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Mister Towed 24th December 2018 08:25

Hi Deni, your welding looks to be pretty good to me (if any pro welders disagree, please bear in mind that I'm a self-taught amateur welder myself, so I just mean it looks strong enough for our purposes), while your fibreglassing also looks like it'll do the job, just watch out for bubbles when using the cloth rather than the matting.

As for a fibreglass bulkhead being an mot fail, possibly your mate might have experience of an mot tester failing fibreglass repairs to a corroded structural bulkhead in a monocoque car, but there's nothing in the MOT Testers' manual to suggest that bulkheads need to be metal, otherwise how would fibreglass cars like Lotus Elans, Elites, Europas and Reliant Scimitars pass their MOT's?

The pertinent sections of the MOT manual for us are:

Appendix A, Section 8 - Vehicles with Separate bodies. This accepts that, where a vehicle has a separate chassis and body with supporting sub-structure, it is the integrity of the sub-structure that is critical, not the condition of the body.

Main manual, Section 6 - Body Structure and Attachments. Again, this talks about corrosion but not materials used to construct the vehicle in the first place.

Also, it's worth trawling round your local MOT testing stations until you find one who understands classic cars, hot rods and specials as they're far less likely to reject a car on the basis that they just don't understand it.

'My' tester, for example, drives a 70's Toyota Celica with a V6 motor grafted in and is restoring a pre-war Morris. He won't break the rules to get my cars through the test, but he will very carefully read the guidance notes and apply the rules appropriately to a non-standard vehicle.

I'd also point out that, once correctly registered (emphasis to try to avoid any accusation of using photoshopped registration documents from Rochdale GT) your car will almost certainly be MOT exempt anyway.

Having said that, it'll still need to be both safe and road-legal, and I personally will continue to MOT my classics/kits just for the peace of mind of an annual independent safety check.

Anyway, good luck with your Miglia, it looks like you have or are developing all the skills you'll need to do a fine job. :)

Sorry for repeating some of what Paul says above, I hadn't noticed that he'd posted while I had breakfast.

deni 24th December 2018 13:39

Hi Barber, Paul L and Mister Towed,

Thank you for replying so quickly, on a such a lovely Christmas day.

Barber - Thank you for your comments. I would recommend to try using a MIG welder. It just seems easier to use compared to an Arc welder.

Paul L and Mister Towed - Thank you for your encouragement and advice too, as well as for the clarification regarding the bulkhead, very helpful.

I am still in two minds about the bulkhead. If I decide to use fibreglass one I might clad it with thin, lightweight aluminium just to be safe. Paul I enjoy reading your on the road blog and Mister Towed, I also follow your new roadster build - I hope to see more developments soon.

deni 24th December 2018 14:03

Hi all,

I know that the regulations have changed and that already registered cars, older than 40 years are tax and MOT exempt, but I will continue to MOT my car anyway, just to stay safe (I have another classic car from 1976).

However, I am not sure what happens in our case, when we have to put the car back on the road after the build, so I have a few questions please:

1- I know that in the past people would send the papers to DVLA to change the details on V5 before having their MOT done. Is that still the case please? Can I already send the documentation to DVLA? If not, how do we go on about this currently please?

2- If a donor car is MOT free, is it still required to do your first MOT when you've finished re-body-ing a car?

Thank you.

Cheers, D.

micky1mo 24th December 2018 18:19

Hi Deni, this have changed since the local DVLA offices have closed as every thing is now done by post!!!:peep:

To correctly register your car you'll need to fill-out form V627/1 and include receipts, photos ect.

Personally, I send the completed V627/1, the current V5 (with changes clearly marked) , receipts for the body conversion, a good photo of the car before, during and after the conversion (clearly showing the registration number), plus a photo of the chassis plate number or stamp and engine number.
I also included a new MOT certificate, this proves the car has been built to a road worthy standard, confirms the conversion is completed, confirms the chassis number, confirms the colour change and in most cases the MOT tester will change the VOSA details on his computer i.e. model, colour ect.

.IMHO I think DVLA look upon a MOT test as a form of "independent" inspection.

So it's worth sending a few quid getting an MOT test when your build is ready and before you register it.

