Fridge Panel Repair

For documenting and technical details of T25 restorations and major repairs
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jhobson
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Re: Fridge Panel Repair

Post by jhobson »

jhobson wrote: I've already done the other side and today I found it full up with water - I have the rear lights off so I guess it got in that way. Is there supposed to be a drain?
As it rained this weekend I could watch where the rain comes in... through the air vents. So there must be a drain - where should it be?

Apart from the Saturday morning hangover and stopping for rain, I put in a full weekend. Doesn't seem like much progress but for me this was the nasty bit:
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The seam is plug welded and then filled with sealant. A bit of a bodge with the arch patch... and some bits that you can't see :)

The back view is OK but this photo makes it look lumpy:
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I didn't really enjoy the work much up to now, but I think I may have broken the back of this project now and I'm looking forward to the next panels. Got to get it weatherproof before winter but I don't think I'll be able to get it MOT'd for Christmas.

jhobson
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Re: Fridge Panel Repair

Post by jhobson »

Good weather forecast so I booked a day off. This year's holiday and holiday money are spent welding the van. It's about the best holiday I've had with the van in 7 years.

I have a tall panel and a wing with inside arch. Not sure what to do. I've decided to put the wing on first as some of the inside arch is missing and this will make good. So, overlap the good arch and plug weld.
Then the tall panel - definitely overlap and plug along the top... but then what about where it meets the arch? I may overlap the bottom - very probably NOT the way to do it but it would be sooo easy. The visible seam would be 8 mm lower than usual... but as I seam welded the other side around the arch I think it will end up matching. Is this a worse bodge? I may change my mind when I actually get to cut the panel.
The folded edge of front of the new tall panel doesn't make it to the C post so that will need some thinking as well.

Meanwhile, this is where I am. I found a nasty pocket of rust at A where a reinforcing plate is stuck to the inside of the air duct and this mcst collect water and then eat through both from inside out. I cut out and patched.
Just letting a cut heal a bit which I got from the arch, then I'll fit the arch and think about the tall panel before tea.
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jhobson
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Re: Fridge Panel Repair

Post by jhobson »

All I managed to do today was get the wing on and clan up the C post.

Wing:
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C Post with Krust. Solid.
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So... how to attache the tall panel? I think the usual methods are Either to put the tall panel on first, fold over the inside of the wheel arch, then attach the arch. Or just use the tall panel and tack a supporting strip around the arch then spot this to the arch.

But I chose to put the arch on first and now I'm stumped.
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jhobson
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Re: Fridge Panel Repair

Post by jhobson »

Most of the answers are already available if you read for long enough.

This is the way to fix with a full panel: http://archive.club8090.co.uk/viewtopic ... 1&start=45" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Other idea for full panel: http://forum.club8090.co.uk/viewtopic.p ... l#p8143565" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

At the moment, I'm tempted to cut off most of my new arch and apply the full panel. Seems a shame but anything else seems like more work for a worse job.

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ZsZ
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Re: Fridge Panel Repair

Post by ZsZ »

It will took longer time, but cutting the tall panel and shaping the lower edge is better IMO. The ach edge and shape is better on these small panels you already welded in
Zoltan
1986 Multivan since 2006 running mTDi 1Z with Fiat Croma 1.9 TDid pump since 2008

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davegsm82
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Re: Fridge Panel Repair

Post by davegsm82 »

jhobson wrote:I found a nasty pocket of rust at A...

Check the seam above this between the D-pillar and the upper rear (window) panel, water gets in here and rots out A, as well as running over the top of the wheel arch and into the area around the bottom of the C-pillar.

Dave.
'87 Devon TDi 'Lily'
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jhobson
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Re: Fridge Panel Repair

Post by jhobson »

In my case, the rot from A was definitely coming through from the back. I cut out a peep panel on the inside to give it a good look. If the van is on any sort of angle then water can come off the gutters and pour in the air vents then I guess it can go anywhere. Lots of water marks in there but that was the only rust point I could see. phew.
I'm not saying there isn't a problem in the window/d post seam as well though!

I agree that I like the arch panel better than the tall panel. I'm very tempted at the moment to make a length of angle, stretch it round the arch contour with hammer and cold chisel and maybe a little shrinking as it gets to the bottom (not sure how :) ) then I can spot that to arch and panel. If one row of plugs is OK then 2 should be OK? Seam will look original, easy to undo, and flexible as original so I can't see a problem. Making the length of angle, or rather fitting it, is going to take a while but it will be fun.

