M-100 Message Board
M-100 Message Board
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 M-100 Message Forum
 6.9
 6.9 #521 Restoration
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Previous Page | Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 12

etmerritt33

USA
1415 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2014 :  08:03:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Actually, the guy on the W116 board that posted about using electrolysis to remove rust in the trunk got me interested. I found the carbon rods on a model A site and just followed that link. Using a PC power supply and when trying my first test yesterday I could not get it to turn on. Determined last night that the instructions for jumping two wires to turn it on were in error. So, going to correct today and test with multi-tester before hooking up again. Brutally cold here today so may need to wait until the temps rise as I suspect my solution froze over night. Sounds like a simple process but like many things a couple tweaks are needed. I'll be glad to get those carbon rods for anodes. Next, I want to try on of those small plating kits.
Go to Top of Page

benz_head

USA
449 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2014 :  10:53:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Outstanding work, Brian!

I'm curious...you're doing major surgery here, so why not drop the rearend too? The bushings in the rear suspension are certainly worn out.

benz_head
#1349
Go to Top of Page

wbrian63

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2014 :  09:03:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh - no worries, the rear suspension is definitely coming out. I've even got the bushings sitting on the shelf.

W. Brian Fogarty

'02 S55 AMG (W220)
'92 300SE (W140) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted & gone
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter VII
Go to Top of Page

wbrian63

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2014 :  09:43:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Over on the W116.org site, someone posted that they appreciated the information about the spot weld cutter as they were facing a project that needed something just like that.

My response has some updated information that I thought might be worth sharing over here - so here follows the content from that posting:

It's no joke that the cutters are very fragile. The cutter arbor has a hardened spring-loaded point that is supposed to engage the dimple created by a sharp center punch into the weld. If you don't present the cutter at a near perfect right-angle to the cutting face, or if the cutters grab as they're cutting through the first layer of metal, it will tear the teeth clean off the cutter.

A lot of what I've learned about using this tool has come via trial and error.

I'd recommend that you purchase extra cutters when you buy the cutter kit. They're not expensive but do search around, some places have a very inflated idea of what this stuff should cost.

I paid $8.35 each at Amazon.com for two sets of 3 replacement cutters. (Blair Part # 13214) Each cutter is two-sided, so that's 12 cutters, effectively. (I note with sadness that these same cutters are now $14.75...)
I got the original cutter assembly that comes with the shaft and one double-ended cutter for $18 from McMaster-Carr (Blair Part # 13224) . I've since found it for a few $ less elsewhere.
I also purchased a "lube stick" (Blair Part # 11750) for $10.50 that is recommended by the manufacturer if the cutter - Blair Tools.

So, I'm into the 'spot weld cutting business' for 45.20 plus some small tax and freight costs.

The limits of the cutter I've previously noted, but I've noticed a few more and so will repeat and amend here:
1) If you don't get a good center punch dimple in the weld, the cutter will skip and you may lose some cutter teeth.
2) The cutter is difficult to use when the spot weld is nestled in a corner where the face presented to the cutter teeth has a radius along the edge - the cutter wants to grab and jump.
3) The cutter teeth are hardened, and therefore very brittle. Start very slowly - I use just a bit of trigger pressure on my Makita 3-spd model BDF451 drill, set on the lowest gear range which allows max 300 rpm. I'd say I'm starting at 100 rpm or less, and maxing out at 300 once a clearly defined channel is cut in to the metal.
4) The cutter teeth have a limited cutting depth. In some cases, especially as noted in #2 above, that may mean you don't cut cleanly through the outer layer.
5) The cutter overall length is only about 4" and when chucked securely into the drill you don't have much stick-out, which makes working in areas like the top seam in the door frame on W116 sills difficult - the chuck of the drill prevents you presenting the cutter at a 90-degree angle to the metal. I'm going to have a machinist friend create a 6" extension that I can use.
6) It may be a good idea (I've not tested this) to use a sharp punch to dimple the weld, and then drill through the weld with a 1/16" drill. That will give the pilot point something to engage securely and prove a more stable event.
7) When it comes time to change the cutters, you WILL need a vice to make this happen. Note previously I mentioned that the cutters are hardened. This makes it very difficult to get a set of locking pliers to "bite" into the material to unscrew the cutter from the arbor. If the pliers slip, you'll remove a bit of the black oxide coating on the cutter, and round off the teeth on the pliers. You must have a way to securely grip the shaft of the cutter. I clamp the shaft in my bench-mounted vice, take my best set of US-made Vice Grips (the Chinese-made crap available now are way too soft) and clamp them tightly to the cutter. Then I take a wood or rubber mallet and sharply whack the pliers to break the cutter loose from the arbor. It seems to take a sharp blow to break the threads loose - just pulling seems to allow for the pliers to slip on the cutter or the arbor to slip in the vice.
8) You always break the last available cutter when there's just one more spot weld to go - keep a set of spares on hand.

