Hurmeez' 1977 Mk2 Escort Estate

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Lot's of photos today.  Finally. I went to the engineering shop and got my sheet sliced with the guillotine and folded up in the sheet metal brake. They all worked out perfectly except the very first one. I didn't clamp it down properly while I was doing a particularly skinny fold and it sort of just pushed the sheet back into the brake in the center so only the outer corners actually got bent up. P_20170718_131134.thumb.jpg.16f7f0c657430ece6d0914e9afc96a06.jpgUnfortunately because of how I did it I couldn't try to make this fold again so I had to go back to plan A. The boring and tedious method. So I made myself a very specialised tool.P_20170718_132430.thumb.jpg.d156ebb37cfc1bc933b57adf14da1cfb.jpgP_20170718_143241.thumb.jpg.ed5b07d8a993fb30c1791b90936acf7d.jpgP_20170718_143300.thumb.jpg.860f5011a5d4b322156e26823bdb6133.jpg
It might look like a piece of steel with a slot cut in it but that's because that is exactly what it is. I cut the slot and faced it with the lathe to make it close enough to 5mm deep and then used it to slowly tweak up the channel. 

Then I finished it with a piece of box section clamped in place to make it nice and straight and smooth.P_20170718_144903.jpg

And here are the finished results. Now I just have to start forming them to fit the inner guard mounting flange.P_20170718_150258.jpg

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I used the same method as the first set to stretch and shrink the edge of the outer flange to make it fit the inner flange. Then I put some locating bolts in the riv nuts and bolted and clamped the guard and flange into place to find where to drill the holes for the top mounting bolts.P_20170718_171833.thumb.jpg.3b7943e1ad3f4d48b6a2889097d69696.jpg

I quickly realised this wouldn't work because the head of the locating bolts were too thick and were holding everything in the wrong spot. So I pulled it off and used the original flange to transfer the hole positions over to the new flange.P_20170718_173639.thumb.jpg.4db0e777b12593868db52da3dda3dae1.jpg

Then I skipped some steps and repeated for both sides and there you go, two guards bolted up with sexy new drip rails.P_20170718_171326.thumb.jpg.5a8b0c7ded2c793e5158976f2947cbcf.jpgP_20170718_214304.thumb.jpg.03c30eb8c2ec7ae43b69ed72fea2e43d.jpg

Perfect, that'll keep the wetness to where it should be; the passenger's seat. :-D

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I also managed to get the bottom front flange extension on the front panel started tonight. This is before I did anything:P_20170718_220021.thumb.jpg.39c082b12bab57fc9adde56f4db8421f.jpg

Then I clamped up a piece of sheet well oversize to held keep the local heat and distortion down,P_20170718_220810.thumb.jpg.5144eec9f2750fc168f718852ad91526.jpg

And fully welded it up.P_20170718_222413.thumb.jpg.667476e002033b7a636d2fc2067ae07c.jpg

I also ground it back afterwards. Tomorrow I can finish this off and throw some riv nuts in it and the rear bottom mount and the guard will be done. That means tomorrow I can finally start tearing into the front panel mounting situation. I've been waiting for this for months. Looking forward to it.

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So plans changed of course. I swear someone is determined to stop me from touching my front panel.
Instead I got both guards so very close to done. I took them to a panel beater friend who let me borrow his spot welder to weld the mounting flanges to their corresponding positions. Firstly I ground away the paint and shit where the welds were going to go and added a bunch more clecos to stop anything from moving in the trip to the shop.P_20170719_133235-min.thumb.jpg.d332793b99454c1ce320c23f105c257b.jpgP_20170719_131623-min.thumb.jpg.4d96ddea40ce1bc49efb51f1326820ea.jpg

Then I pulled it all apart and put some weld through primer on the surfaces that I wouldn't be able to access once the welds were done. P_20170719_133420-min.thumb.jpg.e1f1b493b91c0c3d37f085da9680ccdd.jpg

Then I did all the spots. It was a bit of a workout because the welder is awkward and heavy but I got it done pretty well.P_20170719_135334-min.thumb.jpg.18d44fec6cbc801bda79cf05e7238b96.jpgP_20170719_140829-min.thumb.jpg.f19acbfa2f67cd8a55d9d1e8fbf01096.jpg

Sweet. Now to take the welder home to do the inner guard halves of the flanges.

