Early 850 Coupe rebuild

Discussion in 'Rear-Engine Fiats' started by Jeff Stich, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. Jeff Stich

    Jeff Stich True Classic

    Location:
    Norco, CA
    Finally got a day to myself, & decided to dig into the body work on this 1967 Fiat 850 Coupe project car. First step, removing all of the previous owners' "repairs". The car looked clean at first glance, but upon closer inspection you could see a lot of bulging spots around the car, as well as random rust-colored cracks in the paint, both pointing to old Bondo'd areas needing attention.

    sam2.jpg

    The most glaringly-obvious starting point was the rear body panel, which had been "made one" with the rest of the car by Bondo-ing over the main seams (separations) between the rear fenders & the center tail panel (which is supposed to be removable - that's how you service/remove/install the engine). Here's a "before" pic, shown with the bondo covering the right-side vertical seam (just above/below the right taillight opening) & the upper part of the left seam having already cracked from stress &/or cold, with the lower left seam still covered:

    FIAT 850 Coupe rear panel2.JPG

    You can also see that the center body panel has been damaged by someone hooking a tow hook to the bottom & pulling on it. Unfortunately, that mount is really just a jacking point, not designed to take the stress of being pulled on with a winch. The lower corner of the left fender also appeared to be a little bigger (fatter/sharper contour) than the right corner...little did I know at the time what that really meant. :eek:

    Since the center body panel would obviously need to come on/off for engine service use & to (try to) straighten that bottom edge of the panel, the left seam gap needed to be separated somehow. So out with the hand tools, and...

    IMG_4415.JPG

    The lower left corner being revealed, sort of...some metal seems to be missing?

    IMG_4418.JPG IMG_4417.JPG

    After getting all of the bondo out from the seam between the left fender & the center panel, all that was left was to unbolt the panel & then pull it rearward away from the car. Right side, no problem. Left side? It wouldn't budge. It turns out that the previous "repairman" had run several long sheetmetal screws from the inside of the rear fender & through the adjacent center panel, thereby (again) bonding the 2 panels together. To access those screws, I had to remove several different-colored layers of bondo, 2 layers of resin(!) & some perforated sheetmetal (used as lath) from the lower corner area. This whole mess was conveniently held in place with several (hidden to me) randomly-placed sheetmetal screws. Here's a good sample of the various layers, with one of the sheetmetal screws still embedded in place:

    IMG_4420.JPG

    Tearing enough of the bondo/resin/metal out of the way revealed a gaping hole in the lower corner of the fender, almost like something had taken a bite out of the car. :eat: Nonetheless, I finally had access to the screws holding the panels together! With the screws removed, the center panel came out with a bit of help from a rubber mallet. Next came draining the coolant, then engine & radiator removal, leaving me with open access to the engine bay:

    IMG_4634.JPG

    Tired, hungry & my body aching from rolling around on the floor, I decided to call it a day.

    (To be continued...)
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
  2. Jeff Stich

    Jeff Stich True Classic

    Location:
    Norco, CA
    Continued - Part 1

    All of the work mentioned above had been done on the car while it was being stored in my friends' airport hangar, which is located pretty much halfway between my house & his, about a 30/40-minute drive for each us (depending on traffic). Due to airport security reasons, when I wanted to work on the car, he had to be there to let me in at the gate & open the hangar for me, as well as be there to close up the hangar & let me out at the gate. With each of us being busy with our normal daily schedules, arranging a convenient day & time for both of us to meet up (as well as each of us actually being on time), began to become a bit of a problem, with several weeks (months?) going by before I was able to get another few hours to work on the car.

