The landscape has changed somewhat since I posted about Removing the Rear Wings in October last year. As a consequence, I’ve had more time off work to focus on the rust which was revealed in the rear wheel arches, and the floor of the boot.
These areas were flagged up during the MOT which has really been the catalyst to get on top of all the corrosion.
Rear Wheel Arches
Having scraped off years of mud and grime, it turns out there wasn’t really much left of my rear wheel arches! You’d poke a screwdriver into what you thought was metal, but instead end up going straight through into the passenger compartment, all the while being showered by brown rusty bits.
Here are some before and after photos:
Over the last few months, it’s been a case of cutting out the rust piece by piece, then forming and welding a new section in.
Here are some photos of the progress (click to enlarge):
Boot Floor (Triple Panel)
Another area of focus was the boot floor, especially the area around the hinges for the boot.
This area was beyond repair and largely inaccessible to grind or weld, so I ordered a brand new ‘triple panel’ from Leacy Classics in Birmingham.
Cutting the rusted triple panel out was a bit of a faff, although made easier by the fact the rear wings had already been removed. You’ll need to unbolt the rear bumper first. The bolts on mine were seized and required heat and a several hours of hitting to remove.
The triple panel separates at the lip which you can see runs halfway across the boot floor. It is spot welded every few inches and each one will need drilling out. It is also spot welded to the rear quarter panels and the inner wheel arches.
The new panel was test fitted and I’m happy with the initial marry up. It is going to need some encouragement in some places, but generally seems like a decent starting point. This is as far as I have got for the moment, so I will continue to update the website as things progress.
A quick aside; it’s been a real chore doing this work. In itself, the cutting and welding haven’t been the issue, I actually quite enjoy doing it, but the sheer amount and therefore slow progress is disheartening.
Moreover, the worst affected areas are often in the most awkward places! Even with the taxi jacked up as much as possible and the wheels removed, you really have to crane your neck to see what is going on. If you have a welding mask on then you quickly end up with a sore neck and back.
If you undertake this sort of work, I would strongly recommend getting a mechanic’s crawler with back support. It has been a complete gamechanger for me and allows a few hours of work at a time, compared to 10 minutes of searing back pain and a two hour coffee break.
The only one I could find on the UK market which can be configured into an L-shape for this sort of work is from Slims Detailing Mechanic’s Creeper. I’m in no way affiliated with this company.
That’s all for now folks! If you’ve read this far then you’re probably a Fairway taxi fan, or are in the process of restoring your own. I always love receiving pictures and messages about your Fairway, so please do get in touch anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org
Whilst I may not be updating the website often, I am always monitoring and replying to your emails!