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It was exactly the same process here.P_20170719_200518.thumb.jpg.2b722698aee3f6660d9051ace0640806.jpg

I opted to rosette weld the back part of each one with the mig because the thicknesses were adding up here and it was very difficult to get in behind to clean the surface which the spot welder really needs to function.
So I punched the holes, clamped it up,P_20170719_200523.thumb.jpg.f2fab9db24a3ecae44e951276829c63b.jpg

Welded it (this is the other side because I forgot to take a photo of this side)P_20170719_205802.thumb.jpg.8c8945175d59674cf7c4240e6ea30c40.jpg

And ground it back nicely.P_20170719_201837.thumb.jpg.f6e777a45c6aa77f528707fa869d5930.jpgYou can also see the stitches I did to join it to the cowl.

And this is the final product.P_20170719_211121.thumb.jpg.9434c869abc62834c389626606cdaeea.jpg

I didn't bother taking a photo of the shut lines because they would just look exactly the same as all the other shut line photos I've already put up but rest assured they look good.

I also finished extending the bottom flanges ready for some riv-nuts tomorrow (why do I bother saying that anymore?).P_20170719_230437.thumb.jpg.b533d495141ef4a15c33d9e51b38647f.jpg

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The guard was being a real bitch and took up almost all of yesterday so I didn't take many photos because I was a pretty pissed off with it by the end. Ultimately though, it was done and fitted good and just take my word for it. 
Today on the other hand, was win after win. I started by taking the clamps off the front panel and pulling it of. This is what I saw:P_20170721_104037.thumb.jpg.cff306c43ac33b51e78a2cba15000e20.jpg

The first thing I wanted to tackle was to pull the old slam panel off to start rebuilding all the mounting flanges. That will take some stiffness out of the inner wings so to prevent them from flapping about I chose to put some bracing in. P_20170721_133227.thumb.jpg.09304e91e5c6dddcde308c9e0419dbf5.jpgThey pick up on the new guard mounting nuts and I welded them in the center. Being 2mm flat bar they're not super heavy but the way I've got them crossed over should mean any flex results in tension being put on the brace rather than compression. In this way they should be plenty strong enough. In theory anyway.

Then I moved on to removing the slam panel. P_20170721_142446.thumb.jpg.e3e375b69e30d4cd998ff10b821f6b52.jpgOn the right you can see where I tried to use my spot weld drill before I got frustrated and used the grinder to somewhat mutilate it and get rid of the crappy mig welds. Then on the left this continued until I tried using the spot weld drill again. This was much more successful after I realised what a miracle sharpened drill bits are. I ran it over the grinding wheel and it was magic the way the panels just popped apart.

Once I had it off I was greeted by a rusty mess which I hit with the wire wheel to see what I had to deal with. This was that:P_20170721_143727.thumb.jpg.7a3c267971261a3fec492c5ba7ea8900.jpgP_20170721_143732.thumb.jpg.a777b940e8d5a8346203c6b631e3385f.jpgNot terrible but massive room for improvement. Which is coming up...

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I started with a plate roughly the right size with a bit to spare. Put a fold in it to form a nice big flange and used the bead roller to start forming the dimple that was in the original panel.P_20170721_171608.thumb.jpg.ce738b84af95a6f9810adad4cd4bfa2d.jpg

Put a bit more shape into the dimple and started to trim it to size.P_20170721_173404.thumb.jpg.c2b587ce7dcf26f439ab38b76d223421.jpg

Then I cut out the rotten part leaving plenty of extra material to spare.P_20170721_190035.thumb.jpg.861fd58c20dbdcf780a4c2dce24ae361.jpgP_20170721_190054.thumb.jpg.a8f56ab61c6715b44bb72eb30da6f2b2.jpg I decided to drill out my nice new spot welds and remove that extra little piece of original material since I'm cutting out everything attached to it too. In hindsight I should have drilled them from the other side but oh well, I can fill them up later.

