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Anthony

[car_overhaul] Roadspeed Revival

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Anthony

Given that I had to swap both doors, I decided to combine that with another job that I'd been meaning to do pretty much since I bought the car but have to date never managed to get around to - namely upgrading the car to electric windows and central locking, given that my car is pauper spec with neither at present.

 

Stripping the door and removing it is fairly straight forward and doesn't take long. First you remove the interior door trim, namely the door pocket, interior handle, speaker grill, winder handle, and lastly the doorcard itself. Next remove the speaker, interior door mirror trim (if not present on the new door, as in my case), door lock, and then remove the glass and winder mechanism. The door is then ready to be removed.

 

IMG_3825.sized.jpg

 

The runners on the bottom bottom of the window looked like they'd been sat at the bottom of the ocean aboard Titanic for years such was the level of rust on them, and certainly whilst they're still surprisingly solid and fine for now, I'll have to either buy a replacement or keep my eye open for a GTi door window with a decent runner still on it.

 

IMG_3823.sized.jpg

 

Removal of the door itself is easy once it's stripped - knock the roll pin out of the check strap, and then the door is bolted to the hinges by a pair of 13mm headed bolts for each hinge, Support the door whilst undoing these, and lift the door away from the car. located inside the door. Interestingly, there's evidence that the door has been removed previously, although I'm not sure why as subjectively it does appear to be the original door and hasn't been painted.

 

IMG_3827.sized.jpg

 

With the door removed and out of the way, next it was time to install the wiring for the electric windows and central locking, as helpfully, none of it was present on my car - not in the doors, not in the boot, and not behind the dashboard. Sometimes you're lucky and the section behind the dash is present, and sometimes the door sections are there, but in my case, nothing. Thankfully, I had all the dash and door wiring that I'd removed from a car I'd stripped previously:

 

IMG_3829.sized.jpg

 

As with most of the wiring on a 205, it's pretty straight forward compared to most newer cars. I seperated the section that runs behind the dash, tidied it up somewhat, and then using an old handbrake cable I had lying around, pulled it through from the fusebox area, over the heater box and through to the drivers side.

 

IMG_3833.sized.jpg

  • White connector in the top left goes to the passenger door loom.
  • Brown and white connectors on the right go to the drivers door loom.
  • Blue connector plugs into the fusebox.
  • Yellow connector plugs into the loom that goes to the boot locking motor.
  • Earth (not pictured) is via the drivers door loom, which is earthed to the earthing point on the steering column.

With the wiring in place and plugged in, I quickly tested everything worked fine before fitting it in place. Also took the opportunity to clean up and regrease the window motor mechanisms, so hopefully they'll go up and down at a reasonable speed rather than the snails pace that some 205 window motors seem to work at.

 

At this point the clouds were turning ever darker and the car was sat on the driveway without a door fitted. The upper door hinge had a small amount of play present, so whilst the door was off I took the opportunity to replace the door pin with a new one - part number 904431 - which tightened things up significantly, although there is a small amount of movement still present. Only way to fix that will be to drill out both parts of the hinge to the next size up and fit a large roll pin, but I didn't have one to hand and the play was minimal anyway.

 

IMG_3841.sized.jpg

 

Just about managed to get the door bolted in place as the rain came, although it will need some adjustment as it's not sitting quite right at the moment. That can wait for another day when it's not raining though.

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Anthony

With the weather proving to be uncooperative, I got cracking with reassembling the front dampers instead.

 

IMG_3843.sized.jpg

 

Despite having covered 65k miles since being installed back in 2001, the damper inserts showed no obvious sign of any wear/leakage and hence decided to reuse them - certainly prior to removing them the car drove very well and felt well damped, and subjectively testing them off the car showed both dampers to have similar levels of bump and rebound damping.

 

Springs too were looking a bit second hand with the once black powdercoat having crumbled away and repaced with light surface rust. I considered buying a replacement set from Skip Brown, but in the end decided that they worked well when they were removed and showed no obvious sign of heavy corrosion or cracking that I could see, so I'd reuse them along with the dampers.

