After a long hard day of welding, grinding, refitting, cutting, more welding, and more grinding I have successfully finished my first exterior patch.
This patch I started earlier this week and it took a loooonnnngggg time to get the panels fitted in just right. I had to patch the floor and the exterior rocker panel along with adding back in some rigid supports, all of which I had to cut out because rust had completely eaten through it.
The floorboard was straight forward and it’s the part I finished in my previous post. Today I welded up the exterior panel (the one you see looking from outside the Jeep). I was careful to fill in all the pinholes and I put a brace and the supports back in place. Inside the Jeep it doesn’t look the best because I couldn’t get in and grind out the tack welds (I’m tacking because I’m afraid putting too much heat will warp the metal badly). On the exterior I ended up grinding a lot to get the welds and seams smooth.
It was a long and arduous day but I’m happy with the results. There is a small amount of warping but I think I can handle that with a little filler and will get to that later.
One thing I learned today though was to be very careful when welding upside down. The floorboard patch needed to be welded from the bottom as well since I had ground most of the weld out of the top side and I wanted it to be strong since after all it is a floorboard. I tilted the tub up so I could slide under it and while I could reach everything the slag from the flux-core wire was quite difficult to handle. I had several pieces fall on my arm and since I was being stupid and not wearing long sleeves I burned my elbow in a few places. I think welding sleeves or a welding jacket will be in my future.
Oh well, you live and learn… the hard way sometimes.