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Sunday, January 27, 2019

Bonnet Build Primer and Some Body Repairs | Roundtail Restoration

I put some extra hours in at work during the week and, since I'm not authorized overtime in my job (I did enough in the Navy, thank you very much) I had 40 hours early on Friday...like 10am. A few errands and I was at the garage by 1pm! I also got over there Saturday morning before a basketball game, so a full weekend day's worth of work was had. To the video:

Thankfully, the temperature was just fine for epoxy primer so I was able to get the bonnet back in epoxy following all of my filler repairs. Given that the epoxy should sit overnight (at least) before you do anything with and it looking like I was going to be able to get back over to the garage on Saturday morning, I wanted to get it painted ASAP.

Which is the best side. This...

or this?

I'm still struggling with good overlapping coverage - some dry spots, but I got full coverage between the two coats. I kept the respirator on for most of the rest of the visit due to the ambient fumes and got to work on the bulkhead.

I had filled a lot of the pits and other areas of concern with filler, both "regular" and fiberglass, and it was time to smooth it down. I cheated a bit and used the angle die grinder with my roloc fiber sanding discs to help me out so I didn't have to hand-sand it all. I'm not too concerned with the final result in this area so if there are imperfections, I'm fine with that. There's a lot of stuff going on in the bulkhead area (heater hose, wiring, master cylinders, etc.) so a lot of it will be invisible anyway. That being said, I wasn't going to leave it looking like total crap, either, so I got to work.

Initial filler removal. The area to the left of the clutch master cylinder mount is a mess (still).

After working, second round of filler applied. This was pretty much it once it was cleaned up.

That done, I moved on to the passenger's rear wing, blocking out the epoxy to show me the high and low spots. Not too bad for highs, but there were several lows, of course. 50+ years of use will do that to you.

Screen capture show the first look after blocking. Dark spots are the lows (lots of them).

Unlike most of my body work so far, except for maybe the doors, the rear wings are nearly inaccessible from the back. This makes it challenging to get a dolly in there to be able to push out on the lows while hammering off-dolly to bring down the highs.

After blocking and a bit of hammer and dolly work. Coming along nicely.

One spot that will require more thought and planning is the sill area where it mates with the rear wing. I didn't do a great job in this area initially and I wish I could have that moment back to do a bit better work there. But, I'll have to make it better now. I'm looking for suggestions on a good fix so if you have any, I'm all ears!

The seam, specifically, is what's jacked up. Yuck!

Also, after the initial assessment, I figured out that my repairs to the dent in the rear wing near the tail light weren't sufficient to ensure the tail light would sit flat. Again, I didn't take a before picture, so you'll have to suffer another screen capture.

Notice, towards the bottom, that it's not flat across the face of the tail light mounting point.

Anyway, I did as much hammer and dolly work as I thought I could and then resorted to filler. Right above the center of the wheel arch, in particular, I had to rely completely on filler because there is no access behind that spot because of the inner wheel arch itself.

Initial round of filler.

I blocked that area out and, finding spots I missed of course, did another round of filler.

Blocked out following second round of filler.

I was pretty happy with it at that point and moved on to the tail light repairs. I initially tried the stud puller, but that wasn't working. Instead, I decided to cut a relief in that area to allow me to pry out the tail light mounting plate. I still need to work on a patch, but that will be the next visit.

Close to where I think it needs to be. I didn't have a tail light assembly at the garage to test it.

Same area, different view.

That done, it was time to get the bonnet in build primer, so that's what I did. I got about 3 coats on there, good coverage all around. There were a couple of concerning areas that I didn't mention in the video and didn't take pictures of (of course!) like sanding scratches and some spots where the filler wasn't sanded to feather. Thankfully, it appears, though I haven't blocked it yet, that it filled all of those areas nicely.

It looks good...trust me.

That nose is nearly perfect. Not quite, but close. Thankfully, I'm not painting Dorothy black!

That was about it. I did sneak over there today to flip the bonnet over (with help this time) so that I can get the underside of it in epoxy. I also brought a tail light assembly over to see how that fit up. I bit more fine tuning, but otherwise it's much better that I would have been!

Pretty close. Huge gap to fill.

