3 March 2013
Windshield Rust Repair

How odd - two days in a row!
Started by removing the windshield (not that difficult,I cut the glue away last year and it's just been sitting there).  Need to clean the dash-top for repainting (several coats and the black is giving way to the previous reds and blues) and of course there's the rust I've shown a few times.
I'm guessing that not only was it sufficient to glue the window in, but also somebody tried to ensure a good seal with silicone caulking (since there's both black and clear glue here).  Alternately, the window was reglued by someone who didn't clean out the old glue first.
Lots of goop in the upper channel.  The middle trim clip was much rustier than the others; I hope this doesn't foreshadow something bad.
So yeah, this pic came out extraordinarily blurry.  What you would be seeing if it could be made out is some rust damage to the lower lip of the windshield frame on the driver's side.  It's not rusted through so I am not yet sure how I want to handle this.
I've had a pile of the Roloc disks for a while and hadn't ever used them.  I think they work pretty well.  Started on the driver's side frame and got a bit carried away.  I'll need to prime all this anyway.  The paint here on the cowl appears to have been the original and wasn't holding up well anyway - using the air nozzle on it was flaking chunks off.  White primer, or at least I think that was the primer.
Pulled out some of the seam sealer for the cowl side that I'll need to replace.  New shopping list item: more seam sealer (I bought the new cowl panels back in 2008!  I may be a slacker, but I plan ahead)
So I figure I need to figure out what I'm doing.  The red marks indicate where I figure the cuts should be - where there'd be enough good metal to weld to.  This is scary though, there's a couple of different curves and some bends and I don't have a good brake or (any) roller.
So first I go try to do something smaller.  I'd drilled holes in the door to mount the crappy side mirror, and now they're just holes.. and I can see a bubble where the hole from the previous mirror was just bondo'd up.. so let's weld them closed.

Thats's a lot of bondo on the door.
And then I expand the area where I've checked for holes, found and welded up several others, and then I find this monstrous hole, again just filled with bondo.

I expect to find things done incorrectly, but I don't like it when I'm not the one responsible.
Not sure how well it comes through... but not only is there a hole there, but the door skin is pushed in 3/16" or so.

Not sure yet how I want to correct this.  Hoping the extra filler is only in this area.
Okay, enough playing.  Time to get to work on this windshield channel.  Start by cutting on the first set of lines, to get the back of the channel.
Then the second and third sets of lines.  Will use three separate pieces of metal to correct this.  I don't have a brake or a slip-roll, but I do have a very nice throatless shear so I can make patches.
I do not, however, have particular skill at welding.  Here the first piece has been tacked in place.
And then it's been welded around the perimeter.  This was the easy one.
So I forgot to take any pictures of the second piece going in, or the test fits of either of these pieces, or the painting of the backsides.  Second piece went in perfectly.  Third piece, not so much.
I've run out of coarse/medium Roloc disks, and the fine don't really do well on smoothing welds so I think I'm done for the day. 

It looks better in the picture than it does in real life.  I seem to have forgotten two things:

1) Hot metal warps.
2) This is an important piece.  Don't use a "good enough" mentality.

I've got a ~1/8" low spot in the top of the dash here, and the channel-back has about a 1/4" low spot.  I am not yet sure how I want to correct these, and I still need to clean up and finish the welds.  I've had a stud-welder on the tool list for a while, perhaps this is the justification I've been needing.  That would likely also help with the door mirror dent thing.

I think the cowl sides are next. Either that or the closing up of unneeded holes, but to do that, I'll have to put the tunnel back in place, and before I can do that, I need to do the body mounts so I have the final clearance... so probably cowl sides.

Go back to the previous day (2 Mar 2013)