Gulp....what do I do?

Discuss Bodywork problems here.

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Murrayminor
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Gulp....what do I do?

Postby Murrayminor » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:04 am

Hi all
I had a bit of a knocking from the front end when going over rough roads, so I though I would renew the front suspension.
Well all was going to plan when I had to remove one of the torsion bars and on poking around I found some quite advanced rot in the cross member so I carried on and have revealed quite a bit of the dreaded rust.
It was always my intention to have "Gracie" my '65 2 door restored properly when I retire in 2020 but looking at the extent of the rust and for safety reasons I have decided not to put her back on the road but instead to strip her down to the shell and ask someone to repair the rot.
I appreciate the cost involved in the welding repair will be quite substantial but "Gracie" has become a good friend and I wouldn't like her to die of rust.
I have the capability to strip the car down to the shell and probably get it bead blasted or dipped to reveal the true extent of the rot.
Now for my question, Should I strip the car down to the bare shell or should I leave it as a rolling shell.
I know a bare shell will be lighter and probably easier to move about and will of course be easier to be dipped but would a company accept the bare shell for welding or would they want to take measurements prior to any work taking place?
At the moment she is complete sat in my garage on axle stands waiting for a decision.
I just don't know what to do for the best.
Can anyone point me in the right direction or is there anyone in the Manchester area who knows Morris Minor bodywork who could come and give me some advice?
Regards

Dermot.
Proud owner of my first Morris Minor

philthehill
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Re: Gulp....what do I do?

Postby philthehill » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:20 am

Sorry to hear of your dilemma.

How bad is the rot? Some pictures may help give a considered opinion.

If it is only the cross member and areas around the cross member that is rotten I personally would only replace the cross member and the localised rot. Get the car back on the road and enjoy.

You may find that once started the body work repairs gets more and more advanced and prohibitively expensive and you may wish that you had never started.

Someone at your local Morris Minor Club branch with body work knowledge may be able to have a look and give advice.


Murrayminor
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Re: Gulp....what do I do?

Postby Murrayminor » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:29 am

Thanks for the reply.

The rot in the cross member is substantial I was quite disheartened when I saw the extent of it.
I have emailed the local branch in the hope someone will come and give me some impartial advice.
The rot seems to extend along the nearside sill so its looking like a major job either way.
I will take some photographs when I get home.
Proud owner of my first Morris Minor

ianmack
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Re: Gulp....what do I do?

Postby ianmack » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:50 am

It all rather depends on the extent of the rot. Replacing the crossmember and a sill is fairly routine work and a welder with a rolling frame could probably do the job with the car complete, except of course for removing the torsion bars.

What is the rest of the car like? If the upper body, paint, running gear and interior are ok it might not be necessary to dismantle it to a shell. Ask local welders, you might be able to just drive it in and drive it home again.

simmitc
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Re: Gulp....what do I do?

Postby simmitc » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:05 am

It's also worth having a chat with the restorer that you'r goig to use - regardless of what we advise here, it will be up to the installer whether he will accept a bare shell or a wolling shell. If it is "just" cross member and sills then that is routine for a Minor specialist and you won;t need to strip anything much apart from the seats and carpets or other trim in affected areas. If you want to do a once-in-a-lifetime full restore then obviously there's a lot more to strip, but does the car need that, or will the current welding and perhaps a respray be what you need?

Where are you located, we might be able to suggest potential restorers that you could approach.

Murrayminor
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Re: Gulp....what do I do?

Postby Murrayminor » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:21 am

Thanks for that, I saw the rust and kind of panicked and digging found more so I really have to keep digging to see exactly what I'm dealing with.
I'm located in Bury Lancashire and I have sent an email to the Lancashire Branch to ask for assistance.

I have seen a few restorers and have been told to steer clear from some so finding the right one is key, I don't want a show winning restoration I would rather have a solid useable vehicle that will kept away from the salt and winter.
Proud owner of my first Morris Minor

ManyMinors
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Re: Gulp....what do I do?

