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TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Planned TR7 V8 project - rusted seam rear firewall/floor pan at control arm - Yikes!
Posted by: TRip
Date: September 01, 2009 07:43PM

Okay, so last evening while heating a broken seat bolt in an attempt to remove it, I noticed daylight where none should be... right at the seam between the passenger firewall and floor pan where the control arm mounts (or should I say, trailing arm). I realize that to most of you, this is not a big deal... You'd just roll out your portable media blaster, nifty pro NASCAR style welding rig with super-duper darkening helmet and some sheet metal and, voila fixed!

Jim, Curtis and Nicolas have been sharing their welding insight with me and as they know, I'm a complete newbie with welding. I'm detirmined to learn and learn well. I figured after some practice, the 7 would be a good project to apply that knowledge to. Wasn't expecting this, though.

Since the 7 has been in storage for a while, I guess stuff has been quietly corroding in the cold damp air here.

From all of your experience, is this an easy ... or should I say reasonably straight forward fix?

These look to be my options.

1. rivet a piece of sheet metal bridging the seam as a temporary measure. Then continue with the plan to strip the car and have it media blasted next summer and then I can weld where necessary. I already know that the front part of the outter rockers want replacing as well as a few other relatively small areas - I figure all projects have surprises and I see this as a brilliant opportunity to learn new skills.

2. Just sell the car to someone with the level of skills necessary to correctly fix. - Not my preferred choice!!! But, I'm also trying to be realistic.

I'll take some pics of all the rusted areas and post them so you can have a better sense of the actual extent. I'll post them as soon as I can.

Any thoughts would be wonderful.

Thanks in advance

Trip



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/01/2009 07:53PM by TRip.


WedgeWorks1
Mike Perkins
Ellicott City, Maryland
(460 posts)

Registered:
07/06/2008 08:07AM

Main British Car:
1980 Triumph TR8 3.5 Litre Rover V8

authors avatar
Re: Planned TR7 V8 project - rusted seam rear firewall/floor pan at control arm - Yikes!
Posted by: WedgeWorks1
Date: September 01, 2009 09:34PM

Trip-I have a tear in the passenger side rear control arm that goes from the floor up the side of the seat frame mounting area. Where you are talking is a very common problem with TR7s & 8s especially the convertables. It is not difficult to fix. It is getting the right gauge steel and welding technique since it is thin metal is key. I use rusty TR7 trunk lids for my patches. The hardest part is the upper portion of the floor and rear control arm area due to the curvature/geometry and the seam/lip of the two panels. If you practise with a small mig welder you can fix it. The factory used spot welds so anything will be better than that!


TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Planned TR7 V8 project - rusted seam rear firewall/floor pan at control arm - Yikes!
Posted by: TRip
Date: September 02, 2009 04:58PM

Hi Mike

Thanks for the "rusty TR7 trunk lids for my patches" advice. That's a brilliant way to get the right metal type.

While I'm at it, I should probably re-enforce the driver's side too since they're spot welds.

Cheers

Trip



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/02/2009 04:58PM by TRip.


WedgeWorks1
Mike Perkins
Ellicott City, Maryland
(460 posts)

Registered:
07/06/2008 08:07AM

Main British Car:
1980 Triumph TR8 3.5 Litre Rover V8

authors avatar
Re: Planned TR7 V8 project - rusted seam rear firewall/floor pan at control arm - Yikes!
Posted by: WedgeWorks1
Date: September 02, 2009 09:26PM

Trip-YES! Reinforce the floors at these points. Another bit of advice is to weld plates around the rear control arm bolt holes and then weld the washers for the bolts to the plate reinforcing.
MVC-019F.JPG
And you can connect the front and rear body frame sections to spread the rear loading through out the rest of the car.
MVC-004F.JPG


TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Planned TR7 V8 project - rusted seam rear firewall/floor pan at control arm - Yikes!
Posted by: TRip
Date: September 02, 2009 10:21PM

Ooooh... Nice!!! Now, I REALLY want to learn to weld!!!

