from Old English White to green moss and rust

the chassis propped in with wedged timbers, as I'm working alongside it I don't want any nasty surprises.
chassis timber props.png

chopping out the lower panel of the frame head, the rust just fell out like a waterfall, this old washing up bowl is half full of rust dust.
bowl full of rust.png
 
with most of the panel cut away, and the rust swept out, the upper inner structure of the frame head can be examined, looks savable, with some welding in of new metal along the lower edges.
rust swept out.png

looking at the frame head support bracket, commonly called the Napoleons hat, due to it's silhouette, the lower edges of that need to be re fabricated along it's lower edges, glad about that, I don't fancy totally replacing that as well.
bottom edge of support frame.png
 
with a coat of krust painted inside, the rust pitted metal turns an even shiney black.
rustkill inside frame head.png

these are 2 of the four bolts that hold the front suspension assembly to the frame head.
frame head suspension bolts.png

you can make out the bolt receiver tubes inside the frame head, I could fix this area a lot easier if I unbolted the front assembly, but I need it there as a reference point when I weld on the base plate.
frame head bolt tubes.png
 
finally the base plate remains ground right off. ready for a test fit.
base ground right off.png


the plate is a heavy, solid piece, but it still isn't flush, I may have to purchase a Napoleon hat and use it for repair pieces.
new base plate offered up for fit.png
 
Clamped trial fit, the bracket will have to be renewed with a repair panel, there just isn't enough good steel in it to keep it.
first clamp test fit a.png
 
so, off with it! I ordered a new one today, but that first cut is the moment you feel really committed.
the first cut is the deepest.png

slicing it off in chunks with a cutting disc, far easier method than trying to chop it out in one piece.
the first cut is the deepest bg.png

grinding disc then a flap disc to get it right off
the first cut is the deepest cg.png

tomorrow the other side of it to come off, no rush, the new bit won't arrive for ten days, my usual supplier hasn't one in stock.
the first cut is the deepest dg.png
 
the very reason to wear workshop PPE, I always wear a mask, goggles ear defenders and a baseball cap, Ears, eyes, nose and hair. this cutting disc shatters and the missing piece struck my mask and bounced off into a corner of the workshop. The cut was in a tight space and put uneven pressure on the disc.
broken cutting disc.png
 
back down again.
chassi back down again.png

the shadow of the wheel in rust
shadow of wheel in rust.png


the right side of the tunnel and the remains of the napoleon's hat piece, within easy reach now and ready to be ground off.
remains of napoleon hat right side b.png
 
once the grinding has been done, I can fix the napoleon hat on and weld it in, then I can bolt up the frame head base and weld that in, I'm counting myself lucky that the frame head structure is sound, there would be a lot of work replacing that as the front suspension bots to it and it's alignment is critical.
floor end not welded in.png
 
so the new parts fitted up ready for welding in. OK, I admit it, I'm just as surprised as you are that they all fit. The heavy bottom plate is supported from underneath by a jack, is bolted at the edges of the napoleon hat.
new frame parts bolted on a.png
 
the main thing to remember here, and one that I am grateful for is, the frame head itself, that great nuckle head, looks like a gloved fist at the end of a sleeve, is un-moved, welding in the base plate will only make it stronger.
new frame parts bolted on b.png
 
now I can weld on the napoleon's hat, weld on the frame head base and unbolt the whole front suspension for a rebuild. it's all happening here so stay tuned.
new frame parts bolted on c.png
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
In a way its better that you have replaced the entire floor rather than letting in sections as it will be stronger
a good base to build from
 

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