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Vauxhall Cavalier


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On 19/02/2019 at 06:19, kiran_182 said:

Thorough work as always 

Cheers dude!


Today's installment - finished off sparating the front valance panel, then spent a bit of time marking where it needs to be positioned before welded on. Fitted pretty well, just needed a little tweak here and there to satisfy my OCD. Seen here in trial fit position.


Next I was going to take off the steering rack, but it turns out that you can't get to one of the bolts without removing the brake servo too. (Mr. Haynes makes no mention of this) Removing the servo wasn't the easiest of jobs in my partially crippled state, but perseverance and swearing saw the job done.


Once I've got round to taking the brake and fuel lines out, the bulkhead cover can come off. This won't happen tomorrow though, as I've locked the key to my unit inside the unit, so time available tomorrow will be spent cutting the lock off and being laughed at! 🙂

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That thing will be better than new when finished! Love this thread

Bough this in June last year        950 hours later -       If anyone's interested, I can stick up a build thread?

That's a like for the deox persistence with the horn, not for being made redundant, which is always a downer to begin with.

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Didn't get much time in on this today - just removed enough brake lines to get the bulkhead cover off.



Pleasantly surprised by the brake pipes all coming undone as they're supposed to, I was then further surprised by the condition of the bulkhead.


All the seams appear to be fine, just needs repairing around the gear selector shaft aperture at the bottom.

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Made an exploratory excavation into the driver's side sill this afternoon. Some time in the distant past the lower part had already been replaced with a Hadrian panel.


The rear half of that had then rotted out and had another aftermarket panel boshed on top of the rotten one. (This explains the "fatness" of the rear half of the sill prior to any excavation.)
I'm thinking that it might be a good idea to get the sills in order before it is suspended on a spit, as the spit will only be supporting the weight of the body at its extremeties. 
The inner sill needs to be repaired where it strengthens the jacking point, then it looks like a routine outer sill replacement can be done.


Not entirely sure when the weldathon will commence, but I'm looking forward to getting stuck in. 🙂

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Boring but necessary stuff today - gave all the under bonnet stuff a quick clean and started boxing it all up to go into storage.



Once all that is taken care of, I'll be getting the grinder back out again. 🙂

A few bargainous eBay purchases arrived this week - steering rod ends, and the two front engine/gearbox mounts.


It's always a relief when the bits you need are available at a reasonable price. 🙂

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Decided against more grinder action for now - this morning I fancied taking off the rear undercarriage.


Good news was that everything came apart as it was supposed to - bleed nips + pipe unions included. The bad news is that the chassis legs need repairing where the spring plates are located. The spring plates have been replaced at some point (not very nicely!) and I'm guessing that they were pigeon shitted on over questionable metal. I'll get some pics of the pox another time - but heres one of the stripped rear end gubbins.


The pile of pieces requiring cleaning and painting is coming on nicely. 🙂


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This morning was all about fuel system removal. The tank, fuel lines + pump/filter/pressure reg came out first. (Not particularly easy to remove the tank when the body is only 8 inches off the deck!)


The brake lines undid without drama - they're in really good condition so theres a fair chance they'll be reused.


Heres a shot of one of the ruined spring plates - I reckon these will repair as it only appears to be rotten in the flat part directly above where the spring sits. Time will tell!


Whoever replaced those ^^^ could probably do with welding lessons! 🙂

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Gear shift mechanism was whipped out after work this afternoon - it was very brown due to a liberal coating of underbody wax type stuff. Thinners and a cloth saw it looking loads better though 


A bit more help is gonna be required to pretty up the fuel pump/regulator/filter arrangement removed yesterday.


The gearchange mech was the last item to be removed from the underside - now it's bare, I just need to get the sills sorted before it can go up on the spit. 

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I got the majority of the nearside outer sill cut off this afternoon. The box section between the inner and outer sills is a lot more complete on this side, so now I know exactly what I'm aiming for when I reconstruct these structures before putting the replacement outer sills on. I suspect that a lot of people ignore these strengthening structures in an "out of sight, out of mind" style - its a lot more work to do it right after all. 



