Time to start a bit of work on the firewall and floor from the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee donor. Having pulled out most of the damage from the impact into this corner from the Harley rider hitting it, wanted to see if I could get it any smoother.
This was the extent of the damage originally at the firewall to toe board seam that you might remember. The firewall/floor is upside down so you are looking from the bottom down.
The crease in the toe board.
These are the tools I have recently bought to smooth out the panel. This is all pretty new to me as learnt my welding trade in the structural steel industry. That and blacksmithing doesn't deal with light thin sheet metal. Even when I worked building aerofoil impellers etc, the parts I made were formed in huge presses, so very little hand forming.
Using the slapping file with the dolly behind it, can see how the imprints from the serrations are pushing down the high spots while the dolly brings up the low ones.
You just keep at it until the low spots also show the marks.
With a very light sand with some 120 grit, it is looking much better. I went a bit further after this shot was taken until I was happy enough with it.
Need to smooth out the firewall as well from the same damage.
Was a bit harder due to the pressings as well.
I have well over 200 spot weld holes to fill so need to scrape off the sound deadening panels so the rubber/ bitumen doesn't melt and contaminant the welds.
I noticed the right side had been pulled back as well from the impact. You can see the difference in the jack length that the left one is longer before any tension has been used. The left one is just there to stop the whole lot just twisting. I jacked the right side until both were the same after the tension was released. Got it right on in the end.
The rear most part of the floor had this pressed in which I didn't want. I will be turning up a flange right along where the floor was cut so it can be welded to the rear wall.
A couple of hits with a dead blow did was I was expecting and showed how much extra material I need to work out. Just hamming away at it would only stretch it more so it needs to be shrunk.
Going to try out a shrinking disc for the first time. Not sure if they are made to reduce this amount of material though. They make friction without thinning the steel. Then you quickly used a wet rag or compressed air to cool it and cause the shrinking. Here is a demo of the same one I bought.
Well it reduced the excess noticeably but not enough. Think this was just too much for a shrinking disc. Least I am learning what it is capable of. Might have been better to start with a puckering bar. Have to make one and give that a go one day.
I then used a propane torch to reduce it further but still had a bit left. So cut a slot with the jigsaw and you can see how it closed up along the edge. I welded this closed and the heat from that drew it in even more.
Did one more slot and sitting much flatter. I had also welded up the spot weld holes to help with the shrinking too. Just needs a bit more dressing up and should be good after the flange is folded I think.