I also did some asking around on my favorite forum and though I didn't get a whole lot of replies, the few I did get recommended purchasing new sills vice using what came off the '64. Regardless, I intend to continue cutting the body up, taking what I need or want and offering everything else to whomever else. I've already put the bonnet up for the taking, so if you or anyone you know may want a bonnet for a pre-Mk3 Triumph Spitfire, please let me know.
|The red bottom is new metal, the black is original This is the outside of the driver's sill.|
|Need some new metal. You can see the outline of Sharpie where I'll cut away the rusted stuff.|
|Brass braze just as the metal curves to the right and heads towards the center of the car.|
To minimize the chance for collateral damage, I pulled the intake manifold and carbs (all in one piece) from the head. Better safe than sorry since that rear float was only about 1/2-inch from where I was cutting and grinding. Since it had been so long since I had gas in the car, it had all evaporated so I didn't have to worry about that. Thankfully the nuts (and studs, in some cases) came off with no problem.
|Now there's an exhaust manifold looking for a paint job! I put rags in the intakes to prevent foreign material entry.|
|Intake manifold nuts, studs and and manifold clamps. Got a 50% success rate on only pulling the nuts.|
|Damaged top bulkhead removed. Have some repairs to do to the front bulkhead as well, obviously.|
|Side-on view of the metal cut.|
|Metal that was removed. Those round metal dots on there are where I drilled though the tray with the spot weld cutter.|
|Should have flipped this over to save a cut and some metal...oh, well.|
|Small half-D shaped piece cut. I traced from under it to get the curvature of the cut on the left, or inside, of the curve.|
Since I had also lost some metal going down inside the curve a bit, I left some of the metal on the inside and then slice up to the curve line, so I could bend those pieces down, like tabs, to cover where the metal was missing.
|Tab cuts set up.|
|New piece in very rough fit, giving the idea of the tabs.|
Once I cleaned everything up, I removed a bit more metal to make the curved piece more like a puzzle piece to give me some interlocking stability for the welding process. The tabs, as it stands now, are just going to layer over the metal that's there. I'll have to worry about preserving this spot and prevent future water intrusion to prevent rust in the years ahead. I shot the area with a coat of SEM Weld-Thru Primer. Don't know if it was me or the paint, but it goes on very thick. It's zinc-enriched stuff that allows you to weld and maintains its integrity, unlike "regular" primer. Not sure if this was the best choice, but it's what I got.
|A bit more metal removed.|
I also coated the replacement metal with the weld-thru primer. I let both dry and finished with them for the night. When I get back to it I'll revisit this idea and make sure that it still makes sense to me to perform the repair this way. I may decide to just fill the little bit of metal that's missing inside the curve with MIG welding wire...we'll see.
|The puzzle piece primed and drying.|
As a final note, I discovered that I was a bit over-zealous on some spot welds when I was taking the battery tray out and had drilled through the "middle layer" of metal (the battery tray is top layer, the top bulkhead is next, and the front bulkhead is last...all of these are spot-weld-sandwiched together). So, I went back to where the two bulkheads were still firmly attached and cut the piece off just before that point. I'll rosette (plug) weld this back in once I get all the other repairs done.
|Metal removed. No damage here and it cleaned up well.|
I wasn't quite ready to quit for the evening so I pulled the passenger's side bonnet cone bracket. You may remember from Tub Tear Down #1 that I took both of these off of the black car since they are in sorry shape on Dot. I did use the spot weld removal tool this time since I wanted to save the underlying metal of the upper A-post.
|Bracket removed. Clean this up, grind it down flat using a flap disk and it should be close to spot welding it back on using rosette welds.|
|Blurry picture of the removed bracket. You can see the torn metal on the right. The driver's side is much worse, but I didn't get a picture of that. Will when I pull it.|
That was it so far. My wife asked me what I had done on the car since I was making lots of noise with the grinders and all. I told her I was fixing body cancer around the battery tray. I received the expected "what are you talking about" look. So I came up with an analogy for her that I'm pretty proud of. I told her something like "Imagine you have this 3000-piece puzzle that you hold near and dear so much that you glued it together, framed it and hung it on the wall. Well, one of the puzzle pieces had become damaged and you need to cut it out, very carefully. Then, you need to make a new puzzle piece from scratch and glue it back in. Oh, and do this so that no one ever knows you replaced the piece in the first place!"
I can only imagine how many times I will re-live this process. Cheers!