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Monday, February 18, 2019

Final LH Rear Wing Repair | Roundtail Restoration

Yes, you heard that right. I finally got that pesky driver's side rear wing repair done. Yes, of course I had done it a long time ago and thought I was done then. But, no, I was wrong. That repair resulted in a huge water trap and I'm sure the thing would have rusted out rapidly. The first re-repair I tried ended horribly. Third time's the charm.

To the video:

I left the last post having gotten just a single, very small patch in to start the process.

Ain't it cute.

I continued cutting and fitting patches, welding them in as I went. In the end, the amount of heat damage was just too much and the panel was just as bad as it was before I cut it apart (though there wasn't a lap joint anymore, so no water trap).

You can see the ugliness. And the shot doesn't do the waviness justice.

Showing the blow-through holes towards the back.

Of course, I couldn't leave it that way. My mistakes were many. Namely, I used too many patches, which meant I had to do a lot of welding. So, even though I was using compressed air and waiting, the metal just retained too much heat and warped. Also, my patches were too small for the total repair area. It's one thing to use a small, rectangular patch for a single area. But when you string upwards of 10 of those together, like I did...well, I should have used much fewer and larger patches.

I stopped that night knowing I was going to give it another try and stewed about it for a few days.

When I got back, my plan was to do two patches, both large compared to the others. Importantly, large enough to cut out my "repair" job and a bit more around that to get all of the potentially heat-damaged metal out of there.

Black Sharpie outlining what will be cut away for the rear patch.

And the outline for the front patch.

The rear patch was going to be the more complicated of the two since it swept up a bit and curved in. The metal twisted around its axis. Fortunately, I was able to re-create about 80% of this shape on the bench and did it in such a way where I could tack some of it in and push or pull other portions of it to get the shape right.

Here's the rear patch. It's curved, but not really twisted yet.

Unlike I usually have done in the past, I made this patch before I cut any metal from the car. This is the smarter way to do it since you can use the existing metal to help you shape the patch. Not sure why I haven't always done it in this order, but if you can (assuming what you are replacing hasn't rusted away to nothing), I'd recommend it.

With the patch made, I cut out the rear portion, fit up the patch, and tacked it in.

The back of the rear portion I cut out. Man, that's horrible.

Rear patch tacked in, front patch cut and fitted.

After getting the rear patch tacked in, I repeated this process for the front patch.

Front patch in, ready to weld.

Once I got the front patch tacked in, I went back and slowly worked all the way around the repairs, get it all welded in. In addition to compressed air, I used a trick I found from a YouTube guy that I subscribe to, Trev's Blog. He's got great videos, obviously does this stuff for a living, and is a wealth of knowledge. To minimize heat damage, he uses wetted shop cloths (no dripping wet, but close), arranged around the weld area, to absorbed the heat. You have to re-wet them as they will dry over time.

It seemed to work okay. I didn't do a control test (no towels) and I did have some heat damage in the end, but it was mainly concentrated near the vertical seam where the two patches came together. Probably a support thing?

The heat sink (?)
All welded up.
And ground down. Much better.

I used the stud welder in a few spots to pull the metal out and it worked out. The area will need some filler (not too much), but it should be a much sturdier and lasting repair.

With that area done, I moved back to the more mundane body work. The rear sail plate is a mess. Most of the reason, in my opinion, is because it is minimally supported from underneath and only then at the edges. While the gas tank does go under the sail plate, I don't believe it provides any real support.

I worked what I could with hammer and dolly and used filler for the rest. I also got filler on some parts of that rear wing that still had epoxy over them.

The rear sail plate.

LH rear wing in filler. 

And the sail plate in filler. Ran out, so still some spots on the right to do.

I don't put filler over bare metal, only over epoxy unless it's very incidental. Therefore, the next visit will involve blocking this new filler down and then going around to other areas that need work (like that one sill transition) prior to the next round of epoxy.

The repair that I did in this post and the one around the RH tail light are still bare metal, so they need epoxy prior to filler. That means another coat of epoxy after that filler work to seal it in. But then, hopefully, I'll be on to build primer!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Raptor Liner on Bulkhead & Other Work | Roundtail Restoration

Moving right along with progress, but I haven't taken care of that pesky rear wing yet. As a matter of fact, I'm made it worse before (hopefully) making it better.

First up was to get the bonnet back into epoxy primer. I had originally intended to go right to build primer, but I was outside of my 7-day window and also had some exposed filler that I wanted to get covered, so back into epoxy. I also experienced some epoxy adhesion problems pulling the tape off from doing the Raptor Liner in the wheel arches. Guess I didn't clean / scuff the existing paint well enough.

Spots where the epoxy lifted off. This was taken after scuffing it back up with 180-grit.

After prepping the bonnet and taping off the wheel arches to prevent overspray, I switched over to the driver's side rear wing. This ended up not going so hot. I didn't do a great repair in the first place and it was coming back to haunt me. I tried with the stud welder to pull the lows out and it started out okay.

The deepest low area. Studs already pulled out and cut off.

Areas ground flush.

As I continued to work it, however, it became obvious that it was getting worse. My poor welding along with a lap joint were going to cause more problems than they were worth and, in the end, I cut the whole seam out.

A tear in the thin metal from my intial repair.

After beginning to cut out the bad area, shown from inside teh bonnet.

The offending area removed. Time for a patch.

By the time I came through that, it was getting late and I wanted to get the bonnet and bulkhead into epoxy before I left. I switched over to the bulkhead and scuffed it up with 180-grit sandpaper and a red scuff pad (for the hard to reach areas).

Inside of the bonnet ready to shoot. I focused only on the areas that I worked.

The bulkhead area prepped and ready.

