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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Triumph Spitfire Battery Box Installation #5-2 and Big News!

In keeping with the topic, I did a bit more work on replacing, for the second time, that portion of the top bulkhead that I was continually messing up. My welds weren't great, but they were adequate. I'm still having problems with penetration, so the welds were very proud, as the British say. I can get good consistent spot welds on the bench with practice metal of the same gauge, but not on the car. Maybe the heat dissipation of the welding bench itself it helping me out? Anyway, I did some grinding and got most of the way there.

Weld after some grinding. The upper left corner is where I need to use the Dremel so I don't do collateral damage.
I also used a Dremel grinding wheel along with a 90-degree attachment, to get in some tight spots and that worked pretty well. I can tell that it may not be that cost-effective, however, since the disc looks like it's going to get eaten up pretty quick. But, as long as I save it for those tight spots where it's really needed, I think it will be okay. I'd really wish I had a compressor so that I could use an air-driven die grinder. Of course, based on current developments, I think I'm going to get my wish (yes, that's a tease)!

I also wrapped up the multi-post saga of the Rimmer Bros' sheet metal parts. The sheet metal shipped from the UK, in one big box, on Monday. FedEx attempted to deliver it yesterday (yes, two days) around 10am, but no one was home to sign for it. (Rimmer's had designated it to require an indirect signature). So, I signed the door tag and it was delivered today around 10am. One corner of the box had taken a pretty good shot and was starting to tear open, but the sheet metal inside was just fine. I would have like to have seen a bit more care taken in packaging, like sharp corner protection or just more internal padding, but everything arrived without any damage. All in all, I paid $849.09 for everything and, including shipping, saved just about $400 over buying them domestically.

My concern of import fees never materialized, though I'm not sure if it was because I only ordered sheet metal or if this goes for everything. I've never seen import fees mentioned on my favorite forum when people have talked about ordering from Rimmer Bros, so there's that. I would definitely buy from them again, especially during a sale and also given the fact that it took a few days less to get it from Rimmer Bros then it does from my usual suppliers over here (though you do pay more for shipping as a whole, of course).

I shudder to think how much work I'm looking at in this picture. But isn't it beautiful!
So, now for the big reveal! Many, many posts ago I had mentioned that a guy that I worked with and I were talking about going in together on renting a garage so we could both have more room to work on our respective projects. Well, he called me on Monday and said he had found a place that he thought would work and, to make a long story short, Dorothy now resides in her new home.

Backing up to the new garage. There are offices up top and 20x40 bays on bottom. We have one of the bays.
We would have both rather had some more overhead room as he has a lift that he can get his hands on, but there was nothing available in our price range within a reasonable distance to our homes. So, we took what we could get and now I can weld and grind and sand and make a general mess and a lot of noise without being overly concerned about messing up my own house or upsetting the neighbors! Over the next several days I will slowly move stuff over there and outfit my corner of it the way I want.

Along with his cars (a Mazda RX-7 and two 240Zs (the one you see below and the one that he's restoring), he is bringing a 60-gallon, two-stage air compressor, a drill press, a steel workbench with nice big vice and various tools to the garage so between the two of us, we should be pretty much set with everything we need. He also has a 220-volt welder, but I think my 120-volt will suffice for what I need.

About half-way in, looking back. Dot's on the left and that's a 240Z rolling chassis (his) with my sheet metal on top.
This changes my plan of attack somewhat. I am no longer going to finish up the battery box but instead get started on building a body dolly and proper supports for the door frames. Once those are done and properly put together, the body is coming off and put under the stairs out of the way. I'm then going to strip the frame down, including pulling the engine and gearbox (again), replace both outriggers (I have new-to-me old ones already that also require minor repair) and fix anything else that needs it, get it painted (not sure if I will just do POR-15 or go all the way with a Signal Red powder coat) and then start putting it all back together, renewing rubber and other critical parts as I go (like the brake and fuel lines). I've already purchased a lot of this stuff and now it looks like it will finally be time to put it to use.

I agreed to split the cost of the garage with him for a year and the landlord gave us a month free...just because he likes what we are doing. While that gives me what seems like a lot of time now (end of next July), I'm sure in 6 months I'll wonder where the time went. While the cost was acceptable, it was not cheap and the boss will not be happy to have me come begging for more time (and money). I therefore have some serious motivation. As usual, I'll keep the four of you informed of my progress!

All tucked away in her new home-away-from-home.
And, after exactly (to the day!) 19 months, I can once again walk straight across my garage without walking around Dot.

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