280 Tasmin Chassis repairs - a 'how to' guide!
Tony's car before the sill covers were removed...
Unusually (in my experience) the sill covers were only secured with pop rivets and mastic. There are often a couple of captive studs and sometimes a few self-tappers as well. I got the impression that the sill covers might have never been removed before...
This is the right rear sill plate. Plenty of crusty epoxy hiding plenty of rust:
Caught early enough, the steelwork could have been cleaned up and repainted, but the rot has really set in, especially at the front of the sill...
Not only has the tube rotted away completely leaving a gap, but the lower section of the plate has gone as well, meaning the whole sill is no longer attached to the front outrigger, shown by the scraper. The left side is exactly the same:
Again the scraper shows the plate detached from the tube. The fuel pipes and fuel pump feed run along the sill on some cars, and have to be considered when waving an angle grinder around! The rear sill plate doesn't look too bad, but the tube is shot:
so you can bet that the plate isn't worth saving either.
There was only one thing to do. I got the angle grinder out!
I'd already checked the measurements of Tony's chassis against the drawings I made from my S1 car and noted a few differences.
Some 2mm plate and tube was transformed into new sections...
The plates were painted as access is difficult once welded; obviously the heat of welding removes some of the paint but it's got to be better than no paint at all.
Chopping the sill tube off leaves the closed end of the centre outrigger to be dressed back...
... which leaves a sort of 'fish mouth' shape to the end of the tube, to match the curve of the new sill section. In the next photo, the left sill tube has been welded at the ends and the plates are being aligned with the shell using the various mounting holes to keep things accurate:
... and after welding and painting was completed:
The other side was dealt with in the same way; this is with welding completed but awaiting fitment of the new bolts: