Projects - 75 2.0 Twin Spark 1987 luggage compartment repair

March 2015: Looks can be deceiving is a well known proverb. This proverb applies to this particular 75 2.0 TS to some extent. The initial appearance is very nice, but when opening the truck and pulling away the upholstery a completely different status becomes visible. Some hobby Bob (Dutch expression) previously executed welding in the trunk of which I would say that my 11 year old daughter can do it in a more neat way. Since this somewhat crappy welding is running throughout the whole rear and left side section of the trunk I will do the repair work in phases to avoid deviating from the original geometry caused by weld distortion.

Good looking 75 2.0 Twin Spark at a first sight.


Looks can be very deceiving though, what a welding mess in the trunk on the left and rear side.


Dents and somewhat messy welding at the rear end.


Spare wheel well with some rust issues at the bottom.


Right side of trunk floor partially not connected to the rest of the body.


Exhaust hanger bracket with some ehhhh ....... interesting welding.


The only way to get this thing going is by cutting away bigger pieces of the floor. I start with the left side (driver side) floor section. After dismantling the bumper additional rust damage becomes visible as could be expected.


Material cut away on the left side of the trunk floor.


Also a section of the spare wheel well and side-wall with seriously rust affected material cut away.


Side-wall tack welded in position.


Excessive weld material removed from side-wall & recreated rear wall with original shape rib.


Since all material for the repair sections is hand made it takes some time. For the rear wall I of course also include the rib which is originally in the sheet metal geometry. Next up is the trunk floor. I start with the recreation of the left hand section which I cut out. Firstly I sketch the approximate radius which is required and the start shaping the sheet metal. Also for the floor the target is to recreate the original geometry which means the floor requires a shaped flange which then is connected to the spare wheel well. Of course no short-cuts are taken.


Left hand trunk floor with a "small" hole which requires closing.


Initial sketch made on new sheet metal material.


Sheet metal material cut into first rough shape.


Trial fit before the labour intensive shaping of the flange commences.


Clamps to hold new trunk floor in position during welding operation.


Newly made left floor butt welded into position.


Excessive weld material removed to create a smooth and original surface.


New trunk floor with original shape flange looking better than the geometry which came out.


The next thing to tackle is the left hand side trunk corner towards the wheel well (front side of trunk). Due to the relatively small amount of material this is quite tricky. Of course all original flanges, both upwards and downwards are recreated in they way the were when the car left the factory. Although labour intensive the end result makes up for the blood, sweat and tears spent ;-)


Front end of left side of trunk, all material removed with strange welds and/or non original geometry.


Front end of left side of trunk, hand made repair piece with flanges welded in position.


Front end of left side of trunk repaired section treated with anti corrosive coating.





The next stage will be to replace the spare wheel well top section on the left hand side with healthy sheet metal material and clean up the rear end of the trunk floor. First I start with the top section  of the spare wheel well. Of course the hand made repair piece is constructed in the same way the factory original shape was. After a trial fit the part is welded to the freshly made floor on the left hand side. That looks a look better than the status in which the project started if I say so myself. Next up is the rear section of the floor. As already can be seen in the initial pictures of this project the applied welding is truly .................. The only way to deal with this is to completely take the rear section out and replace it with decent material. Although this is a more or less straight forward geometry still the round shaped flange for the attachment of the spare wheel well is required. When clamping the repair piece into position the difference to the cut-out material is pretty obvious.

Trial fit of hand made repair piece for top section of spare wheel well.


And top section welded into position, not bad.


One picture says more than a thousand words. Current welding of trunk floor in rear section.


No other option then to completely remove the rear section.

Repair piece clamped into position.


Then a next item for the left hand side has to be tackled. The lower end of the body and the bumper attachment have been cut-out because the base material was not salvage-able anymore which means it now has to be reconstructed. Easier said then done. The beginning is made by making the bumper attachment because from a shape point of view that's the most complicated. The hole size for the bumper attachment itself will be made in line with the original geometry. Once the bumper bracket is finished the closing plate needs to be added. That plate is initially tack welded into position and then finished and finally grinded to create a new surface which is 99.5% or more flush and therewith without any need of filler and that's the way it's supposed to be when repairing something in a proper manor.

Left side lower end of rear side panel cut away.


Bumper attachment under construction.

Bumper attachment construction phase 2, butt weld holes added and attachment holes added.


Added plate on lower side to close lower end section.


Lower end preliminary closed.


And another repair piece in position without any need of filler to create a flush surface.