 

The following numbers were stamped onto the inserts - 73759878T0 and 200.80 - which I'm assuming is the model number and the damping rate respectively:

 

IMG_3861.sized.jpg

 

Assuming it is the damping rate, 200/80 is actually quite alot softer than I was expecting, given that the Group A tarmac inserts are 300/200 from what I could gather after doing a search. Couldn't find the values for the Gravel/Forest inserts though - does anyone know?

 

I also measured the spring spec for anyone interested - 275mm free length, 12.5mm thick coil, and 5.4 coils in total.

 

In the end I just rebuilt the struts with new Group N rubbers (had standard ones previously), new top mount bearings, and a set of cleaned and painted top mounts. Also replaced the dust covers (thanks Baz) as the previous ones had split and fallen apart - they're not strictly speaking the correct ones for Bilstein shocks, but they'll work perfectly well for keeping mud, water and debris away from the inserts and bronze bushes.

 

IMG_3867.sized.jpg

 

With both front struts now built up and ready to fit, that's another job that I can tick off the list.

 

Just hoping that the weather is a little better over the weekend so that I can finish swapping the doors and installing the electric windows and central locking.

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jord294

impressive work anthony :(

 

one thing i have to ask. you say the beam is set to 302mm between shocker bolts

 

that sounds a little low :(

 

but i suppose the thicker torsion bars keep it rigid enough

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Anthony
one thing i have to ask. you say the beam is set to 302mm between shocker bolts

 

that sounds a little low :(

 

but i suppose the thicker torsion bars keep it rigid enough

It would certainly be sat very low with standard 18.9mm torsion bars, no question of that, but with the 20mm ones it will be about right - as said, I checked it prior to stripping the old beam, and it was around 300-301mm.

 

Effectively, the thicker the torsion bars, the shorter you need to set the distance between shock centers with the beam unlaiden for a given ride height, as it will sag less when you drop it back on the floor with the weight of the car on it. From memory, the last beam I did for someone with 25mm torsion bars had to be set to something like 280mm because it the wheels only moved about an inch or so when dropped back on the ground :(

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swordfish210
It would certainly be sat very low with standard 18.9mm torsion bars, no question of that, but with the 20mm ones it will be about right - as said, I checked it prior to stripping the old beam, and it was around 300-301mm.

 

Effectively, the thicker the torsion bars, the shorter you need to set the distance between shock centers with the beam unlaiden for a given ride height, as it will sag less when you drop it back on the floor with the weight of the car on it. From memory, the last beam I did for someone with 25mm torsion bars had to be set to something like 280mm because it the wheels only moved about an inch or so when dropped back on the ground :(

 

I have a 292mm shock height with my 24mm bars, it does sit a bit higher than it could though and i only have base model arches so i can't go too low.

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alync406

Nice looking revival you are doing. I would'nt mind having some Skip Brown suspension myself, it looks like a good setup.

I am fairly sure that the Group A gravel inserts are 250/120 and as you said the tarmac ones are 300/200. Must just have a look at mine tomorrow maybe which I am fairly sure are tarmac inserts and see that they are 300/200.

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jord294
I have a 292mm shock height with my 24mm bars, it does sit a bit higher than it could though and i only have base model arches so i can't go too low.

 

very interesting that. thanks both of you

 

i've just built a beam with 24mm bars, but set it at 312mm.

 

so tomorrow i will re-adjust to around the 290mm mark

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swordfish210

The first time i built the beam i set it to 290mm which was just about spot on aesthetically but i wanted it a little bit higher as the front end of mine is a bit higher than it could be.

 

Whats next on the list Anthony, apart from the doors?

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Anthony
Whats next on the list Anthony, apart from the doors?

In no particular order....