Slightly different angle. Same gap, though...


Final (?) Bonnet Putty Work and Starting The Body - Bulkhead | Roundtail Restoration

I may not get over to the garage this weekend (I did), so just in case I decided to put out a video on just one visit over to the garage.

I had intended to finish up the blocking of the glazing putty on the bonnet and get it in epoxy primer, but with the cold snap (the high was 7F on Monday, the day of my visit) the heat just didn't cut it. The Southern Polyurethanes' technical manual requires a metal and paint temperature of at least 65F and my paint was 63F and the metal was about 64F. So, while close, I wasn't going to take the chance.

Also on Monday, right before I left for the garage, UPS dropped off my most recent order from Rimmer Bros.; a new main and body wiring harness and headlamp harness.

The main harness.

The body harness.

The headlight harness.

With their sale, all together this ran me about $270, shipped. To buy it domestically would have run me north of $400 so, while like I've said I'd rather not send my money overseas, that's a big savings with which I can buy more parts!

The glazing putty blocked out easily and looked pretty good when I was done. There were a few spots that I went back to and put some more on, mostly around the center spine, but I'm happy with how straight the bonnet has come out. I'm sure there are still spots somewhere on there that aren't great, but I wasn't seeing them.

Head on.

Side view.

With that done, I moved back to the bulkhead and worked that some more. I put fiberglass filler in areas that I had missed for added strength and regular filler in areas where I wanted to cover up the pitting.

Fiberglass filler around the battery box repair.

Fiberglass filler where I repaired the bulkhead several years ago.
"Regular" filler for the pits.

I also did some hammer dolly work on the ledge next to the master cylinder mounting area. That area is still a mess, but it's better.


That was about it. A single visit, so not a whole lot of work done. However, I was able to sneak over there on Friday and for most of the morning on Saturday, so that post will be coming shortly!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Bonnet Fill Primer and Putty Work | Roundtail Restoration

A good amount of work over the last two+ visit. To the video:

When I left you last, the bonnet was in epoxy following my filler work. The goal of these visit was to get it into build primer and, using that and some guide coat, figure out where else needed attention.

Before I get to that, though, I wanted to share that I acquired an original AM radio for someone on my favorite forum. I have no idea if it works, but it'll look cool, which is what I want. I do have to source some knobs for it, but another guy on the forum is good a 3D printing and he's offered to help me out, so I may go that road.

Now that's "old school".
Also, a while ago I picked up a 3M Orbital Sander, Model 20325. It has a 3/16" random orbit. I was doing some forward-looking research on the SPI forum for what to do with the paint following base coat / clear coat application. This was a recommended sander to use to buff it out. We're talking like 2000-grit and up sandpaper. When I looked at the price, however, I quickly realized I'd be sticking with Harbor Freight, as the sander was north of $200. But, like with my spray gun, I decided to look at Amazon Warehouse for it. They sell used or new, but returned, items in various conditions. Well, there was a "Used - Like New" one for $80. One-click ordered that one!

Hope I can figure out how to use it properly.

Moving on, before I hit the bonnet with build primer, there were a few obvious spots that needed some putty, like deep sanding scratches that I missed and, for the first time using my Rage Ultra filler, two small air bubbles.

Air bubbles just below the "U" letter holes.

There were also a couple of more spots that I filled and sanded down prior to the build primer.

From the RH side.

And from the LH side.

That done, some wax and grease remover to make sure it was all clean and about 4+ coats of build primer were applied. I mixed up more than I needed and I didn't want to waste it. Even so, I still had some left over. This was the first time mixing this much build primer, so I didn't expect a perfect mix. I took notes so I'll know for next time.

It's only about a 5 minute flash time in between coats, but it's a 30-60 minute wait to sand, so in the meantime I revisited some of the fiberglass filler I put on the body and started sanding that down. Contrary to my last post in which I said that I didn't want to use power tools to sand anything, I did in this case. One, it would take me forever to get this stuff sanded down by hand and two, regular filler will go over all of this stuff, at least, so I'm not worried about it being perfect as I'm using it to fill pinholes and irregularities left by weld repairs.

Front buildhead, showing some of the sanded fiberglass filler.

