Wednesday 31 May 2017

Patching up the rear stud line

I was planning on writing up this post once I had completely finished the area I've been working on. However, I have been forced out of action for at least a week following an unfortunate incident that could have been easily avoided if I hadn't become complacent and developed some bad workshop habits. Consider the following digression a cautionary tale if you also happen to work with power tools; always wear eye protection even for the quickest and smallest of jobs! 

This past Monday was a bank holiday in the UK, but I spent half of it in Bristol Eye Hospital getting a tiny piece of steel removed from my right eye that had embedded itself just off-centre of my pupil. I had assumed over the previous couple of days that I had a touch of conjunctivitis until I developed hyper-sensitivity to light and my iris became unresponsive (it was stuck at its smallest aperture and wouldn't expand regardless of the amount of light in my immediate environment). Turns out that the metal had started to rust and infection was beginning to set in around the foreign body. The method used to remove the metal and eliminate all traces of rust from my eyeball involved a rapidly vibrating needle. The instrument resembled an electric toothbrush with a sewing needle where the brush head should be. It really was as fun as it sounds, here is my poorly eye after the procedure:

Lesson learned, I will now invested in a full-face shield. Right, back to the main topic...

In between other tasks I have been progressively patching up the drivers side rear stud line where the wing attaches. This was in a poor state due to years of moisture getting trapped between the wing beading and the rear quarter panel. The pitting was very heavy in places and on close inspection there were a few pesky pinholes where it had completely rusted through. I decided the best way to make the stud line solid again was to let in good metal and eliminate the pitted areas, rather than simply slapping body filler over it and hoping for the best. I will let the following photos do the talking:

I noticed that on some of the studs warping had occurred if there happened to be pitting in close proximity, thinning the metal and distorting the surrounding area. These will also need to be replaced, but I will tackle them one at a time to preserve accurate alignment along the stud line:

Despite making a suitable patch for the first nut I eventually opted not to weld it in just yet as I wanted to continue repairing the areas between the studs first. So, moving swiftly on:

And on to the next one:

Note that I have not welded up the end sections of each patch. This will allow me to easily remove the studs later by cutting just the tops and bottoms.

Well, that is it for now. More stud line action to come once my irritated eye has healed!