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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Triumph Spitfire Paint #3 - Interior Prep for Epoxy

In some ways (and I agree with Elin Yakov, who commented the same on my video), melting and scraping away old seam sealer is strangely addictive.  While underneath the car was was pretty much a no-brainer for me to do, as that seam sealer was 50+ years old and directly exposed to the elements, inside the car, especially directly under the dash, it didn't make as much sense.

However, given that all of the seam sealer on the bottom was gone because of all the panels I replaced, the stuff's age,  and my concern that the seam sealer may have been compromised in some areas that I wouldn't notice, I decided that removing it all was the better plan. And, as it turns out, it wasn't all that bad to accomplish!

The video pretty much tells the whole story so there's not a whole lot additional to share. I used my heat gun, a razor blade scraper, various wire brush types (manual and pneumatic) and just generally went to town on getting all of the stuff out of there. Once I was left with only residue, I used lacquer thinner to take it the rest of the way off.

Up under the driver's side footwell. You can see the underside of the patch I did on the bulkhead.

Up under the dash, looking at where the heater fan will go (that big circle cutout that I repaired).

Driver's side wheel arch, behind the seats. That corner where the B post is (far right, still black from seam sealer) is a pain to clean out.

Passenger's side wheel arch, running up towards the rear sailboard (car was up on the wings).

Fortunately, doing this work turned out to be a good idea early on because I did find a spot of rust on the passenger's side rear wheel arch where it meets the seat deck, which I have mentioned before. It didn't require any patching, but it probably would have since the driver's side required not one but two patches in this area!

Wheel arch / seat deck rust in the seam before cleaning.

Also, while generally cleaning up the area I discovered a "worm" of body filler snaking into the driver's side rear wing. Quick investigation with the paint stripper wheel on the grinder made short work of some repairs by the PO. It actually wasn't that bad; nothing a bit of hammer wouldn't have taken care of, but I guess if all you have is body filler, that's what you do. This wasn't anywhere near the amount of body filler, however, that I've found on other areas of the car, so there was that.

This was the spot covered in body filler. The body filler is still in the holes that fully penetrate the wing.

That was about it, about 4 or so hours of work. My next visit will concentrate on any hotwork (welding) that I need to finish up that would otherwise mess up the epoxy if I chose to wait until after painting that, which I don't want to do.  Following that, I still have some lingering grime and surface rust, which those red 3M pads should handle quite nicely. After that, it's epoxy on the inside, including the boot...and then...body work!

On a related note, I had another wonderful time at the 31st Annual British by the Sea car show hosted by the CT MG Club. There was north of 350 cars there, I think. A great show that has only gotten better in the four years that I've attended. I took about 50 or so pictures that you can look at here  (you need to scroll a bit; this link is all of my car show pics). Next year, I really, really hope that Dorothy gets to go!

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