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Bulkhead TLC Thread

Discussion in 'Series Land Rovers' started by bazanaius, Aug 14, 2017.

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  1. bazanaius

    bazanaius Member

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    Hello All,

    my first two posts on this website were both questions - hopefully my third will be more contributory than the previous, although there will definitely be questions along the way!

    We've recently purchased a 2A, and what started life as a 'rolling resto' has inevitably turned into something more. I have shipwrights disease and inevitably there's loads of stuff I didn't spot when I bought it due to being a first time buyer of landies, so likely to be a fairly thorough rebuild of the top half before it next gets an MOT. First place to start is bulkhead...

    I've discovered that the bottom of the pillars/feet on the bulkhead are a combination of both completely shot and truly bodged by the PO. Frankly I'm embarrassed to have bought it without noticing this - so I'm going to make amends by attempting to repair it. And I'll put the progress reports in this thread :)

    If it all goes horribly wrong I'll end up buying a new bulkhead but I'm going to give repairing it a good bash before I accept defeat. I've welded before but definitely an amateur, so will likely be doing lots of 'test' pieces before I dive in.

    As I say, the bottom 1/3 of the pillar downwards is definitely shot and so we will be getting replacement sections for both pillars and feet. What I wasn't sure about was how far up the damage went - I had a horrible feeling there was a lot of filler up there, and when I removed the bolts holding the hinges on the retainer nuts were rusty as it gets - so I didn't hold out much hope.

    Last weekend I took a grinder and flapper disc to the sides of the bulkhead, and was pleasantly surprised by what I found at the top of it - shiny metal (underneath a reasonable amount of filler)! The passenger side pillar appears to have had an argument with a tree at some point, so although not as rusty as feared the metal bit isn't the right shape and so filler has been used to make it look right... So the current plan (up for discussion here - suggestions please!) is as follows:

    #1 New driver footwell - passenger footwell has been done by PO and isn't dreadful, some small patches top/bottom required. Driver footwell is a patchwork quilt so will drop in a new one.

    #2 Likely next job is to repair the upper sections of the bulkhead using sheet and fabrication; from my initial inspection whole repair panels up here are probably not necessary (but advice welcome!) - does depend a bit of what I find underneath the outer skin. If all is not too bad, I think it should just be flat sheet so hopefully not too painful(!) In attached photos I've outlined the areas in red that I'm likely to replace. I'll also fit new captive nuts for the wing mountings at the same time and do as much as I can to protect the internal faces from future rust.

    #3 Remove old pillars and replace on both sides - I've seen some previous posts including nice techniques including nuts/bolts to make sure everything aligns, but I'm sure this will require lots of thought before going near a grinder.

    #4 Replace pillar feet - scariest bit for me! Haven't thought this through much yet - at this point hoping it will be clearer once I've got new pillars in! Dreading getting it wrong and the whole thing being wonky.

    Does this sound like a sensible order to do things? I think I'm right in saying it's best to do these with the bulkhead on the vehicle so that everything lines up and fits properly? Once I'm done I'm thinking I'll remove the bulkhead from the chassis and then do a full clean up and repair other sections that look dodgy. Has anyone ever dipped their bulkhead to strip it? On the one hand it's the only way I can think of to ensure all the cavities are cleaned out, but also aware it might cause other issues I haven't thought of?

    Having stripped the bits of interest off last weekend, I then covered them back up with some galvanising primer I've bought to protect it against the weather in the mean time. Next step is to order repair sections (and a welder, likely to keep it simple and go gas MIG) and find the next free weekend - so likely to be a few weeks before the next update.

    Wow - wall of text. I've hopefully attached some photos so you can see more clearly what I'm on about - including one of what it looked like just before I took the grinder to it.

    IMG_3057.jpg IMG_3066.jpg IMG_3094.jpg IMG_3100.jpg IMG_3106.jpg IMG_3111.jpg IMG_3115.jpg IMG_3133.jpg IMG_3135.jpg
     
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  2. John S

    John S Well-Known Member

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    Typical bulkhead rot. Check out YRM Solutions website. If the rot has gone above the level of the footwells you're probably looking at a new bulkhead. As you will see you can buy most of the bits you need. If you're experienced at metal fabrication and welding go for it.
     
  3. Colthebrummie

    Colthebrummie Well-Known Member

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    The standard of welds says a lot about the owner of the vehicle I reckon, pigeon dropping and splatter ridden welds are OK in areas not seen but where they are visible, either make them good or get a pro to do it. You have a good project there, take your time and do a good job. Keep posting your progress and good luck.

    Col
     
  4. bazanaius

    bazanaius Member

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    Update! Ordering repair pillars and feet from YRM tonight.

    Can anyone recommend their preferred gas MIG?
     
  5. bazanaius

    bazanaius Member

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    Bits from YRM have arrived - cue lots of measuring, holding up to current bulkhead, sucking of teeth...
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Cory A

    Cory A New Member

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    I have the same repair needed on my 2a. I hope you post updates on your progress.
     
  7. bazanaius

    bazanaius Member

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    I will - it will just be slow! In the process of trying to move house, so my aim to buy a welder this month is likely to be missed. When some good weather comes lots of photos of measuring, planning cardboard aided design to fill the gap between now and actual progress.
     
