I got to work this morning with my new Blair spot weld cutter & Rotobroach kits. These things work well, and make pretty short business of separating the spot-welded sheet metal. I got the driver front foot area cut out, and will work tomorrow on cutting/grinding some sheet metal from an old hood to fit. I radiused most of the corners, with the thought that there will be less chance of stress cracking down the road after welding in the new sheet metal (this may or may not be over-planning, but...). Before the new sheet metal is laid in place, the tops of the frame rails will get a treatment of Naval Jelly to neutralize any residual rust, and then some 3-M Weld-Thru Primer.
I was pleasantly surprised by how clean the inside of the unibody frame rails looked. Even the tinge of red in the photos isn't rust, but rather the same red clay coating that's under most of the vehicle (it was last registered in Maryland...must be common there).
I also spent about an hour with a grinder/flapwheel, and a orbital sander cleaning up the corners on Mira's new JCR rear bumper. I got it test-fit on the Jeep, and am very happy with the way it looks. I just need to get it in a coat of primer until we're ready to topcoat it.
The way they recess the hitch into the bumper is really
slick, and gives a streamlined look to the bumper...nice work, JCR.
I did slide a ball mount into the hitch, and it's a little looser/sloppier than I expected. We can always use a silent hitch pin to tighten things up for towing, if needed.