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RichardB

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  1. Slow progress but I've nearly finished extending the lip on the floor pan. I also made a bit of a breakthrough in the plan. I've tried a few things here and there to get more movement. Loosened the hardtop bolts, some chassis bolts etc. Still couldn't get the a post to lift without lifting the entire car. I was going to put the engine and gearbox in the tub for ballast but then I had another idea. When I took the car off the road, I noticed the front bulkhead panels had bad cracks where the gearbox cover bolts onto them. Despite the strengthening plate added at the factory. At the time I assumed this was from the torque from the engine or something, but now I'm starting to think its from movement in the body, perhaps adding the hardtop and jacking the car up each autumn to fit it contributed. Today I put the porta ram on the chassis under this area and pushed the bulkhead up, as I had done when repairing the cracks to ensure alignment was correct. I was able to lift the bulkhead without distorting it, at a much more even angle than jacking the a post at the back seam. I haven't checked with a door yet but this is promising. Once the new door gap adjusters are made up I'll give it another go and report back.
  2. Thanks Nick, makes sense. I do like the idea of the magnet on the cam. The distributor sensor worked great with hardly any effort but it does look a bit odd. Please do share a photo or two once you've got it made up. Messing around with injector timing settings once the engine is running sequential is interesting. The changes are very subtle and I got to the point where I thought I probably need a more sensitive way of measuring the angle.
  3. How much would you reckon this causes a variance in the timing? I opted for the cut down distributor on my Spitfire but admit I hadn't really considered accuracy losses from the gear drive. Agree with your caution on the clutch bearing, making progress though which is always good.
  4. Today was a much better day. I snuck over to work on the car for about an hour and managed to achieve a few things. Firstly I loosened the hard top and body to chassis bolts just enough that the panels could slide a bit. I think this is the way to, and shifting the hard top back made the windscreen frame sit a bit better aesthetically underneath it. Secondly, you'll laugh at this but a lot of time wasted on Sunday was due to a really stupid mistake. I realised the upper hinge was being blocked by the tab that holds the captive hinge plate in place. Once I'd bent that better, I had twice the range of movement in the door! I knew it didn't seem right the other day and should have checked this, no wonder the door felt so heavy and hard to adjust. I have started using a 1/2" socket with hex adaptor in the cordless drill to fit the door bolts. Makes taking the door off and putting it on again so much faster. Why didn't I do this before. I had a go at pushing the A post right at the front, under where the lower and upper A post panels meet. This didn't really seem to help. Apart from jacking the whole car up, with nothing to push against, there was a bit of a change in the door gap but it didn't really work well. Very positive overall though. I can play with the gap much more and get it closer, even if it is still a bit V shaped and showing the bulkhead is in the wrong place. I'm going to finish welding the heelboard patch and floor lip extensions and then make some Mark inspired door gap adjusters. Then I can faff some more. I'll need to be careful as I can see I've popped the tack welds at the top of the A post as you warned about Nick.
  5. Others have explored this sort of route to varying degrees, though I've never seen a working implementation. For example could you make an electronically controlled metering unit and then leave the original injectors in as well. I think the barrier is more likely to be a combination of a high degree of complexity in fabricating something, and then when you've finished the thought that it still looks clearly quite modified. Modern EFI injectors will require custom bracketry and a different way of attaching the fuel pipes. You may also find there's challenges regarding consistency of fuel pressure and guiding the return fuel flow back to the tank, though I think the former is probably surmountable and the latter not strictly necessary. I admit I do have a soft spot for the appearance of the fuel pipes draped over the rocker cover, it's an iconic design feature I think of with the TR6. If I was going to convert one to EFI though, I would be much more likely to use a fuel rail and throttle position sensor. You could still fabricate something that mostly looks like it was made in the 1960s.
  6. That is so elegantly simple, thanks Mark. A couple of photos makes it so clear, no dimensions or plans needed. I already have most of the bits to make some, I'd simply need a bit of thick steel plate for the flanges.
  7. I think a lot of my disappointment yesterday was just the realisation that doing everything 'right' like having the H frame + carpet, hardtop as a jig, correct panels, preserving original metal where I could... doesn't really get me as far as I thought with this car. I may be facing an impasse where I either try to reset previous changes by cutting out even more metal, or risk distorting the car further by trying to move it more than it can. The good thing is from what I can see, these panels should fit pretty well once the bulkhead is in the right place. I have heard that even OEM sills need cutting to fit under the door, so far it doesn't appear that will be necessary but time will tell.
