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1990 Gl Liftback Restoration & Rebuild

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Hi all,

I have been quiet for a long while, too long in fact, however my absence has been warranted tongue.png

Having lived but 100 feet away from a 1990 GL Liftback sitting in the neighbours garden, I finally gathered the courage to have a brief chat with him about his motor and his intentions with it. Upon inspecting it with my girlfriend (KiriMaccyG on here, just joined!) we decided to see what we could do to acquire it.

After a lengthy phone conversation and a genuinely nice meeting in person, me and Kiri went for it, and we now have a fine restoration project to take part in together - for some reason she has got it into her head that she will enjoy this motoring malarky, so I'm only too happy to get her into it so I can share the pain! laugh.png

The Details:

*106000 Miles

*No Tax


*4 New Tyres

*New Starter

*New Inlet Manifold

*1.3L 2E Carburettor

Finally, her name is Hiriko - Generous, a reference to the mad amount of boot space for gazebos and tents at shows wink.png

The damage is fairly extensive, mostly owing to rust (how would one guess!?), but she is in good working order.

How we found her in the shrubbery:



After a push down the road we could get round her:



The front doors need replacing:


The front wings also need replacing, dents and tinworm have killed these off:



The drivers wing mirror has had a smash too, so anyone with a replacement that will fit the Liftback please let me know!


The boot space with the seats folded flat is pretty epic, definitely what I need, not to mention stuff for shows!


The interior is the first thing we are attacking tomorrow, and for obvious reasons...







The mould is caused by a few issues; the sunroof has a leak and the tailgate has a leak as well, as confirmed by the previous owner. This is certainly going to be one of the biggest pains for us... laugh.png

Mechanically speaking it is sound, although I haven't started it, she covered almost no mileage after being serviced last July so all things like the drive belts and fluids etc are fresh and ready to go. The bad point is the Battery is completely dead, setting me back a whopping £95 today! jawdrop.gif Furthermore, there is a coolant leak that is as of yet, un-traced. My suspicions lie with the heater matrix, primarily because the mechanics who looked over the car for the previous owner found no signs of gasket failure or obvious leaking. Luckily I have a spare laying about somewhere.

Last and first to be rectified is a set of seized brakes. All four were seized so badly it took me and Kiri ten minutes of frantic pushing to get it shifted off the spot. So tomorrow she is having her first lesson in motor mechanics - stripping, cleaning, inspecting and reassembling brakes. biggrin.png

After that it's cleaning the interior, exterior and engine bay. In the near future the engine bay is getting a tidy up and some bloody paint! The mirror also needs to be replaced soon too. Alongside this the wipers are getting blacked off again and other bits and pieces will slowly be replaced to bring it back to an acceptable standard.

A perfect starter project for Kiri I hope, and the perfect runaround for me when I get to uni!


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POST MADE BY KIRI (My Girlfriend)

So I thought I'd be a good little girlfriend and see what all this car stuff is about!

Seeing as KP refused to let me mod my little Ford KA, Betty, in any way, we had to find another car that we could work on together as a project, and we so happen to come across this little thing.

First thing we wanted to do was to move the car to a nearby gravel car park so that we could look all around and get in each door and the boot, but of course the Battery was completely dead, so we tried to jump start it using Betty, but to no avail.


So then it was decided we would have to push it. I must say, when he asked me to get in the drivers seat to steer the car as he pushed it down the road, I almost cried with the state of the seat and the steering wheel:



KP's trying to brainstorm ideas on what we can do with the project and colour schemes, etc, but right now all I can think about is getting in that car tomorrow and cleaning it like no car has ever been cleaned.





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Yesterday, work started on the car. Before KP could even open the bonnet, I managed to get him in the car to help me get those seats cleaned! KP was in charge of the front seats, whilst I started on the back. There are still some stains, but I think this can only be helped by cleaning them again over time.





We then drenched the door card fabrics in cleaning products and the floors to allow it to soak in:




The car needed a good hoovering out, but that's a little difficult to do when you're in the middle of a car park tongue.png so the car had to be moved to the front of the house, and to do this we needed to get the car started and running. We had already discovered that the Battery was completely knackered when we tried to jump it, and no wonder when it looks like this:



So we got a nice, shiny new one and fitted it biggrin.png



So now she was kitted up with her new Battery, KP got in, turned the key and.... nothing. Didn't even turn over. The biggest worry was that the previous owner had told us that a new starter motor had recently been fitted, so it wasn't likely to be something wrong with that, so it seemed it was something more complex. Nevertheless, KP got the starter motor out to have a look:





He couldn't see anything particularly wrong with the starter motor, so we bolted it back in, and KP decided to just give it another go, and by some luck, she started! biggrin.png So we moved her to the house, and decided to call it a night as we still had to go out and get dinner, etc.

