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I'd finished the top rust repair, and with the bonnet and wing off I renewed the belts etc. It was not an easy one,
the engine seemed closer to the frame than usual.
Anyway, with the battery and tray out, I saw a little rust around the earth bolt, so I prepared to wire brush it off and give it a clean up. Some hope! Here's the operation...
I pulled the earth cable and that pulled the whole mounting off, the rust was well in there. The chassis rail was rotten and the front valance mountings. The floor in the corner was knackered too, it was turning out to be a serious repair.
I removed the cables and pulled them out of the way, I undid the bumper bracket too. I then removed the headlamp and I could get a clear view. I cut out the rust out and cleaned the rest back to bare metal.
I cut the rusty metal out of the corner and cleaned that up, then I went underneath with the hot air gun and scraped off the underseal. I used a flapdisc in the grinder to clean it back to metal.
I made cardboard templates and cut up some metal to fit.
The headlamp surround fixing screws are each tightened into a
tube fitting, most of which rotate as you unscrew the bolt.
This is a nuisance! You need to grip the tube to stop it turning, A long nosed pair of vice grips is favourite, but the lower two are difficult to get to with the bumper on.
I removed the two captive battery tray nuts. I was able to remove the earth bolts from their fittings, I cleaned the top one up and welded it onto a new patch plate. With two triangular plates, I strengthened the front valance mountings.
I welded in a big patch to the floor from underneath, then from on top too, then ground the weld off. There were six different patches here.
I screwed in the earth bolts and gave the area a good brush of thick primer, then a spray of red primer, then finally I brushed the gloss in. It was a cellulose based Rosso red mix, it dried very quickly.
Brushing meant I didn't have to mask up, and the area is under the battery, so it can't be inspected too closely
The captive nuts went back in ok, I sanded down the earth points and fed the cables back through. I replaced the battery tray, remembering not to tighten anything up until all the bolts were in. I refitted the headlights and surround.
I fitted the battery, and before going any further started the engine and checked for oil and water leaks. There had been an oil leak that scared me, right behind the crank pulley, but a new cam cover gasket fixed that, I'm glad to say!
I refitted the wing and the bumper, and all the lights and fittings. The little car looks good now.
It's can be a grim prospect, but really stripping a Delta down to access it's tight areas is always a good idea.
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