Another thing to remember is when fill-out the V627/1 you only give basic simple understandable information and never mention "kit" or "used" or "second hand".
In my recent experience and using the info above the re-registering process takes around 2 weeks from posting the paperwork to receiving the up-dated V5.:party:

deni 24th December 2018 23:53

micky1mo - thank you for the advice, very helpful and much appreciated.I am only a bit worried about the fact that I have bought a rolling chassis with engine only, and I don’t have any photos of the donor car before it was stripped down and no original reg plates. I have the chassis plate and correct V5.

Is this going to be a problem?

Thank you.


micky1mo 25th December 2018 09:35

DVLA are now asking for photos a lot more.

It's now common for them to ask for proof that a car exists ie, photo of the car and VIN location, when applying for a new style V5 replacing the old style blue V5.

Not having a photo of the original car displaying it's original registration number might be an issue and DVLA will probably ask for one.:icon_frown:

I would recommend doing some research on your car and you might find a photo or reference to it.:surprised:

lancelot link 25th December 2018 11:40


Originally Posted by deni (Post 98231)
Hi everyone,

After being away for nearly 4 months I am back in the garage to continue working on the Miglia.

I have done the body trial fit - even if it looks that the body is not very straight, once it is clamped to the frame it actually fits much better and I think I will be able to position it correctly.

Attachment 5731

I know Chris at Tribute has just corrected the ''leftness'' of these bodies rear ends for a customer by cutting the bulkhead area on the drivers side ...its a fairly easy correction apparently , so might be worth messaging or emailing him .... When the S*mmio became a fully bodied / non flip fronted option , something happened !
Its all fixable though ...

deni 28th December 2018 21:54

micky1mo - thank you for your advice. I am afraid I will have to research a bit more about this.

lancelot link - thank you for the tip. I will try to have a chat with Chris and check if it is within my capabilities to do what he did. I like how your Formosas look when they are finished, especially the long nose one.

Paul L 1st January 2019 16:25

Deni – Sorry, I meant to post another reply and forgot. :rolleyes:

There is some useful stuff on welding splatter here:

Keep practising, as I was definitely better at welding by the end of my build compared to the start.

The same can be said for my ability to work with fibreglass, as that also got better as I did more of it.

Have you checked the height/shape of the top of the bulkhead so it is a match for the inside curve of the bodyshell?

As it would be easier to extend the height now and trim it back to fit as required later on.

Good luck, Paul. :)

deni 1st January 2019 17:31

Hi Paul,
Thanks for your comments. You’re right, I am getting better results with more practice.
I have not measured the top of the bulkhead yet, but the idea was (if I decide to use this bulkhead) to make a separate top part and to laminate it to this existing bulkhead copy. I thought it would be easier to finish this part of once the body is in it’s final position and bonded to the subframe.


Paul L 5th January 2019 07:55

Deni – I saw your painting question ‘next door’, so thought you might like this.

Good luck, Paul. :)

deni 5th January 2019 10:59

Hi Paul L - thank you for the link. I was just curious about his experience with painting a fiberglass car using roller. Actually, reading your thread, back then when you were painting the Swordfish, was what inspired and convinced me that hand painting my car is the way to go.
So I will be reading your painting part of the thread again later on, as you have provided quite a lot of detail there, so thanks for that too.

Cheers, D

Paul L 6th January 2019 08:19

Deni – No worries, as Jerome/Rob’s use of a roller on his build inspired me too. :cool:

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

With hindsight, my top lessons learned from hand painting my car are:

Buy twice as much paint as you think you might need as a single batch.
- Due to some bad paint reactions and other problems, I ended up running out of top coat.
- Then the small extra tin I bought to finish the job was a slightly different shade of BRG.
- So I then had to buy even more paint to get the same colour all over from a single tin. :doh:

Use paint that is something like Rustoleum or the narrow boat stuff, rather than the synthetic paint I used.
- As whilst the synthetic paint went on shiny using a brush, it didn’t look as shiny when sanded back flat.

Use a proper polishing machine (see JaguarTVR’s suggestions on my build thread).
- As the problems I had with sanding back may have been made worse by using the wrong tool. :rolleyes:

Try to avoid painting during the hottest summer since the legendary heat wave of 1976. :icon_wink:

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

The fact you have a garage to do the painting in will be a big help and should make your life easier.

