I successfully welded in the passenger side front wheel well and started grinding down my ugly welds. The hard and tedious step of welding the repro nose on is up next.
The driver’s side front wheel well got welded in yesterday. It was a bigger challenge than expected. Hopefully the lessons learned from this side will make tje other side easier to replace.All thay is left to do is grind down the big ugly weldsbig ugly welds and put a coat of paint on the bare metal.
The more I got into the nose of the car, the more rust and problems I found. I finally caved in and bought a reproduction nose from CIP. I was worried about the fit and quality, but when I mocked it up over the existing nose, it fit really well. I marked out the edges of the new nose and cut some of the old metal off. While I have the nose off, I am going to make some repairs to the wheel wells and put in new seals.
Well, I give up on the nose. I have been trying to patch the rusted out areas that used to be the fresh air vents and the rusted out spare tire well, but the nose is turning into more patches than original metal. I went ahead and ordered a reproduction nose. The advantage is no rust and it is a solid nose with no horn, bumper, or fresh air intake openings. It should be here by the weekend. I’ll post pics and update as I demo and install.
We had a break in at our house in December and the recent talks about gun bans have diverted my ghia funds to home security, guns, and ammo. After a short break, I am getting back to work on the car. In the past couple months I have cut out the driver’s side rocker panel and started welding the new one in place. I also discovered more rusted through areas on the doors that need to be addressed. I tried cleaning the gas tank but it became very clear that it just needed to be replaced. Luckily I found a brand new gas tank on ebay for $ 150 shipped. I also discovered the usefulness of a panel beater bagm fabricating sheet metal panels is much easier now.
I replaced and bled the master cylinder. Putting it in was pretty easy. Next is to bleed the brakes. Unfortunately my calipers appear to be frozen. The drums in the back work fine though. Worst case scenario I will need new calipers and rotors which aren’t too expensive.
I went on an adventure last night to buy new wheels I found on craigslist. I got them home only to find out they don’t fit under the rear fenders. Too bad though, they were nice polished aluminum wheels with brand new tires for $300. Thankfully, the guy who sold them to me was nice enough to give me my money back.
I haven’t done much with the car lately, so I took advantage of some time to work on the nose some more. I welded another patch to the driver’s side air vent. This one went a lot better than the first attempt. This time I opened the vent up more and made it square shaped. It was a lot easier to fit the patch. I still have to add 2 more sections of the patch to the driver’s side and 1 more to the passenger side. The remaining patches require a more difficult bend so I decided to do the 2 sides together.
The nose is drooping due to the missing metal from the spare tire well. I rigged up a ratcheting strap to put the tension on the nose and bring it into place. The area where the spare tire well attaches to the car is pretty rusted. I cut most of the metal off and sanded down the face to reveal shiny steel. I will have to make a new lip to weld in place before welding the spare tire well in.
I still need to get the gas tank and brakes finished, but I am enjoying the body work more at this point.
I really like the look of shaved fresh air vents on the ghia so today I made a patch out of 22G sheet metal and welded the passenger side vent. The patch isn’t perfect and warped a little, but it did the job. Because of the angle and curve of the nose, I will be doing each patch in two pieces.
I have decided to go for a rat rod look but without the rust. It is all subject to change, but I am thinking a flat paint job in either gray or olive drab. The angles of the front fender would be perfect for a WWII style tiger mouth like on the planes. I won some Navy cockpit gauges that would go nicely on the dash. Any imperfections in the metal and welding wou ld lend itself to the rough rat rod look. For the interior, a truck bed liner treatment would give some durability and protection to the interior.
I ended up having to replace a 3 foot section of ignition wire and the ground battery cable, but the starter now turns the engine. Zach helped me file away some rust from the fresh air vents in preparation for welding in the patches.
I finally fired up the mig welder and successfully welded to pieces of metal together. I tried fabricationg the first vent patch, but I think 16G steel might be too thick. I need to find some 18G. All Lowes and Home Depot have are 16 and 24.
I ran into a problem with getting the car registered but I have a couple options to get the car. None of which are quick or easy. I spoke with the previous owner of the car and she was really nice and willing to help. I think all will turn out just fine.