Lil Red - SJ restoration - First look at the panels.

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With the bolts in full retreat, Winchfield Engineering had a first look at the body panels.

Around the rear, with the wing panels and taligate removed, some more rust became visible.

This is behind the panel, so can be fixed with some fabrication rather than a replacement panel.

On the left you can see the end of the rear crossmember which will need some work to ensure the rust is completely removed

It looks worse than it is really, it should clean up fairly easily. 

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Lil Red - SJ restoration - Panel work progressing

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Winchfield Engineering have sent over this update showing the progress on the panels. 

The process is the same on all the panels.

They are inspected for corrosion and any corrosion spots are sandblasted clean to remove all the rust.

Here, on the tail gate, you can see where the corrosion has been cleaned away from the mounting holes where a small amount of surface rust existed.

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Lil Red - SJ restoration - Moving on to the body tub

Lil Red - SJ restoration - Moving on to the body tub

Winchfield Engineering have moved on to starting work on the body tub.

We always knew this was the bad spot as it had some visible rust on the outside, however it can be a bit of a shock as to how bad a "good" car can be.

Here on the drivers side rear we can see the panels that create the rear of the arch have trapped water etc and quietly corroded inside. 

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Lil Red - SJ restoration - Ready for Welding

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After a lull in work its nearly time to start work on putting it back together. The welder came down to view and in discussions wanted some more sand blasting to be done before welding could commence.

Winchfield have a small sandblaster and a very large sandblaster. The large one is used for really heavy duty cleaning but has to be used outside to avoid filling the workshop with dust. 

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Lil Red - SJ restoration - Preparing the Roll Bar

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James wanted a genuine rollbar for his SJ. Now we realise that these roll bars are little more than show items, they are not a competition grade roll bar but it is a factory restore so needs a factory roll bar.

We eventually found one on Ebay. It was not easy to find one but it has been even harder to restore it!. It comes with a white "plastic" coat that at first appears easy to remove as the rust is lifting it up. I took it to the Powder Coaters and they sent it back saying that it simply melted and flowed back whenever they blasted it. In other words, it could be done but would be too expensive in time and money. I then tried sanding, burning with a blow torch and peeling with a sharp edge. It simply would not come off. It took an abrasive wire wheel in an Angle Grinder and close on 4 hours work to shift it.

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