Since the MOT failure last year, I have been working slowly but surely around the inner sills and body mounts and replacing rust with either new parts, or at least new metal. I still haven’t completely finished, which is why tonestaxis.co.uk has been rather silent of late – I have been taking photos as things progress with the intention of doing a full write up when everything is completed.
Rusty Wheel Arches
Whilst working my way around the rust parts of the taxi, I came across the rear wheel arches. These inner arches get battered by all the road water and dirt and if you take a look on any Fairway I can almost guarantee they will be either riddled with rust holes, or covered in bodged repair patches.
I hadn’t noticed the state of these before as all the dirt was hiding the fact that most of metal no longer exists; the bits that do remain are so rusty they can’t be welded to.
Having scraped off all the muck, it was clear that these need serious attention. Due to the location of these inner arches, the easiest way to progress with the repair is by removing the rear wings.
Removing Fairway Taxi Rear Wings
There are 11 bolts which hold a rear wing on to a fairway taxi. Your mileage may vary and you may also find areas which have been welded in place.
Start off inside the passenger compartment by removing the grey plastic trim (where the ashtrays/window switches are) to the side of the rear seat. These are usually held in by a few self tapping screws and will need to be pulled out from the bottom as the top sits in a channel.
Once this is removed you will find 3 bolts which are holding the top of the rear wing in place. The two rearmost take a 12mm socket, although the furthest forward will require a 10mm spanner as there is very little room for manoeuvre.
There are two more bolts which are holding the top of the wing in place, however these are best accessed from the boot. They also use a 12mm socket. Whilst in the boot, undo the other two which hold the rear of the wing in place, and are located below the indicator/stop lights.
Move back to the passenger door and find two bolts which take a 10mm spanner. Take this time to remove the door wiring from the inside of the passenger compartment.
Lastly are the two bolts which hold the bottom of the wing to the inner arch. These were completely seized in place on mine. Since they were basically surrounded in rust I decided to cut them out in order to remove the wing.
You have now undone all the fasteners which were part of the original design of the taxi – that doesn’t necessarily mean someone hasn’t come along afterwards and welded some of the wing in place!
As the top edge of the wing is effectively ‘lipped’ underneath the rear passenger window, you can push down on the tap (from the inside) and pop it out of the body. You may want to remove the indicator/stop light assembly although there shouldn’t be any part of the rear wing attached to it.
Take stock of where you are – you might find the wing comes away from the body with no further hassle. If your Fairway is anything like mine, you’ll most probably find that some of the lower parts have been welded together during previous repairs. I found a spot weld or two at the back and to the bottom of the wing just in front of the bumper. The rear wing was also welded in a few places to the passenger door pillar.
You can try prizing away the wing to get a better idea of where it is getting caught up.
It took about 1 hour in total to get the wing off and a moderate amount of perseverance. You can see the advantage of the removal as it will now be far easier to repair the wheel arches.
Going forward, I hope to repair the wheel arches by fabricating my own repair patches, however Leacy Classics still stock a fibreglass replica if yours are too far gone.
Removing Fairway taxi rear wings