The Fake Jaguar Thread

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I had to dig deeper

And deeper

And deeper until I discovered solid metal, between the rust.


This whole length was rust on rust, continuously welded between the 20 ga floor/patch, and 1/8” flatbar.

This required two grinders, a drill, air chisel, nippers, and prybar to get this far.

I am going to place this all back together with real metal and the Tig welder.

I’m really glad that I dug into this because upon really close examination I realized that this is something (as a great wag one said) “Something, up with which, I will not put.”
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So the new flat bar on the bottom of this mess was at the bottom of the car.

On top of it you can see a sliver of rusted away tunnel bottom. On top of that you can see a healthy sliver of rusted away tunnel top.

Plopped on that like a cherry on top is a spot weld and flake of 22 gauge floor pan, which pulled apart when I air-chiseled it.

Being the Fourth of July, I really let loose with the air chisel, 90psi, and on that tin floor pan it sounds like a big machine gun going off in the backyard. (If you think that was plenty of torture for my poor neighbors, well the ones who like me understand what I’m doing, and the ones who don’t like me don’t matter.)

Anyhow I chiseled up this twisted morsel.

The arrow shows you where it was. The skinny arrow shows the next piece to be removed.

With some very careful grinding I cut loose the welds around that chunk of barstock.

Then I chiseled it loose.

Underneath was beautiful solid clean metal. Yay!!!


So now I have to clean up all those lumps and welding scars. Roughing up with the 4” grinder.

Smoothing out the lumps carefully with the 3 inch air die grinder and the 1” Dremel.


Eventually I started sweating on the work a lot, even with a fan. So it was time to go in for lunch.

As you can see, we don’t give up just because it gets to 100.
I have to apologize to @Wildcat And tropical islanders everywhere, for making fun of people who weld in flip-flops. I cropped this view from one of the photographs above.
Look at those filthy toes. I’d been out there grinding and chiseling for hours. I was wearing a pair of flip-flops, and my thrashed Dickies that you see in the photos above, but otherwise I went exposed on a day like this.

And I did take a hot spark here and there, but I did not flinch, because I didn’t want to screw up the virgin metal while I was grinding.

OK . . . that was virgin metal in ‘73. Now it looks like any common ore. ;-(
Hottest day ever in Clovis.

Still 90 at midnight.

I went in when it hit 110, but I’m still cleaning and chiseling.

It will be a PITA to fix, but I can’t live with this.

I cut another patch from the old tunnel. This metal is nice. Factory paint inside still good.

The outside has 3 lumpy coats of black plus carpet glue and body sealer.

This is just big enough for the bottom patch. More will be needed where those nuts were.
I set up an extra fan today, because it has been very hot, and I needed to get this bicycle stand out of my garage for a while.

More work with the muffler chisel today, and the slitter. I decided I had to peel this patch completely off. Look at the huge gaps.

This was doomed, because there was too much rust underneath it that had never been removed before it was welded on.

I split that entire patch in two, along the bend, and I pried it down far enough to get the muffler chisel in there.

Yeah there was rust in there. On both sides and plenty of it.

Several pages ago you saw me spend a lot of time cleaning that patch up and making it pretty. I really wish I had not bothered now, lol. All of that remaining patch, rust, and lumpy welding will eventually have to come off; but some of it can be done after I flip the car over, which will be much more convenient.

Also it will be under the carpet so a bit of lumpiness in the floor is totally excusable, while a bunch of rust is not.

I split the floor open a couple more inches, to make it convenient for me to reshape the tunnel a little bit. The pedals never fit exactly straight because of the old patch job.

All of that ragged stuff will disappear under my grinder.

I started making a pattern for the new patch, from cardboard snd tape.

It was 88F when I started working outside at 8AM. I quit when it got to 108F, just before noon.
It was only 108 at noon, but I needed to quit. I’ve been up 10 hours and it’s only noon. I don’t start any noisy grinding until 8AM, but I can irrigate, change aquarium water, and do quiet things like layout work and cleanup.

I never clean up the shop when it’s this hot. I wait for first light.

Now, it’s time to shower and cook. I put in some time with the grinder and sawzall today.

I decided to hack it all out and avoid hours of grinding.

Much was revealed.


