Front Panel Replacement

The front was not too bad but i decided i wanted to do away with the spare up front and it wasn't quite good enough for that without a bit of work. That and the fact that I still had a toughened windscreen I wanted to replace with a Laminated one, and you sometimes get a feeling that once the existing screen was removed i would open up a bag of worms made me decide to go for the whole replacement job. 

Light And panel lower edge were a bit rusty, nothing that could not be fixed.

Centre of panel was a bit rough caused by previous spare mountings.


n/s light a wee bit rough too.

Top edge was as rusty as i had hoped it wouldn't be,

Some repair work had been done but not too well, cant see how this didn't leak. They had tacked dash to the front panel.

Cut and separated the dash is not too bad.

Same at this end

Centre wasn't much better.

I cut the top section out first to see how much work was going to be needed. The rear panel was not too bad only the top edge was rusted but i had already ordered the panel so it was coming off.

Like i said it wasn't too bad.

and again.

The posts were quite good.

So was this one.

The Air vent layout looks non standard as there is no lower edge to spot weld to,,,

The spot welding was on the edge that sticks out?? VW worker must have been bored and wanted a wee change. Still it holds as good as the other arrangement.

With the rear panel cut out all is looking good and solid.

I was surprised to see that the folded over edge was only tack welded in 3 places so the fold was easily removed with a chisel.

You can see how easily it just comes off.

You can see the tiny tack in the centre.

The lower part is nice and solid although a bit scruffy.

The whole front off ready for cleanup and painting

Remove all the paint the new panel comes with as its very thin and wont keep the rust worm at bay

I gave mine a good coat of Hammerite, just painted the whole thing as i can then remove the paint from the surfaces to be welded later.

Used the plug weld punch from Frosts, its another tool you don't know how you did without. Hell of a lot easier than drilling. this row of holes took about 30 secs.

The air vent holes were easy too, imagine trying to get a drill in at this angle.

Decided as i have everything else off i might as well remove the front dash section and repaint it.

All sanded down and cleaned with Metal Clean and preped with Metal Ready from Frosts ( I should get commission from them )

Inner of New Panel Given a good coat of Hammerite, hope i never see this side of it again

Dash with a coat of primer ready for top coat..

Dash sprayed, fitted and strengthening section welded in

Wee bit of patching while i can get at it.

Looks like its ready for its new front

New front with sound deadening stuck on

A wee closeup

And another

Top edge of strengthening section sanded back to metal, also around air vent and lower edge where the front panel will be plug and spot welded

Front panel plug welded in

And around the air vent Plug welded these will be ground back to make it nice later

Frame section seam welded and ground back.

SHE'S on !!!!!!

Doors back on

Side view doors fitting ok

Wee coat of paint to the front

Before and after headlights cleaned up and painted

Just a wee bit paint below the windscreen an wipers fitted will be it.

All done, ! note spoiler !  well you need a bit of bling. and it does help in a cross wind.