We got up this morning and got straight to work taking the front seats out and gave the floors and then the boot a good hoover. Somehow, part of the dash had been stained a blueish colour, and so we came to the agreement that we would take out the dash and we are going to paint the dash black smile.png






Unfortunately that was all we had time for as we have gone away to my Grans for the weekend, so we will continue with the painting and things when we get back!


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We have a huge set of updates for today!

To start with, the MOT has been booked for Tuesday morning next week, so we are having to work like mad together to get her ready and fired up for the big day biggrin.png

We began the day by painting up the dash parts, covering the Handbrake trim, Gear Knob trim, Lower Fascia trim, drivers kick panel and passenger kick panels in plastic primer. Kiri did most of them herself, getting a little excited about it at times to say the least laugh.png







After they all dried off we got to work coating them up in satin black:











We then took some time to stand back and have a wee think about what the plans were for the exterior - short and long term.




Took a cheeky snap while Kiri was getting her painting game on!


Getting used to the curves of the car:


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And finally, after much swearing, and dropped screws, we had the interior put back together. Kiri got the hoover out again and completely blitzed the carpets, bringing them back to their wondrous shagpile standard! We're both very proud to say the least....
















To tick off a few more boxes, Kiri got her head stuck under the bonnet and replaced the knackered coolant hose and clips. I greased and fitted the Battery terminals properly so she now has electricity!

To celebrate we started her up and just sat there for a while to see how well everything went, and I'm happy to say the engine ran without any issues. It warmed up as it should, idled perfectly and just worked, not overheating either! wink.png



And amongst all this hard labour I got the new Tail Light fitted.


Tomorrow brings it's own joys and jobs:

*Replace all heater hoses - the current ones are original and have perished so badly that there are all leaking under pressure, I can hear it but not see it so I'm going to replace them all with the spare hose I have lying around.

*Replace Vacuum hoses - I have plenty of good washer and vacuum hose that I never threw out which will replace the old perished stuff.

*Replace Fuel Return hose - this has perished and falls out, spilling fuel out which isn't fun. Ii have a spare length again that I refused to throw out!

*Replace Wipers - they aren't great at the minute and I don't want anything holding the MOT back.

*Paint wiper Arms satin black - Just look at the ones on there now...

*Clean outside

*Shine up light lenses.

Plenty of pics there so enjoy guys and girls!


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Cheers mate, we're loving this because it is so nice to do all these jobs!

Today has been a day of cleaning, so the GTi, KA and Liftback all got some TLC so here are the finished pics:


The Tail Lights were polished up a bit to remove the hazing effect.











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Yeah I saw those but I'm just out of money now sad.png Bummer.

Right, well we both have a fair bit of progress to post up for you guys, has been hectic with other stuff hence the lack of updates.

With a few days to go before the MOT we had a lot to do. The first job was sorting out the frayed and leaking fuel return lines.

Having scavenged a spare length of hose from the VTEC engine, I got to work cutting it to size - both lengths needed replacing.



Old vs. New:



In place with new clips:




The weather wasn't on our favour all day mind...


The next port of call was to sort the smashed wing mirror casing. Now although the mirror was fine and the car would have passed no problems, I am a firm believer that a tidy car is more likely to pass than a shabby looking car, regardless of the underneath stuff. I didn't have a spare GL mirror to hand, but after striping down the GTi and GLl mirrors, it turns out the shells are exactly the same part number!

So the mission started, we had to strip the GL and GTi mirrors, paint the GTi mirror and then put the Gl bits back into it. Even the metal triangles swap over directly - I'll make a more detailed thread on it later.




Random engine bay snap:


After stripping the mirror Shell, we started sanding ti down:



180 Grit was perfect:



Degreasing took place:


Then the triangle platform was sanded and primed:



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While that was drying off nicely, I set to work getting the Battery secured.... now what kind of engineer would I be without the liberal application of cable-ties??





And the second part of the fuel return line was also secured properly...



