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Sunday, May 19, 2019

More Raptor Liner & Other Things | Roundtail Restoration

Getting caught up here. Among other things, I got Raptor Liner in the boot. I had a bit of a false start on Thursday night, but was able to get it down on Friday, within my epoxy primer window of 7 days. Here's the video. Yes, I'm very proud of the thumbnail.

First thing, I got some of my boot interior stuff in there to see how extensive the Raptor Liner needed to be applied. Ultimately, I just did the whole area as best as I could. I'll need to move into the actual passenger compartment with some red, too, but that's a future me problem.

Along with that prep, I also got on more piece in wrinkle coat (yes, I still love this stuff).

Filler fascia panel.

I got the accelerator linkage painted in semi-gloss flat black, too, but you'll have to watch the video for that.

Moving on from that, I got some more filler down on that one repair on the bonnet (the crack) and also several areas of polyester filler on the body (B-post and back) for spots that needed it or that I missed, minorly, with filler.

In addition, I got the steering column bushings installed in the steering tube. Some issues with them, but nothing that I couldn't come through. Again, the video is the place to go.

For those of you that haven't been through it before, I explained in the video the particulars of how I mixed the Raptor Liner. The data is out there for mixing by weight, which is convenient.

Boot area masked off, clean and ready!

Coat #1. Definitely needs another coat. Lots of hard spots to get to.

First coat on all of the brackets that needed it.

Bulkhead in another coat.

Second coat.

Again, and as usual as of late, the video is better for how this stuff goes down. I'm again very happy with how the Raptor Liner applied and the end result. There will be spots of epoxy primer that show, but I'm okay with that, especially in the boot.

On a separate note, I got some vinyl from Amazon the other day that is as close as I think I can conveniently get to original. I've ordered the vast majority of my interior from Newton Commercial (via Rimmer Bros). The vinyl grain is important, on some level, and not easily available. The only things that I'll be doing on my own are the crash pads under the dash (minor) and the dash itself (not so minor). Here's some comparison shots:

Original (but dirty) grain from Dorothy.

Grain from Newton Commercial stuff.

Grain from the Amazon stuff. More snake skin, I guess. Not perfect, but good enough.

That's all, and now I'm caught up. More work to follow and thanks for reading and watching!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

More Epoxy & Steering Column Work | Roundtail Restoration

Moving right along. I won't make my picture excuse again, but...

First off, I visited the steering column refurbishment. As I've mentioned several times in the past, I have pretty much two of everything because of the black car (except motor and gearbox). I've been working on getting the steering column restored and doing both in parallel, picking the better parts to use to make one good one and one "shelf" one.

The steering column, or shaft, itself is a two-piece design for impact safety. It's supposed to collapse upon impact. Triumph used a shaft inside a tube with a break-away clamp that allows it to slide inside itself so you don't catch the steering wheel in your chest in a head-on collision.

The black car's steering column is not in the best shape at either end, with both knurled portions a bit beat up. Dorothy's, however, are in great shape. The catch is that the black car's steering column is in its proper two pieces and, for the life of me, I cannot separate Dorothy's. This is something I'll continue to work on, but right now they may as well be welded together.

The next thing I worked on was getting the steering bushings out of the steering column cowl. The bushings keep the steering column centered and not wobbly. I bought a new bushing kit from TRF and wanted to get them replaced, eventually destructively removing the old bushings.

With those removed, I moved on to cleaning up the steering column cowl using the stripping disk and the blasting cabinet for the more difficult to reach areas. I was happy with how it came out.

The steering wheel end of the cleaned up cowl.

Moving on to the internals, I worked on cleaning up the horn slip ring that goes behind the steering wheel. Unfortunately, I ended up breaking one of them, but was able to successfully clean up the other. Whoops.

The (unclean) horn slip ring.

 I did a bunch more stuff in the blasting cabinet as well, all waiting for either epoxy primer or Rustoleum.

So many little things to do.

Steering column cowl all painted nice and pretty.

The rest of the visit was all about getting epoxy primer on a bunch of random parts and the back of the tub (B-post on back).

Getting ready.

The little things. Accelerator linkage, radius arm brackets, crash pad rails, and rear bumper brackets.

I tried to show you in the video how I tested the spray gun, but I need to come up with better protection for my video camera that also doesn't cloud the image.

All in nice, shiny epoxy primer!

The back, after the second coat.

With a fresh coat of epoxy on all of that stuff, my 7-day window clock was running for the next step for some of those areas...Raptor Liner!