  • Finish swapping doors and installing central locking and electric windows
  • Prep and install engine, including cambelt/waterpump, XU10 pump/sump, and lightweight flywheel/pulley
  • Prep and install Xsara VTS quick rack and power steering componants
  • Fit rear beam and front struts
  • Replace weeping heater matrix
  • Sort out rust patches under rear seats and on boot floor
  • Apply fresh underseal
  • Replace scuffed/damaged rear interior plastics
  • Sort out snapped bonnet hinge bolts

I'm sure that there will be plenty more than that, depending on what I find when I start pulling the car to pieces - it last had major work about 3½ years ago and has done over 25k miles since then, so there's bound to be additional preventative work that's needed to make it ready for a few more years trouble-free usage :(

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BusEngineer

This is a great read Anthony, keep up the good work :(

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alync406
Assuming it is the damping rate, 200/80 is actually quite alot softer than I was expecting, given that the Group A tarmac inserts are 300/200 from what I could gather after doing a search. Couldn't find the values for the Gravel/Forest inserts though - does anyone know?

 

The gravel inserts are definately 250/120 as can be seen in this thread -> Grp A Gravel setup

You would be expecting the skip brown dampers to be close to that but looks like they are a bit softer.They are probably well suited to the springs whatever rate they are? They must be a good bit softer than the 185 lbs springs in the gravel setup too.

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Anthony

A cold but dry day greeted me so I cracked on with finished the door swap and electric window and central locking install that I started previously and haven't managed to finish yet thanks to the weather not being cooperative.

 

The drivers door I'd managed to get fitted last time before the heavens opened, so it was a quick job fitting the electric window motor, glass, and the central locking motor - as the car the door came from had central locking previously, the fixtures were already present and it was just a case of fitting the motor.

 

Swapping the passenger door over was the next task, and this proved to be somewhat more involved.

 

IMG_3879.sized.jpg

 

The original passenger door had excellent paint and didn't have a hint of rust anywhere on it, but was extensively rippled just below the glass line where the mirror had been on the receiving end of someones boot - frustrating, but such is life unfortuntately.

 

IMG_3884.sized.jpg

 

With the old door removed, I found something that made me chuckle - poking out from the bottom of the front wing was an old rotor arm which had obviously fallen down at some point in the past and had been rattling around in the bottom of the wing ever since. Loosening off the bolts that hold the bottom of the wing in place allowed enough movement to remove the rotor arm, so that's one less rattle I'll have to endure.

 

The replacement passenger door that I picked up last weekend turned out not to be as good as I'd hoped - it had all looked fine on the donor car and I hadn't noticed anything when removing it, but when I loaded it into the car I had spotted some rust on the underside. Looking at it carefully today in the light, the rust on the underside had started to bubble through onto the door skin itself - and in my experience, it's rapidly downhill from there.

 

I had another passenger door that I'd picked up a while ago, which whilst not perfect, was much better than the existing door - although as I discovered when I started prepping it, it wasn't without its issues...

 

IMG_3885.sized.jpg

 

Scoped out of the bottom of the door was a couple of handfuls of rusty metal fragments, suggesting that perhaps all was not well. Well it indeed wasn't when I removed the window, or rather, what remained of it...

 

IMG_3886.sized.jpg

 

Even the window runner was rusting away - I really have no idea what the history of this door is, but clearly the galvanisation on the door itself works very well considering that there's no rust on it when the ungalvanised internals are completely rotten.

 

IMG_3887.sized.jpg

 

Thankfully, the window and runner from my original door were both in good condition, so I swapped those over to the new door and fitted the previously tested window motor and locking motor. All back together and assembled, just lacking a few small interior bits that I'll post a Wanted post for shortly - namely, the circular blank that goes in place of the window winder, the plastic surround for the locking pin, and the triangular plastic that covers in the inside of where the door mirror bolts to the door.

 

IMG_3891.sized.jpg

 

By this point the light was beginnging to fade, but it's all but complete - the passenger door sits nicely, with equal panel gaps and flush transition from panel to panel. Needs a damned good clean and polish, and a replacement red strip if I can't straighten out the one from the old door - it's been creased and shabby looking for a while, so makes sense to do something about it.

