Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fixing a weak spot on all Dino's: The lower rear body repair

All Dino's suffer from rust in a few key places but none more common than the area behind the rear wheel arches. This location is made up of the outer curved panel you see and an inner panel that makes up part of the structure and gives stiffness to the rear shape. Where these two panels meet is a folded edge of metal and as you get further away from the edge the panels get further and further apart. Essentially they create a triangular funnel with no drain. So big is this area that it would be easy to put 2-3 litres of water in there with nowhere for it to escape and no wonder the metal rots here. In fact a rust hole is the only way to drain the water that is trapped.

With this area still untouched by the last shop it was a straight repair with nothing to correct. Normally this would be fixed by cutting out the rotten piece of metal and welding in a repair section. While there is nothing wrong with this way of dealing with the rust we decided to take it a step further. To this end we introduce RM's master metal worker Jim. Using traditional metal working tools and techniques, Jim used an English Wheel and Planishing Hammer to craft an all new rear section. The plan being that this piece would be welded in place exactly where the factory had most of their seams making for an invisible repair.

The groundwork was being laid: spend more time on the metal work so that the body requires less correcting with plastic filler.

The photos below will show the progress from before we started to finished and primed. You will note that in some images the background has been blurred. This has been done intentionally to maintain the privacy of the owners of some of the cars that are being worked on.

Oh one last thing....we did add a drain hole but it is masterfully integrated and almost impossible to see.

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