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So, here we are. I've finally found the time to start a build thread! I bought this car during my second year at uni last year in mid may. My first project car was a 1979 mini 1000 which I bought and completed the previous year so I felt ready to tackle whatever rotten horrors any GT6 had to offer... Or so I thought.

Because this project is a year down the line, brace yourself for a sea of photos until we get up to speed. The car is not too far away from being completed at the moment but I have a few more big hurdles left and no doubt will need a lot more help from you chaps on here.

I Also started a instagram page for the build recently so feel free to keep an eye on there @project_gt6

Ok so the car, 1970, no history just a v5 sadly. The original bodyshell was far too rotten. Fortunately the guy had another mk2 but he wanted to use the chassis and bonnet for a spit 6, so i got the yellow rotten car with a different bodyshell. Oh and a box of parts.

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Within the day I had most of the car completely stripped, and a driveway full of rust.

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I fashioned a makeshift rotissarie out of an engine stand and a few bits of wood:

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So I'll come to the bonnet shortly, but first lets start on the hell I encountered on the bodyshell. Firstly i really wish I looked at this car more before I committed to it but seeing how rare mk2 gt6's are, I didn't want to miss it. After spending about 3 months on it with a few holidays in between, I had just about had enough:

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So you are probably thinking the same thing I was after 3 months of pain. No floors, rotten sills, no rear valance, rotten boot floor, bulkhead. But the worst by a mile was the drivers side rear wing. As you can see from the picture some utter cretin has cut the roof side panel all the way down and removed the inner wing and arch. This posed a huge problem, as the rear valance was not in place, that whole side flopped around thus no reference points at all. After spending a few days accuratly measuring the other side, I just about managed to weld the roof side back on in relatively the right position. However the Arch then would not fit into place. At this point I decided to send my hammer through the wall and contemplated pushing the car off the driveway into the abyss. Upon investigation that right hand side that was cut out you will note is white whilst the rest of the shell is black/red. Interesting. I also found bits of what seem like cement in the B post. So is suspect this shell has been smacked, the damage cut out, then the relativly right size section cut out from another scrapyard GT6 or something.

I was about to give up, but then on ebay this beauty appeared:

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A fairly tidy MK2 shell appeared on eBay, and after pestering the owner, I drove 150 miles to Norfolk, inspected it, and shook the mans hand. A week later (early October) the shell was on the driveway and the old POS gone. Some of the repairs on this shell had been done poorly so I ended up having to re-do them, but this was a saint compared to the other hellish nightmare of a shell.

I think  new post might be a good idea as this one is becoming very long........................

 

 

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OK so picking it up, this bodyshell came with a new rear valance as the old one had a bit of rot towards the bottom. I lost a lot of photos at this stage unfortunatly but managed to salvage some when I tackled some of the bottom rear wing repairs, both inner and outer:

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unfortunately these are all I could find. but it gives you a good idea that the rot was very minor. The new rear valance went in very easily.

Now were going to jump all the way to early this Year where things got picked up. The only other repairs needed on the shell was a sill, sill end plate, a very small patch on the passenger floor and some small bulkhead repairs. I decided to leave the sill until very last for a good reason. Sill position as we all know affects door gaps and door gaps cant be done properly without a bonnet and chassis in place and seeing as I didn't have either ready, the next step was to tackle the underside. This meant sticking some old tyres from the mini under the side of the shell and propping it on its side against the wall.

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A small, but rather messy I admit floor patch was put in and a few hours with the wire  brush on the grinder cleaned the underside up. I gave some of the areas that had plug welds a bit of a tidy and then cleaned the whole floor and gave it a quick cover with some zinc primer just to keep the rust off.

Around the same time I decided that I needed a replacement chassis. You can see from the very first pictures that it was rotten to s**t. So after many many phone calls and emails I manged to find a very good condition mk3 spitfire chassis. It only needed a few small repairs on the outriggers and of course needs rotoflex brackets, radiator and expansion bottle brackets adding. And a ton of waxoyl stripping.

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Again, a lack of pictures here but fear not all will be made up later. Now bearing in mind this is my final year of University, I could only do a little bit more GT6 work before things headed into exam season. So the next hurdle was the bonnet and what a nightmare that was:

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what a nightmare.

At this point its the end of March so I had to wrap things up, but fear not we now jump to mid May....

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And there was me thinking that our Spitfire and even GT6 starting points were a bit brave........  and you had the worst points of both (advanced corrosion - Spit, and badly bodged previous repairs - GT6) rolled into one, with interest.  

The second tub is so much better.......

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3 minutes ago, Nick Jones said:

And there was me thinking that our Spitfire and even GT6 starting points were a bit brave........  and you had the worst points of both (advanced corrosion - Spit, and badly bodged previous repairs - GT6) rolled into one, with interest.  

The second tub is so much better.......

Definitely agree there Nick, I must have been the luckiest man alive to find another shell, well maybe not that lucky but they're pretty hard to come by nowadays I think. Wait until you see what magic I've worked in the upcoming posts.... I'll try to get the thread up to present date then it'll be a more in depth:thumbsup: 

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Ok so now we jump to Mid May. Coronavirus may be griping the country but work on the GT6 keeps on going! Back to the bonnet, first was getting the arches of for repair;

Again apologies, there where so many complicated repairs and I kept forgetting to take bloody pictures!

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With the mk3 spit chassis, I also got a mk3 spit bonnet for £20! it was in pretty good condition. You will note in the previous post the entire grill surround of the bonnet rotted away as well as the areas below the headlights where the indicators sit. I cant afford new panels all the time so this is where I save a few pennies. You'll see these shortly in the finished bonnet images. Bit the whole front of the spit bonnet basically had to be cut and welded onto the gt6 bonnet. Not a job I ever want to tackle again.

