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  #2161  
Old 24th November 2015, 16:53
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Roadster - I'm not sure what racing Nation added extra weight and then left it there.

At least it should not fall apart when I hit a speed bump / pot hole. < Touch Wood. >

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A Damp Day:
Tidied up the Summer House while I waited for the rain and drizzle to finally clear up.

Then started sanding down the filler along the bottom edge of the boot floor to body shell panelling.

This task was made harder by the fact there really isn't much room to manoeuvre under there.

Unfortunately, it took me a while to notice that the rain had returned, forcing me to stop for an extended break.



When I returned, I removed the tail pipe mounts.



I then continued with the sanding until the rain came back and I had to take cover again.



So it was third time lucky when I finally finished.







Note:
This whole area is both underneath the car and will be covered in Tetroseal, so I this is a good enough finish for me.

Then I put a coat of etch primer on.







Both the outside edges have been left un-primed for now, as they will eventually form part of the inner wheel arches.

The other thing I had done was to sand down the external side of the body shell to remove any traces of excess filler.

So the bottom edges on the outside were also given a coat of etch primer.



Then I test fitted the cockpit side panels.





Both sets of panels will need a bit of fine tuning before they will slot under the new fibreglass lips.

I was able to make up the passenger side, but the rain returned again before I could tackle the driver's side.

So with all the covers back on at the front of the house, I relocated to the Summer House.

When the rain stopped again, I could adjust the passenger side panels.





Although I want to re-check the bigger panel as I think it might need some further adjustment.

I also realised that the bottom two panels on the driver's side are fine, so I gave then an extra coat of paint/wood preserve.
( Along with the freshly cut edges of the smaller passenger side panel. )



Overall, a frustrating day as I had a lot of time available, but no decent weather to work in.

Still, it is all forward progress, so I can't really complain.

Until next time, take care, Paul.
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  #2162  
Old 25th November 2015, 18:47
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A Mixed Bag:
I had just removed the covers & started work on the cockpit side lips when it started raining.

So the covers went straight back on and I had a major sense of humour failure.



Eventually it cleared up enough for me to try again...

I test fitted the cockpit side panels and made a few minor adjustments around some of the edges.



Eventually both sides were able to slot into place underneath the new side lips.

Although they are all just roughly balanced in position for now.

Passenger Side:





Driver's Side:



Sorry this next photo is a bit blurred.



Then I made a template for the final section along the driver's side.



Before cutting that out of plywood, along with a replacement piece (new section on top right).



These slotted into place here:



And here:



Which means I now have the complete jigsaw puzzles for both sides, with just the main rear cockpit panel to go.





Added fibreglass matting along the gaps on the outside edges of the cockpit side lips.
( Where the tape had been. )





I left that to set, while I got on with some domestic chores.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

As it turned out, I only had time to make a start on the painting/treatment of the various panels that need to be topped up.



So until next time, take care, Paul.
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  #2163  
Old 26th November 2015, 16:01
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A Better Day - Part 1:
Being woken up by the sound of rain lashing down outside is never a good way to start the day.

At least my first job was indoors, as I added paint/preservative to more of the panels.



Given my poor run with the weather this week, I used a Burlesque Building approach.

Just removing enough of the covers to give a partial view of the car beneath.



Ran some masking tape along the bottom of the outside edge of the rear body shell.



Although it is not easy to see in this photo, the tape had a small margin on the inside edge too.
( Which will hopefully make it easier to paint the "sunny side" when the time comes. )



Then I brushed on some Tetroseal over the boot floor to body shell panelling.







Obviously photos of a black surface taken underneath the car are never going to look very clear.

But at least the 'patch work quilt' of panels are starting to blend in with the rest of the boot floor.

I'll add a second coat to this at some point.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Peeled the covers back a bit more...

Roughly sanded over the fibreglass matting added to the cockpit sides yesterday.
( Note the "little 'n' large" widths of either side. )





- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I'm been thinking recently about the best way to tackle the "undulations" along the top edges of the cockpit sides.

Looking at other builds, Mr T posted this great photo of the passenger side of his Spyder cockpit (before he fixed it).



Mac did something similar to improve the cockpit sides of his Navigator.





Swifty even fitted lower sills to straighten out the bottom edge of his Navigator body shell.





Taking that last point, you can see that I still have the original curvy bottom edge in this side view of my car.