Finally the primer had dried and Kiri set to painting up the wing mirror Shell in satin black:



I've always appreciated Kiri's "unique" approach to interior works:


Back to the mirror... In my infinite genius, I managed to smash the GL mirror whilst refitting it. I tried so hard to make sure it was done smoothly and gently but the plastic backing wasn't pliable enough, and I smashed the glass....

Leaving me with a car that is now definitely going to fail the MOT, and to make matters worse the mirror I ordered from Toyota for £37 wasn't going to arrive in time. I had to think quickly....

Never underestimate the power of adhesive foam. Using stacks of double sided foam I stuck the GTi mirror onto the plastic backing of the GLl mirror, meaning the car would still get through the MOT even with a slightly thicker mirror. laugh.png

And here we are!





With this victory I could set to fitting the natty mud flap sticker I got off eBay.



What's missing??





Aaaaannd then came the issue of wipers.... The adapters I purchased weren't a nice fit to the new wipers from Halfords, but seeing as I got the three blades and two adapters for £11.50 I'm not complaining.

I got them to fit at last but only after the MOT for which I swapped out the GTi wipers.

Unfortunately she did fail the MOT. The rear sill sections were rusted and needed welding up, and the steering rack gaiter needed replacing. Other than that, nothing needed to be sorted, so no further advisories. After handing over a total of £200 Hiriko came back to me with welded sills a new gaiter and a full MOT!

I told him not to make it pretty or paint it - just get it through the test. I don't have money to put into it anymore so I needed to just get it done so I could make it pretty another time when the respray gets done.


Check the exhaust bodge y0!


Getting some grinding done!





Painted. Not pretty but not rusty!


And thanks to Andy I had some wiper arms to paint up to tidy it up!


With that, the car is done! Me and my dad covered 127 miles in it with only one minor problem....


The cooling system keeps ejecting coolant through the relieve piping from the expansion tank. The car would be fine when travelling at high speed down the motorway, but sit for more than 5 minutes and the temperature shot up, but not in an overheating way, more of an air lock raping the temp sensor way.

I found that the expansion tank piping was blocked, so the coolant was jetting from the relief pipe because it couldn't get into the tank. I think that the air lock is caused when the engine cools down and needs to draw coolant back in from the tank, but of course it draws in air from outside because the tank is off limits. My worry is that having removed the pipe the tank would fill but then still couldn't draw in without the pipe.

I then replaced the pipe with an unblocked one but when Ii arrived home the expansion tank was shaking and boiling like a kettle rather than jetting the coolant out. Is it just overfilled with coolant?

Either way, I'll be doing a full flush and coolant replacement. I'll also replace the radiator cap and thermostat just to rule them out.

Whatever happens, it made it without major problems, nothing that couldn't be sorted on the roadside. The engine runs beautifully, a real little tank!

Next up is painting up the door frames and other mirror in satin black to spruce them up a bit more.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi all,

Another update now with a few pictures and a hint of some hope yet! laugh.png

Today was an early start day, and with piss poor oppressive weather and irritatingly poor workshop facilities I wasn't at my best - Kiri was lucky enough to sit, or more sleep this one out while I got some help from an extremely generous friend who has been a regular accomplice in my motoring shenanigans.

The water pipe had to be repaired rather than replaced because there simply wasn't anything around that would arrive in time for JAE. We searched the scrap yards high and low, only to find my old MR2 which shat its oil seals soon before death.



Here is how we started with the pipe this morning, bearing in mind that part of the issue was the missing flange, he had already replaced it the night before as a press fit item before tending to it later today smile.png To make it, he dug out some old sheet steel and cut a 97.4mm length from it. Using a vice and a hammer he formed it into a perfect circle and pressed it in and then dressed it with a file.


As you can see, the damage was extensive to say the least...



The smaller diameter coolant pipe needed to be completely removed and swapped for a copper replacement, so we grabbed a pipe flaring tool and some copper and flared both ends, just in case we fucked up the first length.
The other two coolant pipes needed to be cut and dressed, but they also needed to have flares in order to prevent the hose from blasting off under pressure. The best way to go about this was to braise the whole lot rather than weld. Braising is a cruder method of doing it in some ways, but it also requires less heat which is a godsend when working with such thin and corroded steel such as this.

New flange before braising:


New flange braised and undressed.


