1975 Viva DeLuxe - What Have I Done?

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Re: 1975 Viva DeLuxe - What Have I Done?

Postby oli8925 » Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:57 pm

Sorry for the picture dump.

Sunny day, first day off in over a week, thought I'd see if I could continue with the welding. Plan was to do the easy stuff first to gain some confidence. So I started on the spare wheel well. Two small holes that I knew of, lets see where we get.

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Wire wheel - starts to look a bit nasty but not awful
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Forgot to take pictures of inside the wheel well, but it was rust over multiple layers of metal and a lot of sealant gunge, didn't quite look right. Looked frilly from the outside so started going at that.
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A foot of sealant take out of the arch and various layers of metal and rust.
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Filler started becoming apparent
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All the metalwork and the what was left of it was put together was making me suspicious, so I explored...Oh
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Less than successful day. I'm now wondering how much of this car I actually know. I've always suspected the front end was replaced, I'm now thinking of stripping everything back to get a proper look at the previous repair work.

Looking at the inner arch knowing what I know now, you can clearly see where it's been welded and that there's next to no penetration. The arch panel has been placed on top of the original, hence the mass of filler.
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How easy/possible is it to gently remove the arch panel without distorting either of the panels, tidying them up, aligning them, and welding them back together properly and it looking right?
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Re: 1975 Viva DeLuxe - What Have I Done?

Postby droopsnoot » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:23 am

If there isn't much weld penetration and you go patiently with the removal, it shouldn't be a problem. I've removed the arch repairs from my hatch and I think they'd be pretty much usable with the edges cleaned off, especially as you'll have no option but to do some blending around the join. When I had the Firenza done, their bodyshop guy told me that putting the arch on the outside was correct, it was the only way to get the shape correct. Prior to that I'd always thought they should be stuck up the inside of the quarter panel.

Prepare yourself that when you get the arch repair off, the inner arch will probably need repair as well, especially if it's been covered up for a few years. But it's not impossible, just attack it in small sections to make shaping it easier.

You have to remember that if it's a HC with good rear arches, it's almost certainly been repaired at some stage of its life, and these were the standard way of doing it. HCs with good original rear arches are very few and far between.
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Re: 1975 Viva DeLuxe - What Have I Done?

Postby slimjim » Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:25 am

oli8925 wrote:




Looking at the inner arch knowing what I know now, you can clearly see where it's been welded and that there's next to no penetration. The arch panel has been placed on top of the original, hence the mass of filler.
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How easy/possible is it to gently remove the arch panel without distorting either of the panels, tidying them up, aligning them, and welding them back together properly and it looking right?


It's not very easy, but possible, me I would cut the arch on the wheel side of the weld and separate it from the original arch, so it can be reused, but before that I would mark some reference points further up the arch, so it can be rewelded in the correct place, the difficulty of separating it at the weld, is that you don't know how well the weld has been done and you will cut through the panel it's welded to, unless you grind the weld and panel, but you will then have to trim the arch in order to weld it back on :goodluck:
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Re: 1975 Viva DeLuxe - What Have I Done?

Postby fistfullofV5's » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:54 pm

First of all don't get down hearted. I can almost see the depression rising from your post but its not the end of the world. Get the layer of filler off and use a permanent marker to put some reference points for lining up on the joint line. Grind away the welds till they are almost through then start to lift the arch section away. Don't be too brutal and take your time and you'll be ok. I see you have Mini owning experience,so like me you should be no stranger to the tin worm. DON'T GIVE UP!
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Re: 1975 Viva DeLuxe - What Have I Done?

Postby oli8925 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:16 am

Droopsnoot - interesting that you say putting the arch on the outside is correct. My dad told me this but said it was because a lap joint is stronger which didn't make much sense to me - why does an arch need an extra strong joint? Preserving the shape makes much more sense and so I guess this is also the way I should put it back on.

I thought I was a lucky one with this Viva, 37k miles, very original, not much rust...how naiive :lol:

Slim Jim, that's a possibility. Either way I'm going to strip back the inner arch to see the state of it. It may be fine and it might have been a good repair, there's no rust coming through and the prep is good, the filler isn't chipping off at all like it usually does en mass. I kind of wish I hadn't cut that gouge into the filler to find the weld, but there does seem to be a lot of filler used and the weld isn't the best.

Perhaps if the underneath is fine I could just reweld the little bits that need doing and cut and redo the ends to cure the metal on rust and patchwork quilt effect it currently has. Thinking about it the far ends of the inner sills need doing anyway so it might be useful to have to cut the outers out.

fistfullofV5's - thanks. It was a bad day, I think I'm realising I have more work in this car than I first realised and it's already snowballed from a quick tidy up to a full strip, weld, paint etc. The stressful part is having a 10 month old baby, no time, no money, a leaky shed and a car port I'm going to try to box in with tarpaulins to form a makeshift dry-ish garage. Oh what I'd do for a workshop, but then I guess everyone says that :D

And I have my other halfs Mini that requires some tidying up (so welding as you say) and mechanical attention that I can't get to the bottom of. It's now misfiring badly, requires a service that the OH refuses to pay for and we need it everyday for the work run :angrywife:
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Re: 1975 Viva DeLuxe - What Have I Done?