I intend to leave this bottom edge alone, as the key thing for me is that this edge now completely covers the bottom of the framework.
( Which it didn't before I started butchering the body shell. )

End of Part 1...
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  #2164  
Old 26th November 2015, 16:02
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A Better Day - Part 2:
I've used a length of box section to illustrate the "Before" position.





Another issue is the relative heights of the rear cockpit corners and the front bulkhead ones.

So rather than try to achieve a "clean" horizontal line, I will simply try to create some gentle curves, similar to the bottom edge.

I started this process by adding some fibreglass filler over the top.





With a chance of rain in the forecast, I set everything up for a quick cover up if required.



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Once the filler had gone off sufficiently, I started the sanding down process.

The passenger side has come out very close after this first stage.



The lips will look a lot better when I finally trim them down to size.



The edge will drop from the bulkhead, then form a straight angle up (see box section), before dropping again at the rear.
( Next time I move the car, I'll be able to take a better "side on" view. )



The key thing is I don't want/need this to be perfect, just better than it was at the start and I can achieve that.

Is it too early for a festive tune?

I'm dreaming of a white driveway...



The driver's side is a bit rougher by comparison.



There is a small dip (a few mm) along the "straight" angle.



But I will be able to take care of that when I add a skim of normal body filler at some point.

The other thing I did, which is not easy to see in the photos, is radius/soften the top edges themselves.





- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

With the rear of the car covered up again, the front end could be revealed.



The plan was to do some bonding work around the bulkhead.

Starting with the top sections on both sides.



Plus adding some paste to the outside edges of the vertical cockpit floor panels.



Note:
Previously I used up the last bit of paste from doing the inside edges on part of the bottom outside edge.

At this point, the first drops of rain started to fall, so I didn't get to start that work at all.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Still, at least I was able to do another round of panel painting before calling it a day.



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

It feels like a few areas are starting to come together now, so it is all positive.

Until next time, take care, Paul.
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  #2165  
Old 1st December 2015, 19:57
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Friday to Sunday - 3 days of hard labour helping my mate move flats due to the fact he is a "hoarder".

Shame the weather wasn't bettter, as his old flat, on the 10th floor, had a great view of the London skyline.



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Monday - Catching up on domestic chores.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Tuesday - Hard to believe that today is the 1st of December.

It was the afternoon before I finally had some time available for the car.

I modified the original rear cockpit wall panel I had cut out for testing a while back so it would fit inside the framework.



Then cut out cardboard templates to extend the sides like so.



Together these gave me the basis of a single template.





Which just needed a few minor tweaks before it could be slotted into place.



Then I cut this shape out of plywood.



And again, after a few adjustments that fitted too.



I still need to provide access to the seat belt mounting points, fuel gauge sender, fuel filler hose, etc.

But that will have to wait for another day.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Instead, I added a skim of normal body filler to the cockpit sides.





Unfortunately, I put too much hardener in, so it set quicker than I wanted.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Once that was set I sanded it down.





The street lights came on while I was doing the driver's side, so the photos are not great.





Overall, this is a big improvement from where I started.

However, this "smooth" surface still has a few gentle "undulations" in it.

If all of these need to be taken care of before paint, no wonder the prep. work takes so long!

Hopefully tomorrow I will get a chance to spray a coat of etch primer over the top to get a better look at the current finish.

Until next time, take care, Paul.
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  #2166  
Old 1st December 2015, 20:32
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Paul..........if you put on the normal filler try to apply it as smooth as possible with a long filler knife,it saves you lots of sanding.......
Also try to sand with a longboard,it keeps the sanding flat.
Etch primer is only useful as the sanding is done,otherwise you are sanding the expansive etch primer away.
Just use a cheap rattlecan matt black to dust the sanded area so you can see after fine blocksanding where the low spots are.
Good luck,René.
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  #2167  
Old 2nd December 2015, 16:00
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Rene: - Thanks for the tips.

Unfortunately, it looks like my car's body work will require a LOT of preparation before it will be ready for painting.

So my current plan is to get the car ready for its first MOT without its final colour, just a very basic grey primer finish.
( As all the repair/alteration work at least looks more presentable when it it the same colour all over. )

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A Bit More Progress:
Nicest day we've had around here in weeks, but I had a few other things competing with car time.

Morning

Added the second coat of Tetroseal to the boot floor to body shell panelling.







I've decided to turn the curves along the top edge of the cockpit sides into a "feature".

