Wednesday, November 4, 2009

B Pillar Repair

It's been 1 month to the day since I last posted to this blog. I've been tooling up to do metal repairs and we now have a 220V MIG welder (thanks Dennis K. for doing the wiring) and a few nice air tools including several grinders, a nibbler, a flange and hole punch, and a shear. I decided to start working on the right B pillar which is located adjacent to and behind the passenger seat. The first picture you see is the area before I started repairs. What you see is an old repair that predates Dennis S. the previous owner and probably even the owner before him. Dennis disclosed these issues at the time of the sale so I've known that both the A and B pillars require work. Part of the fiberglass body had to be removed for access to the damaged area. In this picture I had already started to remove thinning rusted areas so I could understand the extent of the damage.
As I removed more rusted areas I found additional areas that needed attention. In this picture you can see another section of rusted metal back up and under the fender. This is a different piece than the one seen in the photo above.
All rusted, thinning, damaged areas were removed then cleaned up for fabrication and welding.
The inner most panel has been replaced as shown in this picture. It was butt welded in place using dozens of tack welds then ground flush.
Additional pieces were fabricated and welded. The piece I am holding is only 1/2 it's original thickness.
This is the B pillar in it's current condition. The fabricated piece you see directly under the fiberglass body has not yet been welded in place. It also requires bonding to the fiberglass. Everything is coming together nicely and I don't expect any big issues. This is tedious work though and I suspect all 4 pillars may end up taking most of winter weekends to complete. Check back periodically for updates and thanks for following along.

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