A Pillar Welding

Rust in A-Pillar

The A Pillar structure is impressively complicated. The basic structure is a box section reinforced by two hinge boxes, the bottom of the lower one being visible in the photograph.

The box section was connected to the inner sill by a buttress (at the very bottom of the photograph) and further reinforced by a second buttress to the left of the photograph. Finally, the hinge box was connected to a further piece of chassis by the square tube to the far left.

A-Pillar rust cut away

Unfortunately, none of this structure extended anywhere near the sill (well, perhaps it once did). The A-Pillar needed to be cut back as far as the hinge box which thankfully had survived intact.

The rear face of the A-pillar was left in place to guide alignment of the new sill.

A-Pillar inner repair section

Only the inner repair could be carried out at this stage. The outer A-pillar panels would have to wait until after the outer sill had been fitted.

Sill fitted

The sills were fitted prior to any further work on the B-pillar.

The square tube that reinforces the B-pillar to a second chassis member is an excellent idea from Aston Martin. It added so much stiffness to the B-Pillar that it was possible to hang the doors despite the absence of any other real structure in the area.

Mid A-pillar section

There appeared to be the remains of an inner A-pillar reinforcement in the original structure, although the area had rusted so completely it is difficult to be certain.

In any case, a section between the hinge box and the sill would have been logical from a structural point of view and was added at this stage.

Front A-Pillar Section

A buttress (more obviously present in the original structure) was added forward of the A-pillar.

This completed the forward section of the A-pillar, although the rearward section would still need to be replaced.

A-pilar rear section cut away

The door and the chassis jig were removed to allow access to the rear face of the A-pillar which was cut away.

A-pillar rear section replaced and trial fir of wing

The photograph shows the replacement A-pillar inner section with the outer wing trial fitted. The rear edge of the wing is rolled over the A-pillar flange so it was pretty important that the flange ended up in the right place.

Outer a-pillar section

The outer section was the next to go on. The joint between the outer section of the A-pillar and the sill had been completely lost to rust, so there was some guesswork involved in rebuilding this area.

I strayed from originality and incorporated a drain hole (visible on the outer sill below the A-pillar). I'm reluctant to build closed box sections without drain holes as a lack of venting and drainage is what caused this car to rot in the first place.

Inner A-pillar section

The final section to go on was the reinforcement between the A-pillar and the inner sill.

A Pillar completed

With the A-pillar completed and painted it is difficult to tell the repairs from the original structure. The hinge has been re-fitted ready for the door to go back on to the car.

More Aston repairs: sill welding and rear chassis and B-pillar repairs.

Or back to: Aston Martin Restoration

Aston Martin V8