Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Thinking out loud...

Not much to report I'm afraid. Work took me away from home for the best part of the last two weeks and that, combined with an overnight stay in Birmingham so we could spend Saturday morning at the FJ Classic Car Show at the NEC, has stalled progress on the saloon.

In an effort to keep the momentum up - on the blog at least - I thought I'd post a few words about my plans for the saloon's bodywork.

The general approach I want to take to getting the saloon back on the road is to keep as much of the original car as possible. This is not the approach I took with the Spitfire, and although it might sound a bit daft I have come to regret this to some extent. More of this later when I start on the jobs I want to get done on the Spitfire over the winter.

So, other than the serious issues noted in the first blog with the sills and floors which are going to require extensive panel repair and replacement, the only other areas that were showing obvious signs of rust were the front and rear front lamp panels, the front valance and the rear edge of the bootlid.

I cleaned the rust off a couple of times and tried a few tricks to stop it reappearing, but to no avail. It would always come back fairly quickly. However, when I got round to stripping the paint off I found it was all good, solid metal with only minor surface pitting evident, except where the front valence joins the front wings where the valence will need a small repair patch let in on either side.

What I'm thinking here is I'll finish derusting these panels and get all the old paint and primer off, get them as clean as possible, then paint with Hydrate 80, zinc primer and then I'll seal the primer with two or three coats of Triumph White from a spray can. The finish isn't too important at this stage - when I've got the bodywork sorted it'll go for final finishing and a full respray by someone who has the equipment and skills to do a proper job!

The other areas where I need to do some of the same sort of prep work are the roof gutters and a small area of windscreen frame in the lower O/S corner. There's no rust showing in these areas, but the paint is very tired and it looks as though they're about to start going the same way as the lamp panels and valance so best to deal with it now.

Where the bodywork and paint are OK and I'm not replacing panels it will be left as is.

What's left of the original underside by the time the front and rear floors have been repaired will be cleaned back to bare metal then treated and painted as required. I'll do all of this myself.

I've nearly finished cleaning up the lamp panels, front valence and bootlid prior to painting. Hopefully, if things go to plan, I'll be able to finish what I want to get done to these over this coming weekend. At which point the saloon will go under cover for the rest of the winter and I'll get on with the jobs I want to get done on the Spit.

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