Postby ManyMinors » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:37 pm

My opinion for what it is worth.....If you don't want a "show winning restoration" but just a sound, useable car, don't even think about stripping to a bare shell and getting it dipped etc. I know 2 owners who have done so and even carrying out a good deal of the work themselves they estimate to have spent in excess of £20,000 as the work (and their standards) just grew and grew. Both now have beautiful cars but which are too good to use :-? . You could spend (say) a quarter of that just getting the essential repairs done to a good standard, along with some preventative rustproofing and some cosmetic work and end up with a very functional and tidy car which would last for years and years. As others have said, replacing the crossmember and rebuilding the sills is pretty standard work really and doesn't require a total strip down of the car. Most repairers wouldn't expect the car to arrive as a bare shell I don't think - in fact, many wouldn't have the facilities to handle it! Many owners - myself included - have replaced the crossmember in a domestic garage without too much trouble.

Murrayminor
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Re: Gulp....what do I do?

Postby Murrayminor » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:34 am

I couldn't bring myself to go into the garage yesterday as I was feeling a bit sad about the rust issue.
I think I will ask someone to replace the cross member and replace the sills and take it from there, they may uncover more rust but I will have to play it by ear as I go along.
As mentioned I have asked the local branch if anyone can look at my car to give an idea of how much work is involved so if someone comes forward I will keep you all updated.
On the subject of repairs has anyone had any work carried out or know the company Morris Minor Millennium Company in Manchester?
They are in Manchester about 10 miles from me.
Proud owner of my first Morris Minor

kennatt
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Re: Gulp....what do I do?

Postby kennatt » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:51 am

A suggestion If you are confident in stripping to the bare shell you obviously have good workshop skills, why not enroll in a welding/car rebuilding course,most areas have these ,welding with a mig requires very little training,and with a logical approach and help from the wealth of info on here,I'm sure you could sort out most of the problems ,just about every area of rust on a minor is covered with prefabricated repair panels readily available . Have a look on the mig welding forum and you will see how easy it is, a decent mig will cost you about 300 quid. If you do you will have the greatest satisfaction of sorting it yourself,sometimes better than some so called minor restoring specialist ,I've seen some of these efforts as many others on here have(Not allowed to name and shame ) Believe me its all well within the average DIY work, Its all about measure,, support, cut out and re weld replacement panel and it will save you a fortune .Whilst we all love these minors don't forget the average ones are not worth 20 thousand Good luck

simmitc
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Re: Gulp....what do I do?

Postby simmitc » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:50 am

Although we cannot allow "name and shame" on the public forum, if anyone does have experiences to share with regards to any particular copany, then private messages (PM) can be used between individual members. Even with PMs, remember that there can be two sides to a story. Just to be clear, I am not sugesting that there may be stories about any named company, simply talking in general. Of course, praise for jobs done well can be public.

Murrayminor
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Re: Gulp....what do I do?

Postby Murrayminor » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:09 pm

kennatt wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:51 am
A suggestion If you are confident in stripping to the bare shell you obviously have good workshop skills, why not enroll in a welding/car rebuilding course,most areas have these ,welding with a mig requires very little training,and with a logical approach and help from the wealth of info on here,I'm sure you could sort out most of the problems ,just about every area of rust on a minor is covered with prefabricated repair panels readily available . Have a look on the mig welding forum and you will see how easy it is, a decent mig will cost you about 300 quid. If you do you will have the greatest satisfaction of sorting it yourself,sometimes better than some so called minor restoring specialist ,I've seen some of these efforts as many others on here have(Not allowed to name and shame ) Believe me its all well within the average DIY work, Its all about measure,, support, cut out and re weld replacement panel and it will save you a fortune .Whilst we all love these minors don't forget the average ones are not worth 20 thousand Good luck
Thanks for the suggestion, I actually have a MIG welder but my welding skills are currently limited to knocking up a wood burner out of an old gas bottle, I doubt I would trust myself to weld my own vehicle.
Now a welding course could be a good idea, I had previously thought of enrolling but working shifts put paid to that, but now I work only days mean I could possibly fit one in.
I will look into that.
Cheers.
Proud owner of my first Morris Minor

Murrayminor
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Re: Gulp....what do I do?

