Compared to the rest of the bus, the cargo doors were still in a very acceptable condition. Besides a big dent in the left door and rusted lower bottoms of both the doors, there was not much we could do to prepare them for paint.
Similar to the other doors, both cargo doors were sandblasted to make sure that what we knew exactly what we were working with: stripped from paint, it was pretty self-evident that the lower part that holds the door seal required replacing on both cargo doors. To ensure we removed all remaining rust after sandblasting, we followed the below procedure:
- Remove all rust by grind back to bare metal
- Aply a rust converter and leave to react for 48 hours
- Cover with zinc or copper coating
- Finish with metal primer
After all remaining rust received the above treatment, I started preparations for both door bottom parts. I ended up fabricating them myself by folding a piece of sheet metal into angle of approximately 95 degrees. I spot-welded a 12 mm strip on one side of this bar to recreate the original double door bottom. I then made the water drain by placing the strip on a vice; with the vice opened to the with of the original drain’s size, carefully hammer the drain into the new panel.
start fitting the new bottom. I made the strip slightly longer than required, so I could fold the excessive material around the edges of the door; saves you from welding additional separate pieces to fill up the gaps.
Be sure you use air to cool the metal when finishing the weld that attaches the bottom to the door skin. This will prevent the metal to deform due to the heat generated from welding. One of my friends tin plated all the welds to ensure that rust will stay away for a while; tin files up the little wholes that might be left from my inferior welding ;-) After we degreased the metal we applied the filler and sanded it all down to a nice, paint ready, result.