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wbrian63

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2014 :  21:30:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, I finished stripping the undercoat from the passenger rear wheel well, and in the immortal words of Gomer Pyle - "surprise, surprise, surprise" - there's more to fix.

Most of what appears below I assume is a combination of the ham-fisted repair efforts and the actual damage to the chassis when the car was hit from behind some time in the past.

Here, you can see that the section of the inner fender that would ordinarily box in the chassis on the outside of the sway bar mount has separated. Don't know if this was from the crash, or from the repair efforts:


Most of the undercoat in the above picture from the tear adjacent to the sway bar mount and up to the puncture was completely separated from the body and a fair amount of surface rust was found beneath.

Below, what appears to be a face with really beady eyes is actually two spot welds that have pulled free along with damage from (likely) an air chisel. Positional reference places this above the first picture. You can see the rectangular punch-through at the top of the first picture.

MOST of what you see below was completely hidden by the undercoat. There were two layers - the original, and a second layer slathered on by the repair shop in a vain attempt to cover up the unnecessary hacking done on the body.


Here, you can see more damage and poorly attempted repairs:


It is hard to tell with all the swirls from the surface prep discs, but the metal in this area is heavily dimpled - I think this is from the accident. This same area on the driver's side is relatively smooth. This picture was taken with the camera more-or-less parallel to the surface.


I've still got a small amount of undercoat to remove from the underside of the trunk side well, and the requisite stripping of the paint there - then it's "cuttin' time" again.

Repairing the damage around the sway bar mounts will be the first repairs I've had to do that actually involve something structural on the chassis. I shall proceed slowly.

After what I've experienced with this car I cannot stress strongly enough that all W116 owners seeking to preserve or restore these magnificent machines should closely examine the factory undercoat in areas that are exposed to road spray and could potentially hold water.

Thanks for reading.

W. Brian Fogarty

'07 Lexus LS460L
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521
'02 S55 AMG (W220) - sold
'92 300SE (W140) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted & gone

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

USA
2874 Posts

Posted - 09/05/2014 :  11:13:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Holy moly, this is like when I had my 280SL sand blasted and the under side looked like a tea bag. You really never know how bad it is until the whole car is in bare metal.

Fantastic effort.


With best regards

Al


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bigblockbenz

USA
379 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2014 :  01:53:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Agreed, fantastic effort Brian.
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wbrian63

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2014 :  06:32:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
On Friday last I finished the work to strip all remaining undercoat from the car so any and all rust issues will be visible and can be corrected.

It is my semi-informed opinion that any W116 car currently on the road, unless it had the good fortune to be delivered to a place where it never rains (or rarely rains) likely has one or more hidden issue with rust. It is truly amazing (and more than a little disconcerting) how much the factory PVC undercoating hides from view.

So yesterday, I started to work on the hack-repaired collision damage inside the rear fenderwell.

You may remember this picture from my previous post.


I've got some more pictures to add, and I'll do so later, but suffice it to say what is seen above is truly the tip of the iceberg, and the level of butchery and incomplete repairs is staggering.



My biggest concern with making this repair is that now I'm tampering with structural items that are "participating" in the suspension of the car from the rotisserie. I don't want to make the mistake of "cutting the branch between me and the tree".

Looking at the above mess, starting at the tear in the metal above the rotisserie mount and continuing on down and towards the rear of the car, if you could see behind the outer layer, you'd know that it's not attached to the chassis. So - that's not doing anything to help hold the car to the rotisserie, so it can be removed.

I disconnected the metal at the brazing area seen in the bottom middle of the picture. Then I made a cut starting at the top of the sway bar mount where the metal is torn away and horizontally (as viewed in the picture) passing below the two rosebud welds and across the fold about 1" towards the area of mass rust. Then vertically, I ran a cut parallelling the fold to connect to the horizontal line.

On the driver's side of the car in this same area, there is similar damage. However, the outer layer of metal (the inner fender) sits more or less where it needs to be, once I fix all the cuts and will be easily reattached to the frame that forms the pocket for the sway bar.

On the passenger side, cutting away this outer layer has revealed that there is at least a 1/2" gap between the inner fender metal and the frame....

When the car was in the accident the impact pushed the back side of the sway bar pocket inwards toward the center of the car.

As a side note, I've always wondered why someone would take the time to repaint the car and change the color from Cypress Green to the color we see now. In this area of the car, where there is blue paint over the factory black primer, there isn't any cypress green underneath. Maybe the accident was the trigger?

Anyway - back on topic...

