In the last ten days, or so, I have been doing some serious surgery on the front of the cab around the windscreen. The front skin of the cab, below the windscreen has corroded along the seam and is brittle. Eventually it will be strengthened with POR15 filler, pressed into the seam, but before then the whole structure needs welded fillets internally.
Here you can see a replacement channel which I have made up to fit internally on the driver's side.
I bought a hole cutter set cheaply at Aldi and cut holes in the channel across the dashboard area. These are necessay because I need to weld reinforcing fillets inside the channel...but they also make it possible to fix capture nuts in the channel. Lining these up will be tricky but necessary as the old ones were useless because of rust.
Circles cut in the channel provide access without compromising the integrity of the structure
On the left hand side of the dash a section of the channel about a foot long had to be surgically removed. This will be easier to replace than the right hand channel, and as the latter was not too hard to make, this is not a major job......and of course all this surgery will be covered with panels in the end anyway.
Below you can just see a patch in the front of the cab below the widscreen, where the original metal had rusted away completely.
A closer view (left hand side of picture) of the panel patch and the filleting plate. This gap in the channel will be covered by my replacement channel shown at the start of this post. Smaller holes drilled in other inaccessible sections will make it possible to squirt Dinitrol into channels etc.
The near-side screen pillar has a horrendous tinworm infestation and will need surgery. I have cut a section from the Gislingham salvaged van to provide a replacement.
Once this surgery is complete I will feel that a very substantial obstacle has been overcome. It need only be a month before this stage is out of the way.
Click to read about surgery to replace badly rusted channels with parts cannibalised from the Goat Lady's van.