I ended up buying a snake inspection camera from amazon for 20 bucks.
It works pretty well and has already saved me from pulling off the driver side lower A pillar.
Alternatively, it has also showed me what kind of mess lurks in the rear wheel boxes.
It works really well, I just plug it into my laptop and snap away. It has 6 LED's on the head which are dimmable from the USB plug. Only if I had this contraption when I was buying the car! It's good for probing an engine, too.
I highly recommend getting one if you are going to be purchasing a car or thinking your project will be a small one - like I did.
So I fab'd up some 16 gauge metal for replacing the inner structure around the rear subframe mounts.
I cut out the cheesy area and welded in the new part I bent up
I was also concerned about the pitting on the inner rocker down near the rear subframe mount. I cut out the area and replaced it with some heavy gauge metal as well.
I slathered on some primer and welded up the new structural piece.
The inner fender wraps around over the structural piece I just repaired, but unfortunately the area that separates the wheel well from the rocker was rusted away. I'll be fabbing that part up next.
I knew I was going to have to take apart the passenger quarter panel so I got started on that. Walloth and Nesch was running a sale on '02 body panels so I wanted to place a blanket order while the prices were lower.
Passenger side is in a lot better shape than driver, or so it seems currently. Even so, there was somehow whole leaves in between the quarter and rocker panels. How does that happen?
I ordered the patch panels fro W&N and got a driver rocker from BavAuto, which seems to be a BMW original (?) part.
Good news! Walloth and Nesch will send you a model to showcase old versus new of their parts!
With my new fangled inspection camera I took a look behind the driver side wing plate and found that it looked bad enough to investigate.
I made a smart move (I think) with the way I cut out the area - because it was easy.
It turns out that it was all in tact. but surface rust was present. I took this time to seal it up with some converter and encapsulator. I also painted the back of the cut out piece with some weld through primer
It will be welded back in shortly. I will probably do the same on the passenger side.
It is bloody hot here in VA so I didn't do much on the rear inner fender area yet, but now that I have all my replacement panels in, everything should be fitted up in no time.
Unfortunately, I managed to cut the body just a bit too high to fit the W&N patch panel in. Really bummed about this. I should have just asked the height of the panel on the FAQ or to W&N over email. This sucks because I'll have to run two beads instead of just one which makes me a little nervous. Hopefully I can keep it from warping.
Any suggestions on this are truly welcome. It will be a while before I do this I think. Any visible welded areas will be MIG'd so I need to get a bottle. I get good penetration with the flux core, but the weld is certainly not as pretty as a MIG weld. I have plenty still to do that is out of sight. I'll have epoxy primers on the way for the rockers so hopefully we can keep this momentum going.
That's all for now!
Edited by peterman