Obviously I need to remove the rest of the outer sill before cracking on with it, but I'm gonna be struggling to find the time for it for a couple of weeks so progress will now be slowed. 😞

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be carefull with door alignment when welding the new sills on , in the bodyshops ive worked at the would always do the final trial fit and weld them on with the wheels stood on the floor

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On 06/03/2019 at 19:49, steveo3002 said:

be carefull with door alignment when welding the new sills on , in the bodyshops ive worked at the would always do the final trial fit and weld them on with the wheels stood on the floor

The body is proper rigid - even with one of the axle stands removed, the doors still open and close nicely. I'll be leaving the doors on when fitting the sills to make sure the gaps are right.


Managed to get an afternoon on this today - first up was a small repair to the offside inner wing where it had rotted around a splash guard fixing hole. (finishing the dregs of my welding gas) I forgot to take the "before" pic, but heres the "after" one. 


The remainder of today's session saw me cutting out the rotten section of the inner wing behind the offside headlamp. (where the previous owner had effected a filler sandwich "repair" in the past) Once cut out, a paper template was fashioned, which was then transferred to a piece of the old front valance that wasn't rusty. It doesn't look much in the pic, but the shape required has mild curves going in different directions, and it took a fair while to tease it into a shape that fitted nicely. With no gas left at present, I left the piece wedged in its hole - I'll clean everything up and weld it in at a later date.



Not looking forward to removing all that underbody sealant - grim times ahead!

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Whilst waiting for my huge bottle of gas, I've been spending a little time getting the outer sills to fit nicely. It's a bit of a faff having to put it on and take it off many times to adjust/trim it, but it's worth it to get it to look right. I still need to repair the middle sills, but need to know the final position of the outers before I can do that. A lot more time needs to go in before I can weld any of it up, but when there sills are finished I can start on the spit. 🙂
Pic of outer sill trial fitted to cheer up an otherwise dull post. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been back at this again recently - weldings have begun! The offside inner wing piece went in first - surprisingly awkward to finish - but a little filler at a later date will see it looking ok. (It'll be hidden by the headlight, but would still bug me if it wasn't finished nicely.)


I discovered a rusty hole under where the back seat goes.


No need for much finesse here, all the pox was cut out, and a piece was let in to fill the hole, including a plug weld to the chassis leg as was there beforehand. I've lost my pic of the welded repair, but do have one of the seam sealed result.


When repairing the outer skin of the inner sill, I struggled to find a good setting to weld the thin sheet with a bead, so ended up joining the dots to avoid burning through in random places.


Both inner sills, and inner sill ends now sorted.


Next on the to do list is the middle sill structures - I'll be cracking on with these this coming week. 🙂

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I didn't get nearly as much done as I was hoping this week, but progress is progress. I finished up the middle sill repair to the nearside.



The outer sill is tacked on now, I'll hopefully get that fully welded this week. In other news, a nice shiny new petrol tank arrived from Germany the other day.



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Nearside sill now welded on.


Incredibly time consuming welding one spot at a time, then filling the gaps in - seen here half way through welding.


It would be difficult to grind back the welds with the doors on, so I'll finish it up once the doors come off. (Whenever that may be - the rear doors need to stay on to do the rear arches!) 😞

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More stuff done today - the middle sill on the offside was completed today. I had to replace a lot more on this side as the rot had spread further.


The eight hour session ended after the offside outer sill was welded on.


I really need to remove the doors to finish up the sills, but I need the back doors in position to do the arch repairs. I'll see how easily they come off before deciding what happens next.

Edited by sleag40
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I got the front doors off today - the hinge pins took such a clobbering to get out that one of them has cracked.


It's no biggie, as suitable pins are available on eBay. With the front doors off, I could complete the welding of the sills - just the joy of grinding back the welds to do before I can call the sills finished. 🙂

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As you may have spotted further up the thread, all the reference points for the inner rear valance/inner rear quarters/inner rear arches are now fresh air. I need to fit the outer panels in a quick release style so I can use them as reference points for fabricating the inner panels. I made a start doing this today by cutting down the replacement rear valance, and used cleco fasteners to hold it in place.


