The rebuild continues, and new we’re looking at cleaning the floor back to bare metal. Doing so, we came across a few of the usual tell-tale rust spots on the chassis legs that plague many a Sierra and Escort Cosworth.
On cutting back the first, outer skin it reveals the infamous water trap that all Cosworths hide. Where the multiple layers of steel meet, water can get trapped in between these layers, it then sweats and causes the floor and chassis legs to start to rust.
Obviously, this needed removing and replacing with fresh, solid steel. We tackled the passenger side first, and with both skins of the chassis legs cut open and all supports braces and brackets removed we could finally get to the offending rot and cut it all out.
We were going to make new replacement pieces from scratch but Damo Hennefer at Auto Weld Bolton had an Escort Cosworth rear end going spare, so a little road trip to Bolton saved us plenty of man-hours back in the garage!
The passenger side was fully stripped, al the rot removed, and a couple of little repairs made to the donor chassis leg before it was all cut to shape and skillfully grafted in place. At the same time we decided to add liberal coatings of anti-rust primer too, in an attempt to help it last another 30-plus years.
The driver side proved more problematic. On stripping it back it seemed the rust was never ending! Therefore the main rear chassis leg, along with the rear axle mount, was removed and replaced with sturdy steel from the donor rear end. A few little repairs had to be made to the donor piece before it could find its way onto the Escort, but now it’s all welded in place things are starting to take shape nicely. Again, we added a healthy dose of anti-rust primer to prevent the new pieces suffering the same fate as the old ones!
The rest of floor is going to take a fair while to finish, as we want this level of attention to detail throughout the entire shell to make sure the whole car is as solid as can be. We’ll crack on with that over the next few weeks and, of course, keep you updated on how we get on. Now, where’s that grinder…?