Jump to content

Shock Tower - Fix Or Replace?


2002Rocks

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone! I am sure this has been discussed but I am at a point on the shock towers where i don't know whether to repair or replace. I have had a restoration shop tell me that they can repair them, but as you can see from the pictures here and on my blog, it is a lot of rust and goes most of the way around. Amazingly enough, the car rode really good before I started tearing it apart. I can't believe what I got myself into, but I am still committed. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.post-45402-0-81191900-1376427876.jpgpost-45402-0-16195800-1376427635_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Too soon to make that decision.  You really need to clean all of the paint, under-sealant and rust scale out of there, down to clean, bare steel.  Only then will you really know what you have left to work with.

From what I can see from the photos, I'd repair it.  When you get into replacing that entire assembly, you've got a lot of perfectly good, original, factory seams/joints that you have to destroy to remove the rusted panel.  You'll never quite be able to equal the appearance & fit of the original weld seams, although you can make the new ones equally strong.

Part of what I do for a living is lay-out repairs on large, sheet & structural steel assemblies.  I've found, over the past four decades, that it's not always practical to un-do what the manufacturer did, if you can insert a good repair section.  I've found that the same philosophy applies to restoring classic cars.

So, take your time and do a very thorough clean & strip of the entire area, before deciding on the best way to repair it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I replaced both my towers, they both looked like yours and honestlyI see no way you could possibly get a good repair in that section of the towers, it it much more practical considering it would probably take more time to repair than replace, there is no need to destroy original seal as Osbourne mentioned, just make new ones ;)

 

cut old out

<ahref="http://www.flickr.com/photos/67280434@N08/8595161093/" title="DSC_0198 copy by psychoticsnoman, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8234/8595161093_c0315e6b5b_c.jpg" width="532" height="800" alt="DSC_0198 copy"></a>

 

weld new in

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/67280434@N08/8598824512/" title="IMG_2562 by psychoticsnoman, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8088/8598824512_a3bf000edd_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="IMG_2562"></a>

 

if an amateur like me can get this done in a couple days and with relative ease Im sure a reputable shop can do it just as easy 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not bad looking work, Joe, but I stand behind what I said about cleaning everything up, thoroughly, BEFORE deciding how to proceed..........and I'll stack my 40 years of professional experience against anyone telling Rocks to replace that assembly, entirely, without carefully weighing the pluses and minuses of repairing or replacing.  It's really difficult to tell from the picture just how good or bad the condition of that assembly is.   I'm not saying to absolutely do one thing or the other.  It's just that I've seen the results of far too many hasty decisions involving this type of thing and I'm saying "look before you leap."

 If I were forced to decide on the best way to go, based only on what I can see from Rocks' photos, I'd have that rusted stuff cut out of there and a repair inserted before you could cut the entire assembly out to begin to replace it.  But, then, photos can be very deceiving.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I appreciate the feedback. I had people from two different shops inspect and they both agree that there is enough base there to fix the problem. However, based on comments here, I am going to clean all the paint, sealant and take everything down to bare metal. Once that is complete, then I will will make a decision. I certainly want a clean look and not a hack job. I will post some more pictures of this once it is done for some more feedback. Thank you to everyone for the help!

 

Chad

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I replaced both my towers, they both looked like yours and honestlyI see no way you could possibly get a good repair in that section of the towers, it it much more practical considering it would probably take more time to repair than replace, there is no need to destroy original seal as Osbourne mentioned, just make new ones ;)

 

cut old out

<ahref="http://www.flickr.com/photos/67280434@N08/8595161093/" title="DSC_0198 copy by psychoticsnoman, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8234/8595161093_c0315e6b5b_c.jpg" width="532" height="800" alt="DSC_0198 copy"></a>

 

weld new in

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/67280434@N08/8598824512/" title="IMG_2562 by psychoticsnoman, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8088/8598824512_a3bf000edd_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="IMG_2562"></a>

 

if an amateur like me can get this done in a couple days and with relative ease Im sure a reputable shop can do it just as easy 

 

Good work - but I'd say that was a repair, not a replace. What the other guy is saying is that removing the panel as it was welded into the car can be over kill and you never exactly replicate the factory seams. You've left them alone and made new cuts, which is probably the best way forward IMO. Need to do this on one side of my NK soon, which is annoying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It looks, from the picture, like the inner fender has a bad spot, which runs down to the corner where the trunk bulkhead and trunk floor meet. Also, if that flange, on the trunk floor, which the inner fender welds to, is pitted to any degree, it's going to be very tricky to weld to. The degree of rusting, on those two sections I mentioned, will dictate whether or not you want to replace the entire inner fender, or just section it. Whatever you do, DO NOT cut more than one rusted panel out at a time. Even rusty remains come in very handy for correctly fitting new assemblies. In other words, if you replace that inner fender assembly, the trunk floor flange (carefully cleaned-up, after carefully separating the inner fender from it) will be a tremendous help in correctly placing the new inner fender (section or whole assembly). Same goes for the trunk bulkhead (which looks to be OK).

Always keep in mind that rust-pitted autobody steel is usually not worth saving, since it's very tough to weld (yeah, it can be done but why make a career out of it). Also, when establishing your "cut lines"; before you cut, put on your welding hood (it's NOT a helmet, but it seems like ALL amateurs insist on calling it that), grab your MIG "gun" (it's NOT a gun, but.....) and do a "dry run" to see if you will be able to 1.) see what you are trying to weld. and 2.) Make sure you can get the needed electrode angle and "stick-out", or you'll have a really shitty job of welding.

You know, it's really a shame that someone hasn't come up with a welding hood which is flexible, fits close to the skin and allows autobody restoration welders to get into tight places, while still allowing excellent visibility, comfort and protection. Probably too much to ever hope for, huh?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Upcoming Events

×
×
  • Create New...