Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Just below this circled area is the Left A Pillar. Once the dash was removed we knew this area would require attention. We just didn't know how much. In order to gain access we removed a section of the fiberglass. Initial assessment was that the area wasn't too bad but it was obvious that the windshield support had deteriorated and would require repair.
A burr grinder was used on all areas that had rusted through. Once the burr grinder is inserted into the rusted area it is gently pushed in all directions to expose thinning sheet metal. As you can see the damage to the windshield support was substantially worse than originally thought.
I decided to remove the entire support. Once that was done I found the top of the A pillar had also rusted.
All rusted areas were removed then I prepared the A pillar for a new cap.
16 gauge sheet metal was cut to match the good metal on top of the A pillar. Holes were drilled for plug welds.
All the holes were plug welded and all the joints were butt welded. The top of the A pillar was then ground flush.
Photo paper was used to make a template of the windshield support.
The template was then transferred to sheet metal.
Rough forming was then performed. This is also 16 gauge steel.
Here is the old support, the paper template and the new support.
Butt welds were used where I fastened to the windshield frame. Plug welds and fillet welds were used where I welded to the top of the A pillar.
JB Weld was then applied to fill in the irregularities which eliminates any areas that could collect moisture. All this repair needs now is a little paint and then I'll be able to repair the fiberglass. That will happen once the weather warms up a little.