Lil Red - SJ restoration - Moving on to the body tub

Lil Red - SJ restoration - Moving on to the body tub

Winchfield Engineering have moved on to starting work on the body tub.

We always knew this was the bad spot as it had some visible rust on the outside, however it can be a bit of a shock as to how bad a "good" car can be.

Here on the drivers side rear we can see the panels that create the rear of the arch have trapped water etc and quietly corroded inside. 

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Lil Red - SJ restoration - Ready for Welding

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After a lull in work its nearly time to start work on putting it back together. The welder came down to view and in discussions wanted some more sand blasting to be done before welding could commence.

Winchfield have a small sandblaster and a very large sandblaster. The large one is used for really heavy duty cleaning but has to be used outside to avoid filling the workshop with dust. 

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Lil Red - SJ restoration - Preparing the Roll Bar

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James wanted a genuine rollbar for his SJ. Now we realise that these roll bars are little more than show items, they are not a competition grade roll bar but it is a factory restore so needs a factory roll bar.

We eventually found one on Ebay. It was not easy to find one but it has been even harder to restore it!. It comes with a white "plastic" coat that at first appears easy to remove as the rust is lifting it up. I took it to the Powder Coaters and they sent it back saying that it simply melted and flowed back whenever they blasted it. In other words, it could be done but would be too expensive in time and money. I then tried sanding, burning with a blow torch and peeling with a sharp edge. It simply would not come off. It took an abrasive wire wheel in an Angle Grinder and close on 4 hours work to shift it.

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Lil Red - SJ restoration - Welding has started!

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The restoration has turned a corner, things are starting to go back together rather than come apart.

The welding has started with patching/repairs of holes. 

NOTE: These pictures show work in progress, not necessarily completed, 

The most common place for corrosion on both SJ and later Jimnys is around the body mount behind the front seats.

The bodywork here is a sandwich of steel panels. Here the top panel has been cut and removed to reveal the rust in the panel behind which has then been cut out and removed (you can see the body mount!)

The holes are then plated over, closing them up.

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Lil Red - SJ restoration - Patching completed

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 Work is really progressing this week over at Winchfield Engineering. The welding patching to the bodywork is complete. The welds have been ground back smooth and now a protective coat of epoxy and Cobra (for the undersides) is put on in the paint shop to protect the bare metal until the full painting starts.

The next stage should see the wings being re-fitted.

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