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175239


Back in March my van failed the MOT on rot as well as some electrical, brake and suspension issues. I couldn't scrap my beloved van, especially when it has only covered 110k miles, I had to make it live again at all costs!

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The crossmember had been 'repaired' previously with some fibreglass and for some reason they thought stuffing rags inside would be a good idea!! Needless to say the rot spread from the inside out, showing little signs of the carnage hidden by the bumper plastic.

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The rot had spread to the headlamp supports and the chassis outriggers, in classic T4 style. By searching some posts on this forum and much research, I set about rebuilding the front end, seeing what others had done. I thought I'd post the build on here for others to see, as I couldn't find very much info on the subject. I'm not sure if I was navigating the site [old version] properly? The new site is much more user friendly, (y)

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A year previous, I had some rust repaired by a garage by means of 'MOT welding' - which I've found to be - enough to get it through till next year! This is the result of 16 Gauge steel plates patching up and a thin layer of underseal to protect it.

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The big can of worms was showing its face on the driver side too!

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Of course, I should have been aware of this, but I was blinkered to know what goes on beyond the battery or the depths of the engine bay. You tend not to look until it all goes wrong! 馃槀



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Cutting off the N/S outrigger reveals the extent of the rot issue. :unsure:
 

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175249


Outriggers from Klokkerholm come with a black protective paint which needs to be stripped, which was a ball ache!

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Test fitting revealed that the outriggers weren't going to fit without a fight!

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Stripping back the wheelarch underseal/stonechip is no mean feat. I used a heat gun and a chisel and loads of elbow grease to scrape it back. Grinding back the repair plates made me think about doing things properly.

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State of that!! :eek:

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Although the D/S wheel arch was in better condition, the outrigger was completely pressed wrong and although I should have sent it back I thought it was less hastle to just crack on and make it fit.
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I welded on extension plates to make it fit.
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Eventually, I got it sorted. Having to line up with the crossmember it had to be precise. By bolting on the crossmember you can judge more accurately where you need to fettle.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
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Outrigger in place. Some plates to be roughly seam welded on the holes.

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Came to my senses and started cutting out the detritus on the N/S. I didn't want to have to come back to this in a few years.

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Nothing can hide from me know!! I took a spark in the eye and tried getting it out myself and scratched my cornea right in the centre. I raged war on rust after that! :mad:馃槀馃槀


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One year old 'MOT repair' already rotting through! Last time I go to a garage... DIY all the way from now on!


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That's better!

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Zinc primered everything, inside the bare metal of the outriggers, weld through zinc primer on the welds.


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Rebuilding the wheel arch panel, a very complex shape. Wasn't looking for a pretty finish, just a strong and durable fix.
 

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It helped cutting out the crud as now I could fit the panels to the outrigger more easily.

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More cuts to inner wing.

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After literally hours of shaping this piece so it could be clamped in the exact place and ready to weld.


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Such an awkward shape.


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Starting to look like Frankenstein's Monster!


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Used 3mm steel to replace the missing battery tray brackets, similar or the same as the bracket is fabricated from.

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Had to weld on the Bumper side retaining bracket, which was a bit of a pain as it had to be perfectly place to fit the bumper.




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Lashings of weld seam sealer and zinc primer.

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I used Dinitrol Grey rubberised under sealant applied with a Schutz gun and air compressor. Very similar if not the same as the original protection, I highly recommend it.
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Discussion Starter #6
175289


Great to see things not rust coloured! :D


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A few coats of Indian Blue LL5M and it's looking like new!

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Getting the Crossmember and slam panel to fit was a pain, took a few days till I got it right. Klokkerholm make good cheap replacements, but as it seems to be, you have to put the work in to make it fit properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Superb job mate, and such a great read! good pictures too (y)
Handy when you can weld ..................... wish I could. Been looking at smallish TIG welders, definitely a skill I would like to have.

And of course, having a garage full of junk helps! ;)



TURK
Cheers dude, I had to learn-ish to weld and found it quite easy with a bit of practice. I know my welds aren't very good and may not stand the test of time, but seem okay so far and solid and I'm happy with my first attempt. Got the welding bug now! 馃槀

I had to buy in lots of tools to complete the job, including a Sealey SuperMig 130 which is easy to use and great for bodywork. Get on the gas Mig is my recommendation(y)

I was lucky to have moved to this house with a big enough garage, otherwise it would have gone to scrap! :eek:
 
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