    This days' work consisted of me removing the seats & interior/door panels, gutting the old & smelly shag carpeting & the horse-hair/straw type padding from the interior of the car (held in with at least 150-200 screws!), pulling the rear shocks/transmission/axles, separating the fuel filler pipe from the fuel tank (with the pipe being corroded to the fuel tank from inside the tank), dropping the fuel tank, draining the (highly-pungent!) orange-brown fuel & sludge from the tank, then loading all of these items (minus the trashed carpet/padding & old fuel) plus the engine & radiator into the back of my 128 to bring back to my shop/storage space. I then proceeded to scrape & clean the front trunk area & interior floors clear of all glue & carpet/padding remnants, dirt/mud/rocks/leaves/sticks & heavy rust flakes. A shop-vac would've been real handy at the time! :(

    I was a bit rushed & didn't have a camera handy that day, but here are a few "before" pics of the interior & the wonderfully cat-pee-scented shag carpeting:

    FIAT 850 Coupe Door Interior 1b.jpg 1967 FIAT 850 Coupe 3a.jpg FIAT 850 Coupe Interiorb.jpg

    Doing all the work noted above left me another hour or two of time to start on bondo assessment & removal on the more-noticeable areas of the car before I'd have to pack up & leave. In a whirlwind memory tour, these were: the passenger-side front fender top (former antenna hole), passenger door & B-post/rear fender section, both rear bumper tip mounting points (rear fender corners), driver-side rear fender lower corner (continuation of previous days' work efforts), driver-side front/rear fender arches & the driver-side front fender top (base of windshield). Surprisingly, the whole nose of the car was in decent condition, though previous collision damage/repair was noted inside the trunk, & the dividing seams between the nose panel & each front fender had been filled-in with bondo (similar to the rear). These are both non-issues to me, & we'll just let them be. :)

    Noting the scheduling difficulties my friend & I were having, as well as the constant need to be covert in working on the car there (because airport rules ban working on automobiles in the hangars) & an upcoming need to have space available in the hangar for another vehicle (soon to be delivered), it was agreed that I'd come back with a rented truck & a borrowed trailer, & trailer the car back to my own shop/storage space to be able to continue working on the car in my spare time.

    And so one day, in the still of night, away we went...

    brangatrailer.jpg

    A good sign? While hauling the Coupe from my friends' hangar to my workshop, I stopped at my local Del Taco to grab a quick bite to eat, & perusing through the little 2-page local "weekly newsletter" I found this as my horoscope:

    HorosCoupe.jpg

    So vague, yet sometimes so accurate!

    (To be continued...)
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
  3. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    Love those early coupes

    Looks like a great story is getting started :) can't wait to see the ending...

    My hopes for getting a bunch done on mine have been dashed for this year as we bought a new house and have plenty to do on it and the. Just as much to do on the old house before we sell it.

    One has to love the previous owners thinking that is a proper repair. It will be worth it in the end.

    Karl
     
  4. One word

    Jeff,

    "Ugh".....lol

    Blending the aft panel probably made a lot of sense during the last build. Afterall ...'we will NEVER have to pull that engine again'.

    Thanks for the snapshots.

    Your teardowns are quick ! I suspect probably facilitated by a CARPENTERS HAMMER <jibe> :)

    What are your plans for this one ? A complete stocker? Light mods? Heavy mods ?


    lezesig
    '72 850 Sp
     
  5. Jeff Stich

    Jeff Stich True Classic

    Location:
    Norco, CA
    Yeah...

    And a slightly-modified wood chisel! I don't discriminate against using tools outside of their originally-designed-for applications. The claw on the back of that hammer has a nice, long gradual bend to it, & was perfect for what I needed it to do. :wink2:


    I will be converting this car into a (mostly) period-correct replica of the extremely-rare Giannini 950 Coupe. :cool:

    I say "mostly" because I'll also be adding a few improvements (subtle light mods here & there) which, as a whole, will offer increased performance, durability &/or serviceability of the car in the future. :shh:
     
  6. Jeff Stich

    Jeff Stich True Classic

    Location:
    Norco, CA
    Continued - Part 2

    With the Coupe now safely at home in my shop, a thorough assessment of parts that were on (or included with) the car versus what was missing is done, a "Parts Needed" list is compiled, & up to the loft (parts storage area) I go with my shopping list in hand. Hours are spent sorting through various boxes of new/used parts, & luckily I find I have most of what's needed in my spares. A short list of parts I still need (but don't have) is made and, since I'll have some time while I'm doing other work on the car, I can scan through various vendor/eBay/internet listings later at my leisure, hopefully picking up some bargains along the way or perhaps in trade for other parts I have & don't need (or don't need as badly - sometimes sacrifices are made in order to obtain certain rare & obscure parts if/when they are located &/or the moment they become available).