That will take some big patches. I lay out the first one.
I spent some time re-welding the backside of old tunnel patches, then I worked on the new patches.

One patch mounts the pedal assembly to the tunnel.

Originally this had 0.082” steel with a small doubler inside. I made it from 0.105” and it will also have a (smaller) doubler.

This took some time to fit, and it still doesn’t quite. It wants more clearance at the big hole, & it needs a curve to match the tunnel. Hammer time . . .


It was Nice to actually get to a point where I got to do some welding again. If everything’s already fitted, it’s not very noisy and so I can go out there at 5 o’clock in the morning when it’s cool, without disturbing the neighbors.

I actually was irrigating from 4AM I welded & ground from 6:30 until 3:30 in the afternoon, when it was 112°.
OK this patch is shaped and fitted.


Now I need to make the bottom patch. My first one will be too small.

These welded nuts were 7/16-18 but someone stuffed M10-1.50 bolts in them. You can see the nut is half stripped and the bolt threads are all shaved off and bent wavey.
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The really sad part is that I didn’t realize what was going on when I first took this apart and put it back together.

I looked at the M10 bolts and said, “Gee, they look kind of screwed up!”, so I put in brand new M10 bolts.

Now they are screwed up.
114F was the high today. I went in from 1pm to 7pm to avoid the very worst heat.

I have all the new patches made, except one tiny bit. These flanges need to be joined, below the big patch.

Pattern from layers of tape.

Paint marking:


I cut this out with the sawzall and the belt sander tuned it up straight. I marked it, creased it and curved it, but it still needs a bit more tuning.

This joint will be interesting…

Tomorrow I tack this all up and start welding.
Yesterday, I got all my parts cleaned and shaped, and tacked on the frame.


Also I remembered to weld the nuts on first!





Then I made a last couple crappy tacks and realized I was out of gas.

After a trip to the welding shop, it was 114F so I called it a day.

Today I stumbled out of bed very early thinking that my first chore was to grind out the crappy welds I made yesterday, and then I realized that I wasn’t gonna start grinding anything at this time of the morning.

I started my irrigation and fed all the fish and realized that what I actually needed was a field day in the boat yard.

After making those parts, there was so much swarf, grit and shavings everywhere that it was almost like working at a real junkyard.

I swept up the whole place and cleaned up all the random leaves and twigs that had blown in, plus a pile of dog poop donated by my dog.

Then I fired up the big shop vac and vacuumed everything. The workbenches, the car chassis itself, the jig, the hoist etc. and mostly the concrete floor.

Now after all that exercise I don’t feel like welding. But I am finally seeing some tunnel at the end of the light...

This joint is going to be so much stronger with that collar inside.
Perhaps it’s time for brunch?
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Ok, I got some welding done.

I had some real problems with this ancient metal. I had to go back twice and drill out pits from contamination. There’s a lot of stops and starts in the long seam.

It’s solid now, and will clean up ok, and all the plug welds came out great.

Both sides of my collar will get patterns of plug welds. This side may get the long seam weld when I roll the frame.
Today I did the deck welds.

I also did all those plug welds without a problem.

I did the other side too, but I didn’t do the long seam weld on the side yet. Just a few tacks to secure things.
It will never be a masterpiece, but it will be OK. I am more worried about structure than appearance.

This long seam still isn’t welded yet.

(This photograph was taken before I did all of the little plug welds.)
I think I will weld the backside first, in this position. I can weld the outside after I flip the frame.
I did weld off part of that seam where it has back up at the collar. It wanted to droop badly!

Then I did a test fit of the pedal assembly.

The position has moved a little bit and rotated slightly more in line with the chassis.

Alignment of the throttle/cable is very close, BUT, alignment to the clutch cable is off a lot. This will need fixing.

And the clutch pedal now hits the floor, which will now need additional relief.

Floor relief mechanism.

I put the big T-square across my crossmembers to see how square the end of the tunnel was. It’s pretty bad.

It is off one quarter inch here and it’s worse from the other side.


There’s going to be some serious trimming here.
I haven’t corrected the cable alignment yet, but I did clean up most all the bottom welds.

They still need more shaping.

There are pits to drill & re-weld.

I also trimmed 1/4” off the collar, but it too needs more shaping.

The bench of grit and sparks.
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