With prep work done and the metal cleaned with wax and grease remover, I got them both back into two wet coats of epoxy.

Bonnet. You can see some low areas if you look closely.

Closeup of nose where the filler was applied.
I was happy with how it all turned out, but the bonnet needed build primer. It was obvious where I had taken it down to bare metal as opposed to just scuffing the existing paint. That would have to wait for the next visit.


I was happy with the bulkhead. There was still some evidence of pitting, but I never intended to get it totally smooth and I was happy with the end result. With the smell of epoxy in the air, I called it a night.

Next visit, my goals were to continue work on the rear wing and to get the inside of the bonnet in build primer and the bulkhead in Raptor Liner. Two out of three ain't bad.

The build primer on the bonnet was first. It didn't fill all of it, but I decided to call it good for now in the interest of concentrating on the body. I'll probably come back to it later, however. I couldn't get any pictures that really showed the post-build primer result, but the video catches some of it. That done, I got the bonnet off the stand and on its end and covered.

Until we meet again...

Then it was on to Raptor Liner. Did I mention that this stuff is just awesome? Very forgiving, very easy to apply. I also got the brackets for the pivot tubes for the bonnet that go in the wheel arches done.


Bulkhead. Oooooo, ahhhhh.

Then it was on to the rear wing. I didn't get very far, but I think I'll be able to make it work. When I first put it in, I realized that it had to be under a bit of tension to get it to bow out to the correct shape (I found the same thing for the rear valance). When I cut the big hunk out of it, some of that tension was released and it flattened back out.

I used my contour gage and compared the passenger's and driver's sides and was able to get a very small patch tacked in, under tension, that came pretty close to getting the angle correct. We'll see if it continues on that way, but for now, I'm optimistic. Again, the video does a better job of showing this.

Cute little patch.

That was about it. My goal for the next round of visits is to get that patch done and then move on to body work on the body itself. Still a good amount to do there, but I can see that dim light at the end of the tunnel, I think!

Friday, February 8, 2019

Raptor Liner on the Bonnet & Tail Light Repair - Roundtail Restoration

A few productive visits including fixing the tail light and getting Raptor Liner in the front wheel arches. The video:

In addition to those two things, I also wanted to get the bulkhead cleaned up and in Raptor Liner as well, but I didn't quite make that goal.

On the bonnet, I needed to get it sanded down in preparation for epoxy application. While I had done this several months ago during bonnet repairs, it wasn't ready for paint and it needed another go through. Not much to it - just hitting all of the areas with various scuffing techniques (palm sander, sand paper, red scuff pad, etc.) trying to scuff it up as best as I could. Some spots were tough to get to, like under the wheel arches, but I knew that going in. I had used a paint brush to get the more inaccessible surfaces where I knew the spray gun just wouldn't reach.

Almost ready. You can see the epoxy around the wheel arch area.

Slightly closer view.

With that done, I decided to move on to fixing the rear tail light area. If you remember, this area took a pretty good shot at some point and my initial repair, while required, did not adequately address the proper fitment of the actual tail light. In short, the area where the tail light bolts up should be very flat and instead, mine "drooped" towards the bottom. This would result in a huge gap between the metal of the car and the tail light assembly itself. Not acceptable. So, I cut a large slit in the metal and then bent that portion of the wing out so that the tail light assembly would fit flush to it, as I discussed last time.

Refresher. No, I didn't need the red plastic, but it looked cool!

Once I got that fitting properly, it was time to weld in a patch or three. I did it in little sections to make the repair easier since that area has some rather complex curves.

First patch tacked in. Still some gaps to fill around it.

Second patch fit in there.

And tacked in.

Final patch set in.

And it all welded in. Not pretty, but effective.

Same shot, different angle.

With that done, it was time to shift back to the bonnet, which I got in two wet coats of epoxy primer. Easily the most difficult time of painting I've had yet given all of the hard to reach areas. But, I was happy with my coverage when it was all said and done.

After the first coat. You may seem some red showing through, especially around the wheel arches.

A closeup in the headlight bucket. Hard area to get at, even shooting through the headlight hole because of the angle.

Another first-coat shot, the red showing through a bit more obviously.

Armed with the lessons learned from the first coat, I was able to get the second coat on with total coverage except for some areas right under the hard curve in the nose (I figured this out on the next visit).

Two wet coats!

That was it for that visit, but I got back for another quick weekday visit to get the seam sealer on there. Not much in this case; only in the wheel arches and where the wing welded to the bonnet lid.

Like with the body, I did an application with the caulking gun followed 30 minutes later (following instructions for it being paintable) by an application with the paintable seam sealer to ensure a good water-tight seal.

Application in wheel arch with the caulking gun.

And with the paintable stuff.

Wing-to-lid application with the gun.

And followed by the paint brush.

I also got some fiberglass filler on the few repair spots that I missed. All of this was in preparation for the weekend so I could get Raptor Liner on there without missing any cure times.

The Raptor Liner went on as good as it always has, applying two coats with about an hour in between coats.

Driver's side.

Passenger's side.

I also decided to get filler up in the nose. There were a bunch of dings and pits from using the stud welder up there. While I wasn't as concerned for a straight, smooth finish like I was on the other side, I didn't want it to look too awful either, so I used filler to help me out.

Filler after sanding. You can see some of the holes for the TRIUMPH letters.

Somewhere in there I also cleaned up the weld repair to the tail light area. This will require filler work but, since it was now in bare metal, I need to get it in epoxy first.

In the last few minutes of the visit, I did take a sanding block to the driver's side rear wing to see what I was in for.

Yup, as bad as I suspected. But not really any worse than the other side.

That was about it. Work continues!