Voodoo recently offered up a free, slightly dinged up, Smallframe.
These are unobtanium over here, so despite the fact that I don't really need it, don't really have an engine for it, don't have time to work on it, and I'm gonna be in trouble if/when Management finds out, I, of course, jumped at it.
I did a little paperwork to get an import authority, and put a hurt on my Fedex account, while Voodoo made a big box. (A Story unto itself!)
US to Aus in 5 days.
Inside, a beautifully packed 56 year old lump of Italian steel.
Which sat in the corner of a mate's factory for a few months while the Covid 19 work frenzy was taking me away from having fun.
Last week, it was time to look at that ding.
Away we go
Hmm. "Nurse, a wire wheel please."
I think it's fair to say that's had a resonable whack. The sides of the spine bulge nicely under that lump of megawelded patch.
From underneath, besides the rust. you can see where a slot has been cut in the spine, a couple of nuts have been welded in to facilitate spreading the bent bits back out, then that big ass plate has been used to close the wound. That wont pass tech to get it back on the road.
Up onto the Smally jig.
Time to make sparks.
With the plate gone, it's apparent that the walls are buckled and weakened. On both sides.
Time for more surgery. "Scalpel".
That's the slot opened up,
Those walls are'nt gonna cut it.
Now that's a hole. Time for some pressure, some heat, and some hammering.
Followed by a little laser action and some tweaking
Time to close.
Remember Buffy? Luckily, I still have her remains.
And, while she was quite rusty
the part I need is quite solid.
and covers the hole on both sides.
The challenge now was cutting a 3 dimensional piece to fit as snugly as possible, with no available reference point to work from. Cue a whole day spent slowly cutting, filing, grinding, fitting, hammering, bleeding, and swearing. Good times!
But, progress was made,
and, after a few thousand fitups, it was time.
With everything straight, some long internal bracing was puddle welded in to the sides and top for strength.
and the patch is finally ready.
Gently tacked in
Then generously TIG'd down strong and tight by my mate who owns the factory.
Out with the MIG, and some deep puddle welds to tie it to the bracing.
Time for a few hours of careful grinding and sanding
on both sides
and a little grey primer.
From Hole to Whole, just like that.
Time to build a Voodoo Rat Rod.