March 2010 - Welding preparation


March 6th 2010: Finally something happening again. Today the welder will come to take a look at the vehicle. Hopefully we will come to an agreement and get some actual progress in the project again. The welder, whom I came in contact with through the Dutch Alfa Romeo club, came exactly on time. I saw some of his projects on the club forum and am highly impressed with the quality of his work. After drinking some coffee we went to see the car. Just as the impression I had in advance he looked at the car very meticulously. The price he mentioned after giving the car a thorough inspection is different from the welder I had before, but to be honest this gentleman took some more time to look at details. The only thing he is not so happy with is the task to close the hole of the sunroof. It looks like we will come to an agreement, he gave me a week to think about it and make a decision about the roof. I really want to close it so basically I don't need any time to think about that.

Lovely sunshine today.

March 7th 2010: As instructed by the welder yesterday I will start on some preparations to make the life of the welder a bit more easy. Today's task is to get the windows out of the doors. The welder wants to have the car as bare as possible to avoid any damage caused to components by for example welding spatter.  It has been a long time since I actually worked in the garage. Due to the severe winter and the lack of heating the garage was simply too cold to do some work during the past months. It gives a quite good feeling to actually do something again. The sunshine adds to the positive feeling. Unfortunately it's still quite chilly but for a few hours it should be okay.

I will start with the LH door. I realise that it has been quite some time (October 2009) since I disassembled the LH door of my donor vehicle so I hope I remember how to take the windows out. The convenient thing about taking these windows out is that the amount of required tools is very small. A 10mm wrench and a screwdriver is sufficient. The main door window is winded down to its lowest position. Next I unbolted all bolts and unscrewed the screw on top of the doorframe which holds the guide for the main window and triangle window in place. Then I tried to get out the small triangle window by moving the guide about. After struggling for some time I found out that I forgot 1 bolt near the B-pillar which holds the window guide in position. After disassembling that bolt both windows were out quickly.

LH side door with main window winded down completely.


Screw which fastens the guide for the main window and positions triangular window.


Triangular window loose, but how to get it out? I forgot one bolt *%@".

Main window and triangular window removed.

The RH side windows are now much easier, I know/remember now how to do it. The order of disassembly for the RH door is now slightly different because that makes more sense I realised. I started with the outside window trim and removed it, then the window frame bolts and off course the guide screw on top of the doorframe. The RH side windows were out in 20 minutes, that's much shorter than the LH side where I had to search and struggle how to disassemble. That's it for today. Not so much progress, but I'm happy something is moving again. One small item I didn't realise before is that the door windows are tainted green. Giardinetta windows are supposed to be blank. I think I still have 1 set of blank windows lying around so they will be exchanged when assembly will take place in the future.

March 13th 2010: Some weeks ago I received a letter from the "RDW" (Rijks Dienst Wegverkeer) to renew my Giardinetta's cancelled registration. I kind of forgot about this paper and found it today by accident. The renewal needs to be done before March 23rd so luckily I'm still in time. Fortunately this can be done at home by internet so that's dealt with quickly. Today I'll start on removing the loosened pieces of paint on the boot parafan and whatever I can do further. I will start with the boot. By looking at the boot more detailed I see that in some places the filler is very think. 2mm thickness of filler is available at some portions. Today's work will be done with a putty knife. I will remove the loosened sections to create a more proper the paint peeler later. It's quite astonishing to see how some portions are actually breaking off. Basically the boot needs refurbishment but is not in a bad state except for the piece near the licence plate dent. Why the filler is so thick here I can't imagine. With the putty knife I'm able to get quite some pieces removed.

Boot before loose material removal.


Very thick filler (up to almost 2 mm) in some positions.


Boot after loose material removal.

Very thick filler (up to almost 2 mm) near licence plate dent.

Next part is the parafan & A-pillars. As mentioned by the initial welder I realised that the state of the parafan is indeed poor. Several rust holes and very thin material almost everywhere. This will be solved once the brand new parafan is welded in. Currently removal of the loose rust, paint & filler is the target to get a more or less clean surface for the paint remover. When working with the putty knife the parafan often looks like a cracker and the pieces are flying off everywhere.

Somewhat crusty parafan and some minor rust on the A-pillar.

Somewhat crusty parafan and some minor rust on the A-pillar.