In the mean time the month April has started. Projects in almost all cases take more time than originally anticipated because when going along you always find unexpected surprises which have to be mended as well. This project is no exception to that rule and some additional items which require attention are found. The wheel arches of the 75 are covered by plastic covers. When taking a closer look behind these plastic covers some misery can be found so lets fix these rust items as well otherwise we have a car with good looking repaired trunk but crappy wheel arches, that can't be the intention. Here we go again!!!!!

Rear end of left hand side rear wheel arch with some "usual rust".

Unfortunately front end of left hand side rear wheel arch also with expected "usual rust".


Front end of left hand side rear wheel arch with more infected material.


Left hand side rear end lower side panel treated with anti corrosion coating.


Rear end of trunk treated with anti corrosion coating.


And another section of the spare wheel well welded shut with fresh steel.

The longer you look at the car the more issues pop up. When taking a closer look to the left rear wheel well on the inside additional infected material is found. I suppose the current holes are not intended for ventilation purposes ;-)  The list of items to do keeps on growing and growing. When removing the side skirt on the left side it becomes clear that the front end of the rear wheel well shows that also the rear end of the sell needs replacement. I'm trying to stay motivated but that's not always easy.

Rear end behind spare wheel well repaired, small difference compare to previous status ;-)


Rear left inner wheel well, not sure if these holes are supposed to be here?


Rear end of left sill potentially in need of some attention.


Yes, some attention required to turn this crispy left sill into something solid again.


Rear end of left sill looking a bit better.


Rear inner wheel well, rust affected material removed, leaving quite a big hole.

Rear inner wheel well, repair pieces made, as expected with factory original profile shape included.


Rear inner wheel well, one repair piece butt welded on top of the other one.

Rear inner wheel well, completed & treated with rust preventive coating.


Left rear wheel arch repaired with fresh steel material and included holes for attachment of plastic covers.

Left rear wheel arch rear end repaired and treated with anti-corrosive coating.


On the right side the issues regarding the rear end of the sill, the wheel arch and inner wheel well are of also present, when does the list of things to do stop???? In order to completely finish the trunk floor now finally the right hand side which was partially detached from the rest of the body will be recreated including the exhaust hanger bracket.

Rear end of right hand sill, I have seen something similar to this somewhere before.


Right hand side rear inner wheel well with some unwanted holes.

Right hand side trunk floor with incorporated exhaust bracket taken out.


New right hand side trunk floor with new exhaust bracket welded in position.


Right hand side inner wheel well, rust affected material cut away.


Right hand side inner wheel well, repair piece made and clamped into position before welding.


Right hand side inner wheel well, rear section solid material again.


Front end of right hand side inner wheel well, welded one section still one more section to go.

Front end of right hand side inner wheel well, 2 sections welded to accomplish a completely solid geometry.


Right hand side rear wheel arch rear end section affected by rust.

Right hand side rear wheel arch rear end section repaired.


Right hand side inner wheel well solid as a rock after the necessary repairs.

Time flies, I started the activities in March and now it's already the beginning of May. As with every project the required amount of time is always the exceeding the initially estimated amount. The front end of the left hand side rear wheel arch will now be addressed. Whilst doing this a somewhat odd rust spot is found in the door opening on the wheel housing, that will need mending. The final welding operation will be the spare wheel well floor which has a section which is beyond saving and therefore requires a new piece of sheet metal. After completing all the welding the only thing left to do is apply black coloured underbody coating to the majority of treated sections. Besides protection this also has the advantage that the very obvious orange coloured anti corrosive coating becomes invisible in those particular sections.

Left hand side wheel arch bottom section after through cleaning, some repair to be done.


Left hand side wheel arch bottom all shiny again after putting some new sheet metal in.


Odd position for rusted section in left hand side rear door opening.


Rust affected material cut out.


New section of sheet metal welded in position, completely flush, no filler required.


Crispy section of spare wheel well floor.

Crispy section of spare wheel well floor cut out.


Hand made repair piece for spare wheel well floor.


Spare wheel well floor completed and treated with anti-corrosive coating.


Left hand side inner rear wheel well treated with black under body coating.


Repaired spare wheel well treated with black under body coating.


Left hand side rear sill treated with black under body coating.


All in all a very labour intensive project with some nasty surprises, but the difference compared to the status in which the car came in is very obvious. This car can be released from the hospital in very healthy body condition, ready for many kilometres of fun driving to come. Although the amount of required time is sometimes quite frustrating I'm happy with the end result.
Last update: January 15th 2017  

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