My friend skillfully removed the old small pipe by melting the braised already done by Toyota, and proceeded to braise the copper pipe in place, being sure to heat the steel rather than the copper - the copper has a melting point dangerously close to that of the braise, so there is a high chance that the copper will completely melt through and we'd have to start again. Luckily there were no issues here other than the copper being annealed by the heat and becoming very soft, but this is something I have to be wary of when assembling the car tomorrow.



It's not pretty but it will hold!


Here's the finished piece.


The other two pipes were cut back slightly to reveal thicker and less corroded steel. He then braised a length of welding wire around each tube and filed them down to a size more suitable for the hoses I have.

We didn't have the proper flux needed however we found that silver flux braised the steel and copper perfectly well.

I cleaned off the excess flux with a screwdriver and rotary tool, also cleaning up rough edges that could be problematic.

I also went to fit the new water pump which seems to be a very nice good quality part, so for £32 I'm feeling pretty happy with it so far. I removed the old pump and then ran a tap through the threads and a die round the bolts to clean them up to hopefully help them all last a bit longer. I then used some 280 grit paper to remove the crud from the gasket surfaces and the O-Ring seal housing for the water pump housing. The O-Ring seal on the housing I cleaned out with a scribe and more 280 paper.

Finally I could assemble the pipe to the water pump housing. I smeared RTV onto the flange with my finger and then slid the two O-Rings over it. (We are using two O-Rings for added security and confidence in the seal) I then smeared some fairy liquid into the water pump housing that was going to receive the pipe and O-Rings, finally smearing the O-Rings on their outside with more RTV. With a little patience and prodding gently with a flathead screwdriver I managed to get the whole thing to slide together nicely. After pressing it between the wall and a heavy appliance I managed to get the whole lot to seal perfectly square.

Two hours later and the thing is sealed nicely enough, however we're not out of the woods yet. I still need to assemble everything tomorrow, and I can't be sure that this will even work. Because it is quite sturdy, it will either work without trouble or not at all, so only tomorrow will tell.

The new pipe is on order from Toyota anyway, but I won't be fitting it until this one fails me again. Until then the new pipe is staying in the boot with a flathead, pliers, a 14mm and a 10mm - all I need to replace it at the roadside. laugh.png

Tomorrow morning I will clean up the block mating surface with the 280 paper and a rough sponge then I can get to sealing the pump against the block. It isn't a traditional O-Ring, rather Haynes specified the use of an instant gasket sealant which is essentially the same stuff as RTV Silicone. It's worth pointing out that RTV Silicone isn't the same as boggo Silicone sealant - it needs to be left to breath in order to set and rubberise.

Once the surface is clean I will place a bead of RTV into the seal packing groove and let it set for 30-45 minutes until it hardens and becomes slightly tacky. Then I can force it against the block and bolt up the pump housing and water pipe, then assemble the rest of the car. After that I just have to fill it with coolant flush, run it, drain it and fill it then we are good to go for JAE!!

Unfortunately the rust in the spare wheel well is bad:



But at least the AE92 has some branding fame!!



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  • 4 weeks later...

WOW, just spotted this thread - I too have just bought a near identical Exec Liftback, one from 1987. Shall be following your updates with interest and when figure out how to post pictures will pop some up on another thread. Good work KPJ....

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Thank you mate - I wondered if anyone would take a look at this! :lol:

Good buy! The Exec has a 4A-F(E) so you have some more power to play with and a few other goodies :D Get yourself a free PhotoBucket account and you can start to post pictures easily enough.

My Girlfriend lives in somerset and I in Chippenham, so if you want a day spannering on the old girl or to have a little photo op feel free to pop by :yes:


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Ideal, not too distant either - I know Avebury very well as used to be haunt for ex-gf trips out..... Have always wanted a liftback 87-92 for years, but forgot about it until last month when popped into head and, well, you can work It out! The rear is huge with the seat down, engine ticks over great but don't think its been serviced regularly as coolant is all brown after 30+ flushes. Cambelt to sort asap and should be rolling resto. I got a photobucket account, shall get some pics up asap....

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  • 2 weeks later...

Never let it be said that Liftbacks are boring - I went down to start her today and as I opened the drivers door I was greeted with more than a little moisture on the screen....



With mats Removed:


We proceeded to strip out the interior, seats, carpet and mats etc to put them somewhere to dry out properly. Along the way I decided that I should get the rust problem sorted now instead of later, so Kiri went off to watch her dramas and I stayed out in the cold to get the rear section of the interior cleared out.