Have a look at the Blair website - they have lots to offer. http://www.blairequipment.com/Spotweld_Cutters/Spotweld_Cutters.html.

Keep reading and I'll keep posting.

Regards

W. Brian Fogarty

'02 S55 AMG (W220)
'92 300SE (W140) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted & gone
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter VII
Go to Top of Page

arcijack

USA
475 Posts

Posted - 04/03/2014 :  15:27:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
just curious on how the project is going? i've follow this rebuild with a lot of interest and have learned from it, i have a 77 euro with the same color that started out as a parts car, but as of late i've started to restore it or at least partial restoration, wont be as good as yours, not trying to win an award but will be my fun car, so please keep us posted on the progress, thanks, Randy
Go to Top of Page

wbrian63

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 04/03/2014 :  17:01:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ask and ye shall receive. Much of what I'll report here may appear in the next LodeStar if I got my article to Anthony in time.

I've been on a medical-enforced hiatus from the project since January 20 when I had Achilles tendon surgery on both ankles. I'm just now getting back into the shop, and progress is good, although my ability to stand for extended periods is somewhat limited.

So - here's the update:

The more I thought about it, I didn't like the way the front of the rotisserie attached to the body. The bolts that hold the front bumper in place are just attached to a plate that's inside the front bumper frame, only separated from the rotisserie mount by a thin piece of sheet metal.

My first real project back in the shop was to change the attachment point for the front of the rotisserie. I added long arms like in the rear that reach all the way to the mounting frames for the cross-member that hosts the rear of the front lower control arms. There's already a factory hole on the outside edge of these frames - I just reamed it out a little to accept 1/2" bolts:



Where the arms passed under the frame rails, I added a piece of angle iron, welded to the arms and bolted through the frame rail. I had to drill holes in the frame rail for the bolts, but there are other holes in the rail near by, and I figure by the time I get all of the rotten metal replaced on the car, I'll be good enough to weld up the holes...



Now there's no worry with turning the car on its side, or completely upside down.

Resumed work on the driver's sill. I'd gotten the upper spot welds mostly drilled out. The lower seam was far more challenging, especially in the front where it had been mostly crushed by poor jacking techniques against tin worm-riddled metal:



In some places where the seam was folded up, I was able to straighten it with some locking pliers, but in the end, I wound up cutting the sill free around the areas too smashed to get pliers on the seam. I've got a body slide hammer on the way to help with these areas.

Got the balance of the spot welds removed, but there was still more work to do to get the sill out.


The sill is line welded to the body at the bottom of the A-pillar:


This seam doesn't show with the fender in place, so appearance isn't critical.

It's also welded at the back of the rear door where the sill meets the rear quarter panel. Portions of this area are hidden by the sill covers, but some show, and those areas are brazed. I've already started cutting at this point, you can see the brass in a few areas.



The sill runs behind the B-pillar, and I finally figured out that the only way to detach it completely would be to unbutton the B-pillar from the car, which would require a chassis dolly to prevent damage to the body when that structural member is removed, so I gave up on that idea immediately. I used a thin cutting wheel in my grinder to cut underneath the B-pillar to free the sill from the outer section of the pillar, and then up each side to the inner seam.

