Saturday, August 25, 2018

Triumph Spitfire Metal Work #5 - Bonnet #2

Next visit, I got a bit of an extra "long session" at the garage, working on a weekend from about 7:30am until around 5pm. Sometimes I run out of stuff to do in the time that I have allotted and I knock off "early" - this bonnet kept me occupied the whole time!


While I worked continuously during the 10-or-so hours I was there, it may not seem like it. However, I'm sure I could easily double my <inexperienced> time estimates for how long something may take me and be more accurate!

Anyway...I picked up where I left off during the last visit, completing the repairs to the bonnet locating cone support plate. If you remember there was one part that I had prepped, but not repaired.

The area to be repaired...patch ready to go.

Again, this was a bit more complicated than the pictures show as the piece had a slight concave curve to it, but I was able to get it to fit good enough.

Tacked in.

Once I finished welding that patch in and got it cleaned up, I prepped the piece for installation of the locating cone support bracket. As I mention in the video, I've had problems in the past (and still do) with welding dissimilar metal thicknesses. Specifically, I struggled with welding the radius arm brackets (which were about 14ga steel) to the heelboard (which is the "normal" 20ga steel). I've found that welding the thin to the thick is easier than the thick to the thin. So, I drilled plug weld holes in the locating support plate (thin) to weld to the bracket itself (thick). Problem solved.

Bad picture for context, but it was the only one I took. Backside showing bracket welds.

With that bracket welded in, the removed pieces were about ready to go back to where they should be, pending POR-15 application.

Other side of support plate prior to bracket installation - weld-through primer applied.

That done, I went back and forth with putting the support plate as well as the piece under it (not sure of proper name)...

This guy

...and figured that the amount of warpage that I had could be remedied just by bending stuff. I moved on (though the video makes a slightly bigger deal out of it).

With the "removed parts" done, I moved to repair the area where those parts welded up. Specifically, the bottom of the bonnet where the inner support bracket welded up. There was some pitting here and it needed to come out and be replaced.

Outer view of pitting. The top hole is where the spot weld was, so that was my fault.

Inner view of pitting.

Easy-peasy...

Offending area removed. Flat and easy to patch.

I welded the patch in (sorry, forgot to take pics) and did a test fit prior to getting all of that area in POR-15.

Looks good to me. Note the locating cone bracket welded back in.

POR-15 applied to parts.

And applied to area that will be covered.

Additionally, I used sheet metal screws to attach the support from the bonnet to the wheel arch. Not being sure, at this time, whether or not I was going to remove the arch entirely, I used screws to get everything aligned, but on a temporary basis. I've since decided not to remove the wheel arch (thankfully) and I'll plug weld the bracket in at some point.

Close-up showing clamp and screw (to the right, left side not in yet).

Moving on, I still needed to get the portion of the wheel arch in this area that was rotten out for repairs. The access here is pretty good, so using my Dremel and pneumatic 3-inch cutoff wheel, I was able to get a sizable chunk out. The cancer area was much smaller than what I cut out, but welding the larger piece back in, following repairs, will be much easier in the long run.
I cut out the cancer and started making up the patch pieces.

Cancer removed, except for the large pit on the top.

Patches ready. I drilled out the large pit, removing the bad spots.

I got all of those patches in, again forgetting to take pictures. They weren't too complicated and that, along with the fact that you won't really see this stuff, made for an easier job. I got this part in POR-15 as well, at least the areas that would not be able to be epoxied.

Finally, there was one spot on the bonnet which required further pit repair. Instead of trying to just do the pit, I decided to cut the hole portion out and fabricate in a new piece. Some of the fender flare is in this area, so it's not real pretty, but nothing that some body filler won't take care of.

Repair patch held in with a magnet.

I decided to try and form as I went with this repair. I tacked in the patch and then used my hammer and dolly to work it around to roughly match the shape of the fender in this area. It worked good enough.

Repair patch formed and tacked in.

Ground down smooth. A bit wavy, especially on the 90-degree bend, which will require body filler.

Backside of repair.

That was about it for that day. A good, long day of about 9 or 10 productive hours. Like I said, this stuff is taking more time that I had thought it would, but I also like to think that it's getting done right, so there you go. Until next time, cheers!

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