As it sits right now, the sway bar pocket is open to the elements. It's not likely to cause any structural failure of the car unless I might get crazy one day and try to repeat Bob Bondurant's Road America test drive (assuming the track is still in existence). There's really no way for water to collect - but it is FAR from correct.

Looking at possible solutions for repair, I must find a way to push the pocket back closer to where it belongs so that all of the pieces of the puzzle will meet and can be re-welded.

The logical way to achieve this will be to use the opposite intact place on the frame as a push point and carefully, using a hydraulic jack, push against the passenger side.

Unfortunately, in this area there is no direct line of approach between the opposing sides of the car - the spare tire well encroaches into this space.

So - after much thought - I've started pulling the spare tire well.

This has required me to lower the car back down and support it via jacks from below the rotisserie at the sway bar points. This is done for two reasons - 1) to remove the load where the rotisserie is tied to the body via the rear bumper tab mounting points below the tail lamps and 2) so I can lean into the trunk to do this work without causing the car to rotate on the rotisserie. The spare tire well isn't structural to the chassis (at least not as it is currently installed - more on that later), but I don't want any "lifting" from the rear end of the car once I remove the well.

And yet again, #521 has offered me more surprises. In the next posting I'll add pictures of what I found when I opened the trunk and started studying on how the spare tire well is attached and how to reverse the process and still be able to reinstall when I've fixed the other problems. Suffice it to say the people that worked on this car should seek other employment - body repair is not where their true talents lie... On the other hand, if their goal in life is to make half-efforts (or less) while probably charging full price, they are doing a FINE JOB ...

I keep reminding myself that it is a "good thing" that I'm now removing the spare tire well - when it goes back in, it will be done properly.

Thanks for reading.

W. Brian Fogarty

'07 Lexus LS460L
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521
'02 S55 AMG (W220) - sold
'92 300SE (W140) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted & gone

"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 09/09/2014 07:07:52
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Art Love

Australia
6237 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2014 :  07:08:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It has impressed me a lot over the years as I have had more to do with these cars that most of the trouble that we have is due to substandard work done since the car was new. An unmolested car is a rare and valuable find.
Art
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wbrian63

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2014 :  22:37:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rare as hen's teeth, so the saying goes...

I am happy to report that the spare tire well is 99% ready to come out of the car. I really screwed up when I started this effort - I failed to notice that the rear towing hook is attached to the bottom of the well, and adjacently to the side of the trunk well adjacent to the spare well. Once I got all of the brazing removed, I had to lay on my back on a creeper with a grinder to detach the tow hook from the body of the car - not fun in the least.

Here are the pictures I promised.

This is the gap that exists between the inner fender and the frame that forms the socket for the rear sway bar.



In this picture, we see the top of the edge of the spare tire well in the passenger side corner of the trunk towards the rear. The red line indicates the edge of the trunk well piece. Just to the left of the line is the rear valance that stretches from side to side where the tail lamps mount. The spare tire well is brazed in place, but the valance is loose. You can move the valance just by pressing rearward...


This next series of pictures are varying views of the same area - namely where the spare tire well meets the inner fender and floor of the trunk on the passenger side of the car. The colors vary depending on whether I used a flash for the picture or not.

When I started the task of removing the seam sealer to locate the weld points to be removed in order to extract the spare tire well, NONE of the gaps you see were visible. Much of the seam sealer, once loosened at a point, could be pulled free by hand.








If some brass is good, more is better, right? The top of the spare tire well missed meeting the underlying structure by nearly 1/4" at this point. No need to align the parts - just braze the hell out of it and be done.


These two pictures are down in the well adjacent to the spare tire. The hose seen is the drain tube from the fuel filler door. These through-holes (seen as black areas due to the flash) were completely obscured by undercoat...




One final "thank you" from the repair - the way the spare tire well is assembled, the bottom section lips around the top section. The overlap is spot welded in many places. This creates a lip where water can get in if no seam sealer is used - none was, not surprisingly.

W. Brian Fogarty

'07 Lexus LS460L
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521
'02 S55 AMG (W220) - sold
'92 300SE (W140) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted & gone

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter VII
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wbrian63

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2014 :  23:34:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, I am officially aggravated - more like royally p$$$ed-off.

I thought it was strange when I found brazing attaching the sills to the rear fenders at the bottom corner of the rear doors. Seemed unlikely that MB would braze parts of the car.

Then I found the poorly repaired rust.

Then I found the poorly repaired accident damage.

