New member - Excel SA

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Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by Excel SA »

Pete Boole wrote:
Wed Nov 02, 2022 22:35
Gaffer tape!! :roll:

That's what would have been used previously during the old repairs if they had bothered to reinstall the cover.....

The two left hand panels I have are shaped slightly differently where the cut out was made, it looks like I will need to get the door internals installed first to make sure the panel fits.

Neil.

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Re: New member - Excel SA

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And back to bodywork.

The new sander works quite well, it moves forwards and backwards with much speed and power. One needs to make sure that your fingers don't move too far forward of the front grip - your fingers get hammered really hard in the time it takes to remove them :shock: Lesson learnt!

The "A" pillar covers got some more work, the lower part of the right hand one was was fiberglassed back together and it now lines up with the door much better. It will need a bit of body filler to get it 100%.

Image

The top was also quite badly out of alignment, so I made a cut on the same face as the previous cut further down the part, to bring the cover into line. The picture doesn't really show how badly out it was (yellow circle), but if I had sanded it to fit, I would have run out of fiberglass to sand! It also helped to close the gap between the cover and the roof at the top of the windscreen.

Image

With a bit of work, a much better fit. I think this piece of trim was a replacement - I couldn't find a chassis number number engraved on it (the other side does have it) and the layers of paint aren't the same.

Image

The left hand side will also need some work - the trim overhangs the door skin by about 5mm with the door fairly well aligned, and closed as it should be. This is the original trim, and I'm not quite sure how it could have fitted particularly well from the beginning :o .

Image

Sills next....

Neil.

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Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by Pete Boole »

Easier to re-work than the anodised trim on an Elite!! I'm teaching myself how to planish at the moment - it's harder than it looks! Virtually impossible to get it completely flat :(.

What's your timescale for painting? Really looking forward to seeing the results of all your labours! What colour have you chosen?

Pete

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Re: New member - Excel SA

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I can imagine planishing, like most things, is an art that takes some time to get good at, and it's not like you can fill it up, or sand it down and then paint it!

I'd like the body work to be finished in the next 3 months or so ( so read at least 6....) I still have some work to do under the car, and a change in the engine bay to accommodate the power steering pump and lines. I haven't taken any paint off the bonnet, roof, boot or spoiler yet. I also need to run new a/c lines and get an exhaust sorted. I have spoken to someone about the exhaust, he can make the entire thing, I was a bit surprised that the bits rearward from the manifolds cost as much as the two manifolds, I'd have thought the manifolds would be the more expensive bit given the time and complication??? I don't want to be cutting holes and doing construction after paint, so would want all these things done beforehand.

Colourwise, I'm sticking to the original - pearl white. I've managed to peel the added layers paint off one of the headlight pods to show the original colour, so am trying to get a sample done based on the original paint codes and see how close they are.

Neil.

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Re: New member - Excel SA

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Phew, 2 months has gone past since my last post....it hasn't been completely idle! Some more body work has been done, but not much, and nothing much for the last month or so.

The state of our electricity supply has been an ongoing issue, and it seems to be getting worse. I decided it was time to invest in a solar system to get us through the now daily bouts of blackouts. At the moment we're generally off for 4 to 6 hours a day, at some stages up to 10 hours a day....I now have some solar panels, an inverter and batteries which have pretty much got us back to "normal" - it did costa fair whack, but in hindsight, it's something I should have done a while ago :D.

My son was also home from college for 2 weeks over Xmas and New Year, so had some lazyish family time.

Now I have lights available in my workshop I can crack on with the Excel in the evenings :lol: . I did spend a good chunk of the last weekend trying to clear up some of the mess and clutter - as usual that was only partially successful - there's never enough space for stuff.

Neil.

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Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by rbgosling »

Excel SA wrote:
Mon Jan 09, 2023 14:40
The state of our electricity supply has been an ongoing issue, and it seems to be getting worse. I decided it was time to invest in a solar system to get us through the now daily bouts of blackouts. At the moment we're generally off for 4 to 6 hours a day, at some stages up to 10 hours a day....I now have some solar panels, an inverter and batteries which have pretty much got us back to "normal" - it did costa fair whack, but in hindsight, it's something I should have done a while ago :D.
Reading this reminds me that those of us who whinge about the state of our services in the UK (and I'm not immune) really don't appreciate how good we have it. Yes, our electricity is %$*&ing expensive right now, but it's a lot better than having none at all.

Good job taking the initiative and creating your own solution.
"Farmer" Richard

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2022 MG MG5 EV (not due to be a classic for quite a few years...)
2011 Nissan Leaf (Ragly - EV pioneer, must be due to be a classic one day)

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Re: New member - Excel SA

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Time for an update in case people started worrying that I'd moved my build diary across to Facebook :lol:

Things have been slow, I did get sidetracked by the solar installation - maybe mildly obsessed by getting things working as efficiently as I could would be more accurate....it's all up and working quite well for now, so I can concentrate on the car a bit now.

Some of the work is from last year - it's all bodywork related for now.

The side sills were pretty mangled, some parts had been patched, others just filled. As usual I stripped off all the old repairs and built things up from there. This section ended up with a fair chunk of it missing, so I made up a replacement piece by moulding it on the sill a bit further along:

Image

Once that had cured I clamped it into place and added a few more layers of fiberglass.

Image

Most of the corners were a bit wrecked so they were repaired, and I've added fiberglass to a lot more areas where they were broken/cracked/damaged.

Image

Adding some strength and shape on the inside. The sills are still being filled and sanded back into shape.

Image

Some of this damage has followed through to the body notably the front left hand side where the fiberglass in the body around the jacking point has been damaged - still more to fix....

Test fitting the boot lid showed the body to be bulging out by about 5mm in the middle - far too much to be acceptable.....The body joint was also a bit ugly in that area and had holes and body putty in various spots. I cut and ground out as much as I could, and then tried to bull the boot edge in a bit before filling the joint area with epoxy resin and micro fibers. I used an aluminium angle covered in packing tape along the bottom edge to try and keep a straight line.

Image

There was an improvement in the fit, but it's still out more than I'd like so I my have to make another cut and try and pull the body in a bit further, with the clamps pulling from as far down the back panel as I can get them. I used a piece of square tube anchored by the fuel tank mounts to give me something to pull against.

I also had to make up some spacers to go between the boot hinges and the boot lid - I think any that were there were discarded during previous repairs. I ended up adding 3mm thick spacers to each side. It should also be noted that the bolts holding the boot lid on are different lengths - one shouldn't put the longer one where the shorter one goes or one may end up with an extra lump in the lid.....

Neil.

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Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by bash »

Brilliant work Neil, a huge amount of work but interesting to watch your progress, its going to look better than new when finished.
Bash
Ps, this amount of detail would lost on facebook.
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Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by Pete Boole »

Glad to see you've started again! More great work - love the bar at the back to pull against. Can't wait to see some paint go on!

Pete

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Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by MetBlue »

Good to see you back Neil.
You're boot spacers and bolt lengths are exactly the same as I found on my car. I think I've actually got more tha 3mm on one side.
Tony
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Re: New member - Excel SA

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I started this replay a few days ago, but my computer froze and I lost the reply....

Thanks for the comments!

The second attempt at getting the boot edge fit right hasn't been particularly successful once the clamps were removed, it did relax back t pretty much where it was - I may have to apply to fiberglass to the inside of the boot to help. The bar across the back also acts as a useful datum point to measure how much the boot edge has moved.

Below you can see the white line where I recut the body joint, I also tried to move the pulling points of the clamps a bit lower down

Image

The main repairs have been completed on the sills - they need to be fitted and final fettling done still, but all pretty solid now. The rivet holes all along the top edges were ground down and reinforced as they had all cracked through to the edge.

Image

Last year I made a part to clamp the air filter in place on the new air box. I made it with a core material, sandwiched between two layers of fiberglass cloth. It didn't come out quite as rigid as I'd hoped, partly because I think I used too little resin - the resin quantity required is based on the area of the core, and not the weight, which is probably where I went wrong.

I remade the part, but this time I made up a form based on the exact part, and used a core that could be used in a vacuum bag (the original part was not vacuum formed), once again with a layer of cloth either side. Below is a picture of the part in the vacuum bag - the outer edge is where the red lines are, and it folds over to create a lip at the yellow line. I also used the center portion (black rectangle) that was cut out to make a flat plate for just in case I need it some day!

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And after curing, removed from the bag and with the peel ply taken off - the black splodge is ink from a marking pen I used to write a note on the tape protecting the form - it absorbed quite nicely into the resin.....:

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The part roughly cut to shape:

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And loosely fitted to the intake - the new part is much stiffer than the original:

Image

This is what the center piece looks like up close with the honeycomb core:

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While I was vacuum forming this part, I thought I'd add in another piece I will probably need. The gauge panel I have is a bit cracked, and the new speedo is slightly larger than the original. The panel is just over 6mm thick - 1/4 inch or so. I laminated two pieces of 3mm ply, with a center core of fiberglass cloth and resin, this was stuck together and then taped to the underside of the form. The main aim of getting a nice flat board to work with. Here it is getting glued flat:

Image

I'd need to veneer it with the right stuff to finish off properly.

Neil.

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Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by Pete Boole »

I love the vacuum bagging Neil. I've still not used the process yet but it looks great! The boards in the boot of my Merc are basically a honeycomb structure - I've made a mental note in case I need some (I'd buy a spare, obviously!). Glad the new part has the stiffness it needs.

Pete

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Re: New member - Excel SA

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Thanks Pete, the vacuum bagging is definitely worth doing where you have some tight corners etc. to get around. Oh dear, now you've given me the idea of replacing my wonky and bent boot floor cover with the honeycomb cored fiberglass..... :shock:

Neil.

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Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by Pete Boole »

Excel SA wrote:
Fri Mar 03, 2023 12:33
Oh dear, now you've given me the idea of replacing my wonky and bent boot floor cover with the honeycomb cored fiberglass..... :shock:

Neil.
Good plan :D

Pete

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Re: New member - Excel SA

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The left hand side of my car is a lot better off than the right hand side, but it's not 100%. It's parked in a garage where the left side is inaccessible, so I rolled it out on the weekend to get stuck in a bit.

Below is that side of the car, after some work had already done:

Image

I had previously done a repair at the back where there was quite a big star crack in the panel just below the boot lid - instead of repairing it, a couple of mm's of body filler were spread over that area. I stripped it off, sanded out the cracks and re-fiberglassed it. There was also some damage right at the front of the car which I'd repaired when I was working on the front bumper.

The main area of concern was the joint at the front edge of the door - when the top and bottom corners of the door were lined up with the body work, the middle section of the door, at the seam, stuck out about 3mm more than the body. Below you can see the misalignment - the door is on the left, body on the right, looking from above.

Image

Rather than fill the lower sections up with filler and try and blend the shape in I decide to de-skin it and pull it out to match the door. I had the door lined up quite nicely, and that is always something tiresome to do, so decided to try and cut where I needed while the door was still on the car. A dremel and a hacksaw blade did the trick.

The black resin/glue mix shows where the body skin was cut - this is just the top half. I wedged the skin open with a couple of wooden blocks (red arrows), they still had to allow the door to close to check the alignment. I also had to cut along the seam separating the top and bottom halves of the shell.

Image

While I was at it I went over the seam along that side of the car to patch and fill it.

The bottom half was a bit easier to line up - I could get a clamp in the side light hole (another bit that needs work). I also sanded the body and door edges down to gelcoat and applied a resin and filler mix to build up the edges where they dipped in slightly. By lining up the seam, the top of the door (yellow arrow) ended up being a bit low, so that also got a bit of filler.

Image

After curing and a lot of sanding, the fit is much better - on the top half anyway, the bottom section still needs final filling and finishing. The seam has also been filled in a repaired. The door will need to come off so that I can clean up the bits where I re-glued my cuts, and the gaps still need to be sanded. The wooden wedge in the top of the door was to stop the door skin flexing as I sanded it.

Image

Neil

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