Few big things done since last week but important ones. We removed everything from the body: bumpers, lights, emblems and moldings. Fortunately, that was not too fixed. Today is spent polishing the chrome parts and cleaning the upholstery (to maintain progress). Then in storage until "better times".

We are looking for someone who can repair the right front seat seat, but unfortunately there are not too many qualified upholsterers in the area. We are also waiting for new sheet metal parts. I'm in doubt whether we will have to make our own or buy them from somewhere.

The 850 has not been showing any progress for a while. Cause of the downtime was a lot of work and setbacks with the engine. The cylinder head is in such a bad condition that I no longer consider it responsible to invest any money in it:


For tomorrow I arranged a sheet metal worker to start on the bodywork, so today I made a start with the preparations: removing the first sill, cleaning sheet metal, stripping the rest of the interior and removing the windows. The photo album of the start is available here

Continued work today. In particular, many old repairs have been removed that also caused the sheet metal in the area to be terribly damaged. First, a new piece of inner sill was made and welded in to ensure that the strength was preserved. Then the bottom around the seat rails on the right was cut out and the insertion of new plate started. The left side isn't much better so we're not done yet! Photos from yesterday and today: Here

allerlei plaatwerk


Finally we were able to continue working on the 850 again. Work has been done on the wheel arch and the rear of the inner sill on the right. A really mediocre pizza baker has been going on here!
Patch over patch and finished with tarmac and sealant. The metalsurgeon cut everything out, cleaned the edges and welded a new piece in the wheel arch. Once this is sanded, you hardly hardly be able to see it, even without paint. Here you can see what influence a professional, good tools and spending enough time have on quality.

In the meantime,  we have emptied the doors and cleaned all loose sheet metal parts with an industrial cleaner and steam cleaner. As it stands, everything looks OK, except for a hole on the back panel. Continued at the rear where we drilled out the reinforcement plate so that everything behind this can be cleaned and repaired. This reinforcement plate has been de-rusted and is ready to be welded back after a minor repair. But first we'll have to rebuild the rear of the inner sill.

3 Bad metal

Naked and afraid

Before after

Before After


Now that we finally have the necessary sheet metal for the front, we immediately started stripping the left front wing. What I found there only makes me happier that I have found wings and a front panel. There are so many rotten spots hidden under that little piece of sheet metal that repairing the wigg would have only been a reprieve. A prelude to a new restoration in the near future.

We drilled an sawed the wing with all kinds of special tools and this is the result of a few hours of work:


Last week we saw that there was a lot of rot hidden under the mudguard. So today we got started with the brush to expose the sheet metal. There it is again, the brutal brush:

Wurth plaatwerkborstel

It's dull work but oh so much satisfaction when it's done.
striptease (2)

striptease (3)

This is where the silly baker has been working! And you can't get to that properly when the mudguard is on.

Striptease (4)

Even where the silly baker had not worked, there was misery. Nice that I can now access it.

striptease (6)

striptease (7)

Worth the effort! I can only clean the rest after the suspension has been removed, but then I can no longer get the car on a ramp so I'll do that when all sheet metal is ready.

When clearing out the trunk, I found this on the inner fender:


Too bad that it disappears when refinishing. Maybe I can make a new sticker with the image.

Plan for next week? Inner rear right fender and bottom left front. We only do the right mudguard and the front panel when the left wing has been welded back in order to keep the front in shape.

Today was a beautiful day where a lot has happened to the 850:

Almost the entire left inner sill and bottom have been replaced and the rear right wheel arch has been brushed almost completely clean.
Both the seat belt attachment and the reinforcement panel at the rear of the inner sill have been repaired and welded back and then primered in zinc spray.
The front jack stand has been removed, cleaned and will be repaired before being welded back.
Again patch over patch over patch. Apparently the car had to be kept on the road on a budget with the previous owner(s). You can find a small report below the photo.

Grote vorderingen <= click

Although we have been working hard, there is little to be seen. Yorn ground and sanded the welds on the right side of the bottom so that later, when the paint is on, nothing can be seen.slijpen/schuren

We could have been tempted to do nothing these welds; there will a rubber mat over them. However, we have set ourselves a higher goal: when ready, the bodywork must be better than original. First we do have take everything off and make sure it is 100% again.

Reached an important stage today! The sill on the left is welded shut too. Started on time as usual. The inner sill had to get a new patch at the front, so I first sawed out the suspect piece.

Made a new piece of metal and welded in and it immediately looks a lot better.