The sill also runs up inside the car on the left footwell, and there's a bunch of line welding there to hold the sill to the base of the chassis behind the kick panel, so that's going to be another challenge. I ended up cutting the sill free on the outside and up to the upper seam in the front and the back. Once this was done, the sill dropped to the ground without much fuss, exposing the sill cavity:


First, I knew from looking down the sill from the driver's tire position I was going to find rust - how much was the question.

What do you think - can I salvage this jack point?


The rear one is in better shape, but it needs help too:



Looking into the space behind the rear jack point, it looks like - what's that on the right? Rivets? RIVETS?



Yep - rivets holding a scab patch inside the rear fender:



Removed:



When I got a good look at the jack points, I decided to reach out to Tom Hanson to see if they're still available from MBCC.

The rear jack points are sold individually - part # 116-610-01-31. The front jack points come as part of the inner sill, sized for the non-L chassis. Left part # 116-610-01-09, right 116-610-02-09.

I figured if the prices were reasonable, I'd just buy it all and cut the front jack points loose from the sills.

The rear jack points are still available. The driver sill is back-ordered, but the passenger sill is available.

Prices - not so great. Sills are $510 for driver's side (but really $1zillion since they're back-ordered) and $525 for passenger's side. Rear jack points - $790 EACH! Of course, I still get my MBCA 20% discount, but event that means $1684 for the available parts...

Looks like I'll be building my own jack points.

Rust is never as simple as just "one little spot." Looks like I've got some more skills to learn...

That was last week's work.

I knew in order to do a proper job on the underside of the car, the rear end needed to come out. The advantage of a rotisserie is that you don't have to lay under the car to work if you don't want to.

So I went out and bought an engine hoist, tipped the car on its side and unbolted the rear end from the chassis and lifted it away with the hoist. The whole effort, including assembly of the hoist, was less than 2 hours, and I barely got dirty.

More pictures of this in the next installment.

W. Brian Fogarty

'02 S55 AMG (W220)
'92 300SE (W140) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted & gone
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter VII
Go to Top of Page

arcijack

USA
475 Posts

Posted - 04/03/2014 :  21:01:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
thanks for the update, great work, those seals and jack points are expensive, mines looked the same but I had a rust free donor car that I cut out and welded on. hope you surgery went well, I'm facing surgery soon myself . the dreaded groin hernia surgery, ouch!!!, thanks again.
Go to Top of Page

Art Love

Australia
6227 Posts

Posted - 04/04/2014 :  08:06:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Brian,

I don't have 6.9, but I am really enjoying reading your posts and am delighted that you are doing the Lode Star article with Ant. That is serious rust, probably worse that I have dealt with in 4 6.3's, at least in that part of the body. I am disappointed on your behalf that the replacement parts are so much more expensive that the equivalent W109 parts where similar repairs are more reasonable from a cost point of view.

Well done,
Art
Go to Top of Page

wbrian63

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 04/20/2014 :  21:16:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Art - I agree with you that the price of replacement parts seems to be way out of proportion to the actual effort to manufacture same.

One of the things I am fanatical about is stopping water intrusion. With a unit-body constructed car like the W116, there are holes everywhere in the body. Some are to aid in fishing wires and cables, others I suspect are there as positioning aids for the body parts as they are placed in the presses to be formed.

Of course, you've also got all manner of penetrations through the body to allow cables to pass.

One of the great things about restoring a MB is that many of the grommets and rubber plugs have the part # formed into the body of the part as it is molded. That makes things far easier when trying to order parts.

Most, if not all of the grommets, boots and plugs that are used on the firewall between the passenger compartment and the engine compartment are still available, but the prices vary, and often not in a logical manner.

W. Brian Fogarty

'02 S55 AMG (W220)
'92 300SE (W140) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted & gone
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter VII
Go to Top of Page

wbrian63

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 04/20/2014 :  22:27:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As the saying goes, "time flies when you're having fun" - I'm not certain this actually applies to chassis rust repair on a W116, but I am having "some fun", and "some other" stuff which typically isn't fit for print.

Working a few hours each night doesn't make for much progress, but progress has been attained nonetheless. I'm 95% complete with the "cutting out and putting back" of the various areas of rusted metal on the passenger side. As I noted in a previous posting, the passenger side isn't as badly affected as the driver, and so there is where I chose to make my first stand against the dreaded tin worm.

