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CLEAH
12-07-2014, 03:26 PM
The bottoms of the hinge pillars on my car are gone, and instead of recreating or just replacing the bottoms, I am contemplating replacing the entire faceplate. The back plate is fine. Does anyone have experience separating the faceplate from the backplate? It is easy enough to drill out the spot welds on the flange that attach to the footwell side panel, but is the faceplate welded directly to the backplate also? I can't see any evidence of welds.

Thanks, Hugh

Randy Forbes
12-07-2014, 04:24 PM
In hindsight, I never would've cut off my door-shut panels, when only the very bottoms needed repair. It opened up an entire can of worms, that could've otherwise been avoided.

My recommendation would be to cut away only the damaged portion, leaving as much of the original structure alone.

To specifically answer your question about spotwelds, they can more or less be easily drilled out (there IS varying degrees of difficulty, but it's doable). DO NOT settle for cheap knock-off spotweld cutters, only buy the Blair brand. I use two (2) different types on a regular basis; their Rotabroach Series is the preferred cutter (in 5/16 & 3/8" sizes) but requires a 3/8" drill chuck. When working in closer confines, and with a 1/4" RA drill, I use the Blair 3/8" double-ended cutter.

Premium spotweld cutter: https://www.autobodytoolmart.com/premium-spotweld-cutter-11094-p-11736.aspx

https://www.autobodytoolmart.com/images/Product/medium/11736.jpg

I don't seem to be able to find their smaller one, but the one above usually does most of the work for me. The double-ended, reversible cutter looks like this one:

https://spcarsplus.com/gallery3/var/resizes/JCCP/IMG_8954.jpg

ALWAYS center-punch the center of the sporweld before trying to drill it out, and lightly touch the cutter to the panel until it's "got its groove" going, or it can walk all over the place. In fact, a few practice attempts on a scrap piece of sheetmetal will pay dividends...

Here's an example of a cleanly removed bracket, by drilling out (only) the spot welds. This piece was later reinstalled, and used the lower three (3) spotweld "remnants" as a reference on where to replace the piece.

https://spcarsplus.com/gallery3/var/resizes/JCCP/IMG_8933.jpg

And finished!

https://spcarsplus.com/gallery3/var/resizes/JCCP/IMG_9055.jpg

CLEAH
12-07-2014, 09:53 PM
Randy, thanks for the information. Yes, I would never take the entire hinge pillar assembly off for fear of getting the new one back in perfectly. Hence my idea of just replacing the face and leaving the original structure behind. But maybe I'll just buy a new faceplate and cut off the bottom and weld that in (the BJ8 has a complicated curved bottom portion of the faceplate).