As the fact I need to cover my car with a tarpaulin is making a real mess of my paint. :icon_sad:

Overall, the fact my paintwork is less than perfect doesn’t stop my enjoyment of the car. :cool:

Good luck, Paul. :)

deni 8th January 2019 00:20

Paul L - thank you very much for the advice, very helpful. Rustoleum paint sounds like a good idea. I remember you having a problem with different shades of green, so thanks for the tip regarding the paint quantities too.
You are also right when you say that, no matter how the paintwork turns out, it will not stop us enjoying driving our cars, that's for sure...:wink:

However, at the moment I am still "agonizing" as to which type and thickness of the metal I should use to fabricate the bulkhead...or do I use my fiberglass copy of the bulkhead, cover it with thin aluminium sheet to make it more fire resistant and glass it to the frame...or is that a silly idea??? :help:....any comments and advice would be appreciated.

Cheers, D

Paul L 9th January 2019 08:27

Deni - Hopefully someone who knows what they are talking about will be along in a minute.

But in the meantime here are my (limited experience) thoughts for what they are worth…

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

Fire resistance:

This website appears to be offering a FIA approved TVR Griffith body shell.

I don't know, but assume that the FIA have fire resistance standards that this fibreglass shell meets?

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

Fabricating the bulkhead in metal:

I had no idea what I was doing when I started repairing my rusting bulkhead. :rolleyes:

But with very limited tools and skills, I was able to make various metal Frankenstein shapes.

Brake master cylinder recess

Sunken battery box

Plus numerous shaped repair panels to tackle the rust.

But my lack of experience meant that I spend months and months on the bulkhead. :icon_sad:

However, ironically, making one from scratch may take less time than repairing an existing one.

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

Sammio Cordite:

This is a photo of DonnySoutherner's Cordite build

Which did use the fibreglass bulkhead that the Cordite was originally supplied with.
( I removed this section from my own build as part of 'Project HillBilly'. )

The key point to note is that the framework underneath had a panel to support the pedals.

Given my Spitfire's brakes are a mix of discs and drums, there have been time when I have really pressed the brake pedal. :eek:

So I guess ensuring the pedal area is strong enough would be a key point.

But, again, I assume the Griffith shell above is strong enough to support the pedals.

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

Hope that helps, good luck, Paul. :)

deni 11th January 2019 13:19

Paul L-Thank you very much for the photos and the link to the Griffith internet page. Looking forward to read it.
My frame came without pedal attachment plate but I have bought a 6mm steel plate to weld onto the frame to mount the pedals, as my bulkhead would not be strong enough.
My main concern is how fire resistant my fiberglass bulkhead would be but the photos you have posted confirm that they are suitable.

Thank you very much for your help and advice, it is much appreciated. I know I have a lot of questions but I will get there...

Cheers, D.

davecymru 12th January 2019 17:43

Just catching up on this, in case it helps i also had to rejig my pedal plate and steering column mounts as well! So (as ever) i went a bit OTT i did a frame extension in 25x25x3mm steel box section with a 4mm steel plate on the top.

After that my bulkhead was fabricated in bonded and rivited aluminium which i got from

I started with this

But also ended up totally altering the steering column part so that i could fit space behind my flush mounted instruments and ended with this.

Hope this helps a bit?

deni 12th January 2019 18:00

davecymry-thanks for your help, always much appreciated. Your build pages are my regular place to go when I am trying to figure things out. Good luck with the front springs tinkering...


deni 12th January 2019 18:15

Hi Dave,
I forgot to ask, Did you put anything in between aluminium and steel frame to separate them? I see on the photos that you have applied something where the rivets are.

Was that aluminium angle you've used?

Did you use aluminium or steel rivets please?

Thank you.


davecymru 13th January 2019 12:15

The Alloy sheets were 2000x1000x1.2mm
The angle was 3/4 x 3/4 / 1/16
Alloy rivets (LOTS of them)
and everything seated and bonded with Tiger Seal (nasty, horrible, sticky stuff that it is to cut out of your hair)

deni 14th January 2019 21:35


Originally Posted by davecymru (Post 98561)
...and everything seated and bonded with Tiger Seal (nasty, horrible, sticky stuff that it is to cut out of your hair)

... :-0 ... I have been warned, but I suspect I will end up with some of that nasty stuff in my hair too. Thank you for the info.

