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  1. Nut and Bolt Restoration is an often misused phrase, but in this case that's exactly what I've been up to.   All fasteners and bracketry have been wire wheeled or glass bead blasted to bare metal and freshly replated.    Now as I enter the reassembly phase, each component will have the appearance that it would have when leaving the factory.

     

    Sure, replacement hardware is available, but it lacks the aesthetic originality.  The small thin washers, short headed bolts, original markings, shallow castle nuts and original finishes are just not available at the local hardware store.  When finished, everything should have that "just right" look to it that can't be replicated with anything but the original bits.

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    Recent Entries

    Johny_D
    Latest Entry

    I was able to ground the temp and gas gauge only to find out that my fuel sender unit is broken. I'm not sure how hard that would be to repair. The high beam stalk came in and I installed that. 

    Things left to do:

     

    Wipers aren't working. I don't feel any power going to the motor. I'm not sure if it's the motor itself or if it's the relay or what. I also still need another wiper.

     

    I still haven't found a driver side mirror.

     

    Looking for the bushing for the gas pedal.

     

    Fix/buy a fuel sender unit.

     

    Bleed brakes as they feel a little deep. Also, when I pump the brakes with the car off, I don't feel any pressure build up. Would that mean I have a bad brake line somewhere?

     

    She's almost ready to pass inspection, so If anybody has any tips or leads on parts I would greatly appreciate it!

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  2. Now that I've laid most of the ground work out for the car to be running and driving, it was time to go to the body shop. I can't have a car that's all f’d up after putting this much time/money into it. The major issues to resolve are the rear quarter damage, filling the huge gaps from (jason rose) doing a horrible and careless job cutting the rear wheel wells for the turbo flares, painting the engine bay/nose, fixing misc scratches/ dents /rust bubbles etc. Hopefully it will be done in a month (early april ‘17). Until then I'll be continuing the interior refurb and some other misc projects I have around.

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  3. Gooooood morning all! 

     

    Im going to keep this concise as i am re-writing it for the second time.. forgot to save and clicked off and lost it! ahhhh nightmare! 

    anyway see the photos of the weekends work, including some fuel tanks, some fluid reservoirs and a pedal box of doom!!!

     

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    tank back from having the inside coated with POR15, looking good sitting in paint, waiting to be fittd.

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    i kept the original brass label from the first repair job.must have been years ago.

     

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    James mocking up the fuel breather hose.

     

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    refurbished fuel filler neck.

     

    res.JPG.d211a6faef1ae25a2fd4966a2b0f9293.JPGthe old crudddy brake fluid reservoir, held on with cable ties.. not my doing i promise!!

     

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    masked up and in paint

     

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    both those puppies together, nice and clean.

     

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    leah and JJ for company :)

     

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    wiring loom of doom

     

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    this is the cause of a lot of problems. will be cleaned up before going back in. the cylinders are off being reconditioned this week. hopefully get it back in soon

  4. Roundeie
    Latest Entry

    Got the sunroof back in with a bit of trial and error. Fit is ok just a slight passenger side height difference.

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    Also installed heater box and dash. Mocked in the gauge cluster to fill the hole. It will be removed before permanent installation.

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    Added H4's w/city lights and a relay/fuse harness. Will install the driving light brackets when they arrive. Thanks, Pierre.

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  5. 2002VT
    Latest Entry

    The striker had a washer in it to make it fit. Removed that and adjusted the door - it shuts!  So happy!  

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    Recent Entries

    Looking for insight and advice as we try to start the engine on our 1971 2002 for the first time. We don’t know the history of the car (here's what we do know) nor why someone else abandoned it mid-project. We’ve enjoyed the researching so far (many FAQ searches) and the gathering of parts, all while having lots of fun (see our project car website link in the blog description). Now to put fuel to spark, and see what we’ve got engine-wise.

