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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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Nose job


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11 replies to this topic

#1 zyewdall

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 10:03 AM

Yesterday, we did a nose transplant on my friends '86 wagon

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He had hit another car, and mashed in the the front, especially the passenger side. The electric fan was pinched between the radiator and timing belt cover, and the oil filter was dented. Miraculously, it still ran fine, just a small radiator leak.

Posted Image
With some more of the accesories removed. Right after the accident it was actually another 2 or 3" farther back, but we pulled it out to keep the fan from chewing through the radiator.

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We cut off the front of the unibody frame, and found a donor car with a good front end

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And welded the good one onto his car

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Welding went pretty well. A little wirefeed welder, a grinder, and a sawzall. We lined up the frame portions pretty good, but had to use some holey metal to gap the sheet metal section in one place.

Posted Image
All back together with the new parts. It was amazing how well everything lined up -- hood catch works perfectly, the four fender bolts on top all go in. Gaps between hood and fenders are uniform. Wow. Still missing a good bumper (the donor car didn't have a good one either...)

#2 maxmays

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 10:39 AM

It's great to see pictures of this, because this is almost exactly what happened to my vehicle (before I bought it a few weeks ago). I've been thinking about whether or not to do the body work. The only difference was it was on the driver's side instead of the passenger's, but otherwise it's almost exactly the same. Thanks for posting these pics!

-Max

#3 75subie

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 10:48 AM

Nice Work! the ladder rack looks cool too!

wish i knew how to weld

#4 subeman90

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 10:53 AM

you missed a great oppertunity to do the t-belts without beating the crap out of your hands :lol:

Seriously though...great job!:headbang:

#5 rllywgn

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 12:45 PM

yes... gret work.. nice to see a project shape up


rllywgn

#6 eponodyne

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 01:22 PM

Nice Work! the ladder rack looks cool too!

wish i knew how to weld

Ditto. I need a ladder rack for my '90 Loyale, where did he come up with that?

Cus I remember like twenty years ago, every hardware store in North America had those little grozzets that clamped onto the rain gutters so you could build your own ladder rack; they are essentially made out of unobtanium now, and unfindable. I'd like to not have to shell out for something from Thule or Yakima if I don't have to.

#7 Durania

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 03:46 PM

The before and after picture says it all. Good Job! Try and keep the fact that you can do body work on the D/L, Next thing you know you will be putting body kits on Hondas'.

#8 lastchance

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 03:50 PM

Wow, good job!

Even though everything looks lined up and uniform, how is the alignment? Usually with any type of front end work like that, the quality and accuracy depends on the final drive (alignment, noises, etc...)

#9 grossgary

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 08:01 PM

DUDE THAT IS BAD!!!!
thanks for sharing the pictures, that is really cool.
you finished in one day?
awesome work man, that is truely fantastic.

how did you get it all to line up before welding? height? and side to side?
did you overlap the metal at all or just butt it together and weld?

i have a soob with a smashed front end and one with a good front end. i want to do this so bad, just to do it. kind of scared i'd never get it lined up though.

#10 zyewdall

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 11:03 PM

It's all butt welded (except the parts we had to add the filler plate too). Tricky to weld the sheet metal without burning through, but I did pretty well after a little practice, on the lowest setting on the welder. For alignment we just sawzalled off the front of the donor car then drew a line on his car exactly where we had to cut the other one off to make it match up. A little work with the grinder after cutting the old one off to make the new one butt up properly on the frame tubes, and it went back together pretty well. We were a little amazed it actually lined up too. Took the two of us about 8 hours (including a run to the hardware store in the middle).

On the alignment, a front end alighnment is probably in order. But he said that it still stops perfectly straight after the accident -- when it still had the mashed front end on it. Pretty good straight on hit I guess, so it didn't knock anything to the side.

On the ladder rack, I'm not sure -- I think it was reused from his old volvo, which could have been from when they still sold them.

#11 grossgary

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 11:06 PM

what did you hold it in place with when you started welding?
"to the left john"
"a little higher"
"okay, don't move!!!!"
fire up the welder.....

#12 zyewdall

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 11:12 PM

what did you hold it in place with when you started welding?
"to the left john"
"a little higher"
"okay, don't move!!!!"
fire up the welder.....


Pretty much. A jack underneath holding it up, him holding one side, and me on the other side holding it with my left hand with my knee sort of wedged under it to hold it up, and quickly tack welding the top edge with my right hand. Then switch over to his side and tack weld it. Once it was hanging from the top edges, we could use jacks and vice grips and a 2x4 to line up the bottom rails perfectly, and tack weld them in place. That's one of the nice things about the wirefeed welder, is you can operate it with one hand, while holding the piece on with the other hand (okay, you do tend to burn the fingers on your welding gloves if you have too small a piece you are trying to weld on this way...)




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