Thanks for the inspiration and advice, Mike!!!

Trip

Here are some control arm floor pan images of my 7.

Behind seat

pass control bulhead behind seat.jpg
pass control bulhead behind seat 2.jpg

From below - Yes, that IS the sky!

pass control bulhead behind seat from below.jpg

From top

pass firewall - floor pan.jpg

I think the engine torque may have helped the gap along. Will have to make sure the wheels line up. When I tackle this.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/04/2009 12:41AM by TRip.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5853 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: Planned TR7 V8 project - rusted seam rear firewall/floor pan at control arm - Yikes!
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: September 02, 2009 11:09PM

Trip, nobody is really going to want to say this, the car is definitely fixable, but you might want to consider looking for something with less rust. There appears to be quite a lot of work involved, maybe Mike or someone more familiar with the 7 can give you a clearer picture, but 7's are still relatively cheap and good ones are definitely out there. As someone who has gone the rust repair route I can tell you that the final product will be nicer with a clean body. But of course otoh you will have the opportunity to practice your skills and perhaps build some originality into the car going this route so it should not be discarded too hastily, but it will take more time than you expect it to.

Jim


TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Planned TR7 V8 project - rusted seam rear firewall/floor pan at control arm - Yikes!
Posted by: TRip
Date: September 02, 2009 11:48PM

Good evening Jim,

Thanks for the straight talk.

I too would lean towards a rust free car as a solid base. Especially if I were going to go high end, put a lot of HP, shoe horn that 455 Buick we talked about and put quality bits into it.

Thing is, if I sell this car, then I don't have any real world example to work on as I learn to weld, fabricate, hammer, torch and whatever else comes along during the project. I'll end up just tacking bits of metal together with nothing to show for it. Maybe I can pass the bits off as art. What do ya think?

But other than that, I'm thinking if I make mistakes on this car, which I can assure you I will, I can easily start again and hack away guilt-free.

Maybe the rust free car should be my next project after I've dun all my learnin' or at least a lot of learnin'.

What you say is definitely something to think long and hard about. Again, you've helped me with a reality check.

Cheers, Jim

Trip



WedgeWorks1
Mike Perkins
Ellicott City, Maryland
(460 posts)

Registered:
07/06/2008 08:07AM

Main British Car:
1980 Triumph TR8 3.5 Litre Rover V8

authors avatar
Re: Planned TR7 V8 project - rusted seam rear firewall/floor pan at control arm - Yikes!
Posted by: WedgeWorks1
Date: September 03, 2009 08:38AM

Trip-
I posted a reply on the other topic in ths section. If you do not find all the rust and take care of it now it will get worse and if it is in areas or suspension tie-in points the car will come apart even with a 200hp engine. You might want to consider a west coast or southern TR7. Best ones to get are the TR7s made from approximately November 1979 onwards. They have all the required TR8 bolting and mounting areas, 3.45 rear axle, a double budle hood for extra underside clearance, and better colors if that is any factor.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5853 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: Planned TR7 V8 project - rusted seam rear firewall/floor pan at control arm - Yikes!
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: September 03, 2009 11:52AM

Right now the idea of learning to weld and fixing the old car up sounds kind of exciting.... and romantic if I may say so. But get about half way through and it turns to fussing, cussing, impatience and dread. I think Mike and others will back me up on this. Granted there's nothing like a project in-work to give an incentive to learn the welding techniques, but in the middle of a critical repair, upside down on your back with stuff falling in your face and blowing holes in the sheet metal you may very well rue the day you bought the welder. You will envision perfect welds and flat panels. Instead you'll get blobs and warpage for quite a little while as you learn the deft touch and the tricks. Maybe this is not what you are looking for.