     

    Current status:
    - Mechanical #1: The engine turns by hand; we’ve changed the oil and adjusted the valves.
    - Mechanical #2: Still sorting out what’s original and what’s not. This (Photo 1 below) is a later head, correct?
    - Electrical // ignition: New plugs, wires, points, condenser, rotor and cap installed.
    - Electrical // ignition #2: We have not touched anything around the coil. Any insights into what we’re seeing here? (Photo 2 below)
    - Electrical // battery: We just got one; thanks to Mike Self for suggesting (via FAQ) a Group 26R from Wal-Mart.
    - Electrical // charging: Old alternator was toast (had it tested) and we have a used loaner from a friend. But the drive belt is off (see below), so this first start (and maybe short run) will be battery-only.
    - Electrical // starter: We connected the battery and the starter does engage, yay. The oil got sloshed around with no ignition stuff connected.
    - Fuel // tank: The gas tank is out of the car. (But it does look clean, thankfully.)
    - Fuel // carburetor: Just dump a bit of fuel down this carb? Help! (Photo 3 below)
    - Fuel // delivery: New parts on hand, but not yet installed: fuel hose, fuel line, fuel filter.
    - Cooling // radiator: Removed and just got rebuilt. (If the car starts, we can run it for one minute without any cooling system, correct?)
    - Cooling // engine block: Drained and flushed.
    - Cooling // water pump and thermostat: Removed and will get replaced.
    - Cooling // heater core: No idea. But, we were thrilled to see that the heater fan works when we connected the battery.
    - Cooling // hoses: Some are off; all will get replaced. What’s up with this hose under the intake manifold that we found plugged with a spark plug?! (Photo 4 below)

    thanks,
    Eric

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  6. Here's some interior pics of Derby! Notice some of the rare pieces like the metal rear view mirror, the seat hinges, the two tone euro only seats, the silver instrument cluster in km/h, the chrome under dash, under the seat levers, the chrome window crank and door handle, hazard light under the dash, the original carpeting, white visors, original steering wheel.....! 1f609.png😉

    What I love What I love seeing is the 

    What I love seeing is chrome ignition area where it says "Garage" and "Halt" ... Also, what's interesting to me is the key chain tag... I'm wondering if the original owner got the keys from the dealership and the keys came with the little imprinted tag "1600-2"...

     

    Derby originally didn't come with seatbelts... and there was no way that I wanted to have the holes poked in the rear panels... so I had the masterful mechanic Bill Arnold install the Klippans for me in the B pillar... I liked that the car had no seatbelts... but if I'm gonna drive Derby... I have to have them in.. Safety first! 

     

    And yes... I already have the PC door arm rests to swap out... ;)

     

    So cool to see all original parts from 1967 in a 1600! More pics to come!

     

    Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe weekend! 1f340.png🍀1f60a.png😊

     

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  7. With all the CA rain and other distractions I have been back sliding on this build. Today I went forward. 

     

    Not finished but progressed enough to add an entry. All the parts I have been building thus far are still rough. They will all go through a clean up stage with light sanding and finishing with the X-acto knife etc.

     

    The dist shown is only the outer housing shell. Plan to have the cap, clips, rotor, condenser, and those fine details like on the real deal.  

     

    Enjoy. 

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  8. How embarrassing - I can't believe that my last update was in August! Things have been moving at 100 miles an hour since the last entry. Well, in my life at least. Not as much on the tii.

     

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    In September I joined in for a Bay Area 02 cars and coffee in Redwood City. Around the same time, I executed a few projects. I did a fluid change of the motor, transmission, and diff. I ditched the M-Tech style wheel in favor of a smaller-diameter Raid wheel. I was accelerating onto the 101 one evening in traffic, shifting 3-4 at 55mph or so when the entire shift arm came out in my hand. After a few moments of looking around and preparing to coast off to the shoulder while simultaneously frantically jamming the arm back down into the general vicinity of its mount, I managed to get it back into place enough to get home. This called for a shifter rebuild, which was done in late October with OE parts. 

     

    The car sat for a while as my attention was focused on the needs of my other cars. When I went to dust it off the night before the "not the 49 mile drive," I found that the clutch pedal went straight to the floor and the reservoir was empty. Dang.

