Having completed the replacement of the front panel on day one, day two of my Datsun V710 weld-athon saw the replacement of the right hand front inner wing strengthener and fabrication of a new wing top mount. I already had a genuine replacement panel for replacing the strengthener (part # 64156-K0100), but all other repairs to the inner wing would have to be fabricated. I did consider fitting an entire replacement inner wing, but it seemed to me to be a waste of a new panel, when the existing rust was minimal and could be repaired. Best to save the other new front end body panels I have just in case I’m unfortunate enough to ever have an accident in it!
The inner wing strengtheners on 710s are very vulnerable to rust, so it was no surprise to find mine was rather crusty and holed. The wing mounting was equally ragged but thankfully, once I had removed the strengthener I found no more rust lurking behind it. The strengthener was removed by first chopping it off using an air chisel, then the remaining spot welded seams were unpicked using a spot weld drill, before finally sanding the mounting areas clean.
Before the new strengthener could be fitted, I needed to tackle the top wing mounting. This vertical flange has a small folded lip on the top edge and although it looks relatively simple to fabricate it’s not, as it’s gently curved from front to rear. The easiest way to make it is in short sections, taking careful measurements of the original at different points along its length. I have a small sheet metal folder which I made several years ago, so I used it to fold up new sections. Rather than try to weld the new sections right in the corner, I folded a bend on the bottom of my repair sections too and welded them about 6mm in from the corner, on the horizontal part of the inner wing top. It’s vital that the dimensions of the fabricated parts are correct here as this is where the front wing mounts and any large error will result in very poor panel alignment and bad panel gaps. This repair need good weld penetration, as the visible weld needs to be ground away. Without decent weld penetration the weld would be very weak.
Having repaired the wing mount, the inner wing strengthener could be trial fitted. It fitted perfectly, so it was removed and prepped for final welding. Like the front panel, to achieve a factory finish, the new panel is plug welded into position and the welds ground flat, so I needed to drill holes along all the mounting flanges of the new panel. Before fitting the new panel, all the surface rust was sanded away from the areas inside of the strengthener. No coatings were applied as all the closed sections will be coated with Bilt Hamber Dynax S50 cavity wax once the job is completed.
Once the new section was welded into place, the new front wing (part # 63100-K0130) and valance (part # 62611-K0130) could be test fitted and the mounting holes drilled in the correct position along the inner wing top. The nice thing about working with genuine Nissan parts, is that it’s possible to achieve a pretty much perfect fit on the body, as is evident by the nice panel gaps I now have on this corner!
The next stage is to tackle the right hand sill and inner sill structure.