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1976 Wagoon (710)


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Holiday time and too cold to be anywhere but indoors.  So, I finally got out to the shop to do more than clean and organize.  The rear passenger door was the most damaged by rust.  The door skin was very rotten and the door frame was also really bad on the front bottom.  


This is the area that needs to be removed.



The areas that were cut out.



This is the piece that I cut out of the donor door.  There really wasn't a lot of original metal left.



There was a hole in this section of the door frame.


Next, I will tack the pieces in and line it up.  I will post pictures when that step is complete.  When that is done I will be welding in a patch panel into the bottom of the door skin. 


Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all of you!

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  • 2 weeks later...

The patches for the bottom of the door are welded in with a coat of ZeroRust to keep the welds safe from rust for a while.  The door skin patch is cut out an ready to weld in next, but my 15 year old ran me out of welding wire while he was reparing the sleigh that we pull behind the snowmobiles.




Next will be getting the door skin welded in. I'm kind of dreading that job, everything I've read talks about the panel warping and that it can wreck the best of plans.  But, as with the rest of this project, I will give it a go and see what happens.  This door has been hit at some point in its life as there is a considerable amount of bondo on it, so I'm hoping that welding the door skin in won't damage it any more than it already is.


A little bit of bondo!


How much bondo there is!


Happy New Year everyone!

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Hello again!


After grinding and tracing and shaping and grinding some more, I got the patch to fit nicely.  I picked up some butt-weld clamps from Princess Auto (similar to Harbor Freight) and after fussing with them, the panel was ready for welding.  I ended up using 3 clamps but obviously did not take a picture of that.




The panel welded in.  This is the first pass for welding, after grinding the welds down I will finish welding the remaining gaps.  I did have some warpage that I will have to attempt to straighten the best I can.  That does not show up in the pictures.




The welds have been ground down in the next picture.  



The work is incredibly time consuming and requires a lot of patience.  The is still a lot to do and a lot to learn.


Thanks for looking in! 

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Thanks!  I am getting excited about getting it done for the spring!  My son reminded me that he will be able to drive this summer and he wants to drive to the local car shows this summer!  That motivation is awesome!

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Thanks, Eagle!


I finished welding the remaining gaps tonight and ground the welds down.


I used a couple of rags wrapped around a fistful of snow to use a heat sink as I was welding the sheet metal so that the warpage would be limited.  It worked quite well.  The only spot that I had any noticeable shrinkage was around the corner of the patch.  After I finished grinding the welds, I used a hammer and dolly to planish the weld and stretch the metal back into a better profile.  It worked!  The whole area that goes from the patch to the wheel well end of the door is quite low due to previous body work.  (See the pictures a few post back.)  The weld line and the low area will require some high fill primer followed by bondo.  It's far from perfect but I am quite happy with the results.  The best part of this is that the patch is metal and will hopefully delay further rust for a few years of driving!  


Here is a picture of the "finished" product.



Now that the door is done, it's on to the driver's side lower dogleg and some rocker work.  Pictures to come as I get at that.  


Thanks for looking in!

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Having a place to work is amazing!  I never had a big shop when I built my 510, just an over-sized single garage.  We moved to a property that had a 30'x60' barn that I renovated to be a shop with a 200 amp electrical service, a wood burning/electric furnace and lots of room to move around in.  Still amazes me how fast you can fill up a space with cars, parts and tools.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I put the door on the car to see how the repair lines up with the front door.  I used a door from a 4 door to replace the wagon front door so there will be some adjustments that will need to be made.  It does not line up perfectly but it is not bad.  It will not be a show car so close enough will be good enough.  This is what it looks like for the first attempt.




The way the body line matches isn't bad, but will surely look better after I work at getting the doors to line up.  Even from the factory, I don't think they were perfect!




So, it's on to the driver's side dogleg and rocker work.  There is a little more rust than I anticipated, as usual.  I used to get discouraged when the "unexpected" stared me in the face, but in order for me to keep moving and not give up, I have to think of it as a challenge and an opportunity to learn something new and solve the problem.  There is a "little" bit of rot here.  I pushed my finger right through it!




The inside of the wheel well facing the front of the car.  The metal there will need to be removed.




I have already cut a bunch of the metal out and am now planning the steps (that make sense to me) that I will need to follow to patch the holes.


I'm headed out to the shop now to start the repair!  It is bloody cold here -9F so inside activities are the order of the day.  I will post more pictures tonight of "progress" if there is any.

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So, here is the piece of the dogleg/rocker that was cut out of the car.  Pretty rotten.




This is how the area looks with the metal removed.




The patch.