The other side after welding

andere kant na lassen

Before you can spot weld it must be 100% CLEAN:

Schoonmaken voor puntlassen

And don't forget to test-fit:


Making a step in the old sheet metal


The result:


Neatly spot welded and the long seams welded nicely without deformation.

Holidays are over, so something has finally happened again. Because both my son and I had to work today, the metaldoctor worked alone and the left rear wheelarch looks very nice again.

Nieuwe wielrand

In less than 4 hours it looked like this:

Nieuwe wielrand

And even up close it is already almost smooth, so little filler will be needed later on:

Nieuwe wielrand

Since my holidays, we have paid most attention to the back. I have only shown a few photos of that (read "no photos"). The inside of the rear fenders was not too solid so we decided to drill it out and insert new sheetmetal. Furthermore, the inner sills have been finished. And because we couldn't continue with the window frames for a while, we were also able to finally finish the inner wing at the rear right. In the photos you can see our noble handiwork.

inlassen Plaatje achterscherm

Everything was neatly made and then fixed with various techniques. Later everything will be properly cleaned so that the protective layers can be applied. Yorn has since worked on making the aluminum trim shiny. The photos are here

After an snowy adventure in the pitch dark, the 850 Special finally arrived in Breda just before Christmas. The car and its parts were in a shed in the middle of a meadows near Wijdewormer. The amount of snow on the path leading to it was humongous, so the cartrailer had to stay in the farmyard. And we had to push the Special through the snow to get back there.

The body was good where it needed to be good and rotten in places where ours was fortunately good. We will cut up the body in consultation with our metaldoctor.
What remains can be removed as sheet metal (rear fenders, inner / outer door sills and floor panels).
The amount of parts was greater than advertised. It was supposed to be 3 boxes, but the van we were traveling with was filled with parts over the entire surface up to a height of almost one and a half meters. That is why we were forced to leave things behind.

Not everything we took with us was usable because they came from scrapped bad cars, but there were still things that make me happy: an alternator, a compete set of disc brakes, window rubbers, a reasonable floor mat, headlining, expansion tank in new condition, lots of sheet metal, alloy wheels (Cromodora CD29's from a 128 Rally) and rear lights, lots of rear lights. Furthermore, windows, gaskets, water pumps, chrome frames, revision sets and bumpers. We will spend the coming weeks on further expanding the stock and then the photos will be published. Maybe there are also a few things going to auction sites, so keep an eye on those.

850 Special 850 Special 
850 Special 850 Special 

The Special has left the building! Because this car was bought as a donor, it was not allowed a long life in Breda. It had to be cut up. Deconstruction started at 8am and we were sweeping the dust off the floor at 11am. If you click on the picture you will see the execution.

begin van het einde

After the deconstruction (execution is such a nasty word) of the Special, we have worked hard. Every weekend we worked on the 850, not only on the body but also on the parts stock. The left rear inner wing is completely finished, including a new jack stand. The sill and the "A" -post on the left have also been finished. So we are approaching the front!

In preparation for this, I completely removed the old front and laid the loose sheet metal of the Special bare.


Another alternator emerged from the stock of parts. It has been completely disassembled and is going into overhaul. The dynamo housing has been cleaned and sanded and then painted. Everything sprayed neatly in matt silver gray, the pulley in a slightly dark color. In the meantime we have started sanding loose sheet metal and I found new frames for the vent windows on Marktplaats. Unfortunately, the lowered front spring was missed.

From the old front fenders I have kept usable parts and from the Special also the longitudinal beams. They will later go to Marktplaats.
Photos? Here and they speak for themselves.

An A112 Abarth has also sneaked in between. My brother Constant is building such a car and sometimes it requires a real workplace with good tools

a112 a112
a112 a112

Nothing photogenic this time. Spent the whole morning preparing for the next welding day. All sheet metal parts that we will need next time have been extensively brushed clean so that we do not lose time during welding. The window sills for the front and rear window, the inner wings at the front and some small stuff. The front spring has also been cleaned.

I still have doubts about how we will lower the front suspension. The intention is to get the car about 4 centimeters lower on the front. I can have a new leafspring made with the spring eyes reversed or I can replace the mounting plate with a U-profile.



I already know what to do about the rear springs. I cut off about one and a half turns there. With that I have that 4 centimeter lowering without much effort. Only I don't know yet whether I can fit 175/50 13" tires or whether it should be 165/65 13". Choices? Far too much for such a project. But that makes it fun.