 

IMG_3897.sized.jpg

 

The drivers door still needs further tweeking to get it aligned properly. After a bit of tweeking I'd managed to get it aligned at the front, top and bottom, but needs further adjustment at the back as it sits proud as if its not closed properly (but it is). So long as the door striker pin can be adjusted it should be easy to sort out, although not something I've ever had to do before when changing doors. Indeed, given how much difficulty I've had getting the drivers door aligned, I'm wondering if the door is slightly warped, or my shell has some "dubious" tolerances.

 

IMG_3895.sized.jpg

 

Still, that's a big chunk of work that I've been meaning to do for quite some time done and dusted - two doors swapped, and central locking and electric windows successfully retrofitted. Well, mostly retrofitted - I still need to do the central locking for the boot, which I'll do once I've got my hands on the piece of loom that I'm currently missing.

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shalmaneser

Given that you've been playing around with the central locking, you seem as good a person as any to ask!

 

Do you know if your drivers side door has a motor? I can only 'centrally' lock my car with the key from that door, if i do it from the other doors i have to lock each one individually. Can anything be done about this?!

 

Also, do you know if there are any good replacement motors available? My passenger side one makes a terrible racket!

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Anthony

The 205 central locking system is a bit primative compared to more modern cars.

 

On Phase 1/1.5 models, it only works off the key on the drivers door, which is purely a glorified switch AFAIK. On Phase 2 models, it was also operatable using a remote central locking fob and uses a different drivers door solenoid containing a motor as a result.

 

It would be possible from what I can see to adapt the system to work off both doors if you used a Phase 2 drivers motor (which has both a motor and the activation switches) on both sides and adapted the wiring to suit. I'd have to study the wiring diagram to see exactly what would need changing/modifying, but I can't see why it wouldn't be feasably possible.

 

As for other motors, 205 and 309 ones are the same. Beyond that, I'm not sure in honesty - I've heard of people using Astra Mk3 motors, but no idea if they're a straight swap or how involved any changes are. Probably best doing a search to see what infomation there is on the Astra motors, and starting a new topic in the relevent section where it will get more visibilty than it will in my project thread :)

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feb

Nice work Anthony.

Speaking to Paul @ SBC in the past he said that the Bilsteins can last up to 80-90k depending on use so I guess they still have quite some meat left in them :). The car certainly felt planted and the handling was great as you say.

To those that think that stiffer is better (it may be for smooth tracks/road surfaces but not for an everyday/fast road/occasional track car IMHO) they have not tried the SBC setup yet ;)

Edited by feb

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Alastairh

Nice work Mince.

 

I still can't get over that your going to remove a working 8 valve for another, considering how many spare 16v lumps you've bought and then sold!

 

Al

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allye

Such a great read, quite refreshing to read a project that is quite simple but covered in great detail! And as you'd expect the attention to detail is faultless!

 

Also I really like project threads that get updated very often (unlike mine thats coming along nice and slowly!)

 

Ali

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hman205

Not tempted to Paint the Dampers before putting them on then?

 

Looking good mate give me a shout if you want it given a buzz over with the polisher and given some protection

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pug_ham

Looking good & nice progress being made Anthony, even a small garage like you have is much better than no garage & having to work around mother nature.

 

Interesting to see the markings on the inserts for the SBC shocks, I got some shocks off Darren Halliwell earlier this year that are the same style of inverted damper but the inserts have no markings on them to compare. :(

 

I stripped a GTI-6 bottom end last week & the crank pinion for the oil pump is even bigger than the XU10 one I've fitted to my new engine so that would definately need the web I had trimmed removing so you could fit it.

 

Hmm, good condition white non sunroof GTI with a sorted 8v motor & quailty suspension, this is slowly turning into my ideal spec road 205 GTI. :unsure:

 

Graham.

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Andy_C

Cleared garage, painted beam - you're turning into a polish-nerd Mr Shuttle.