  8. Cory A

    Cory A New Member

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    I'm right with you Baza. Hopefully over winter I'll get a chance to work on mine.
     
  9. Citizen Kane

    Citizen Kane Well-Known Member

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    Worth welding up a simple jig to support the bulkhead for when the door pillars are removed. I made a simple angle iron frame with the same spacing as the chassis then welded and bolted some vertical elements and some more diagonal bracing. IMG_0785.jpg IMG_0786.jpg
    I also got mine blasted, its amazing how much hidden corrosion there is.
     
  10. Stretch

    Stretch Well-Known Member

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    If you want series 2a specific dimensions / data / pictures let me know

    Mine is in bits at the moment

    [​IMG]

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    More than happy to help out (from a distance!)
     
  11. bazanaius

    bazanaius Member

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    A jig does seem like a great idea - I was going to leave it on the vehicle whilst I did the majority of the work to ensure it lined up with mounts, but a frame to maintain spacings (especially when I take out the pillar) could be very handy.

    The windscreen 'clamp' mount holes (for want of a better word) are sound on mine, so could pick up off feet/chassis pick ups and those.

    I think Kane's bulkhead is a S3? If anyone has some 'good' measurements for an S2 bulkhead that would be handy.
     
  12. bazanaius

    bazanaius Member

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    PS - Stretch, I follow your build; you're a braver (and more skilled) man than I! Great read though.
     
  13. bazanaius

    bazanaius Member

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    Righto - bit of an update; some sunshine gave me an opportunity to compare the new bulkhead bits to those already on the car.

    Firstly - what are these for? They arrive with the new bulkhead feet.
    spares.jpg
    Next up - driver side. I held the new feet up against the long eye bolt through the current feet and outrigger. At the bottom - a smidge high but within LR tolerances I think, given the new A pillar is held on with masking tape.
    driver_low.jpg

    At the top it's a different story - although the 'shoulder' lines up reasonably well, the holes for the door hinges are too high. What I'm not sure is whether this is due to a previous bodge making my current bulkhead wrong, or the new parts being off - I suspect a bit of both. Head scratch...
    driver_high.jpg

    Allowing for perspective, I would say the wing mounting points are not a million miles off.
    driver_wing.jpg driver_wing2.jpg


    Passenger side - this time doing the same thing at the bottom, the holes for the door hinge are miles out. But I have got the world's most bodged lower A pillar and foot so I have no faith in my reference here.
    pass_low.jpg

    At the top, shoulder is close but again the door hinge holes are a bit high - suggests it's definitely the new part, and I need to have a think about the best course of action here.
    pass_high.jpg

    Finally - again, the wing mounts look in about the right place.
    pass_wing.jpg
    pass_wing2.jpg

    So although it's only a very rough first pass and I'm a long way off cutting metal, I have some things to answer:

    - What am I going to do at the top of the pillars? This may depend on what I find when I remove some of the thinner metal at the top of the bulkead, but I suspect there will be some minor mods to the pillar tops.

    - How do I know I've got it in the right place given the state of my current lower pillars? Can I trust the eye bolt location - i.e. outrigger?

    I've taken some measurements of my bulkhead as it currently sits - I'll post them up soon; I'd be interested to compare notes with anyone else who's taken similar measurements.
     
  14. Rubins4

    Rubins4 Well-Known Member

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    I think the captive bolt plates are used to mount the leading end of the sills to the bottom of the bulkhead.

    Dunno about your other queries I'm afraid, well beyond my pay grade, lol.
     
  15. Blackburn

    Blackburn Well-Known Member

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    The later threaded inserts for the door hinges allow a fair bit of movement for setting the hinges get them and fit a hinge to see if sufficient for the differences in position you can always slot the holes a little when you get to the stage of fitting the hinges.
     
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  16. bazanaius

    bazanaius Member

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    Thanks @Rubins4 - that will explain why I didn't recognise them, my sills fell off when I went near them!

    @Blackburn that's a good point - one of my next questions was going to be regarding hinge bolt inserts. Obviously the wing connection points use spire clips or similar, but from what I can make out of my old A pillars there are free floating threaded inserts internal to the pillar that allow the adjustment. Are these something that are readily sold? I guess I need to fit them to the pillar before I get anywhere near fitting it to the car.
     
  17. Blackburn

    Blackburn Well-Known Member

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  18. bazanaius

    bazanaius Member

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    I'm using series 2 hinges that came off the vehicle as they're all in good condition. So do spire clips go in here as well? There's no recess for them, and the old bulkhead parts have captive nuts on the inside of the pillar?

    upload_2017-9-30_11-14-11.png
     
  19. mistericeman

    mistericeman Active Member

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    Looks like you're making good progress.... been there done it and still wearing the T shirt from my 2a Station wagon...

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  20. bazanaius

    bazanaius Member

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    Great set of photos - thanks for posting those. So it looks like I need to get my head around the various layers of steel that are in there, particularly at top of the pillar where I hadn't realised the most forward flat panel went that far outboard behind the pillar. I think the key will be to take it apart very slowly, with lots of photos and sketches - once I've got my head around things I find it much easier to visualise how it's all going to fit together.

    In terms of spire clips - maybe they sit underneath the outer skin (is the pillar at the top under the outer skin, or over it?), or there are recesses in the back of the hinge bodies? Need to go home and look. Will post some pictures of how I think it fits together.
     
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