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PAGE 23


 Saturday and Sunday 3/27/04 to 3/28/04

 14.5 hours

                                                                    

 

Drivers wheel well tub Part 2:

 

I needed to do a lot of research, look at tons of pictures and ask many questions of people who's opinion I trusted before deciding how to go about this procedure. (Then I did it the way I wanted to :))

 

What would seem to be a very simple and straightforward modification is much more complex than I assumed.

 

There is more to it then just cutting out a strip and welding a new piece in to do it properly and professionally,

 

This the outer lip that I cut off the new drivers side rear wheel well.  I used the pictured air tool to punch perfect little holes every few inches on the wheel well side of the lip.  I'll plug weld the filler strip from the top with these.

You'll also notice three holes punched at the top of the arc on the outer lip.  These are for plug welding to the C pillar and rear quarter support.

 

 

 

 

I clamped the new part in place on the car.

 

It was very wobbly and didn't have much structural strength in this condition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I butt welded it to the inner trunk wall, and plug welded to the C pillar and rear quarter support.

 

This went incredibly well. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I then cut a 3 3/4 inch X 5 foot piece of of 20 gauge sheet metal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I used the other side of the same tool I had previously punched the holes with to make a nice flange along the entire length of one side of the strip.

 

This flange will allow me to lap the two pieces and the center should remain level with the surrounding metal

 

 

 

 

    

It was all put back in the car and temporarily screwed together with self tapping screws.

A Sharpie was used to mark the area that needs to be flanged for the inside of the tub.

 

 

 

 

The other side of the strip was trimmed and flanged, then it was all put back together again to verify the fit.

 

This view is from inside the wheel well looking forward.

 

 

 

 

 

    

Again it was all removed from the car and placed on the newly built and still clean workbench.

The screws were removed and I punched holes a few inches apart to plug weld the strip to the bottom of the inner wheel well.

 

 

 

 

A view of the inside of the well after plug welding .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

After using the die grinder to clean up the inside and outside of the modified wheel well.

It really looks good.  The flange is nearly perfect to bring the metal level with the outside.

 

 

Back in the  car (the last time I hope!)

 

It fits and looks really good.

 

I'm doing all this by myself so it's been a real bear to install and remove this tub over and over again.

 

 

 

 

Here is where most of my time and frustration was invested in this weekend.  This is the rear of the wheel well inside the trunk.

I made a lot of extra work for myself here.

 

I could have just turned the well sharply into the inner trunk wall and made it really simple.  I've looked at several pictures of it done this way and I really didn't like the look.  Most look like a pickup trucks wheel wells.

I wanted this modification to look factory. And the factory well flows gently into the trunk wall.

 

 

 

    

Once I decided what I wanted, I cut a 9x9 piece of sheet metal.  I began bending, hammering..

 

    

Hammering, bending, cutting, tack welding.....

 

    

A little bending, some heat, hammering....

 

Finally it all fit and I welded it in.  It really turned out terrific!  The bends and curves were incredibly hard to make work but look better than I expected.

 

 

 

This is the same area.  I was grinding down the welds and burned through the metal in at least two places. (the green areas)

I was so mad I threw down my tools like a little baby, turned off the lights and went home.

 

I'll need to either weld these areas up and regrind it down or cut it all out and start over. Either way I've once gain wasted a bunch of time.

 

 

 

 

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