I continued trimming and fiddling until it fit nicely and clamped up.P_20170721_185636.thumb.jpg.ea3f842e7351f31f97adf6acdee67e02.jpg

So I zapped it in.P_20170721_192225.thumb.jpg.915ad1b924fe141bde75143f420e89e6.jpgI didn't tack the front edge ahead of the dimple because I'm replacing all the steel forward of there anyway later on.


That's today's progress so far. I'll probably head back out in a bit and form up the other side too.

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It's been a while because I'm back at school now but finally the weekend happened so I got back into it. 

I didn't take any photos of the other repair panel but I did it the same way as the first. Then I moved on down the front edge of the wing. This is what I had to work with.IoOmu8b.jpg


I decided the best way to deal with it would be to cut most of it off and rebuild it. I started with a paper template.71uZd0O.jpg

Started to transfer it to steel, P6isFPy.jpg

Once it was close I cut out the rotten steel and began to offer it up Xki2U7F.jpg

Then I started to trim the panel up to fit the hole. It was about now that I decided it was all going to well and that I should fuck it up to mix it up a bit. So I cut off too much and had to fix the cock up. l9vvJs5.jpg

Finally I got it trimmed and fitting nicely and clamped it in place to check. W2NxUMO.jpg

Primo. I ran out of time to tack it in but I checked all the measurements and it's centered and square so I'll tack it up when I get a chance. 

I also picked up a new (to me) bonnet which is full of fish oil or some sort of greasy rust inhibitor and in much better nick than my one. So that's another win for me. 34c74aI.jpg

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I got some more work done tonight. I started off by tacking the wing repair panel in and checking everything for squareness and so on.ZAMI9V4.jpg

Looks good. MlhWVrn.jpg

I compared this level reading to one taken from a piece of square tube laid across the rear window frames and they are close enough for me to be happy at this stage. I can fine tune it later on.7m8xOmj.jpg

Then I moved on to the other side. It was in much the same state as the driver's side but I forgot to take a before photo. In any case, this is it after I made up the repair panel and got it fitting nicely. I've not tacked it in yet because I decided to make it as a two-piece panel since the last one was a pig to work on in one big piece. LKL5xag.jpg

Now I have to make the lower part of this panel. This one I did take a before photo of. You can see the marker line showing where I plan to cut out and replace the old steel.VfEBond.jpg

And this is the panel I got knocked up quickly. DHJ3ztK.jpg

It's still in need of some fiddling to get it fitting perfect but it was getting late so that's where I left it for now. I might get this finished up and tacked in tomorrow. We'll see how it goes.

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Prepare for a let down of an update...

The exciting update turned out to be somewhat of a disappointment. Over the last couple of weeks I've been inspired by @yoeddynz 's Viva and I've decided I want to put the mazda klze v6 into the escort. I did some quick measuring up using dimensions I found online and it looks like it will fit (tightly mind), with some small modifications.
I want to put an rx8 six speed gearbox behind it because it is very similar in length to the ford type 9 and puts the shifter in the right spot. There's a guy in the UK that makes adapter plates to out the rx8 box behind all sorts of motors and it's a fairly well documented swap. So that's my new plan; find a kl motor and an rx8 box. 

I started by looking around for an rx8 box. They're hard to find and the ones on trademe are wanting $1250! The whole reason people started putting these boxes into escorts was because they were cheaper than the seirra type 9s! So for now I'm just going to keep a lookout for wrecked rx8s with either the 5 or 6 speed because they both have the same bellhousing bolt pattern so any adapter plate I make or get made will fit both and I can upgrade a 5 speed if I find a 6 later on down the track. Then I started looking into where to get the engine from.

Luckily I found this on trademe.


It's a Mazda Capella wagon jap import with the 200hp higher compression klze engine in it. The ad said the gearbox was dodgy and would probably needed replacing but I won't need that. Most importantly, he only wanted $900 for it and it was only in Auckland. I figured I'd drive it home babying the gearbox, pull the engine and sell the rest as parts to end up with a fairly cheap motor. That was the plan anyway...