So I marked a (roughly) matching line along the bottom edges of the cockpit sides.





Then I had a slight technical hitch with my ear defenders.



So I've ordered a new one and just used foam ear plugs while cutting the lips with my angle grinder.





Then I gave the inside of the cockpit a long over due clean.



Before using some etch primer to at least make the cockpit sides look a bit more presentable.









As per my reply to Rene above, whilst this is certainly not the final finish, it does look miles better.

Unfortunately, it looks like I still managed make a mess on my seats despite covering them up.



So cleaning the seat covers will be added to the "To Do" list.

End of Part 1...
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  #2168  
Old 2nd December 2015, 16:01
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Part 2:

Early Afternoon

I jacked up the car, removed the wooden blocks, lowered it back to the ground and pushed it across the drive.
( I am still very happy with how solid it all feels as I push against the body work. )

So now you can get a better idea of the gentle curves along the top edge of the cockpit sides.



And this is the view of the passenger side.



But the main reason for pushing the car out was so I could get access to the mess underneath.



After sweeping up and washing down.



There was enough time to take another "drone" shot, before the covers went back on.



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Late Afternoon

Just a bit more panel painting/treating in the summer house.



Until next time, take care, Paul.
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  #2169  
Old 2nd December 2015, 16:50
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Looking good Paul
You must be happy with the progress now.
Whats your to do list look like now?

Don't worry too much about final finish. Filler primer and large body planes will smooth out the undulations.

I know mine "the Roadster" was a jigsaw of pieces and it showed right up to the paint started going on properly
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  #2170  
Old 3rd December 2015, 15:36
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Roadster: - Cheers, ever since bonding the body shell, it does feel like every little job is taking me one step closer to the finish line.

Especially when compared to spending so many hours doing lots of work just to reach a point where I could start building the car.

The fact it now actually looks like a car, not just a collection of huge jigsaw pieces, really does make a big difference to morale.

As for my "To Do" list, the next large items I need to tackle are:
- Re-profile all 4 wheel arches
- Switch the bottom sections of the bonnet to the sides of the body shell
- Finish "sealing off" all the gaps between the Moon Rover and the body shell
- Add final body shell support panels inside boot area
- Fit the internal cockpit panels

I am sure there are quite a few other things on the list, but the above is more than enough for now.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Still Chipping Away:
Started the day painting/treating some plywood panels.



Next I jacked up the front end of the car.



While this did give better access to the area around the bulkhead, it was still a tight squeeze.

Mixed up the first round of bonding paste and started to bond the top corners panels in.





Also did the outside edges of the cockpit floor panels.



Covered the gap between the lowered floor pans & front bulkhead from underneath.



Note:
I've already sealed this gap from above inside the cockpit.

The second batch of bonding paste covered some of the same areas above on the driver's side.

Plus the first horizontal bulkhead panel on the passenger side.



This was held in place by a bit of wood pressed into place by my car jack.



While I left that to set I marked up the cardboard template for the rear cockpit wall.



I then cut the holes out and test fitted it.



The access hole looks big, but I want to ensure there was more than enough room for my arm to go in.



And my fingers to reach the petrol cap with ease.



These holes were then transferred to the plywood panel and cut out.
( There was no point trying to keep the seat belt mount holes within the panel. )



This slotted into place like so.



End of Part 1...
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  #2171  
Old 3rd December 2015, 15:37
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Part 2:
Unfortunately, a small disaster struck when I moved a wheelie bin and "clipped" the car jack.

It didn't move much, but it was still enough to dislodge the panel as the bonding paste hadn't fully cured.

So my third batch of bonding paste of the day involved repairing the damage done.

And this time I also managed to get some paste on part of one of the underneath edges too.



The last bit of the paste went along the gap between the bottom of the framework and body shell.

These were the best I could do in terms of "before" shots.

You can see the bottom edge of the side of the body shell sits well below the frame.



But there is a small gap between the side of the frame and the body shell.



Note:
The other side of this box section forms the base of the floor level "bridge" on the inside of the cockpit.

So this was the "after" as I only had enough paste to make a start on sealing this off.



By now, by car time was rapidly running out, so I rearranged the covers so the car jack was protected.
( I added a couple of blocks of wood to weigh it down after the photo was taken. )



As I will leave the jack in place over night just to make sure that panel is secure.

Finally, I ended the day as I started it, painting/treating panels.