    With parts-sourcing going on on the side, I can now focus some attention on the car body itself. I make a round or two of the car with a marker (pen) in hand, circling any suspect previous repair (bondo) areas that will need attention, & then set into removing the old body filler from all of the smaller spots around the car, using the simple tools of a small hammer, a heavy-duty putty knife/paint scraper (slightly modified) & a small propane torch. The torch heat is used just enough to soften up the bondo, then I use the paint scraper to scrape the bondo off in small slabs. Sometimes the hammer is lightly used with the scraper to help chisel through some of the tougher spots, but always following the body contours & not at a 90° angle to them. It's a bit tedious work, but fairly simple, & the hours that flow by yield good results.

    Now onto the bigger areas. The passenger side rear fender had a sizable dent in it, so I set about to push it back out from the inside. Access to the inside of this fender is either through the coolant tank mount opening in the engine bay, or through the taillight mounting hole. With too little workspace inside to get a good swing with a mallet going, I settled on using the heaviest, best-contoured steel hand dolly that I had, pounding outwards from with the fender interior. The best access with the proper angle was to stick my arm through the narrow taillight opening, but this quickly wore out my wrist/hand muscles, as well as heavily bruising my forearm, so I did what I could for the time being & planned to come back & finish that area up another day. I also found a few more bondo-covered dent-creases next to the taillight area, so I tapped those back out while I was in there. Of course, just as I'm ending all this, my friend & shopmate walks in the shop, sees what I'm doing & says "You know...I have one of those stick-weld dent-puller guns that you could've used to pull that fender back out...". :rolleyes:

    Before:

    FIAT 850 Coupe ouchie.jpg

    After (midway through):

    sbpsrearcorner1.jpg sbpsrearcorner2.JPG

    The abrasions & bruising on my left forearm are really starting to swell up & hurt at this point, so I clean up the bondo mess & call it a day.

    A week or two (or three?) go by, my arm heals up ok, & I finally get some free time to work on the car again. Looking the car over, I can see that both rocker panels are (literally) bulging with body filler almost their entire length, & it ain't a pretty sight! Picture an obese person wearing too-tight pants & the resulting "muffin top" look, & that's what the rocker panels look like to me. Plus the bondo isn't evenly-applied, it's more like someone slathered the beltline of the car with mashed potatoes - lots of smooth but uneven lumps & bulges. The first question that comes to mind is "What's hiding under all of that bondo?". Structural integrity of the car comes into question & it will obviously need to be addressed - this crap will have to go! I also then notice that the horizontal stainless-steel trim pieces are missing from the car, with their mounting clips having been removed & the holes for the clips bondo'd over. Funny how I didn't notice these were gone until now? Luckily, I found that I had a pair of the trim strips up in the loft, & since I'll want to reinstall them after repainting the car, I'll need to also locate the holes in the body that their mounting clips fit into; 6 clips per side of the car, 2 holes per clip. At this point I also add the missing 12 clips to my Parts Wanted list, since I don't have any at all. So, I set about removing all of this mess from each rocker panel, reluctantly eager to find out the actual condition of the rockers underneath it.

    What I find is repair work similar to what was previously encountered on the left rear corner of the car; perforated metal mesh used as lath board, a few layers of resin, a few layers of bondo & plastic filler over that & a few sheetmetal screws holding the lath in place. It takes a few hours per side of the car to work my way through this mess, going little by little since I have no idea what kind of holes may be lurking underneath & I want to preserve if possible what good original sheetmetal may still exist under there. It turns out to be something more akin to an archeology dig...

