Hurmeez

Hurmeez' 1977 Mk2 Escort Estate

73 posts in this topic

So the only option was to arsehole the whole lot and start again. P_20161116_204749.thumb.jpg.79a960cce5f282f0ad4f7d41ef9c9ccf.jpg

Banished to the wall of offeringsP_20161116_204755.thumb.jpg.f1b1980a85c29a49e6745f3abacf1c21.jpg

And a pretty new one from palmsideP_20161121_143303.thumb.jpg.bd91cc73b66d15831d0455efd63e44c8.jpg

I think I'll call it there for tonight. We'll pick up the tale again sometime tomorrow.

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Actually nah screw that I'm gonna keep going. :tongue:

Once the front panel was off the true extent of the corrosion in that part of the car was obvious. So more fab work was called for. I started off by making a new radiator support/front panel mount. I folded the main bend first then used a slitting disk to split the fold in the middle part where the rad mounts. Then I carefully reverse folded these two new flaps and zipped the whole lot up with the TIG. By doing the folds this way I was able to keep the amount of welding to a minimum and therefore the amount of distortion too. Then it was a doddle to put some plates in to blank off the holes and fold up the relevant mounting tabs and there you go, one piece done. P_20161206_203755_SRES-min.thumb.jpg.2042e6a815886f7787f7a4783ac647fa.jpgP_20161206_203808_SRES-min.thumb.jpg.8b77a0cf169065370a4bbe80738d40b6.jpgP_20161206_164134.thumb.jpg.62dfc14f903a0e3491f6eab3b392bb6b.jpg

You'll note the slight curve in the bottom part which follows the curve of the valence to be welded to it. This design is different to a stock escort where the rad cutout wouldn't have been there at all. By doing it this was I have made a neat solution to shift the rad forward in order to clear the longer pinto motor. Mint.

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Next I made some repair panels for the front of each chassis leg. They were fairly simple. Started with a cardboard template then transferred it to steel and folded the lot up. There is actually an inner and outer piece to each of these just like the factory chassis leg to add rigidity but I didn't get any photos of the inners.

P_20161206_203728_SRES-min.thumb.jpg.41e7335bbea02e1481dcdc63a9e00744.jpg

This is the chassis leg and front panel sitting in place. I haven't removed the rad supports yet because I wanted to make all the replacement panels first in case I chop out the old panels and everything moves around and I don't know where to build to.P_20161206_203228.thumb.jpg.c5d375e1e626dcad54d88a0240f5c134.jpg

I have to keep making posts with just a few photos because they're too big file sizes. I thought I was being clever at the time getting the highest possible quality photos from my phone. It's biting me in the bum now. :cry:

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Then it was on to making up some rad support panels. I made up a wooden buck out of some MDF lying around and used that to form the ~20mm flanges on each one to fit the contour of the inner wing. One of them needed a bit of heat to encourage it to shrink around the corner but the other came around just fine. I used the bead roller to put in the inset portions to try and mimic the factory stamping shapes. P_20161206_203907_SRES-min.thumb.jpg.93daf5aa2e45c3b3d5ddcba2baba79eb.jpg

These last two are all the panels clamped in place to see how they look, and them all laid out to more easily see how they fit together.P_20161206_203259_SRES-min.thumb.jpg.ce2c198ec07a7b8c036022543f1323d3.jpgP_20161206_202903.thumb.jpg.441fbbac08cbea86a55f8f1a94d47514.jpg

The shorter one on the right was intentionally made that long but the asymmetry bugged the shit out of me so I ended up remaking it to the same length as the left hand one.

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It was at this point that I realised that I couldn't weld any of these panels in yet. To weld them in I would need to know exactly where the front panel wanted to go. To know where the front panel wants to go I need to know where the guards want to go so I can match all the lines up. Since I need to repair the guards I need to pull them off. To know where to put them back on after I repair them I need to know where the doors are to match up the lines. To make sure the doors are hung in the right spot I need to sort out the A-pillars. So that's whats next.

