October 2010 - Continued welding


October 1st 2010: After the well deserved summer holiday of the welder the project resumes today. The front valance is the next item to work on. Due to the fact that the previous owner assembled a TI spoiler, a plastic 3rd series bumper and front fog lights there are several holes which shouldn't be there. Of course the section around these holes is more sensitive when it comes to rust. Basically the part looks like it has the chicken pocks. The part will be removed by drilling out the weld spots with which it's fastened to the body. Let's hope no unexpected nasty surprises are waiting behind the valance. After drilling out the weld spots the material behind the valance has a lot of surface rust, this can be brushed away and treated. The RH corner has some small rust damage which will need replacing. The LH corner has quite some rust damage so that piece will need a lot more work.

Brand new front valance in front of current valance.


Front valance weld spots drilled out.


Front valance removed. This part is beyond reasonable repair.


Section behind front valance with a lot of surface rust.

Section behind front valance RH side with rusted part which needs replacement.


Hand made section to replace rusted material welded in position.

Section behind front valance LH side with big rusted section which needs replacement.


RH side corner replaced by hand made piece of metal.

Big section of material cut away, not possible to weld otherwise.

Very neatly hand made replacement material in original shape welded back. Looks perfect!

Again all metal inserts to be welded are made by hand by the welder. The neat thing is that the welder takes the effort to make the replacement parts in the original shape even though you can't see them when the car is finished. Such attention to detail is the trademark of "the surgeon". If you have difficult welding work to your vehicle and you want the car to be returned into it's original shape if can fully recommend this craftsman! After the welding is finished for this section the complete area will be coated with a first layer of an anti-rust coating. What a result in one day. Due to the excellent work of the welder I have full confidence that this Giardinetta will shine it as original as possible condition when it's finished in a couple of years.

October 5th 2010: Besides all the welding activities I'm also adding some parts which are missing so far to the collection. A German E-Bay seller is offering some brand new parts. I bought 4 rubber gaskets/underlays to put under the rearview mirror on the door. My car had 3rd series Sud rearview mirrors so the correct rubber gaskets are missing. In addition he sells a new front bumper at a very rediculously low price. I bet the shipment costs will be more than the part costs. Als the correct front bumper for my vehicle is missing so I decided to buy it. As a third and last part I bought an ail filler cap. Not directly necessary because the current engine has one, but a nice and cheap spare part.

New rubber gasket to put under the rearview mirror on the door.


New front bumper.


New oil filler cap.


October 6th 2010: The previously applied ant-rust coating is dry so time to apply the second and final layer. Once this layer is a bit dry the brand new front valance will be spot welded as it is supposed to be. During welding the part will be held in position by pliers. 

Surface rusted sections treated for the second time with anti-rust coating.


New front valance held in position by pliers during welding.


New front valance in position and spot welds treated. Looks like a well executed facelift.


Front end of RH sill, how is the original shape?


Front end of LH sill, what does the original shape look like?


After finishing the spot welding of the valance the welds will be treated. The surgeon has successfully completed another part of this big operation. Now the search for the original shape of the sill ends will start. Due to the fact that the front wings were welded to the sills the wings had to be cut loose, therefore the sills don't have the original shape. In addition to make things a bit more complicated the RH & LH shape are different. An ad is posted to the Dutch Alfa Romeo club internet forum in the hope to find out in detail how the original shape looks like. Let's hope someone very knowledgeable replies.

Another task is to close the square holes and screw holes which have been added to the sills by the previous owner to attach the Alfa 33 side skirts. Not such a difficult task as the other ones, but it has to be done. In addition the rear wheel arches on the RH & LH are missing a portion at the end because the 33 side skirts were positioned there. Also this has to be put back in original condition.

Front end of LH sill, how is the original shape?


Front end of LH sill, how is the original shape?


Square and round skirt holes on RH sill closed and treated with anti-rust coating.

Rear right hand wheel arch fixed by welding a replacement part at the end where the Alfa 33 skirt used to be.

Oct 10th 2010: The repair work done for the sill and the wheel arch done on the RH side on October 6th of course also have to be done on the LH side. There are basically no surprises. The condition of the sill itself and the wheel arch are good, just the holes have to be closed and the missing part of the wheel arch has to be added. This is no problem at all for the welder with this relatively simple task. In order to be sure that there are no surprises regarding the condition of the rear wheel arches the RH side is brushed clean. Before being able to do so the wheel has to be removed. This is easier said than done because it appears all the aluminium wheels are fastened with 1 lock bolt per wheel. I was not aware of this and don't have any key for these bolts so the welder drilled the head of the lock bolt away.

RH rear wheel arch brushed to the bare metal, no problem at all with the steel material. Head of lock-bolt drilled away to remove the wheel.


Wheel arch treated with anti-rust coating after thorough check whether some potential (future) source of rust is there.


LH rear wheel arch with missing section at end due to previously assembled alfa 33 skirt.


Square and round skirt holes on LH sill.


Square and round skirt holes on RH sill closed.


Oct 11th 2010: On E-Bay UK I won a new chrome rear bumper licence plate light. I don't have anything so far because my Giardinetta used to have 3rd series plastic bumpers and the licence plate lights of an Alfasud Sprint attached to the boot. I'm very happy to have found this part, especially because it's a new one. Basically you don't see this part appear many times on auction sites so I'm happy to have won this one. The welder continues with the LH rear wheel arch by brushing it clean to bare metal. Also the LH side has no problem with the material. Of course the material is treated with anti-rust coating afterwards.

New chrome licence plate light housing with reflector won on E-Bay UK.

LH rear wheel arch end shape missing due to previous attached Alfa 33 skirt.


Hand made repair piece welded in place.


After grinding wheel arch has original shape again.


LH rear wheel arch brushed clean to bare metal. Welder signature included ;-)

No issues found on bare metal therefore anti-rust coating applied.

Due to the help of a kind gentlemen from the Dutch Alfa Romeo club I received very clear pictures of the end shape of the sill. The gentlemen has an original sill in stock and supplied a super picture with a measure on it to determine the correct size. Thanks a lot for these helpful pictures!!!!

Detailed sill end shape received from kind Dutch gentlemen.

Detailed sill end shape received from kind Dutch gentlemen.

October 19th 2010: A start is made to reconstruct the end shape of the sill. Again a hand made section is made by the welder, quite some fitting will be required to resemble the original shape but that's a task that can be handled by "the surgeon". The next section to get attention is the front window frame section & A-pillars. The section which is riveted to the A-pillar is removed. After removal quite some surface rust becomes visible. In addition the lock-bolts of the front wheels are drilled out.

First shot hand made parts to recreate the sill ends.


LH A-pillar, quite rusty, but the majority is surface rust?


Removed riveted trim from A-pillar.


RH A-pillar with riveted trim removed. Quite some surface rust visible.


Unexpected lock bolt, no key available so how to remove the wheel?

Lock bolt head drilled away because of missing key.