We got down there this morning to find that what he meant by dodgy gearbox was actually a completely non-functioning gearbox that wouldn't pull it away from the curb. Poo. That said, the engine sounded fine and the rest of the car looked really good so the new plan is to find out how much it will cost to get it transported home and as long as it's not too bad I'll truck it back up north and set about stripping it for parts. 

I'm undecided whether to throw the pinto in for the first while so I can still drive it while I build up the v6 and get it organised, or whether I should put the v6 in to begin with so I can do all the fabrication on it at the same time. At the moment I'm leaning toward the second option but I also really want to get in it and drive it as soon as possible so it's a hard choice.

Feel free to give me any suggestions or advice on this mad new development here: 


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Well it's been a while but I'm finally getting back into it now the weekend's come back. 

I made a start by cutting out the part of the inner guard that needs replacing. It took a bit of cutting and spot weld drilling but it came away easily enough. 
Before: V6PuKD7.jpgAnd after: LXQvv7G.jpgK0qn74X.jpg You can see a really dodgy "repair" that's been welded over the outside of the rail, probably something to do with the collision that caused all the buckling in the inner wing sometime in the past. I doubt it would have stood up to any sort of cert and it looks hideous so I'm going to cut it from just behind it and get rid of the whole lot.

The replacement panel is all made up months ago before I realised how much of a mission the whole job was going to be. Everything you see here is going to be replaced. 

Before I can do that though, I have to cut out the bad stuff.   hVwY3TJ.jpg

I started by cutting the whole lot off just where I said. Now to stop all the stresses building up in the same place I'm not going to join both the inner and outer skins at the same point. So I'm going to carefully peel the outer skin back without damaging the inner skin and join the two in two different steps. 
So, here's the peeled rail. VsjyLeR.jpg

Came away pretty simply. 

This is the new outer rail mocked up to see how it will fit. Snaps on nicely so I must have made it pretty damn close to the right size. It's way too long currently but it'll be trimmed down to size later on. aKesSqa.jpg


I learned a couple of things from cutting off the end of the rail. It's a little more complicated than a straight rail on the internal skin. There's a pressed kink, obviously some sort of rudimentary crumple zone. DjsHqTs.jpgIt sort of looks like a shadow in this photo but it goes between the two cut away parts. Now as much as the thought of a pristine front end and a steering column through my face in the event of a crash is appealing, I'd rather not screw up my pretty teeth. Therefore, I'm going to reproduce these features in my rails. I'll have to figure out a set of dies to press them in. 


On the Mazda motor front, I've got the car turning up on a truck either Tuesday or Wednesday so the next exciting chapter in that saga will begin soon. Until then, more cutting and head scratching today.

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I had a closer look at the gauges of the skins that make up the rail and I found that the outer rail is 1mm, as is the panel I've made, but the inner skin is 2mm which I have none of to make a replacement. So I can't make any major structural additions today but I can work on making all the details on the outer skin right. 
I started by getting the sway bar mount in position. I measured the positions of the holes on the original and transferred them to the new panel. This is the mount mocked up in position.

rlj7Uzd.jpgAnd here are the holes in position: 8M3ID6y.jpg

I also went and added the "crumple zone" relief cutouts using a step drill, slitting disk, and flap wheel on the grinder. They came out looking really nice methinks. IeXfJh6.jpg8O3ZuON.jpgowL9KGx.jpg

I then went ahead and put in the holes for the crush tubes in the bumper mount brace panel, as well as brand new M8 riv-nuts for the actuall bumper mounts. I measured it all and it should be in the right place but I'll soon find out. YD7uOHd.jpg



Next job was to turn up some crush tubes for the sway bar mounts. I found some round stock and started it in the lathe. AN9tQO8.jpg

The factory tubes are 45mm x 11mm ID x 15mm OD. If that was good enough for Uncle Henry then it's good enough for me. 

