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Paul L 8th July 2018 08:30

YorkshireMan – Great progress Dave. :cool:

I know it is a bit late now, but the advice I got on here about fibreglassing joins was…

Carve out a ‘V’ shape between the two sections to be joined together.

Then build up the join with strips of fibreglass matting.
(Thinnest at the bottom of the V and thickest at the top.)

Also re-enforce the join from the underside (as no one will see that).

That way, when you sand back the ‘sunny side’ there is still strength in the join below.

Also, by the time you have finished with the filler and primer, no one will know. :cool:

I know it is messy working with fibreglass ‘upside down’…

But I’d suggest you add some matting from inside the boot opening onto the underside of your join.

Good luck, Paul. :)

micky1mo 8th July 2018 15:08

Triumph hinges work well, look good and are easy to fit. :roll:

Yorkshireman 8th July 2018 20:28

Thank you Paul L all help and advice is welcome and never too late. I do plan to fiberglass the underneath of the boot adjustment along with tidying and fiber glassing the body to the old light panel I cut down. More to follow on that as I still have the rear lights to finally position and if truth be told I am still using the boot as storage :eusa_whistle:

Mike I am definable agree with you on the hinges I am sure it will be the alpha standard on the boot lids.

Barber Thanks for you kind words I think not brave but naive but I am really enjoying the build even if i am over thinking or over experimenting.

The next part of the build is the bonnet which has three elements to the build. the inner wheel arches, top bonnet and front section.

Yorkshireman 9th July 2018 19:33

First two photos are badly taken:eusa_wall: and I cant take them again so I will try my best to explain.

Basically I fitted the original bonnet back on to the chassis. Removed enough of the bonnet with the grinder so it would take up the new shape on the sides of the bulkhead and sills. In fact when I had finished trial fitting the new bonnet in place I found I was left with the inner arches and frame and the only part of the outer bonnet was the wheel aches and small amount of the top wing.

I also cut back on the fronts of the wings revoming the head light suports

The above photo sort of shows the cut back at the front of the wings, they had to be cut back to give enough clearance for the light bowls.

Now I know I am always trying to use as much of the doner as possible. But if my original bonnet had been perfect I think I would have found difficult to cut it up with the prospect of a good profit on ebay. However mine was rotten at the front lip and around the headlamp bowls.

Another reason I have kept this design is from reading other builds about possible stone chip damage to the underside of the bonnet causing possible paint damage to the top side of the bonnet.

I t also saved a lot of time designing and making up a hinge arrangement using the original.

So thats the first part of the front end part two and three to follow.

Yorkshireman 10th July 2018 18:56

Part two fitting the Alpha fiber glass bonnet to the original.

This was fairly easy but I did need assistance lifting and bonding the body in place.

The body was located into postion and measured up to the main body to find the middle.

Also at this time I sanded back the lip to allow the bonnet to rest in the correct postion on the bulkhead. I did worry to much about shut lines at this time.

So next was to lift off grind back the paint on old wings of old bonnet,apply bonding agent and re fit bonnet alinging up with my marks. I then added lots of weight to the bonnet and left the bonding agent 24 hours to set.

So with that I was planning a relaxing time with the dog(beer garden as it was sunny) as I didn't want to disturb the car. However my afternoon was disturbed by Son having car that wont start and could I look at it for him. His youngest sister also passed her test that morning and insisted driving me to her brothers house to Help me out.:doh: That Also required Fiance to assit.

So the Fiat 500 nicknamed the toaster by all except the daughter, jump started her brothers big x5 to her delight. So with two of the offspring happy Said fiance took me and the dog for a pint.:smile:

Yorkshireman 12th July 2018 09:47

So bonnet part three. So with 24 hours passing for the bonding agent it was time to open the bonnet. I was met with this challange.

The bonnet was fowling on the chassis in a few places.

So to gain access and for me to try out the bonnet arrangement I opted to cut out part of the opening of the mouth on the bonnet.

