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Discussion Starter #41 (Edited)
Now the perfect scenario would have been to find an original replacement diaphragm panel, as shown in the parts manual and is an assembly made up of at least a dozen pieces.
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...but alas I could not find any supplier in Europe who had one of these kicking around. I did manage to come across a complete brand new original GTV front end form Italia-Classic out of France (some of you may recall my post from that e-bay auction I came across last year...which by the way did not sell )..probably for fear of the exhorbitant shipping costs. But I digress.....so my only other option was to look for a used front clip section. Ken Lee gave me a lead on a GTV being parted-out locally so I brought along my trusty 4.5 inch angle grinder and a dozen or cut-off wheels. Unfortunately for me, the complete assembly I was hoping to come away with was not in great condition and so I ended up cutting out only the side sections. On the left is "new' piece and on the right my original. As you can see, these have corrosion on the lower edges (further repair of these would be required).

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...the opposite side was not much better..but at least it was useable and in better shape than my original.

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..to be continued.....
 

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Discussion Starter #42 (Edited)
...enough thinking...time to go at it....I decided that the best repair method that I could achieve on the inner skirts (given the complexity of the contours and the time and tools available to me) was to remove and replace with new sections. I cut-out the offending sections from the LH and Rh inner skirt...and sprayed in some anti-rust primer and anti-rust paint in the cavities..

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...I was amazed to find more of that straw even inside this cavity!...

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...Luckily, a NOS LH inner skirt from Italia-Classic.com came up on e-bay and to my surprise nobody bid on it. I managed to get the RH inner skirt from them as well, which was a real nice surprise....this of course led to the approach of removing the damaged sections and replacing with new a no brainer...

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Discussion Starter #43
...sectioned off the piece needed and trimmed the inner skirt along the aft edge. I butt welded the aft seam between the skirt and the new piece....

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..I drilled 3/8 inch holes through at each original spot weld and plug welded from the inner fender side. I like this size hole for plug welds because I can start the weld in the centre of the hole and move outwards in a circular motion until the entire hole is plugged. I tried doing this with 1/4 holes but found that they filled too quickly with molten wire and before I had a chance to go all the way around the hole...also the penetration was not as good. Finished off by grounding the welds down with a flap wheel and wire wheeled the entire area before priming.

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Discussion Starter #44
...for the left side skirt....a similar repair was done. Sectioned off the front portion of the new piece and carefully trimmed the skirt just above the bottom close-out panel which was in perfect condition with very little rust (most GTVs have this area completely rusted out in this area)....

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..and trimmed carefully along the upper aft edge... Again, plug welded from inside the fender....

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Discussion Starter #45
...again butt welded the back joint and ground the welds down flush. So as not to have any areas with thin welds, I first welded on the inside a 1/2 inch wide splice at the butt joints. This provided a backing for the MIG wire as I was butt welding the joints..it also prevented blow through holes from being created as I was butt welding.

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..the nice thing about getting the NOS inner skirt was that I had the battery shelf support already welded in place as well as some of those wire harness tabs. The swiss cheese holes in the skirt are where I drilled off the horn support brackets and brake booster brackets so that I could de-rust the entire area with te wire wheel. I'll plug weld them back in later.
 

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that looks like a great job that you're doing
 

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Yip real nice rossano, what tool are you using to drill out the spot welds?

B
 

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Rossano,

I also experenced that using too small holes for spotwelding results in too less penetration. I use 8mm drills, which is almost the same size you use!
 

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Discussion Starter #53 (Edited)
Bruce...

I tried using those special "spot weld cutters" but found that although they do produce a nice clean circular cut (allowing easy separation of the top panel) , they are rather fragile. I was only able to cut 10 spot welds at a time before the teeth broke off. Now I simply use a regular 3/8 inch drill bit and either drill right through everything or carefully drill through the top piece only and part way through the underlying piece. Of course this takes more patience and sometimes I had to pry the pieces carefully apart with a thick gauge painters spatula and a gentle hammer tap now and again.
 

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I see, when removing the sill on mine, I ground back the top sheet with a grinder, then chiseled off the rest, hell of a job, but leaves the bottom in tact. I am not sure if this will be beneficial in the long run. However some are impossible to do like this, so I recon I might try the 3'8ths drill on the other side. Also I guess the benifit of making the hole is that you can then weld the new piece on using that hole. mmmm food for thought.

looking good though mate.
 

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Rossano, I made that piece you asked for. In the picture it's hard to see but it has the proper 90 degree lip. This was modeled after the car in the picture. So as long as your trunk lip is dimensionally the same this, it should work perfectly. I also made it a little wider then stock so you can cut it to the exact shape you want. I'll get it in the mail in the morning. Good luck!

 

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Discussion Starter #59
The right side radiator shroud panel (left in photo) I obtained was from a 2000 GTV and has the opening for the air intake scoop. Although it's hard to tell from the photo...it had much heavier corrosion on the bottom edge than the original piece (right in photo). It was too different to the original to be useable...the original will be repaired.
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..the angle/support for the radiator surround seal needed to come off so that I could correct the joggle on the upper edge... I drilled through the spot welds with a 3/8 inch bit and carefully nudged the pieces apart. I fabricated a new piece from scratch with a homemade former....
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Discussion Starter #60
..the former I made from bar stock Aluminium I bought at the local Big Box Renovation store. I radiused the corners with a hand file (it's nice working with soft Aluminum when filing). When doing bodywork...you need to keep sheet stock steel on hand at all times but don't keep bare sheet around..it'll surface rust very quickly (this is not super critical mind you but saves on having to clean off the rust later on.....plus with what steel costs now a days you gotta take care of it ). I cleaned and etch primered it a while back.

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...never underestimate the value of simple big old tools like C-clamps, heavy hammers, big old sheet metal shears (which last a lifetime and are a heck of a lot easier to use than those small snip plyers on sheet metal. Thick plate steel stock is also always handy to have around. I was able to bend the flanges over very easily with this set-up...

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...green tape is to keep the pieces from sliding around prior to clamping...and no a 3 lb hammer is not reequired but has a large surface area and doesn't need much swing action to bend thin material like this. I used a little bit heavier gauge steel than the original.........just because.

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