  8. There's definitely something fun about picking up card and scissors again when shaping bodywork. Like the ultimate expression of all the skills we learnt when we were 4 years old
  9. thanks Mark Your persistence with your car and yours and everyones positive comments really do help with the motivation to keep going with my own car. That's very interesting on the quantity of lead, I had assumed they would be using it for finessing but 1/4" is fairly drastic isn't it. I really like your threaded bar method as an idea, I think that inability to close the distance is likely to cause me problems. The overall gap is probably right at some points on my car, but not evenly all the way up the car. I have some of the TSSC shop style door gap adjusters, but they only effectively push, they can't pull.
  10. Thanks Colin I am thinking the same regarding the hinges, although I guess as many owners have found after a restoration, they don't give you that much play in the grand scheme of things. I tried everything within their range of movement yesterday which is partly why I spent so many hours on it, it's very tiring doing it on a door with side impact bars... The chassis is spaced properly using solid spacers and was straight as far as I could see before putting the body on. There's clearly a complicated relationship between body shell and chassis, further complicated by the floor being in place and bending. I'm not sure how concerned I should be about preserving the floor's straightness until things are in place, because if moving the bulkhead bends the floor, then logically straightening the floor again will revert the work done on the bulkhead. That's what seemed to be happening at least yesterday. I couldn't manage to move the bulkhead independently from the floor, no matter where the pressure was applied from in whatever plane. Following Nick's comment I've been thinking more about the hard top / windscreen frame relationship and think there's maybe a benefit in loosening all that off. In the How to Restore Classic Car Bodywork book I've been using there's some really good diagrams showing how the windscreen frame is involved when stretching bodywork on cars with a fixed roof, which is still probably instructive with my scenario.
  11. Thanks Nick, your last comment cheered me up a bit. I agree regarding NOS panels, I've seen some where I think they were factory surplus as they had defects. This door is spot on though, it follows the same profile as my other ones and is dead straight. The windscreen pillar may be a clue. I had to push it forward quite a lot to get the hardtop spacer tubes on. I am very keen that this restoration makes it easier for me to fit the hardtop as used to have to jack the car very brutally in the centre to get it on. Having said that, maybe using it is a jig is restricting b post movement and I could try loosening the bolts at the back and side to allow the front to come back a bit.
  12. I had one of those days today where you just feel like giving up and selling or scrapping the car. 5 hours in the workshop with nothing to show for it and big questions about how feasible it is to sort the bodywork. Although I haven't posted in a while I have been working on the car between testing paints, I just haven't had much meaningful in the way of work to show. First job over the last few weeks was to get the B post patch welded in and ground off. I also had to recreate the lip that goes under the outer sill, which I ended up doing later once I'd got a new air grinder tool for weld dressing. This uses 3M cubitron II roloc discs and does a very neat job in tight spaces. I then made a repair for the heelboard. I haven't finished welding this in yet but it's mostly tacked in place. It's already been patched before, which I think may be something I need to rectify. At the top of the patch, there's nothing attaching it to the original metal because the person welding it couldn't get behind the inner wheel arch. Paper template turned to metal... Tacked in... This patch looked neat, but was a bit of a mess on the other side. I wanted to see inside the heelboard box section so elected to remove it carefully by thinning the metal with a flap disc, then finding out what was the patch and what was original inner b-post inside. Uncovered - not that bad, but some rust inside out of shot that I think had arrived from water being flung up at the patched repair in the wheel arch. I could now get to the other side of the heelboard repair I was making, which made things much easier. I welded the new lip to the original heelboard panel using a piece of copper behind it. Inner sill is just there for checking things later on. The next big job I was really not looking forward to was extending the floor. It's 1/2" deep but should be 3/4" deep. Careful tack welding, fit up and using a copper bar behind the welds meant I did a really good job on the first section with good penetration and no distortion visible beyond the weld seam. I think the proximity to the corner helps. I used stitches rather than tacks as I want this weld to be very strong. That then brings us to today.... The day started well, and I had a fairly clear plan. Before welding the rest of the floor I decided that it was probably best to get the door gaps as good as I could before tacking some bracing in, checking the inner sill position and then moving the floor up to the inner sill. The floor was still a bit bent in the middle of its length and is now much easier to position with a cut flange. Unfortunately, nothing I can do seems to be able to get the bulkhead in the right position. It just won't go where it needs to in order to set the door in the right place. The door is a NOS unipart one so I know this to be a datum point. Likewise, the rear wing is definitely in the right position fore and aft, the seam matches perfectly like the other side (which has an original rear wing). The leading edge of the rear wing where it meets the door will no doubt need some fettling at the bottom