Well sort of. Looking at the state of the a pillar after cleaning all the paint and shit off it tells me that the whole shebang needs binning and starting over. To pull the old a pillar out and replace it properly I need to get to the top of it. Are you spotting a pattern here yet? So I need to cut a part of the corner of the cowl out to gain access and I'll just weld it back in later on. Or so was the initial plan.

I cleaned back the pain around the lower corner of the windscreen post to see what I'm dealing with a find a big old ugly patch. So now this has turned into another rust/"repair" repair. Before I cut out all the bad steel I formed up the replacement panel over the top to get the right shape.P_20161222_175720.thumb.jpg.37a7157220613634e84303f458a69661.jpgP_20161222_175726.thumb.jpg.e44656f936655c1df7152dece1eb7196.jpgP_20161222_175734.thumb.jpg.897b90702c70b41bc298beefbcf1dc78.jpg

So that's that panel tacked up into shape. Now I can move on to deeper and dirtier bits of the beast.

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So I tore the A pillar off and removed the rusted lower half of the inner pillar and replaced it with nice new steel.P_20161225_104658_SRES-min.thumb.jpg.c4415e567ae2ddb8c2036d2589ac2627.jpgP_20161225_104726.thumb.jpg.c675cb58bb28f73413bb7aa6314a148b.jpgP_20161225_104750.thumb.jpg.b789ca0f74d461e12691935abfd28d8a.jpg

The welds weren't my finest work but it't not coming out any time soon.

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Next job was to prep the new repro A pillar panels for welding in. The original pillar has a reinforcing panel welded in the back side of the outer skin. So I set about reproducing that from some shiny new steel.P_20161227_101043.thumb.jpg.2e7098119752f71ca796fe1a67f4270c.jpgP_20161227_101054.thumb.jpg.23cfe61a918ee42bed88d0e324c25cd9.jpg

The gussets are there to replace swages that continued around the fold in the panel. I can tell you first hand that they are a real bitch to try and replicate (read: I fucked one royally and had to start the whole lot over trying to do it) so I opted to do these gusset type things instead. They provide much more stiffness than the stock piece anyway.

Then I had to modify a mk1 escort A pillar repair panel because the mk2 estate pillar is very similar but uses mk2 style bolt on door hinges instead of the welded on mk1 style. Like so...P_20161227_101203.thumb.jpg.a2929be239d795a77a2377e1a45e63fd.jpg

Then the two get zapped together with a bajillion plug welds to make sure that shit aint going nowhere.P_20161227_132047.thumb.jpg.910d264e2a6aeabb83a5a947763f6848.jpgP_20161227_161210.thumb.jpg.fbe8ecea5f9901ce89d1401d2dfac741.jpg

I used the TIG for all these plug welds but it was such a pain in the butt and took so long that I would use the MIG next time. It came out pretty neat though I thought.

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And boom! It's on the car.P_20161227_195519.thumb.jpg.acd9d5404d02bf9a3e2692a61b805251.jpgP_20161227_195537.thumb.jpg.6470f9453e21ada94c0fdd5bfd455fe1.jpg

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Then it was just weld the new cowl panel in. Tacked firstP_20161229_145521.thumb.jpg.71e010013bea42b0b32b933f00b64871.jpgP_20161229_145539.thumb.jpg.87b2f28f6a2c3f422d29d57cbb03a95b.jpg

Then slowly and carefully fully weld it all back in. Here it is all ground back

P_20161229_164433.thumb.jpg.c15c7f5c00ba02e226c12aadaba7cbab.jpg

And stitched around the bottomP_20161229_164443.thumb.jpg.a7295313b9516669af77f157034da2cf.jpg

When I fitted the door I found that the patch was slightly too girthy (:wink:) and the edge of the door would touch it when it was shut. My solution at the time was to make up some spacers for the hinge to hold the door out from the cowl. Like so...P_20161229_182348.thumb.jpg.a0f6a271b6c0de2690c124390da40793.jpg

You can see the plate sandwiched between the hinge and the pillar. Now don't roast me. I know this is a terrible solution to a problem I have created myself. Don't fret. It gets fixed. This all happened six months ago remember.

