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Old Sun, May-24-2015, 02:37:57 AM   #34
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Default Cutting away the damaged sheet metal

Finally got back to working on the E30 today. Before the cage can be installed, we need to cut out a bunch of the right front factory sheet metal and weld new parts into place. This is some serious surgery.

To start, we got the car back off of the rotisserie and on to the lift at Bay Street European in San Rafael.

You can see some of the new sheet metal which will get grafted on to the car, including a new wheel housing/strut tower, new frame rail, and a new radiator support.

We drilled out the spot welds on the radiator support to get to the frame rails. From there, we simply cut away most of the right frame rail and wheel housing back close to where the parts are attached to the firewall.

We finished up the disassembly by drilling out the spot welds for the wheel housing at the firewall. We also cleaned up the mounting surfaces with a grinder to make it ready for mounting the new parts. You can also see a section of the firewall which was wrinkled that we cut away, to be replaced by sheet steel.

Next up is to finish cutting away the frame rail from underneath the car, and then we can start re-assembly. This is a much bigger project than I think any of us intended when I bid on this chassis, but when it's done the car will be worth the sweat equity.

More to come...

- peter*g

.'02 E46 M3 (GTS roadracer)
.'96 E36 M3 (Dinan S3)
.'90 E30 M3 (rally racer)
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