As I was welding the patch pictured above in I found some Swiss cheese metal above the part I cut out.  So, I used the plasma cutter to cut more metal out and made a patch for that.  It is now all welded in and ready for the replacement piece of the dogleg that I cut out (pictured above).  I have to figure out how I am going to make that part.  My donor car's doglegs are worse than this one was.  




The next step will be making the repair piece for the dogleg.  It will likely take some serious time as this flat, fairly simple repair took a few hours to get done.


As always, thanks for looking in.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello again!  I have managed to finally get the lower part of the dogleg built and fitted.  It took a large number of hours to get it to the point where I was happy with it.  I din't count the hours, probably a good thing, as it could be discouraging.  As I was working to shape it, I also took many breaks and compared before and after pictures so I could see what needed to be tweaked.



The removed part next to the replacement part.  The radius of the curve was wrong on the new part.  It required a significant amount of trips to the vice and anvil (an old piece of railroad track) to hammer and stretch the metal so that it could be welded to the car.  As I stretched one part, it caused another area to bend.  When the bend was tweaked, I needed to go back and stretch again.  This happened on more than one occasion and was mildly frustrating.



This is a picture of both replacement pieces next to removed pieces.  Remarkably, most of the rest of the rocker is solid enough to not need replacing.  I will show a picture later of another piece that needs repair, although not due to rust.



Here is the lower part of the dogleg clamped into it's location.  



Here it is from a different angle.  I ended up pie cutting the lip and welding the cuts so I could have a radius on the repair piece.  I do not have a metal shrinker so this was my only option.  I spite of the frustrations I spoke of earlier, the final shape is quite rewarding.



Here are both pieces clamped and fitted.  They won't be welded in yet, as I want to put rust inhibitor inside the rocker, although I haven't quite figured out how I am going to do that with the tools and equipment I have. The picture doesn't show it, but lining up the door to the new piece with proper spacing was a pain in the ass!  It needed space between the bottom of the door and the curve. The door skin also needed to be close to flush with the top "trapezoid" section of the replacement part.  It is pretty close now.  The part will need a little work to flatten some of the highs and lows.  I will not be perfect, but will be close enough so that high build primer and rocker guard will cover it.



As I was stripping paint from the rocker to see if there was any more to work on, I found a good 1/2" of bondo in an area that someone had hit something and dented and tore the metal in the rocker.  Getting rid of that bondo is a mess!  I will cut it out and make a patch for it.




I ended up using a 3" chimney sweep (for a pellet stove) to loosen any scale and shit that might be inside the rocker.  There was quite a bit of shit in there.  Scale rust, dust and who knows what else.  The sweep worked alright, but I think that there might be a better way to get at it all.


So, that is where the project sits right now.  I am getting closer to getting the driver's side done so I can move to the passenger side.  Once the rocker is done, I will be repairing the lower part of the fender and also the inner part of the rear wheel well that covers the end of the rocker.


Thanks again for checking out the project!

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  • 1 month later...

Spring weather is now looking promising in Manitoba!  It has been a long cold winter here this year.  Thank goodness for heated shops!!


So, I have all the pieces that will replace the rust on the rockers on the driver's side of the car.  I thought the toughest part was done and that the passenger side might be a little easier and faster.  Boy, was I wrong!  There is more rust and repair needed on this side than the other, and, in challenging areas!


When I took a look at the front of the rocker on the passenger side, I noticed that there was some pretty rotten areas, especially the area that is the mounting point for the fender.  Of course as I was cutting out the rust with the die grinder, the light from the sparks identified the pinholes that were all over.  I cut all of it out after a little bit of frustration set in (what should I expect though).


Here is the picture with the rust cut out.



I welded a support piece in there to attach the new replacement piece.



Now, that whole area is stepped and I thought that I could make it from one piece of sheet metal.  I was way wrong.  I spent a lot of time hammering, bending, cursing, shaping and ended up chucking it in the scrap metal bin.  I decided to use three smaller pieces and then weld them together.  Still a lot of shaping and hammering but much easier to do.  These are the 3 pieces tacked together for a test fit.





Here is the welded piece.  It has been ground down and is almost ready to be welded into the car.  The uneven tabs across the bottom will get evened out before welding.



What it looks like on the car.  




With the piece clamped to the car I tried a test fit with the fender and it actually fit without a problem!  I was a little surprised.  But, as I test fit the fender, I realized that the fender is going to need a serious amount of work to get rid of the rust that is on there.  This was not a happy realization, as it will add a considerable amount of time to the project.  


That is all there is to update at this point.  I will be moving to the rear of the rocker and making a replacement lower dogleg and then there is some work to do on the front and rear of the wheel well.  


