I got a few hours at the garage this afternoon that turned out to be rather productive as I fixed my ill-fitting boot floor patch and got the lower inner wing strengthener tacked in as well.
My choice for a solution, with a brilliant recommendation from my brother, was to cut the few tack welds near the rear of the repair and pry it away a bit, then fill the gap in some way. Okay, that sounds good, let's see if it works!
|Tack welds cut and the repair patch spread out a bit.|
|Tack welds ground down and the patch clamped to the strengthener.|
So, yeah, that worked out surprisingly well and, after clamping it down, I put a tack weld near the "front" of the patch where the gap was small to hold it in place.
Obviously, however, the gap towards the "rear" of the patch was too wide to fill with weld metal, so I cut a small backing piece, primed it, and welded it in.
|Backing piece from the top.|
|Backing piece (primed) from the bottom.|
With that sorted, it was time to get the rest of the patch actually welded in.
|Some grinding left to do, but it sure is pretty!|
With that done, it was time to get the strengthener fitted and cut and made ready in all respects. This was done with lots of clamps and random installations of the rear valance to ensure proper spacing. All in all, it went pretty well.
|Adjusting strengthener fit, with rear valance in there, too.|
|Outside shot, also showing plug weld holes that I punched in at some point.|
Once I was happy with how it all fit up, I did a few tack and plug welds to get it all set up.
|It's in there!|
One thing I noticed during the repair was the relative attachment points between the boot floor and the strengthener. The new strengthener extended quite a bit beyond the bottom of the boot floor. Since it was all rotted away, I had no good point of reference to ensure this was correct. However, I looked on the passenger's side and, sure enough, I was able to see the mostly rusted mating lines between the boot floor and strengthener and, thankfully, my repair appeared to be correct.
|What it looked like on the passenger's side. Yuck!|
While waiting for the weld-though primer to dry and what-not, I also removed the rear tail light plate (or whatever it's properly called) in preparation for repair, or replacing, it and fixing the dent and cancer around it.
|Definitely some work to do there.|
That was about it. Not bad, considering, for about 4 hours of work. I was happy to come through the misaligned patch and now I know better for the other side. There are still some significant challenges remaining, of course, most notably the gap in the wheel well that I speak to in the video. But, nothing that I think is too bad!
Again, I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving and thanks for reading! Cheers!