 

Seriously. nice project this and glad the bits you held onto are being put to excellent use. The donor's still giving me enough smiles per gallon to not worry about the manky roof whatsoever but if you want yours tarted up give me a shout whenever :unsure:

 

I'll also sort out those stickers - haven't forgotten and they're not as yet covered in 29 coats of wax....

Edited by Andy_C

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Anthony
I still can't get over that your going to remove a working 8 valve for another, considering how many spare 16v lumps you've bought and then sold!

I've still got a few on the backburner should I decide to go down the 16v route in the future, with a choice of a 1.9 Mi16, XU7 hybrid, and a 2.0 S16. For now though, a humble 8v is quick enough to entertain and suits the rest of the package nicely.

 

Not tempted to Paint the Dampers before putting them on then?

 

Looking good mate give me a shout if you want it given a buzz over with the polisher and given some protection

I did consider it, but decided that given how exposed they are, any paint would quickly be chipped off and look tatty - you'd really need powdercoat to keep it looking good, and that would mean completely stripping down the dampers. If and when I get the inserts serviced/rebuilt, I'll look into getting it done then.

 

I'll likely take you up on the offer to give the paintwork a once over with the buffer as and when it's ready to go back on the road, and the paintwork is looking distinctly on the flat side. I'll give you a shout nearer the time B)

 

Looking good & nice progress being made Anthony, even a small garage like you have is much better than no garage & having to work around mother nature.

Granted, it is indeed better than no garage at all - whilst it's too small to work on the car in, it does mean that I can work on parts off the car away from the elements, and store the car in there even if I'm part way through a job without having to worry about putting it back together and watertight/secure.

 

Cleared garage, painted beam - you're turning into a polish-nerd Mr Shuttle.

 

I'll also sort out those stickers - haven't forgotten and they're not as yet covered in 29 coats of wax....

Steady on now Andy - I'm still far more interested in driving than polishing, fear not! Also, the difference is that I don't paint over all the nuts and bolts... unlike a certain other person :ph34r:

 

I'm in no desperate rush for the two Roadspeed stickers as clearly the car is a fair way from finished still, but as and when you can remove them from the Sorrento I'll have them back off you and fit them to the car as a symbolic finishing touch

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Anthony

Not a huge amount of progress today, but did get the heater matrix swapped out.

 

The old heater matrix had done fine service, but had started weeping earlier in the year after I flushed the cooling system through, removing sediment that had probably been sealing the matrix. It wasn't losing much coolant, maybe a litre every 2-3000 miles or so, but even the smallest leak needs rectifying before it gets worse or causes further problems, such as ruining the headunit.

 

Picked up a replacement heater matrix from Euro Car Parts - part number 214735000 - for £15.28 including VAT. This comes with everything needed, including the pipes and seals.

 

IMG_3770.sized.jpg

 

Removing the old heater matrix was straight forward, as I had already removed some of the trim when installing the wiring loom for the electric windows and central locking. Removing the remaining parts, disconnecting the two coolant hoses inside the engine bay, and the old heater matrix was removed. It's held in the heater box with just a couple of screws, and the pipes secured to the matrix with four screws in total.

 

The old matrix was in much better condition that I was expecting considering it was 21 years old, although there was signs of leakage, confirming my suspicion that it needed replacing. The original pipes were in surprisingly poor condition though, notably corroded probably due to insufficient anti-freeze at some period in the cars life.

 

IMG_3912.sized.jpg

 

Comparing the new and old matrix showed a significant different in the density of fins, with the original (Valeo?) unit having considerably more fins than the new, pattern item. Logically, this will have a knock-on effect on the heat output, as more fins should mean that more heat it transfered from the coolant into the air - difficult to tell, as certainly when I started the car and let it warm up, the heater seemed to blow sufficiently warm, not obviously different to the original (likely partly blocked/clogged) matrix.

 

IMG_3905.sized.jpg

 

Ran out of light again after topping up and re-bleeding the cooling system, but fingers crossed there doesn't appear to be any leaks that I can see so I can atleast put the interior back together tomorrow (weather permitting).

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Anthony

Before I make a start on todays work, I dug out the rear dampers to see what they are after discovering that the front inserts were softer than I was expecting.