    Two afternoons are spent, one side of the car per day. The first day I attack the passenger side of the car, & after all is done I have a fairly solid rocker panel with a giant hole cut out in the center, revealing an inner rocker panel backside with mainly surface rust & a few pinholes here & there:

    sbpsrocker0.JPG sbpsrocker1.JPG sbpsrocker2.JPG sbpsrocker3.JPG sbpsrocker4.JPG sbpsrocker5.JPG sbpsrocker6.JPG

    (To be continued...)
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
  7. NM850

    NM850 True Classic

    Location:
    Albuquerque NM
    Looking forward to following this one.
     
  8. ramona300

    ramona300 True Classic

    This looks like a particularly good relatively rust free car. If you look at all the Coupes, mark ones and two's, the rust spots are pretty much all in the same places.
     
  9. Jeff Stich

    Jeff Stich True Classic

    Location:
    Norco, CA
    Re: Rust

    Well, yes & no. The original seller described the car to my friend as "solid with a near-flawless body". After seeing the car in person & discovering all of its' dark secrets myself, I'd say he was WAY off the mark, & your "particularly good" is a much closer description. I've definitely seen much worse! :nod:

    Yes, & this car has rust in most of those same places, I just haven't shown it yet.

    The front trunk floor is very surprisingly rust-free, probably the best surprise I've found on the car to date! The front hood (trunk lid) looked to be in excellent condition without the usual rusted-out leading edge, but the seller failed to secure the hood hinges to the hood before shipping (even after I reminded him after seeing the hinges unbolted in his photos), & thus the hood sailed off the car some place between Canada & Southern California; the car arrived here sans hood & with the truck driver claiming the hood was already gone when he picked up the car in Washington. Whatever. Luckily, I had a good spare hood being kept for my 850 Sport Coupe that will be donated to this car instead. The battery tray is far gone, replaced with a scrap piece of farm-grade galvanized metal folded & stuffed in there, held in place with an assortment of different bolts & screws (not a single one matching another). I've since pulled that metal out, trimmed & reshaped it, then reinstalled it with proper hardware as needed. It serves its' purpose of holding the battery in place & nobody will ever really see it anyway.

    The car had been hit in the driver-side front corner long ago, & that entire front fender was replaced with another used one, with very poor alignment & panel gap fit, particularly at the windshield base, the trailing edge & the lower corner where the fender meets the rocker panel. The front door gap is quite noticeable, & I'm unsure at the moment of how to proceed with fixing that issue. The headlight nacelle was also oval-shaped, & it took quite a while for me to carefully remove the whole headlight assembly without damaging either of them. I then had to spend about an hour massaging the nacelle back into a reasonably-round shape to set things "right" without distorting the shape of the fender around it.

    The car must've taken a good whack in whatever accident it suffered, as after careful measurement I found the driver-side front "frame rail" (where the bumper bracket mounts to the car) points about 3/8" inboard from where it should be. The car will be run without bumpers, so I'm not even going to bother straightening that rail, since nothing else is affected by it & it'd be far easier to just modify the bumper bracket if I ever wanted to install a front bumper.

    One of the lower A-posts has the usual rust spot between the upper & lower door hinges where the door-retainer strap lives, the other side of the car looks ok (I can't remember which was which). The lower front corners of the rocker panels are surprisingly rust-free...but then there's that gaping hole in each one further back... I haven't run a magnet along the doorskins to check for rust repair & I see no cracks or rust bubbles anywhere - they look fine as-is & I'm not looking for more work where it's not needed!

    The car had been stored outdoors in the open with the rear 1/4-windows out (lost), so rain & snow got into the car & soaked the carpet I don't know how many times over how many years (the ad photos from when I first saw the car for sale showed snow piled on the seats & floors). Because of this, the interior rocker panels have rust mainly where they meet the floors, but not heavy rust. There are a few small holes in the inner rocker panels, the largest one being dime-sized, but I'm not terribly worried about those. The driver-side outer seat rail stand has a ~3" area of rust holes in the floor in front of it, same for the passenger-side but behind the seat rail stand, instead. The drivers' floor footwell looks ok, the passenger-side has a 2"-3" hole right where the center drain hole/triangular tab should be, & few pinholes here & there.