I got the whole length down to 15mm OD first Qqd0MP8.jpg

Then cut off four sections slightly overlength rCiL8l6.jpg

Then got them faced to length and drilled one before I got kicked off the lathe. cACfdUe.jpg(this is just left on the drill bit to take the photo, it was clamped in properly while I drilled it out) I'll finish the other tubes off tomorrow.


That's all for today. I'll try to get some stuff up Tuesday or Wednesday when the car turns up. 


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Folding up the channels had some mixed results. 

I got the first folded up with a bit of fiddling around but it turned out good. 0ZvjPfQ.jpg

The second must have been not quite on the line or something but it came out slightly to big to fit properly. This is both channels fitted into the outer skins. hiuKg7P.jpg 

This photo sort of shows how the second one doesn't fit nearly as good as it needs to. r0fAPWo.jpg My plan is to try to heat up the fold and flatten it back out so I can refold it in the right place. Failing that, I have more steel so I can always just make another one. I'd rather not waste it though. 

Sorry for the small update. The Mazda should turn up tomorrow. Should be fun. 

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The Mazda is home now and it's in really good nick. I didn't realise quite how nice a car it is. It has cruise control, climate control, AWD, sun roof that both slides open and tilts open, heaps of leg room for the back seats, as well as the big boot. When we towed it from the transporter company depo it went into gear to begin with, then I put it back into neutral and it wouldn't go back into gear after that. It was making a horrible death rattle noise from the trans for some of the tow and nothing at all for others. Messing around with it today, it felt like it was in park for all the gears and rocking it back and forth did nothing until it popped and started rolling. It still wouldn't go into gear though after that and would just roll down the slight slope that it is parked on. I'm going to talk to the transmission man up the road tomorrow to see what it would cost to sort the trans out because I'd actually really like to use it as a daily now I've got it.  That said, if it's not just a simple fix and going to cost big bucks to fix, I'll pull the engine and sell it as parts. It'd be a shame really but that's the way the cookie crumbles. 

In other news, I did some more work on the chassis leg repair channels this evening. If you remember back to earlier in the week, I folded up the inner channels and managed to put a fold in the wrong bloody place to fit properly in the outer skin. Tonight was spent trying to remedy that. This is the before shot. eW2m4vJ.jpg

The plan was to hit it with some heat and try to flatten out the fold. Doing it cold would probably make it crack so hopefully the  heat would help prevent that. I didn't take any midway photos because I was busy juggling a gas torch but I'll put a stop to your waiting and show you the end product. 2TB4OLD.jpg It's a little warped but nothing fatal and it should pull straight once it's been folded up again. 

Next job was to put the fold back in but in the right spot. I measured the inside of the outer skin panel and did a little bit of maths as an excuse for the guess that actually gave me the new measurement. Then, not having a sheet metal brake man enough to do the 2mm steel, I moved over to the press. HRTFkFK.jpgI made sure to line everything up perfectly before I started and checked it against the other one while it was only bent through a small angle to try to catch it early if it was wrong. Once I got it started in the right place on the two round bars, I moved over to the V-block you can see to the right of the picture and finished the fold. It turned out like this: iiMW7Vb.jpgWhich is to say snug as a bug in rug. Perfect. 

By using the same method as the outer skin I put the cut-aways in the same places as the stock car. This is, step drill to make the radius, then cut the extra steel away and clean it up with the flap wheel. W0AjZV2.jpg

Then I quickly zapped up the seam in the lower (upper in the previous photo) flange to finish off the overall folding part of the job. SYCYfMS.jpgI quite like using the TIG on this heavier gauge stuff. Something about 70 odd amps going into it is just so satisfying. I subsequently ground this back to clean it up nicely too.

Next was to add the "crumple zone" kink with my fancy custom press dies. I lined everything up as best I could and started to press it in. 3zCCpzQ.jpgIn hindsight I should have done it the other way up because to begin with it just folded it into a V shape and it wasn't until I flipped it that it came back to straightish. 

This is how it turned out "hot off the press" (see what I did there?). folwEvR.jpgAnd this is after some fettling and dicking around to make it fit again. B328ugO.jpgI'm happy with that. It'll definitely do the job. 

