Yes this is Ron’s LX SS Torana, as it was in poor condition but full of potential. With a mammoth task ahead, we started by assessing each of the key areas requiring attention and compiling a checklist over 30 items long. After which, each item was further broken down, identifying multiple tasks required to achieve the repairs required. All in all there over one hundred (+) items listed before the restoration begun.
The vehicle was missing a lot of metal, mostly because of the extent of corrosion. The previous repairer removed the right hand rear (RHR) Quarter Panel and lower rear valance panel. The right hand (RH) Rear Bumper fixing tubes and the vertical portion of the chassis rail had also been removed.
The external cover panels of the left hand (LH) & RH C-Pillar sections had already been removed by another repairer. The internal extrusion of the left hand side (LHS) C-Pillar was entirely corroded from the turret to the base of the C-Pillar / Quarter Panel interface point. The LH Rear Window sill was corroded through to the internal section.
Due to the excessive amount of corrosion activity at the LH C-Pillar point, the lower rear quarter panel section became corroded and severely fatigued. The rear turret section (which meets the hatch door) was still intact, but was in desperate need of repair.
The rear beaver panel had corrosion along the top section of the panel, above the both tail-lights and also beneath the rubber seal channel section.
LH Front A-Pillar
The A-Pillar section of any vehicle forms an integral part of the structure. The corrosion damage illustrated in this vehicle has extended beyond the immediately visible areas and into the overlapping structure. This requires each panel to be removed individually (like an onion layer) until a sound metal structure is found.
The A-Pillar section presents another challenge, where it serves to support and align the corresponding panels around it. The complexity of this section is further highlighted when we tied the upper Window Pillar section with the lower A-Pillar.
(LHS Fender – Repair)
The corrosion damage in the lower rear section of the fender was only visible by a small perforation. At closer inspection of the damage it was identified to be significantly larger than originally estimated.
The lower corrosion damage had been previously repaired with fibre glass and this was concealed by the black primer which was applied after the owner had it sand blasted.
Furthermore the previous rust repair was only performed on the external panel section and the internal section was left without being repaired.
Radiator Support Panel
Following the repair to the lower fender section, we repaired the lower section of the radiator support panel to ensure the correct alignment of the (front-end) body panels. Again the owner supplied a near perfect replacement section which we aligned and fuse welded in position.
LH Rear Quarter Panel
The lower rear section of the left hand quarter panel and the wheel arch had excessive corrosion damage. The cause of the damage was due to the extensive corrosion perforation throughout the internal and external sections of the LHS Rear C-Pillar. The donor section was provided from another vehicle and again in near perfect condition.
LH Rear C-Pillar
This video illustrates the restoration process of the left hand rear (LHR) C-Pillar. As you will see the corrosion damage had penetrated extensively throughout the C-Pillar structure. The process involved removing each layer until we found a solid base to start the repairs.
Each section was individually fabricated and fuse welded to achieve a seamless integration. The only exception was the external C-Pillar cover panel which was purchased by the owner. However, this panel was short of the finish length and required modification to complete the interface joint between the C-Pillar and quarter panel.
The fabrication work was finished the same as it was from the factory and as close possible to the original.
RH Rear Quarter Panel
When the vehicle arrived the RH Rear Quarter Panel had already been removed. There was some panel damage to the RH rear wheel arch which needed attention before the replacement panel could be fitted.
Another issue that presented itself was that the replacement quarter panel that was supplied was not the same model, it was for a UC Torana Hatchback. Nevertheless, we aligned the replacement panel, marked the required section and trimmed away the excess.
Prior to welding the quarter panel, we had to repair the wheel tub damage, align the body panels and then trial fit the quarter panel.
During the trial fitting, it was noted that the hatch tailgate alignment with the beaver panel was out of alignment. This is illustrated by the photo above, the horizontal gap tightens as it meets the vertical point (gap) of the quarter panel.
RH Rear Tail-Light & Beaver
With the RH tail-light fitted, it’s clearly visible that the tail-light aperture is out of alignment. To rectify the excess spacing between the light and the tailgate aperture, Rene split the body section and added approximately 5mm of replacement panel.
Although the alignment issue was rectified, the panel section above the RH tail-light still had to be replaced because of corrosion fatigue.
Rene Farrace fabricated the replacement panel and removed the damaged area.
The replacement section was fused welded and metal finished.
The end result illustrates a uniform hatch panel gap and the correct alignment of the tail-light. This concludes the repairs and replacement of the RH Rear Quarter Panel.
LH Rear Tail-Light & Beaver
To be continued…….