Firewall

My original plan was to cover the firewall with stainless, but after some thought I decided it would be better to simply have it painted the same as the rest of the body.  Unfortunately this means a lot more work, as the firewall is in a pretty poor state with many old repairs (badly done at that) and a number of areas of damage that I need to sort out before it will be ready for paint.

The first area to be worked on was the original Firewall fender brace mounting brackets.

This is the original bracket on the passenger side just above the mods I made to mount the A/C Heater unit.  These brackets are spot welded to the firewall in numerous places.  The worst thing is that the brackets are about 10 or 12 SWG Steel so it is almost impossible to see where they are spot welded from the outside and impossible to drill from the inside as they are concealed.

 

In the end I made a bit of a mess of the area in trying to remove the old brackets, you can see below that I ended up having a number of holes in the front, but worse there was significant holes/damage up under the top lip.  

Here you can see the damage that was left after cutting the brackets off, at this point I have already repaired the top outside edge of the overhang. But the underside and the front face have the holes still to be patched. 

 

As I am fitting some stainless steel replacement firewall brackets I decided to simply make some plates up to cover the holes rather than repair each hole individually as the brackets will be bolted up over them anyway. Here you can see one of the plates in place being trial fitted.

 

 

Repaired up under the overhang and the plate welded over the holes in the front face.

 

 

The Second area that I tackled was the outer edges where the old Hood hinges were mounted.  As I am using a front tilt hood kit, there is no need for the old hinge mounting holes in the sides of the firewall.  The hood tilt kit comes with some stainless cover plates that you are supposed to slip over the ends to blank off the old holes.  But I will not be using them, I am going to fill the old holes up by welding in discs and then smoothing everything out.

Below you can see the section where the original hinges were mounted, as can be seen there are 4 large holes on each side, the series of pics below show the repairs I made.  You can see that I made a set of repair discs to go in the holes before fully welding them up.  I then cut some small pieces of steel up to go into the top front corners of the return edge to neaten it up.  For some reason the two halves of the sheet metal that are spot welded together seem to be completely different shapes at the top edge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I then welded the front edge of the two pieces to give a neat front edge, this was previously just two raw edges that were spot welded together about an inch back from the front.

The last thing was to remove the top folded down raw edge that ran across the end plates and along the scooped area that the front fender sits into. This was fully welded  and then ground flush and smooth ready for filler and paint.

Here is the firewall after 3 coats of Koba High build filler primer.

 

 

 

 

And then a days worth of rubbing down again before a further 3 coats of Koba again, this time with a little black base coat mixed in so I could see it better when laying it on.  White on white is not the easiest thing to see.