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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Triumph Spitfire Body Repair #19 - Body Mounted to Old Frame

And, again, the video. This one runs a bit longer than my normal; about 15 minutes. Oh, and I'll mention that I have a slight cold so I'm snuffing my nose quite a bit. I didn't realize it until I went back to review the video prior to uploading...and cringed every time I sniffed...sorry 😷

I got back over to the garage and went back at the measurements. The front of the the frame (I was using the mounting holes on the outriggers) was coming in fine. I attached a metal brace between the two rear mounting holes in the frame where it bolts to the body just behind the seats to lock that part down to its required dimension. But, as I worked my way back the short distance to the rear most mounting points (at the shock towers), the measurements were about 1/2" off.

What I was not considering was the that two pieces were rolling in towards each other. The piece of wood to keep the outrigger mounting holes aligned and relatively thin metal for the rear holes was of insufficient strength to prevent this. I went to my refurbished frame and was getting spot-on measurements according to the workshop manual (which was good!) but I couldn't translate that to the old frame. I almost called it just manufacturing tolerances and welded it up, but I had an epiphany and figured it out.

I didn't take enough pictures for this visit, so you'll have to refer to the video if you need to "see" this, but I was able to get the frame aligned with old bed frame angle iron and some vice grips to keep it all together. I then went to town welding the two halves together.

The front welded up.

Forgot a pic, but you can see the other angle iron through the rear spring access hole in the body.

Dash support installed. Lines up pretty closely, but not enough to get both sides bolted in.

I had just a bit of roll in the final assembly because my dash support would not align enough to get both sides bolted in. I'm off only by about 1/8" - 1/16", but it's just enough to prevent both bolts from going in. Interestingly, the top bolts went in easily, which leads me to believe that I'm either there or really close to being there for the proper dash height...meaning that my driver's side dash is not drooping that much, if at all and that I'm really close with the door fitment...which started this whole thing in the first place!

But, after man-handling the body back onto the frame, every other bolt lined up. There are several points where the body attaches to the frame and, with the exception of the dash support previously discussed, I could get the bolts in each one of them. I breathed a big sigh of relief knowing that I had not done any <significant> damage to the body in all of my work so far. Upward and onward!

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