Then, it was on to blocking out the bonnet. Lots of work, but that's how it is with this stuff. I went in with 150-grit sandpaper. Not too aggressive, but enough to cut the stuff down pretty well.

Prior to starting blocking.

I also consistently used the guide coat here. I picked up a few cans of cheap-o Walmart flat-black spray paint. I wouldn't use this stuff to actually paint anything, but as a guide coat, it's great! I'd recommend the flat stuff because the gloss will tend to more easily clog your sandpaper up.

Guide coat applied. Time to get blocking.

Blocked. Dark spots are lows that need to be fixed or filled.

Pretty much rinse and repeat. I used guide coat the entire time and blocked out the entire bonnet. In those areas that I figured the putty wouldn't be sufficient (i.e., I would need to use too much), I tried to hammer the low out. Some I was successful doing, others not as much, but all in all, it went okay. And for some, I had limited or no access behind the dent, so I had to use putty in those cases.

RH side prior to blocking.

And after blocking. You can see the large low spot over the top center of the wheel arch.

The latch area on both sides of the bonnet were a mess, as I expected. I did some more hammer and dolly work on them and was happy with how they turned out.

Trying to show the waviness. This is after working it. Notice the gap below the left screw hole.

Once I worked out the dents as best I could, it was time to apply the glazing putty. To step back a bit, I had thought to use regular filler over top of the build primer for the low spots that I couldn't get fixed with hammer and dolly work. I wanted to minimize using it, though, so I asked on the SPI forum what everyone used, if anything, as a thumb rule to figure if they needed to use filler or if the build primer would fill the low. I'm glad I asked this question because one response was that I shouldn't use regular filler over a urethane primer, like the build primer. I didn't know that. And by the way, it was the owner of SPI that offered that tidbit, so I figure he's right! Thankfully, the glazing putty is fine to use. I assume because it's polyester-based vice whatever-based for the filler, but I didn't ask to be sure.

Because of this, I really tried to get the dents hammered out so as to minimize the use of the putty. It worked out okay, but there were spots that needed it, of course. I tried to spread the putty over a much larger area than needed so that it would feather in nice.

Glazing putty spots.

It was starting to get a bit late and we had some weather coming in. My part of CT was right in the "we have no idea what kind of precipitation your going to get" area so I didn't want to take any chances with having a snowy (or worse, icy) ride home, so I called it a day after getting about half of the glazing putty blocked out.

The bottom of the left-most spot still needs some work.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Bonnet Filler Work & Epoxy | Roundtail Restoration

While I didn't take many pictures (grrrr), you'll have to trust me when I say that I'm really happy with how the bonnet has turned out and, pending a more thorough go-over, I think it's ready for build primer. To the video (a short one):

Like the door and all of the body work that has come before, I added filler to those places that needed it and blocked it down. I tried to get a better product this time prior to hitting it with epoxy again as it's a bit more cumbersome to paint, not to mention that it uses a lot more, too.

As expected, there were some spots that were messed up pretty good. In addition to the nose, another area that I pointed out in this and some previous videos was near the area of the bonnet that is over top the battery. I Never was able to conclusively determine what happened here, but it needed repair regardless.

Some filler on there, but it needs more; still some low spots.

Another rough area (or areas) were around the bonnet latches. My guess is it just gets beat on over the years from latch and unlatching the bonnet. A lot of people also lift the bonnet from the latches, which is a terrible thing to do. All of that, combined with little structural reinforcement in this area leads to a lot of high and low spots.

Passenger's side after some blocking.

Driver's side with fresh filler.

The passenger's side of the bonnet latch area was worse the the driver's side. My guess for this is that the PO would preferentially unlatch the driver's side first (because he was the driver and would normally be on that side of the car), then unlatch the passenger's side and lift. Don't get me wrong, both weren't great, but the passenger's side was noticeably worse.

The nose required a few applications of filler, but it ended up coming out better than I thought it would.

Nose after initial application of filler (I put it on rather heavy - more so than needed) and during blocking.

First round of blocking done, getting the last few low areas with filler.

