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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Triumph Spitfire Body Repair #50 - Bulkhead and Brackets

As usual, I got a little behind, but here's my ketchup...er, catch-up:

First off, I did a <ahem> repair to the top bulkhead on the driver's side. This wasn't my best work and I will probably re-do it at some point. I did a lot of things just plain wrong and then wasn't patient enough during welding...lessons I continue to learn regularly.

This is a spot I identified a long time ago when I first acquired Dorothy. As a matter of fact, it was  the first area that I attempted to prep and prime. Little did I know...

About a month after I got her. Lots of pits and some holes.

Since there was actual cancer here, from decades of brake fluid leaks and standing water, it needed to go and I was also concerned about the flange underneath. Turns out some of that had to go, too.

Unfortunately, what I didn't do during this visit was take any damn pictures. Don't know what happened, but I did a lot of documentation using the video camera (and edited a lot out, too), so maybe that was it. Anyway, you'll have to watch the video for the full story, but here are some stills I got at the end of the night and the next visit.

You can see the oval holes right near the corner (big holes are from the spotweld cutter).

Backside, same place, a bit better of a picture. You can see some of the metal from the flange that this rests on between the 2nd and 3rd holes on the left.

The "finished" repair. Don't look too closely!

The next visit was devoted  to bracket work, specifically on the driver's side. I did much better with still image documentation, but here's the video:

A lot of the time was spent on prep, as it goes with this stuff. But, at the end of the day, I got the body mounting bracket and the outrigger support bracket (dash mounting bracket is what Rimmer's calls it) welded in. The outrigger support bracket needs more attention as it's not in there quite right yet (nor is it fully welded in).

First, I had some holes in the bulkhead from when I took the bracket back off  that required repair. They were not that big, but too big to fill with weld metal.

New metal in the holes.

Welded in and cleaned up. Sorry the image is a bit blurry.

Once the welding was done and ground down, I did another dry-fit of the bracket to ensure proper alignment and then made the holes for the sheet metal screws. Since I was going to prime the area before welding, I needed to make sure that it was properly aligned before I painted over my Sharpie lines, so I figured this was the best way. With that done, I hit the area with the weld-through primer.

Weld-through primer.

After that dried (I did the mating side of the bracket as well), I got the bracket screwed in and...

Bracket screwed down and clamped.

...got some metal hot.

Welds complete (though not cleaned up).

All in all, much better job this time. Good penetration on the welds and the bracket is flush to the bulkhead all around. Of course, my welding experience has come a long way since I tried this the first time, so there was that!

The bracket side of the foot well, after cleaning. Still some holes to fill, of course.

Nice and flush!

After that, I moved on to the outrigger support bracket. I'm kind of flying by the seat of my pants with this thing and, frankly, hope it comes out okay because I'm really not sure. At the end of the day, I just decided to put it flush to the A-post and that was really about it. There's not much wiggle room with fitting it (here's what I mean).

There still needs to be some adjustment, but that's going to take some hammer persuasion, I think, which I didn't do before  I left. The forward most holes the I drilled for plug welds were fine and the bracket fit flush to them. The rear ones, however, did not fit flush as the bracket, in that area, was wider than the channel in the floor. I decided to weld the forward holes in, since it will secure it but allow it to pivot, but that's where I stopped with the welding.

Plug weld holes as seen from the foot well for the bracket. The bolt is holding the bracket tight to the floor board.

Post-welding on the front holes. The rear holes have about 1/4" gap between them and the bracket.

In there...enough for now. Crooked a bit.

And that was about it for the day, as I cut it short. That day (Saturday) was the first nice day we have had around here since I don't remember when. Given that it's well into April, I needed to get some spring-time stuff done  in the yard, so I knocked off early and went to do that.

On my next visit, I intend to finish that outrigger bracket and then get the passenger's side one in (it seems to fit better) as well. Then, it'll be back to the old grind of  continuing on with preparations for epoxy primering the underneath. Cheers!

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