Then the gaps welded and ground back, and tacked in place
And welded in position
The right lower isn’t horizontal but I’m learning to live with it.
Then how to restrain the upper? Metal clamps go over these but the ae86 ones won’t fit.
Take one m6 exhaust rubber wotsit
Give it a tickle with the angle grinder
In it goes
Add a simple aluminium strap. I think these might need remaking in steel but I’ve proved the concept for now. Upper rad mounts done 😎
Pleased with that. I’ve primed and painted the lower brackets, satin black just to keep corrosion out. Lots more painting needed later with a bare shell strip down but I’m considering this my dry build.
Next, radiator will go back on and be plumbed up. Only 2 hoses and they’re standard AE86.
It’s moving along nicely even if I wanted it to be a bit quicker progress. Need to moderate my expectations better!
So here it’s bolted up after the paints dried. Hoses connected. I’m a massive fan of using off the shelf parts where I can so the fact I can just buy a replacement corolla hose if I need to makes the work seen good value.
So the heater circuit is still bypassed but otherwise there’s nothing stopping me filling the radiator.
I’ve stilll got a bracket to make for the overflow bottle but it will sit behind the offside spotlamp so I want the headlights back on next to see where exactly that goes.
Made a start
But the brackets that these bolt to, and also support the infill panels between lamps and bumper, are really rusty so I’ve got a fair bit of fabricating to do before they’ll go on.
Who knows when that’ll be but I’ll keep updating as I go here.
So I got a few hours to have another go at bashing metal around last night. Finishing the headlamp mounting brackets which include the supports for the infills between grille and bumper.
First one finished. I picked this one as it looked simpler and I needed to learn. It was the right choice.
Because this one was really tricky to make, and turned out hard to join to the solid section of bracket too.
It’s a very long way from perfect but given I blew a hole in the very last weld I planned to do, and had to patch in a piece the size of a postage stamp to repair it, I stopped worrying about minor cosmetic wobblers and called it done.
And both together
I'm pretty happy with that, given my skill level and the amount of time I can reasonably spend making a couple of brackets. They wouldn't pass muster if they were visible on the car, but that means they're good things to practice on. Because I do have a few welds that will be visible.
Rust treated the existing metalwork and primed them tonight. One dust coat of black to hide my sins (and make me gloss over the fact they really need fully paint stripping - something I'll do when the car is bare metalled, if it ever is).
Final coat of satin black paint tomorrow night hopefully, along with the infill panels. Then I can finally put the front end back together, and get the bumpers on so they're easier to flat back before painting.
After that it's largely making up an exhaust system, and it's road ready. Target is a meet with work colleagues at Caffeine and Machine (Ettington, just outside Stratford Upon Avon) at the end of June. And I want it respectable by then - solid paint, and preferably the right suspension and brakes on it. How hard can that be?
Still no excitement, but progress. And I like progress. Got an hour spare, so on goes the primer to the infill panels. These will be satin black along with the brackets they fit to - that’s for tomorrow morning.
I’ve also finally refitted the tail lights in anticipation of the rear bumper going back on. Only a 10 minute hunt for the bumper bolts. That’s a pretty strong result for me!
The paintwork is niggling me but it’s not worth trying to attend to it. You’d chase round the whole car touching in bits til it looked like a two-tone white version of mr blobby. My waistline is closer to his than I’d like, I’m not letting my car go the same way in sympathy...