Took a while to weld the new pan's into place, mainly because of all banging and bending to get them to fit ! The originals were spot welded along the tunnel seam, so I 'plug' welded instead, with seam welds at both ends. Now I have to mark out the section to cut out 10 3/4" (273mm).
Well point of no return now... marked out the 10 3/4" then got to work with the saw and grinder. I now need to cut the conduit cables for the handbrake and heater cables to suit , but pass the clutch and accelerator cables out through the back and cut to size once both halves are welded together again.
Eventually it all went back together, it was a real pain getting all the various tubes either cut to length or pulled right though and out the back. For instance the accelerator and clutch tube can be pulled out the back as you move the half's together, but yo you have to remove the tack welds holding the tubes into place first. Then you also need to pull the fuel pipe out through the nearside rear leg as well. The heater cable tubes and handbrake tubes need to be cut in such a way , that they end up terminating in the same place as the currently do, i.e. remove 10 3.4". The only way I could guide the two halves together and pull the tubes through was to use one of those 'pull me' hand winches.
Eventually got the two halves together , then checked for alignment, squareness and level before tack welding into place then checking again. Once satisfied I welded all round the tunnel and across both floor pans. You have to be very careful when welding the thin floor pans, I use 0.8 wire and med feed speed on the MIG welder.
I also cut an 'inspection/access' holes in the tunnel floor to allow me to tack weld the tubes back into place just under the handbrake, and give me room to access the washer/sleeve for the gear change shaft which has yet to be shortened. This access hole will also give me a better chance of replacing both the guide and re-fitting the gear change rod. I will weld a cover place over the inspection hole when finished.
Well now the chassis is welded together I need to think about, primer, seam sealer, underseal etc. However I Have just been reading another similar build and most people add a bit of reinforcement to ensure the tunnel join is nice and strong.
So I used some of the section I cut out to make up a sleeve to wrap over the top of the tunnel for extra strength.
It was also a pain to reach inside the tunnel to replace the gear rod bush and tack weld the conduits back into place, so I cut an inspection hole in the bottom of the tunnel which I now welded back up.
Now I was ready to think about primer sealer etc, I have decided to first go round all the weld joints with Zinc primer, then polyurethane seam sealer, then two coats of Hammerite before finally using Underseal.
First stage is the zinc primer around the weld joints
After the Zinc primer I used Dintrol seam sealer, before coating with Hammerite then finally Waxol underseal, now ready to turn over and get started on the upper side of the floor plan and chassis, again with seam sealer , and Hammerite, before refurbishing the suspension.
Finally finished the chassis !!!, turned over the chassis applied seam sealer and hammerite to top of chassis. Almost forgot the re-positioning of the seat belt mounts, so cut the spot welds away from the original mounts, (left on the inside of the section I removed), then drilled a 12mm hole in each side of the tunnel, (positioned as per Chesil instructions), then two 10mm holes either side enabling me to 'plug' weld from the outside of the tunnel. it was easy enough to reach inside the tunnel from the rear and use on of the UNF bolts to hold the captive nut/plate in place whist I plug welded... job done..
Now I am ready to start re-furbishing and building up the front and rear suspension, I have already removed both spring plates as I intend to use 'adjustable' plates to give me a bit of flexibility regarding height adjustment. Will have to wait now until the new year when postage is back up to normal..
Having recovered from the new year festivities, I decided to sober up with a bit more work on the build. First I cleaned up the front beam only to uncover some bodged repairs and filler !, so spent the rest of the day cutting out the old metal and fabricating repairs from metal left over from the tunnel section I removed. In the end I ended up fabrication just about the whole bottom end of the pillar section, but once painted with seam sealer it looks quite good. next I spent the next day cleaning up the gearbox having first completely dismantled the axle tubes and removed the drive shafts ands ended up getting gearbox oil all over the garage floor..
Still both the gearbox and front beam look okay painted up ready for re-assembly.