Because our sheet metal doctor was not available today (problem with his washing machine) we only were able to do some alternative work. We have brushed the inner wing on the right in preparation for the sheet metal transplantation that will hopefully take place soon.


I myself applied some fantasy on the rear panel. My idea is to make something (for the summer months) like the panel of a Ferrari F40. After a first cutting and grinding session I had this:


A little while later:


And it has to become like this. For the winter period there will of course be a normal intermediate panel.



We take advantage of the situation! Today we have made significant progress! Not only with "skin grafts" but also with the preparations for future transplants. The donor sill of the windshield has been made completely bare: everything that was welded was drilled out and removed, after which the inside was cleaned for welding. We did the same with the rear window sill.

de onderdorpel voor de achterruit

The metal surgeon then sawed out pieces and welded them back.

nieuw dorpel 

Click on the photo for an album

The donor roof being prepared so that it can be welded back on the car soon.



Finally, a new panel was welded to the left inner wing and the panel of the spare wheel box was repaired.



Lately things are progressing well! Today the top halves of the inner wings have been replaced. The inner screens that we had cut from the donor Special have now been neatly "sawn" into the rotten inner wings of our 850. Then they are welded, always small welds at a time to keep the metal from getting too hot. Result? Very tight.

Let's go back in time: the 850 was like this not so long ago:


Todays pictures:




Binnenscherm links

Once we got that far, of course, we had to test-fit:

Nieuwe hoop-1 Nieuwe hoop-2

The spare wheel well has also been repaired and the reinforcement bar for the hinges of the boot lid has been drilled out and cleaned.

Reservewielbak links verstevigingsbalk-2

Next the gearbox has been disassembled because it is moving elsewhere. To Geleen in the south of the Netherland where a revised other one is waiting for me.

Versnellingsbak-1 Versnellingsbak-2

There are days when everything falls into place. Today was such a day.

Started early with fitting the right front wing. Imitation, so that hardly fits. It was even necessary to cut the inner edge (on the "A" -post) all the way and knock it into shape. Once that was done, the screen went well, although there will still be a few things to be done to get the body lines beautiful.

pasmaken scherm

scherm gemonteerd-klein

While our metalsurgeon was working on this, it was decided that extra cooling would be installed in the front. There will eventually be a radiator fitted with a 12 volt cooling fan. The front panel gets an opening (still to be made) and to get rid of the hot air I made extra cooling holes at the back of the spare wheel well. In the photo above you can already see such a hole, but it looks like this from close up. There is of course also one on the right. Maybe I'll put hoses on it to prevent splash water from entering


Because I was working at the front, the metal doctor started with the frame of the rear window. It was very crunchy. After sawing and drilling the original bottom edge, it turned out that the inner frame had competely rotted away. Making a new inner frame is very difficult because of the profile.
However, we had the roof from the demolished Special. It still contained the upper inner frame and no water stays at the top, so no (well, little) rust. We therefore decided to drill out the top frame to see if we could use it.

Although it was slightly shorter than the lower frame, it turned out to be very usable, so we continued to work with that. After cleaning and welding the frame and spraying all loose parts with zinc paint, the outer panel could be bonded just before 12 o'clock. We will finisch the spotwelding next time.


A set of photo's can be viewed in this album

In the meantime, I also worked on the wild idea for the rearpanel. This could be roughly like this:

And the rest of the time? We were sanding metal like it has to be ready tomorrow.

After last week's preparations, neatly welding in the rear window frame was a breeze. A whole collection of welding techniques was used to get the frame attached as beautifully as possible: but welding, spot welding, MIG welding. Then grinding, planing and sanding the welds, after which the 850 looked "original" again. Quite accurate work:

hechten ruitframe achter hechten ruitframe achter

Heavy job too:
puntlassen achter puntlassen achter

But quite fulfilling:
schaven-las rechtkloppen goot

Then it was time to start on the front left wing. To do this, the door had to be put back first:
portier pasmaken portier pasmaken klaar

And next time? Then we'll try to get the wing on the left on and the front in.

We started this week's work with optimism but ended on a low note. The reason? The front right screen does not seem to fit properly.

But first the run-up: My metal surgeon started with finishing the sill on the left (had an strange dent and nobody knew where it came from...) and Yorn and I sawed the opening for the front radiator. Then we could get started with the front. To be able to dent the sill, a special piece has been welded on, after which it can be pulled with a multi-fingered hook and a chain. With that tool you pull everything in a nice straight line.

dorpel links



As can be seen in previous photos, we started the construction of the front of the 850 with the right front wing. This wing was temporarily put in place with sheet metal screws so that we could fit and align the other parts. And with the sawn-out front ready, the fitting could begin! No lack of clamps.


