Thursday, September 27, 2018

Triumph Spitfire Metal Work #11 - Lotsa Work

Lotsa work done, and I'm behind on my posts, so I'll get right to the video:


I started with the front valance hammer and dolly work as well as some shrinking disk work. It's still just as tedious as it always has been and I struggled, but it finally got to where I wanted it. As I've said before, the metal work progress doesn't show up too well on photographs so you'll have to refer to the video.

The metal work done, I moved on to getting the strengthener brackets ready to go in. As I've mentioned, I was afraid that using the spray gun I would be unable to adequately get behind them. So, I took a small chip brush and did the backside of the brackets and the area of the front valance that would be hidden by said brackets.

Passenger's side of front valance painted.

Brackets painted and drying.

Those are few words and pictures that represent about half of the full-day visit at the garage.

Because epoxy is expensive and I didn't want to waste it, I moved on to doing something similar to the areas of the bonnet that were inaccessible to a spray gun - behind the headlight buckets and the tops of the wheel arches.

Inside the bonnet...lit for your viewing pleasure.

Another shot showing the very front portion of wheel arch.

I tried as best I could to get into those areas with several cleaning methods (wire brush, greenie, etc.) and got the areas as clean as possible. For the paint, again I used the chip brush to get to those areas. Behind the headlight buckets is especially tough to get to so full coverage wasn't possible, but I got it as best as I could.

Back of the wheel arch, partially painted.

In addition, the inside of the wheel arch, at the fender flare, needed to get painted as well (just like the rear arches), so I took care of this as well.

Inside edge of fender flare painted.

I took a little side-track then and cut out the old wire harness tabs that line the front of the bonnet near the grill. These are used to guide the harness for the headlights and front signals. I made new ones and got those painted. I decided not to weld them in because they would only tear up my arms as I try to clean the bonnet.

The new tabs, ready for epoxy primer.

I moved on to metal working of the boot lid at that point and my day started to fall apart a bit. This was really the first large-area repairs that I tried to do. The front valance wasn't too difficult (to me) because it was a relatively small area with an even smaller area of damage. With the boot lid, however, the entire metal area increased exponentially and the dents were much larger...and deeper.

Hard to see, but there's lots of dents here.

This is the forward (flat) part of the lid, near the gas cap.My problem was that I just didn't understand what I was doing. Using the hammer and dolly to work from the top of the boot lid just wasn't clicking with me and I needed to study. I got pretty frustrated (you can probably hear it in my voice towards the end of the video), but thankfully I was smart enough (I can learn!) to stop and walk away following a long-ish day.

But, I came back after studying and the work went much better. I got about half of the boot lid straightened up (at least much better) and I was much happier with how it went. Again, the video does better justice in trying to show this process. Being a school night, however, my time was limited.

How I left it. Again, hard to see the difference but you can see a lot of high and low spots.

 And that was about it. Another post coming soon!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Triumph Spitfire Metal Work #10 - Front Valance Repair & Metal Work

I only took a few pictures at the garage on this visit. Turns out hammer and dolly work is rather subtle for to photography (or at least for my photographic skills). The video, while not great, does it better justice, so here's that:


That being said, there was some stuff to go through. I focused on hammer and dolly work (hence the title of the video). In keeping with the fact that I rarely have a well thought-out plan for each visit, I decided that the front valance would be a great opportunity to do some on-the-job training (otherwise known as OJT). As this panel is pretty well hidden being so low to the ground, if I messed it all up, it would be hard to notice!

It went okay, but I was having a lot of problems with the front valance twisting on me. If there's one thing I've picked up on during teaching myself metal work is that moving around metal "over here" impacts metal "over there" and I didn't want to "fix" one area only to find that I messed up another area.

Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to weld back in a clip (for lack of a better thing to call it) that had come off. This was another example of an area where I think Coventry messed up and didn't properly spot weld in a part. Given that I was having a lot of flex in the valance, I figured if I welded this clip back in and then fit the bracket that went between it and another similar clip, I would stop the flex. This didn't end up working out too well in practice, but I did get the repair done!

The "clip" in question.

The clip clamped in. View from "inside" the front valance with it upside down.

The clip welded in and cleaned up. View from top of valance looking down with valance "right-side" up.

That done, I went back to mostly hammer and dolly work again, the video showing this better. Eventually, however, it became hard for me to see and feel the highs and lows (dents) in the valance. Most, if not all, of this was due to the dull and horrible topcoat paint. The light reflected off of it so poorly (not at all), that I couldn't see any contours. Without that, I couldn't properly assess my highs and lows, so it needed to come off. My paint stripping disk made short work of that problem.

Nice and clean.

That done, I went back to more dent work on the front of the valance. I then shifted focus to getting the brackets that I had repaired back, which required removing the paint on the inside so I could then coat it all in epoxy primer. This wasn't too difficult, of course. Other than that, there wasn't much. Watch the video, it will be more informative.

38th Annual British Motorcar Gathering & Picnic

Getting behind a bit in my posts, lately. Finally, however, here is the quick post about my "local" Vintage Triumph Register-affiliated club's annual car show. The Connecticut Triumph Register held their 38th annual show at beautiful Wickham park in Manchester, CT.

I volunteered to help out and ended up working the raffle ticket stand, which was fun. I got to meet several fellow Triumph and British car enthusiasts and owners. I didn't take any video footage but did get several pictures. The link above for the show itself is the club's post about it, which includes many more.

All in all a great show with a good showing by Spitfires and GT6s and most other British marques.

The Spitfire / GT6 area. Good showing!

Old Jag.

