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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Triumph Spitfire Restoration - More Bonnet Alignment

Ummm, yeah, tricky...

I got over the garage on Tuesday (2/13) and have had a few days to stew over what I found. I concluded the video above with my thought that I can rotate the bonnet on its support tubes to align it properly to the body. The more I've considered this, however, the more doubtful I've become. But, I did look up those tubes on Rimmers and they are called...wait for it...bonnet support pivot tubes, key word being PIVOT, which is exactly what I think I need to do. Here's hoping...

As far as work goes, the first thing I wanted to do was get the bonnet locating brackets in. These provide some height adjustment for the rear edge so that I could get it level to the body at that point. The original ones from Dorothy were trashed, but the black car's were just fine...transplant!

Prior to cleaning up and priming.

Hanging to dry.

After a good cleaning and priming, they were ready for installation. I still had to remove some spot weld remnants from the tub, however.

Pre-grinding. You can see the dirt outline of the old bracket, which I used to help me locate the new one!

All shiny and ready for primer.

And primed. Blue tape is just to protect the door hinge screw plate threads (yes, this is the other side).

Once all the  areas were primed and the bracket was positioned, I welded it up. I continually struggle with good weld penetration so this time I turned up the amperage a bit (one click) and let her rip. One small blow through, but otherwise it worked like a champ.

In there, though of course, grinding remains.

Now that those were in, I lowered the bonnet down and adjusted the locating cones to the correct height to level the bonnet with the sail plate. I didn't document this, but you just adjust the height of the cone for the correct vertical height and then tighten down the nut to lock it in.

The real test came with properly aligning the bonnet front to back. On the passenger's side, I could easily get a good gap. The driver's side, however,  not so much, like I talked about last post. I thought it may be the flare, or lack there of, of the wheel arch that, but that wasn't it.

Passenger's side wheel arch. Note the flare at the top inside of the arch.

And driver's side...no flare.

So, I used my sheet metal seamer pliers and put a quick flare in it, but it didn't make a difference.

There's your problem...still.

As I left it in the video, my intention is to try to pivot the bonnet on pivot tubes in the hopes that it's crooked due to accident damage or something. Based on some input from my favorite forum, however, I'm not sure that I'll get enough movement to make a difference. And, the more I run it through my head, I'm not sure that it will work.

In the worse case, I did something during my repairs that skewed the bulkhead so much that the bonnet no longer fits properly. One thing that gives me hope  against this, however, is that scrapping damage on the bulkhead (I point this out in the video) from the bonnet was there when I got the car.

Comparing the two sides, you can clearly see the curved scraped paint on the driver's side vertical bulkhead. This was obviously before I started any real restoration work.

Therefore, the bonnet and bulkhead have been getting cozy for quite some time.  I just need to play with it and figure it out, so we shall see!

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