    The previous owner had put down several large pieces of galvanized sheetmetal backed with black roofing tar on the floors (with ~125 screws holding them all in place), some which covered holes & others which I still haven't found a reason for even being there. Both rear seat footwells are rusted out, which I almost always expect on 850 Coupes anyway since this is the lowest point of the entire floor area & collects the most water, as well as the most dirt/debris to clog the drain holes there (thus keeping the water in where it can start the rust).

    There are rust bubbles at the top of the passenger side of the windshield, just above & behind the gasket, but no major signs of water leaking in there. The windshield has a bullet hole & a few large rock chips in it & will need to be replaced, so I'll tend to that rust area when I pull the windshield out. The whole underside of the car has old chipped undercoat, mud & surface rust everywhere, so I'll find out more about any major rust there after I sandblast the bottom of the car (which I'd already planned on doing anyway). The rear floor crossrail (under the car just in front of the jack points) has some dime- to quarter-sized heavy rust holes, but I haven't gotten far enough in my work under the car to see if it's patchable or if I'll need to completely replace that crossrail. I did manage to rather-accidentally source out an OEM replacement piece at a fair price though, if needed. :)

    The driver-side rear wheel arch has a 3"-4" long area of rust holes at the lower rear corner, which I'll have to cut out & fabricate a replacement piece for, then have it welded into place. Ditto for all of the rusted-out floor & rocker panel areas already mentioned above. I have no problem doing the cutting/fabrication work myself, I enjoy it, but since I don't know how to weld (yet?), I'll likely be relying on (&/or paying) an experienced friend of mine to help in this area.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
  10. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    Seeing all of this makes me so thankful for my coupe and how lucky I was to find it. Watching this unfold makes me feel even guiltier about not working on mine this year beyond maintenance (new house, new job :( which is both a huge plus and a minus in terms of time available)

    Thank you for sharing the deep dark side of getting one of these cars back into the shape it deserves to be in. Keep up the documentation.

    Great job

    Karl
     
  11. philbert

    philbert Low Mileage

    Location:
    So Cal
    Hi Jeff, great photos and pix, really glad to see you tear into this nice early coupe, can't wait to learn what a Giannini 950 coupe looks like!

    Eric Van Nice
     
  12. Jeff Stich

    Jeff Stich True Classic

    Location:
    Norco, CA
    Continued - Part 2.5

    Here's some of the debris that was removed from the passenger-side rocker panel, including the length of metal lath. There were actually a few more similar-sized piles worth of body filler remnants, but the stuff kept getting stuck under the wheels of the mechanics' stool I was sitting on, tossing me sideways or backwards. After the third time of having to pick myself up off of the floor, it became a "clean as you go" situation.

    sbpsrockermess.JPG

    The second afternoon of rocker panel work, this time on the driver side of the car, yielded pretty much the same results as found the day before:

    sbdsrocker1.JPG sbdsrocker2.JPG sbdsrocker3.JPG sbdsrocker5.JPG sbdsrockermess.JPG

    I find it really odd that each rocker panel has almost the same amount of metal cut away, & in almost identical locations on the car.

    After this, I cleaned up the driver-side rear corner a little more in order to figure out how much sheetmetal I'll actually need to replace in that area.

    sbdsrearcorner1.JPG sbdsrearcorner2.JPG sbdsrearcorner3.JPG sbdsrearcorner4.JPG

    The solid & dotted black lines seen drawn here are possible cut-lines I was trying to work out, in order to approximate the size of patch panel(s) I'll need to fabricate. Knowing this will help later when I'm trying to work out various panel sizes needed, & thus the total square footage of new 18ga sheetmetal I'll have to buy at the metal supply shop. Having a list of the various panel sizes handy will also help while I'm there, as I can look through their remnants bin to see if there's anything of similar size(s) that I can use - remnants are cheaper than sheets!

