Some more progress on the bodywork:
Door pillar is welded now, though most of the repair is behind the front wing, which has been fitted and lines up well. Gray really struggled to fit the original wing – it just wouldn’t sit right no matter what he did with it. Some swearing was allegedly heard. Nothing would work so he gave up and had a go with the new wing (part number CAP5122) and it went straight on, so the old wing must be slightly buckled – perhaps in a minor bump I had in 2003.
The door pillar fits the wing evenly down its length, with no visual variation of the gap. I'm hoping the repair will be invisible when it is painted.
The right hand sill end was very rusty and needed to be replaced. Luckily the rust is localised so could be cut back to good metal without a problem. There is classic XJ40 rust where the sill joins the floor at the front too, so rust was replaced with metal there at the same time.
I’m worried about what is going on inside, under the scuttle. I poked my finger down the hole here and felt the rust flakes give way down below. Not good.
The area will need to be opened up to find out what is going on in there - I suspect this is the area that lets in water to the footwell in so many XJ40s. Strangely both footwells on my car were always dry, but it could be that it was never exposed to enough water to fully saturate the soundproofing, then run down into the car. If it had been parked in the rain for a few days, then maybe I would have had a swimming pool too.