Bodywork - there will be rust!

I love the body shape of the e9, that long nose and those pilarless doors make for timeless classic lines that will always turn heads. I think the only negative was the questionable build quality of the Karmann production of these cars.

Strip it 'n' dip it

I would usually chemically dip the removalable panels and soda blast the rest. On this ocassion I have opted to dip the entire car. It's not an inexpensive process, it involves using an alkaline chemical cleaning compound which is a completely non-destructive, immersion metal cleaning processthat not only strips paint, powder coating, grease but also removes rust from all those areas even the places you couldn't normally get too.

After 5 weeks of dipping the car came back and it wasn't pretty! Apart from the rust which I expected, the car had a lot of poor repairs from accident damage and a lot of filler (bog!). The poor repairs will need to be recified and the rusted areas repaired, thankfully Wallothnesch in Germany stock a lot of the repair panels so my orders have gone in for the bits I need. At least I have a clean car to work on with none of that nasty proofcoat!

The car has been braced, and I have removed the fenders and rear quarters to get at the repairs, the nose needed to come off as it was bronze brazed on only! It had been replaced at some stage after a front end nudge and is rust free but unfortunately took another nudge later in life, all fixable with time and patience, I will replace the top piece and repair the rest. The main areas I will address first are the sills, the outers are bad and I can see the intermediates and inners have spots that have rusted out so I will envision replacing all 3 layers, the sills provide a lot of the structural integrity and with the 330hp power plant, not an area to comprimise on! I will also do a lot of body strengthening but before any more of the car is unpicked, a few more braces and measurements are required to be on the safe side.

So heres the list of repairs I need to make (update 7/4/17):

Remove nose section and repair and replace upper panel - Completed

Both inner fenders to remove and repair, I'll remove redundant brackets and fill in holes no longer required - Completed

Replace left lower bulkhead - Completed

Repair both A pillar rust and replace bottoms - Completed

Repair all the plenum rust holes - Completed

Replacement fender extension panels - Completed

Repair front floors - Completed

Replace inner outer and intermediate sills both sides - Completed

Replace right B bottom pillar - Completed

Remove both quarter panels, remove all dents and replace lower sill panel both sides - Completed

Minor wheel well rust repairs - Completed

Replace spare wheel and fuel tank panels - Completed

Remove rear beaver panel and repair or replace - Completed

Deskin both doors and repair rust - Completed

Trunk lid TBD but will likely find a better one - Completed

This is before I have made any modifications to accommodate the design changes! 


Modify rear shock mounts to take e28 subframe and coilovers- Completed

Stitch weld complete chassis for strength - Completed

Front sub-frame redesign and fabricate to accommodate S54 engine and later e36 M3 suspension - Completed 

New pedal-box/firewall modifications - Completed

Replaced old handbrake with later e30 handbrake - Completed

Mount or drive by wire pedal - Completed




John Ward

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