Next I trimmed off some excess along the top flange using the tin snips. QggOQKC.jpg

In hindsight, I should have just used the grinder because the 2mm sheet is a pig to cut with the snips. Especially the last little bit. Especially when you slip at the very end and slice your finger right open and bleed all over the shop. So now my finger looks like this and I'm going to get it cleaned and dressed at the clinic tomorrow. L0XVQ9m.jpgI've got popsicle stick splints on either side to try to stop me from bending the knuckle and opening up the cut. I even managed to catch my ring finger but not nearly as badly.

So the plan for tomorrow is to get my finger sorted, then finish getting the inner rail final trimmed and offered up, possibly even tacked in place. Also I'll get the transmission man around to have a look at the Mazda if possible. Let me know if you want to see a video of it not working and I'll chuck one up. Someone might have an idea. 

For now though, I'm going to focus on not bleeding and catching some Zs.  

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No actual progress today. Sat around at the accident clinic for three hours waiting to turn this QqYMxfZ.jpgInto this. LeHlQ44.jpg 

It's a bit bloody over kill but such is life. At least it was free. In future I'll just fill it with antibacterial goo and tape it up. It would save so much time.

Oh well. I have school off tomorrow so I can get some work done then.  

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Today's work so far...

I started by measuring, marking, and trimming the inner channel to the correct length. It didn't take too much fiddling which makes a nice change. WH0F4hT.jpg

I used a piece of angle iron to keep the channel parallel to the top of the original for checking the fit. Uq5sltn.jpg

I got it trimmed up properly and mocked the two skins up together to check how they'll sit. YgUyaYe.jpgLooks good.

Next I had to transfer the positions of the holes for the ARB mount crush tubes from the outer skin to the inner one. VnYmV7G.jpgEasy peasy. 

Then I got them drilled out and test fitted the tubes. Vlp6Cs2.jpg Should fit nicely. 

I gave it a couple of tacks with the MIG from the inside to hold it in place, rhfT1bg.jpgThen fitted the bumper mount brace panel to the back side to stop the tubes from pulling to one side or the other... juvPamk.jpgWhile I fully welded the front side with the TIG. 1EQ71mx.jpgThe tubes stuck out slightly proud which meant I barely had to use any filler. 

Then I cleaned up the welds and put a drill back down the tubes to clean up any spill over of the weld bead. abanOiG.jpg

Finally I assembled everything to check how it would fit, SLqbPOf.jpg


I measured the position of the ARB mounting bracket relative to the other side which is as yet unmodified. So far they are dead nuts on so I'll go ahead and get this side tacked in.

Not before I disassemble it all again to put some paint up inside the rail though. ewwKaFQ.jpgI'll put some topcoat on before I weld it in. 

I've stopped for a quick lunch now but I'll be back out there real soon.

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Time for today's update then. I didn't get as much done because I had an exam but in the time I had I was quite happy with the progress. 

I started off by making some holes in the existing chassis rail. dcnJl7Z.jpgI cleaned inside the rail with a die grinder and solvent before I sprayed some weld through primer to try to keep the exposed steel to a minimum. 

Then I cut and clamped some 2mm plates inside the rail ready for welding. The idea here is for the plate to act as both a reinforcement, and a locating mechanism to hold the channel in place while I butt the two channels together. xKj0lOD.jpg

So I turned the TIG up to 11 and set to joining everything together. g5zDxYZ.jpgThe green colour is from the weld through primer being messed up by the heat of the weld. These are the hottest I've ever had my little TIG; I'm trying to make sure I get some good penetration into the 2mm plate. 

Once all three plates were in I was able to slot the new channel section on and double check all the measurements. RSSw5y9.jpg

I wanted to be doubly sure that everything would line up nicely so I clamped everything to the angle iron again. kmTQ05K.jpg

Then I added another clamp to hold everything laterally and went ahead and welded in the rosets. NDxg4wR.jpgAnd wire brushed it off all pretty like. oMf9V97.jpg

Finally I could get to the actual butt welding. I left the welder cranked way up because I didn't have to worry about blowing through thanks to the backing plates welded in behind the joint. Almost like I planned it... vLJgrJe.jpgLooks pretty good to me. 