There are a number of these little 'poppers' that are a real pain to remove; they're too far in to grab by hand, too tight to pull by hand and too sharp to twist and pull by hand. The best and safest way of doing it I found was using two flathead screwdrivers as shown below:


Using this method I managed to remove all clips without damaging them or the trim they held in place at all. They are all ready for use again when it goes back together.

Not too long after this fastener removal success I managed to safely remove the large boot section trims that I was so scared of touching in the first place.


Here's the whole lot stripped down:



I then started to poke around the Drivers Side Rear Turret and was pretty shocked to see it has completely crumbled both skins more than I thought:



The seam as a whole seems to have taken a serious battering:


On my travels about the car I also inspected the tailgate which happily has minimal rust and it's all on the outside in easy-access areas that won't require any sort of re-skinning to do the job properly. The section behind the number plate is solid without even the slightest sign of surface rust! :D

The sunroof has been fiddled and temporarily fixed with brute force and a lot of wishing, and so far it is holding. Even if it does leak it will simply drain through the bungs that I removed upon removal of the carpet. They are however quite useless, so I will be drilling my own holes at the lowest point and fitting bright externally removable bungs that don't require the carpet to be stripped out for correct removal.

A fair few godsends were discovered though - the passengers side rear turret is in tip top condition as is the air vent that allows the car to relieve pressure as you close the doors.



And now here we are:





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Well the debate rages on in my head as to what the best plan of action is. Ideally I need the £1500 for a respray now so I can just get on and have it done before summer, but I think the best bet is to simply perform remedial work on the underneath stuff before I worry too much about the mess of an exterior. A solid Shell is what I need to have a god project foundation. :yes:

On that note I have decided to seam weld various parts of the chassis to stiffen it up - seeing as I am already in and out of the hidden bits it makes sense to just get it done and to add some structural rigidity to the thing - no bad thing considering how much it's going to be chopped about in the coming weeks. It should handle a fair bit better as well despite the marginal extra weight I'd be adding.

Today brought me more bad news in the sense that things are worse still, however the positive way of looking at this is that I am still progressing in things that would have needed to be done sooner or later. :D

* I removed the sound proofing on the drivers rear turret, discovering more rot from the spot welds and the seams. I went round the whole thing and just prodded with a screwdriver and a hammer, finding more than I'd hoped for to say the least. The passenger rear turret has a hole through to the road where the turret meets the floor pan next to the rear of the back door. Bugger.

* The drivers turret is letting in water where the skins join each other near the rear window, so that needs to be ground back and possibly patched up.

* The seam along the drivers rear turret also has rust through the floor pan.

* The top section of the DRT also has holes that must be patched.

* A spot weld on the DRT has rusted through under the sound proofing

* The complete DRT inner wheel arch skin has been destroyed.

So in light of this I purchased myself a Nibbler - essentially a fancy cutting tool that cuts in the centre of a panel far more precisely than a set of tin snips would. They prevent that annoying bowing effect as they cut win an even pressure on both sides of the cut. £14 and delivered this week - bargain.

Once I have cut all the rot away I will be able to start patching it back up in a couple of weeks when college opens again.






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  • 5 weeks later...

Thanks mate - seeing as you're reading it I'm going to whack up all missing updates including tonights - bear with me, gonna be a lot of copy and pasting!

Copy and Paste from here:

We got to work today when we finished lectures - we cut, drilled, ground and hammered all things out and into place. So far we are still on the deconstruction mission and cleaning it up. The thing holding me up at the minute is the rear right turret - I can't get the grinder into the top section of the turret or into the lower section to clean up the welding surface. Bugger. But I am attacking it with other bits and pieces, trying me best.

I have hammered a section of metal to cover the top section of the turret, so now I just need to finish cutting the rust out, grinding and cutting the plate to the perfect size.

As for the floor section I have squared it all off to the chassis rails so that I can turn up the heat and weld the floor pan directly to the rail when we start putting it all back together.

I also squared off the left rear turret rust hole, ready for a plate. There are plates waiting to go in already, only a couple more to do and we can start cracking right on with putting it all back into place.

The wheel well has been cut to shreds but it will go back together next session I hope.

I'm continuing my efforts with my mate Mike tomorrow afternoon which should give us some serious dedicated time to sorting this mess out. I'm confident we can do it, my only concern is my limited experience in metal work.