Cheers, Deni

deni 27th February 2019 10:11

Hi all,

I've made some progress with my build and have a few more things to do this weekend, so I will post the photos afterwards. In the meantime, I have a question regarding a brake master cylinder.

I have bought a new, updated clutch cylinder with small 3/4 reservoir, but with a larger bore (0.725"). I've been told that I can use the same cylinder for my brakes.

Is the size of the reservoir crucial and will it hold enough of brake fluid for efficient braking (I would like to use this one if possible) or is it necessary to use one with a larger reservoir but a smaller, 0.625" bore?

Any advice would be helpful. My engine is 1500 Spitfire and I have a single brake circuit with discs on the front and the drums on the back wheels.

Thanks, D.

deni 27th February 2019 20:29

For some reason my post from today (see below) did not show in 'New Posts' section, so I will post it again.

Hi all,

I've made some progress with my build and have a few more things to do this weekend, so I will post the photos afterwards. In the meantime, I have a question regarding a brake master cylinder.

I have bought a new, updated clutch cylinder with small 3/4 reservoir, but with a larger bore (0.725"). I've been told that I can use the same cylinder for my brakes.

Is the size of the reservoir crucial and will it hold enough of brake fluid for efficient braking (I would like to use this one if possible) or is it necessary to use one with a larger reservoir but a smaller, 0.625" bore?

Any advice would be helpful. My engine is 1500 Spitfire and I have a single brake circuit with discs on the front and the drums on the back wheels.

Thanks, D.

Paul L 1st March 2019 09:09

Sorry I can't help with the technical stuff (I reused my donor stuff).

But good to hear you are still making progress. :cool:

Good luck, Paul. :)

deni 1st March 2019 09:40

Hi Paul,

Thank you for your reply, hopefully someone else will chip in. Yeah, I could not work on the car for a while, so it's great to be back in the garage for the last couple of weekends. I will post the photos after this weekend.


Dale j 1st March 2019 14:43

Hi deni you will have to yous the stander reservoir the one that came with the car if you have a brake booster on it if not you can have a smaller one but you cannot yous a brake booster. my triumph vitesse has small reservoir, with no booster hope that helps

deni 1st March 2019 18:38


Originally Posted by Dale j (Post 99374)
Hi deni you will have to yous the stander reservoir the one that came with the car if you have a brake booster on it if not you can have a smaller one but you cannot yous a brake booster. my triumph vitesse has small reservoir, with no booster hope that helps

Hi Dale j,

Thank you for your help, much appreciated.

Just to clarify, when you say booster do you mean a servo unit that can be installed as an upgrade?

Cheers, Deni

Dale j 1st March 2019 19:04

Hi Deni yes a servo unit ( brake booster ) you need more brake fluid for the servo to work
cheers Dale

deni 2nd March 2019 09:48

Dale j - Thank you very much.

Mister Towed 3rd March 2019 20:41

Erm, don't mean to contradict what's already been said, but I used one of those small reservoir/0.725 bore master cylinders on Vitesse single-circuit brakes with an aftermarket servo on my Spyder with no problems whatsoever.

The larger reservoir was used to ensure there was enough fluid to compensate for the brake pads wearing down over time, but as car enthusiasts we check our levels regularly so won't have that problem.

The servo made a big difference to the confidence I had in the brakes as you don't need to stamp on them to get the car to stop in an emergency - on my first Goodwood trip in it I came round a bend going downhill in the rain on a dual carriageway and found both lanes ahead blocked by static traffic, which was scary enough with the boosted brakes.

I'd recommend fitting a servo, 'greenstuff' pads and grippy tyres - I found Uniroyal Rainexperts to be excellent - to make sure you can stop with real confidence.

deni 4th March 2019 09:17

Mister T,

Thank you for the clarification and an excellent advice. I thought I saw the 2 of the same cylinders on your car (and a few others), so now I know for sure that was the case.
Thank you for taking the time to reply and I hope your Outlaw build is going well.

Cheers, Deni.

Mister Towed 5th March 2019 06:25

No problem, Deni. One more thing though - with single circuit brakes make damn sure that all the ends of the brake pipes throughout the system are properly flared and fully secure.

