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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Windscreen in Epoxy - Roundtail Restoration

Behind again, but a relatively short post. Also, this is another one where the video will be better than the write-up in documenting "how" and giving good pictures. With that, to the video:

Having come through the repairs to my dropped door and getting it back in epoxy, it was time to repeat the process of filler and epoxy and so one, all the way up to build primer. I won't bore you with that process (again), but I got there. I also called the front valance "done" with the exception of final prep.

Second round of filler on a spot I missed.

With those done, it was time to move on to something else. I had originally intended to start on the bonnet but, while cleaning up the paint "booth", lo and behold I rediscovered the windscreen frame. Forgot all about that!

With that, I shifted my focus and began with getting the top cap off to check for any corrosion. I had several rivets to drill out, but that was quick and easy and, outside of some minor resistance provided by the mastic tape that was used to prevent water intrusion (and some adhesion, too), off it came. It's all scratched up as you would suspect, especially since it's made out of aluminium (make sure you "read it" right...the Brits pronounce it differently).

Corner of the windscreen cap. Notice the mastic tape for a sealant.

The other thing that needed to come off was the vinyl trim around the inside of the frame. I had worked on this a very little bit when I first got the car, but now it had to come off for epoxy application.

I used a heat gun on low heat and a metal putty knife (would have prefered a plastic one, but didn't have one handy) and slowly got all of it off, in the same four (and no more!) pieces that were put on in the factory.

An interesting note here - the windscreen for the early (Mk1 and Mk2) Spitfires were borrowed from the TR4 (with the Mk3s, the windscreen frame was integral to the body). The TR4 used a different soft top attachment method, typical of what most people are used to, being two clips up on the windscreen and the soft top folding back on a frame behind the rear seats. In the early Spitfires, the soft top and frame were completely removed and stored in the boot. However, sharing the same windscreen, my frame has the bolts and holes for the TR4-style clips. Cool.

Circle where the holes are. You'll have to trust me. The other holes are for the rear view mirror and optional sun visors.

A better example on a Mk3 of the actual latch. There is no soft top here, only the header frame.

With the vinyl successfully removed, it was time to clean the frame up and get it inspected. Surprisingly, there was no corrosion to speak of. Not even minor pitting. Sometimes the water will seep between the frame and the body and just rot it all away, but I guess I, and Dorothy, were lucky in this respect.

With it all cleaned up, all that was left was to get it in two wet coats of epoxy.


Back - with another look at the holes.

I took a look at some bonnet concerns at the very end of the visit, but for work, that was about it. As far as the vinyl goes, I should be able to save it. The heat gun made it very malleable, so I'm hoping I'll be able to reuse it, but we'll see. Cheers!

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