Until next time, take care, Paul.
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  #2172  
Old 4th December 2015, 14:57
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Marginally Better Than Nothing:
Another day, another coat of paint/wood preservative.



Thankfully, all the other panels have now had their extra coats, so this is the last one to do.

Removed the support from underneath the horizontal bulkhead panel on the passenger side.

Thankfully, it is firmly held in place, so I mixed up some more bonding paste to finished off the edges.

This is the view from underneath.



It also started to bond the horizontal bulkhead panel into place on the driver's side.



This involve using a "low tech" application tool for those hard to reach places.





And that was it for today, certainly not much, but it all helps.

Cheers, Paul.
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  #2173  
Old 5th December 2015, 14:50
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Odds & Ends:
It will come as no surprise to regular readers to hear that the day started with some plywood painting / treating.



Then I revisited my plans for the second vertical panel to seal off the bulkhead to body shell gap.

Originally, I was planning to have a small overlap where the two panels joined at the top.



However, given the fact that the first two panels are now fixed in place, I decided to make the third a flush fit.

After a bit of cutting and trimming, both panels could be slotted into place.





Note:
The gaps around the panel should help the bonding paste get a good grip (I hope).

Then I mixed up some more bonding paste and covered the remaining edges underneath the horizontal panel on the driver's side.



I also sealed off some more of the gaps between the bottom of the framework and the sides of the body shell on both sides.





To say this bonding work is a messy job would be a serious understatement.

Then it was time for another painting session for the newly exposed edges.



Next I loosely refitted the cockpit side panels & the fact the cockpit side lip is now tidy makes a big difference.



I put these panels in so I could roughly mark a couple of key areas with masking tape.





Then I mixed up some fibreglass filler to apply along the inside edges of top corner bulkhead panels.
( Which was particularly hard to reach and I could not see what I was doing. )



I also "topped" up a few areas along the floor level "bridge".



Finally, I started to extend the area covered by Tetroseal, as I now know how it will all fit together.



But I think I will need to use a roller for the next stage of painting, as there is very little room to play with.

Unfortunately, that was all I had time for today, as family stuff will take priority later this afternoon.

Given the way the wind is still going strong an the front of the car is jacked up I needed a bit of weight on the cover.



Our Christmas tree / decorations will be going up tomorrow, so I'm not sure if I'd get any car work done.

So until next time, take care, Paul.
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  #2174  
Old 8th December 2015, 15:16
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Shuffling Along...

Sunday:
- Had a great time with my daughters putting up the Christmas tree and decorations, while singing along to our festive play list.

Monday:
- Still in Christmas mode, writing cards, buying pressies, stocking up on supplies for Christmas dinner at our house, etc.

Tuesday:
The morning was a wash out, but managed to grab a bit of car time in the afternoon.

Note:
Apologies in advance for a poor collection of photos, but the areas I worked on were hard to reach.

Put some masking tape where the final bulkhead closing panels will be sealed.



Before adding some Tetroseal on the remaining inside surfaces.





Mixed up some bonding paste and made the usual mess fitting the final bulkhead closing panels.





Also used the remaining paste on the gap between framework and body shell on the passenger side.



This is still "open" at the rear arch end, as I need to re-shape the arches before I can finish sealing this section off.

In addition to all the Christmas preparations, we have visitors arriving on Thursday for a long weekend.

So its all go here, cheers, Paul.
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  #2175  
Old 9th December 2015, 17:03
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Tidying Up:
With my wife's guests arriving tomorrow, one of today's domestic chores was cleaning the driveway.

Thankfully I was able to build in a bit of "mission creep" while I was outside.

Jacked the car up, removed the blocks and put it back on it's wheels.



There is still work I need to do underneath, but, for now, it just needs to be "presentable".

This also allowed me to tidy up my collection of wood.



I sanded down the last batch of filler applied to the bridge across the cockpit floors.

I also used this flexible attachment for those hard to reach areas behind the angle iron in the framework.



Then I applied some Tetroseal along the edge joining the body shell and any bits I'd previously missed.





Note:
I've left enough room for the next round of bonding/fibreglassing to take place.

E.g. You can see which areas will be behind the cockpit side panels.



Then I trimmed the fuel filler hose to fit the gap between the body shell and the petrol tank.



Then removed the tape protecting the tank from dust.



Fitted the rubber seal into place around the inside edge of the metal "ring".



Then the hose just sits "free" underneath the seal, but firmly pushed down around the petrol tank opening.



