Thanks for the suggestion RE10, I'll look into it..
I was hoping to prime the roof this week but doesnt look like its going to happen. Ive spent some time knocking out a few more dents from the roof but whats now holding me back is the front windscreen channel and lower A pillars. The roof has 2 minor ripples left that Ive got as good as I can get. One coat of polysurfacer should sort it out. Its one of those panels where you spend hours on end chasing your repairs. I'll spend a little more time and that should be it.
To sort out the front windscreen channel I had to sort out through a pile of trims that came with the car, Its a bit of a mixture of parts but I managed to make a complete front set. Unfortunately Im missing one piece for the rear. Pic 2, I think this bit is off a sedan because its slightly longer, the top bit needs to be manoeuvred a little to fit right. I'll do this before sending off for repair/ polishing. Cheaper and easier than tracking a coupe piece !
I'll need to cut it a little at the bottom, aside from that it looks identical to the right side. Pic 2 a bad previous A pilar repair. If you own a Mazda 808 or Rx3 that doesnt have rust in these areas you are extremely lucky. This is a poorly constructed area from Mazda, the innards left the factory in bare steel... get your car wet over 10years and I guarantee it will rust in these spots. Yes, Ive knocked the filler out. Im also checking the profile with the trim... fits OK ! Its too late to check the profile after the body work is completed
This is how the left side corner should fit, shouldnt be hard to sort out. Pic 2, see what I mean... the trim was never going to fit. Its common to see 808's and Rx3's with poor fitting trims which is why people tent to glue them on. Well what do you expect when you load these areas with filler !
Missing the top piece, hoping I can use a sedan piece. Pic 2 marking out to start the repair. You can see the factory brazing and someone else poor repair... brazing and filler....
Scoping out the area. After a bit of looking and poking I realised that the inner A pilar is the same as the outer A pilar with a recess to fit the scuttle panel. The brazing is simply used to join these two parts together. The hole is from me tearing off the old repair. Amazingly the inside of the A Pillar is clean suggesting that it rusted from the outside in... probably due to the stainless trim wearing through the paint work. Pic 2, the repair is 1cm in spots... its suppose to be sheetmetal thin. Using brazing as a repair technique in poor practice in my opinion, brazing requires corrosive paste to etch the metal so that the brazing rod will stick. Chances are that if you use this technique 1. You'll have more rust... 2. The chloride in the brazing paste will affect the paint causing it to bubble with time. To fix this, I'll need to enlarge the hole and repair the lower A Pillar then repair the scuttle panel. The entire area will be blasted and sealed with primer. I think it'll be more time consuming than difficult.
The A pillars need to be repaired right for my trims to fit... not sure how long repairing these areas is going to take but once done the body work will have been completed from the roof down to the bottoms of the pillars. Its going slowly however at least its progressing in the right direction.
Pic 2, I decided that although the surrounding metal was clean, to get the best repair possible I had to remove clean metal as well. Im unpicking part of the scuttle panel to give me more access with the MIG nozzle as well as allowing me to clean up the area and seal it.
This pilar was off a 8/10 808 that had a big rear ender. The pilar has been previously repaired, you can see how the structure is put together. Irrespective of what the outside looks like there is bound to be rust on the inside. I'll be coating with wax or fish oil once my repairs are done. Most of it is surface rust. Pic 2 unpicking the rain channel so that I can use part of the pilar to repair mine.
Carefully dissecting the pillar so that repairs can begin. Its not as bad as it looks, there is only one small section of pitted metal that I'll need to repair. The rest of the metal is clean including inside the pillar (very mild surface rust). Ive removed filler, brazing, and rusty metal from the area. These photos show that the internal A pillar is a continuation of the external pillar (its the same piece of metal with a recess where the scuttle panel is brazed)
I decided that although the surrounding metal was clean, to get the best repair possible I had to remove clean metal as well. Im unpicking part of the scuttle panel to give me more access with the MIG nozzle as well as allowing me to clean up the area and seal it better. Pic 2 Ive finished cutting now to give it a quick blast.
Plugging the hole so I dont fill the pillars with blast grit. Pic 2 doesnt look so bad now. If you look closely blasting revealed an additional 3 holes (you can only see 2) all located around the windscreen channel seat.
All 3 holes welded up with an oxy. After blasting the area has been treated and will be coated with primer prior to welding up. The insides will be treated with wax or fish oil as well. Pic 2 making a template for the replacement metal.
You can clearly see how a little rust can become a big job to fix right. More to follow..........