I had the opportunity to work in the garage for a couple of days while it was a little warmer outside, so I set out the task for myself to strip the body of all of its components so that I could sandblast it. I found three cracks in the passenger floor, surprisingly not from rust. I think the previous owner must have gone rallying or something stupid with the car because the entire passenger floor is pushed upwards into the body, creating three stress cracks. There was definitely more as there is already some welding that has been done however the crack was not fixed properly. Stripping the body will allow me to fix these cracks in the floor.
Work Continues – Stripping the Body
I disassembled the body, both inside and out removing all components. This was a two day job, and I had to get my brother to help me remove the heater core so it doesn’t fall on top of the transmission and self destruct. Trying to keep myself organized, I put together a Mastercraft bin shelf to help keep all of my relating components together in the same little bins. I set it up right by the garage door to minimize walking distance. The body is now stripped, and all of the parts are “neatly” organized. This has enabled me to work on a ton of parts as they’re all accessible now.
Body Stripped – After a Ton of Time and Effort
Once the body was stripped, I asked my dad to teach me how to tig weld as we don’t have a mig welder at our house. He went over the basics with me and then left me to weld my day away in an effort to practice and not produce garbage welds on the car. After about four hours of practice I felt comfortable enough to weld my floor pans back together. I brought out an airline to the garage so I could sandblast the paint off of the cracks to allow for a clean weld. Additionally, I wanted to repair my drivers side fender which has three cracks in it from a seized bonnet latch. After sandblasting my fender as well, I noticed that there is a good amount of bondo from an attempted previous repair.
Organization is Key – Nice Little Kit From Mastercraft
I also had some maintenance to do on the Lancer (the tank), so I had some time to work on that as well
Doing Work – Half the Size of the Lancer
After sandblasting, I vacuumed my entire car again, as well as the garage so I had a clean working space / no one yells at me. Glass media is a mess. I will save myself the embarrassment and just say that my welds – although structural, are not pretty at all. Due to the location of the cracks, I had to weld on my hands and knees making it impossible to use anything but my elbow for the foot pedal. Ground down, the floors will look good as new and I can’t wait!
Brittle Rubber – Now Plastic Floor Guards