    (To be continued...)
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
  13. Jeff Stich

    Jeff Stich True Classic

    Location:
    Norco, CA
    Continued - Part 3

    I had a bit of free time yesterday, so I headed over to the shop to put in a bit more work on the Coupe. :)

    First up was to trim the 3rd leg (ie: the "kickstand") of John T's car-tilter, so when I turn the car on its side, it will actually stay upright by itself without me having to hold it there. I cut 1" off the end of the kickstand, didn't quite work. Took another inch off & that seemed to do the trick ok, but I think another 1/2"-1" removed would have the car standing at a perfect 90° like it should. Trial & error prevails! A few photos of the car flipped on its side (taken today after the work mentioned below):

    01q.JPG 01r.JPG 01s.JPG 01t.JPG 01u.JPG

    EDIT: For those folks who were thinking that this is a nice straight, low-rust car, let the following show you how many "hidden wonders" can be revealed with just a little light shed in the nooks & crannies that often get overlooked.

    And now back to our story...

    With the last bit of bondo/resin/lath-board removal completed, I've been trying to decide how to best repair both rocker panels of the car. Fabricating large patch-panels seemed the way to go at first, but after talking things over with a friend (likely to be my welder) & considering the intricacies of making perfectly-contoured panels that follow not only the vertical curve-in of the rocker panel, but are cut to the exact size needed on all 4 sides (no gaps) and will stay perfectly flat along the edges (no warping in/out) while being welded into place, then grinding the welds & skim-coating with Bondo where needed, sanding said skim-coat, etc....well, I've decided that just replacing each outer rocker panel with a NOS factory replacement panel will be far easier, less time-consuming & less costly in the long run!

    I'm currently sourcing those NOS panels from various parts vendors I know of in Italy/Europe & comparing prices, shipping costs, etc.. So far, I've got a couple very promising quotes, a few ridiculously-high(!) ones & a few emails yet to be answered. Meanwhile, I thought I'd start work on removing the old rocker panel sheetmetal & maybe finally get started on prepping the floors for needed rust-hole repair.

    Here I have the car rolled over onto the passenger side, providing easy access to the driver side rocker panel:

    01a.JPG

    A bit of excess sheetmetal now removed from the outer rocker panel...

    01b.JPG

    One item that concerned me was this small metal baffle within the rocker panel area (the empty space between the inner & outer rocker sheetmetal), sort of like a bulkhead on a submarine or ship.

    01c.JPG

    It sits a few inches ahead of the seam where the rear end of the outer rocker panel butts up against the lower rear fender extension. I'll need to access that seam from the inside in order to drill out the spotwelds that hold (what's left of) the outer rocker on, so this little bulkhead piece needs to be moved out of the way first.

    This item is not shown or listed as a separate part in the factory body parts book (it's shown as an integrated part of the inner rocker panel), & I've never seen it offered as a NOS repair piece, so replacing it means I'll likely have to make a new one by hand from scratch. That being said, I'll want to keep this one as intact as possible while removing it, so I can use it as a pattern when making a new one. The problem is, I don't know how this bulkhead is held in place, & not knowing how it's attached to the rocker panel sheetmetal (other than by the black rubber sealant applied around its full perimeter?), I have to proceed with a bit of caution in trying to remove it.

    I trim very carefully just ahead (to the left) of the seam, since I don't want to disturb the lower fender sheetmetal to the right of the seam. After that, a careful little cut at the top lets me peel the outer rocker sheetmetal remnant down, then another cut at the bottom clears the remnant out of the way, giving a better view of the bulkhead in place.

    01e.JPG 01f.JPG

    (To be continued...)
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
  14. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    That tilter looks like just the thing. Any chance you might offer some dimensions and a rough sketch of each one (if they are different)?

    Nice tool for the job.
     
  15. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    All kinds of nuance buried in these fine cars. Keep the pics coming!

    Thank you Jeff
     
  16. johnt

    johnt Daily Driver

    Location:
    redondo beach ca
    Jeff, I'm not sure if you've tried an air chisel to pull apart spot welds. I've never been successful with the spot weld drills as they burn-up and dull to fast. A chisel attachment in an Impact Hammer rips right through spot welds and won't leave a hole.
    Maybe consider not replacing that small separator inside the rocker. Maybe they were there for assembly line purposes or something useless in regards to installing rockers. :huh: Glad to see you progressing :clap:
     
  17. Jeff Stich

    Jeff Stich True Classic

    Location:
    Norco, CA
    Yeah...