     

    I'd like to say that I fixed it right away, but instead my wife and I went to Japan on our delayed Honeymoon. I can't say enough how much I enjoyed Japan - amazing food, culture, scenery, people, infrastructure, technology - and as a car guy it has so many unique experiences to offer. Because my wife is wonderful she put up with a few automotive detours in the trip itinerary. Our second day in the country, we took a tricky subway-shinkansen-tour bus combination from Shinjuku to Twin Ring Motegi to see the final round of the Super GT championship. I played a lot of Gran Turismo growing up so this was bucket list stuff, and as an added bonus Honda's Collection Hall is right there too.

     

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    A couple of days later we took the highway bus from Shinjuku down to the Hakone region, where I rented an R34 GT-R (the legend that has always been forbidden fruit for US enthusiasts) for a day of touring the onsen and amazing hills. Seeing Mt. Fuji from the Izu Skyline was one of the finest experiences of my life.

     

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    My wife made the mistake of mentioning that Mazda does free corporate museum / plant tours in Hiroshima, so we spent a couple hours doing that. I highly recommend it, it's free but requires advance booking. I got to meet one of my absolute automotive heroes (THE LeMans winning 787B) and see the new Miata RF coupes running down the production line with the 124 Abarth Spiders. 

     

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    More car photos from Japan here if you like.

     

    It was just a couple busy weeks of work before the holidays, I went home and got to see my folks and drive my old Roundie. It's a lot of fun to drive them both within a short period of time, they're so different but also so similar at the same time. Both are a blast to drive.

     

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    After the new year I got caught up in (1) preparing my Type R for sale, and (2) fixing a nagging clutch issue with the M3 that made it undriveable. It wasn't until February that I finally wheeled the Brass Rat into the garage. I installed braided brake lines and bled the brakes a few times, charged the battery, plast-dipped the wheels black, and got it back on the road after a 4-month hiatus. 

     

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    I've reinstalled the dog dishes on the wheels, but at the time of these photos I was planning to bleed the brakes again and had left them off. 

     

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    With the car running again, my wife and I checked out the CCA's cars and coffee event down near Monterey where we met Gary and Mike, two extremely friendly '02 owners with beautiful cars and great stories to share. They gave me some encouraging feedback on the Brass Rat and got me fired up to keep making progress on the car. This week I ordered a host of parts for a tune up and some general refurb and improvement. I also signed up for the not-to-be-missed 02 Swap and Show in May! Progress coming soon, I'll try not to let my updates lapse for 6 months again...

  9. Well, finally retrieved my head from the machine shop, Area Machine in north Denver.  They did a great job....

     

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    My valves were getting worn and a little pitted on the top, so new valves were put in...

     

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    New rocker arms, shafts, springs, washers, thrust washers, etc...

     

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    New valve guides put in....

     

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    They machined the upper timing cover to match....

     

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    Now back to Mark (my mechanic) to put it all back together properly.  He is currently working on a 74 tii that has an S14 in it, but I'm right after that one.....

     

  10. Briefly:

    A cam-shaft from Elgincams under extent of compression 9,5

    Head of the block of cylinders from e21 320 with the carburetor under extent of compression 8,1.

    Therefore it is milled from a head - 2,5 mm. Also new the valves, a chain, axes of rockers, etc.

     

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  11. Ok, so it's been a while.  Actually, a long while, where does the time go!   Now that youth hockey season is concluding and the weather is bound to get nicer (except for the MAJOR nor'easter we're getting tomorrow,) I'll be able to get back to some appreciable work.  Since this past Thanksgiving and the holidays, I was hard at work putting the finishing touches on my sub-frame and re-attaching it to the car!  I was able to do this over my holiday vacation and am more than please to have the car back on it's wheels!  It looks like a car again!   

     

    Over the last few weeks, I've just been puttering away on what I will be doing next.   The near terms finds me taking apart my doors as the bottoms of both are rusted out around the seams, but I did get some replacement sheet metal to repair them.  Once I get this done, I'll have a professional repair them for me.   The next job will be to start stripping the paint off the car and getting it ready for a re-paint and some metal work.  I've been lucky and have only found a few spots of rust -- one on the lower rocker near the front door and some around the lip on the driver side rear-wheel.   The spare tire well has a few holes in it too and I'm wrestling on whether to just patch it up best I can or get the replacement trunk metal.  Decisions, decisions.  

