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What have I done! (R4 GTL)

petak

Enthusiast
Messages
1,335
Location
Vodice, Croatia
#1
Well....

I have striped my R4 into small peaces.

If you just barely look at him/her you would think that it is in pretty good condition.
But beneath it has started to rust.

I have driven it for some time like that because I did not want to make superficial repairs, as everyone around me suggested. I wanted to drive this car for at least 20 years more. So the only proper way to do repair is to strip all down, and weld chassis.

I had big trouble to find professional who will take my chassis and weld it as it should be.
Many body work professionals did not want to even consider doing it. It is too much job which they can not charge. And R4, here in Croatia, is working car and nobody wants to invest too much money in it. R4 is driven until fell apart. After that it goes to scrap yard. And his life is over.

Finally, I have find guy who did not look what car it is but range of work that it should be done. We made a deal. I will strip everything from the car down, and he will get bear body, and chassis. Also we agree that I will monitor process so that job is done as I would like to be done accepting his professional advices.

As this guy says, it did not rust as badly as I was afraid. But still I have some doubts what to do.

Main problem is center sidemember on both sides. It has BIG holes at the front. Rust has eaten outside and inside wall.
Also, rear sidemember has been repaired before, in way that I am not satisfied with. It is just patch welded around rusted part of rear sidemember.
I would be happiest if center and rear sidemember are changed completely out of new peace of metal.

Al the way, my big fear is “would I know pot him back together”.
So I have “my little black book” (well it isn’t little and it isn’t black but that is not important) where I write down procedure, bolts, nuts, washer, sealant, for every part that I have took from car.
Also I have taken tons of pictures of every part that is stripped.
I hope it would be enough to find the way back together

Proces started in July and is going on and off since. I am planing to finish it untill next summer.

Oh god! What a novel have I wrote?!
Well I have tried to sumerise 2 years of my prep work for this (for me) major move. And I am still very excited, so please forgive me.

Rotten places on the body and chassis
 

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angel

Enthusiast
Messages
1,832
Location
Athens, Greece
#3
It seems OK in my opinion, and it is worth repairing the chassis. Just think that you could also have found rusted floorpans... Good luck with the restoration!
 

Rutger-peer

The restoring Dutchman.
Messages
254
#4
Doesn't look too bad! My chassis' (both of them) were way worse and my body is also worse! So it's definitely worth restoring this car. I wish a lot of luck with it!

Regards,

Rutger.
 

petak

Enthusiast
Messages
1,335
Location
Vodice, Croatia
#5
Thank you for good wishes.

Because of good condition of engine and not so rusted chassis I have decided to start whole this process.

Actually my biggest concern is what centre sidemember condition on both sides is?
Because it was open to all weather conditions for some time (2 years at least, possibly even more).

Are they rusted from inside?
Will patches be good way to repair it?
Or is it better way to change whole sidemember on both sides?

I would be happier if whole sidemembers are changed.
But there is a little problem called VIN number which is over spot welds where sidemember and crossmember are welded together!

Can anyone give me some peace of advice?

TX for reading
 

Rutger-peer

The restoring Dutchman.
Messages
254
#6
I wouldn't worry too much about those sidemembers. I've seen way worse sidemembers by now. I don't think they're rusted out from the inside (after all, you would notice on the outside since the sheetmetal used is so thin it'd rust through in a blink of an eye as soon as it'd start to rust). My experience is that from the inside the metal most of the times looks as new, even in badly rotted chassis (as well as mine). I would not be too concerned about rusting from the inside.

The most sensible way to do the repair is to weld in some new patches. Cut out the entire rusted part and put in a new patch. You could also change the whole sidemember but don't be fooled as to how much time and work that'll cost, as well as the frustration that comes along with it once you start realizing how difficult it is to correctly allign the stuff. Let alone the fact that it doesn't really make much sense to change the whole sidemember when only a little part is rotten.

I'd definitely go for only putting in new patches if the rest of the sidemember looks good from the outside.

You can also have a look at my thread and see how we did that (I had exactly the same problems with the sidemembers).

Here's the link to my topic: click!
 
Messages
39
#7
If I'll have chassis in the same condition than Yours at start the restoration - I'll be happy :)

It's looks almost new when I look at my chassis - so, don't give up...it's simple to make repair (my rusted and almost repair chassis - You can see it on this topic click! )

now - after seen some projects, I wonder, from where You take the chassis in that (good, I mean) condition ;)
 

petak

Enthusiast
Messages
1,335
Location
Vodice, Croatia
#10
Some parts came to me from Franzose.de
Floor panels, and front/rear splash panels

Some are coming from Serbia (center sidemembers)

Some are coming from Spain (3RG INDUSTRIAL - silent blocks/ball joint/engine mountings)

Also made template for center /rear sidemembers.

I am planning to make rear sidemember on my one. (CNC cutting then bending)

In mean time I am cleaning all parts, some, preparing for zinc coating (hot galvanizing) and powder coating

Just to mention: This is an easygoing project whose building speed is depending mostly on my finances:cool:

Some pictures.
 

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Rutger-peer

The restoring Dutchman.
Messages
254
#11
Nice! Wish you very much luck with it. Also look at my thread, since I've been doing (and am busy doing) lots of the repairs you will have to do aswell, so my trial and errors may help you find your way in your restoring process!
 

petak

Enthusiast
Messages
1,335
Location
Vodice, Croatia
#12
TX Rutger-peer!

I am watching your job. I really admire you that you have decided to weld on your one.

I am not that brave.
At least not with this car!

Chassis and body will be repaired by professional.

We just agree that I will try to find out and buy as much as possible body parts.

Mechanical part of the car is mine
 

petak

Enthusiast
Messages
1,335
Location
Vodice, Croatia
#13
Something is happening here.

It takes time to find free time :mrgreen: for work on R4

Prep work for smaller metal peaces that will go to zinc galvanizing and powder coating (engine mount/ bumpers/wheels)

"Tool" for grinding and "before/after" picture
 

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petak

Enthusiast
Messages
1,335
Location
Vodice, Croatia
#15
This week was very interesting.
Some parts came to my doors.

Pictures will tell much more than words

P.S. Do you know what difference in length between left and right side members is?
 

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David M

French car tragic!
Messages
172
#16
Sidemembers

They are different lengths because the torsion bars lay side by side. The torsion bar for the RHS suspension sits behind the one for the LHS creting an unequal wheel base.

Cheers,
David
 

petak

Enthusiast
Messages
1,335
Location
Vodice, Croatia
#17
They are different lengths because the torsion bars lay side by side. The torsion bar for the RHS suspension sits behind the one for the LHS creting an unequal wheel base.

Cheers,
David
Thank you!

I know why there is difference, but i was wondering does anyone know how much longer right sidemember is then left one.

I am asking that because difference is 45 mm,
But when I was looking that part on car, it seems to me, that difference is at least 100 mm.

How you can be wrong when taking measurements whit your eyes
 
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