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Guest Anonymous

73tii Diagnosis guarded:major surgery--need consultation

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Guest Anonymous

I've got the top side stripped and engine/tranny out. Need to get a plan and order sheetmetal. Floor pans and rockers are toast. What I didn't count on was rot in the inner rear wheel wells, inside near the back seat... above where the boxed spring-perch is located. Shock towers seem OK Seems like a wierd spot for rot..do they make patches for this and how should I approach? Don't really get the structure of area. TIA...really appreciated the help on guibos etc!

Don

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Guest Anonymous

It's actually fairly simple. You can see the curved innner wheel arch--visible from inside the wheel well on the outside, and from inside the trunk and behind the rear seat back. Superimposed on that is an "L" shaped piece of sheet metal that's flanged and spot welded to the outside of the wheel arch. That's the box section that supports the upper end of the suspension spring. It forms a hollow space between itself and the wheel arch--this is what causes the rust. Welded to the spring support--and to the wheel arch--is a cup-shaped stamping that the shock absorber disappears into when viewed from inside the wheel well. This stamping has a hole in the top where the shock bolts thru.

Rust in this area begins along the spot welded seam between the spring support and the wheel arch. It spreads to the floor and sides of the spring support, weakening it and allowing the spring to gradually crush it. While the shock "cup" is very sturdy, it rusts loose where it's fastened to the spring support. In extreme cases, as the spring support crumbles, the weight of the car pokes the shock cup up through the wheel arch into the trunk. The rust further spreads to the wheel arch itself, first at the spot weld line, than along stress cracks as the metal weakens.

You can prevent rust in this area (or keep it from returning) by cleaning out the void formed by the spring support and the wheel arch and soaking the inside with rustproofing. If your car doesn't have the plastic plugs in the factory-provided holes in the spring support (roundies have 'em, squarelights don't) plug the holes after you've cleaned/rustproofed.

This area can be patched sucessfully by a good welder using sufficiently heavy metal, or you can buy new wheel arch assemblies. Installing the latter though is difficult and requires precise measurements as it's what the rear suspension mounts to and you don't want it out of tolerance.

Cheers

Mike

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Guest Anonymous

I live in Nebraska..so maybe not too connvenient. Good idea though... they must beat you up on shipping overseas. Good Luck!

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