In order to properly re-align the rear passenger sway bar mount, it is necessary to remove the side panel that forms the inner edge of the side well of the trunk.

Fortunately, the shoddy workmanship made it easy to detach the leading edge - it wasn't really attached at all - more like sandwiched in between the sway bar mount and the inner fender, then "gooped" in place with seam sealer.

However, that was not the case along the bottom edge where it joins the floor of the side well, nor where it attaches to the rear valance.

All of the attachment was made by brazing the parts together. While this is probably a sufficiently strong method - it is a royal SOB to detach parts that are brazed together when you can't get any sort of grinding tool into the space.

So I've had to resort to the worst possible tool - the blue-point wrench aka Oxy/Acetylene torch. I got most of the well side detached from the well floor - gravity is your friend here and when the brass liquifies, you can easily separate the pieces with a wedge long enough for the brass to cool

However, where the parts are mated as they were at the rear valance, as soon as the brass liquifies, it flows to another part of the assembly and re-hardens, reattaching the pieces together in another spot.

I ended up cutting the side piece away about 6" from the rear of the car so I could work with it better.

Then I prodded and heated and prayed and cussed and finally got the piece out - but not before I mortally damaged it. The edge where the locking pliers are attached is horizontal when installed and the spare tire well lays across this edge. The torn spot at the top of the picture attached to the rear valance up near the bottom of the trunk floor - nearly impossible to get the torch up in there and heat the right part of the assembly.



Additional damage was done to the rear valance. There is now a hole where there was none before - you can see it in the upper right-hand corner of this picture. The hole in the bottom left is more tin-worm damage:



Trying to get the last of the well side piece out, I created a stress fracture in the outer sill - dammit!



The amount of rust in the trailing edge of the inner fender is not too terribly bad, considering everything else:


And just so we won't forget why I'm doing all of this - here's yet another view of the semi-attached sway bar mount.



Next step is to see if I can get the pieces I just hacked out of the car from MB for reasonable $. I can repair the damage that was done, but it will be far easier to get new pieces. They're small, so they shouldn't be "too much money"...

Thanks for reading...


W. Brian Fogarty

'07 Lexus LS460L
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521
'02 S55 AMG (W220) - sold
'92 300SE (W140) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted & gone

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

USA
2874 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2014 :  08:24:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by wbrian63
Next step is to see if I can get the pieces I just hacked out of the car from MB for reasonable $. I can repair the damage that was done, but it will be far easier to get new pieces. They're small, so they shouldn't be "too much money"...


Because this is how it normally works.


With best regards

Al


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wbrian63

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2014 :  13:14:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm afraid I'm not following you, Al...

BTW - did you get my eMail about the board not sending me eMails when someone replies to my posts? I've checked my gmail spam folder and there's nothing there. Thanks...

On another note, I talked with Tom Hanson today - all the parts are still available, but typically, they're not cheap...

The "floor" pieces which are the bottoms of the trunk wells are 116-637-01-60 (left) and 02-60 (right) - $182.00 each from Germany.

The side pieces - the sides of the trunk wells are 116-616-03-42 (left) and 04-42 (right) are $177.00 each from Germany.

I beleive he said those prices are pre-discount.

The floor on the driver's side came out without much damage. I'm hoping for the same result on the driver's side, so I'm skipping those parts.

I've ordered the two side pieces. Tom says they should be in my hands by early next week.

Maybe - just maybe, I'll be able to start putting stuff back on the car instead of taking things off...

W. Brian Fogarty

'07 Lexus LS460L
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521
'02 S55 AMG (W220) - sold
'92 300SE (W140) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted & gone

"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 09/16/2014 13:16:07
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S class

South Africa
955 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2014 :  14:56:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Brian, thanks very much for keeping us updated, I always enjoy this thread. I commend you for making continual progress, well done.



116.036
116.036
116.024
116.028
116.028



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wbrian63

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 09/23/2014 :  22:15:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you, Ryan. Your work some years ago on the yellow 280 is my motivation and hopeful eventual destination.

And time for an update. In the last installment, I had removed the spare tire well, along with the side and bottom of the (for lack of a better term) side well on the right-hand side of the car.

I had attempted to remove these two pieces intact with the hopes of making repairs and reinstalling them. The bottom came out easily enough - the side, not so much. I ended up cutting the front 2/3 free leaving the rear section. Even that small amount gave me real fits and resulted in damage to the rear valance of the car that will have to be repaired.

Since the car has two sides, my adventures on the right side meant the left side went comparatively easy. Less than 1 hour of effort resulted in the side and bottom of the well out of the car.

