Bodywork repair

1. Restoration of the chassis frame.

Detailed inspection revealed that frame is in much worse condition than initially expected. We cut away all corrosion-damaged floor pans welded to the frame.

We sandblasted external surfaces of the frame discovering many previously unnoticed defects.

We removed damaged bottom plates of the longitudinal members to gain access for cleaning of inner cavities.

We applied protective coating over surfaces of the inner cavities.

Down-faced plates of the cross members suffered from corrosion damages and we cut away bottom plates for replacement.

We cleaned out debris collected during years of use into the inner cavities.

We cleaned inner surfaces of the frame members.

We applied protective treatment over internal surfaces of the hidden cavities.

After cleaning, we discovered many of such weld seams of unacceptable original quality!

We reworked all original seams of such poor quality.

We tailored precise copies of components, which we should replace.

We cut away completely unrepairable parts of frame preparing adequate replacements.

We welded into the place prepared replacement elements.

Around all pipes welded through the frame, we noticed bad quality weld seams and cracks even in core metal.

We cut away damaged areas completely.

We made precise patches to recreate basic metal.

We added reinforcement plates over this threatened area.

Both shock-absorber towers were destroyed – cracks were everywhere.

We produced and installed reinforcement collar at the bottom ends of towers.

Weld spots and seams were treated to achieve tide appearance.

Reinforcements from diagonal braces to shock-absorber towers were seriously damaged, so replacement was the only way to recreate this junction.

We removed damaged reinforcement elements from diagonal braces.

We made exact copies of the reinforcement brackets.

We welded in place re-created reinforcements of diagonal braces.

There were cracks at all shock-absorber tower reinforcements.

We welded all cracks of existing structures and added additional stiffening braces.

We stiffened attachment brackets of the axle tie rod.

We noticed serious mechanical and corrosion damages on the rear end elements of the chassis frame.

We cut away damaged rearmost frame cross member and floor of the luggage compartment.

Now we got access to the severe corrosion damages of the rear ends of longitudinal members.

We cleaned and applied protective coating over surface of this hidden frame cavity.

We precisely tailored missing sections of the frame members before welding.

We cleaned weld seams at the recreated rear ends of longitudinal frame members.

We cut away damaged section of the rear partition wall.

We weld in place prepared patch of the rear partition wall.

We cleaned weld spots and applied protective coating on inner surfaces of hidden cavities.

We closed longitudinal frame members and treated weld seams.

We self-manufactured all-new floor panels of the passenger compartment dedicated for welding to the chassis frame.

We mated new floor pan panels to the re-created frame.

We welded prepared middle panels of the passenger compartment floor to the frame.

We welded in place fabricated outer panels of the passenger compartment floor serving as a base to attach doorsills, which are part of the body shell.

We checked compatibility of renovated frame and old passenger compartment floor to make necessary adjustments in drawings for fabrication of the new floor panel.

We produced exact copy of the rearmost crossmember of the frame.

We welded in place pre-assembled unit.

We fabricated new reinforcement ribs and applied protective coating over the surfaces of further closed cavities.

We prepared our copy of the luggage compartment floor for installation.

We finished recreation of the structure of the basic frame welding in place self-made replacements of the irreversibly damaged floor panels.

2. Restoration of the coachwork.

We started cleaning of the body-shell to start assessment of the real condition of the body.

Fresh metal was required along whole bottom line of the body and around wheel openings.

There were all kinds of metal damages on the front wings.

Many unnecessary holes on body panels were plugged simply by putty.

Riveted patches and thick layer of putty plugged openings for traficators.

Both rear wings over wheel arches had excessive cracks repaired by riveted patches.

Front end of the body spotted many unrepaired dents.

There were unrepaired accident-caused damages on the front panel.

Some damages were repaired with riveted plates attached from the inside.

We finished recreation of the chassis frame and started restoration works of the body.

As welding of the frame was completed, we turned our attention to the body consisting of steel carcass and aluminium shell, which both were in sorry state.

We applied light sand blasting to remove loose corrosion products gaining access to surface of the remaining metal. Unfortunately, not much was left by enemy, which never sleeps. Because of corrosion holes along the whole surface, we planned to fabricate new doorsills on both sides.

Doorsills are made of several profiles welded together – even weld spots are broken.

At the front end, structure keeping together front and rear sections of the body was generally restorable. We should produce patches to restore broken and damaged by corrosion flanges adjacent to the floor.

At the rear part, new cross-member was required to keep both doorsills together again.

There was almost no metal of the rearmost body flange left. This element was keeping together rear part of the frame and rear of the body – we planned to fabricate new rearmost cross-member of the body.

