Well, the first job was to remove the bulkhead. Easy peasy. Or so we thought. But hey ho, nothing will be straight forward so we may as well start now!
The mesh bulkhead was in 3 parts bolted with 13mm hex and T40 torx bolts – so easy enough to remove these. Bottom comes off, then middle then top.
The top bit had 2x prisoner type headless bolts impossible to remove. So this was a right PITA – if you can spot weld something or dremmel a head, great, we opted to drill a hole in the bolts and then use a screw extractor. This was messy but worked. Eventually.
Once removed, there are 2x “L” angles on the pillars where the safety belts go. I had planned to slide a hacksaw blade behind and hack saw the welds, or use a multitool. Neither option worked, so dried a few ways including shouting nad swearing.
Easiest option which made the second angle a 15 min job:
- Centre punch and dent the centre of each spot weld (5 per side)
- Use a small (3mm) drill to start to drill a hole
- Once there is an indent, use a bigger (8-12mm) metal drill and drill till you just make a small hole – no full hole, just so the point penetrates. This is enough to weaken the weld.
- Use an old chisel/big screw driver and then with that and a hammer, hit the L bracket near each weld starting from the end until it pops. Angle chisel from outside the van to inside hitting the bracket away from the weld (into the van)
- If it doesn’t pop after a few taps wiggle the L and maybe drill a bit more. Note on mind the drill had to JUST pierce the pillar for the weld to be breakable
- Once all popped removed the L
- Smooth out (ish) each weld
- Paint each in primer to prevent rust
- Full and then cover in lining when ready (avoiding the safety belt bit)
Overall, leaves a nice finish and easier/better than trying to flatten or hacksaw the bracket