Well, there’s no turning back from that.
At first, it looked like the orange-coloured microblisters in my Sierra’s front wing were actually nothing serious. I’d hit them with a wire brush on the angle grinder, then treated the resulting dimples with Rustyco. No way could any corrosion survive.
But while pondering the potential for other repairs I decided to rip off a bit more paintwork. Just for a look.
And there it was: beneath a small bubble was a blob of filler. Beneath the filler was a big, rusty blister. Beneath the blister was a bloody great hole.
So, off came the wing, drilled through its spot welds to preserve as much of the original bodywork below. And, fortunately, there weren’t too many horrors in hiding. A bit of metal has disappeared around the bumper mounting, there’s a cavity on the wing rail and a stress crack on the inner wing, where Ford’s finest thin steel has decided to split thanks to years of coping with coilovers.
The biggest concern is a scab around the suspension turret, which had been hiding under the car’s alarm siren and wiring loom. Plus evidence of splitting on the nearside turret, which had been repaired before I bought the car.
Did I say biggest concern? Actually, forget that. My biggest concern is my ham-fisted welding ability; if I don’t want the Cossie to look like a pigeon’s been let loose with my MIG torch, I’d better get practising.
In the meantime, I’ve ground back every other sign of tinworm and rubbed in huge dollops of rust remover. Anti-corrosion paint topped with stone-chip and Diamond White will hopefully mean the rot has gone for good.
Just don’t expect me to finish anytime soon.