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Okay, the Learns to Weld thread is pic heavy enough that I figured I would start another to show on my progress on the cowl sides. Here's what I started with:


I had no idea the cowl sides were this bad until I removed the fenders in late summer of 05. Something to keep in mind if your car has spent extended time outdoors.


I was able to get donor cowl sides plasma cut from a 63 wagon by our own novajoe. Lucked out on that one, he had cut them previously for someone who never picked them up. Anyway, I took the donors apart at the factory spot welds with a blair rotabroach spot weld cutter on a power drill. I've used these cutters quite a bit now, and I like them a lot. Here's a pic of the passenger side patch cut out and clamped in place. Note that I have some bigger-than-optimal gaps, due to me being new to the whole metal cutting thing:


After a bunch of practice detailed in the other thread, I finally did some welding on the car. Here are the initial tack and plug welds:


Filled in:


Ground down:


In the next few days, I'll get the outer skin on to complete the side.
 

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Damn, sticky this thread. I am going to have to do the same thing someday. That looks awsome. How did you get the outer piece off? Isnt it spot welded on?
 

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Damn, sticky this thread. I am going to have to do the same thing someday. That looks awsome. How did you get the outer piece off? Isnt it spot welded on?
Yes. If you look, you can see the round 'scars' or marks left by the rotabroach cutters, but they do a clean job.
 

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Alright, finally got back to this. Over the weekend, I painted the inside of the kick panel vent with Master Series, then sprayed it with the Duplicolor spray can truck bed liner. I gave the inside of the outer skin the same treatment, so the whole inside of the area that rusted will be coated. The other thing I did was, welded in a patch that covers up the entrance to the rocker panel area:

Smarter people can tell me why, but all the water and debris from the cowl is supposed to wash into the rocker panels, and slowly drip out the 3 or 4 holes that run their length. That will no longer be the case in my car, it will all run out a larger drain hole that I'm drilling into the bottom of the cowl side.

Outer skin, clamped into place. Note the use of the handy dandy woodworking clamp to get things lined up right:


Plug welds:


Ground down:


Inside shot. You can see the fresh truck bed liner that I sprayed into the corners of the outer skin to seal it up:


And, at great length, we have the first complete thing that I have successfully welded on to my car:


One down, one to go! :D
 

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kick panel fix

Great shot looking through the vent opening into the steering column.Was the car from your area when you found it? I am surprised at the amount of rust damage in that area. Nice job on the repair..
 

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Great shot looking through the vent opening into the steering column.Was the car from your area when you found it? I am surprised at the amount of rust damage in that area. Nice job on the repair..
Good point. I mentioned in the other thread, but not here, that I bought my car in the Seattle area, Kent WA, in fact. It had spent most of its life outside, and that continued for several years as it was my daily driver, and I lived in apartments. The constant rain and pine needles did a good job on it.
 

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Guys... I know the commercially available spot weld cutters work great, but if you don't want to spend the extra cash, try a set of Black and Decker Bullet drill bits. They have a small center tip and a fluted edge similar to an end mill, which works perfectly to drill out the spot welds. These drills work GREAT! I just did a similar repair to a cab I'm prepping for my '72 Chevy C10.

Chuck
 

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After I finished my repair of the kick panel area I drilled a hole at the bottom the od size of of 1/2" pvc. I inserted a short piece of pvc into the hole leaving the upper end of the pvc about a 1/4 " above the inside bottom panel. That way the water could drain out thru this large hole (the factory hole is too small)even if there were leaves, debri, etc. that may get into the kick panel area later.
BTW the bottom end of the pvc protrudes about 1" from the bottom of the panel so water does not splash up into the hole easily...Phil
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/plsmswain/detail?.dir=/4b17&.dnm=dcb8re2.jpg&.src=ph
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/plsmswain/detail?.dir=/4b17&.dnm=c1aare2.jpg&.src=ph
 

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Sounds like a good idea, Phil. I'm still amazed at the design of the drainage system. It seems intended to make the lower cowl and rocker rust out. The only possible logic, besides the phrase planned obsolescence, is that it cuts down on the road noise audible through the vents.
 

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A few years ago I wrote an article about all the drain areas and other areas that tend to rust and leak. One example of areas that tend to rust due to factory desigh/materials is on the 66-67 above the rear quarter window sash area. Along the under side of the channel area were the top slopes down to the corner, the steel rolled leading edge of the track may rust and form a split opening that is hard to detect. When the window is fully closed and driving the car in the rain, water is forced into this small crack and runs on down inside both the sail panel area and on into the lower corner of the rear window. Wha la...and you have rust. Some think only the window seal leaks but a lot of the time this too will be the reason these area rust out...Phil
 

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I'm going forward with the driver's side cowl as well now. Once the rusted area is removed from the car, the next thing I do is start cutting patches from my donor piece. Last night, I got the outer skin removed. Tonight, I started cutting the inner part away from the rest of it, which in this case, is parts of the floor pan and door jamb. It's a pretty complex area, with a lot of spot welds. Question: I know we've been talking a lot about spot weld cutters, but it's almost impossible to get them exactly on the weld every time. I've been using an old wood chisel to get the 'leftovers'. What do you guys use? Are the seam splitter tools worth the money?
 

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Air chisel was very useful in removal of mine. I had same replacement as you are doing. Since the covers aren't being reused,right? It doesn't matter if it tears a bit if the chisel isn't in there just right. I also used my air 3" cut off tool. you just keep grinding in the area and you will see the whole outline of the spot weld when it gets to the thin point before it pulls away. Some of the spot welds spread out farther than the roundness of the cutter.

Brett
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Air chisel was very useful in removal of mine. I had same replacement as you are doing. Since the covers aren't being reused,right? It doesn't matter if it tears a bit if the chisel isn't in there just right. I also used my air 3" cut off tool. you just keep grinding in the area and you will see the whole outline of the spot weld when it gets to the thin point before it pulls away. Some of the spot welds spread out farther than the roundness of the cutter.

Brett
No, it's just the opposite. In this case, I'm removing the patch, which has many spot welds close together, but it's metal I want to keep and use, so the goal is to keep the destruction to a minimum. The grinder that I have (electric) would not fit very well in this small area, not to mention that the large, crescent moon shaped contact patch is just not good for precision work. The seam splitting knives are fairly cheap, so I'll just try it and see how it works.
 

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More progress tonight, I did get the rough patches cut away from the donor pieces. They are none too pretty, with surface rust and dirt, and bent out of shape to facilitate the removal process. I went to get a picture of them, and of course the camera battery was dead. Hopefully, I will have time to fine tune my cuts tomorrow, and get some shots of the process that I didn't include above.
 
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