First task is to get the rotted wood out, and
some fresh steel in.
Starting from the front.

First the shape of the A-pillar was traced onto a piece of thin plywood and cut out.

This piece is then used as a template for the plasma cutter to cut the 1/8" thick sheet metal that the pillars will be built from.
( January-February 2020)

Here he new piece is trial fitted into its place, with holes drilled for the door hinge bolts.
The holes are over size to provide adjustment

After tack welding the piece to the cowl, the sheet metal moldings are trial fitted. So far so good, so next up will be to build the rest of the pillar into a box shape.

With the axles out from under the car, the stance could be tested for real. Lowered a staggering 8" in the front and 6" in the rear. In reality there's all kinds of problems to get a fendered car this low, but it looks good sitting like this.



When the parts for the A-pillars were laid out on the floor, I realized they could have been built before welding to the cowl.
Annoyingly enough, too many spotwelds had been done to cut the first one back out, so the box structure was welded in situ. The second pillar was welded fist, and mounted to the cowl afterwards.
Very happy to have invested in a plasma cutter for this project.
(march 2020)

The right hand side pillar welded to a unit before mounting to the cowl. I didn't expect it to warp as badly as it did, and had to do a lot of shrinking by heating and cooling to get it reasonably straight.
The holes for the hinges are drilled over size to accomodate for a bit of adjustment. The nuts for the hinge bolts were welded to a piece of sheet metal, which in turn sits in a pocket of sorts, making them movable.



Next the width at the top of the pillars was determined with help of a original piece of sheetmetal that goes between the pillars, then braces were welded in.
The windshield channel (arrow) was removed along with the wooden dash reinforcement structure. As we're going with a forward opening windshield, a different design was called for.

A piece of square tubing rolled to a curve was welded to the cowl, and a new reinforcement piece (the sheet metal part with rosette welds along the top) was welded to the A-pillars. Now the whole structure is nicely rigid.
The 2mm (14 gauge) reinforcement piece will also hold the bottom rubber gasket for the windshield.
The piece of square tubing between the A-pillars is acting as a brace here, and will be removed when the floor structure is welded in.



The whole windshield opening done with 1" square tubing (25x25x1,5 mm) with a flange added on the inside, for holding a rubber seal. The windshield frame will be hinged, hangning off its top, and will fit inside this opening.

Turning to the B-pillar next.
A zillion nails had to be pulled out to get the wood structure out, resulting in this side of the body getting even flimsier.


¨

This is what we need to replicate.

Sheet metal covering removed.

Old B-pillar structure.

New B-pillar under construction.


This sketch shows the plan for the driver's side B-pillar seen in a top view.

Inside view of a quarter/rear side window.

It's all framed in wood, so there's going to be a lot of planning and fabrication work to get this to look okay and work right. As seen here, the windows open, and that function's something that needs to be retained.



Finally all the wood from the rear of the body is out.
It's not just a matter of going berzerk with a claw hammer inside the body, as everything is very thorougly nailed and scewed into place, and the sheet metal is thin and soft.
It's much more time consuming than anticipated, as most nails had to be pulled out with pliers one by one. Some drilled out and some ground away.

As seen here, a piece of square tubing has been rolled to a curve that fits where the body side and roof parts meet.



Same view as a few pics back.
The roof and body side welded to the square pipe on the inside. Combined with the new B-pillar makes it feel pretty rigid already, even if parts of the structure is yet to be done.

There will be a slightly curved tube along the roof connecting the B-pillars. Here are the side pieces, with some tubing to show the principle.


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