Removal of the existing sill was far easier than the drivers' side, partly because I now know what to do, and partly because the lower seam wasn't as badly crushed/rusted/damaged as the drivers' side.

I had several pictures of the process of replacing the rusted areas around the front of the sill, but those images have gone to their great reward as I managed to lose the camera in which they reside...

I'll take some pics of the final results, but the step-by-step images are sadly gone forever.

What I do have for this installment is probably the hardest work attempted - fixing the rust inside the rear wheel well.

The rust in this area is very similar to what is found on the drivers' side, but not quite as bad. For reference, here's the picture of the drivers' side leading edge of the wheel well:


You can see that there's rust in the panel that forms the wheel well, and also rust in the panel that's part of the body of the car. This rust comes from the inside when the sills leak, as this area is open to the sill cavity, and it would appear that it is hard to get to this area with the cavity wax installed at the factory.

In hindsight, I didn't go about this repair in the proper order, and that resulted in my spending far more time in getting the resulting patch panels fitted and welded in place.

The inner fender lining is a simple piece of metal, curving approximately 90 degrees to tie in to the rear sealing plate for the sill where it meets the lower corner of the rear door. It also curves slightly vertically from the spot welded seam along the bottom as it joins the curve of the wheel well.

Almost nothing was left of this inner panel, so I removed the underbody coating until I could find sold metal, and cut out what was rusty, plus a little more for good measure. This part of the process wasn't where I made my mistake, as there was sufficient metal remaining in the other side of the structure, the body of the car. Easy to create a cardboard template of what was to be replaced by holding the board up against the cut line and against the skeletal remainder of the body.

I fashioned a patch panel and curved it along the horizontal plane to align with the various attachment points on the body.

Deciding it would be easier to remove the rusted body panel before I put the fender well patch in place, I proceeded to cut out the rusted body panel, leaving what you see here:


This is where I messed up. I should have installed - at least tacked in place, the fender well patch. That would have given me a location in three dimensions where I needed to align the body patch panel. This was particularly important since the body part, once removed was so rusted that it lacked any structural integrity to remain in its as-installed form. Very difficult to form a replacement panel when you don't have any accurate idea of how the replacement panel should be shaped...

Looking at the removed panel, you can see the remnants of the lip where the fender well panel was attached. This image matches in orientation to how the panel appeared originally in the car:


Trying to describe the shape of this piece in words is difficult, but I'll make an attempt so you'll hopefully understand what I was was trying to do in my recreation attempts.

Looking at the part as it was installed in the car, there's a lip that starts at the left side, crosses across to the right while dipping downward, and rotating almost 90 degrees towards the viewer. At the upper edge of this lip, the metal tips away to form a nearly horizontal ledge, wider at the right-hand side and very narrow across the middle to somewhat wider at the left-hand side. From this ledge, the metal curves upward again to join the plane of the panel from which it was removed.

I figured that there was no way I was going to be able to shape a single piece of metal to form this complex shape, so I'd build it in pieces, starting with the lip. Then I'd attach to the lip a piece to form the horizontal ledge, and to that piece I'd attach another piece (or pieces) to form the vertical section where it joins back to the car body.

That lip curves in two planes, from high to low vertically, and from away towards the viewer horizontally. So I bought a new tool - a shrinker/stretcher from Eastwood.

This crafty little device allows you to do three things:
1) stretch a flat piece of metal approx 3/4" wide so that one edge becomes longer than the other - this causes the metal to curve across the flat away from the user.
2) shrink a flat piece of metal approx 3/4" wide so that one edge becomes shorter than the other - this causes the metal to curve across the flat towards the user.
3) bruise the palm of your hand from whacking the handle of the tool over and over and over again as you shape the metal...

I was able to form the vertical curve of the lip with the stretcher, by shrinking the inner edge, and stretching the outer edge. Forming the other axis of the curve was easily done by hand.

I traced the horizontal curve of the piece onto a panel section and cut that out to match the curve, leaving extra material.

Checking the shape of the second piece against the original part, I was satisfied, so I tacked the parts together:


What's wrong with this picture?

