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Friday, May 20, 2016

Triumph Spitfire Battery Box Installation #5

Yes, #5 and I'm still not done. As a matter of fact, I took a rather big step backwards, but more on that later.

I always give my wife grief when she says "I went to Kohl's today and bought this nice so-and-so. It was on sale for $60 when it's normally $100, so I saved $40!" "No, hon, you didn't save $40, you spent $60," I normally reply. Then I get kicked or punched or something like that.

Last night, though, I took the "spend money, save money" approach and I ordered the sheet metal that I mentioned in my last post from Rimmer Brothers in the UK while their 15%-off all Triumph parts was still going (it ends on the 22nd).

After it was all said and done, I got both floor pans, both floor cross-members, both outer sills (the OEM ones), an inner sill and inner sill strengthener (I already had the passenger's of both), and the passenger's lower A-post for $854, including shipping (~ $135).

To source those parts domestically (everyone runs at about the same prices), it would have cost me $1214 without any shipping charges (though most places give you free shipping for an order of that dollar amount). That's a savings of $360, or 30%.

Some domestic parts houses run regular sales, of course. However, I've been watching prices on this stuff since I bought the car almost two years ago and I've never seen them match the non-sale Rimmer's prices. Rimmer's also had all of this stuff in stock when I ordered, something that can't be said for all of the domestic places.

At the end of the day, was it worth it? For $360 - absolutely. Realize, of course, that I had already made the decision that I was going to buy these parts...it was just a matter of when and from whom. But, I won't give the final thumbs-up until the parts are on my door step and all of the import/custom fees are taken care of (I'm not sure how much these will be, if anything...crossing fingers!).

Getting back to that pesky battery box, I intended to fill some pin holes with the welder to wrap it all up before priming and then welding in the box itself.

Black circles are the areas that need to be filled.
Unfortunately, in my repair I had unknowingly become too aggressive with the flap disc and had thinned out the metal. As a result, when I applied the heat from the MIG welder, it blew right through and I was unable to correct it.

The attempted repair, after grinding.
While I probably could have kept at it and eventually been successful, I'm sure when I went to plug weld the battery box in, I would have blown through again and this time the repair would not have been as easy to attempt. I decided that discretion is the better part of valor and accepted my failure, cut out another section (smaller than the original, so I guess that's progress!) and will try again.

The new cut out to be replaced.
This time, instead of a flap disc, I intend to use a grinding wheel attachment on my Dremel. I couldn't find them locally so I ordered them from Amazon and they should be here on Sunday. I'll give a report when I learn how they turn out but in the meantime I should be able to get the new piece welded in.

That was about it for the battery box. There are baseball games to attend both Saturday and Sunday so my work time will be limited. There is rain in the forecast, however, so maybe one will be rained out and I'll have some time available after all.

I also worked on removing the floor cross-members because I wanted to see if I could save them or not. In short, no, I couldn't. Maybe someone more gifted then I could have, but I decided to include a pair in my Rimmer's order.

Top view of the cross-members. Not too bad.

Bottom view of the cross-members. Not too good!

The swiss cheese of the driver's side floor, after removal of the PO fiberglass patch. Note the pop-riveted sheet metal up front.

Passenger's side floor pan, under cross-member. Yuck.
Given the condition of the floor pans, this also put me over the edge to order new ones of those, too, though I was already pretty sure I needed to anyway.

Having ordered all of the new sheet metal, the amount of stuff to take from the black car has gone down considerably. There are still a few things that I want to get off of it, however. Namely, the upper A-post on the passenger's side since a small portion of Dot's is rusted through.

A picture from before I bought her. And I thought this was the worst spot at the time...silly me!
I also want to get the heel board bracket assemblies. These are pretty stout parts as then serve as the transition piece between the body and the radius arms...essentially a body mounted suspension part. While Dot's appear to be okay, there's some rust converter and obvious rust on them. The black car's look to be in better shape overall. I quick trip out back with the Sawzall will make short work of those items, I'm sure.

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