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A-Post Repair Vitesse (or Herald)


Peter_B
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I have found the o/s A-post on my Vitesse has rusted through at the base.  There is a large hole in the inner surface where it forms a double skin with the footwell, a hole in the floor section under the hollow box section of the A-post, and another hole in the "sculptured" section at the bottom front corner of the door aperture.  All the places where moisture would get trapped!  It looks like a complex welding job to fix it.  I can't find any repair sections for sale for the A-post pressing, only for the floor.

 

Can anyone who has repaired this area give me any tips?

 

Thanks in advance for your help.

 

Peter Britton

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This has probably happened because water has leaked past the screen, run done the inside of the A post and then done its worst. It is a common malady on Heralds and Vitesses . Typically, as you describe, the floor pan pressing, and the inner face of the A post, and often the body mount will be shot.

Your starting point therefore is to check whether rust lurks around the screen rubber, or in the dum dum putty which seals the drip rail to the rear of the pillar. Without fixing the root cause, it will rot again. Check both sides, and the bases of both A posts, typically, the drip rail pressing will be bulging and uneven if rot lurks behind it.

I hate to sound like the prophet of doom, but better to know just how much work you are in for at the start!

The better news is that if you are a competent welder, it is all repairable with time and patience. I gas weld, so I started by removing the screen, then the drip rail pressings and made some new ones. The screen work involved letting in metal on three sides, using a no.1 tip and a small flame and checking the repairs against cardboard profile templates, so that I could be sure the pillars kept the right shape and the screen would go back in afterwards. I then took the bulkhead off the chassis and stripped it. I bought new body mounts, and started by cutting away the bottom three inches of the inner face of the A post. I then cut off the rotten body mounts, which is a lot easier with the bulkhead on its side, and marked their positions first with some scribe lines to sound metal. I then re-made the floor sections above the mounts, using small sections to replicate the tapering triangular profile. Again, lots of photos and templates helped once the welds were ground back, I fitted the new body mounts, and then reinstated the bottom sections of the A post inners, this time with a drain hole. It was then the usual process of media blasting, seam sealing and repainting.

All this was part of a full body-off restoration over a long period. Once back together, the rear view mirror mounting holes and convertible latch fixings provide handy places to pump in plenty of your preferred rustproofing compound. If it is oozing out at the bottom of the A post, it is unlikely to be a problem again.

An alternative is to source a better bulkhead, but the phrase "rocking horse poo" comes to mind, given that they are all a minimum of 44 years old, or get one rebuilt by a specialist, but that comes at a price. Good luck with it.

 

Steve C

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Sounds like the repair I had to do on my Vitesse when I first got it.There was a repair panel which was the front part of the floor section including the front mounting bracket. From memory I just removed the door cut the rusty bits away welded in the rapair panel, line it up using the sill. Then home made repair panels for the rest, used to have some photos will see if I still have a them. Just done a google image search for Triumph Herald A post repair panels take a look.

Just looked at previous post mine rusted both sides from the bottom up, many years of crap thrown up by front wheels.

Best of luck

 

Paul

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I had to do a similar repair on my Vitesse, if you have to replace the front body mounting it's a good idea to drill a drain Hole in the base of the 'A' Post so if any water does get in it can drain out, I drilled a 20mm size hole? 

 

It also gives another access hole for pumping in Rust proofing fluid too, while the Bulkhead is off the car.

 

Regards

 

Gary

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Thanks to you all for your very helpful replies.  The pictures and You Tube video are especially useful.  I don't think the screen is leaking into the A-pillar now, it all looks very sound and solid.  I'm sure it did leak at some time in the past and the leak was probably fixed at the same time as the holes in the A-pillar base were cunningly disguised with filler!  I think I'll have a go at repairing it along the lines of the video with the body still on the chassis, as that will hold things in the correct positions.

 

Peter Britton

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