Right then after mulling it over for most of the week I finally decided to 'extract' the entire panel. Spot welds drilled out along the lower half but the top row joining to the windscreen panel I've drilled right through ready for plug welds upon refitting. I'm not sure how I'm best to weld in the bottom if the panel. The steel even in an overlap form is still a bit thin for seam welding. I think the jaguar service sheet had it right in the idea of a continuous bond albeit in adhesive would stop the water seeping in the gap. What's the vibe toward the bottom edge being held in with seam sealer and bolts?
Anyway, here are a few shots of how today went. First lot show the exposed plenum immediately after removing the panel. If you opt to remove yours, this is a great opportunity to recite every foul word you know in different orders!
There was a good amount of a bitumen type product flicked about behind there. I ended up wiping it out with a petrol soaked rag, at least there will be a week for that to dry up before any sparks start! So after a clean up it looked a bit better, easier to keep the optimism up when things are tidy.
Panel ends were finally chopped out, anyone doing so will find the last 3 spot welds are under another panel and to get to them you'd be into some serious structural work. I opted to save any of that and used a tungsten rasp bit and grind them away. The ends of the new panel will just bend around 180 and fit against the bonnet catch panel.
The old panel put up quite a fight but eventually surrendered. The lower edge is as expected and looking at the contact surface of the sending bulkhead I think taking it all put was a smart move. I called it a day early on as i don't like going mental with the grinder on a sunday especially being a stone's throw away from the church.
Initial prodding and poking at the raw ends eventually led to cutting out the first of the bad stuff. The white foam in the cavity was damp, only slightly, but I doubt the car has been wet for at least 8 months, which is interesting. Safe to say that has been taken out, and the first tickle with drill mounted wire brushes has gone on to reveal it to be fairly decent in there.
The only perforation I could find in the chamber itself is circled above, right up at the end on the driver side. Maybe these don't just rot out at the bottom after all! Lots more grinding to do, which is no doubt going to be the case for a while yet. Plenty of loctite rust remedy to chuck about under the scuttle ends once a bit more has been cleaned up.
I finished up drinking tea and looking at the car I had wanted since I was 14. Currently sat in a lot of bits looking to the neighbours I'm sure as a lost cause. Hopefully this is as dramatic a job I'll ever need to do on her, save the rear suspension refurb that is obviously moving up the list. All in the name of preservation! Just keep telling myself that