Saturday, January 12, 2019

Bonnet Metal Work - Roundtail Restoration

Over two visits, I got a lot of the metal work on the bonnet done, along with some minor weld repairs. Unfortunately, I didn't take a lot of pictures during these visits, so I apologize.

I did leave rather abruptly on the final visit of the year with the two wet coats of epoxy primer. But, I took some quick pics when I got back to show the pitting in the bulkhead area that I will have to deal with.

Pitting around the heater outlet pipe area.

Pitting on the master cylinder side of the dash support.
If you are even remotely interested in Spitfires, you'll know that the master cylinder side of the bulkhead is notorious for rusting out. Why? Well, turns out, most brake fluid (and, clutch fluid, since it's the same stuff) eats paint. When the paint goes away, bare metal, susceptible to rust, is left. So, corrosion ensues.

DOT 5 (not 5.1) brake fluid is silicone based and therefore is not corrosive to paint. And, unlike DOT 2, 3, 4 and 5.1 brake fluids, it doesn't absorb water. With the other brake fluids, you have to (or should) do a full fluid replacement about every 3 years or so. Otherwise, the absorbed water lowers the boiling point of the fluid and under very heavy and repeated braking could lead to boiling of the fluid, meaning you have no brakes!

But, DOT 5 is not compatible with anti-lock braking systems because it can tend to froth under agitation, like when the ABS system kicks in, which means that it's essentially worthless for modern cars. However, for our older cars without ABS, it's great! And, when I finally get to that point, DOT 5 will be my brake fluid of choice.

In the interim, I need to cover up all of the pitting with some filler. But, for now, to the video:


Unfortunately, as part of the metal work, and much like the doors, I found that my crack repairs didn't go so well. Fortunately, I identified them, but there you go.

A screen capture, but hopefully you can see the crack.

Otherwise, most of the visits were involved with identifying and trying to correct high and low spots. Quite frankly, on average, I left the low spots for filler more than I did when I was working on the doors. In other words, my threshold for metal work has lowered a bit.

There really wasn't a whole lot more to it...sorry. Sanding, identifying spots to fix, and fixing them.

Passenger's side wing. A mess.

Driver's side - not as bad.

One of the worse spots.
Otherwise, for the most part I worked the nose and various other hard spots. Of note, I worked the raised spot on the center portion of the bonnet. Something must have happened here at some point, causing a raised spot across the entire width of the bonnet. But, whatever...


Worked a bit.

And a bit more.

Otherwise, I spent most of my time on the nose, as you would expect. Not too bad, but there were a lot of high and lows...and I'll just say that I'm glad I have filler!

The worst of the nose damage.


Getting there...trust me.

Side view.

And another.

After that, I decided to just get a few coats of epoxy on there. Unforutnatlely, I didn't mix enough, but I got it all covered with the first coat, so there you go.

Prior to paint.
And after...most of it.



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