All cleaned up, QJYGGIL.jpgAnd painted with a quick spritz to stop any flash rusting. 2b5QOdp.jpg


This was the last bit I got done on the Escort. Tomorrow I'll clean back the inner channel, hit it with some weld-through, and weld the outer skin on. That's the plan anyway.

Meanwhile, I did a bit of work on the Mazda to try and sort out the trans issues. Remember, I do want to daily this thing if at all possible until the Escort is ready to take its guts. It's a really nice car after all. 

I started off talking to the transmission expert friend of mine (wouldn't really work if I called him the "trans guy," would it?). He suggested it may be a stuck valve of some sort preventing hydraulic pressure from getting to the valve body and letting the trans select a gear. He gave me a set of instructions of how to pull this valve and clean it up to see if that would help, then left for a while to go and run some errands. I pulled it out and hit it with some wet and dry as instructed before I reassembled and tried to put it in gear again. 
Still nothing. Kaput. 
Still, I was warned this might be the case. If it was, I was told to unplug a certain hose from the trans and run the motor to drain the trans of fluid before I pulled the pan off the trans to look for any shrapnel. So I did. Pulled the hose, ran the engine, got much less fluid than I expected into the waste oil container. Curious...
I just assumed there mustn't have been much fluid in the trans. Maybe that was the problem in the first place. In any case, I'd drained it so now I went to pull the pan off.
These bloody modern cars man! What a pain in the ass! Eventually I managed to get all the bolts out after wrestling around a cross member for too many minutes. Then I belted the pan a couple of times with a rubber mallet to break the gasket and get it off. Then it came off. Full of trans fluid. Shit. Wpl1MBl.jpgIt may look like I decided to work on it in the barn for today but in reality that's all the sawdust I had to throw down to soak up the fluid.

Once I had that mess dealt with I got to have a look inside the pan. This is what I saw. CpE9rxi.jpgNow I like glitter just as much as the next man, but when I have that much of it, and in my trans fluid, I tend to get a bit upset. The two magnets were absolutely covered in chips and shrapnel and the oil itself had a very pretty sparkle to it. I don't think I have to be an expert to say she's toasted. I talked to my mate again and he said it's going to need a very extensive rebuild in the least, a new trans at worst. At the moment I'm thinking that it is going to be a pull the engine and sell the rest as parts job like I originally intended. And I'm ok with that. That said, the guru has offered to look for a new trans for me for much cheaper than I'd be able to get it due to his connections so there's still a slim chance of saving it. 

I think I'll probably just take the selling it as parts option though. It'll probably save me a lot of headaches. I should know for certain tomorrow anyway. 

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I feel like I'm saying this every update but not too much done today. Lots of balls in the air so to speak. 

I started with putting a bunch of holes in the outer rail skin with a step drill to plug weld it to the inner channel. xFXPbPP.jpgHere it is all clamped in place. I gave both inner faces a couple of coats of weld through primer to help to keep the corrosion at bay. You can also see the ARB mount bolts in position to make sure they'll be able to easily slide in and out once it is all welded up.

Then I welded the lot up with the MIG. It's much faster for these sort of jobs and far less involved than the TIG. 7qgX5MW.jpg 

While I had the MIG out I also went and spotted the butt joint together as well. I was originally planning to use the TIG for this part but I've only got the one gas regulator between the two machines and I couldn't be bothered swapping it over. No matter, the MIG will work just as gooder. fCmX3J0.jpgIt's not very in focus but such is life. You can see I've started to grind back the plug welds too. 

Finally I got the whole lot ground back and gave it a lick of paint. 1DzlXeB.jpg beV0QKM.jpg

Not too bad. I reckon if you didn't know, you'd never know it'd been touched. 

That's all for today. I won't be working on it tomorrow because I have exams all day but I should be back into it on Friday. That is all.

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