Spitfire Rear Inner Wing Quarter Panel Removal and Repair
When I cut off the rear wing I found that what lay underneath was a lot worse than I expected. I thought I would just need to change the rear wing and perhaps some local repairs to the inner wheel arch and the lower inner wing where it meets the boot floor. It turned out I needed to buy a wheel arch repair and a lower inner wing repair panel as well as the outer wing. The first job was to take off the metal left behind when the wing was cut off, this involved just angle grinding the metal back until it started to lift around the spot welds and then the metal could be pulled off. Once this was off I just cleaned up the flanges back to shinny metal, I quickly tried the new rear wing for fit and I must say was please to find it was a good fit and only minor tweaking will be required for a good fit Next I removed the wheel arch that was rotten at the lip where it met the rear wing. After I removed it and cleaned up the area I trial fitted the repair panel again this one fitted well and it was a nice moment to be adding metal rather than removing it.
The lower inner wing panel was totally rotten, water must get into the boot and this is the lowest point and there is no way out for the water to go except rot its way out and it certainly did on mine. Fortunately there is a very good repair panel available (obviously a common Spitfire rot spot). The only problem with this panel is that the bumper support bars are fixed to it by an extra bracket and unfortunately this bracket is not part of the repair panel so the old one has to be removed and fixed to the new panel. This was done using as cold chisel to bash through the spot welds. This bracket was then cleaned using my blast cabinet (click here for article on blast cabinet) before being painted with weld through primer and then welded to the repair panel. The area of the inner wing was then cleaned up and it too was painted with weld through primer and then trial fitted using clamps and the bumper mounts to locate the panel in place. Once I was happy with the fit this panel was welded in along the top (the bottom will be welded up once the new boot floor is installed
I am now in the process of cleaning up and putting in some small repairs that the repair panels do not cover. I hope to be fitting the inner wheel arch soon and then I will be cutting out the boot floor and rear valance.