This did seem a bit extrem but I want the bonnet to operate freely and I would adjust the mouth to suit at later time when the bonnet is finally adjusted in to place. Also on an original spitfire the top of the bonnet only flips forward, the lower part below the bumper line stays in place.

The next eight photos show the bonnet and inner bonnet. As well as using the bonding agent I also counter sunk in some pop rivits to act as belt and braces as the whole bonnet arrangement was quite heavy. At this point the bonnet stut was added back on to the car so I now had a bonnet I could open and close.

So I do have an opening and closing bonnet but it was still a bit flappy. So I added two bracing bits to the top bar going across the car and used the same process i used at the back of the car to hold the main body on, only this time much longer but smaller diameter countersunk set screws.

After carrying out this, the bonnet was now firm. The bracing plates were also countersunk and pop riveted and the whole bonnet adjustment was tightened up and overrider covers fitted.

As I still had some time and good weather I carried on and tried to finish the bonnet.

The work now was to address the gap for the shut lines.

Yorkshireman 12th July 2018 10:22

Back to the Bonnet. I used up too much photos on the last post so I will continue here.

Addressing the shut lines gap.

I measured the gap and followed the profile. I then cut and fiber glassed the join. I also used Paul L info of using an angled groove but I havent any photos.

I then used body filler on the gap and did the same for both sides.

My bonnet now sits like this.

On the righthand side of the bonnet I have a slight raise compared with the left.

This was quite easy to fix. I cant take the credit for it though as i was told how to do it. I also didnt take any photos so i will try to expain what was done.

The photo shows a blue line that is where i cut and removed a small sliver of the bonnet and kept nibbling at it include cutting the line longer. So that when i pulled the gap together it reduced the bulge.

Once I was happy with the alignment I joined the gap together with some plate and pop rivits and then fiber glassed from underneath the bonnet and grooved and body fillered the top of the bonnet. More preparation will be needed before painting, but for now it is fine and it will also show if I have any stresses still left in the join.

So That was a days work I haven't sorted the front lower mouth of the car out yet, but I am happy with the progress even if I am slowing it down by adding more work LOL:doh: The last two photos show the front lines of the Alpha. So more to follow as there will be part four of the Alpha bonnet.

micky1mo 12th July 2018 16:10

Looks like you have the bonnet a little high at the front.

This is the original fit near side.

You are right about the off side needing some effort. .

I sorted it by sanding the top shut line and adjusting the bonnet hinges, thus allowing the bonnet to move back and close the gap. :icon_cool:

lancelot link 12th July 2018 17:53

I can't see where your pivot point for the front is , but as a general , very general , rule of thumb ...the lower you pivot it , the less likely to hit the floor or chassis's not set in stone , the Spitfire front bumper bar complicates things I think , on the Herald based cars , the tube at the front is trimmed back a bit ...

I pivot the Formosa literally on it's lowest point and the opening arc doesn't go any lower than its shut height and everything goes forward , so no chassis issues ...but not knowing how this body was designed , I don't know what the idea was for these ...

lancelot link 12th July 2018 17:59


Originally Posted by micky1mo (Post 95951)

I sorted it by sanding the top shut line and adjusting the bonnet hinges, thus allowing the bonnet to move back and close the gap. :icon_cool:

Agree , bonnet height in relation to rear edge is crucial ..a little bit too high and it can really play tricks on you ...The original S*mmio was/is guilty of that.

When you trim the rear edge and slide it backwards , does it retain decent wheel arch centreing ? Again , my version of a S*mmio failed in that dept. if you trimmed back too much ...

It does look like you are making very good progress though ...keep the updates coming as and when you can ...

Yorkshireman 13th July 2018 19:13

I think you are correct Micky1mo about the bonnet been higher than you inteneded.

Lancelot link you are correct about the pivot point.