After all that fitting and measuring, we appeared to have problems on the right side to get the headlight edge neatly into the screen. On the left, everything fit exactly. Strange sensation.


The cause is probably the shape of the wing. It is exactly right at the tip of the boot lid, but not on the outside; as if there is too little "meat" on it. We will examine that next time! Fortunately, I kept the old wings.

Today, after a month of standstill, finally we worked on the car once again. At least, the metal surgeon. Yorn could not do much because of a bruised foot and me because of another appointment in between. After a short session in which we tried to fit the headlight edges, it was decided to do the roof first.

Next week we will be without an expert and we want to continue. So there had to be work available for that day. That is why a start has been made to drill off the roof sheetmetal of the 850 Special: tap raingutters, drill and loosen spot welds. Then drill out the mounting frame for the headliner and dispose of what remains as scrap iron. Curious about the large photos? Click on the images below.

Losboren Losgeboord

Ook hier roest Frames voor hemelbekleding

But the roof metal also has to go somewhere. Here:


So the saw had to be put in:

De zaag er in De zaag er in

De zaag er in De zaag er in

Next week, the excess rim will be drilled out of the 850 and then the roof from the deceased Special will be welded on.

What better thing to do on a rainy day than to have a roof over your head? Or get one! So that was today's task. There was some debate as to whether it wouldn't be better to glue back the roofing sheet. This results in a guaranteed watertight connection. But the metal doctor is a welder, not a gluesniffer, so it was going to be done the traditional way. It doesn't make much difference in terms of preparations. So everything had to be cleaned well and the edges of the old roof had to be removed. When that was done, the old roof was temporarily put back to mark the cutting edges and then the precision work could begin:

Voorbereidingen voor afborenThe sealant edge of the gutter is "rolled away" here. This is done with a small rubber disc.

AfborenEach and every spot weld must be drilled out without piercing the underlying plate

Pasmaken nieuw dakEverything has to be in place before you can put the saw in.

Pasmaken nieuw dak
En als je gaat zagen moet het vast zitten.

Pasmaken nieuw dak
Cutting out the interior sill

Pasmaken nieuw dak
Saw cutting through old and new roof sill

Dakrand in zinkspray
All parts that are exposed are sprayed with zinc spray. This is "weldable" so that everything remains protected even after welding.

Oplassen frame voor beugels van de hemel
Because we want to install a headlining later, the frames for it (from the Special) now have to be welded.

Oplassen frame voor beugels van de hemel
After all that work, the roof is in. Only welding is still needed.

Beugel voor hemel ingelast

The headlining frame on the left with the roof plate.

Next time we will weld and grind again. So we are finally getting closer to the end of the metalwork!




After two Saturdays of fitting and welding the roof is on. Because the car had been without a roof for a number of weeks and it had been pushed back and forth a number of times, we first made sure that the doors fit neatly into the "window frames" again. For this the car had to be jacked up, after which two men gently pushed on the corners of the body. If the fit of the door was good, a number of welds were made. Then fit, push and weld again until the roof plate was tight enough to weld the rest. Then on to the other side for the same process.

Lasrobot aanhet werk

In the meantime, we used just about all the welding clamps that could be found in the workshop:

Heleboel lasklemmen

The welds on the window sills:


The welding robot has done its best! What do you do when you have nothing to do? You clean up! The engine compartment and interior are now completely empty, except for a few hoses. The wiring harness has been completely removed and the heaterhousing has also been put into storage.

Lasrobot aanhet werk

Lasrobot aanhet werk

Today we spent grinding the but welds around the perimeter of the roof. There are a lot of them but it is certainly worth it. It is not photogenic work so there are no pictures of it. We do have a few of the results:

Glad geslepen

Today it took more than 3 hours to further grind the but welds of the new roof. In the previous session I had practiced so today it went a bit faster. Now the right side is also finished and the top edges of the front and rear window are nice and smooth again. Continued with the inner fenders where, long ago, we inserted new tops (which came from the Special)


Nothing has been ground on this yet, but it does show about the amount of weld we are talking about. The intention is that it is not visible on both the inside and the outside of the wings that welding was ever done. Then no mud can get stuck on it, which in turnprevents rust problems.