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advice on removing an o2's nose

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i need to replace a nose panel...i have the donor car but am somewhat intimidated by the notion...i'll be having one of my tenants help with the task but as usual, i'd feel a lot better about the operation if i had a clear understanding of what needs to be done and with what tools...

i recently bought a handful of assorted spot weld bits...i think they're called....mr. blunt told me today that some suggest a grinder instead of drilling out the welds...thoughts and experiences are welcome

my number one question is how to identify and or locate the spots that have to be "unwelded"

as usual, pic's are a stupid girl's best friend...especially this one

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Good luck with the project. I'm sure there's a lot more knowledge about this topic than I have but I've had the impression that 02s' front clips are bolted on except for 2 spots on the upper outboard sides where they're brazed.

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Ignorant, Esty, not stupid. Ignorance is easily overcome...We all know you aint stupid... Dave V. in NC

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you can buy a spotweld cutting bit to try to cut through the spotwelds, but i've found them difficult to use on all but easily accessible straight cuts. you'll be trying to fit your hands and an electrical drill in awkward angles so be prepared to break several of those bits.

i finally just used a 3/8 inch drill bit to drill through the welds as best as practical. get a sharp bit or two and be prepared to have a skipping bit dancing around a couple of the spotwelds as you'll be trying to drill on an angle. drill from under the wheelwell or from the headlight cavity as you see fit.

the nosepiece is welded to the bottom framerails and these must be cut with a cheapo grinder/cutoff tool. you'll see these welds looking downward from the front of the engine bay.

you can run some sandpaper along the area where you'd expect to see the spotwelds and this should highlight the depressions made by the spotwelds.

don't forget the multitude of spotwelds along the top lip of the nosepanel (in the vicinity of a couple decals up front, sorry not able to describe location better).

you may or may not get all the spotwelds drilled perfectly and don't expect to. use a cold chisel to break any ligaments free. you can always weld the drill holes up that you've made.

good luck and if there's a better way please share. give yourself an hour or so.

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you can buy a

to try to cut through the spotwelds, but i've found them difficult to use on all but easily accessible straight cuts. you'll be trying to fit your hands and an electrical drill in awkward angles so be prepared to break several of those bits.

i finally just used a 3/8 inch drill bit to drill through the welds as best as practical. get a sharp bit or two and be prepared to have a skipping bit dancing around a couple of the spotwelds as you'll be trying to drill on an angle. drill from under the wheelwell or from the headlight cavity as you see fit.

the nosepiece is welded to the bottom framerails and these must be cut with a cheapo grinder/cutoff tool. you'll see these welds looking downward from the front of the engine bay.

you can run some sandpaper along the area where you'd expect to see the spotwelds and this should highlight the depressions made by the spotwelds.

don't forget the multitude of spotwelds along the top lip of the nosepanel (in the vicinity of a couple decals up front, sorry not able to describe location better).

you may or may not get all the spot welds drilled perfectly and don't expect to. use a cold chisel to break any ligaments free. you can always weld the drill holes up that you've made.

good luck and if there's a better way please share. give yourself an hour or so.

thanks mister...very helpful....i did buy a 1/2 dozen spot weld cutting bits...i'll get busy with my RO sander and/or sandpaper to try and find the spots

and you guys don't be shy...i'll take as many insights and opinions as you're willing to give up

thanks again jerry

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Esty you always seem pretty spot on with your paint advice so I am sure you have some basic knowledge of how the cars are put together. Here is some basic advice I would give a non complete novice:

Know this: the nose is held on via spot welds at the top inner fender overlap as well as down the leading edge of the inner fender. its mig welded to the frame rail at the inner edge as well as underneath. Mig welds need to be cut or ground away, spot welds can be drilled or ground away, I prefer grinding because its faster and cheaper.

If the nose has been replaced, then more than likely its been plug welded and basically all bets are off as far as weld placement. Plug welds wont drill well with spot weld bits, so dont really bother with that you will turn the bits to junk in one try. You should use a grinder to grind them away just down to the base metal.

For grinding welds, I use a Sait grinding disc, 1/8" thick on a nice cut off tool backed by a good compressor.

These are the only tools I would use-they serve me well:

Chicago_Pneumatic_die_grinder_SAIT_wheels_and_Snap_On_Body_Hammer.jpg

What I would do is cut off the majority of the outer skin of the nose to allow you straight on access to the welds that hold it to the inner fender. Even if they are factory spot welds, I usually grind them with the 1/8" wheel (referred to here as the "thick disc" as opposed to the Sait .035-thickness disc which is the "thin disc") If you can get Sait brand, the only other brand I have used with any success is Norton. But Sait just lasts longer.

This is what it should look like when done,

P1010004.jpg

Know that the drilled holes in the front flange are from a previous nose job. We work a bit more carefully than that.

If the inner fender has been really mangulated, then it may be necessary to repair like this:

P1010056.jpg

After grinding and nose is fit:

P1010060.jpg

If you snoop around my various galleries, you may find more pix. Also feel free to call if you need advice as I can talk faster than I can type. 860 621 2002

Matt

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but is just replacing the outter skin of the nose an option? I've seen this done on a friends 02. Spot welds on top and bottom. If you had an early car with the fin stamped on the nose that would be one way of keeping it.

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If the donor nose is coming from a parts car, you might consider removing the front fenders, the taking a sawzall or chop saw and cutting thru the inner fenders several inches back from the nose-to-body welds. You can even cut thru the ends of the frame rails if you're patient.

Then those spot welds will be more accessible, and you'll be able to roll up the remnants of the unwanted fender panels as you cut thru the spot welds.

Good luck, and wear HEAVY gloves. Lotsa sharp rusty metal=cuts and infection.

mike

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thanks matt, mike and others...the donor car is original, it's never had the nose replaced or otherwise worked on so there shouldn't be any surprise welds as mentioned by matt....

it appears that it would be much easier if i can get the entire nose cut off of the car then work on the smaller section...the balance of the car's going to the can factory when i get the nose off anyway....there's nothing left to scavenge

matt...we do have all of the tools that you pictures minus the grinding discs you use....i have some norton's and no names that i'll try to work with if necessary

thanks...thanks...thanks....all of you guys...especially for the pic's...

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Esty,

there is a tool that can make the job easier, it is used to get between the panels and cut the welds, you hit it with a mallet. The top one is made by Steck and the bottom one (a paint remover) you get it at Home Depo, you sharpen the curved edge with a grinder.

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Esty,

there is a tool that can make the job easier, it is used to get between the panels and cut the welds, you hit it with a mallet. The top one is made by Steck and the bottom one (a paint remover) you get it at Home Depo, you sharpen the curved edge with a grinder.

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How well do these work, do they warp the metal when it's wedged in there?

Has anybody ever considered doing a writeup on nose transplants? It seems like it comes up for discussion a lot, and as someone who also needs to do it, I'd certainly appreciate it.

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Esty,

there is a tool that can make the job easier, it is used to get between the panels and cut the welds, you hit it with a mallet. The top one is made by Steck and the bottom one (a paint remover) you get it at Home Depo, you sharpen the curved edge with a grinder.

How well do these work, do they warp the metal when it's wedged in there?

Has anybody ever considered doing a writeup on nose transplants? It seems like it comes up for discussion a lot, and as someone who also needs to do it, I'd certainly appreciate it.

By the way they look, they get a lot of use in the shop, so they must work well, I a sure they are used in combination with other spot weld cutters. The metal gets abused when you are cutting with any tool, nothing that can not be straightened with a dolly and hammer. Usually when you use a spot weld cutter there is still a bit of weld remaining, I suppose this tool would be great to finish it up.

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