Getting there slowly. I am wanting to drive this car again, so most of my spare time is going into the car.


Thanks for looking in!





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  • 3 weeks later...

Back in the shop on a regular basis this past while.  There was a lot more metal to remove starting at the back corner below the taillight.


This is what it looked like before the metal was cut out.



This is what it looks like now.  Some of the "inner" part of the metal had to removed and patched as well.  That is the rectangular looking piece under the weldthrough primer.




Here is the patch that I made to repair the spot before welding it in.  It has a number of curves, angles and direction changes. 




This part took a lot of time to make.  I have gotten very good at underestimating how long things take to make.  I also put on a lot of miles walking back and forth between the vise and the grinder and then back to the car for a test fit and measuring.  But I am one patch closer to finishing the patches.


Today, I will tackle the rear wheel well area, including the lower dogleg area of the rocker, the fender lip and the inner area in the rear of the wheel well.  There is quite a bit of metal that had to be removed here because of rust (what else?).


Until next time,

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Another patch is done and ready to be welded in!  


The area inside and at the rear of the wheel well was a mess.  The inner piece of panel had a large portion that was quite rotten.


You can see the new piece here.  You can also see the area in the lower part of the quarter panel that needed to be removed as well.


Although my phone doesn't take the best picture of this area, you can see the patch here as well.



The patch for the lower piece of the quarter clamped in place.


A different angle.



There is still the inner curved part of the wheel well that needs a patch along with a new stretch of fender lip.  


Hopefully, I can start those pieces tonight.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello all.  A little progress to report.  I have completed the back "corner" on the passenger side.  From the rear of the wheel well to the back corner has been patched.  So, next is the lower area of the dogleg and some patches on the passenger rocker.  



My camera took the picture sideways for some reason, sorry (I don't know how to fix this).  This is looking into the wheel well towards the rear of the passenger side of the car.  The hole was left when the rust was removed.  Notice that the fender lip was also removed because of rust.



Here is the same area with the patch welded in.  Lots of fun sitting in the wheel well getting this done!



The rear corner without the rust and a layer of zero rust.



The bottom area of the wheel well, again, without rust!



Here is the fender lip clamped and ready to be tacked in.  This part was interesting to make, it has the curve of the wheel well, but also has the curve of the rear quarter.  With a piece of cardboard and some scissors, making a template makes life way easier.




This is how it finished after it was welded and with grinding completed.



Off to the shop tonight to start making the next piece.  More updates as the pieces are done.


Thanks for looking in!


A note for h20print, the snow is finally gone!!

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I started the next piece (but much needed maintenance on my 1966 Case 530 Tractor got in the way)  and hope to get it finished tomorrow, no pictures yet!  I'm starting to think about the next steps after the metal work.  It feels good to plan a little further ahead.

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Another afternoon in the shop!  Raining steady here so being inside was in order.


I have been working on repairing the lower front of the wheel well and a piece of the rocker. 


Here is the area with the rotten metal cut out.  I had to replace a section of the inner rocker there as well.  (Just like the driver's side.)



And here are a couple of pictures of the patch that I built.  As with the driver's side, I pie cut the fender lip portion of the piece and welded it.  I do not have a shrinker tool for this work.  It is clamped in place for final test fit before I get ready to weld it in.





I have a few smaller patches left on the rocker on this side and then I will be finished the metal work on this side.  Then I am back to the driver's side.  I found a piece of the rear quarter panel, from the wheel well back, that needs to be removed and replaced.  There are also some areas of the fender lip in the wheel well that need to be replaced as well.  


Still quite a few hours of repair needed, but getting closer all the time!!


Thanks for checking things out!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the encouragement!


I moved around the car to the driver's side rear quarter and found more work!  I went right by it the first time but upon further inspection, figured that if I am going to do this work, I might as well get this part done now, or I'd have to do later any how.  


Of course, when I cut the area of the quarter out, I found more rust that had to be removed.  So, it is taking a little longer than I had hoped.  Anyhow, on with the pictures.


This is a small area that was pretty pitted so I cut it out.


And made a patch.



The rear quarter removed.


Now, the very rear at the bottom of the corner is an interesting piece to work with.  There are 3 layers of metal at the pinch weld.  There is the panel that you see from underneath the car, an inner piece that is folded and part of the support that holds the taillight, and then the quarter panel skin.  I have rebuilt the inner part of the taillight piece and tacked it in, although there is no picture.




I am still not terribly discouraged about the project.  I figure the time taken now will get me a few more years down the road until I'd have to tackle it again.


Once again, thanks for looking in!

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