Yep - I tacked the piece to the WRONG edge of the curved strip...

That's when I decided to quit for the day...

Returning the next day, I had decided that the method I'd chosen was going to be too difficult to attain a satisfactory result. Better method I thought was to form the various pieces of the panel in sections, with each section having the necessary profile to approximate the matching part of the original panel. This was the result:


Ugly as a mud fence...

But - placing the upper edge against the body of the car, the replacement panel would match the shape (fairly closely) of where the original was removed. I put a few tack welds on the part to hold it in place from the inside, then tried to get up and behind the panel to weld it in place permanently. This proved problematic for several reasons:
1) Because of the orientation of the body, I'd not been able to thoroughly clean the metal to remove all traces of dirt and stone chip coating.
2) I was trying to weld with the edges largely vertical, which is a real challenge for my limited skills and the equipment I possess.

After a couple head-banging events I decided to make use of the rotisserie and re-orient the car so that my welding surface would be down and horizontal...


And I proceeded to weld the panel in place:


The ugly mud fence doesn't look too bad from this perspective...

While the car was in this orientation, I took the time to remove all of the stone chip from the body-side of the lower lip where the sill will be attached - that alone took about 2 hours - the surface has lots of dips and dings from welds and other incursions, but all the coating (or at least most of it) needs to go away if I'm to have good welded sill-to-body contact (and no resulting fire...)

Then I flipped the car back the other way to just beyond flat so I could work on the wheel well replacement panel.

Remember when I said it was a bad idea to remove both pieces of the puzzle? This is when I figured that out. When I put the patch in place and tacked it along the upper edge, the lip of the body-side of the patch only met the bottom edge of the wheel well patch at the left hand side...

Handling the cut-out piece of rusted body, I'd obviously deformed its shape to where the replacement part matched the upper edge of the original, but the lip edge was 1/4" to 1/2" inwards toward the center of the car from where the wheel well patch ended up when attached to the car.

Note that the wheel well patch when originally formed, touched at the upper edge where I'd seam weld it, along with touching all along the bottom edge at the lip where I'd spot (rosebud) weld it.

What to do? I first got out my body hammer and tried to persuade the wheel well patch to move towards the body patch. Some, but not enough success was found with this method.

Finally resorted to the cutting wheel and my right-angle grinder.
Several cuts along the patch allowed me to bend the patch to meet the body.


As I pushed each tab backwards to meet the body, the gaps opened up at the bottom. For the first two cuts, I was able to bridge that gap with some patience and the welder. The third cut made gaps too large to bridge, so I removed that tab and cut out a tab to match the shape of the opening.

With everything welded in, I ground some of the welds down to make it look more presentable.


I've got some more smoothing to do to make sure the welds are strong and there are no pockets to trap moisture. Then I'll test fit the sill into place so I can form the last patch which covers the end of the sill and ties into the outer fender.

But that's work for another day (week).

W. Brian Fogarty

'02 S55 AMG (W220)
'92 300SE (W140) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted & gone
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter VII
Go to Top of Page

wbrian63

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2014 :  23:28:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Progress is being made, although not as much as I'd like.

I've completed work on the replacement jack points, and most of the body work on the passenger side in preparation for the sill panel installation.

I'll post up pictures of the jack points at a later time. I think I've come up with a valid option for replacement of these very important but costly chassis assemblies.

Friday's task was to deal with the rust that had invaded the bottom corner of the passenger rear door frame where it intersects with the outside of the car.

This how the spot looked before the reconstruction:


Much of what should be there was cut away when the original sill was removed. The area below the cut line was so rusty it was impossible to tell where the spot welds were to cut them out.

You can also see a lot of body filler behind the blue paint which makes one wonder how much rust is hidden behind the filler.

And this is how it looks now:


Obviously I have some more work to do to smooth out the welds, but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Before I started replacing the metal, I removed the paint and body filler up the arch until I found just paint and primer and no filler. Fortunately, there wasn't any more rust other than the bit found at the very bottom about 1" above the cut line in the first photo.