half, but the top half of the wing is a rigid panel and the flange should form a profile that at least loosely matches the edge of the door. So all I needed to do today was to start by getting the rear edge of the door aligned properly. Problem is, it seems to be impossible. I centred the hinges meticulously again in the A post which should give a rough indication of how far out things are. It seems to be very difficult to lift the a post / bulkhead, without the floor going down. Even when I put a jack underneath the floor, the rest of the car lifting up created a bow in the floor pan which is I guess like trying to stretch a diamond shape. This was the starting position. It's a bit hard to see but the door is touching the rear wing at the swage line, but gap is about 1cm at the top. It's like the door is rotated 10 degrees counter clockwise to the car and can't be moved clockwise by adjusting the hinges (I tried). This below was about as useful as anything I could do, but still not really helpful. It's out of shot inside the car, but the power ram is inside the car pushing up between the floor and the door gap adjuster flange, above where you can see the blocks of wood. The gap is slightly more even but it's still not right, and just ends up becoming bigger. It might look okay on screen but the door and the wing still have a V shaped gap. Pushing the bulkhead up makes the rear door gap more even and less V like, but it seems to widen the door gap too which is not helpful. I tried lots of different things here including playing with the door gap adjuster, but I think the door gap distance at the bottom of the door is actually correct. The problem is the rotation of the door which is caused by incorrect location of the bulkhead. It's got me scratching my head as I would have thought the hard top should provide at least a bit of help locating the bulkhead, but that doesn't appear to be the case. There is definitely a relationship between the door location and the floor, because bending the floor up seems to help - yet it's like that movement fights the bulkhead correction. So I'm now concerned that I don't really know what to do next. The previous owner replaced the floor and inner sill after the outer sill and strengthener had already been replaced, so floor location could be affecting this. I'm inclined to think it won't be correctable with the floor in place, but do I really want to cut out the floor to break more bones when there's otherwise nothing wrong with it? My strategy of getting rid of any aftermarket panels and using stanpart where possible has worked really well so far, but now I'm at a point where that doesn't really help solving my problem. Either way I'm feeling quite fed up with the car and would welcome any thoughts.
  13. The effect of leaving these metal coupons in the salt water for a week. They mostly came out with a strange bluey-green slimy coating, which I've photographed and then removed with a tissue. It doesn't come out of the pitting easily which in some ways helps see it in the photographs. Before wiping: After wiping: The jars, amount of sediment increases left to right: Concluding Thoughts: I don't think there are many clear conclusions to be drawn from the test, but it was interesting to do. This is what I've noticed: - The high % of zinc in the Electrox obviously seems to be very beneficial in this sort of condition, to the point where it even seems to protect metal beyond the area it is applied. It didn't completely prevent rust tinges, towards the end of the week long immersion some gingering appeared around the spot welds. Specifically, the weld area that had been missed by the drill, not the clean metal revealed by the drill.l - The rustiest bits on any of the panels seemed to be the weld area above, metal that hadn't been wiped with phosphoric acid (drill holes) and the edges of the metal (where I'd touched them?). - The Bonda Rust and Zinc Weld Thru Primer appear to have prevented some corrosion, as there's less rusty bits in the jars than the unpainted steel. There's slightly less in the BR jar but it's fairly close between them. - The Bonda Rust painted panel exhibited some osmotic blistering, which may have contributed to any corrosion seen in that jar. I wanted to test the scratch resistance of the pieces, but since I've done some further reading I think I may have goofed a bit and made it a poor test for that, and maybe the immersion too. I since read that Electrox and Bonda Rust take 4 and 7 days to fully cure respectively. I only let these paints dry 2 days before the test began. Both can now be scratched off the panel with mere fingernail pressure, but I don't know if that's the salt water, not leaving them enough time to cure, or poor preparation. I know from using Bonda Rust at least that it is usually rock hard when cured and can't be scratched in that way. The Frost Weld Thru Zinc Primer on the other hand is very tough after immersion, it can't be scratched. It's starting to look a bit pitted, but the coating is very much in tact. This is good. So in short all paints are potentially helpful, zinc is really nifty under water and I have some more testing to do.
  14. Can't second this enough. Removing MIG plug welds is absolutely awful. After taking lots out of my car, I won't use them anywhere unless I really can't practically get the spot welder in there.
  15. Each of the jars except the first are full of floating ginger sediment. At first I thought this might be grinding residue on the strips from my filthy garage, but it's been growing over the last 2 days. From left to right: Electrox, Bonda Rust, Frost WTP, unpainted steel. The first jar is crystal clear, the middle two have about the same amount and the last has noticeably more. Looking closely, I can spy a little bit of surface rust on the drilled sections. Once it's been a week, I will remove the strips and photograph them all up close. A closer look below at the ginger fluffy stuff:
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