Saturday, June 1, 2019

Upholstery, Steering Column, Epoxy | Roundtail Restoration

Behind again. While I did a number of things, as a whole, I didn't do a lot, so I guess that's good. To the video:


A little bit of everything this time around...hence the "potpourri" (which I spelled wrong - sorry Mom, I should know better) in my YouTube video title.

First up was a round of polyester filler on the rear sail plate and in various spots around the rear of the body. It all came out pretty well.

Rear sail plate polyester filler, post-blocking.

Passenger's rear wing, where the car took a hit. Post-blocking.

After that I tried to do some upholstery work on the crash pads under the dash. I'm still not crazy about them (after several tries), but they are okay for now. I used 3M Super 77 Adhesive Spray and it works great. Unfortunately, my very first try was my best, but I used binder clips to hold everything down and they left marks on the vinyl, so that didn't work (I figured this out later in the video).

The binder clips. Tape is to protect the vinyl from adhesive overspray.

"Final" product...before I ripped it off and tried again...and again...and again...

Once I was done fighting with that, I moved on to getting the rear radius arm brackets on to the body. These bolt through the rear heelboard and into the body. This is where the body and rear suspension meet, so it's a pretty important connection. There are spacers that go between the bracket and the heelboard (Dorothy had five per side) to take up any slack. The two bolts you see below in the picture bolt through to the radius arm mounting bracket on the inside of the car and are then locked in with two locking nuts.

Radius arm bracket from under the car.


Radius arm bracket inside the car (old photo, obviously).

I put the shims in there and snugged the bolts up, but won't do the final tightening until the body is landed and aligned just in case I need more (or fewer) shims.

That was pretty straightforward, so I then moved on to making the steering column switches look pretty. The shafts of the switch had a black covering on them which was pretty beat up, so I cut it off and replaced it with black shrink tubing I picked up at Harbor Freight. It's only about $2 for an 8ft roll, so it was very cost effective and looked good when it was done. The picture in the link that I provided shows letters on the shrink tubing, which obviously would not work, but the stuff I found was pure black. Watch for that if you go this route.

The original covering was glossy, and the shrink tubing is matte, but I like the matte look a bit better. Point being, it's not a perfect match, so you'll have to find another method if you want it glossy (do they make shiny shrink tubing)?

Switches cleaned up, no shaft covering or knobs.

Once the shrink tubing was on there, up next was to put on the knobs. I had picked up clear Gorilla Glue, but that didn't work. I tried that 3M adhesive next, but that didn't work, either. Guess the plastic of the knobs isn't compatible with those methods. Ultimately, I bought JB Weld Original (which the guy who made the knobs recommended) and it worked just fine.

Turn signal done.

I put the switches on the sides where modern cars have them, which is wrong. I'm not sure if this was because Triumph was just different (they are on opposite sides for the RHD-wrong-side-of-road-cars) or what, but I eventually figured this out when the light switch one pointed down instead of up in the OFF position.

Both done, but the switches are on the wrong sides.

Finally, to finish up the night, I got the rear of the body, driver's seat frame, and the front bumper brackets in two coats of epoxy primer in preparation for build primer, upholstery, and paint.

Seat frame prior to paint.

Seat bottom frame and bumper brackets in epoxy.

Seat frame in epoxy. Missed some spots, but got them later.

And while inspecting my epoxy job on that stuff, I discovered my rookie mistake in not taping off the tail light and other small holes the penetrate into the bonnet. That's in Raptor Liner, if you remember, which now may be tinted grey as well as red. Whoops!

Big hole covered...small ones, not so much.

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