In the picture above, you can see the sill installed, but it's just there for fitment purposes. I'm happy with how it looks and aligns at the b-pillar:


Still have some fitting to do at the a-pillar. The sill is being grafted on to the remains of the original panel where it ties up into the bottom of the a-pillar. The metal was mostly solid there, and the seam welds where the sill meets the body up inside the footwell would be just too hard to deal with to get a clean removal.


It is nice to see the sill back in place, even if it is only temporary.


In this last picture, you can see a welded seam just below the hole where the side molding attaches behind the door. I'm not certain if this is a factory weld, or if that weld is from a previous repair and the panel alignment was poor after the fact and required the nearly 1/8" of filler that I tediously ground away.

Once the rear door is reinstalled, we'll know for sure.

Thanks for reading...

W. Brian Fogarty

'02 S55 AMG (W220)
'92 300SE (W140) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted & gone
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter VII
Go to Top of Page

wbrian63

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2014 :  21:16:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Time for an update on the passenger sill replacement work.

The sill is mostly installed and here are the steps that led up to that point:

After I fabricated the jack points, I had to make sure they were placed properly on the chassis and welded in place before the sills were installed.

I thought I'd posted a topic on how I made the jack points, but apparently those pictures were on a camera I lost recently, so I'll take some more pictures of the driver-side units that are still to be completed and post that later.

Here are the jack points protruding from the sills. I didn't attempt to make them exactly the right shape on the ends from the start - longer is better.




While the cover washer provides a little bit of slop, having the tube centered in the hole is better than not.


Once the location of the jack points was set, I marked and drilled holes through the chassis to rosebud weld the jack points in place. This is the rear jack point - there are 6 points on the top, 8 points where it mounts inside the sill to the chassis vertically, and 4 more points where it mounts to the bottom of the floor pan where it extends to meet the sills.

With all the holes drilled, I sprayed the inner area of the sill with a high-zinc weld-through primer. Later I'll spray the insides of the sills with cavity wax.



Here is the same view with the rosebud welds in place:


Once the jack points were secure, I carefully aligned and clamped the sill panel in place. Here are the views of the panel alignment at the C-pillar:


B-pillar rear


B-pillar front


A-pillar rear


A-pillar front


I think I mentioned in a previous posting that I opted to not cut out the entire sill panel at the A-pillar because 1) the existing sill material was still mostly solid and 2) it would have been a real bear of a task to get it freed from the chassis without causing damage that would have to be repaired before the sills could be installed.

The risk of this method is that I need to be very sure that the new sill material lands in the same place as the original structure, because the bottom of the front fender attaches to the sill. If the new sill is too far inset to the car, or protrudes too much, the profile of the fender will not align with the front door, and that would not be good.

Prior to putting the sills in place for welding, I drilled what seemed like hundreds of 5/16" (8mm) holes in the sill for the rosebud welds that would attach the sill to the car. I ground away all of the paint on the areas where I'd be welding, and cleaned up the mating surfaces on the car. I did not spray the high-zinc primer on these flanges because I don't have any easy way to clean the paint out of the holes before I weld, and that is required to get a good weld bond. I'll trust the cavity wax to seal and guard against rust.

Here the process of tacking the sill into place:






At the B-pillar, I used sheet metal screws through the original spot-weld holes to pull the material tight to do the tacking. Then I removed the screws and finished the welding, closing up the hole made by the screw in the process.

I read once about a student welder that had a task-master instructor that insisted that every weld be placed in whatever orientation the material was at weld-up time. "You can't rotate a battleship" was the saying he used.

Well - I'm not that student, and I don't have the skills of that instructor. What I do have is a rotisserie, so I put the car in the best position to create a horizontal welding orientation for the mass weld-up process.



For each hole, I used locking pliers to clamp the sill to the car, one on each side. Then I started the weld bead in the center of the hole, circling outward until I had blended in the sill metal with the chassis - over and over and over again...

At the C-pillar, there's a section where the sill/chassis connection is visible after the inner sill covers are installed. That required a series of small pin-point welds connected together. Once ground down, the seam should be invisible:



Connections at the B-pillar were more rosebud welds. The series of pin-point welds in the recess are to fill in a groove I accidentally cut when slicing the original sill off of the car. The vertical rosebud welds will also be ground down as they'll show when the car is complete.





