My latest 'Project'...

Merlin

Ministry of Retr0bright and Street Judge
VIP
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Posts
15,597
Country
UK
Region
Manchester
I've been busy the last couple of weekends with a 'project', my son's Fiat Punto that failed it's MOT. The failure sheet said that the floor and sill needed some welding and that the "Offside rear wheel arch is corroded". When we investigated it further, we found that the examiner wasn't kidding... Here's what it looked like once we had moved the fuel filler pipe out of the way and poked around a bit with a screwdriver.
b03.jpgb02.jpgb04.jpgb05.jpg

Erm, yes, that's a w(hole) lot of rampant tin worm :picard. The whole lower edge of the inner wheel arch was also missing where it met the outer wheel arch.

I did say to Ian that this might be attempting the impossible, as most garages would have laughed and told him to scrap it. So, after a LOT of fabrication, fettling, welding and advanced words from Dad's Big Bumper Book of Swear Words, we ended up with this.

02.jpg03.jpg04.jpg05.jpg

The corrosion was that bad, that when we tried to remove the fuel filler pipe out of the way to do the welding, we had to drill the screws out and when we pulled the pipe back, a chunk of the recess fell out with it! A quickly fabricated panel later and it was fixed. There were quite a few other holes here and there but this was the worst of it - It doesn't get much worse than that without a car not being there any more.

His car passed it's MOT today, so this is proof that you can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and that an Old Jedi still has mad skillz! I know that I'm not Leonardo Do Vinci when it comes to welding, but that is function over form and it's all 18 gauge steel, a lot thicker than the original metal. I also had to be happy in my own mind that I could drive this car and feel safe after the repairs, so there is a degree of overkill to them. Ian's also had a bit of a schooling in metal fabrication. There were a lot of photos taken as we did the work, just in case the examiner wanted any proof of the work done. These photos are just to give an idea.

I think I can say that is "Achievement Unlocked"...
 

Attachments

  • b02_zpsb105fa99.jpg
    b02_zpsb105fa99.jpg
    78.6 KB · Views: 0
Last edited:

Bryce

Active member
AmiBayer
Joined
Aug 21, 2012
Posts
2,586
Country
Germany
Region
Nordrhein Westfalen
Hi Merlin,
firstly, congratulations, fantastic work and seriously clean welding. However, despite having got its MOT, I would be seriously worried how this would hold up in the case of an accident. I know it's your sons car and all that (as explained before), but the whole construction is no longer robust. Your son should really consider getting something new.

Bryce.
 

SkydivinGirl

Retro Girl
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Posts
7,069
Country
USA
Region
Raleigh, NC
Nice work!

My first car barely had any metal left for the floor boards. It was mostly the carpet that was keeping my feet from hitting the ground! One of my favorite memories of that car is driving to school with my brother in the passenger seat. It was in the middle of winter and I hit a big slush puddle in the road. All that slush came flying up through a hole in the floor and drenched my brother! I almost had to pull over because I was laughing so hard! :D

Again, great work Dave!

Heather
 

Merlin

Ministry of Retr0bright and Street Judge
VIP
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Posts
15,597
Country
UK
Region
Manchester
Hi Merlin,
firstly, congratulations, fantastic work and seriously clean welding. However, despite having got its MOT, I would be seriously worried how this would hold up in the case of an accident. I know it's your sons car and all that (as explained before), but the whole construction is no longer robust. Your son should really consider getting something new.

Bryce.

He's going to start frantically saving up for a new car now. When that work was finished, I battered those welded panels with a 2lb. dead blow mallet and nothing moved at all. There's also a lot of overlap going on between some of those panels and the MOT examiner wouldn't have passed it if it was unsafe in his opinion. They are very harsh on repairs now and they all must be seam welded, stitch welding isn't allowed any more.

I reckon the Punto was made of 20 to 22 gauge steel originally, so the stuff I've put in is stronger than the original metal. Punto steel is awful to weld to too, as it blows through unless you are really careful.

With any luck, he won't have it for long and Ian's already said he'll scrap it, when he's done with it.

- - - Updated - - -

Nice work!

My first car barely had any metal left for the floor boards. It was mostly the carpet that was keeping my feet from hitting the ground! One of my favorite memories of that car is driving to school with my brother in the passenger seat. It was in the middle of winter and I hit a big slush puddle in the road. All that slush came flying up through a hole in the floor and drenched my brother! I almost had to pull over because I was laughing so hard! :D

Again, great work Dave!

Heather

Don't they have mandatory inspections on cars after a few years in the US, like we have in the UK and Europe? :eek:
 

DutchinUSA

New member
AmiBayer
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Posts
1,297
Country
Unites States
Region
Wisconsin
Nope, no inspections in this state .. amazed at some of the "things" you see on the road here :picard .. hey, it's all about freedom to do whatever the hell you want ya know .. no matter if pieces fall off and chop someone else's head off :(
 
Last edited:

SkydivinGirl

Retro Girl
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Posts
7,069
Country
USA
Region
Raleigh, NC
Not all states have mandatory inspections, especially in the northern states. Where I live now, we must pass annual inspections. It's odd going back to Michigan and seeing all the junkers because I'm not used to them being on the road anymore. :D

The car I was talking about was a 1982 Chevrolet Chevette. It was already a clunker when I started driving it in 1989.

Heather
 

NovaCoder

Nova
Joined
Apr 24, 2008
Posts
588
Country
Australia
Region
Victoria
I've been busy the last couple of weekends with a 'project', my son's Fiat Punto that failed it's MOT. The failure sheet said that the floor and sill needed some welding and that the "Offside rear wheel arch is corroded". When we investigated it further, we found that the examiner wasn't kidding... Here's what it looked like once we had moved the fuel filler pipe out of the way and poked around a bit with a screwdriver.


Erm, yes, that's a w(hole) lot of rampant tin worm :picard. The whole lower edge of the inner wheel arch was also missing where it met the outer wheel arch.

I did say to Ian that this might be attempting the impossible, as most garages would have laughed and told him to scrap it. So, after a LOT of fabrication, fettling, welding and advanced words from Dad's Big Bumper Book of Swear Words, we ended up with this.



The corrosion was that bad, that when we tried to remove the fuel filler pipe out of the way to do the welding, we had to drill the screws out and when we pulled the pipe back, a chunk of the recess fell out with it! A quickly fabricated panel later and it was fixed. There were quite a few other holes here and there but this was the worst of it - It doesn't get much worse than that without a car not being there any more.

His car passed it's MOT today, so this is proof that you can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and that an Old Jedi still has mad skillz! I know that I'm not Leonardo Do Vinci when it comes to welding, but that is function over form and it's all 18 gauge steel, a lot thicker than the original metal. I also had to be happy in my own mind that I could drive this car and feel safe after the repairs, so there is a degree of overkill to them. Ian's also had a bit of a schooling in metal fabrication. There were a lot of photos taken as we did the work, just in case the examiner wanted any proof of the work done. These photos are just to give an idea.

I think I can say that is "Achievement Unlocked"...

Good job!

Looks like the kind of rust I had on my old MG, I filled those holes with tin-foil and putty!

I think your approach is more professional :LOL:
 

Merlin

Ministry of Retr0bright and Street Judge
VIP
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Posts
15,597
Country
UK
Region
Manchester
Novacoder said:
Looks like the kind of rust I had on my old MG, I filled those holes with tin-foil and putty!

I think your approach is more professional :laugh:

Bryce thought that my repairs might be a bit suspect... I wonder what he would make of yours? :laugh:
 
Last edited:

Bryce

Active member
AmiBayer
Joined
Aug 21, 2012
Posts
2,586
Country
Germany
Region
Nordrhein Westfalen
Bryce thought that my repairs might be a bit suspect... I wonder what he would make of yours? :laugh:

No, don't get me wrong, your repairs are top notch! But the body of a car is designed to absorb impacts by letting certain points give-way and fold. The MOT only cares that the metal is there/thick enough, not that it's thin enough. As you know, a weld seam will be thicker, stronger and more rigid than the metal around it, so in the case of an accident, a sheet of metal that should have given way / folded might not and instead it transfers the energy to the next weakest point. If you are unlucky, this might end up being a pillar or some other structure that was meant to stay intact and protect the passengers.

I don't think your repairs are suspect, I think welding car bodys in general is suspect.

