Monday 29 September 2008

De-seaming progress

A bit more progress on the de-seaming of the rear this weekend. I've got 50% of the seam cutoff and welded up, just the other 50% to do and then the filling and prepping.

I plan on doing a more detailed post about this in the future, but briefly here's what's involved in deseaming a mini:

  1. Start from one end of the seam and cut off 6 inches of the seam using a cutting disc in a grinder. Do not cut off any more than 6 inches at this stage!

  2. Use a sanding disc in the grinder to smooth the stubs left from the seam until they are pretty much flush with the panel.

  3. You will now see 3 edges of steel, which you must carefully butt weld together. Pulse the welder and planish the welds with a planishing hammer after every pulse to avoid distorting the panel

  4. Once you have welded the 6 inches up, start again by cutting the next 6 inches away and welding as before.

  5. Continue this until you have removed and welded the entire seam

  6. Use a sanding disc on a grinder to sand the welds smooth, fill any additional holes with weld as you find them

  7. Use filler (bondo) / lead to smooth over the welds where the seam used to be and prepare for painting

You need to do this very slowly and carefully to ensure that everything stays straight, and on no account cut the entire seam off in one go, otherwise your Mini will spring apart!

One of the problems I'm facing on my car is that when I removed the lip for the rear bumper the panels did not meet up; at the ends they were OK but in the centre the gap was as much as 5mm between the panels. Good old Austin build quality!

No comments: