Frame painting.

April 28th, 2013

A quick update tonight as I am knackered. The frame is painted though!

I spent yesterday doing the remote shifter and the glove compartment. The shifter was way too stiff so I redid it. Several times. In the end I lengthened the front stick with some 8mm flat bar and I had the linkage much higher up. Joss popped in and suggested making it lower (it looks a lot better that way) so I experimented some more and found having it high at the front and lower at the back works well. This gives some mechanical advantage so the shift is easy. You can’t increase it too much though as the rear stick needs to move further and if you go too far with things it won’t move far enough before hitting the metal housing. I’ll link the two shifters with a cranked rod to keep it nice and low down and weld up the extra holes. I ditched the little clips on the clevis ends and will just use a simple nut and bolt instead.

IMG_3857_1 IMG_3860_1 Shifter.

I also wired the edge of the glove box compartment. Joss gave me some aluminium wire left over from the Dieppe so I used some of that. I did forget to anneal the aluminium before turning the edge over so it did split a little on the corners but as these are on the back of the panel and can’t be seen I will live with it. The panel will be painted in crinkle black paint which does a lot to hide any small imperfections!

IMG_3836_1 IMG_3838_1 IMG_3839_1

Glove box opening.

Today was the first fine day for some time so the perfect day for painting. First I removed the body off the car and wheeled the car wheelbarrow style into the big garage out of the way. The rear axle is off so I just lifted it by the rear springs and wheels it down the footpath!

I then welded up and small holes on the frame where I had temporarily pop riveted parts together. The frame got a quick go over again with the wire brush and sander where needed then I carried it outside and gave it a clean with Tergophos, an acid based cleaner. I scrubbed the whole car down with that using a green scotch pad. After letting it sit a while I hosed the whole thing off very thoroughly.

IMG_3845_1 Frame washing.

While that was drying in the sun I set up some plastic sheets in the garage to turn it into a spray booth. I moved the frame in and heated all the seams with a hot air gun to ensure all the water was removed. I then left it for an hour with the dehumidifer in there with it.

IMG_3846_1 Drying seams.

Then i was ready to spray. I did give it a quick rub down with wax and grease remover to ensure it was clean. After washing I always wore gloves when handling it so it should have been clean anyway. Then I mixed up about 600mL of  Wattyl Killrust epoxy top coat. I thin it 10% with turps to make it easier to spray. I wore a respirator with new cartridges and a disposable suit as this paint is very sticky and goes everywhere. Unfortunately it gets so damn hot I have never found any goggles I can wear without them instantly fogging up. By the time I was done my eye lashes were coated in paint and actually stuck my lids closed at one point! Unfortunately you need turps to remove it which is most unpleasant! And I still look like I am wearing grey eye liner.

The frame sprayed well and I made sure I got paint into all little nooks and crannies. Later I shall seam seal as well. I painted the frame standing on end and will touch up the front edge later in the week. The great thing about that paint is it also comes in rattle cans perfect for touch-ups.

IMG_3852_1 IMG_3853_1 Frame painted.

That’ll take a week to dry nicely. Since I was painting I also cleaned up and painted the steering wheel. I painted the rim black and this will then be string wrapped.

IMG_3855_1 Steering wheel.

So the plan now is to order aluminium this week, three sheets of H5005 H34 1.6mm thick, then I shall take a week off work and we’ll skin the thing. In the mean time I have the gear shift to finish tidying up, the floors to tidy up and paint and the rear axle to rebuild. When the floor is off I will tackle the brake cross shaft also and get the brakes working. I need to get some 10mm steel rod to make new pedals. I can do all that in the big garage which has a bit more room.

IMG_3862_1 Car next to MGB.

With the car in there parked next to the B you really see how tiny they are. The MG isn’t exactly a large car but the Austin looks tiny compared to that even!

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