Sunday, April 18, 2010

Installed patch at LH nose

My goal was to end up neatly today because next week my wife and I will do the Haleiwa Century Ride. I doubt I'll make it to the shop even though the ride begins at sunrise.

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As usual there were a few details to attend to before welding. I drilled a bunch of 1/8 in. holes to weld through, then fiddled with the grinder, hammer and pliers to get a good fit on all tabs. I also cleaned up the tabs and the border of the hole where welding would take place, to get a good weld.

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When everything was ready I painted both sides of the patch with Weld-Thru primer and worked out how to hold the patch in place by wedging tapered punches in from underneath. The welding went well, although burning through the thin original metal was a problem. I lowered the current to just over 3.

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After some initial grinding I identified several places that would benefit from a second round of welding. After more grinding I filled everything with POR-15 Epoxy Filler. Since I had a little time left I went ahead and covered the small holes with two layers of fiberglass set with POR Patch.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Patching the nose, #1

Last Sunday was Easter, and while I did work at the shop it was a shot day followed by a family dinner, so I never got around to uploading photos until today. I set up a Skype video phone session with my son in California -- my mother-in-law was incredulous that such a thing were possible. I make it happen I used my new T-Mobile MyTouch 3G phone tethered to my Fujitsu tablet PC. Very cool.

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On my way in I stopped at Home Depot looking for rivets to repair the Europa's windshield wiper arm. No rivets (no surprise!), so I picked up some stainless steel cap screws (#6-32 x 1/4 in.) and matching aluminum nuts. Should look cool. The rivet hole was just 1/8 in. and to accommodate the screw I had to drill out both pieces to 9/64 in. I used Loctite on the nut. After that I noticed that the way I had been doing the spring was wrong -- it is supposed the hook onto a steel pin. There are holes for it in the cast mounting knuckle. Piano wire from a hobby shop would fit, the kind used on model airplanes. Stainless would be best. More shopping.

I also picked up a hardware storage box, which I have been meaning to do for years, and an aerosol system for POR-15 that is cheap enough to be a one-time use. After reading the instructions in more detail I see where it is like a spray can in that it can't shoot vertically. Even so it may prove useful.

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Last week focused on the interior details of the nose, especially the LH side. I need to good plan on how to repair the damage around the roundel indent, most of which is on the RH side. It looks doable, but tricky. I found more thick bondo in the area around a seam where the nose joins the fender. Can't tell if this is original or collision damage repair. One of the grill mounting tabs is almost rusted off and will need a welded-on patch.

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This week I decided to work my way back to welding by working on the patch for the large hole near the front LH corner. I cut and ground the hole to be more rectangular and designed the patch with a folded lip along the rear edge. I put some curvature unto it after flanging by hammering with a thick, sold steel rod and a shot bag underneath. Finished off with the usual POR-15 Marine Clean and Metal Ready treatment. The patch will be welded next time.