     

    To strip off the paint I'll used a orbital sander so if anyone has a brand/type suggestion please let me know!  

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    I picked up a radiator for a 1994 Honda civic 1.6l (auto with air conditioning) for <$35 shipped on Rockauto.  It filled the stock radiator opening almost completely.  We will have to wait and see if this radiator is large enough to cool the 2.4l that is now in the car.  I am hopeful the auto and ac options added to the cooling capacity.  The description of this one did also say that it was a few mm thicker to offer additional cooling.  I will also add the Civic electric fan as well.  The reason I chose this route is purely cost based.  This will let me get up and running sooner because it costs less.  More than likely I will have to upgrade in the future. 

     

    the radiator is mounted to the car using the boxed section behind the air dam.  I will add a pair of grommets to act as isolators between the chassis and radiator.  The top is held in place with a simple bracket tying the radiator to the core support.

     

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    The next project of the weekend was building an exhaust manifold.  I did not want to use the stock one, purely from an ascetic point of view.  I have also always wanted to give header fab a try.  surprisingly it wasn't too bad.  The most difficult part was getting enough heat into the flange without burning through the tube.  Cutting and welding the tube sections together was not bad at all.  Having a good saw to make straight cuts was crucial.

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    I started with a generic collector that had the four primaries and a 45 degree bend.  I then picked up a 3/8" flange and a pile of 1-5/8" u-bends.  The all in for this header was around $175.  Not bad, but it will end up wall art when I add a turbo down the road.

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    Had to throw in a few beauty shots now that the car is starting to get more together.  The 1600-2 is a 69 built in 68.  The 68 Texas plate I had lying around looked much more classic than the 69 (just looks like a worn out plate).

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  13. I spent some more time trying to remove some of the paint and extra trim.  The wire brush method was working well but it is still quite a bit of effort to handle.  I tried some paint stripper which worked well on getting the paint up fast but it only worked on one layer and didn't get the bondo.  I found depending on the area that there are at least 4 different paint jobs on this car from various prior owners.  So I switched back to the wire brush grinder.

     

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    To take a bit of a break from all of the grinding I started working on closing up some of the extra holes.  I like the cleaner look with the lower trim removed so I welded those all up.  I want to remove the front bumper and am debating going bare or adding an air dam.  I plan on converting to the Euro bumpers on the rear so I started closing up the holes for that along with the US reflector mount points.

     

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    I cleaned out the interior sound deadening in preparation for a fresh start.  The prior owner installed a sound system and cut holes in the rear window tray as well as under the rear seat so I closed those up as well.

     

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    I removed the transmission, driveshaft, axles and differential.  I got a hold of a LSD that will be going in and am working on tracking down a 5 speed Getrag 245.  It's nice working under the car when it's all clean.  Hopefully I can keep it that way over the years.

     

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    There was a small rusted area in the passenger footwell that I cut out and tried reforming the shape as best as I could and welded in the patch panel.

     

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    After 6+ months at the paint shop, I finally brought the car home in the pouring rain and began reassembly right away.  I'm really happy with the color and work.  I thought I would be able to put it all back together and have it running within a week but thats not the case.  While everything is disassembled, I keep finding new things to fix before I put it all back together which is taking me down multiple rabbit holes.  Some of the things that have held me up is replacing the sunroof drain tubes.  What a pain and i found out that the paint and body guys drilled through the tubes when they put the door seals on so that's why I spend days trying to yank the tubes out with no success.  I'm also finding new electrical issues I didn't have before paint and body.  And the brakes are rock solid so I need to replace the brake hoses.  I am really happy with how the interior I made is looking in the car and the cheater trim I put on.  I also really like the mix of old badges with the new paint.  I think it gives the car character.  I do need to figure out something with these bumpers.  