I then went and welded in the door check strap bracket. This was the beginning of another debacle, as the next post will detail...P_20161229_172017.thumb.jpg.9530defab0380df26c447d07e51b7757.jpg

 

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So I slapped that bracket in and bolted to door up to look at the fitment. P_20161229_182411.thumb.jpg.d8546655e21c7bbeb1b2903a2cdfba60.jpgP_20161229_182419.thumb.jpg.fa98b0ff054ff5aa21a1cc1d5d926fef.jpg

As you can see, somethings not right. The door doesn't open near far enough and after some investigation I realised that the check strap bracket was about 5mm to far inboard. That meant the check strap couldn't extend far enough to allow the door to open properly. So out had to come the check strap bracket. Unfortunately some dick had plug welded the snot out of it and so I had to drill out the welds, shift it over, and weld it back in.P_20161230_101732.thumb.jpg.799e73cfd943e9f935a51c9053093228.jpgP_20161230_102415.thumb.jpg.d1f6be23ab80688693661a35cab72c30.jpgP_20161230_102427.thumb.jpg.3625ce9b2d98095477f60d579a418b5e.jpg I love making more work for myself. :(

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On to the other side. I tore the A pillar off this side and found another piss poor repair attempt in the wheel arch. So while I was there I cut it all out as well as the front portion of the sill which needed rust repairs as well.P_20170108_131922.thumb.jpg.3b994334b6e737aa04585f3729ab0faa.jpgP_20170108_131959.thumb.jpg.76119b9f85cb05cd0470204678422f2f.jpg

When I cut the sill off I was particularly careful to keep the steel I ground out to a minimum. I used the thinnest slitting disk we have as you can see in the last photo, and kept it down to about 1mm or so lost material. The inner sill was cut out too for the same reasons. As you can see I also added in some bracing since I'm taking out so much structural material and I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Then I set about rebuilding the front of the sill. I preferred at this stage to tack with the MIG and do the proper welding with the TIG as the photos show.P_20170111_120807.thumb.jpg.fd37dbf767b14c8b31cde72da323f03d.jpgP_20170111_151322.thumb.jpg.045c3972f2b578e2c426495aec663684.jpg

Again, not my best work but as they say, "a grinder and paint make me the welder I aint" 

Then I used the through panel clamps to hold the sill in place while I tacked it back on. I used the original splitting disk to set the root gap of the weld to make doubly sure it was in exactly the same place as when it came off.P_20170112_110221.thumb.jpg.a55f6520615a6fac5974a6c50209aeec.jpg

Then it was tacked and fully welded back on, taking breaks and letting it cool to keep distortion down to a minimum.P_20170112_131600.thumb.jpg.70d43688469e038937f680b8616e531b.jpg

Turned out pretty good. Skim of filler, paint, you'll never know.

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Now it's on to filling up that massive hole in the wheel well. I made up a quick and dirty paper template and transferred it to steel. Formed it up and offered it up to the hole. After some fettling I got it clamped up and tacked in.P_20170119_102322.thumb.jpg.4c1cb3ddcd2a8e5a339529d0735a0d29.jpgP_20170119_104517.thumb.jpg.e36b533528277e1412c3c9668b224e15.jpg

P_20170119_104529.thumb.jpg.82b6e37e92046c717cc949d8e80627a9.jpg

It was about now that I wanted to sort out that join between the splash panel and the inner A pillar. I could have replaced the whole panel but I'd rather not cut out any good steel if possible. So I cut out the rust and brazing over rust (wtf?) and made up a strip to fit in the gap. Plug welded it on as well as fully welding the wheel well panel and jobs a good'P_20170126_152048.thumb.jpg.18881c6dd6481f296ee3443b005e311d.jpgunP_20170126_152048.thumb.jpg.18881c6dd6481f296ee3443b005e311d.jpg

Each bit done is one more bit I don't have to do.

