17 Feb 2013
Improper Rust Repair

So I saw a TV show last month. The host was talking about doing rust repair using a TIG torch and bronze rods. The gist was that you can fill holes easily since the bronze has such a low melting point compared with the base metal. I bought two packs of rods - some Silicon Bronze TIG rods (3/32, I think) and some plain bronze brazing rods (3/16 or thicker). Yeah, that went poorly. All I accomplished doing was making the holes bigger. The TIG rods worked better than the brazing rods (surely no surprise).

Additionally - I got a new cell phone, tried using the camera from that. Won't be doing that again; these pictures kinda suck. The thumbnail-creator I use has been making some horrible looking thumbnails, too. I'll look into a better program there.

So here's what I started with.  The holes are in the package tray on the inside of where the back window goes. 

I have not found where the leak was that allowed all the water in, but the seal for the window seemed to be pretty old.
Alternate view of the holes. I successfully filled one, and made several others much larger than they were when I started.  I know this is not structural and it'd be safe to fill with something other than new metal - but that's not the way I want to do things.
So after trying to clean up the rust-holes, I sanded the flat panel below the window.  I knew I had drilled some holes for the front attachment on the tonneau cover, but what I found surprised me: about six separate other sets of holes for tonneau attachment, filled with some sort of caulking or bondo.  All of these will get welded up.
So I figured out why the bandsaw keeps throwing the band (other than being a cheap HF saw): there are several places on the blade where there are no teeth.  When it hits one of those areas, the blade stops and comes off the pulleys.  I've known I needed a better blade, now it's confirmed.  I don't like the way it twists the blade 45 degrees offset for the cutting surface either, perhaps the whole saw needs to be adjusted - I don't need the setup where the saw can be lowered onto a piece of metal.
So I cut the mounting points for the pedals (with the band saw) so they'd fit the adjusted column mounts. Got them reassembled, lubed, and mounted as shown here.
So the ATS clutch master bracket mounting holes don't QUITE fit the A-body pedals - which surprises me, but is simple enough to correct.
Of greater importance - I am going to have to rethink the master cylinder, or at least the ABS system -- I cannot reuse the lines that the donor Camaro/TA had as they put the ABS box in the PS pump.  I can probably just make new lines but I think that somebody mentioned that an S10 MC has the same piston diameter but has the ports on the driver's side of the MC.
So this is a picture of the sail panel inside.  I am assuming that this bracket is what a shoulder belt would attach to - but I've got two threaded holes around what I would think was the belt attachment unthreaded in the middle.  Anyone know what bolts here?
Next up, the column-base-trim was wrapped around the steering column to properly locate the shaft at the firewall.  Still need to screw everything together - and will have to cut a hole for the clutch pushrod, but this is progress.
And then a reminder occurs: I've got some rust issues on the windshield frame too.

And both cowl sides.  And the driver's side floor.  And my crappy repairs to the bed 10+ years ago.
Really I need to sand down the whole firewall, or at least this side, before mounting things.

So that's where I stand: 1 step forward, 2 steps back. At least it's progress, of a sort.

Trans-Am buyer flaked (wish I could say I was surprised) so no influx of money to buy parts. Plenty to do without more parts though.

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