Pretty white walls. Car was very clean.

Supercharged TR6.

Best in Show (TR6).

Another nice TR6.

Highly modified Spitfire with Toyota engine.

Interior of same Spitfire. Not my taste, but very well done.

Mk3 Spitfire with overdrive.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Triumph Spitfire Metal Work #9 - Bonnet Oil Canning Fix

I took ZERO pictures during my last visit to the garage, but I did get some good work done. Therefore, you'll have to rely on the video to see what I did, but it'll provide a better idea than still images would anyway. To the video:


If you over about 40 or so, you probably remember when motor oil used to come in round metal cans instead of plastic bottles. You may even remember that you had to poke a spout in the top of the can for pouring the oil out.

Ah, the good old days.

The metal in the oil cans was rather thin and, due to rolling it into a can shape, it would "pop" in and out if you pressed on it. This is referred to as oil canning. The video does a good job of showing this here.

Due to years of wear and tear and/or my welding, the metal behind the passenger's side wheel arch had expanded, causing the oil canning.

The affected area (no paint).

The goal was to shrink the metal back to its original state. There are a few methods for doing this. You can "cold" shrink it using a dinging spoon and dolly or you can "heat" shrink it using some heat source, such as a propane torch or shrinking disc.

I initially tried the cold shrinking but I didn't get anywhere, so I switched to using my shrinking disc and it worked great! Again, the video does a good job of showing this.

Otherwise, there wasn't a whole lot of excitement, hence the lack of pics. Most of the rest of the night was spent cleaning and prepping rusty surfaces (not many, thankfully) to get it ready for epoxy. One of these days, I might actually get it sprayed!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Triumph Spitfire Metal Work #8 - Not So Fast, Mister!

This will be another two-fer post. Sorry for the delay, but it happens. As you may be able to tell by the title, I still had some bonnet repairs to do. Just glad I found them. To the (first) video:


I did some hammering around the wheel arches, "smoothing" them out a bit and trying to remove some creases in preparation for painting. The trailing edges were pretty beat up, especially on the driver's side. If you remember way back when I was fitting the bonnet for gaps, I had issues with the wheel arch rubbing on the body's bulkhead. The scraps on the bulkhead that existed when I bought the car tell me it's a historical problem. I didn't fix it at the time of working the gaps, so this will be something that will come back to haunt me, I'm sure. In any case, the dents and creases hammered out ok.

Driver's side wheel arch, seen from rear of bonnet, pre-hammering

Same spot, opposite view (from front of bonnet)

And post hammering, from rear of bonnet.

Same spot, opposite view.

Better.I had also mentioned in my last post/video about that bonnet stay hole on the bonnet itself that was all blown out. I inspected the black car's and it was just a hole, not something raised that I had thought based on the condition of Dorothy's. It was just mangled. Since I do intend to use the bonnet lift kit that I bought, I decided to only repair the area and not drill a new hole. I'll make the decision on whether or not to do so in the future.

Patch ready for tacking in.

In doing my inspections and going over everything, I discovered a good spot of pitting around the front where the passenger's grille is. This is a layered design where the grille surround is attached to a cross-member that runs between the forward part of the bonnet. I bent open the seam between a few spots welds and didn't like what I say as far as pitting penetration.

Flap bent back for inspection.

Taking the conservative route, I drilled out three spot welds, used my Dremel to cut the metal out, and got it to the bench for inspection.

Yup, need to fix that.

Area where metal was removed. Looks good behind it, though.

The replacement piece was relatively easy to fabricate as it was only L-shaped, though I did have to cut two oval holes to allow for some nut retainers where the grille attaches. I used a smallish drill bit and drilled three holes, then used the dremel to smooth them out. Good enough.

Repair patch constructed.That done, I primed the whole area with weld through and get it welded in.

Grille surround painted.

Patch welded in.

Cuts from Dremel and drilled out spot welds filled.

Once it was welded in, I ground it smooth and stood back to admire my handiwork. Not too bad, this one.

Ground smooth.

Same area, different view.

That repair, however, did take most of the visit. I played around with some hammer and dolly work, but nothing of consequence since, it being a school night, I didn't have much time left.

My weekend visit went pretty well and in an attempt to provide a bit more methodology for everyone, I took a lot more "action" shots. The video:



I first investigated similar pitting in the same area as the repair above, but on the other side. Fortunately, it wasn't as bad.

Pits not as bad and they did not penetrate as far.

I did follow the same extensive exploration as before, cutting and bending the grille surround back, but the metal did not require replacement. I got the rust removed, got rust converter on it, primed it, and bent and welded the metal back down.

The majority of the rest of the time was mainly cleaning and hammer and dolly work. I did find a rather sizable crack in one of the bonnet support pivot tubes and I'll take the replacement from the black car since I don't want to take any chances with what may be a structural part since this is the end that provides the fulcrum for lifting the bonnet.

I also cleaned all of the pivot tubes and their brackets.

The pivot tube brackets. Used the sand blaster on some spots.

And, finally, I did some extensive (for me) hammer and dolly work on the area around where the pivot tubes come out of the grille surround. Pictures don't really do it justice since it's hard to see the change in depth of the dent; the video is a bit better, but still not the best. Happy with the progress in the areas that I did, so I'm becoming mildly confident that I can actually be successful with hammer and dolly work.

Driver's side (bonnet is still upside down).

Passenger's side (bonnet is still upside down).

That was about it for the week. I've got my weekday visit tomorrow (9/6) and I should get over there on Saturday, I think, though soccer season is starting back up, so it may get a bit tricky to spin all of the plates. Cheers!