At the rear bottom part, there was no aluminium of the shell left as well – we should cut away these spoiled sections and produce new patches to recreate these areas on both sides of the body.

Flange, which was fold around the steel carcass, was destroyed by corrosion, so we should cut away corroded areas and weld in place new material to recreate joint between aluminium shell and sheet metal carcass.

Sheet metal carcass had been repaired before, but again had penetrating corrosion damages over the whole surface – we had to cut this area away and fabricate adequate replacement.

Wheel wells had cracks here and there – we should try to weld all, if there is still left material to weld. Otherwise, we should fabricate completely new panels.

We had to replace all layers of the sheet metal carcass, which had penetrating corrosion damages.

Replacement flange had cracks and penetrating corrosion damages along the whole length. Since it was made carelessly, it did not keep together shell and carcass; consequently, we had to redo both – carcass and shell.

There were also cracks on other structural elements of the carcass – this was broken structure, which prevented rear of the car sloping down.

Broken L-profiles, which joined side and central parts of the body structure. Most probably, corrosion reduced the strength of given thin profiles. We should fabricate and install adequate replacements, as well as weld cracks of the panels where applicable.

We began works detaching all removable components left on the body – cover plates, door hinges, strikers, etc.

There was a lot of corrosion to fight with behind removed parts.

We detached rear section of the aluminium body shell.

Some sack of gravel was carried along with the car in the hidden cavities of the rear part.

Now we had access for recreation of the damaged junctions hidden behind aluminium shell.

As a next step, we detached front section of the aluminium body-shell.

Similar serious corrosion damages appeared on the elements of the front section of body carcass.

These longitudinal profiles in the upper front part were damaged in some accident and left unrepaired until now hidden by body shell.

Nearly any junction of carcass in the front part of the body was broken and insisted on repair.

We affixed mutual position of the elements and moved carcass from the frame to our rig for processing.

We cut away all inevitably damaged components and performed initial cleaning of the carcass removing residuals of the protective resin and excess of rust manually.

We applied epoxy primer straight after shot blasting of the body carcass to prevent possible further corrosion of the cleaned surfaces.

We checked suitability of the removed sheet metal items for use as specimen producing replacement parts.

We manufactured new components to replace damaged items. New rear cross member again in place.

We attached new doorstep profiles and checked compatibility of the body carcass to already before restored chassis frame.

We re-shaped outer shell of the both doors stretching out deep dints on the door shell over the area, which is not accessible from the inside.

As structure of the carcass was recreated, we welded in place prepared patches of the door shells.

We installed restored doors to check the fit before further recreation of the carcass continues.

We started recreation of the carcass restoring salvageable components and using new elements to replace destroyed items.

Now we finished detection of the defects around the whole body carcass requiring welding. Cracks at the front panel – on both sides.

Front panel, at the joint with upper longitudinal member, both sides.

Diagonal member, at the A-pillar.

Joint between firewall and extension panel.

A-pillar, at the joint with firewall.

Rear wall, nearby joint with rear wheel arch.

In the centre, joint of the bar for hood lock installation and dash crossmember.

Joint between A-pillar and reinforcement plate for diagonal member, on both sides.

Connecting plate on the upper panel of the dash.

Firewall crossmember, on the both sides.

Front wheel arch brackets, on both sides.

Side plates of the front panel, both sides. We cleaned areas around noticed damages, performed welding and applied protective coat over repaired areas.

We adjusted even and sufficient gap between door panel and carcass of the A-pillar on both sides of the body.

We achieved even and sufficient gap between door edge and carcass of the B-pillar.

We fixed in place A-pillars installing self-tailored pieces of the structure.

We used remnants of the wheel arch structure to manufacture needed replacement patches.

We reconstructed inner part of rear wheel arches using remnants of previous construction as specimen.

We attached self fabricated outer flanges of the rear wheel arches and side plates at the rear of the carcass.

We welded in place prepared side floor pans of the luggage compartment. We applied weld seam mastic over all recreated seams.

Both sides required similar reconstruction activities.

We applied protective coating over reconstructed bottom area of the rear part.

We continued restoration works on the carcass of the body and repair of the defective components.

We produced new front wheel housings to substitute damaged items.

We welded in place prepared copies of the front wheel housings.

We checked compatibility of new structural elements to the expected visual appearance of the body shell.

We completely cleaned shells and frames of the hood and luggage compartment lid.

We did necessary corrections and repairs on the shells and frames before priming.

We checked compatibility of the restored body carcass to all other removed components of the bodywork.

We applied protective coating over restored structure of the front part of the carcass.

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