The same applied to the area above, a clear accident damaged bonnet where someone's gone a bit too hammer happy. That's why there was a foot of filler! So i marked the area, precisely measured, and cut the corresponding section out of the spitfire bonnet to keep the contour and shape. Welded it on but not all the way as I wanted to wait until the bonnet was test fitted to ensure there was no twist.

Moving fowards to the headlight rings;

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Now the wing on this side was knackered. So a very pricey order to Canley Classics secured a new wing!

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This picture I think shows the level of metal I had to put back into this bonnet. I'm no expert welder by a mile but I was very impressed with what I managed to achieve.

Now the other side of the car, I couldn't afford a new wing for the other side so I got a bit creative:

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In addition to all this I had to of course replace the D and strengthening plates. Now I shold mention theres much more to just slapping in the new panel and welding it in. The way I go about building these cars is I make every effort possible to ensure they will not rust for a long time as I have no intention of going through this hell again. That means weld through primer, seam sealer, epoxy primer etc.

Happy that the bulk of the bonnet work was finished, just some minor repairs and more paint stripping. This meant I could now think about getting the bonnet onto the car and start the pain in the ass that is door and bonnet gaps.

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7 hours ago, ed_h said:

Nice work, Speedy, and nice pics, too.  I'll be following along as I'm just about ready to start on my Mk2 bonnet.

Please keep the installments coming!

Ed

Many Thanks Ed, hopefully you're MK2 bonnet will be nowhere near as bad as mine! Look forward to seeing the progress.

Jacob

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4 hours ago, PeteStupps said:

Excellent stuff. Looking at the pictures of that first shell, I thought you must either relish a challenge or be slightly misguided! Or both. Very interested to see the results. 

I think I'm still deeply delusional! The amount of time spent so far is taking its toll, but it'll be worth it.

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Ok so with most of the bonnet sorted for now, the bodyshell needed to be flipped back up the right way and fitted to the chassis. To make it movable I "Borrowed" a pallet from a nearby industrial estate and bought some caster wheels from tool station, big enough to support plenty of weight.

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Now it was time to get the bonnet into place with all the tubes somewhat in place.

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The bonnet to bulkhead gap was ok, Ill be honest I'm not too bothered with anal door gaps or bonnet gaps down to the millimetre, so long as it looks right, it dosent bother me. but this was the initial gap when i first fitted the doors:

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Thats a big gap. I had to take the skin off on this one and shifted it around as whoever blindly put it on before me did a horrific job. It closed the gap up a little, but it still needed a lot more. So I used a little trick that I learned whilst doing the mini:

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Using some mild steel arc welding rods the same thickness as the skin, simply tack it along the skin after stripping them of flux, then seam weld, grind to a flawless transition and grind them until a perfect gap is achieved. Wish I took another picture here!

Again, sadly no picture of replacing the other side sill, it was not my best work. But it enabled me to get a much easier job of getting the door and bonnet gaps right on that side.

There where a few bodged repairs on the front bulkhead that had rotten metal and self tappers holding them together, why, what posesses someone to do a repair liek that. Anyway, a cardboard template or bit of cereal box works a treat for repair patches that are complex shapes:

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All of these repairs where a bit of a pain to do as they are on the sill joining areas, but I think I managed it. Sorry no finished photos!

With the bulk of the work completed it was time to start getting things moving towards paint. The tub went back onto its side in the garage and the chassis on the driveway. Both where completely stripped, a very unpleasant job in 30 degree weather with a wire brush on my grinder. Epoxy Primer followed:

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To ensure full coverage on the chassis, my engine crane proved very useful. 2 coats of HB body epoxy primer and with my life a little shorter it was finished. I told my neighbours about it and they where fine really, just let them know im paining and to keep the doors and windows closed for that time. I used a full face 3m mask, not air fed but it worked ok with a set of disposable painting overalls and gloves. 3 things very difficult to obtain at the time due to the virus.

 

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Missed out one small part! Prior to painting the chassis I needed to fit the rotoflex brackets that I purchased from Canley classics, as i just took the old rotten chassis in bits to the tip! The handbrake cable guides where cut off this chassis with great difficulty as they are not on the mk2 late chassis in addition to fabricating some radiator brackets with a lot of help from some people on the GT6 facebook pages.

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This was something I did not enjoy, as the red factory manual is not clear on the starting points of the dimensions! I hope its in the right place

 

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2 hours ago, Speedysix said:

Many Thanks Ed, hopefully you're MK2 bonnet will be nowhere near as bad as mine! Look forward to seeing the progress.

Jacob

As far as I can tell with the paint still on it, my bonnet is in better condition than yours, but the body was quite a bit worse. I spent all summer on the body.  Some pics on pages 34 to 39: 

http://bullfire.net/GT6/GT6 TOC.html

Ed 

 

 

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19 hours ago, ed_h said:

As far as I can tell with the paint still on it, my bonnet is in better condition than yours, but the body was quite a bit worse. I spent all summer on the body.  Some pics on pages 34 to 39: 

http://bullfire.net/GT6/GT6 TOC.html

Ed 

 

 

Looking very good Ed, nice project you have yourself there. Yes, I think you make up for my bonnet repairs with an equal amount of body ones!

Jacob

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What a Great Job.

for fitting the Root brackets I allways took the Front Suspension Holes in the chassis as a Datum line to be parallel to the Front. The diff mountings I took as a reference to Centre them properly .

cheers

Martin

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