So consider this. If you look at other cars, you now know the trouble spots to check for rust and damage. You will now be able to tell very quickly if it's worth pursuing, and your current 7 becomes either a donor, practice mule, possibly the recipient of a running engine, or even a race car with suitable repair and reinforcement, and you still have the chance to practice welding but this time with no stress or deadlines, and no real penalty if you mess up royally. In the meantime your good car, if it's running is good transportation while you assemble the drivetrain using the old car and your swap becomes a weekend affair when the time is right. In a few days you are up and running again with the new powerplant, the old one goes in the old car, and you have "beater" so you can keep your new car nice. Much less stressful, and no waste. Sell the beater if you like or keep it for other things.

Jim


WedgeWorks1
Mike Perkins
Ellicott City, Maryland
(460 posts)

Registered:
07/06/2008 08:07AM

Main British Car:
1980 Triumph TR8 3.5 Litre Rover V8

authors avatar
Re: Planned TR7 V8 project - rusted seam rear firewall/floor pan at control arm - Yikes!
Posted by: WedgeWorks1
Date: September 03, 2009 12:03PM

Jim-WORD! Welding on a british car can be exciting but can also be a pain. I think the worst protion is unless you put the body on a spit so you are not on your back or twisted like a pretezel is getting into all the corners. Cutting out portions and making panels fit is real tricky too! I found heat input with welding these thin body metal panels will make or break your patience! Thats is why I gave the suggestion for using a trunk lid. I cut the wrapped edge off like on a door skin and peel it off the support frame and then cut peices to simulate weld joints and learn the right technique. You also use it as patches. Good Luck!


Bill Young
Bill Young
Kansas City, MO
(1337 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 09:23AM

Main British Car:
'73 MG Midget V6 , '59 MGA I6 2.8 GM, 4.0 Jeep

authors avatar
Re: Planned TR7 V8 project - rusted seam rear firewall/floor pan at control arm - Yikes!
Posted by: Bill Young
Date: September 03, 2009 02:03PM

Trip, looks like it's decision time for you. Both Jim and Mike have given great advice. Now it's time to decide just how in depth you want to get with your project. If you're not in a hurry to complete the car and have any ideas of bulding others in the future I'd probably just keep what you have and consider it a learning tool along the way. Invest in a small MIG welder to start with and a few grinders and sheet metal cutting tools and have at it. In the long run you'll save money by trading your time and labor, but you'll also be able to add reinforcements such as Mike mentioned that a new shell wouldn't have anyway. Consider tearing the car completely down to a bare shell, building a rotisserie and then repairing and reinforcing the chassis as necessary. You'll wind up with a really nice solid car when you're done and have skills that will be invaluable in the future. I'd get the drive train mounted now and any clearace cuts made then you can finish weld them when the car's on the rotisserie and you have better access to the nooks and crannies. Be aware that it will take a lot of time though, so don't lose you way and abandon it half way through, that will mean a real loss to you both in money and experience. From what photos you've posted the rust isn't terrible and should be fairly easy for you to repair. Tackle the easier areas first and then the more difficult areas later when you've gained some experience forming repair panels etc. Have fun!


TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Planned TR7 V8 project - rusted seam rear firewall/floor pan at control arm - Yikes!
Posted by: TRip
Date: September 03, 2009 06:40PM

Mike, Jim and Bill,

I've read your tips and cautions and I'm going to read them a few more times over so I can absorb everything.

I'll then seriously think it all over and, when the room stops spinning. I'll report back to you.

BTW what's a rotisserie and is it a big job to build... I'm guessing there's weldin' involved, isn't there?

Trip



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/04/2009 12:27AM by TRip.


WedgeWorks1
Mike Perkins
Ellicott City, Maryland
(460 posts)

Registered:
07/06/2008 08:07AM

Main British Car:
1980 Triumph TR8 3.5 Litre Rover V8

authors avatar
Re: Planned TR7 V8 project - rusted seam rear firewall/floor pan at control arm - Yikes!
Posted by: WedgeWorks1
Date: September 03, 2009 08:46PM

Here are some pictures of the "spit"
arch-for4.jpg
tr-15jun04.jpg
Bare Shell_6.jpg
Ian Wilson TR7V8 Body-1.jpg
email me or private message and I can get you the information on what dimensions the parts need to be and you can also while you are learning to weld you can also modify two engine stands to work and not spent $1,000.00 on a rotisserie. Making one your self is not complex.


