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Has your Vitesse got stretch marks?


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Hello All,

Whilst I wait for some hardware to be delivered for my '68 Mk1 2L Vitesse's Dynamo to Alternator conversion, I've been doing a bit of 'lipstick and powder' work on the engine bay. As part of this I've removed the nearside engine bay side panels, taken them back to bare metal, and I'm currently in the process of repainting them. During all of this excitement I noticed some quite noticeable deformation ripples in the steel of the rear panel, and initially considered that they might have been the result of crash damage. Looking closer though you can see that they follow the lines of stress created by the press tool during manufacture.......so I reckon that they've been there from day 1. I've not whipped off the offside panels yet, so don't know at the moment whether the same ripples appear on that side as well. Just out of interest have any other Vitesse owners observed the same thing on their cars?  Coming from an engineering background myself I was quite surprised at the extent of the rippling, which may have been the result of a worn press tool being used well past its sell by date!!

Ian    

DSC06499 - Copy.JPG

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Thanks Paul/Steve,

Looks like someone has sawn mine in half at the thinnest part!!  My 'rear' panel doesn't have the louvres either, although mine is the nearside, whilst yours is the offside, so not sure if louvres are supposed to be present on both sides or not. Will check tomorrow, but I'm pretty sure my offside panels have also been cut in a similar manner, so looks to have been done to allow part removal rather than any more nefarious reasons. Thanks for the picture Paul, at least I now know what the staple holes along the trailing edge are for........no rubber edging on my butchered panel either I'm afraid!!

Ian 

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Seems like a replacement part as I think original Triumph parts would not have the rippling. The Triumph part would have been pressed using a 3 piece draw tool ie punch, die (top tool) and blank holder. The cushion pins push the blank holder up, the flat steel sheet placed on the top and the press cycled. The top tool comes down clamps the sheet to the blank holder and stretches it over the punch. However the variations of lumps and depressions and where they are located in the components form can make life very difficult. How to achieve an unrippled part is all down to controlling how the sheet flows and how to do so involves a lot of technology and no small measure of 'black art' and experience. 

I can only assume this was made on aftermarket tooling. 

Hope this helps...I love press tools😍

Iain 

die-science-controlling-metal-flow-with-a-blank-holder-1500560159.jpg

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Pretty sure mine have some rippling in that  area though much less pronounced that pictured. From a Mk 1 2L that I’ve had since 1988. No reason to think they are not Triumph. I’d be amazed if they have ever been available from anywhere other than the factory.

Nick

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Ian like yours my Mk2 is cut in half BUT I did it for access access to oil filter and starter motor I did it when rebuilding the car so as not to damage the new paint on the bulkhead.

i have a small approx 2 inch splice plate with rivnuts to join the 2 halves.
My side plates also have significant rippling from new as I have owned the car since 1970 and they are original.

Peter T

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Thanks everyone for your replies, it's a learning process for me at this stage of my Vitesse ownership, so grateful for all of your insights.

From the replies it looks as though the ripples in these plates occur in some original examples, so presumably must have been down to worn press tools or suspect operation .........whilst others are free of any distortion. As to the 2 part adaptation on mine.......the fact that others have this same mod suggests that perhaps it was publicized somewhere as an aid to better access the engine during maintenance?

Regards,

Ian  

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8 hours ago, SixasStandard said:

As to the 2 part adaptation on mine.......the fact that others have this same mod suggests that perhaps it was publicized somewhere as an aid to better access the engine during maintenance?

Both my current Vitesse and the one I owned 30 years ago had the other "better access" mod, in that those panels are/were missing. In fact, when I bought Tessa, a pair of them did come in the pile of miscellaneous spares, but I sold them to a friend who was more bothered about it than I am.

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Had a poke around in the engine bay today, and would you believe it.......my offside side panel is in 3 pieces!! All very neatly done by a previous owner.......and doing the job it was intended to do.......so no reason to change anything at this point, after all it's part of the car's history

Ian 

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More bad or very worn tooling. Rippling mainly occurs where there is a severe change of shape and/or the material is uncontrolled. As you can see in Ian's panel the length of line from one side to opposite side is much longer at the front and back than in the middle where the excess metal rippling occurs.  In Colin's panel again change of shape but at the end of the panel so it should be more controlled by the blankholder. It's probably worn or aftermarket tooling. The problem with rippling or in extreme cases doubling over of material is it damages the tooling and also stops the tool from bottoming out so the rest of the panel is ill defined. 

Had a look at my panels and there aren't a lot of ripples. I can't believe the original tooling is about so all new panels must be stamped from aftermarket tooling. 

Iain 

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7 minutes ago, Iain T said:

all new panels must be stamped from aftermarket tooling. 

Iain 

Those are from a 1963 Herald, been stored in my garage roofspace until yesterday when I decided it was time for another Lockdown job. I have a few other pairs which I ignored due to rust holes in the lower legs, but must go check them too; they're all original panels. I'll bring the camera with me and see how they compare.

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It's not unheard of to skimp on tooling for parts that are not on show, perhaps this is one. I remember one story told to me by an engineer at GKN Telford, who was charged with making a front crossmember assembly for a Toyota car. This was dual sourced in both Japan and UK. On looking at the Japanese part there was bad rippling and material almost doubled up at one area. On pointing this out to his Japanese counterpart the Japanese said it's underbody so functionality and durability is more important than looks. As long as the mounting points are within tolerance and it passes all long term durability tests all is acceptable. That argument didn't hold water with Ford Transit crossmember who wanted everything within tolerance. We made both sets of prototypes for GKN and the pressings were very difficult due to the shape and specified high tensile materials plus when the parts were welded together the heat caused the parts to distort so to compensate we distorted the tack welded assembly by 3mm in the centre with hydraulic clamps. All good fun, I used to and still love sheet metal engineering.

Iain

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