Having chopped out the bulkhead and made the decision that I’ll replace the lower section of the windscreen and the A panels, I’m wavering around the recent decision to keep the old firewall. Initially I thought I’d replace it because it would give me 4 nice new edges to weld the other repair panels to. The downside to replacing it is that the thingy which holds the speedo binnacle in place will have to be detached from the firewall along with the battery box. Both of these parts are mish-mash of pop rivets, seam welds, spot welds and other bits and bobs of metal let in. Also, the correct part is not available, so I’ll have to make it fit.
I have 2 choices
Cut out the old firewall with the speedo binnacle, battery box and parcel shelf still attached. Stump up another £180 for a new firewall and spend a few days putting the parcel shelf, speedo binnacle and parcel shelf back together – or remaking them where I need to. I’ll have to add some more braces to the shell so that I don’t lose all the datum points.
Use the old firewall, which will mean effectively taking it out and putting it back in again. I will have very little good metal around the 4 edges to weld it back in again and I’ll have the added hassle of trying to re-fit the speedo binnacle back in (I’ll have to cut this out to get the windscreen repair panel in) followed by taking out and refitting the parcel shelf
I think I’ve talked myself into buying a new firewall, for the sake of ease. This reminds me of a chap I used to work with who’d mix metaphors and create whole new malapropisms. Some of his gems were adopted by everyone else in the office and became common parlance. One of these was ‘for the ease of sake’ – if you say it enough times, it makes more sense than ‘for the sake of ease’.
I’ll post some more pictures when I have the A panels off and the firewall out. There won’t be much of the cab left, so the bulkhead, A panels and firewall will need to go in before I chop the screen out (I think…) Maybe I’ll get away with chopping out the whole lot and doing it all in one go. Ever the pragmatist…
I’ve also got a couple of ¼ panels for each floor. These will be welded to the sills and the bulkhead but not until I’ve put the body back onto the chassis so that I can line up the bolt holes – or I’ll make a jig to replicate the chassis mounts.
Once the front is back together, I can turn the body upside down and sort out the underside. There are a few crusty bits to repair underneath, but on the whole it looks to be very sound. Mind you, that’s what Pete said about the front.