Sunday, December 10, 2017

Triumph Spitfire Body Repair #39 - Lower Wing Prep and Installation

Time to get caught up a bit here. The first video and write-up:


I fought with the lower wing patch for a while. For one, I had cut too much of the existing wing away and had to add a strip of metal back in, which is never a good thing. Second, the flex of the two pieces was different so it become nearly impossible to properly align the repair patch. I would adjust it in one area and it would shift in another. Frustrating.

I finally did figure out the trick for the flex, however, and it was to clamp the leading edge to the fender flare area and then push in on the rear flange where it attaches to the strengthener and rear valance. This cause the repair patch to bulge out a bit in this area, lining up nearly perfectly with the remaining wing. I would say that without putting the rear valance back up there, I'm not sure that this would have gone so well. So, I'd recommend clamping that back up if you are going this route.

Clamped up for trial fits.

Once I was confident on the path ahead for that, I needed to tie up the loose ends, namely the bottom portion of the outer wheel arch where it connects up with the strengthener. These are one piece coming out of the factory, but the patch means they are now two, so I had to "reconnect" them.
I kind of cheated a bit and just folded over the strengthener onto the outer wheel arch and then applied some tack welds to make it permanent.

Strengthener folded over.

Bunch of tack welds and general final attachment.

The rest of my efforts were mainly devoted to finishing up welding everything in, like the rest of the outer wheel arch and the strengthener.

Outer side of the strengthener welded in.

And the inside.

With that all done, it was time to do the final fit of the  lower wing repair patch. I still had the fender flare to fix, but I stole this piece from the black car and it required cutting to fit properly. Also, I figured it would be better to install this last as I could more easily modify it to fit the new lower wing than the other way around.

Fender flare repair patch prior to fitting, just to see what it would look like.

Having saved the part of the original wing that I cut too much of, I tacked that right back in.

Old wing part back in.

Then, I arranged the  lower wing as best I could and used a piece of painter's tape to identify the line of its flange to get an idea of how much of the original wing that I just added back really needed to come off.

Faint <very> black line marking the repair patch's flange location.

Armed with that knowledge, I cut again and primed the whole thing in preparation for finally installing the patch.

Primed and ready.

How it will fit up.

That was about all I got done for that night.

But, I took the day off on Friday and was able to get back over there for a  while to get the lower wing welded in. Here's the second video and write-up for that trip.



Since I had done most of the work for fitting it all together during my last visit, there was just some light final fitting and it was ready to weld in.

Tacked in several areas, including a few plug welds along the bottom.

With the lower wing finally tacked in, I moved on to fitting the fender flare. Again, this was a tedious matter of cutting, fitting, cutting and fitting to get it just right.

The final product prior to installation.

In the end, I was happy with how it turned out.

Tacked in. Yay!

And that was about it. There's obviously still some welds to finish and grind and painting to be done and all of that, but  this side is pretty well sorted. The tail light plate is next before I move over to the passenger's side, I think, but I have to take the cutting wheel and sawzall to the black car for that!

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