hole and completely forgot about the rear valence for a while. The first thing I noticed was the signs of weld penetration from a patch panel on the inside. Next was the panel tacked on the outside, presumably covering a rust hole. So switching over to the inside of the wheel well, I hit it with a wire wheel to knock off a lot of the rust and shitty underseal and have a proper look at what I'm dealing with. Which wasn't pretty. There's at least two patches on the tub, one on the outer skin, one on the bottom, and one coming partially up the inner side of the wheel well. So rather than try to unpick everything and try to repair it, I threw a new slitting disk on the grinder and ran it next to the lower seam and bing bang boom, Yeah that's not going to go back together very easily. In any case, here's the panel I'm going to need to recreate somehow: Can you count the layers of patches? This one might be a palmside jobbie yet, but they only have the saloon version available so I might has well have a go myself first since an off the shelf panel will need modifying anyway. She's gonna be a pretty big job. If you made it through that, thanks for reading my typically over explained and lengthy post. Be sure to pipe up in the discussion thread if you have anything you'd like to add. Cheers.
  9. Yeah I'd be keen. You'll have to try and hold back your gushing when I turn up in a 99 capella rally wagon but I'm keen as a bean.
  10. I know the pinto has it coming out of the block down near the engine mount bosses for one so it wouldn't be completely unprecedented to drill out one of the cast bosses and take it off the crank case directly. I think that the main plan though is either a custom right angle fitting that pushes into the factory bung with a hose attached to a down stream valve, or a threaded bung somewhere more available on the cover going to the same downstream valve type setup. That is unless I get ridiculously lucky on a Pick a Part wander and find a very low profile factory valve, in which case I'll use that.
  11. Yeah I don't think it will be difficult to shift the PCV. That's why I didn't do more when making the manifold to try and make it fit around it better. I know using the mazda covers would be easier but I kinda want the ford cover on the passenger side at least purely for the logo. It won't be the first time I haven't done something on the car the easy way for a very shaky reason.
  12. I really should get some rust preventative splashed around too. Look at it starting on the back of the throttle body stud. Yeesh.
  13. Sorry about the photos. I recently got a new phone after five odd years and didn't even think to check how big the file size was. Turns out 4624x2600 might be a wee bit big. I'm reluctant to ask it for less if it's capable of taking and storing that nice a quality for posterity, but I tried to do some hackerman shit in the back ground to make it more palatable online. Turns out Oldschool must automatically compress images because when they're only showing up as 1000 odd pixels wide once they're embedded in the post. So I think it's possibly a forum end issue. I have compressed the images in this post so let me know if it makes a difference. With regards to the PCV system, I think whomever the thick bastard was that decided to use such oversized throttle bodies has stuck another issue in my way. The PCV port is accessible, just, but I'll have to make some sort of custom low profile bung and run a valve from a different application. There's also this sneaky wee bugger on the passenger side cam cover but it's not present on either of the mazda covers I have so I think I'll get away with blanking that for the cert. Other than that, there's plenty of helpful, skilled, and willing blokes at work who can teach me to ally weld properly so I think moving outlets around as you suggest shouldn't be a big deal.
  14. Speaking of butchery, I figured since I'd spent so much time on the front end initially, it's only fair I now pay some attention to the rear. Starting with the rear valence. I've long been suspicious of this panel. It has a kind of funky transitional step between the paint surface and the bumper mount doubler plate, as well as some "creative" crease lines that seem to meander where ever they please when viewed side on. So it was decided that this would be my first goal for the new workshop. Unfortunately this old photo is probably the best one I have for demonstrating what I'm referring to since as per usual I didn't think to take a decent before photo. Before I could actually get anywhere significant progress wise though, I wanted to get my work space set up as best I could. This is what I ended up with. A decently sized modular bench with a good quality vice and a few other tools and things I've managed to collect so far. Normally there is a car parked where I'm standing but I move it outside whenever I'm making any sort of mess. Right then, everything set up, time to start working. I got the slitting disk out and sliced the valence off near the spot welds. Once it was mostly free I swung it down and was greeted with this glorious work of art. No that's not huhu grubs, that's bog that's oozed through the anchor holes they've drilled to get such a large amount of schmoo to hang on properly. Note also the skilled craftsmanship that has gone into the bumper mount hole repair panel, And the general nature of the whole panel. To satisfy my own curiosity, I had a dig at the bog with the finger sander to see how deep it actually went. At least 10mm and that's probably not even the deepest bit. Clearly, I'll be replacing this whole panel. They are available (unbelievably) from the UK for the wee small sum of £160 ish plus shipping and gst. That's not too bad but it's more than I'd like to spend and I reckon I can have a decent crack at making a close approximation before shelling out for genuine panels, if it comes to that. Unfortunately, I don't think I can trust the existing panel for accuracy shape wise, so there'd be no point in making a replacement to the same pattern. Solving this is a small matter of borrowing some kind soul's unmolested rear end to have my way with for a short while. To make some cardboard patterns up, which I can then use to make my own. Obviously. What were you thinking? We'll see how successful that is later on. In the meantime, removing that panel revealed some less than ideal conditions on the inner rear valence too. This bit looks like it's been cut and bent open, before being bent back and tacked in place. I have no idea what the goal was there. This is a similar deal to the outer panel. Available for £144 plus all the add-ons, but again, I'm going to have a go myself first. This should be even easier since it's a relatively simple panel with some minor swages and straight bends. So, out it came. Which revealed yet more problems with the panels on either end. Rather than continuing to dig further and further, I decided to make a simple repair (if for nothing but a change in the pattern) to the mostly good panel that the tail gate latch bolts to. I guess I'll call it the slam panel. Someone had already had a go at it with an over sized, unprotected patch, but I want to do it properly. So out it comes, Make up a patch panel with the hammer and dolly and vice, Zeus it, Tap it, Grind it, Et voila! Didn't take long and I think the flatmates were actually starting to enjoy the smell of grinding disks and TIG welding by the end of it. Next up, finish trimming and removing the remains of the inner valence panel and have a go at a cardboard template. Long weekend should help make a good bit of work happen too. Cheers.
  15. Sweet. I had wondered if I'd be able to do that. I might have some clearance issues with the pcv valve itself too but I think that'll be a bit easier to figure out.
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