Today, I rendered myself without a car I can drive. Because I'm an idiot. But, the welding on the Princess really is a job I need to do before I move because I'm not sure when I'll get set up with a welder properly once I move so I might as well dig in and get stuff sorted. It rarely takes me long to get things fixed now. The wing is proving to be quite an involved job and not one I'm especially enjoying. Happily the bonnet didn't need to come off, I noticed Rovamota had propped his bonnet pretty much vertical in a recent update on his build so we did the same which gave the access needed for the last wing rail spot welds. Only they weren't spotwelds, it was a good 1/4" of filler over brazing.
20180502-01 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr
I suspect that isn't factory. I suspect this is in fact a replacement wing too. With the wing rail now un-welded, I cheated on the leading edge by flapwheeling the return to separate the layers. I did this because I don't need to save more than this and it's easier to clean up and repaint the surrounding bits. I made one mistake by thinking I had to take the spotwelds out around the return, which in turn meant removing headlights, headlight bracket, and grille, so I could get in with the drill.
20180502-02 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr
What I learned when the wing came off is the extension fillet piece looks like it's actually part of the wing itself rather than the body of the car. Also, the fillet was only held on by half a spotweld that didn't look very factory, lending some credence to the theory that this is a replacement wing. It looks bad, but there's plenty here for me to reuse.
20180502-03 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr
With the wing off I could finally see what the real damage was underneath. The extension piece is a little deformed and there's a difficult dent to knock out in the inner wing, but other than that everything is in pretty good shape. There's no rust concerns at the nose end beyond what I was aware of on external panels and with the wing off I can clean and straighten what I need to. I've already spent some time on this getting the metal work looking right again after this picture was taken.
20180502-04 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr
While most things are fine, there is a rust hole behind the fuse box. I didn't know about this at all and the only way I was likely to discover it was by taking the wing off. It's an easy piece to make since it's just flat sheet, I just have to be careful of the wiring. Of note is the little shelf to the top of the A pillar which serves ostensibly as a drain but in my case as a small composting area. The wing aerial goes through the drain hole in this area and practically fills it, which is less than ideal. However, the metal is all nice and solid so it just needs a really good clean once I've welded up that hole. one strange thing is the large black blob which turned out to be some sort of sticky putty. Underneath there was no hole or surprise, so I have no idea what it is or why it was there. And yes, annoying the door did need to come off to get to the bolts for the wing.
20180502-05 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr
With everything cleaned up for trial fitting, that's just what I did. The front valance needs a slight massage on this corner but otherwise, things are falling into place where they need to and not fighting so I'm cautiously optimistic that this will all go together nicely.
20180502-06 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr
The panel gap between the orange wing and bonnet is hugely improved now. Once the old wing was removed, everything sprang back into the place it should be. The wing rail needs a little massaging from the damage caused by spotweld removal, but nothing patience can't resolve.
20180502-07 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr
20180502-08 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr
The areas the orange wing needs repairing are the same I'd already repaired on the beige one, so I'll be chopping out what I need from the beige wing and fitting it to the orange one. To get the beige wing to fit is going to need a lot of work, I suspect it's slightly stretched or buckled given how nicely the orange wing just drops on compared to it. So the orange wing needs the corner at the top trailing edge, the lower trailing edge (I've already done the exact same repair on the beige one, so I'll cut that off and swap it over), and the lower leading edge. the majority of the arch itself is in really good shape. The other really big job is repairing the wing rail lip on which I need to weld up most of the old spotweld holes (some I plan to repurpose for bolts), and replace a missing section.
20180502-09 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr
20180502-10 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr
Tomorrow I'll hopefully get some of the repairs done, probably the inner wing work first, and we'll see how I get on. It's a lot of fiddly time consuming stuff to do on this.