I went down to the body shop again yesterday to see my car – particularly to discover what lies inside the bulkhead. I was worried about what’s going on inside the bulkhead, under the scuttle. Last time I saw my car, I poked my finger down the hole here and felt the rust flakes give way down below with quite a crunch.
The same place without the front wing:
The top scuttle panel has now been removed, revealing the inside of the bulkhead, which, I am relieved to say, is in excellent rust free condition. The brown staining is dust stuck on to a wax coating on the metal, and sitting on top of the seam sealer. It can be scraped off easily to reveal bright paintwork.
The top of the right hand end piece of the scuttle panel. This is made from very thin metal, unlike the bulkhead below which is of much heavier grade.
The underside of the same piece of metal. Water has got into this small rectangular compartment then been held there by what remains of the cavity’s foam filling. The foam was described as a rancid gelatinous slime. Water condensing on the underside of the top panel has rotted through the metal over time.
However, the top panel is the extent of the rust. Despite the brown look on the photograph, the ‘compartment’ floor and sides are not rusty. The discolouration is a mixture of rust flakes and dust. The crunching sensation must have been my finger compressing the flaked remains of the top panel which had dropped through into the cavity. Some of the rust was close in texture to soil.
Overview of the inside of the bulkhead cavity, now the scuttle top panel has been removed:
The whole interior of the plenum is in excellent condition – again the brown areas are a wax preservative.
Photographed from the rear – there is a small area of rust where the bulkhead front meets the inner wing, but nothing more:
The whole cavity viewed from the right hand side – no rust there:
The small area of surface rust is the extent of it:
The left hand side was in similar condition, but cleaner since the top panel was not so bad on this side.
Viewed from above:
And from the side across the plenum cavity from the left hand side:
Again the whole structure is rust free:
Clearly on my car water was not getting into the car from the bulkhead. It could explain why the cabin of mine remained dry, even though the car looked so rusty.