Blocking Body Filler & Epoxy Primer | Roundtail Restoration

Hey, I'm behind again! Not surprising...

Okay, let's see. Of course I didn't take a whole lot of pictures. I know I keep saying I'll get better at that, but here we are. So, I'd defer to the video for a lot of the action stuff. Essentially, I continued my same process of filler work and blocking out the car.

I identified more areas on the wings and the sail plate that needed attention. The worst, of course, was my "twice-done" repair on the driver's side rear wing. Man, what a mess that is. So I mixed up some filler and got it layered on the spots identified.

Some people let the filler get set up to the point where it's almost still a bit tacky and then start blocking it out. I don't like doing it that way so I wait a good 30 minutes before I start blocking. I'm not quite sure the advantage of blocking when it's still a bit wet (which is maybe why I don't do it), but I haven't had any problems doing it once its fully dry.

As far as blocking goes, I continue to start with 40-grit to establish the rough shape, then work on to 80-grit, then 150-grit. Some go to 120-grit from 80-grit, but others do not, so I think it's a matter of personal preference. I have a roll of 150-grit that I don't want to waste...nothing more complicated than that.

I continue to struggle with getting all of one grit's sanding scratches out before moving on. In other words, the small steps between grits helps remove the scratches from the lower (more coarse) grit used before it. In a perfect method, the 150-grit paper removes the 80-grit scratches, which removed the 40-grit scratches. Of course, this relies on the person doing it to find all of the scratches to remove. This is where I'm not so good.

Big ole patch of filler. Blocked out...needs more filler (ugh).

Following that, I moved on to cleaning up the crash bars that support the glove boxes under the dash to get them ready for primer and eventual vinyl covering. I never could figure out any real differences between the metal on these, only that the foam pad is offset to favor a particular side depending on what side of the car its one (passenger's or driver's). I took some measurements for future reference when I make them all pretty again.

You can barely see the outline of where the foam was glued on.
This side offset about an inch from the right end.

This (blurry) one offset about 3 1/2" from the right side.
Bottom two all cleaned up (stripping pad, wire wheel, blast cabinet, etc.), ready for epoxy.

After that, I went with more filler work and blocking. Like I say in the video, blocking is my life!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Back to Body Work and Wrinkle Paint | Roundtail Restoration

Back to my favorite, filler work and sanding (that's sarcastic). I try to cheer myself up at the end by doing something fun: wrinkle paint. I made some editing mistakes on this video. I have a random "My Title" screen in there where I had meant to say, prior to body work, that what you were about to see was what worked for me, not the only or best way. In another, I provided a "skip to" time to skip over something that may not be too exciting, but forgot to put in the actual time (30:17). Sorry about that. To the video:

Still a good amount of body work to finish up on the tub, so I got to it. Again, for whatever reason I didn't take enough pictures, so I apologize for that (again).

First I mixed up some Bondo short-strand fiberglass filler for the few places that needed it, namely the driver's side wing repair (still looks nasty) and around the passenger's side tail light. There were also two small spots where I welded in the rear valance in the boot area that I had missed previously. I'm using fiberglass here to provide a bit of extra strength but mainly to fill in any pinholes that I may have missed with the welder.

Passenger's side tail light area.

While I waited for that to cure up (doesn't take too long, maybe 20 minutes before you're ready to start sanding it), I mixed up some regular filler (Rage Ultra) and got it on the several spots that needed it. I missed some spots here and had to relearn that you're better off blocking the epoxy out a bit first to expose the highs and lows.

Spots on the rear sail plate.

Once all of that was on and cured, I used a palm sander to sand down the fiberglass filler. I didn't concern myself with matching any contours or trying to get the fiberglass straight; I'll use regular filler for that, but I did want to get it smoothed up. I used the palm sander so it would be quick.

Then I moved on to the filler, working my way from 40-grit sandpaper (used for initial rough shaping), then on to 80-grit. The 80-grit takes out the relatively deep 40-grit scratches and really starts to fade the body filler into the surrounding metal. In my experience, it's the 80-grit where you'll start to see if you have the correct amount of filler on there or need more. After the 80-grit, I moved on to 150-grit (120-grit is fine here, too) to further feather in the filler (say that 3 times fast). Don't skip grit steps! You won't remove the coarser grit's scratches if you skip (or it'll take you forever) and they'll show up when you paint again.

Driver's side wing after blocking out to 150-grit. You can see highs (shiny metal) and lows (darker grey).

Closeup of a spot (palm sized) with highs and lows. Whoopie!