Next job on the list is to trim the panel to a good fit, then start remaking the inner valance panel so theres something to weld the outer to at the bottom edge.


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Got a bit of unexpected time on this again today - attention now turned to the nearside rear arch. I began by cutting the arch repair panel in two, then extended the front section so it can be overlapped by the rear section factory style.


Next up, the car lost a bit more rusty metal. (This is by far the best side as it still has a couple of sections of inner arch still intact!)


This enabled the front part of the outer arch to be trimmed to fit nicely with the rear door. (The rear section is just plonked on in this pic.)


The rear section has been partially fettled in this shot - sadly today's time ran out. 😞


Hopefully more soon!

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A bit more excavation this evening - the dark coloured part of the rearward wheel tub had a piece of steel rivetted over it to make the lower part of the wheel tub "good"


Once the bottom of the lower rear quarter outer was cut off, I cut off the poxy left side of the inner rear valance.


A good poke of some suspicious looking metal then turned into a hole through which I could see the contents of the boot.


There was a slightly "blown" section of the inner wheel tub just forward of the spring plate - I knew what to expect, and duly hit it with the wire wheel.


After cleaning up the metal, but before digging out the seam sealer from the other side.


A piece of metal was then shaped to fit into the gap, and both the piece and the hole got some zinc rich primer before the piece was welded in.


Most probably be recreating the inner arch/valance/quarter bottoms next. 🙂

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Had another pop at this today - recreating the front of the wheel tub.
A small repair to the bottom of the inboard section, followed by cutting out a rusty part of the outboard section.


New piece tacked in.


Welded in and partly cleaned back. (ran out of time 😞 )


It may be a while until I get another crack at it, but hopefully more soon.

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Very little time has been available this week, but I have managed to get a bit done - first up, a piece was fashioned into roughly the shape required to complete the exhaust cutout end of the inner rear valance.


This was then stuck in position (will be cleaned up better when my back is not so sore!


The bottom of the inner rear quarter is now sporting some shiny new metal where once there was crusty flakes. This bit was a little tricky to get into the right shape, but I'm pretty sure it's right now. (I'll find out soon enough when the lip of the inner wheel arch is completed.


If I can keep away from the pub this weekend, I should get a decent amount time on it. 🙂

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This morning was all about fixing the hole that allowed the contents of the boot to be viewed through the wheel arch.
Chopping out the poxy bits
Piece let in to boot floor then zinc primed
Another piece then made, and let in to the wheel tub to complete the repair.
Once I've replaced the seam sealer that was dug out, it should be barely noticeable.


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Got a bit carried away today, so theres bugger all pictures. A piece was made to go at the back of the outer wheel tub.


Then using the outer lip of a spare repair panel and more sheet steel, the inner arch lip was recreated to fit nicely with my outer repair panel halves. It took a lot of time to make it all fit (outer panels off and on many times) but finally I'm at the stage where the outer panels can be attached permanently. 🙂



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Got a whole day on this today - kicked off with fitting the front half of the arch.


Ground back and zinc primed to stop it rusting before it gets painted. (Some time next year hopefully!)


I got carried away again, and forgot to take pictures of the rear part going on, but here it is cleaned back and zinc primed.



I made a bit of a balls of this and ended up with some warp related high spots. Hopefully I'll be able to get at the back of it with a dolly and level it out at some point before paint preparation. 

Finished the day by putting the rear quarter bottom on.


Once I've plug welded the inner and outer arch lips together, and done the same with the inner and outer quarter bottom, this corners completed metalwise. 🙂

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Plug welds to the arch and lower quarter bottom now done, I removed the rear door so that I could finish and tidy up the welding to the sill.


I need some time to contemplate how I'm going to tackle the cacophony of corrosion that is the offside rear arch.





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