Postby droopsnoot » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:18 am

Trouble is, it's not the mileage that does for it, it's the age. As for being stuck on the outside, I can't say it's right or wrong, just what the bodyshop man told me. I think the idea was that you cut the arch "cover" soemwhere in the curve as it blends to the flat side of the bodywork, so you can lose the join on the curve. Many were fitted with the flat piece as well, meaning it has to be blended on the flat side which I would imagine will mean more filler. Hard to say what's best until you get the arches off, if you decide to go that far.

In a monocoque the arch is quite a structural bit as it forms a significant length of the welded join between the inner structure and the outer rear quarter panel. How much difference it makes is something I don't know, but I do know that originally it's spotted all the way around the arch. I would guess a lot of cars that had the repair panels used "back in the day" probably didn't have them welded like that (on the hatch when I first bought it, they were pop-rivetted on and painted in black underseal, a la Fiesta Supersport), but if you remove the old arch underneath I would think it important.
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Re: 1975 Viva DeLuxe - What Have I Done?

Postby oli8925 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:39 pm

All food for thought. Can't really say much else until I investigate further. Hopefully I'll have some time this weekend.

On another note I now have all the bits to start DIY media blasting. I'll see how that goes at removing dome paint and rust from a few brackets and the pedals so I can get them powder coated.
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Re: 1975 Viva DeLuxe - What Have I Done?

Postby oli8925 » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:03 pm

Started grinding off the underseal on the inner arch today, but really didn't get very far. It's been laid on very thickly and isn't the most accessible so nearly succeeded in grinding my face. As I'm tired and grumpy after coming off night shifts I gave up and stripped off the remaining filler on the outside instead.

What it revealed was a slight scrape running along the top of the arch and a deeper scrape further forward, so it looks like the arch may have been replaced due to accident damage rather than rust. The opposite arch doesn't look as flared (with filler) and a long standing chip in the paint points towards minimal filler. Fingers crossed it's only one arch that needs doing.

As for the scrapes, I need to remove the door step panel to weld another hole anyway and I'm hoping with this off I'll have access to carefully knock out the dents, or at least the deeper one. Although I'm not sure how the panels go together. With the dents and arch sorted, it should only need a skim of filler to finish.

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Re: 1975 Viva DeLuxe - What Have I Done?

Postby oli8925 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:28 pm

Obviously it's been a very long time since I did anything to this, have had many other cars to sort out and it was too cold and wet to go around in circles on the Viva.

I've just started a week off work and have 2 weeks more at the end of March to use up my holiday, so I want to use this time to really make progress with (hopefully mostly finish...maybe) the welding ready for the prep and paint. I really need to man up and start cutting rust out!

With the last of todays light I have measured and marked out where the O/S/R arch sits, ready to carefully grind it off tomorrow. I'm a bit more confident now as I paid a bomb for an arch repair section the other day, so I at least have one as back up. Also on the list this week are fitting rear door switches, possibly bastardising a Magnum warning light panel to make a clock, properly measuring and sorting the panels for the dash pockets, and removing the door lock plates to see how much it's rusted underneath.

Still not really sure how I'm going to make rear inner arch repair panels and the bottom of the rear quarter panel, but hey ho.
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Re: 1975 Viva DeLuxe - What Have I Done?

Postby oli8925 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:03 pm

Amazing. The first good day working on the Viva in god knows how long. Everything went to plan and better (other than my drill being useless).

Many thanks to Droopsnoot and the others that advised I grind the welds down carefully so as not to damage the original arch behind. Turns out there's a good inch of it left, it was originally cut in the groove of the arch. So fantastic news there and I should be able to reuse it instead of the replacement arch I bought.
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So now, what do people suggest I do about the inner arch? It was cut in line with the original arch, I guess it should come down further to meet close to the lip on the original arch. Do I try to make and weld an extension on to meet the arch lip as should be originally, or do I cut it a tiny bit shorter and make a filler piece to weld between the inner and outer, further up the outer than original? Or carefully trim back the original arch as desired leaving the inner there, clean up the inner, weld new outer then weld inner to new outer from the underside?
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They weren't rewelded during the repair (I thought it was structural?) and just had a load of sealent gunked into the gap between replacement outer, original outer and inner.

I also poked at some rust and made a small hole where the door shut meets the roof gutter panel. Taking the entire gutter panel off just for that repair is going to be a massive pain but is there any other way?
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