The last part for today is the right rear window frame. I didn't make a picture before I started because it looked to me that no so much would come off. Once I started it seemed I was very wrong with this judgement. A quite big piece which had quite some thickness of filler attached to it came loose. In the end the result of my 2 hours attack with the putty knife resulted in quite some rubbish on the garage floor. I swept it together and the amount can be seen below.

Right rear window frame with surprisingly big portion of lacquer with thick filler popped off.

Result of 2 hours work.

March 14th 2010: Today another day of loose paint, filler and rust removal by putty knife. Today I will do the lower section of the front nose and the LH rear window frame. The front section of the nose has some small holes but the rest seems to be surface rust only. The putty knife does it work well and the loose portions split off. Next part is the LH rear window frame. This appears to be in better condition than the RH one I did yesterday but you never know what will appear once you start working. The only portion which shows some rust is the corner near the B-pillar. Luckily my expectation proves to be right, only the section near the B-pillar has portions coming loose. The rest of the window frame is in healthy condition. Since the amount of spent time is not so much I will do the LH door frame as well. When I removed the door rubber there is a small section which has rust, the rest seems to be fine. The door itself has some rust in the transition area of the door and the window frame. Some small welding will have to be done there.  

Lower front section of nose after "attack" with putty knife.


LH rear window frame with rust neat B-pillar.


LH rear window frame after "attack" with putty knife.

Todays result of 2 hours paint, filler & rust removal.

March 19th 2010: The paint remover arrived together with some cheap brushes. These brushes I will use to apply the paint remover and then throw them away. The service of the company I bought this stuff at is quite good. Very quick replies to questions even outside of working hours and during the weekend. If you need paint remover and want to receive good service I can recommend this company for sure. is the URL for the website of this company which is called "Car Repair Online Products (CROP)". Even though it's relatively late I still feel enthusiastic to start the paint removing. After reading the instructions on the label I will just start. The smell coming from the paint remover is terrible. A warning on the label is also written not to inhale the vapours. When I put the brush in the can it appeared that the gel is very blue. Now I will apply the gel to the area near to the rusty section on the boot lid. The gel now needs to rest for 30 - 90 minutes. I use the putty knife for the paint removing. After waiting for 1 hour I start because otherwise it will become too late. With a lot of effort I get some paint off. The result is far worse than I anticipated. The amount of effort required to get a bit of paint off is disappointing. I will contact the seller of the gel to find out whether I'm doing something wrong. Let's hope future efforts will give a better result.

Package with paint remover and brushes.


Paint remover label.


The paint remover gel looks very chemically blue and smells just as chemical.


Target area on boot lid.


Paint remover applied at first target area.

Late at evening with little result.

March 21st 2010: With the clues from the paint remover company I will try to make some progress again today. The temperature requirement is 15 degrees minimum. The temperature is most probably around 15 degrees today so that requirement should be okay. As told by the seller the gel is put on in a thin layer, for a cover I will use aluminium foil from the kitchen. Let's see if that will give a better result than before. A thin layer of gel is applied and then the applied area  is covered with aluminium foil. Now just wait as indicated for at least 30 minutes and see what happens. The tips seem to work. The paint & putty is disappearing more easily than on March 19th, however it's still a lot of work. I only use a putty knife. From reading on the internet I learned that most other people use a drill with a rotating steel brush. Possibly I will try that as well, but first I want to proceed in my manual way. Finally I can some bare metal appearing. Some portions unfortunately have a lot of filler so that will take some more work. The vertical pillar is the only section which becomes blank without having sections with lots of filler. Seeing the bare metal makes me happy, that section of the boot lid is still in perfect order as opposed to some other sections. The result I have achieved in a few hours is gratifying but it also makes me realise that it will take an enormous amount of time before the whole vehicle is bare :-(

Littel result of hard work on March 19th.


Paint remover gel applied for the second time.


Aluminium foil on lh side used to cover the gel for 30 - 90 minutes.


During waiting period I found a portion of the roof showing all 3 colours, original orange, second colour yellow, final colour purple.

Boot lid pillar with paint.

Boot lid pillar completely bare and in pristine condition.


Result of some hours of hard work, much better result than on March 19th.


March 25th 2010: This is the end of the March activities. Currently I have higher priorities (yes they do exist ) so I will proceed somewhere in the middle of April. It's very nice to have started activities again even though the progress is not so much. The winter was long this year so now that the temperature is getting to a "normal" level again the work can start again.