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Friday, October 6, 2017

Triumph Spitfire Body Repair #29 - Inner Sill Installation

I continued with the sill replacement and got the inner sill installed most of the way. Still a few welds to do, but otherwise it's solid. The video:

I started with verifying that the door was going to fit, gap-wise, based on the new lower A post, which warmed my heart. Otherwise, as with fitting the lower A post, there were more iterations of measuring and marking and remeasuring.

I ran into some technical difficulties with my Harbor Freight Metal Punch and Flange Tool  where it would not fully pop a hole. This thing had some abuse before it was donated to me so it's been slowly degrading.  I did get the holes in the inner sill but decided to drill holes in the strengthener plate. Also, my welding helmet auto-dim also stopped working for a mysterious reason, but it started again after I took it apart and put it back together.  If you've never struck a MIG weld arc before, let me tell you, it is not pleasant looking at that thing head on. There's a reason people use MIG helmets to look at the sun during an eclipse. But, who knows, maybe the batteries just needed some attention.
I got the inner sill  lined up and adjusted and clamped it in to take a look.

Initial fit. The crooked floor starts to become obvious as you move rearward.

This lined up fine. A bit proud of the B post, but nothing a hammer won't fix.

Again, a bit proud of the A post, especially at the top. This will take a bit more banging.

I was all set to weld it in and I had a thought...what if I could move the floor in somehow. Then it occurred to me that if I used my grinding wheel to cut a slot in the floor board, I could bang it to close the slot, moving the floor board inward. It would then be a matter of running a weld bead to close up the small gap in the floor.

This would hopefully accomplish two things: (1) make the floorboard and the inner sill line up better, and (2) close the large gap at the heelboard that developed and which I somehow failed to take a picture of.

Throwing caution to the wind, that's what I did...and I was happy with the result.  I wasn't very aggressive and could have taken more, but I didn't want to push my luck.

A poor picture showing the slot that I cut.

The view from the back, showing a nearly zero gap which seam sealer will fix nicely! (sorry so blurry)

The view from the outside, behind the rear wing.

With that sorted, I tacked in the inner sill.

Inner sill tacked in.

And, outside of the strengthener which I drilled and primed, that was about it. I probably lost at least an hour to the technical difficulties and with all of the fittings and markings, well, that's how long it took.

One other thing I did accomplish was a partial assessment of my boot damage. Rimmer's is having their 15% Off Fall Sale on Triumph parts so body repair pieces are even cheaper than usual. The sale ends Sunday so I need to know what I'm going to order!

RH inner boot floor. Bottom 1" of that outside piece with the big cutouts is gone, though not horribly. This part is still available.

Same spot, but other side. This one is a little worse to go along with the worse lower outer portion of the wing in this area.

Where the floor meets the rear outer valence is pretty bad, but it's just a straight piece so shouldn't be hard to repair. I didn't get a good enough picture of that where it's obvious, but you can look at it in the video below if you would like.

Shot of the LH rear lamp panel. These are not available new, but I should be able to either patch it or steal it from the black car.

I made a quick video documenting the damage in order to ask on my favorite forum what their opinion is. I intend to get over there for just a bit tomorrow and get the old paint and seam sealer off to fully assess the extent, and then place the Rimmer's order based on that.

Here's the boot video - no work here, only visuals.


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