At the A-pillar, it's a process of connecting the dots. Welds placed midway between each of the tack welds that were used to secure the sill at the beginning of the process. Then welds between those welds, and so-on and so-on until the entire seam has been welded closed:




W. Brian Fogarty

'02 S55 AMG (W220)
'92 300SE (W140) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted & gone
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter VII

Edited by - wbrian63 on 05/20/2014 21:18:10
Go to Top of Page

wbrian63

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2014 :  21:28:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When cutting out all of the spot welds to remove the sills and jack points, eventually, you'll end up with a hole where you need solid metal.

I was concerned that closing up a hole would be difficult, but it is actually very easy.

The first thing you need is a copper backing plate. The weld won't stick to the copper, and the copper acts as an excellent heat-sink keeping the welded up hole from shrinking too much and causing a divot in the panel.

I made my backing plate out of a 3/4" copper pipe coupling. I slit it lengthwise with a hack-saw and flattened it out on the anvil of my bench vise:


Here's the hole that needs to be welded up:


Why? Because it aligns with a hole in the flange of the jack point below that will be used to rosebud weld the jack point to the car - you can see the edge of the jack point hole here:


Clamp the copper behind the hole, then start the welding wire along the rim of the hole, circling inward until you have the entire hole filled in with welding wire:


After a bit of work with a grinding flap disk, it's hard to even find where the weld occurred:


W. Brian Fogarty

'02 S55 AMG (W220)
'92 300SE (W140) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted & gone
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter VII
Go to Top of Page

S class

South Africa
955 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2014 :  05:13:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Fantastic work Brian. Very inspiring.



116.036
116.036
116.024
116.028
116.028



Go to Top of Page

wbrian63

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2014 :  22:37:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Time for an update. The sill work on the passenger side is complete! The last part of fiddling involved closing in the end of the sill where it faces the rear fenderwell. Originally, the inner fender material provided this coverage, but the tin worm ate mine.

Here's a picture of the hole to be covered:


The patch needs to be but welded at the top, and rosebud welded along the left side. The right side - the long arc - needs a lip that faces the rear of the car.

First, I fashioned a template out of poster board to get the approximate shape for the flat piece of metal to fill the opening.



Then cut a piece of sheet metal of the same shape, refining the profile so it would fit into the opening.


Cut a strip of metal about 3/4" wide and attach it to the flat piece to form the lip described above. Check everything for fitment.


Butt weld it along the top, with 4 rosebud welds along the left side.



Clean everything up - almost. There's a small gap where the patch intersects another patch I formed to replace rusted out inner fender. The edges overlap, but I still need to form something to cover the hole.


Here's the fully-installed sill from the rear facing forward:


And from the front facing rearward:


The front cover installed:


Cleaned up the visible portions of the sill at the front edge of the front door:


Cleaned up the visible portions of the B-pillar where it meets the sill:


I'm not happy with how the welding turned out where the sills and jack ports meet. I cleaned up the welds with a carbide burr and re-welded the front and it looks good.

When I re-welded the back, I sadly discovered I'd ground too much metal away and the weld blew through the sill. It took a lot of fiddling to close the hole back up and it looks like crap.

Worse, the heat from the second set of welds caused the sill to buckle at the top of the jack ports.

I don't know how noticeable this will be when the car is painted, but as I've got some small dents to be removed via a paintless dent removal process, I'll let them have a go at these areas to see what can be done. I think that any attempt to add body filler here would eventually fail when if the car was jacked up using the MB-supplied crank jack.

Next post will contain the work done to make the drivers side ready for the new sill.

I'm very glad I started on the passenger side. The amount of work that must be done to fix the drivers side is far greater and my skills have improved enough that I'm making great strides there.

W. Brian Fogarty

'02 S55 AMG (W220)
'92 300SE (W140) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted & gone
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter VII
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 12 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Previous Page | Next Page
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
M-100 Message Board © 2002-2015 International M-100 Group, Inc. Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.34 seconds. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000 Version 3.4.06