Projects - 1978 Alfetta GT left & right sills + driver side door repair

December 2015: Not all patients ending up in my hospital are extremely seriously ill. This time a patient with only relatively small cosmetic/structural issues which are not directly life threatening. It concerns the front end of the left and right sill at the transition area to the front wheel arches and the driver side door of a 1978 Alfetta GT. The beauty of this Giorgietto Giugiura design of the Alfetta GT remains timeless.
The activities start with the left and then right front sill ends. They are quite crispy but the damage hasn't proceeded to the rest of the sill yet, so the amount of repair work is oversee-able. The left hand sill has the worst appearance of these two sill ends but you never know what lurks behind the surface. The left hand side looks pretty bad, but when removing the outer sill it appears that the inner sill merely requires a thorough cleaning and then treatment with anti-corrosive coating. Of course the repair pieces are made by hand into the original factory specification shapes. The right hand sill comes across as less severe then the left hand side, but after removal of the outer skin it appears the inner sill also requires repair. The lower corner is affected by real rust and not simple surface corrosion as is the case on the left side. A small repair piece will be made for this purpose. Even though the inside of the sill will not be visible after the repair activities of course any excess weld material is grinded away to create a flush surface as it is supposed to when the car rolled out of the Alfa factory.


Left hand side front end of sill with some skin issues, maybe puberty ;-)


First thing to do is remove rust affected section and check status of inner sill.

Outer section of sill needs replacement.


Inner sill doesn't require replacement, just thorough cleaning & surface treatment.

Hand made repair piece tack welded into position.


Left hand front end of sill repaired & treated with anti-corrosive coating, finished.

Right hand side front end of sill showing similar skin problems as left hand side.


Outer section of sill removed, inner sill doesn't look too good in the lower corner.

Inner sill needs replacement as well in the lower corner.


Repair piece welded in position and excess weld material grinded away to achieve flush surface.

Inner sill repair completed and treated with surface coating.


Outer sill under construction.

Trial fit of handmade repair piece, doesn't look too bad.


Repair piece welded in position and excess weld material removed.

Right hand sill repaired and treated with coating, another task finished.

Next up is the driver side door. The rust on this particular part is limited to the top section of the door where the water drips down the door window. Since these doors are quite hard to obtain and the rust damage is not that severe the decision is made to do some plastic surgery to ensure this timeless piece of remains as gracious as it was intended to be. A weak section in the material is clearly visible on the side which is on the vehicle outside. The standard approach is to thoroughly clean the coating and if applicable filler and other debris from the part to enable a proper diagnosis of which material is still okay and which material needs to be replaced. Once the base material becomes visible it is evident that a part of the door has no issue and another part clearly needs new steel. With attention to detail to make sure the repaired geometry is the same as the factory original specification.


Handy tool to fix a door to for convenient access to the top section of the door.


This section is not looking particularly well.


Once cleaned up the damage to the base material in a certain area is evident.


The end of the door (towards B-Pillar) looking pretty good though.


Rust affected material cut away.


Hand made repair piece welded in position.


Straight top end of door where no filler will be required to get a flush surface.


Applied orange coloured corrosion protective coating


Gathered the removed rust affected material.





After completing these repairs this Alfetta GT's sills & door is finished the patient is diagnosed as being healthy again. No application of filler on any of the three repaired sections is required to get a straight and flush geometry, just the way it was originally intended. I'm ready to release this patient.
Last update: July 22nd 2017  

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