After a loooong session in the panelbeater, Project Hako is safely tucked in the garage again
As for what transpired at the panelbeaters...well that's a long story.
Where we left things last was that we were rejected for blue slip inspection on various grounds, the most serious of which was the discovery of some rust pinholes in the floor....which, when the sound deadener was removed and the panels wire brushed, turned out to be rather more than just pinholes
At first, I thought the worst side was the passenger side, but Col at Gordon Smash Repairs actually thought that it was the driver's side which would turn out to need more work, and right he was.
First to be cut out was the passenger side, and new floor sections were made up and welded in without drama.
But when the driver's side was cut out..
...more rust was found. There's a box section under the front of the floorpan, and when that was cut out, there were holes in the inner and the outer rail as you can see. Sadly the hole was big enough to see that there would also need to be some work done on the outer sill, the part which is hidden by the lower fender.
The GOOD news is that the hole was also big enough to allow one to see inside the outer rail and see that the outer sill had been cut out and replaced (from the front edge of the door all the way back to the rear wheelarch) and appeared to be a sound job. Why they didn't keep going and repair the front of the outer rail (the new patch is visible here) is a mystery. Thankfully when we cut out the passenger side it checked out okay.
On both sides, it was determined that the section of floor metal that was closest to the outer rail was thinned by rust, so for strength, all of it would have to be removed and the floorpan was cut out all the way to where it butts up to the rail.
A new section welded in, with a flange at the outer edge, and plug welded to the outer rail, factory style
The outer rail patched and the inside of the rail rustproofed as far as the brush would reach!)
The trick part was when they made a new box section by hand....
...which was then trimmed and welded in place
The welds sealed
Then the whole lot stoneguarded and painted
The outer sill had to be resprayed because it some of it had to be ground back for welding and in the end I am very happy with the job. I think that it isn't an invisible repair by any means (and certainly not to BIGJOHN standards!
) but it's a thorough and solid job and I'm happy with their attention to detail and reckon it'll be a long lasting (and strong!) repair. I'd definitely recommend these guys and would be using them again for any more work that the Hako might need. I really liked these guys and it was nice (and a pleasant surprise) that they fixed up a few extra things without being asked.
The other job I got them to do was to fix the front spoiler which was cracked during the Hako's shipping from Japan to here.
The cracked area was reinforced with extra fibreglass inside...and then resprayed
The final result is pretty good!
The best part was that the final price was somewhat less than the figure I was mentally steeling myself to pay! But phew, I'm relieved that the Hako is fixed and I think it's probably stronger than when it was new....
Anyway, when I had to drive it back home, I was again reminded of how badly the engine runs. After 6wks of being started and moved around Col's bodyshop, I think the plugs were more junked up than usual and driving home, it would cough and spit and really struggle up hills.
But first things first....the engine bay was covered in dust (panelbeaters are dusty places!) and so I started to detail the engine bay as a first port of call..
No Kev, you are eating a duck fetus.