The left hand sill structure actually looked quite solid, in fact along its full length it didn’t have any rust holes at all. The only visible rust was in the area where the bottom edge of the front wing attaches. Despite the apparently good condition, I was going to replace it anyway, as I had on hand a genuine replacement sill (part # 76413-K1330) and it’s the only way I could be sure of eliminating future rust issues. I started by chopping the main section of the sill away using an air chisel, leaving the spot-welded seams in place. Once off, the inside of the sill showed plenty of surface rust and and the front of the inner sill required exactly the same type of repair as I had previously completed on the right hand side…
By now, my spot weld drill had become rather blunt, so the upper and lower seams were separated by grinding away each spot weld with my die grinder, using a round carbide burr. This is a little more time consuming than the spot weld drill but produces good results. The end sections of the sill were separated out from the bottom of the A post and the inside of the rear quarter panel in the same way as before… by locating and drilling out all of the welds. I used a normal 10mm drill bit for this. Once apart, the inner sill was cleaned up and the seams dressed ready to weld the new sill in place.
Before the new sill could go on, a small repair section was made for the front end of the inner sill where it meets the floor. The rear end also needed repair adjacent to the rear cross-member mount, but this could be tackled when fitting the inner arch later as the outer sill doesn’t cover this area.
With the new metal in, the outer sill could go on. First the new sill was sanded back to bare metal on the inside, as long time storage had left it with a little surface rust. The upper and lower seams had holes punched in them for plug welding, then it was aligned and clamped into place. The beauty of genuine panels like this is that they always align and fit really well, which makes the job a great deal easier. After welding the sill in place all the welds were ground back smooth. Next, just like the right hand side, the lower section of the ‘A’ post that covers the front end of the sill needed repair. On the previous side I had a ready made piece I could use, cut from a new old stock ‘A’ post section, but on this side I didn’t have that luxury. Instead I had to fabricate the section from flat sheet steel. It would be very hard to make a section like this from one single piece of sheet steel without some kind of press die, so I made it in three pieces and then welded them together. This kind of stuff takes a disproportionate amount of time to do, but it’s worth spending the time to get a good result. It took longer to make this piece than it took to fit the sill! Once fitted it looked original, so worth the effort I think!
A splash of primer on the new metal and it’s onto the next bit.. the left rear wheel arch!