An Integrale bodyshell is made from many different pressed metal sections, these are spot welded
together to make the shape we know and love. The many welded joints rust freely, this happens to
all Deltas, 8v or shiny Evo2.
One of these rust areas is at the seam over the rear wheel arch. The outer rear 1/4 panel, the back door closure and the inner wheel arch
join at this seam, where it's well washed with spray from the rear wheel.
The seam is a stressed area absorbing forces from the rear suspension, and movement
around the rear door opening.
Repairing this joint area is difficult, it's hidden by the rear seat side bolster so simplifying the repair construction is not an
appearance issue. However I've recently bought an item which will help to make the repair look original again.
It's a Metz shrinker and stretcher, bought from my lock up neighbour Frank, who is retiring.
This is the tricky area I'm talking about, it can get messy.
When all the rust is cut away there's not much left,
so simply plating over the gap and welding
inside and out is strong and secure.
In the past I have welded a false joint down the back so it looks original inside the wheel arch.
Here's the stretcher, bolted in place, it's getting a bit crowded
in the workshop!
The machine allows a right angled metal section to be stretched or shrunk, thus bending the other side of the angle to a curved shape. The unit is fitted with a jaw containing 2 split serrated feet, when the pedal is pressed the feet grip the metal and move apart at their split to stretch, or by changing the feet over, together to shrink it. I did get a bit heavy footed and actually split the metal seam apart, but I'm more careful now.
Click on logo to visit Metz site.
So I am now able to recreate a repair section for the inner wing seam, with the correct spot welded joint.
It's not actually as strong as a single plate, but it'll look more original, if anyone should ever look there!
I'm still practicing with the new machine, but
I'm getting the hang of it, and it's going to be very useful.
Since writing this I have indeed been practicing, and the stretcher is a good tool. It is a bit difficult for the likes of me, but if I'm gentle with the foot pedal the stretcher forms the metal into gentle curves.
Frank told me to make a cardboard stencil of the curve radius, so you can form the curves without checking the car every 5 minutes. It's strange because you're not working on the bending bit, but squeezing up the part which you want to be flat to make the bend.
Anyway, I've made good progress on the Evo's inner wheel arch, I show some more pictures here.
On Frank's advice, using a card template
to help form the correct curve
The inner wing repair section
formed from 20 gauge, 0.9mm steel.
Repair section formed and welded
onto inner wing metalwork.
Repair section in place, the panel is
Mole gripped onto the outer framework
I'll drill holes then puddle weld the inner
and outer seams together.
I've brushed some cellulose primer
onto the welded seam.
When finished, this should be close
to original appearance.