MrLeigh post up some pics of your build, we need more Mazda's here both rotary and non rotary models. Mazda have made some interesting cars prior to the rotary revolution.... t600, k360 and I'd love to see a Mazda 1000 coupe build posted up here as well.... fingers crossed !
I wasnt going to post this part up until the nosecone was complete but since JDMRX2 wanted some ideas on fixing bodylines I thought I'd through this up.... JDMRx2 pay attention to the lower apron repairs, there's no reason the same cant be applied to your guards.
Bought this nosecone a while back, looked OK was aware that it had a little filler here and there. Wasnt perfect but looked alot better than others I'd seen. I picked up a few ripples that were obviously bogged over, but hey could have been a lot worse. What better way than to brush up on some metal work skills. What your going to see is the reason that any good panel beater will insist on having a part stripped bare before quoting.
OK, so i didnt expect this much bog.... not looking good.
What the hell is going on here, there must be 2 litres of sacred white stuff here, if only it was worth something !
Now this is where it starts with the front apron. What the seller forgot to tell me was that this is a homolgation special nosecone that has seen active duty in the Dakkar Rally, Acropolis Rally, Rally Down Under, and was then shipped to Finland for the special ice stage
These nosecones are pretty rare, I though long and hard whether I was taking away from the nosecone by removing its competition scars.
Now for the serious stuff, need to get rid of that long gouge, first step is to weld up the rip in the apron.
Now that the rip is gone I planish out the gouge with hammer and dolly.
More hammer and dolly work to get the shape right without all the filler. Pic 2 Im working the apron over a post dolly, I decided against separating the apron from the nosecone. It was a bit awkward working with such a large piece on my own.
More damage that will be covered in another update. The center part of the apron will be punched out with a contoured cold chisel over a sand bag, the lower apron will be straightened over the post dolly without removing any of the factory lines. Ive seen to many badly repaired 10a aprons where all the factory character lines are worked out flat.... thats a lazy and poor effort.
The apron is looking alot better but still needs some fine tuning, Im going to make a flipper out of some hardwood to finish off any minor dings in the apron. The rear bracket will be removed at some point to get a little more shape back around the "stepped area" of the apron. A job for another day. Pic 2 removing some minor dings with a rounded timber chisel that had the tip snapped off somehow. This is a similar method used to work out minor flaws in stainless trims, only the tooling is alot smaller !
Apron is pretty much done, just needs minor tweaking after i have it blasted clean inside and out. Now for the nosecone.
There would have been close to 5mm of bog around part of the area that meets the guard. Yes it was that out of shape. Pic 2 welding up some old damage.
Cut off the broken mounting point, and welded on a bit of scrap. Weld had been worked nice and flat... no grinding need.
Here Ive made a template from the opposite side to do the final finishing. Pic 2, turned out pretty good, Im happy. With a little bit more work I probably could have made the weld completely invisible.
Back to the nosecone, all the bog gone now to get it looking right. What you cant see is close to a 2 inch crack where the nose cone flange meets the radiator panel.
Again tracing the opposite side to get the shape right. The section in pic 2 was out of wack by 5mm in the center. Needs to be pulled out without loosing the correct shape.
Making a plywood cutout of the profile so that I can tap it back to the correct profile. Ply is approx 10mm thick.
A pic from the reverse side, cone has been tapped back to right shape, in the center you can see that the metal has been stretched and will need to be shrunk at that point to keep the correct profile. Pic 2 welding up the cracked edge to give the cone back its rigidity in that area.
Now that cone is nice and solid and not wobbly in that area we can begin to work out the damage. 1st priority is lines, shape then dents... well thats how i work anyway.
Last pic of the cone, I constantly check the profile with the ply to keep things in check. Pic 2 almost there, again need to make my hardwood flipper as I dont want to mark the metal with the metal flipper, which means filing more metal away. Pic 2 I was getting impatient as I blocked up the oxy but persisted without cleaning it. Because of this I was running higher pressure than normal and blew a hole when trying to repair a small crack in the metal. Apparently I was huffing and puffing all day when I went out with the other half. No big deal really just really annoyed the crap out of me.
Once I finish repairing that side of the cone and weld back the attachment lugs, It'll be sent off for a good blasting inside and out before completing any minor repairs. All thats left is the odd dent, not even that really.
Pic 1 drilled out the rear bracket in order to reshape the dip. This part of the apron had had previous work and was too flattish and blended compared to the right side. What I've done is mark where I want the middle of the curve to start, and where I want it to flatten out as it approaches the indicator. The correct shape isnt really flat and is a complex shape to get 100% right. Its alot of effort for something that will barely be seen. Pic 2 I heavily beat the area that requires a dip. This does 2 things. It stretches the metal which can be pulled up to form a nice sloping gradient, and 2 it gives me extra metal to flatten out the lower area as it approaches the indicator. Im using a a hammer with a high crown to smooth out the reverse curve.
Next Pic doesnt really show what has been achieved but there is now a greater sloping area that matches the opposite side. It still needs a little more dolly work to smooth it out. The initial problem was that the sloping area was almost level with the oil cooler cut out section and didnt match the opposite side. Its now a pretty close match to the opposite side.
Moving on to the right side of the apron below the oil cooler cutout. It looks like its hit a log or barrier while parking, I like to think its from its rally days
The oil cooler cutout had a big bow which you can just see from my previous post which I've pulled out using muscle power. Pic 2 more bog.
Marked out some of the basic repairs that need to be done, there is also a long crease from running over something. Too much muscle was used and now it has a high spot. Pic 2 stripped bare, far from straight, now showing 35 years of picking up groceries.
Hammering out all the damage over a plank of soft wood using a hammer with a high crown. If I used a flat faced hammer I'd have to work out all the hammering impressions, unnecessary work. Pic 2 planishing the apron straight without damaging the lower crease, looking nice.
Hammering flat the high area around the cutout, in order to do this I had to bend the flanges for access. Pic 2 Im tapping them back to shape after the repair is done.
The centre of the apron had been bent back close to 1/4 of an inch. Pic 1, defining the line where I'll restamp it over a block of pine. The pine is soft enough to allow the metal to bend in the opposite direction each time I strike it. Ive used a cheap cold chisel that I rounded off on a bench grinder. Pic 2 is the end result. I flat crease that is well defined without having a sharp impression, just like Mazda made them.
Next pic you can clearly see that the centre is no longer pushed back, you can also see the remnants of the damage. The outer detail on both sides are still kinked. Before I straighten out the obvious creases that begin from the centre I need to stamp out the kink from the outer dressed areas. Lines are always worked out first, without correct lines you have sh!t. Pic 2 using the same method as before on both sides of the apron.
Next 2 pics are the end result. Pic 1, nice defined centre with ALL detail intact, what was left of the crease was wroked out with hammer and dolly in under a 2 minutes. Getting the lines correct relieved alot of the damage without having to do an awful lot. If you look closely you can see a minor scratch just above the raised area. I could tap it out and file it off with a small nicolson file, but you have to draw the line somewhere. Marks like that will be invisible once the undercoat primer is sprayed. Last shot is of the completed repair.... looks good !
There may be one more minor update on the nosecone, Ive finished planishing the damaged side of the nosecone. All thats left to do is weld up the edge where it was previously cracked to get a better finish, and then have it blasted clean. Blasting may reveal the extra pin dent here and there but all the major damage is now gone. After thats done, I'll need to weld on the studs on the damaged side when I get time to dumby fit the panel to the car. At present thats a real pain with all the crap around it where its stored.
I have more recent photos to upload but dont have time at present to write the text !