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  15. Made some progress on the differential mount this weekend.  Running an E36 dual ear cover on the E30 case.  Note that you need an E36 speed indicator wheel and sensor to get the cover to fit on an E30 diff.  Since I am going to use a GPS speedo I just pulled it all out.  Used a piece of right angle and then welded some nice and thick hangers to it before final locating of everything.  (Still need to finish running the weld bead along the front side in the last picture.)

     

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    We (well Bruce really) decided to get fancy and run some additional reinforcement through the body since the sheet metal is all pretty thin.  These posts are welded to the diff mount re-enforcing plate on the bottom of the car and will then be sandwiched between a second top plate which will be tied into the roll cage.  Should be plenty beefy when its all done!

     

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    Once we get this all buttoned up the next step is to figure out the rear sway bar mounting.  Not a ton of space to copy the E30 layout...

     

  16.  

    As some of you may have read already, I have been having some issues with the factor throttle set up. I decided to build my own linkage that would eliminate the slipping throttle arm. I had tried different fixe, including welding on a clamping collar to the throttle lever / arm, but it slipped anyway. So, I went out the junk yard and pulled a throttle bell crank out of am e36. The older ones are made of metal - aluminum actually. I knew it would fit directly, and since I don't have the equipment to weld aluminum, I decided to recreate it out of metal, and 3/8 rod.

    This it the original metal cut.

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    The arm after I bent it to match the OE e36 throttle bell crank, with the rod tacked in place.

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    This is the e36 arm side by side with my creation.

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    Another side by side shot. I matched the bends, because I had mocked up the mount with the e36 bell crank, so I knew the profile would work.

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    Here is another side by side shot, with the rods cut to the right length. The top rod is where the spring goes and it pivots on two steel bushings, that are from a pulley I swapped into my Jeep. The bottom rod goes into the 2002 pedal and rides in the channel just like the original 2002 throttle lever.

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    This is the new metal throttle bell crank with the end that will receive the cable end.

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    And, the part installed, before I cleaned up the welds. The design is pretty straight forward, and the arm is fixed in place by the spring pressure that pushes it again the trans tunnel. Now, I have to paint all this junk, lube it up and check it off my list. This should provide plenty of torque to manipulate the bell crank that pulls the ITBs open.

     

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  17. The body was in pretty good shape to start off with - it had spent the majority of its life in CA, or at least that was what I was told, who knows!!  The rocker panels on both sides were replaced, this was the most extensive replacement work done, which isn't bad.  I sourced the rockers from Germany - shipping was expensive, but the parts were original and not "that" expensive (pre-shipping!).

     

    I also had the front euro dam removed.  I am a classic, all original kinda guy - I also like the look much better, but that is me.  This required replacement of both front fenders as well (sourced from my local BMW dealer in NYC).

     

    Additional welding was required on the bottom of the doors and some spots here and there - I've captured most of this in the attached photos.

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    Recent Entries

    So, this is my first go at making a blog, posting on this site, and most importantly, my first go at taking a car down to nothing and building it back up (eventually). It is also my first BMW, and thus my first 2002. I have had a love affair with these cars since I saw one parked on the street in Minneapolis near my old apartment. I've always been into cars and have had a few, all of which I modded or worked on in some way. But as my first true tear-down and rebuild on a non-operational car, I figured this would be the time to document the process. I've been lurking and learning on this site and others for awhile, and I'm excited to finally contribute.

     

    My wife's uncle lives in central Illinois on an old farm and has 10 or 12 old euro's just collecting dust, mice and rot in and around a couple of free standing garages. After a couple years of asking, I finally caught him in a mood to sell and purchased the beauty you see below. She's a little rough, but the body's square and with very little rust past the surface - but I won't really know until I get it all apart. I got her shipped up to me on a flatbed and had some buddies help me roll her into the garage. 

     

    It's been unseasonably warm in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area this week, so yesterday I spent a few hours in the garage taking stock of the situation and starting to disassemble. Got the hood and trunk lids and most of the trim off. Took off the front wheels so I could get to the inner nuts for the corners of the front bumper. So far I've just had one stuck bolt, but nothing else has been too much trouble. Hoping to do some more this week if it stays warm enough to work. Along with working on the car I'm hoping to heat and insulate my garage some time soon.

