May 29, 2013 update to the Austin Mini Cooper S project car

Body Welding

It's hard to imagine how much rust was hiding underneath this car, but it wasn't long before we didn't have to imagine anymore.
Exhibit A: The rusty cowl.
We thankfully already had a patch panel for this from Mini Mania.
Eastwood's Weld-Thru primer works great for these kinds of repairs.
The inner cowl was rusty, too, but we didn't know it ahead of time to order a patch panel. So we fabricated one ourselves.
Here's the finished repair. Now it's time to move on to the next rusty bit.

With our subframes and related components out for powder coating and our body all primed, it was time for the inevitable: We had a lot of welding to do. As we outlined in a previous update, we knew when we bought the car that it had some rust issues and had been badly repaired in the past. How bad the rust and damage really was did not become apparent until we got the entire body stripped and primed.

With our new Mini Mania-sourced Heritage-built Mini body panels and repair panels in hand, it was time get started. One of the first panels to arrive from Mini Mania was the cowl repair sections. This would be an easy place to start.

Sometimes it’s best to start with a nice simple job, do it quickly and well, and then get filled with self-confidence. This makes tackling the more difficult jobs, like replacing our trunk floor, that much more bearable.

When we pulled the outer cover off our cowl, we realized that the inner cowl panel was rusted as well. In hindsight, it would have made sense to cut this outer panel away and then order the inner panel as well from Mini Mania.

Instead, we cut the old, rusty inner panel out. In about half an hour with our Woodward Fab cutting and bending tools, had replicated the needed piece.

It was an itsy bitsy, teeny-weeny rally-winning project Mini. Subscribe to Classic Motorsports and get them in your mailbox.
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