After all the work of getting the rear wheel arch into shape, it was nice to move onto something a little more straight forward (well… relatively). I figured the lower rear corner should be fairly simple, as I had a donor panel for a late 710 saloon (part # 78112-N7430), which I could chop up to supply the necessary repair sections. The saloon is actually a tiny bit different to the hardtop in this area but thankfully not enough to render the panel unusable. As it turned out the lower corner was relatively simple but the second job of the day, repairing the sill end closing panel, certainly wasn’t!
Before tackling the rear corner, I still had one outstanding job to finish on the sill. I’d previously cut a small repair piece from a donor panel with which I planned to repair the bottom of the ‘A’ post in front of the sill. The panel was very surface rusty but having soaked the piece in brick cleaner, it was now rust free and ready to fit.
The easy job out of the way, I now turned my attention to the main job of the day, the lower rear corner. After cutting away the old metal, i was pleased to find that the inner panel was in quite decent condition, so only a couple of small localised repairs were needed before the lower corner repair could be fitted. Having cut a repair piece from the donor panel, I found that the saloon was very slightly different. The swage line is about 5mm lower on the saloon than the hardtop! Thankfully this difference wasn’t serious enough to cause a problem.
I planned to join the repair, right on the body swage line, which would not only make it easier to dress the welds later, but it’s better for limiting distortion when welding. Welding on a large flat area inevitably causes some distortion and the best way to minimise the possibility is to keep the the panel as cool as possible. This means stitching the panel together one small blob of weld at a time, letting it cool completely in between. Very time consuming but essential to prevent buckled panels. I also cut a small piece from the wheel arch of the donor panel which was let in flush with the surrounding metal just above the corner piece I fitted, completing the wheel arch repair I did yesterday. The corner repair was butt welded flush with the quarter panel. Good weld penetration is vital here as much of the outside weld will be sanded away. I used a fairly high power setting to achieve this. Patience and care is needed!
Having got the lower corner done, I turned to a job which I had been dreading. The sill end closing panel is fairly complicated to make from scratch and the one I had removed was in a bad way. I decided that rather than try to make a new one, I’d repair what I had. This meant fashioning several small pieces and welding them together. The main return channel on the edge which attaches inside the wheel arch lip was made from a piece cut out of an inner arch for a different model (for a PA10 I believe) then reshaped a little to suit the 710. It took over two hours to repair this piece and fit it, but the end result was worth it. By the time the under-body protection goes on it’ll look factory fresh.
Now all that is left to do are some repairs on the lower areas of the front inner wing tomorrow and that will be the whole of the right side of the car done!