Rail Side of Hole Prepared for MIG:


Rear Right Side Prepared:


Wheel Well mostly cut:



Rear Right Turret:



More to come tomorrow evening.


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Two plates are in! The first one was my own work and quite frankly, my lack of experience has shown. I found it very difficult to get the ground for the welder to sit properly, and then I struggled with how thin the metal was. Once I'd stopped blowing holes through the plate I'd made some really neat welds but I'd hit a thin patch of shit metal and I'd be blasting through again. Frustrating but I'm just happy for the experience.

When it came to the second plate my mate salvaged it for me - I need to cut them neater than I have been to reduce any and all gaps and I also need to adjust how I make the initial tacks. By making larger tacks over a greater area I will preheat the weld area and also have a larger section of metal to weld to rather than the two 0.9mm sheets, meaning no more holes blasting through. By the time my mate had explained that to me I had to pack up and leave so a little bummed out by that.

I have finished the cut for the upper section of the rear right turret and I also created the plate that I welded in myself up there. I don't have a picture of the abortion weld I did but I do have one of the plate tacked in place:


Wheel Well Plate 1:


I also finished the cut for the rear end of the right turret - the plate is perfect for the top and sides so now I just need to cut the bottom edge neatly enough and there will be near enough no gap. This should make it a much nicer experience to weld next thursday. I'll be doing it myself though as it should be an easy section with good clearance to practice a new technique.


The lower skirt of the turret has been cleaned up a lot as well but I still need to finish it better than this before I can start welding it. I just need a very small very aggressive tool to shred the crud off.


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I didn't get a lot done this weekend or at least it doesn't seem like it, but that's because I have limited tools and I won't be back in a warm workshop again until thursday afternoon sad.png

I did cut a few plates up and here's a picture of the first one I did on Sunday - it's very neat and fits like a glove on a chickens lip - I'm really chuffed with it as I'm usually shocking at this sort of thing:


Before good metal goes in, bad metal has to come out. I cut out the rust from the spare wheel mounting point and started cutting a plate for it:


No other pictures yet as my phone died, but I have already made a small plate for the first part of the larger hole - it's the same as the plate I showed you above but on the other side. It will be impossible to cover the whole section with one plate so I am making 4 different plates and welding them together one by one. That's the first plate. The second will cover the little bit for the chassis rail. The third I have started on and that will cover the main larger section and then a final plate will cover the thin sliver left over joining the top and bottom sections.


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A fairly piss poor evenings work... all the tools were either missing or in use by someone else so I wasn't best pleased. I've got one more plate welded in which is good and strong.


I've also cut a couple others and removed the rear bumper.

Luckily there isn't much rot at all on the rear corners - just a little surface rot on the right side smile.png





Tomorrow isn't a certainty either. Not feeling overly great about it all at the minute but it's all for fun I suppose biggrin.png Will keep going until it's done though.


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Thanks man. I'd be happier if I hadn't turned up to find all the decent tools gone. I just need my workshop back. Would've been perfect for this whole resto.

I couldn't even get into the workshop today, so I just did what I could outside. I poked around the outside of the wheel well to find that it is worse still... so a larger plate has been cut. I just can't be arsed with doing 5 small plates when I can do one massive plate.



The rear bumper right hand bracket received some damage before I got my hands on the car, so I will have to remove and reshape that. I'll also be getting a heat gun onto the bumper to soften it up so I can bend it into shape. The good news is that it has mostly popped back to its' original shape already. Plus there' is no serious damage behind it. The car itself hasn't crumpled at all which is even better to see.

I have managed to slice my thumb and finger... good job the whole family loves tetanus! laugh.png


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Today was actually a very successful day - unfortunately Kiri couldn't join me because she decided warmth, tea and internet access were more pleasurable than getting set n fire in a rusty tin can Liftback. Lord knows she got the common sense!

I learned a new technique for cutting holes and making plates, and so far it has made the whole experience a thousand times more manageable and pleasurable. Those who aren't interested just skipped past the Italic font:

1. Clean the area you need to mask with brake and clutch cleaner to degrease it.

2. Stick down the first stretch of tape over the main straight edge you want - make sure the metal is good on both sides!

3. Put the rest of the tape down at right angles or as close to as you can - make the shape as simple and easy to cut out of sheet and weld in as possible.

