Body assembly almost done

It’s been a month since I posted an update, but I have done quite a bit. It’s summer and I haven’t spent as much time in the garage as I did earlier in the year when it wasn’t so hot. But I’m making slow progress.

First, about the website. I rehosted the site on Amazon AWS and have it mostly up and running. I still need to set up encryption so it works as https instead of http. And the mailer isn’t working since AWS doesn’t include a SMTP server. I still need to figure that out. So if someone posts a comment I won’t get notified, and will see the option to approve when I log in the next time. Today the 8 waiting comments were all spam, so it wasn’t a big deal.

On to the Jeep. Both body sides and the taillight panels are installed and welded in place. I test fit the tailgate and I think it is going to fit correctly. Today I installed the right side wheel well. So the left wheel well is the final panel that still needs welded.

Back end with tailgate.

Today’s wheel well install almost went terribly wrong. I’m using a technique called weld-bonding. Basically instead of using weld through primer where the panels overlap, I’m using panel bonding adhesive, and then spot welding through it before the adhesive sets. This produces a joint that is stronger than either adhesive or spot welding alone, and more importantly, waterproofs the joint so hopefully they will be less prone to get moisture between the panels and rust.

So today I ground down all of the mating flanges and applied the adhesive. I was just about ready to fit the panel in place and start welding when the power went out. So I had to scrape off all of the adhesive and get is as ready to start over as I could. That stuff isn’t cheap and I hated wasting it. If I had started welding before I lost power I would have been stuck not able to finish before the adhesive set, and not able to remove the panel to start over. My only option would have been to clamp everything and hope the panel bond adhesive alone was good enough.

As it worked out, three hours later when the power was restored I ran a sander over the mating areas to make sure they were all clean again, reapplied the adhesive, fit the panel in place, and welded it in.

Oh, and most importantly I ordered an adapter cable that will let my plug the welder into my generator if this happens again.

Side panel welded.