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4414 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Planned TR7 V8 project - rusted seam rear firewall/floor pan at control arm - Yikes!
Posted by: Moderator
Date: September 03, 2009 10:01PM

Nice photos Mike!

Here's another: Home Built Rotisserie Design

Also, an especially fancy rotisserie is featured in this article.

Just getting the car up higher can be a big help. Here's a nifty homebuilt cart.


TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Planned TR7 V8 project - rusted seam rear firewall/floor pan at control arm - Yikes!
Posted by: TRip
Date: September 04, 2009 12:38AM

You guys are all so awesome!!!

Now I get it. Rotisserie - as in BBQ

Mike, ok I'll pm you.

I agree with Curtis... nice pics. Gotta say... a liiitle jealousy going on here about that bright, shiney football-stadium sized workshop!

Curtis, thank you - for the links.

Got some reading to do.

Trip



74ls1tr6
Calvin Grannis
Elk Grove,CA
(1150 posts)

Registered:
11/10/2007 10:05AM

Main British Car:
74 TR6 / 71 MGB GT TR6/Ls1 71 MGB GT/Ls1

authors avatar
Re: Planned TR7 V8 project - rusted seam rear firewall/floor pan at control arm - Yikes!
Posted by: 74ls1tr6
Date: September 04, 2009 01:07AM

I used Bill Youngs plans and made a rotissarie that would work for my build. After one day of being on my knees welding was enough for me.

Also these tools in the photo have let me do everything as a 1 man opperation, take engine out or put back in, put tub on frame, tub on rotissarie.

1) Break down engine puller
2) Rotisserie
3) H frame w/straps
4) Several 1000lbs dollies

Triumph2 318.jpg

Good luck on whatever you decide! Go to the end if your start!

Worm drive rotisserie!

Triumph2 216.jpg


And yes! A 1 car garage, it can be done. 17' X 8' garage! :-) The BBQ works well at full rotation.

Triumph2 320.jpg



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/04/2009 01:24AM by 74ls1tr6.


TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Planned TR7 V8 project - rusted seam rear firewall/floor pan at control arm - Yikes!
Posted by: TRip
Date: September 04, 2009 02:01AM

Hello Calvin,

Your tips on getting things done as a "1 man operation" really help me, thanks.

"1 man operation"... That's me, too!

Is the inside of your garage in another dimension?? Step inside and it's the size of Mike's (above) workshop?

I was concerned about the space issue for my project... but now, not so much.

I have to say. I'm really impressed. You must be super organized too!!

Trip


Phillip G
Phillip Leonard
Kansas City
(395 posts)

Registered:
02/03/2008 04:12PM

Main British Car:
1992 MG RV8 Rover 3.5

Re: Planned TR7 V8 project - rusted seam rear firewall/floor pan at control arm - Yikes!
Posted by: Phillip G
Date: October 22, 2009 08:34PM

TRip,

Is that a roll cage I see in your TR7/8 ?

What are your plans for using this car ? Racing, by chance ?

cheers,

Phillip G


TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Planned TR7 V8 project - rusted seam rear firewall/floor pan at control arm - Yikes!
Posted by: TRip
Date: October 26, 2009 05:18PM

Hi Phillip,

I think the roll cage you're referring to is the one in Mike Perkins' 7 that he's prepping for rallying.

Mine doesn't have a roll cage and is a convertible.

My original plans were to fix the rust damage and then swap in a Rover or other V8. But after receiving the advice of so many here, I realized that with all the rust this car wouldn't be a good base for that project. My intention now is to use this car as a learning project for how to weld, for fabricating and bodywork.

I had already rebuilt the 4 cyl and it makes pretty good power so it's a good start.

When it's all done, I'll sell it and search for a new V8 project.... That lokks like it's a way down the road, though.

Trip


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