    I do have an air chisel attachment & thought about using it to split the welds, but I have a couple reservations about using it in this case:

    1. I usually end up either tearing the sheetmetal piece on top if the chisel rides up & over 1/2 of the weld (which in this case I don't care about), or the chisel can hang up on the spotweld & tear down into the lower sheetmetal piece (which in this case I want to keep from doing).
    2. I actually want to leave holes where I've drilled out the spot welds, in order to make welding the new replacement panel on easier (welding into/through each hole from the backside of the upper & lower seams). Unless you have a fancy-shmancy spotwelding machine that I can borrow? :)

    That bulkhead thing was definitely there on purpose, & not for assembly line needs. It was spotwelded in place & had a full-contact bead of sealant all the way around it - Fiat wanted that chamber sealed, & it actually worked very well! (until it finally rusted away, that is) :laugh:

    It might also help reduce engine/exhaust sound echoing within the rocker tunnel, so it's not acting as a giant resonator chamber. Definitely a plus in an 850! I don't think it'll be too hard to fabricate a replacement (or 2). It's basically 2 D-shaped bowls spotwelded together back-to-back, with 2 mounting tabs on 1 side. Can't hurt to try, at least...


    Yeah, I actually got a little more done on it today. Mainly scraping old undercoating, dried mud & tar from the underside of the floors. I'll probably do the wheel wells like you did on your car, as well. There's a lot of big cracks in the old undercoat there, just ripe for soaking up water/dirt/etc. if left untreated. I'd rather spend the few extra hours taking care of it now than later. :wink2:
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  18. Hermanzini

    Hermanzini Daily Driver

    Location:
    Norway
    Nice work, Jeff!

    Very helpful with all the detailpictures, thanks for shearing!

    Love that tilter, also!
     
  19. Thanks

    Jeff,

    Great snapshots! Keep them coming. Interesting, and educational, to see some metal parts not usually exposed.

    Continued luck and perseverance on this one.

    Some nasty parts you have encountered.

    Maybe we should start fitting electro-charged sacrificial galvanic plates to our autos :)

    lezesig
    '72 850 Sp
     
  20. Jeff Stich

    Jeff Stich True Classic

    Location:
    Norco, CA
    Continued - Part 3.5

    I clear away what's left of the now-hardened black rubber sealant, with some of the rusty metal crumbling away with it...

    01g.JPG 01h.JPG

    At first it looked like the bulkhead was held in place only by the black rubber sealant applied around its full perimeter, but after a bit of sleuthing I found a small metal tab on each lower side connecting the bulkhead to the inner rocker panel. You can just barely see what's left of the left-side tab in the first of the 2 photos just above, near the bottom of the photo. This tab was pretty much rusted away already & not holding anything in place. The tab on the other (right) side was still intact & holding, so a few light taps on a thin chisel slipped under the bulkhead from the left are used to gently split the spotwelds holding that tab to the inner rocker. After a bit of prying & careful maneuvering (trying to keep the bulkhead from crumbling any further), it finally comes out & I can then clean all of the debris out of the rocker tunnel...

    01i.JPG 01i2.jpg

    Here's what the bulkhead piece looks like after being removed:

    Left/front side:
    01p.JPG

    Right/rear side (with mounting tab remnants visible on the right):
    01q.JPG 01r.JPG

    With that bit of work finished, I start in on removing the outer panel remnant at the other (front) end. Starting from the right, I cut a few inches towards the left, then find a bit of underlying metal structure inside the rocker tunnel, so I stop & run a vertical cut to clear away the small section of sheetmetal I've just been cutting. This bit of work can be seen on the far left in these 2 photos:

    Before:
    01b.JPG

    After:
    01j.JPG

    (To be continued...)
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018

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