The purpose of all this effort is to attempt to reposition the damaged section of the right side rear sway bar mount - pushing it about 1/2" outwards.

In this picture, you can see the alignment issue:


If the mount were in its proper location, there would be no daylight visible between the mount and the inner fender edge.

To accomplish this feat, it's easiest to turn the car on its side - but we now have a problem. Poorly installed as it was, the spare tire well nonetheless provided a diaphragm stability to the rear wings and valance.

When I tried to open the trunk to work on removing the spare tire well, I found that the lid was somewhat stuck. A little prying released it, but I became concerned that possibly I had "tweaked the tail" of this marvelous W116 beast.

To elaborate - in the front of the car, the rotisserie is mounted at 4 points. The forward two mounts are on the frame "rails" just back of the cross member that provides mounting for the front bumper. The rear two mounts are also on the rails where the cross member mounts that provides the attachment point for the rear of the lower control arms. This provides a stable lifting point that will not shift even if turned on its side.

In the rear, the rearmost mounting points are through the rear valance at the point where the "y" brackets attach to the car. These brackets are what the lower bumper connects to. The foremost mounting points are at the rear sway bar, which is structurally the last major chassis framework in the entire body. From the sway bar mounts backwards to the rear bumper, there are no structural attachment points that one would typically call a "frame" - everything is crumple-zone.

Because the rotisserie is constructed as an adjustable device, there is some give in the arms where they mount to the lifting "t" on which the car rotates. Shifting at the back of the car while the mounts at the sway bar sockets are held firm is a sure formula for tweaking the rear of the car - compressing the uphill side and stretching the downhill. This would effectively damage the car beyond my ability to repair.

Once I got the spare tire well out of the car, it occurred to me what support it was providing, and I became nervous, especially in light of the stuck trunk lid that possibly I had done some damage to the car.

A measuring tape and some string answered the question in short order. I tied the string to the rearmost hole at the top of the inner fender where the front wings mount. I pulled the string back to the rear of the car, allowing it to touch in the crook of the fold that runs above the door handles and below the windows from the front of the car back. The string touched at its attachment point, and in the crook just at the back of the rear door, and nowhere else. I then measured from the inner edge of the trunk opening over to the string.

On the left side, I got (if I recall) 7-1/16" inches. On the right side, I got 7-1/8" - a difference of just 1/16" inch or 1.58 mm. Good enough for me. If I had tweaked the tail end of the car, I think I would have seen it in these measurements.

Anyway - how to replace the structure that the spare tire well provided? By connecting the arms of the rotisserie with an X brace:


Now we can turn the car on edge again to continue the work.

With the car on edge, I began by cutting away the portions of the inner fenders that exposed the disconnected parts of the sway bar mounts. The forward sections above where the bar actually mounts are still properly connected, so I'll not tamper with that. Here we see more of the damage from the body work. Two large holes punched in the mount - I've persuaded them mostly closed with body hammers and dollies - to be welded closed shortly.



Now that the spare tire well is out of the way, I can work on pushing the right side sway bar mount back into position. There's only one problem - where to push against. As this picture shows, if I use the left hand mount as my base, I'm actually pushing in 2 directions - there is no way to force the right side more than the left.


Talking with the body man next door, he suggested a devilishly simple solution - use the mounting points for the rear differential mount to attach a plate. From that plate, extend a bar over to the leg that attaches the rotisserie to the left sway bar mount. This locks the left mount in position allowing it to serve as a base to push the right mount back out where it belongs.



Sit a bottle jack on the leg of the rotisserie like so:


And a 2x2 board with a plate on top creates the connection by which we'll push the socket back where it belongs.


A little testing reveals it's easy to move the mounting point. However, it wants to return to it's original position (or nearly so) when the pressure is released.

I may have to cut out a couple of spot welds to allow the mount to pivot a bit. I have already loosened the mounting bolts that hold the rotisserie to the chassis at the right sway bar mounting point - just to make sure we're not attempting to bend the rotisserie as well. I'll also have to loosen the bolt that holds the mounting leg to the rotisserie arm - just to make sure everything can give ground when I push the sway bar mount back into position.

I also need to see if I can lift the back end of the mount upwards by about 1/4" - that shouldn't be too hard - if I can get something attached to the mount to allow me to exert pressure in the right direction without denting it further.

The replacement well sides are due in from Mercedes Classic Center tomorrow, so work can continue on reassembling the trunk on Thursday.