I actually have a fly press but never used it for sheet metal. There is probably a way to rig up shrinking die for it.

bluebus1987
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Re: Fridge Panel Repair

Post by bluebus1987 »

Whats the state of the original tall panel you cut out, was it not salvageable? The tall aftermarket ones are crap as far as I'm concerned, so don't go cutting your good lower bit. If you have to use the tall one I'd either cut it short of the arch itself and join the two with a new lip as you suggested or cut just below the fake seam line, lay a strip over the arch where it should join, offer up the big panel to fit and carefully tack the strip to big panel and remove You would then have to spend about a day slowly seaming the two together and getting a nice edge. I've not tried the latter but it might work out.
The biggest problem I can see is by cutting the upper panel off at the same time as the arch you will have lost the line if you get what I mean, and your top seam could well be out by a few mill either way.
I made a plywood former to fold over for a repair panel for above the arch with quite good results. if I can find the photos I'll try and post them at some point.

boatbuilder
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Re: Fridge Panel Repair

Post by boatbuilder »

I used tall arch panels both sides on mine. Tacked a 15 mm wide strip along the inside arch curve of the panel before fitting, overlapped the edge at the top of the panel and tacked it along and ground the weld down flat. Then used a cd to smooth out a 50/50 mix of filler and fibreglass, then knocked it back with 40 grit and put a skim of filler over it. Turned out perfect. If you can get a tall panel fitted without warping it a bit I'd be amazed. Mine required a thin skim of filler over the whole panels to flatten it.

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jhobson
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Re: Fridge Panel Repair

Post by jhobson »

Arc eye, for the second time, means no work despite perfect conditions :(
I think there must be a big difference in UV output between the max and max-1 settings on my welder. This time was worst and hopefully I've learnt my lesson and I'll be welding with much darker settings from now on.

JonathanR
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Re: Fridge Panel Repair

Post by JonathanR »

Hope eye improves quickly as this week is the last of the summer.
Good luck with fitting the panel. When I did my fridge panel I tried to read all the relevant metal mickey posts (several times) as he has done most jobs on the van more than once and makes it look depressingly uncomplicated to the novice. He gives good advice and also makes the floor panels (closure panels) that run inside connecting the van floor to the outer sill seam.
1991 Auto Sleeper Trident High Top
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jhobson
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Re: Fridge Panel Repair

Post by jhobson »

I can see again, nice weather, and still some holiday left.

Far, far from perfect but a £10 pot of filler should sort it. All warnings came true. The high spots are where it is glued. At least I can get it watertight.
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A selection of spot weld cutters has just arrived so I'll see how I get on with the sill. Maybe 2 panels in one day...

boatbuilder
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Re: Fridge Panel Repair

Post by boatbuilder »

I'd recommend "UPOL Fantastic" filler. Have had bad luck with a lot of other brands, even other UPOL fillers.

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1984 1.9D (AEF Code) T25
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bluebus1987
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Re: Fridge Panel Repair

Post by bluebus1987 »

How did you join it all up in the end?
I need to remind myself sometimes that I'm not going to acheive perfection with my repairs, and why I'm actualy doing it, which is to use it.
I do enjoy taking my time restoring things and if I had a workshop and more time.......

jhobson
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Re: Fridge Panel Repair

Post by jhobson »

Weatherproof! I didn't think I'd do it in time so I'm happy, but it isn't pretty. Mostly a good job though that I hope will not rust for a while. There are a couple of places I'm going to keep an eye on. Acres of painting to do now.

The large panel just went on during today's Grand Prix:
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The inside looks a whole lot better now:
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Lines are a bit wobbly:
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The panel above the rear arch - I spotted and angle around the arch then spotted the panel to that. Doesn't feel right.
UPOL weld through primer seems a lot better than Halfords. I love UPOL seam sealer. So I may well take the UPOL filler advice.

Things I've learnt:
If metal isn't clean, it isn't going to weld well. Even weld-through primer causes a messy weld. I use a 6mm spot drill through the 7mm holes to clean the metal. I'm more used to stick welding where you can get away with dirty, rusty metal. Remember to run the gas a bit before the arc.
Closer the better for the overlapping metal when plug welding. After the first few to hold things in place, I used a cold chisel to close things up around the plug.
I used Cleco welding clamps/pins for some panels. I like them. A cheap set of vice-grip welding clamps is very handy.
Use a minimum of 11 on your face mask if you are doing a lot of welding in one day. 9 is only for 5 min jobs.
I had the wrong attitude. I think today is the first day that I have not cut myself - I took care to sand all cut edges immediately. Having said that, I'm worn out on this project and need a break- there is so much to do, mechanically as well as paint. It will soon go under a cover until spring - I hope it doesn't rot over winter.

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