P_20170126_152055.jpg

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To finish off the sill part of the operation I needed to make up an inner sill panel. So that's what went and did. Efficient aye? So paper template, steel,P_20170203_145410.thumb.jpg.1896032f9a938383ac5148bd1fab78aa.jpg

hole,P_20170203_145419.thumb.jpg.92de3f0ca799279dd8502441ad6d11a6.jpg

no hole,P_20170203_213453.thumb.jpg.e70cc94d9b987d111347e4e33a45f0a7.jpgP_20170203_213440.thumb.jpg.107c56acfe8ead09932dfde23b0ac6d0.jpg

And all welded up. Only took about 20 minutes...(hahahahahahahah not)

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With that sorted I could move on to the outer skin and brace panel. You've seen this all before so it's more of the same.

Lots of plug welds,P_20170219_102339.thumb.jpg.206d02728bb22ced7e376b58eadcb67c.jpg

Tacked in place and hung the door to check panel gaps/alignmentP_20170220_153744.thumb.jpg.1286ce53fac3759bb9f9bb5e8edc749a.jpgP_20170220_153752.thumb.jpg.786a1072bc00d3f0f120a124f2471f1d.jpgP_20170220_153813.thumb.jpg.47b5f5d818b131b4744e1b187a472ef5.jpg

Then these all got fully welded. There was a couple of fairly big gaps to fill up but taking my time I got them all sorted.

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As much as the extra cowl vent would have improved airflow into the cabin, I feel I should fill it up with some new steel. The patch on this side stretches further along than the other side because someone had punched the cowl in along here by about 15mm and filled it with bog to bring it back to shape. I see a pattern forming with the technique of whoever the previous panel beater was. So I sliced out the dented panel and formed a new one to match the driver's side shape. 

Tacked in and checked for shape and fitP_20170321_204728.thumb.jpg.566deabf163e927c0bddd1f3186cc8e3.jpgP_20170321_204756_SRES-min.thumb.jpg.90dc582b1384377ec4ef38ab87fa9775.jpgP_20170321_210412_SRES-min.thumb.jpg.22fc8d9a65b3aff0d5bf41845d038929.jpg

Then it was time to fill up some holes and weld it all in

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Something like thisP_20170402_124304_SRES-min.thumb.jpg.579f33f8fde84eaf5ac311d68307c180.jpg

P_20170402_124317_SRES-min.thumb.jpg.5d0acd3aa22481c5e7ae2e472d4acc81.jpg

This angle shows just how close the shape is to the unmolested cowl. I'm quite happy with thatP_20170402_124426.thumb.jpg.c7a54f6c86d232fca28481d4629aa8a9.jpg

So cool, A pillar rebuild is basically complete. For those of you paying attention that means I can now move on to...

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...The guards. Right. So I started by stripping the paint off of the passenger side guard to find this...P_20170419_141236.thumb.jpg.59df02e514def5bf79723ac9adb9cf45.jpgP_20170419_141243.thumb.jpg.629e758d2e03bce2fd9670a325098904.jpgP_20170419_152255.thumb.jpg.ace542324b145d574e17de16c0d20def.jpg

It's not easy to see but someone has beat the shit out of it with a ball peen hammer and then bogged over it to bring it back to straight. I really shouldn't be surprised at this point. Even so, this sort of work was a bit much for me to handle at that point and it was a bit discouraging but I bravely soldiered on and got stuck intoP_20170422_114207.thumb.jpg.2b39e8cca0f2ae51ff5a38e72fcae241.jpg

the passengers side door. Obviously :tongue:

To be continued...

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I'd known there was a bubble here for a while but while offering up the guard to see how the panel gap was I pushed on the front bottom corner and the hole thing flexed with a distinctly crunchy sound. So I chipped and wire wheeled the bog off the top and found this. P_20170422_114215.thumb.jpg.69d8b4d7c6d79a722764454ddab165dc.jpgP_20170422_114232.thumb.jpg.8a4cebf4942a46403e3e1c54118d40bd.jpg

Note the "repair." 

So out came the slitting disk and out came the rotP_20170422_123908.thumb.jpg.7b5d9aca0614ef264112308be0ffe2cb.jpg

I would have liked to go higher up the hinge panel but there is a reinforcing panel behind the hinges. It was in good condition and I couldn't be arsed to deal with the can off worms shifting the hinge would have done so it was this far and no further. 

Then it was time for a templateP_20170422_132530.thumb.jpg.879ccf9b52f67f2a853b9fae2385a669.jpg

Then spray the paper with some silver paintP_20170422_221825.thumb.jpg.a09390e977b41c4cfafc2916ec97e329.jpg

And bam, brand new steelP_20170422_230352.thumb.jpg.6783d4cad6c88447428d23618239ec94.jpg

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After that was welded in I made up a skin repair panel, tacked it in place and folded it over.P_20170426_115306.thumb.jpg.e22e01ad511d3251eb97dfaf27720716.jpgP_20170426_121028.thumb.jpg.70c332b36933af28e9e1788091b9b923.jpgP_20170426_121712.thumb.jpg.79a62dbcbe04e161583148166878f36a.jpgP_20170426_121704.thumb.jpg.290181921d2b568fb436c162346df5ac.jpg

The fold didn't turn out great but I should be able to skim the edge with a bit of filler and it should sort it out.

P_20170426_173550.thumb.jpg.329ca052d5edec510030ac7b1f9ad88c.jpg

It's a similar story with the skin patch too. Because of where it is there isn't really an opportunity to get a dolly behind it so it warped a fair bit from the welding. It was also a bit heavy gauge steel for a skin which didn't help. If I were to do it again I'd probably weld the skin patch in first so I can beat it a bit then weld the inner panel in afterward since it's not as crucial to get it straight. The right way would have been repairing the inner panel and fully replacing the door skin so if anyone has a cheap mk1 escort door skin replacement panel available let me know and I can do the whole lot properly and feel much better about myself. Either way, there's good steel in there now and no issues bog wont fix. 

Now I'm going to sack up and tackle the guard issues.

 

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The plan has always been to convert the guards to bolt on to help with repairs and access to the wheel arch and inner wing. If I was made of money I would buy some NOS guards from the UK but because they're so hard to find it would cost me near $1500, or $1000 for brand new fiberglass ones from down south. Either way that is money that I don't have and so I have to go about repairing the ones I have. 

That first meant making a new inner panel for the top front of the guard with bigger flanges to put bolts through. Originally I was just going to weld some bigger flanges onto what was there but after I looked into it it would be easier to make a whole new replacement panel than weld to the rusty flanges that were there. So it was paper template then steel as per normal.P_20170521_204644.thumb.jpg.b90b46e6dca88a43943da108abe67ce5.jpg

The next flanges I would need to enlarge to fit bolts were those on the inside guard forward of the wheel arch. Here they are tacked into place.P_20170521_223227.thumb.jpg.f360a02f538e3ed0b6c69b230fd6a1a9.jpg

So now there is at least 20mm of flange to put bolts through everywhere along this edge.

The top front corner of the guard was a mess of pinholes so I filled them up carefully with the TIG but no matter how careful I was I blew some holes and had to put a fair bit of filler wire in to fill them up. Ultimately this made for a nice smooth outer skin but a lumpy mess on the other side. It was also in a really hard spot to get to to grind it back and because of that it was stopping my shiny new upper panel from fitting anymore. So I decided once again to do what I should have done in the first place and cut the affected area out and replace it with good new steel. Firstly I had to cut out the shitty piece...P_20170610_151754.thumb.jpg.68cf85810b47ca42e58a79825a3af68f.jpg

Showing me this on the back sideP_20170610_151829.thumb.jpg.2da529116659a49b2aff0827b8e3791f.jpg

Then I had to get around to making up a repair panel. It wasn't long before it was looking something like this.P_20170611_162236.thumb.jpg.a4c42f2b9b942b71edd69bc5c636666c.jpgP_20170611_162231.thumb.jpg.24094931b98070a958f196e55308f1e6.jpg

And once the inner panel was welded in this front part was done.

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