More updates as the become available.

W. Brian Fogarty

'07 Lexus LS460L
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521
'02 S55 AMG (W220) - sold
'92 300SE (W140) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted & gone

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter VII
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wbrian63

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2014 :  08:49:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was able to persuade the right-hand sway bar mount over by the required amount and now have the factory-specified separation between bolt centers.

My initial attempts were not successful, as when I released the jack, the parts returned to more-or-less where they started out.

Then I realized that the rotisserie mount was also moving when I exerted pressure from the jack.

Simple solution was to loosen the bolts where the vertical post on the rotisserie attached to the sway bar mounts, and also the bolt where the vertical post attached to the rotisserie just enough to allow the chassis to move unrestricted.

Then I "over corrected" the position of the sway bar mount so that when the pressure was released, it returned to the proper location. Tightening the bolts again on the rotisserie ensures that the chassis will stay in the proper location until everything is once again welded solid.

On to other work - rebuilding the side wells and attachment points in the trunk that hold the spare tire carrier.

In previous postings I noted that I had to destroy the side stiffeners that form the edge of the side wells and the horizontal attachment ledge for the spare tire carrier. Tom Hanson had a new set in my hands just days after ordering, and I set about testing their fitment.

Fortunately, both sides slide into place as designed, save for a gap where they are supposed to meet the bottom edge of the sway bar mount. I've another thread open on what might be the cause of that problem and potential solutions for it.

What remains of the wells are the bottom sections, which I thought initially I would save, restore and reuse. They cost nearly $200 each and I've got more money than time...

First step was to put each of the parts in the media blasting cabinet and use glass bead to clean the paint and other crud from all surfaces. What it revealed was less than optimal:











Some of what is seen in the previous pictures is damage that was done trying to extract the part from the car, but most of it is damage from rust resulting from the poor installation during the wreck repair some time in the past. This is only a small sampling of the damage revealed.

I further damaged the parts trying to get all traces of the brass used during installation ground away. In some areas, it came away easily, removing very little of the underlying steel. In other areas, too much of the surrounding steel was removed and that would require additional patch panels and more repair.

There are hours and hours of work involved.

A call to Tom Hanson and the parts are on the way. Sigh...

When I was looking at the repair sections in the Chassis Manual, I discovered that two parts were missing from the car entirely. They are "L" shaped pieces that connect to the bottom inner (towards the center of the car) edge of the side wells, and sweep upwards towards the outside of the car to provide support for the rear bumper where it wraps around the corner...

Damn hacks...

I've ordered those parts as well.

While I'm waiting on the postman, I've got stuff to fix.

This is what a section of the front edge of the trunk floor where the spare tire carrier connects looked like once I got the spare tire carrier dislodged from the car.



The wreck repairmen didn't remove the carrier properly. The unit attaches to the trunk floor from below at the front edge. Rather than removing the 20+ spot welds that held the part in place, they cut it free at the meeting point, leaving the original lip in place and slid the replacement carrier in under the mess and brazed that all together.

In some places, I had to drill out spot welds to remove the original lip - in others, I had to drill, cut and torch the metal to release the brass. The end result was a lip that looked more like swiss cheese.

The solution is to cut out all that holey metal and replace it with new.

My metal brake cannot handle bending a 2+ foot long (610mm) piece of sheet metal as thick as what is required, so I'm doing the replacement in 6" (152mm) sections.

Fortunately, there's no rust to contend with here, so it's a simple case of cutting away the bad stuff leaving about 1/8" (3mm) of the vertical lip in place, then adjusting the size of the replacement piece to where it lines up with the original lip section still in place.

I used a piece of 1-1/2" (38mm) square tube clamped at each end and in the middle to hold the trunk floor in proper position during this process.

The pieces I bent up have about a 3/8" (9.5mm) vertical section, and I really only need about 3/16" (4.75mm), so there was quite a bit of grinding involved, but slowly the lip was reconstructed:



It's the same process as used everywhere else. Tack the section in place with a series of spaced welds. Use the edge of a 4" grinder cutoff wheel (about 3/32" - 2.4mm thick) to dress the weld back to where it's barely sticking up from the surface, then add another weld intersecting the first. Grind again, weld again until you stitch the entire seam fully into place.







I've got all of the repairs done to this part of the trunk as of last Friday (10/03) except for the right corner and I'll finish that today.