Another thing to mention is the fading in of the filler. This applies to the scratches, too. I point out in the video that if you are seeing "hard lines" in the filler, it's not smoothed in yet. The line between the edge of the filler and the epoxy should be hazy, or cloudy, looking. That way you know that they are both at about the same level and the panel is flat. It's also important to block out with the contour of the panel. In the case of the wing, I'm blocking up and down (most of the time) instead of front to back. It's easy to fade in the filler when you go the opposite way and therefore easy to trick yourself into thinking your straight, when you aren't. Again, I explain this better in the video.

Finally, I did some wrinkle painting on the steering column support. This stuff, made by VHT, is great. I picked it up at Amazon for about $15 a can. Not cheap, exactly, but the look is great. It goes down on bare metal vice pre-primed. It's a slow-drying paint and it take 3 coats.

Basically, you lay the first coat down, heavier than you would normally paint something, spraying in one direction, say side-to-side. Wait 5 minutes, then lay the second coat down, spraying in a different direction (up and down). Then, wait another 5 minutes and spray the third coat in a different direction (diagonally). I then waited another 5 minutes and used a heat gun to cure the paint. The heat gun is not required, but it provides a tighter wrinkle, which is how I did my instrument facia panel.

Close-up of instrument facia panel.

The video does a good job at showing the wrinkle set up. The can directions say to put the piece in the oven, at 200F for about 20 minutes. I didn't do this, figuring the heat gun was good enough. I may be proven wrong, though, so we'll see how it holds up.

A blurry picture of the steering column support.

That's it for now...and I'm all caught up! Until next time...

More Odds & Ends, but Epoxy! | Roundtail Restoration

Another post in quick succession. A bit more of the same as the last post, but this time I get some actual painting done. So much nicer when the car looks nice and clean and all in one color, even if it's grey. The video is rather long, as I go into the "how I do it" on my paint set up (video time between 25:36 and 29:55), wax and grease removal method (video time between 29:55 and 33:12), and actual painting (video time between 33:12 and 35:55). Of course, feel free to skip around if you don't want to watch that stuff.

I got a lot of work done. Again, some random items, but all with the aim of moving towards final assembly preparations. As I sometimes do, I didn't document it with many pictures, so the video is going to be the best source of information. So, here goes:

First up, I worked on the steering column and the hardware that attaches it to the car. I had previously taken Dorothy's apart at home and the outer tube was in pretty bad shape. It's made of aluminum and easily beat up. There were areas with large gouges and the like. Fortunately, the black car's was in better shape (as with many things) so I'll be using that one.

I also learned how to pronounce the word "escutcheon" and make a joke of it throughout the video. The escutcheons that go around the headlight and turn signal switches were plastic on Dorothy, but metal on the black car. One person mentioned that they changed from metal to plastic early on, so that explains it. I'm sticking with the metal ones for Dorothy, of course.

I also pulled out the horn ring to clean that up. It's held with with two tabs that are bent up to free it. Not quite sure why I took this picture as opposed to others, but there you go.

Horn ring, showing the tabs top and bottom.

There are bushings in the steering shaft tube that provide support for the shaft itself, but they are pressed in in some way that I couldn't undo. I'm sure they will come out (I have a new bushing kit) but I don't know the trick yet. To prevent damage to the tube (aluminium, remember) I decided to wait until I figure out how to do it without potentially causing damage.

I moved next to the bars that run under the dash board. These were in okay shape but very rusty on both Dorothy and the black car. Also, a pair of them was damaged. I didn't mark them so I don't know which came from which car, but I assume the damaged ones were Dorothy's in keeping with the black car being in overall better shape, especially in the interior.

I used a heat gun to loosen up the adhesive and peeled away the vinyl and foam pads. I intend to reuse the foam pads. I may be able to reuse the vinyl as well if it cleans up okay, but I'm looking for a source of vinyl that's easy for me to get because I'll need it for the dash. I can get some from an upholstery place in England called Park Lane Classics (they have a great reputation) and probably from Newton Commercial (the company that I bought my interior from), but don't want to order from across the pond if I can help it. I have some coming from Amazon so we'll see how the grains match up when I get that.

Taken apart, but still dirty.

The vinyl that is in okay shape.

I also briefly worked on the throttle shaft, but never did finish cleaning it all up. The throttle shaft is a pain to install because it starts on the driver's side and goes outside into the engine compartment. Then up and over and down the back of the motor, back through the body on the passenger's side for support, then to the linkage to the carbs. Trick is to install this with the body off the chassis (or at least the engine out) because it's much harder, if not impossible, with the body on. I was able to remove it, however, so maybe I'm wrong.