 

IMG_3930.sized.jpg

 

The rears have a couple of part numbers on them - 4501BE5-61000T9 stamped on the body, and the similar K4-BE5-61000T9 printed on the sticker. Hand writen on the dampers is 360/250, which judging from this post suggests that they're PTS Group N 205 Forest spec - again, like the front inserts, a little softer than I was expecting, but clearly effective.

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Anthony

After replacing the heater matrix yesterday, I decided that it would be a good time to pull the carpet up and check whether there was any moisture trapped below. The carpet itself felt dry with the exception of the drivers footwell which was very slightly damp, so I wasn't expecting anything too notable.

 

IMG_3913.sized.jpg

 

Seemingly I was very wrong, the extent of which was clear when I lifted up the carpet to see that there was significant damp evident in both front footwells and, bizarrely, most significantly in the rear drivers side footwell. It's not uncommon for rear quarter windows to leak and pool water in the rear footwell, but the rear carpet had always felt dry and there had never been any evidence of a leak, so the amount of water under there was surprising. I'm beginning to think that my choice of using carpet underlay when I last had the carpet out wasn't my best choice, as it was sponge based - and we all know how well sponge holds water...

 

IMG_3914.sized.jpg

 

Pulling the underlay up showed what initially appeared to be an ugly scene, but thankfully, what initially appeared to be extensive surface rust was thankfully just where the colour had bleed from the saturated underlay. Lesson learnt not to use carpet underlay in future! Still, after a quick clean up it looked far better

 

IMG_3916.sized.jpg

 

There was some fresh surface rust particularly in the drivers side rear footwell where it had been sat in water for what, I'm guessing, was a significant amount of time. Better news was that the surface rust treatment that I'd done last time I had the carpet out was all looking good and hadn't worsened at all, despite the damp underlay.

 

IMG_3922.sized.jpg

 

Checking over the rest of the shell, I found a small crack starting to form in the usual place near the handbrake, although it was less than a couple of centimetres long. I terminated both ends of the crack with a small drill hole, and I'll get it welded up when I do the other issues I found.

 

Other issues I hear you cry? Well, yes, unfortunately. There has been some notable rust under the rear seats in the usual place that I'd been meaning to do something with for a while, but kept putting off the same as I had been with the central locking and electric window install. Unfortunately, rust has a habit of not aging very well, and a bit of poking and attacking it with a wire wheel left me with speed holes under the rear seat :(

 

IMG_3925.sized.jpg

 

There's a couple of spots in the boot that look like they might need to be cut out and fresh metal welded in, although it still subjectively seems fairly solid. Both the two spots in the boot and under the rear seats are common rust areas that I reckon many people are ignoring until it's too late - the problem being that the rust comes up from underneath, so by the time you see it bubbling through, it's already pretty bad.

 

The age old "205's don't rust" arguement these days is getting increasingly dubious - whilst I freely admit that my car has had a comparitively hard life, it was made in the "golden age" of 205's when rust protection was at its best, and I suspect that there's alot of cars out there that are hiding some significant rust - nothing like your typical Ford or Vauxhall from the same era suffers from mind you. Rear quarters, rear bumper mounts, front wing seams, headlight panels - all rust prone areas that really do need checking.

 

Still, those areas can wait for now, as I need to get hold of a welder before I can sort them out - and someone to teach me how weld would probably be helpful too :) For now, I just cracked on with what I could do, namely sorting out the light surface rust on the floor plan. Kurust is what I've used before - grind off the worse off the rust, apply the Kurust and it reacts with the rust, neutralising it.

 

IMG_3926.sized.jpg

 

The Kurust reacts with the rust and turns a dark purple colour - the lighter purple is just where I've applied it around the affected areas to ensure that nothing has been missed. What I will do this time that I didn't do last time is give it a quick coat of paint once it's cured to give it further protection from damp - that's tomorrows job, assuming it manages to dry properly overnight given that the car is parked on the driveway and it's freezing out there.

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