     

    And it appears that she was originally a maroon or deep red color. Someone did a pretty poor job of painting it white, but I guess I should be thankful, as it may have saved her from additional rust and corrosion. And my plan is to bring it back to bare metal, so whats a few rattle-can layers on top of everything else?

     

    Anyway. Pictures are what everyone wants, so here you go. I'll try to keep up with posting as I make progress, but it's going to be a long haul.

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  18. This @esty carpet was fun to put in. I could have done a bit better of a job  but it turned out fine. Definitely need a good pair of scissors. Definitely need to let that 3M 90 Adhesive spray sit before you apply it. Definitely rewarding once you are done. Took me about 3 hours. My issue now is fixing my doors and making sure they are water tight and slapping those door cards on. Almost there! 

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  19. Thanks to Erik the seller, the car came with a pretty good line up of after market parts. Fender flares, front bumper, ansa exhaust, momo steering wheel and shift knob, Just to name a few. But now the hard part comes with finishing were he left off. First thing was to get my hands on an engine & trans, which I did 

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  20. Since I don't have a puller yet to finish getting the rear hubs apart I decided to turn my attention to another inevitable task, taking apart the front suspension. My newly acquired cordless impact really started paying for itself here. Do yourself a favor, if you don't own an impact and will be tackling some of this stuff, get one. I cant believe how much less I was swearing in the garage. It was almost unnatural. The only mishap I had throughout the entire process was breaking off one of the bolts that run into the bottom of the strut housing. So that will be another project for another day. 

     

    If you have not noticed, I take lots of pictures, mostly for my own reference, but since i have them I figured I would share as there may be some other poor soul out there that has not worked on one of these and likes visual reference. 

     

    All the bushings on the car were toast, ball joints were burnt toast. I planned on replacing them all anyway, so no big deal. Going to go urethane. I also plan on the IE sway bar kit once the front sway bars become available again. I dont plan on lowering much, probably just 1 -1.5 inches and going with the Bilstein HD shocks/struts. This will be mostly a street car that might see occasional back road corner carving or autocross. It has to be comfortable enough for the wife to drive but fun enough for me as well, ugh.......compromise. That being said, it is a relatively unmolested Tii so I dont want to go crazy anyway. I dont want to make any changes that would difficult to reverse (so no fender rolling or sheet metal mods). I did find though that when I took the struts out the springs had been cut at some point. The mystery is how much and are they factory springs. It may end up taller after getting new springs and struts/shocks in it.

     

    Another odd item I thought was the bottom portion of both sway bar ends links was bent. This car had clearly been bottomed out at least once in its life and the bottom end links got a piece of the action. I was able to get the nuts off the bottom and then just cut them to get them out. Again, these were pieces i intended to replace, so no loss really. 20170217_134250.thumb.jpg.2d5ddc3a578763ad6b57bcca232b89d8.jpg

     

    Enjoy the pics

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  21. First, thanks for all the productive comments in my last entry.  Please keep them coming!  I don't know if I should be grateful for that link to MP&C's tutorials or if it is an “ignorance is bliss” type of scenario.  Regardless of the situation, that Garage Journal thread has been a complete time suck but incredibly motivating and answered my previous questions about master auto body technicians – Yes it can be made perfect.  This guy does it with all his panels.    Here is the link, again.
    After reading pages and pages of the thread, trying out different things then venting my frustrations to my loving and patient wife; she hit me with a very stark remark.  
    “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
    Truer words, one might say.  And I am most certainly one who would say that.  
    Not to make this any longer, but here are a few pictures from our trip to the 24 hours at Daytona.  It was a much needed trip out of dodge to a warmer, sunny (read bitter cold and rainy) place.  This is my 4th or 5th outing to the 24h race and it never disappoints.  

     

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    The M12 was not in the E21, I looked.

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    She looks good in a red 356 right?

