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**ANOTHER TALE OF WOE-BUT THINGS MIGHT BE IMPROVING??** Nose to Tail - 1972 Spitfire MkIV restoration upgrades!!

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Work continues on the hard top repairs with the speed of a Arcturan Megadonkey. Final fitting of all the repair pieces, then removing them, roughing the surface is one thing, but cleaning out the small, narrow and somewhat sharp interior box sections is taking forever. Nothing worth photographing at the moment but tomorrow I am hoping that the roughing up will be done and that I can get to the point of cleaning, panel wiping and leaving to dry out overnight ready for bonding the next morning before it gets too warm. We shall see.


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After putting off the inevitable jobs until I was finally sent to the garage to do something useful....

.....after roughening up all the surfaces, armed with a spray bottle of panel wipe, numerous cloths, a roll of paper towel and my super-dooper 8mm crevice vacuum cleaner attachment....


...I advanced to the garage and sucked and sprayed and wiped and sprayed and wiped some more, finally spraying the surfaces with panel wipe until they ran and I will now leave these to dry overnight and allow the fumes to clear. Thanks to you all for your input ..AGAIN!!

Tomorrow is the big day to assemblng the repair panels and we will see what happens. BBQ now before the thunderstorms hit.

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This has probably been the worst afternoon that I have spent working on the car since the saga of the rear leaf spring. Everything was cleaned and prepped ready to start assembling the repair panels today. A job that I have been putting off for...well an awful long time because I knew that it would be dreadful. First the cartridge of Kent adhesive which I thought was half full, only gave me a pityful length of mixed adhesive before dying. Gone off??? Solid in the cartridge??? no empty. Being used to tubes of sealant, decorator's caulk etc I had looked inside the cartridge to see the plunger half way up. But, this is a 'duo' cartridge, so it has plungers built in as it uses a standard mastic gun so, half full of adhesive,half full of plungers to push it out. Bad start. So, plan B. Use the next best adhesive which I still have after my tests..the Scotch. Going along well until that too runs out. Plan C, onto the Fastmover cartridge. Now covered in adhesive, glad for the marigolds but they are stiffening up. I hate messy working, but fitting small panels in a very confined space was not condusive to tidy working. Even the blind aluminium rivets were starting to stick in the gun. So, everything done until I see a backing panel on the floor!! This should have been fitted underneath one of the most awkward, bendy, 3D panel strips and is essential. Only one thing for it, drill out all the retaining rivets remove the repair panel (what a mess), fit the back panel and refit the top bit. At last, done, apart from two finishing pieces for underneath. By the time I had finished I was in no mood for photos, but, providing the 'muck' has set, I may embarrass myself with a couple tomorrow to show you exactly how not to do it. I may just run the sander over first to dress it back a bit, to improve the look, if that's at all possible. Just glad that I don't weld. That would have been even worse having the grind back and start that section again with a new top piece. Maybe more tomorrow. At least now there is more steel in the b****y thing than there has been for 30 years. Just hope it sticks there

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  • Badwolf changed the title to **ANOTHER TALE OF WOE** Nose to Tail - 1972 Spitfire MkIV restoration upgrades!!

I finally gave in and went to have a look at the mess that awaited me. Yes it is a mess, but not quite as bad as I was expecting.

Firstly, this is what I had taken out of the bottom of the window frames....


..a mixture of fibreglass and filler. There was also a considerable amount of rusty metal.

You may remember, way back, the back section started out looking like this..


The right window frame base looked fine until I started to remove the paint


..then this after all the fibreglass, filler and most of the deep rust had been removed...


..and after an afternoon of well, you can guess (see yesterday's post), it turned out like this.....purists look away now...


Bonded in, with aluminium rivets to hold things into place while the adhesive cured overnight.  It isn't pretty, I know, but hopefully when I can get it outside and run the grinder over it, it may just improve.  I am hoping that it should not take more than 2 to 3 mm of skim to profile it. At least, as I said in my earlier post, it now has more steel in it than it has had for many, many years.  Oh, and yes, all the adhesive has set, like concrete, as for strength, I am not testing anything to destruction with this one...time will have to tell!!. However, if you are using any, do not let it set where you don't want it as, thankfully, it is very, very difficult to remove. A hacksaw or grinder appears to be the only things to shift it. When I tap the fin thingies (marked 10 in the photo) the metal almost rings indicating to me that the bond is good and solid.  Again, time will tell.

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  • Badwolf changed the title to **ANOTHER TALE OF WOE-BUT THINGS MIGHT BE IMPROVING??** Nose to Tail - 1972 Spitfire MkIV restoration upgrades!!

To finish off the bonding bit, I turned the hardtop over, cleaned up the areas at the base of the fin thingies and fitted a couple of base plates. This was probably the easiest bit to do and probably the neatest. I was pleased to notice that all the repair panels, especially the fin thingies were exceptionally solid even when I came to reshape one of the base panels with a hammer.

What have I learned over the weekend? Well quite a few things which I will pass on, in no particular order....

1. If using clamps or mole wrenches to hold the repair panel while the bond cures, wrap a piece of silicone backing paper around the clamp points to prevent bonding your mole wrench to the metal work.

2. Always make sure that your rivet holes are big enough for the rivets (self tapping screw holes were smaller) before applying the bond. No I didn't!!!

3. Work quickly to prevent the bond curing in the applicator mixing tip but not so quickly that you have trouble getting the repair panels in position.

4. Use panel wipe to clean your rivet gun every 10 minutes or so to prevent the bond from curing and gluing your rivets into the gun. When you apply a rivet some bond gets into the hole in the gun and builds up.

5. Make sure that your bond cartridge actually has product in it before you start...yes really.

6. Wear heavy duty marigold gloves, the thin ones tear as any bond starts to set on them. You will get the muck on them otherwise there is no point in wearing them. Do not even think of trying to pick up a drink!!

7. Be methodical, not necessarily taking your time, the bonding makes sure talking to much time is a luxury.

8. Make a clear list of the order that your numbered panels (yes number them) are going to be fitted

9. If you drop your repair panels on the floor, don't panic but do find them all before you continue. If they have any bond on them, they will of course land bond side down, bonding to every bit of fluff, swarf and dust, so clean thoroughly with panel wipe and try again

10. Try to clean off any high spots of bond before it cures. It will set like concrete, but it is sandable. It can be wiped over with paper towel or even a finger to flatten down, but can be cut as it cures, with a craft knife. It goes sort of plasticky as it goes off

Anything else that come to mind I will add to this post and mark up the edit

I hope that some of this helps some of you.


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