New panels

Behold, the vast array of shiny new metal I have collected. I cut a bit more metal away from the front of the sills – what was left of the A panels and old sill repairs and this allowed me to jiggle around with the toe board, bulkhead, screen and A panels.  I managed to get everything clamped in place and aligned, which is a real moral booster.   The new floor panels look as if they are about 1cm wider than the old ‘in place’ floors.  Older repairs where the floors join the sills look like the cause of this discrepancy. 

All clamped up – things are are still a bit tight where the A Panels join to the A posts, but I think once the floors and sills are out of the way it will be better. The eagle eyed will have spotted that the toe board is made for the later suspended pedal box, I’ll have to close off the round hole on the right of the bulkhead and cut the seam out to get the pedal box support in.
This split in the screen panel intrigues me. It looks like it should do something other than just sit on top of the A panel – and what do I do with the tab on the left side?
This is what was under the left side of the windscreen panel – where the crossmember joins to it. I’ll have to make a piece to go in here
The right side is better and should clean up ok

 I’ve abandoned the chassis Jig idea that has featured in some of my earlier posts.  

The plan was to lay these out on top of the chassis and carefully mark where I need to weld them together.   I thought that once I had the basic frame made, I could mark off and drill the holes that correspond with the captive nut fixings on the chassis and that would be that.   I wasn’t convinced that this will be as easy as it sounds.  I wouldn’t be able to use the pillar drill and it would be hard to drill a hole through a box section of steel – in the correct place and perfectly perpendicular .    Once I had my bits of steel with their holes in the right places, I’d bolt them to the chassis and then weld them together by laying lengths of steel next to them to act as the joining pieces.  What could possibly go wrong?

After a few periods of self doubt, during which I stood and stared at the tools and materials in front of me, picked things up, put them down, I eventually gave up on the idea – it was just not going to work…

Luckily, Pete turn up on his moped ( Mobylette AV89) and suggested that as everything had fitted onto the chassis before we took the body off – and because the sills and floors were still in place, the thing to do would be to properly brace the shell – ‘as is’, trial fit the doors, take some measurements and then cut away the floors and sills. So that’s what we did. It’s not very clear in these pictures, but the left hand floor and sill have been chopped out.

taken from the right, the left floor and sill removed, with the A – posts braced to the main body of the van and an additional diagonal brace to stop the A – Posts from spreading apart
looking from the left, you can see the braces a bit better

I’ve got to tidy up the back edge of the floor – and unpick where the B Post saddle is joined to the last inch or so of sill that’s left behind. The A post is a bit of a mess and I’m going to need some new bottom door hinge fixings. Then I plan to pop the body back onto the chassis and fit the floors and sills with a few tacks, take it off again, fit the toe board and seam weld the floors to the sills and fix the front of the sills to the toe board flanges. Or something like that…

Other news – the metal folder turned up, so I bought a 6 x 4 ft sheet of 1.2 ml steel to play with. I’m not expecting razor sharp bends – the folder was inexpensive, so I can’t expect miracles. I will have to let some metal into the frayed front edge of the parcel shelf – although Pete thinks I’d be better off getting a new one (another £80 – sigh…)

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