Much of last weekend was spent doing non-car activities – Girls Scouts, church, and a trip to and from Millersville to fetch Victoria and her friend after a weekend of college life. I was, however, able to squeeze in some car time, but since it was Loriann’s birthday, my efforts were focused on a couple tasks for her PT Cruiser.
With those out of the way, I was free to work on Lucy again. Yesterday, I began fitting the first of two patches to fill in the opening I’d cut in the front valance. Starting on the left side of the cutout, I taped some paper over half the opening and traced the outline. After cutting out the pattern and transferring its perimeter onto a piece of sheetmetal, I carefully snipped and ground away until the metal matched the top and left profiles of the opening. At this point, the sheetmetal is still flat, not curved like the valance needs to be. Also, the patch is way too long for the opening. Since the paper is too flimsy to accurately be formed to the curvature, I need some stiffer stuff before I can continue. I’m going home from work today with some recycled file folders. My plan is to match the bend at the pinch weld with the folder material, attach it to the car, form the curature, and mark points of intersection with opening. Then transfer all that to the patch. With the patch fully cutout and the flange bent, I’ll get out the MIG welder and use plug welds to attach the flange to the pinchweld. Then I’ll bend the patch to get the edges matched up before butt-welding the side and top edges to the car body.
I take solace in the fact the front valance is not frequently scrutinized.