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    One thing that has changed that I was bummed about is that you can't stand next to the fence at turn 1 of the tri-oval anymore.  That was always a religious experience.  There was a new BMW “art” car by Baldessari.  I put art in quotes because it was far from an art car if you ask me.  If you go, make sure to get the garage pass, it is well worth the extra 25 bucks or so and will satisfy all your late night hunger for fast and furious race car repair.

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    Anyway, that was just a few pictures.  
    I started piecing the driver side rear wheel well back together.  Taking advice from the comments as well as the Garage Journal thread, I took the time and filed the wheel arch panel to fit without gap.  This took a few hours but it was well worth the time.  I first cut the panel long then roughed it into shape slowly pausing to make sure that when I removed metal in one area I would not be creating a gap in another.  I took my time filing the panel down to shape.  I made indicator marks on the body so I fit the patch panel up the same way each time.  
    I finally got it to fit up very well with great consistency in the contact between the panels.  

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    I neglected to mention that I did all this because I found rust between the original panels eating into the inner and outer fender.
    Throw away the butt welding clamps!
    Or only use them for test fitting a panel.  I will never use them for the actual body sheet metal welding process anymore.  
    Here is what I found.  
    When using the butt weld clamps you have to bridge a gap, albeit small,  with filler.  This causes a huge heat dump into an edge of metal.  The heat has only half of the material to dissipate into since it is not contacting the other panel yet, thus you have a very good chance of burning through the panel not to mention almost 100% chance of warping.  To account for this, you may turn your heat down on the welder (#1 on my Hobart), and maybe turn up the wire feed.  
    However, if you butt the two pieces of metal together the heat can dissipate into both panels making it less likely to burn through the panels.  With the panels butted together I had my welder set to #3, a whole 2 clicks up on heat, with a slow-ish wire feed.  The slow wire feed kept the weld proud low but the weld penetration remained complete.  I did not burn through the metal once.
    I used the spot weld, planish, grind method outlined in the Garage Journal thread with good results.  Honestly, I wasn't sure what I was doing or looking for at first. I slowly started to understand the on dolly, off dolly planishing techniques and how they actually work, or don't work.
    The process, as I understand it, goes like this:
    1. Fit up the patch panel snugly and tack in place.  I don't know how far to space the tacks, but I tried to space them about 6 inches apart and had what I think were good results.  
    2. Planish the panel to fit the contour of the body.  I noticed that the wheel well patch panel does not have the same contour as the original body.  The vertical curve, or “the hotdog” as I was told it was called, is not present in the patch panel.   
    3. Grind the welds just proud of the sheet metal.  I only have a 4 1/2” angle grinder so I used a old cut off wheel that was worn down so it was easier to control.  
    4. At this point, I double checked my panel alignment and did little adjustments as needed.
    5. Weld another spot weld over the last set of spot welds.  I did about a 50% overlap of the previous spot weld.  
    This is a long and tedious process, but the time consuming nature of the process has a secondary benefit of making you wait for the weld to cool whilst (I sound like a bloody Brit!) staying productive.  This tends to keep warping down to a minimum.   

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    After all the weld was completed (it took me an entire day)  I took my 120 grit flap disk and started taking off what was left of the weld proud.  

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    I did notice some low areas especially in the lower back corner of the patch panel.  I thought heat would be necessary but I was able to pop it out with the hammer and dolly.  I applied pressure to the low spot from the inside of the trunk with a dolly that closely fit the desired shape of the body panel then, using the off dolly technique, I planished around the low spot.  I could not believe how well the low spot was lifted.  I am every bit of a novice at this and it worked very well for me.  By no means is it perfect but I lifted about 95% of the low spot.
    Apparently you want to leave the on dolly planishing for the final small adjustments to the sheet metal distortion.  On dolly will stretch the metal, so if you are not close to the final desired shape you might want to avoid on dolly planishing – from what I understand.  
    Also,  for Valentines day the lady got me a bead roller!  It's pretty cool.  I will be reinforcing it with some square tube or angle iron.  It came with six sets of dies so I made a little hanger for the dies that are not being used (top right of the picture).

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    I will say this is addicting work.  I never thought I'd be this far into a project like this.  It's a great learning experience.

     

    Cheers,

    Pete

     

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