Postby Murrayminor » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:11 pm

simmitc wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:50 am
Although we cannot allow "name and shame" on the public forum, if anyone does have experiences to share with regards to any particular copany, then private messages (PM) can be used between individual members. Even with PMs, remember that there can be two sides to a story. Just to be clear, I am not sugesting that there may be stories about any named company, simply talking in general. Of course, praise for jobs done well can be public.
My apologies I didn't want any horror stories published, sorry if it came out like that.
I will of course accept any PM's with advice on any companies.
Proud owner of my first Morris Minor

simmitc
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Re: Gulp....what do I do?

Postby simmitc » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:10 pm

And sorry if my post sounded like a rebuke, it wasn;t meant to be. I just opicked up on Kennett's valid point that T&Cs maean we don't give bad reports in public; but wnated to alert everyone ot the PM without casting aspersions anywhere. Ah, modern life can be so complicated.

kennatt
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Re: Gulp....what do I do?

Postby kennatt » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:53 pm

go for the course ,it will be something you will never regret.Remember,most panels on minors are simply spot welded ,under MOT rules you are allowed to spot weld full replacement panels,you only need to seam weld when inserting patches although some always advocate long tacks . so not too daunting.Just about every welding /repair that is needed has been done and well documented on here,if you can weld heavy gauge gas bottles, moggy panels will be a doddle . Have a scan through rebuild threads ,loads of info. good luck

Murrayminor
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Re: Gulp....what do I do?

Postby Murrayminor » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:47 am

kennatt wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:53 pm
go for the course ,it will be something you will never regret.Remember,most panels on minors are simply spot welded ,under MOT rules you are allowed to spot weld full replacement panels,you only need to seam weld when inserting patches although some always advocate long tacks . so not too daunting.Just about every welding /repair that is needed has been done and well documented on here,if you can weld heavy gauge gas bottles, moggy panels will be a doddle . Have a scan through rebuild threads ,loads of info. good luck
I have looked into some course costs, I can get a 6 day course for around £750, I suppose using my own equipment at home I would recoup that money fairly quickly.
Now to talk the boss (my wife) into releasing the funds :o
Proud owner of my first Morris Minor

simmitc
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Re: Gulp....what do I do?

Postby simmitc » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:11 pm

Our local agricultural college runs a course, one afternoon per week for ten weeks and it was a fraction of that cost. I can't remember exactly, nut may be £80 - £100. It would be worth checking for evening classes etc.

kennatt
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Re: Gulp....what do I do?

Postby kennatt » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:19 am

its amazing how often a mig come in to its own,I recon I recouped my outlay in less than a year,(Long time ago now) Gate posts,fence posts ,car bits and pieces . Then a very long time rebuilding several mgbs,ford escorts ,minis ,minors and so on, and now building land yachts.There are probably cheaper night classes,but even at 750 ,a garage wouldn't be far off that for one sill section on a minor.No brainer really good luck with the boss.(Know exactly what you mean) :D :D

Murrayminor
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Re: Gulp....what do I do?

Postby Murrayminor » Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:08 pm

Just an update, having looked into various college welding courses and even private company courses I was chatting to my wife when she suggested I speak to a work colleague of hers whose husband owns a fabrication company, well the upshot is he has agreed to teach me how to weld, I can turn up at his shop and he will show me the ropes and allow me to weld to my hearts content on whatever steel I fancy.
I'm aware that my need will be thin steel so I will try get hold of some old body panels to practice on.

So getting back to my Minor, has anyone got any plans to hand to fabricate a roll over jig, I was thinking maybe if I picked up a little of this welding art I could make something useful as well.

If not I have seen the jogs advertised for £185 from this company https://www.rolloverjigs.com/contact-us/
Proud owner of my first Morris Minor

simmitc
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Re: Gulp....what do I do?

Postby simmitc » Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:17 pm

Great news. There are great welders, there are welders, and there are some who just cannot weld (same with almost anything really) so at least you will find out where you fit; and if all goes well, you'll get the car done. Now, where does that chap have his workshop, and how many Minor owners can he accommodate....

GavinL
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Re: Gulp....what do I do?

Postby GavinL » Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:08 pm

Welcome, I also bought a car that needed welding, so bought a MIG welder and after a bit of practice making a welding trolley made my own roll over jig, based on plans and posts on sites like the MIG welding forum. To see mine have a look at my restoration thread Vanessa. As I work my way round it I'm learning, and my welding is improving.viewtopic.php?f=28&t=67387


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