Bryce.
 

supaduper

Well-known member
AmiBayer
Joined
Sep 25, 2012
Posts
5,398
Country
England
Region
west midlands
Top Tinsmith skills there Merlin !, now if I had to weld there will more holes than there are in swiss cheese :)
 

protek

"Takai desu ne." -"Jinsei da."
Joined
Feb 17, 2008
Posts
4,001
Country
Finland
Region
Oulu, Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
Well done, Dave! :)

I don't think that at least here, where we have the most expensive and therefore the oldest cars in the European Union, professional welders wouldn't have condemned the car to the scrapyard. On the other hand they might have charged the same amount for the job that the car is worth. :LOL:
 

Harrison

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Posts
10,153
Country
UK
Region
West Sussex
How old was the car Dave? That was some serious rust now I've finally seen the pictures.

Great job on the repairs, looks really professional.

I agree regarding crumple zones. Certain panels are designed to absorb the impact in a crash to ensure the main cabin structure remains intact and protects passengers. Having reinforced it so much this might not happen and instead the metal would move forward in a different way during a crash, potentially pushing other parts further. Definitely get rid of it.
 

protek

"Takai desu ne." -"Jinsei da."
Joined
Feb 17, 2008
Posts
4,001
Country
Finland
Region
Oulu, Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
A patch in the rear wheel, rocker panel and floor isn't probably IMHO that critical for the integrity of the passenger compartment in an impact situation. Of course, it is recommended to use a replacement panel or same thickness of sheet metal in reparations.

But this is just my opinion, living in a country, where cars closing in on the museum age are kept roadworthy in daily driving.
 

Merlin

Ministry of Retr0bright and Street Judge
VIP
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Posts
15,597
Country
UK
Region
Manchester
I can't stress enough the benefits of CAD - no, not that sort of CAD, I mean Cardboard Aided Design... Always make a template and check it several times before committing to cutting metal.

@ Harrison

The car is a 2000 model. Scary, eh?

@ Bryce

Cars are spot welded using induction or resistor welding techniques and I suspect that you might be referring to spot welding. The manufacturers can use it to build new cars, but you can't spot weld repair panels on as far as the UK MOT is concerned, they have to be seam welded. You can only use spot welding (or drilled holes with plug welds, that amount to the same thing) on new replacement panels, as long as you match the original weld spacing used by the manufacturer.
 
Last edited:

Bryce

Active member
AmiBayer
Joined
Aug 21, 2012
Posts
2,586
Country
Germany
Region
Nordrhein Westfalen
Yes, seams are (mostly) ok if you are welding along the same border that the manufacturer used, but I meant when you are "patching" panels, you are adding new seams that would never be there (either as spot welds or seamed welds).

MY2000!! He must live very near the coast?

Bryce.
 

protek

"Takai desu ne." -"Jinsei da."
Joined
Feb 17, 2008
Posts
4,001
Country
Finland
Region
Oulu, Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
MY2000!! He must live very near the coast?

.
I'm not that surprised. For example, the Mazda6 introduced in 2002 is notoriously rustprone. As far as I'm concerned, steel shouldn't have ever been used in bodywork.
 

sneeker

New member
AmiBayer
Joined
Mar 5, 2011
Posts
628
Country
England
Region
Manchester!
15 years old isn't that good nowerdays, my civics 10 and rust free, although my mini went to the body shop at 10.. Front panel, 2 wings, 2 a panels, 2 doorskins, a hole in the floor plated, rear valance and a boot lid managed to remove all the rust. Oh and a new rear subframe. Looked fine from a distance through.
 

Merlin

Ministry of Retr0bright and Street Judge
VIP
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Posts
15,597
Country
UK
Region
Manchester
Fiats used to use East European steel of varying quality and the cars were built to a standard more befitting the Italian climate, with low humidity. You don't see many salt gritters on the Autostradas because of snow and that's the difference.

Any sign of cold weather for more than a couple of days and the gritters are out (but not necessarily in force) in the UK. It's the accumulation of mud, salt from the roads and humidity that does the damage. In the late 1970s, Alfa Romeo Alfasuds and Lancia Betas rotted away to write-off condition in as little as 12 to 18 months! Italian cars had an appalling reputation for rust back then.

I've hinted to my son to get something from the VW or Volvo stables for his next car, something with a lot more robustness behind it and better suited to Northern European climates.

- - - Updated - - -

Looked fine from a distance through.

What distance? 10 miles? :D

Only joking :)

Bryce.

Sneeker means from ten miles away on a foggy night, being viewed by a blind man. :LOL:
 

Bryce

Active member
AmiBayer
Joined
Aug 21, 2012
Posts
2,586
Country
Germany
Region
Nordrhein Westfalen
Audi and Honda are also a good choice when it comes to resistance from rust.

Bryce.
 
Top Bottom