I have been checking through my photos and I havent taken any of the relivent points you both bring up:eusa_wall::sorry:

I will get that re addressed in bonnet part 4, Along with details of why I endup at this point. Possible with bonnet part 5 the rebuild lol.

This Alpha been my first build is a big learning curve. I have completed a Triumph spitfire which was more straight forward on moving pannels, however none of them where the same as the ones I replaced them with.

I supose I am so deep into the project and putting a time constrat on it that I am guilty of building the project too fast and making desicions similar to those I do at work to progress the job, but to my satisfaction and what my customer thinks they need.

Where as I am really enjoying the build of the project I love the shape and quality of the Alpha It does seem to be going together fast for a build maybe a bit too fast. Again down to me, I feel I spend time at work planning the next months jobs I carry out when home when maybe I should step back possible with a beer and take time out to ensure the next move is the correct one and not create further jobs later down the project.

So with that I have decided to remove the 30.07.2018 for completion to later on this year. Sometime in november.

So with that I will source another method of transport for 30.07.2018

I will continue on with my build to get to up to date stage, so more to follow later:icon_biggrin:

I enjoy look forward to and welcome all advice and ideas after all I was a lucker that started a build.

micky1mo 13th July 2018 19:44

You have to remember I originally designed the ALPHA to be built over a long weekend so your not going "to fast".

As I keep saying to you it's "your car" and "your build" so keep doing-as-your-doing. :nod:

This is a good honest build and I'm loving it!!. :hug:

Paul L 14th July 2018 06:35

Dave – First things first, even though you may be having a few set backs at the moment…

You are still progressing at a great pace and are on schedule to complete your build years faster than most of us on here. :cool:

But the fact our initial deadline for finishing is always missed is something we all have in common. :rolleyes:

One thing I did learn during my build is that both metal and fibreglass can be cut and fixed.

However, before you read any of the following, check my posts on DVLA Registration & VHI rules here:

I am 100% positive that everything I did to my chassis is within the “original unmodified” rules/definitions.

But you need to convince yourself before you follow my lead.

I’ve struggled to find any decent photos of the Alpha bonnet hinge arrangement.

This photo suggests that the bonnet is located much closer to the chassis.
( And it doesn’t look like the Spitfire brackets are in place. )

I also had those extra-large bonnet brackets on my Spitfire 1500 donor.

But they had to go in order to get my bonnet anywhere near fitting.

They also revealed rust damage that I cut out and then a repair panel was welded into place.

Finally, I committed to my understanding of the DVLA chassis rules and did this.

I made a set of very simple ‘scissor’ hinges which lowered the pivot point based on Mister Towed's build.
( Excuse the work-in-progress photos with the wrong bolts in. )

Which gives the bonnet the full tilt it has today.

I also chopped off the lower valance section of my bonnet, reshaped it & refitted it.

This was the final piece of my bonnet jigsaw that allowed the bottom edge to sit in between the chassis rails.

As before, by the time you’ve finished, no one will know the changes you made.

Hope that helps and good luck, Paul. :)

Yorkshireman 14th July 2018 13:58

Thanks Mike and Paul These ideas and info on DVLA have given more help for sorting the bonnet. I enjoy that there is may ways to sort something and your correct at the end of the build nobody knows.:icon_smile: I am back at work now so I will have to wait on further bonnet developments.

I explained last night to my fiance that Harry would not be attend the Wedding on the 30.07.2018. To which she wasn't surprised and sent a couple of photos she had taken earlier this month that I missed.

So with the soppy bit over with Its back to the build.:eusa_dance:

Yorkshireman 15th July 2018 20:28

So I am back on with the build. The wheel arches. This part has troubled me for some time and I have been putting off doing anything about it.

I knew right from the start that Mike intend the design of the Alpha to use 14" wheels with 80 profile tires.

I personal felt that this seemed to big for the Spitfire wheel base. I also thought about lowering the suspension. But in Pudsey we have many potholes along with traffic calming which is similar to sleeping policemen but I would describe as high pillows of tarmac in the middle of the road that has no mercy on any lowered car.

