Right, time I updated you guys on progress!
I have now finally gotten to grips with the welder, and therefore the various holes in my boot floor. You may recall that it looked like this:
In all cases, my first step was to brush and grind out as much of the rust as possible. The angle grinder and wire brush was good here, but I found an abrasive rust/paint removal wheel in Halfrauds (black and sort of fibrous) which worked excellently. Obviously, there's a bit of a trade off here between removing rust and how much welding you want to have to do. You need to get back to good metal, but don't be too anal, or you'll end up scrapping the entire car!
For very small holes, I simply drilled out the hole, and rebuild it using spots of weld. This takes a bit of angle griding back, but saves too much hassle! With medium sized holes (anything over 5mm), I decided to use a patch on the underside, puddle welded from above. The patch was held in place using a magnet, so that I could weld it from above. After puddle welding, I removed the magnet, and added a few stitches on the underside.
Note, welding upside down is apparently a fire hazard. I have an excellent pair of ex-MoD army coveralls which appear to be significantly more flammable than expected. Be warned!
In a couple of places, I had larger, particularly nasty regions. In these areas there's nothing for it but to cut out all of the sh1te. Clean it right back hard with the grinder, and then cut out a patch 10mm larger all round. Cut the patch first, and then use it as a pattern to cut the aperture in the panel. I found that the skinny griding disk on the angle grinder was far to big and cumbersome for this job. The dremel on the other hand was perfect. Buy yourself a set of the grinding ('cut-off') discs and they work like a charm.http://www.dremel.co...il.aspx?pid=541
My nastiest patch of rust was in the rear RH corner of the boot, immediately above the lateral chassis flange which runs longitudinally below the boot. Fortunately, there was nothing wrong with the flange below, and it was only the boot floor which had rusted. I was therefore careful not to cut through the flange below with the dremel, such that I could puddle weld the patch onto it.
As before, please excuse the messy welding! With some creative grinding (dremel helped!) it didn't look too bad.
Nothing there that a little bit of body filler won't hide forever!
With this out of the way, I was also able to make good progress on cleaning, treating and painting the underside.
The patch plates on the underside, which looked horrendous after welding, you can barely even see after one coat of No1. There are obviously several more coats to go on, followed by topcoat and then waxoyl, so I'm actually quite pleased with that little repair.
Obviously the weather is starting to turn, but I do have to get this sprayed before it starts to snow. I therefore have deployed a new weapon in my arsenal, my £80 amazon pop-up gazebo.
Your move Mother Nature, your move.
I'll be continuing the strip down of the engine bay area next, while finishing the underside of the boot floor. More to follow.