I will say that this has been some challenging work - I'm not a tall person at 5-8", but nature decided I should be proportioned like a person that should have been 6'+ tall. I've got a very tall torso and short legs. That makes for a real challenge trying to sit on the cross braces I put in place on the rotisserie to hold the rear of the car square while the trunk floor is out, and curl my head and attached welding helmet into place where I can see what I'm doing. Trying to do this type of work at arm's length usually results in a weld placed no where near it actually needs to be.

I'm off work this week with the true desire to make some serious progress on this section of the car. Hopefully, the parts will arrive from Tom earlier rather than later this week, but there's nothing I can do but wait. I have to have the well bottoms and bumper braces before I can install the well sides and those parts have to go in before the spare tire carrier can be reinstalled.

Off to the shop I go. More updates as progress continues.

Thanks for reading...


W. Brian Fogarty

'07 Lexus LS460L
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521
'02 S55 AMG (W220) - sold
'92 300SE (W140) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted & gone

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter VII
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wbrian63

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2014 :  09:01:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I spent nearly 8 hours yesterday repairing the damage done to the spare tire carrier as I ground away metal to release it from the car previously.

There is a very small amount of rust to contend with - most of it involved cutting little crescent shaped sections out of the flanges where I'd ground the metal away and replacing with new metal.

More of that same slow fiddly work.

Good news is I got a note from Fedex that my parts from Tom Hanson are en-route and should be here tomorrow. I was thinking that I was going to need to use the old well bottoms as reference for reassembly of the spare tire well and related parts and then try to fit the parts when they came from Tom, but gladly that will not be the case.

I've got plenty of rust to repair on the car before these parts can even be reinstalled, so Wednesday delivery is more than soon enough for me.

Regards

W. Brian Fogarty

'07 Lexus LS460L
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521
'02 S55 AMG (W220) - sold
'92 300SE (W140) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted & gone

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter VII
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wbrian63

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 11/18/2014 :  07:47:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow - 6 weeks since my last posting? Unacceptable.

I've been distracted with a little "project" in the shop - adapting a stainless-steel utility cart to become a transport for my mig welder. That burned up a lot of time, but allowed me to ignore the 6.9 for a bit and renew my spirit.

I'm back at it again and am making good progress. I'll update this thread shortly with pictures and verbiage.

Regards

W. Brian Fogarty

'07 Lexus LS460L
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521
'02 S55 AMG (W220) - sold
'92 300SE (W140) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted & gone

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas..." Casino Royale, Chapter VII
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wbrian63

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 11/18/2014 :  22:27:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Progress is ongoing but typically slow.

I got the two lateral braces installed that connect the rear panel to the sway bar mount housings at the back of the rear fenderwells. Sorry for the focus issues - camera was looking where I wasn't...


Welded with rosebud welds from the fenderwell side - good penetration:


Then on the driver's side I installed the floor of the side well and welded that in place with more rosebud welds. The "dirt" you see in the picture is grinding dust from dressing the welds.


This inconspicuous hole is the middle mounting point for the bumper overriders. There's one at the trailing edge of the rear wheel well, then this one about half way to the corner of the fender and a couple more in the rear panel.


This brace is supposed to be spot welded to the bottom of the well and provide support for the center of the bumper overrider:




However, when placed in it's to-be-installed location, we have a bit of a problem:


Here's how the brace is supposed to sit in the fenderwell:


I could have compensated somewhat for this problem by attempting to re-form the bottom edge of the fender before installing the well bottom piece to lift the bottom of the well.I could also have pushed on the lateral brace forcing it towards the outside of the car which would have helped somewhat. However, neither of these would have provided 100% alignment, so we'll have to make some adjustments.

Start by making an extension for the brace. This little timid looking piece of metal was the result of about an hour's worth of bending and banging with a body hammer and some stationary dollies.




It aligns very closely with the profile of the upper portion of the brace:


And so it was tacked in place:


And more welds were added and ground away to produce the finished product:


I'll have to shift the hole upwards, but the result is very satisfactory.

I've only got one brace. I thought I had one, and purchased another from eBay to make two, but now I can't find the first piece...

Installing the well floor on the passenger side is more difficult - I have to make sure the lateral brace is properly positioned to meet up with the rear tow hook frame which is attached to the bottom of the spare tire well. That assembly is supposed to be installed after the well floors and braces are in place - so some figuring and fiddling is in order.

More updates as updates are available.

Regards


W. Brian Fogarty

'07 Lexus LS460L
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #521
'02 S55 AMG (W220) - sold
'92 300SE (W140) - sold
'76 450SEL 6.9 Euro #1164 - parted & gone

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