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Welding in new panels which order?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Recommend a read of the Haynes 'Restoration Manual' for the Spitfire etc before starting.


From hard won experience here goes:

a.  Are the doors good/true?  If not then sort (new skins whatever) because this is what the shut lines and body is 'fitted' around.

b.  Sort the A posts out so you know the dor is hanging correctly.

c.  If the floors are reasonably solid then do the sill work first (to match the the doors)

d.  Replace/repair the floors


Remember, the door gap has to be maintained if the door is removed and tack, check, tack, check fit before welding up.

Sure others will have a view.


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Having had another read of the initial questions some more points to ponder!


a.  Need to consider/check that if the outer sill is rotten has this also compromised the inner sill?

b.  If the whole sill structure requires replacing then you are almost certainly going to end up fitting a complete lower repair A Post panel.

c.  Given the answers to a & b, and assuming the current fit is acceptable then you may have no option but doing the floor first, measure several times before cutting and look for/mark good reference points (not least because the replacement panel may not be an exact copy of what is there now).  You then have to do A-post panel and inner sill but still following the tack/fit/tack/fit regime.


I have a vague recollection that Practical Classics had a Triumph Spitfire Restoration book based on a series of articles.


Hope that helps.


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I would also recommend doing as much as possible with the body on the chassis, as this will give a truer picture of how everything is lining up, and if the door gaps are already good, welding something across them to retain the alignment while the sill repairs are carried out. The more metal you remove at once, the floppier everything gets. Measure twice, cut once, and tack everything and check and check again!




Steve C

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Hi Garry


Steve and Dick make give important pointers



 Very much an amateur ,I have  learnt so far  that a safe working principle  with these  flipping  cars is there's  always  more rust than you think there is.


-so it's likely if your outer sills are bad then don't be surprised if middle and inner sills  and where the floor flange meets same.


 If you don't know about these books. They helped ,and continue to help, me a lot:


 Practical Classics="Triumph Spitfire Restoration" (as  mentioned by Dick ). Still available on Amazon.

As a complete  novice ,I found it very useful-especially the Pics.Note though ,they took the body shell off the chassis -don't do this!(These guys had a special jig made to put the body on to prevent distortion)


"Classic car bodywork" by Martin Thaddeus covers  all manner of repairs to car body work including a section specifically dealing the replacement of floor and sills on a Spitfire. Pictures are really good. This is a really excellent  book.

-Again  see Amazon


Haynes Restoration Manual Triumph Spitfire GT6 Vitesse and Herald " is also  worth a look.Pictures are b&W  and not up to the  standard of the other two.The restorer does  Spitfire floor and sills and  fair bit of patch repairs but book tries to cover too much.


Re-iterate re need for bracing  -adjustable preferably

Keep the door on.(the door is pretty heavy so the bracing will be needed for this alone)

Not just "fore and aft" to avoid a banana shaped car and for  for reasonable  door gaps but also remember it is needed  to ensure  that you can wind the door window up fully  without it fouling the windscreen pillar..


As for the sequence i would go with the advise posted. by Dick.


Certainly  avoid taking the A lower panel and floor out  at the same time if your sills are shot   (like  wot I did first time)  or the bulkhead will be all wobbling over the place even with a door brace and able to move outwards ie  laterally,  or "athwartships" 

(I had to put a  lateral brace between door brace and the chassis bolts near inner aspect of cross member  to control this)

I was more learned for the next side..


Best of luck



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