Once the main structural repairs were completed and the body shell was stable, there were a few areas of corrosion that required plating.
A typical area that most unrestored ‘A’s suffer often serious rust, is the flange that joins the front wings to the shroud. On my car the worst area was confined to the lower front section on both sides. I decided to cut out the rust and let in new metal, finishing the surface area on the shroud with lead loading. The following pictures describe this process.
This area was cut out with the captive nut retained for use on the future repair section.
Not being an expert, the curved shape of the shroud caused me anxiety and the repair solution will not be that taken by a professional. I fabricated a backing fillet with a flange and cut-outs enabling a curve and tack welded this to the shroud face and flange, to give a solid backing for lead loading. The captive nut was welded in place ensuring it was in exactly the right position to match up to the locating hole in the wing flange. The wing was trial fitted at this stage to ensure fit.
Welds ground back and flange beaten into a lower profile to allow build up of lead load.
This was my first attempt at the dark art of lead loading, but I’ve accumulated bits of the required kit over the past few years at shows and jumbles and now’s the time to give it a go. The automotive lead came from ex Citroën UK colleague Mike Walters, who had a few dozen bars in his garage, that once belonged to his father, that I believe used them in his days at Vauxhall many years ago.
Having cleaned the area back to bare metal, solder paste is brushed on to the bit to be leaded.
The solder paste is then heated until it starts to bubble and run, this is then wiped off with a damp rag until it all appears bright silver.
Repair area is now tinned and ready for lead solder.
The lead bar is then heated and blobs of pasty solder dropped roughly across the repair zone.
Now for the next stage of working the lead down to a smooth surface using the hardwood paddle, that has been well lubricated with tallow to stop it sticking to the hot lead.
Now using a coarse body file (bought this one at my local second-hand tool shop for £3.00) filing down to a smooth finish. Any obvious low areas were filled again.
Not too bad for a first attempt. Futher filing and then hand sanding will follow until final finish. Any imperfections left will be covered by using a high-build primer before painting.
Front end and shroud in generally good shape – no previous significant accident damage.