The throttle shaft. Goes from the driver's side all away across to the carbs.

I fired up the blasting cabinet again got some more parts cleaned up.

Nice and clean.

After sandblasting them, I wash the parts of in warm water and a little bit of soap, then dry them with compressed air. I hit them with wax and grease remover next, then two coats of primer and two coats of black paint. This was regular Rustoleum paint, not epoxy.

In primer.

And in gloss black.

Next up was to get to painting epoxy. Like I mentioned, if you're watching the video, I take about 10 minutes of video time going through all of my setup and prep. One thing I did not do was actual gun setup for epoxy, so I'll make a point of doing this in a future video.

Everything cleaned with W&G remover and ready for paint.

Lots of little pieces!

Body following first coat.

Another angle. You can just see some filler spots showing through. The heavier second coat will cover these up.

I also used a paint brush to hit the few spots where I went to bare metal on the bonnet following the crack repair...


...and on the front bulkhead where I scratched through the Raptor Liner getting the gaps set.

Ready for another round of Raptor Liner.

With the light first coat down, I waited my 30 minutes, then went back through with the heavier, second coat.

Second coat. A bit tight in the booth so not the best picture.

Next up, more body work (yipee!). Cheers!

More Small Jobs | Roundtail Restoration

Getting a little behind here, so I'll fix that. To the video:

As I get closer to assembly, I'm trying to do little things that need to be done, but that I may forget about. What I do not want is to have the car painted and then miss some big ticket item that also needs to be refurbished and painted and all that. Once I get Dorothy in paint, I want to minimize any "mess making" activities.

This is all pretty random. No real method to my madness here, just trying to get it done. I started with removing the crossbar support from the bonnet. I need to do another round of build primer on the inside to try to smooth out the paint a bit more and the crossbar will be in the way of sanding. Since I struggled with this thing so much trying to get my gaps set, I took some measurements.

Passenger's side gap between end of crossbar and wing support. Note the cracked paint where I bent the support during gap setting.

And the driver's side.

After that, I fired up the blasting cabinet. It was acting up on my the last time I used it forever ago, which I attributed to worn out media. However, I changed the tip in the gun and it was like a new machine. The air compressor runs continuously when I'm blasting so I don't get too much time before the moisture in the lines starts to clog up the whole operation, but enough time to get stuff done.

Various pieces-parts that have been blasted and readied for paint.

Next up was the driver's side seat frame. Dorothy's was cracked and corroded at the bottom and needed to be repaired. I discovered this soon after buying the car and made the mistake of cutting away a lot of the good metal along with the bad.

Close up of damage to Dorothy's, also showing the metal rod on the edge that broke away.

Because I cut away too much of the bottom, I struggled (and still haven't fixed) the complex curves as the seatback attaches to the bottom frame. I talk about this more in detail in the video (starting here).

Attempt at repair - complex curves that I couldn't get right.

Fortunately, a gentleman in Rhode Island was getting rid of his old restoration parts and had two seat frames, which I grabbed. The driver's side of these was repaired with brazing which appears to be sound.

Seat cleaned up with various mechanical stripping methods.

Closeup of the brazing. Obviously a design weakness in these seats.

There were a lot of dents and dings in the seatback, which I found interesting. Not sure if they were there because of repairs or what, but it just seemed an odd place to have dents.

Another thing I wanted to do was get the "paint booth" set back up in preparation for getting back at painting and body work. I changed my design a bit (booth is longer but a bit more narrow now) but my method, using cup hooks in the ceiling to suspend the plastic, was the same.

Between this visit and the next, I soaked the seat frame in some vinegar to get the heavier rust out, as I did with Dorothy's seat frames. This method works well for me to get the gross rust off of heavier parts. I did discover a nice tear in the seat back which I'll need to address. Brazing and MIG welding do not get along (you can MIG weld over brazing) so this may involve some pain in cleaning the area up...we'll see.

Screen capture, showing the tear up close.

The headlight buckets also need attention. Thankfully, both Dorothy's and the black car's are in good shape. They are prone to rusting out from what I understand (I think more so on the later cars), so I'm lucky there. There is only some minor surface rust to remove and some painting to do.

Dirty, but corrosion free!
That was about it for the visits. Lots of prep to get back into painting as the body is a mess, dust-wise. Excited to get back into it, though!

All the little parts, ready for epoxy.