My 3 week holiday is now over. Back to work now.....
In the last week and a half I have made a fair bit of progress. All the chrome was trial fitted to the car to unsure that it fits nice around the windows, especially the front bottom corners where I have cut out rust, treated it and welded in new sections.
Interestingly it appears that Mazda filled these sections from the factory as my donor car had some filler in these areas and from what I can tell it had not been tampered with.
I also welded up some sections around the rear window – due to minor rust. Treated underneath the welds and checked for any other nasties. All good now!!
Both rear quarters are repaired now. Must say they were a bit of a chore – rather large panels with lots of curves. Lucky my faithful panel beating assistant was by my side to keep me sane!!
The Left hand side quarter had a bit of a nasty surprise for me!!
There was a patch welded in from a previous repair that was a bit bodgy looking. I thought that I should cut it out and start again as opposed to just cleaning it up and filling over it. Lucky I did, as there was a big rust monster hiding behind it!!
This is where Gypsy’s RX3 thread comes in handy. This guy is a wizz at making tricky curved replacement panels for his car – and shares the “how to with us”. Cheers Gypsy!! If you haven’t seen his thread, I suggest you check it out.
So using some of Gypsy’s methods I refabricated a new inner section, and then a new outer section, treated them and welded them back in place. Job done!!
Putting the bend in
For the outer section, I cheated a bit and cut out and modified a section of a front guard off of my brothers SR20 powered Isuzu Rodeo that he crashed through someone’s fence.
We put some new guards on it, so I kept the old ones to practice welding on. Came in handy!!
Welded up some non factory holes in the dash frame, all nice and smooth again.
Exhaust cut out was removed from car and a new one fabbed and welded in. I used a piece of 100mm storm water pipe to get the bend in the replacement and a vice, pliers and patience to get the bottom stepped section the same as original
Work in progress
You may have noticed that most early Mazda’s are never quite straight in this section. It is rare to see an RX2 that is “even” left to right. The left always starts out good and then the rear panel seems to bend in all the way up to the exhaust cut out, giving the car a “lopsided” appearance from the rear.
I have cut up a piece of steel to use as a "straightener" as such to help this panel keep its shape.
Exhaust panel welded in and cleaned up with the “straightener” fitted!!
Got these cool centre cap decals made up. Very happy with them. If I can find a set of genuine caps that I will change them over, but people want too much for them, or they are knackered. These will do fine in the interim.
And got my essential JAF sticker!!
I have my family trained well. For my birthday and Christmas presents they get me Repco vouchers so that I can buy bits for the RX2. Here is Christmas’s vouchers well spent!! I got my retro venetian blind. It’s a bit of an Aussie thing, but I reckon they are way cool!!
Connected up my water trap prior to spraying the etch. Disaster will usually strike if you do not. The last thing that you want in paint is water!! My setup is nothing elaborate, but does the job well. It also has a regulator, which I turn down to about 75 PSI, and then set the regulator on the gun to 45 psi.
My compressor is in another shed behind my main garage and plum
bed up to it with 3 outlets. I hate the noise of air compressors, so this way I can’t hear it!!
The shell is etched now, no hi fill as yet as the Adelaide weather has been a bit humid the last few days.
So this is the car as it stands currently.
I am sure my neighbours have welcomed the relief from me being back at work. No hammering, grinding, air compressors etc!!
All in all a very productive holiday to get all the panel work done. Approx 260 hours poured in here in 3 weeks!! Took 2 days off – had a wedding to go to and my Dad’s 60th, so sleep was a bit of a luxury.
As soon as the car is hi filled I will start bolting all the panel s on to check all the gaps and get the alignments right. Also check up on my panel work skills (or lack there of!!)
Will post updates as I progress.