Because of the relative complexity of the repair patch, I made it in a total of 5 pieces. There was a convex piece from the inner wheel arch that shifted to concave as it made its way back towards the rear valance, followed by a straight piece to the rear valance. Additionally, there was a flange that also needed to be reproduced. Since I don't have a shrinker or stretcher, I built a multi-piece solution.
|Fit up including the "finger" piece.|
|The convex and concave pieces are now one.|
I added the finger piece and checked the fit with some minor adjustments required.
|Fit up with everything welded together.|
Then it was time to flange the curved pieces, which I made out of two separate pieces.
|Flanges showing (hopefully) the two pieces. Sorry for the blurriness.|
Another test fit and it was time to tack it in.
|Final test fit. Not too bad!|
I tacked it in in several spots but, like most of my welds so far, I left it unfinished, which appears to have been a good decision.
Continuing the work in to out, the next piece to fit was the inner wing strengthener. Only the bottom part of this was gone (you can see it towards the bottom left of the picture above) so I wanted to save as much good metal as possible.
|Rough cut and fit of the new strengthener.|
I also attached the new rear wing bottom, though this didn't fit too well since I had not cut enough metal away. It was good for a rough idea, though.
|Lower rear wing clamped in.|
At this point I figured out that my boot floor patch is probably too skinny. The flange of the floor attaches to the flange of the lower rear wing, with the strengthener sandwiched between them. To get a good fit, however, I had to push the lower rear wing and strengthener towards the center of the car about 3/4". Since the rear valance is sandwiched between the left and right lower wings, it pushed that far in, the rear valance was too wide for the gap.
|You can see the gap between the strengthener and the boot floor.|
|How much I had to push it over to get the strengthener and the boot floor to mate.|
The funny thing, however, is that the curved piece to the immediate right of my pointer finger (where the boot floor takes a 90-degree turn towards the floor) in the above picture is original. The few pictures I found of the original part with this area intact shows this curve being the edge of the boot floor, so that's the line I followed.
I'm not sure what happened, so I have some more investigation to do but something is obviously not right. I'd hate to have to start a new patch all over again, so I may attempt to patch the patch, so to speak, if necessary.
I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving and spent it with loved ones. I was lucky enough to have my brother visit (he makes a mean apple pie) so that was a nice change. I don't think I'll need to eat again for about a week!