This part of the restoration is a fairly big task, lots of photos, so I dont spend all my spare time uploading photos Ive decided to break it up into 2 or 3 parts. The other reason it that its almost but not quite finished. The update is focusing on the rear part of the car where alot of these poor Mazda's typically rust
First 2 shots are of the back window channel, looks like a good panel to me. Ive had the car for close to 2 years and no sign of rust in this area. All chrome clip lugs are intact and no holes but Im not convinced !
Under the etch we find a little filler and some old repairs. Still doesnt look so bad, most would leave it alone.
Hmm its got a fair bit of filler that I could live with but doesnt look so good from inside the boot. Once this car gets painted I dont want to paint it again. I started to unpick the panel but was doing more damage to the car than good, so I made the decision to cut it off then remove what remained. You can see some pros handy MIG work, keep spooling the wire in until its one big blob of metal then grind it back
That repair was at least 1cm thick !
Unpicking the remains, this will also give me a chance to fix the broken spring hook.
Just because you see no rust doesnt mean there is no rust. This shot was taken from clean looking metal where there was no previous repair. If your car gets wet expect to find rust in lap joints. Shot 2 another big blob repair that I have to fix.
A close up the the bottom channel corners, the right quarter is 100% and needs nothing, the left side needs to be cleaned up and repaired. For people with a keen eye you'll notice that the big blob repair is a different shape to the right side. I discovered this when the new panel wouldnt fit.
Cut out the blobs of MIG wire, metal epoxy, bog, metal sheet. I'll give the area a blasting and butt weld in some replacement sheet. Ahh cant wait to make a huge mess with the shot gun
Perfect fit on the right side.
You cant see it but the left side doesnt fit flush. I need to remove the blob and weld in a proper piece of metal shaped to the correct shape ! Shot 2 is part of what I cut out. I doubt it would have ever rusted right through but it was just a big mess.
Here are a couple more photos of the underside of the panel that was removed from the car, aside from the big chunks that I cut out above it has been poorly repaired in the past. I was looking at making up the panel from a flat sheet of steel, but luck came my way and I found a replacement purely by luck in Europe while sourcing other parts. You couldnt wipe the smile off my face the day it arrived at my doorstep.
Here is the new panel that I'll be fitting. Has a little rust and a couple of holes but nothing that I cant repair. The ends have also been cut off which I'll have to repair. Pic 2 is the underside after I unpicked all the spot welds.
Ive sandblasted the panel, getting it ready for some minor repairs. Yes that is bare steel. I very rarely blast at home, you need a very good respirator, sealed googles and a good set of gloves. It makes a huge mess even though I recover 90% of the grit. Yes I need to weld on a small part around the curved part of the panel... beggars cant be choosers... where am I going to get another decent coupe panel from ? Not Mazda at least !
Getting ready to fix the rusted corner. The panel has a little rust here and a minor hole else where. Aside from that it is very good.
The metal was too pitted to be repaired, it would have evaporated as soon as it reached welding temp so was cut off.... Pic 2 making the replacement corner
Getting ready for welding... and pic 2 welded in.Upper has been trimmed after welding.... still needs a little cleaning before being attached to the car. If I welded from the inside there'd be virtually no cleanup. Anyway Im still happy !
Here is the opposite side so you can compare, notice the factory cut the corners off so flange sits nice in the window channel corner. Reverse side will be sandblasted and then sealed. This time I'll get a mate to do it in his cabinet.
Here are the final repairs to end of panel, I unpicked the spot welds off the original and welded them on the replacement. As previously mentioned the ends were cut off when they were removed from the car. Pic 2 and 3 is the underside after cleaning up the welds, now looks good. Pic 4 test fitting the panel, from here the rest of the panel will be sand blasted then sealed. Photos in a future update.
With the panel that sits between the boot and rear windscreen now complete, I'll start on the rear parcel shelf and left windscreen corner so that I get a good panel fit. Pic 1, making the templates so that the metal can be marked out for welding. Pic 2 preparing for the second part of the repair.
Pic 1, Ive completed welding in the replacement sections, welds still need to be cleaned up a little, repair turned out pretty good. Pic 2 Ive trimmed down the metal, given the welds a quick clean, then spayed a coat of etch primer. I would have liked to clean up the area a little more but ran out of light.
Thats all for now, lots more photos to come. The boot should also be sandblasted shortly to remove the horrible bitumen based sealer applied by a previous owner as will the parcel shelf. Hope you enjoy the update