So I spent the whole month at work doing research and designs looking at every Spitfire and wheel combination I could find on the internet and driving my Norwegian colleague mad.

I then decided to look at the forum The sammio spyders and then the Sammio Cordite. I decided that the 14 and 15 suited the sammio spyder well but Whardales and Paul L car looked good on the 13".

But how was I going to change my arches to suit 13" wheels.

Thats when Jan said I have had enough and went to great detain in showing me how to do mockups of wings arches and bonnet scoups. In his earlier days he was into hot rods in Norway but now builds and reburish boats wooden and fiberglass. So I was on to a new project the arches.

I needed to make sure if I was going to do any changes they had to be as good as what I started out with:shock:. The rear arches on the Alpha where perfectly round and evenly gaped all the way around

Paul L 15th July 2018 21:32

Dave - If you stick with 13" wheels, try to tuck the tail pipe/s up as far as possible.

I have more than my fair share of speed humps around here and have leant to proceed with caution.

Depending on the steepness of the hump I've managed to catch both the lower valance at the front and/or the tail pipes at the rear. :rolleyes:

I like both your foam arch shape and the even gap around it. :cool:

Good luck, Paul. :)

Yorkshireman 16th July 2018 14:06

Thanks Paul. I have no photos to show but exhaust is pretty standard and as high up as I can get the rear box.So I am hoping this will be ok, however some of the potholes are big enough for the whole car to fall into abit like that tango advert from the 90s.

Anyway back to the build as the internet was off for most of last night. My next photos show the make up off the arch fill in piece.

The lines look a little off this was further shaped into position and lined up.

I then proceeded to make a fill in arch to suite the 13" wheel.

While I was at this point I decided to do the same for the other side.

I then spent the rest of the day building up the fiber glass to make the arches stronger and preparing both sides for them to be fit. I haven't any photos to show but I also attached fiber glass in 90 degrees on the original metal arch and on the new alpha body this was to aid fitting the new aches and to provide some strength.

Yorkshireman 18th July 2018 19:59

So I did a practice run at mocking up the arch as the fiber glass cure time is further reduced by the nice weather we are having in the uk.

So i decided to go for it :madgrin:

After 10 mins I was left with this.

At this point I did the other side bonding on the arch.

While the other side was curing I dressed and added more fiber glass pieces and finished of the arch.

Next was to add body filler and start the process of shaping the arches.

So the rest of the day was spent filling and sanding back. There is still more to do to get the arch shape round and flowing with the bodies lines. This will now become a fill in job while I am waiting on parts of the build setting the front wheel arches is the next job along with the bonnet the final chapter I hope.:icon_lol:

I managed to get a an hour in the garage this morning no sanding as washed the car down last night. But just enough to fit an headlight

So that concludes the build so far as leave the build to go to work.:plane:

Paul L 21st July 2018 08:25

Dave – Looks like your rear arch work is already starting to blend in. :cool:

Good luck, Paul. :)

If you can't rotate the photos, how about keeping the camera the right way up? :bolt:


Yorkshireman 21st July 2018 13:20

Paul Thankyou for your input:doh: I have been 4 weeks trying to find out why photos appear correct way on my computer then change around when selecting this photo upload.

Even Our IT are confused to how I am doing it.:noidea:

Anyway I have been introduced to some paint thing on the computer so Things should be the correct way in the future.:madgrin:

Speaking of paint, with some time on my hands. Not that much if work or fiance are reading I decide to look for an idea of colour for the Alpha. Because the chassis of the spitfire was prepared in red I thought I would continue with red as the main colour and dressed up with some other colours to suit it. I then found this colour scheme on the internet.

Which I quite like and is in period of the shape of the car.

It does mean that my idea of 13" wheels might have to change and I have been playing on visual tyre size calculator That Mr Towed so kindly sent the link for, which is really useful.

I am also looking for recommendations for door catches for the Alpha

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