Cut, Weld, Smooth, Repeat.
After ordering up a truckload of sheet metal and a 50 gallon drum of perseverance, we dove head-first into rust repair. We started in the rear of the car going spot by spot through the simpler areas. Below are some photos of one spot of the trunk. We cut a section out, weld a fresh section in and smooth it out. Good as new, right? Well yes, after we do this process a hundred or so more times.
Then there are the floors
While the bodywork is happening up top, we also began work on the floors. The passenger side sub-frame rail underneath was rusted through. We sourced a pair of new replacement rails, but they didn’t really match up to the angle and length at the front. After some debate about fabricating from scratch, we decided to modify these units which wound up working out well. A bit of smoothing will still take place after the floors go back in, and we will move to the driver’s side.
Some toys showed up
Our Tesla drive unit, controller, and battery modules have arrived. We have to hand it to HSR Motors/057 Technologies for terrific communication, education, support and packing (thought you wouldn’t know it from these pictures, as it looks a little like Christmas morning just happened). We chose 057 Technologies after a lot of consideration. We tossed around buying a totaled Tesla at auction, and stripping her ourselves of all her goods. We considered saving a few bucks and buying from any number of cut-rate dismantlers. Lastly, was the idea of buying from a shop that specializes in Tesla and EV conversion support. This world is a bit of the wild west right now, and there are more diverse opinions on these shops. But after visiting some, and chatting with others, I felt like I bought into not only the passion, but the engineering approach that 057 has taken with their controller, but also the drive units themselves.
We will surely see if we made the right call once we can dive into this gear in the coming weeks. In the meantime, it is back to Cut, Weld, Smooth, Cut, Weld, Smooth, Cut, Weld Smooth…