One thing I haven't mentioned is the blocking. Just absolutely brain-numbing work. I'm sure it would go a lot quicker if I used power tools (orbital sander or the like) but I'm just to afraid of messing it up. I've been really happy with how easy it is to sand down the Evercoat Rage Ultra filler that I'm using and I think it would be very easy to burn right through it with a sander. So, my arms are the sander instead and while it takes longer, it's comes out pretty good.

Final product prior to hitting with epoxy.

Now, like I said, I didn't take many pictures, though I had ample opportunity. I did take a close-up of the repairs to the nose after the epoxy. The "after" picture is not the best because the camera has trouble focusing on the total grey washout and I also rotated the pic to make it sort of line up with the "before".

Again, not the best, but hopefully you get the idea.

I did have one area where I got some air bubbles in the filler, a first for me. Nothing that is not easily fixed with some glazing putty, though.

I think these are the holes for the letter "U" in TRIUMPH. No problem.

And that was about all I did for those visits. May not seem like much, but it takes time to block all of that out. I have a lot of sanding scratches left, too, but I'm hoping the build primer will fill those (otherwise, I'm going to be doing a lot more blocking). Also, as I mention in the video, I was getting a bit burned out on the body work on Sunday so I got the bonnet in epoxy and went home to watch football (sorry, Eagles).

Thanks again to everyone for putting up with my transition back to Blogger. This will be the last post before I point my domain here instead of to the "other" site. See you next time!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Bonnet Metal Work - Roundtail Restoration

Over two visits, I got a lot of the metal work on the bonnet done, along with some minor weld repairs. Unfortunately, I didn't take a lot of pictures during these visits, so I apologize.

I did leave rather abruptly on the final visit of the year with the two wet coats of epoxy primer. But, I took some quick pics when I got back to show the pitting in the bulkhead area that I will have to deal with.

Pitting around the heater outlet pipe area.

Pitting on the master cylinder side of the dash support.
If you are even remotely interested in Spitfires, you'll know that the master cylinder side of the bulkhead is notorious for rusting out. Why? Well, turns out, most brake fluid (and, clutch fluid, since it's the same stuff) eats paint. When the paint goes away, bare metal, susceptible to rust, is left. So, corrosion ensues.

DOT 5 (not 5.1) brake fluid is silicone based and therefore is not corrosive to paint. And, unlike DOT 2, 3, 4 and 5.1 brake fluids, it doesn't absorb water. With the other brake fluids, you have to (or should) do a full fluid replacement about every 3 years or so. Otherwise, the absorbed water lowers the boiling point of the fluid and under very heavy and repeated braking could lead to boiling of the fluid, meaning you have no brakes!

But, DOT 5 is not compatible with anti-lock braking systems because it can tend to froth under agitation, like when the ABS system kicks in, which means that it's essentially worthless for modern cars. However, for our older cars without ABS, it's great! And, when I finally get to that point, DOT 5 will be my brake fluid of choice.

In the interim, I need to cover up all of the pitting with some filler. But, for now, to the video:

Unfortunately, as part of the metal work, and much like the doors, I found that my crack repairs didn't go so well. Fortunately, I identified them, but there you go.

A screen capture, but hopefully you can see the crack.

Otherwise, most of the visits were involved with identifying and trying to correct high and low spots. Quite frankly, on average, I left the low spots for filler more than I did when I was working on the doors. In other words, my threshold for metal work has lowered a bit.

There really wasn't a whole lot more to it...sorry. Sanding, identifying spots to fix, and fixing them.

Passenger's side wing. A mess.

Driver's side - not as bad.

One of the worse spots.
Otherwise, for the most part I worked the nose and various other hard spots. Of note, I worked the raised spot on the center portion of the bonnet. Something must have happened here at some point, causing a raised spot across the entire width of the bonnet. But, whatever...

Worked a bit.

And a bit more.

Otherwise, I spent most of my time on the nose, as you would expect. Not too bad, but there were a lot of high and lows...and I'll just say that I'm glad I have filler!

The worst of the nose damage.

Getting there...trust me.

Side view.

And another.

After that, I decided to just get a few coats of epoxy on there. Unforutnatlely, I didn't mix enough, but I got it all covered with the first coat, so there you go.

Prior to paint.
And after...most of it.