The neck of the petrol cap then goes through the seal and the top of the hose when it is fitted.



And two clamps hold the top and bottom of hose in place like so.



This will all have to come out again for final painting, but for now, this is good enough for an MOT.





That was as much car work as I dared to sneak in, as I still had to weed the drive.



Still, that task is normally on my list of Christmas chores, so I am ahead of the game there.

I've leave you with a photo of my tidy drive.



Until next time, take care, Paul.

PS
Winter Solstice Approaches
"Wembley Henge" is starting to line up with the lowest trajectory of the Winter sun.

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  #2176  
Old 9th December 2015, 17:38
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All looking spick and span there Paul, i think i will have to get my finger out with my build as you are catching me up.

Keep up the great progress its coming together well and i think you will have one of the sturdiest builds.
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  #2177  
Old 9th December 2015, 17:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swifty View Post
All looking spick and span there Paul, i think i will have to get my finger out with my build as you are catching me up.

Keep up the great progress its coming together well and i think you will have one of the sturdiest builds.
Fuel cap looks good Paul,
Swifty is right there will be no rattles or squeaks and there cant be much chance of scuttle shake either.
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  #2178  
Old 11th December 2015, 14:59
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Swifty & Roadster - Thanks gentlemen.

I think my lack of experience means I often take a "Belt 'n' Braces" approach in many areas.

I just hope the MOT tester appreciates the effort going in underneath the car, as no one else is likely to see it!

Although, some of this work makes me feel like I've done everything to the best of my ability, which has to be a good thing.

Still entertaining our guests at the moment, but hope to spend a bit of time on the car next week, Paul.
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  #2179  
Old 12th December 2015, 14:56
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Playing Tourist:
One advantage of having guests is an excuse for us to make a rare visit to the West End last night.





As we were going to see this.



It was my wife's choice and there was some really great songs in it.

Although she clearly hadn't read any reviews, as there was an awful lot of "F'ing & Blinding" in it too.

I'd certainly be in the dog house for using that kind of language in front of our daughters.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A Brief Encounter:
I had a load of domestic chores to do today while everyone else headed off to Kensington for the afternoon.

But I did manage to sneak out for a few minutes...

Previously, I had make a rough sketch on a printed out photo.



So to get an even gap all the way around, I need to reduce the gap on the left & increase the gap on the right.

Today I just wanted to quickly compare the arch on the passenger side to my plywood template.



So even though this is just resting in place, and must lower than it needs to be, you can still get the general idea.

This is how Swifty tackled re-profiling his rear arch.



And this is PsychoPops doing his.



Currently, I plan to use a combination of these two approaches to "cut & shut" the arch.

However, first I need to drill a hole in the template that will line up with the centre of the wheel.

Then I will add a few extra holes, so I can zip tie the template to the wheel spokes to firmly hold it in place.

But that will be a task for another day, as I now need to start making a Shepherds Pie for dinner.

Take care, Paul.
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  #2180  
Old 16th December 2015, 15:21
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Paul L Paul L is offline
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Making A Start:
After a lot of other distractions recently, I finally got a chance to do some car work today.

Although technically I actually started with the traditional tidying up of the Summer House.





Next I used the Mark Evan's trick to find the centre of my wheel arch template.



Before drilling a "peep" hole.



Next I roughly marked up a "cut" line around the existing passenger side arch opening.



Before cutting the whole thing out.





The section I removed keeps the "return" lip.



Although I did trim this lip a bit where parts of the original moulding lip were still there.





Note:
The remaining arch section is supported at one side by this small "bridge".



And the boot floor panelling on the other side.
( Which still needs to be finished off, tidied up and painted. )



Next I marked up a few fixing holes on the template.



So that when the centre was lined up...
( The flash makes it look off centre. )



The template could be zip tied to the wheel spokes.
( I just temporarily used two ties for this next stage. )



As I needed to mark up another section of the remaining arch opening to be cut off.





The next step will be to alter the original arch lip to make it as round as possible.



Only after that has been done will it be fixed back into position, something like this.



I will use brackets to hold the two sections together, remove the wheel and fibreglass it from behind, before healing the wound on the sunny side.

Obviously this is easier said than done, so I will take my time to line it all up as well as I can.

Even if I am a few mm out from a perfectly round arch, it will still be miles better than what I started with.

But that was all I had time for today, so until next time, take care, Paul.
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