I had the rear main feed pipe pop out of the T piece and squirt brake fluid across my drive when I was bleeding them after installing the new m/cyl. and servo.

On stripping the system down I found that a previous owner had installed new brake pipes but hadn't properly flared half of the ends. The pedal went to the floor and I'd have had no brakes at all if it had happened on the road.

For the same reason, I'd recommend anyone buying a 'restored' classic to go through the brake lines and check the security of all the connections.

deni 5th March 2019 13:01

Thank you Mr.T, I will make sure to check them when I bleed the brakes later in the build.


deni 5th March 2019 22:32

5 Attachment(s)
Hi all,

Here is an update of my build progress over the last couple of weekends. It was the time to finally tackle the welding.

I fabricated the pedal plate and welded it to the frame. I am very happy with the result and my welding is getting better all the time (sorry for the photos orientation).

I did not have any other tool to cut 6mm steel plate so I have used a grinder to make the openings for the pedals - they are not the best looking but will do the job.

Attachment 5900

I have bought this cheap pillar drill quite some time ago and it finally got used to drill the holes for the pedals and the master cylinders.

Attachment 5901

Attachment 5902

Attachment 5903

I have decided to use my fibreglass bulkhead, so I will cut out the part where the pedal plate is.

Attachment 5904

deni 5th March 2019 22:53

5 Attachment(s)
I welded the plate at the top and bottom side just to be sure that it's strong enough. There is quite some splatter despite using an anti-splatter spray.

Attachment 5905

Again, not very pretty but it is strong and after passing over it with a grinder it looked much better.
I've welded the plate to the square tubing before welding it to the frame to avoid welding upside down.

Attachment 5906

Attachment 5907

Attachment 5908

Then it was time to weld it to the frame. I've started first with welding on remaining square tubing that surrounds the plate.

Attachment 5911

deni 5th March 2019 23:13

5 Attachment(s)
Next, it was time to weld it all together.

Attachment 5912

Finished product welded and primed. I will weld on a couple of bars below the plate to rest on the floor and to provide the area to bond the lower part of the fibreglass bulkhead to it.

I will also weld square bar above the pedal box onto the frame to brace it if necessary, to prevent it moving upwards when the pedals are pressed. I will first bond the fibreglass bulkhead to the frame and the floor to check if this is needed.

Attachment 5913

Attachment 5914

I have welded some tubing on the opposite side too, to add a lowered battery compartment....

Attachment 5915 looked a bit small, so I modified it and made it wider and longer, so there is enough space for the battery.

Attachment 5916

deni 5th March 2019 23:23

2 Attachment(s)
....again, sorry but some photos are not oriented properly...

Attachment 5917

So, the idea is to cut out the pedal plate and battery compartment areas on the top part of the bulkhead, revealing the steel plate and the battery compartment beneath and then glass/bond everything together.

I will then clad the bulkhead with aluminium sheet as well.

Attachment 5918

deni 5th March 2019 23:41

5 Attachment(s)
I've also checked if I can use the MGB seats I bought quite some time ago now.

I know that Mr. Towed could not use his seats as the Spider frame was in the way. The Miglia frame is different, so I thought I'll give it a go and investigate if there is a chance to use these seats.

I really like the weathered look and the colour of these seats, so I have made a small cut in the corner of the bottom part of the seat frame, to allow the seats to go further seems that this could work. The seats are far enough to sit comfortably and even taller person than me would be far enough from the pedals...I can raise the seats for more than 2 inches and the back of the seat will be below the hump and I will be able to look over the screen too.

I will make a final decision when I put the body back on and if I can use the seats, I will weld and paint the seat frames too ...

Attachment 5919

Attachment 5920

Attachment 5921

Attachment 5922

Attachment 5923

deni 5th March 2019 23:44

1 Attachment(s)
Sorry, the photo quality is not the best, but it shows the seats in the position.

Attachment 5924

deni 5th March 2019 23:53

3 Attachment(s)
I have also painted the bottom of the fibreglass floor panels with Hammerite stone chip shield paint to dampen the sound. Not sure if this was really necessary but we'll see...

Attachment 5925

Attachment 5926

I am also experimenting with the space behind the seats, to see if it is possible to make an compartment big enough to fit a spare tire. This might work too....

Attachment 5927

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