4. Use the angle grinder with a cutting disc to cut straight to the tape you put down.

5. Use a Joggling tool to put a recess around the edge for the plate to rest in. This way the plate will still be flush with the old metal making it look seamless but will be much easier to weld.

6. Remove the old burnt tape and replace it, but this time cover the whole lot with tape and use a Biro pen or something similar with a fine tip so you can make it more accurate. Trace along the edges of the step so the plate is larger than the hole but fits in the recess.

7. Remove the tape carefully and stick it to the metal you are going to cut and cut the plate - this way the plate will be the perfect shape and size for the whole you've cut. No more guessing and messing about!

8. Weld in the plate and grind it down.

I started with the wheel well holes and got them cut down nicely square using the method above.




I also began to cut the more awkward holes but I need more rotary tool bits. Plus for this particular patch I need a working drill to remove the pot welds.


There was a tiny hole close by to the one above, but I just ground it clean, filled it with weld and then ground it flat and neat again.


As for the Rear Right Turret, I decided to make the two small patched into one larger patch of good metal. In an odd backwards way it will be easier to do. My original masking shows a huge plate but the combination of compound angles and sweeping curves would make it impossible to do. So instead I opted for a backwards P shape that will be more forgiving and malleable when welding.

I have made the cuts I just need to drill out the spot welds:




With the momentum and moral gathered I started work on the other turret - the rust has gone through with a little grinding so I cut masked the basic shape and cut it. I do need the rotary tool cutting discs for this too, however I need loads as one disc only lasts about 25mm of cutting.


Next up was the rear corner. Unfortunately it needs some work so I'm going to buy another corner but just fit the section that's gone rusty - this time using a joggling tool to make the weld stronger.




I also squared off the flat section of the large hole by the right turret.


Now for some snaps of the inner arch rust which is of course turning out to be worse each time I go near it. I'll need some more metal to form this plate properly as Toyota intended!



I thought I'd get a good shot of the epic exhaust bodge. I'm getting a quote for a near standard stainless system now.


I also got a snap of the lightness I added laugh.png It's great... when driving along the ground lights up from the interior light as if they're shaped neons tongue.png


I also wanted to show everyone exactly what was wrong with the rear bumper - you can see the before and after of the good bracket versus the bent bracket - note the snapped threads from both!



Note the snapped fins along the whole bumper shelf. All part of the crash damage but externally it isn't visible:


Something I didn't have before - Blue dash lights!!! biggrin.png


And a pretty interior light to go with them tongue.png


There's still coolant spray from the old engine overheating problems I had! laugh.png


I also cleaned her out, sweeping and cleaning and organising. Ready and packed for next week:




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Coming along nicely. You'll be an expert at welding when you finished this. It does look like its coming along

Love the dash lighting its a shame you can't mess around with the dash lighting on the newer cars

Just a thought as you've got the car stripped I think to go with your dash lighting put in some lighting inside the foot wells either to light up with the doors opening or maybe a softer light on when headlights are needed. That's just my thought though.

Either way think your doing a great job


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It's funny you should say that about the dash lighting as I will be looking into illuminating the interior and exterior door handles when the car is unlocked via a fob.

Thank you for reading and your compliments mate, I'm hoping it will really beef up my welding skills.

Tonight's task was to fully uncover the inner wheel arch rot and cut it away to good metal. To do this I started with the rear corner section which also has to be replaced anyway.




I then spent ages chiseling the underseal away to reveal just how much had really rotted out. It was rather shocking....




I then got cutting away the rear turret sections that were rotten from this side rather than the inside... lord.





The rot adjoining the rear turret is surface rust which will grind back easily enough at another session, however the stuff butting up to the outer arch is fooked and will need to be plated - a lot easier said than done with this particular patch.


It's scary when you see it from the inside!




This is how I left it:


Progress was admittedly slow tonight, however my Joggler tool hadn't arrived and I had to be far more cautious cutting out anything beyond the rear corner as I need to make sure I still have something to weld to and a reference to form sheets to. There's no inner arches from Toyota to bail me out if this goes pear shaped, so I may need to rebuild it my own way rather than replicate it as Toyota intended.

One final problem for me is that the seat belt mount has pulled away from the sheet it was welded to, so now I need to rebuild the sheet and then re-weld the mount to it safely.


More updates should be up this weekend assuming I get my tool tomorrow as promised.


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