Sunday, June 27, 2010

Some stripping, and application trial

(or my search for stripper proof gloves)

Began the day watching Argentina beating Mexico, at least the first half. Mexico can always be counted on to resort to dirty play and today was was no exception. I saw a half dozen Mexicans foul Messi, the idea being that each could get no more than a yellow. Once the pattern became obvious the referee could have shown a red.

I had three goals for today. Strip the paint from the headlight buckets, try out the sprayer on POR-15, and start filling the welded areas at the nose. I wanted to try stripping the buckets because sandblasting would remove too much at the rusted areas, and as it turns out the shop's media blaster is busted.

Next stop, Redline for supplies. Paint stripper, rubber gloves, two small cans of POR-15, Epoxy Filler.

BMW100627-01 BMW100627-02 BMW100627-03

As I prepared to strip the headlight buckets I noticed that one of the parts that sit behinds the light had a different design. Why?


The stripping went very well, except after about fifteen minutes I could feel my hands burning. I paid $15.00 for professional gloves, and they did not protect against paint stripper. It turns out I tossed my plastic sheeting when I painted the Lotus, so for lunch I went to Home Depot for plastic and more gloves.

BMW100627-05 BMW100627-06

After lunch I did a second round of stripping. Most of the paint was gone, but the new gloves were no better, despite being labeled for stripping.

BMW100627-07 BMW100627-09

As expected the painting took longer to set up for than to do. I masked some places I did not want painted, laid out the plastic as a drop cloth, put on my painters coveralls, the heavy latex gloves from Home Depot, loaded one can of POR-15 in the sprayer, put on my mask and goggles.

The sprayer would not spray. I thought the paint was too thick, so to continue the experiment I added some POR-15 solvent. Still no luck. I called it a failure. Since I was all dressed and had maybe four ounces of paint left so I brushed it on, making a terrific mess in the process.

Now I am waiting to see if the solvent messes up the paint. The shop is closed next week for the Fourth of July holiday, so in two weeks we'll know.


I now had droplets of paint where I wanted to put filler, so that was out. I ended the day wire brushing the last of the paint from the headlight buckets.

I wonder if anyone makes gloves that protect against real paint stripper?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Finish welding the nose

Today I finished welding the nose. By nose I mean just the top edge, there is more to be done lower down.

BMW100620-01 BMW100620-02
BMW100620-03 BMW100620-04 BMW100620-05
Last week I started working on a little patch to finish the center section. Today started with refining its fit and welding it in place. Tricky because it has so many twists and bends.

BMW100620-06 BMW100620-07
BMW100620-08 BMW100620-09

After lunch I whipped out the last patch, on the RH side. This one was relatively easy, just a little curve to match the original. Had enough room to slip in from underneath due to the doubler having rusted away there. I wanted a flange along the front but I had to scale it back due to the extra layers of sheet metal already there.

BMW100620-10 BMW100620-11 BMW100620-12

If finish up with some photos of the front as it looks now. To me it looks a lot better, but the condition compares well to that of an accident victim right after surgery. Next week I should be able to start filling these areas, and then it will begin to look like its old self. At the same time I can get started repairing some rust damage lower down, especially along the lower LH grill opening.

Just for fun, compare that last photo of the center grill and roundel section with these:

BMW100523-01 BMW100404-01

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Roundel mount patch #2

BMW100613-01 BMW100613-02

BMW100613-03 BMW100613-04

After a bit more head scratching I decided to slide the patch towards the LH side of the car (to the right as viewed). Trimmed the patch and the opening to make it happen.


After lunch I went outside to take a picture of the day (summer is finally here) and happened across these two sorrowful members of our junk yard. A Rolls? Really?


At last it was time to weld. Painted the back side of the patch with 3M Weld-Thru primer but this time I left the mating surfaces clean. Drilled holes to weld through. Wire brushed all weld areas.


Ginned up a way to hold patch in place using a punch, a screw driver and vise grips.

BMW100613-08 BMW100613-09

Welding was my best ever. The trick is to focus the heat on the thicker patch material then let it ooze over into the adjoining body panel.

BMW100613-10 BMW100613-11 BMW100613-12

I had enough time to get started on the next patch. This one will close the hole below the RH side of the new patch and stabilize that side.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Roundel mount patch

LotusStarter0207-01 LotusStarter0207-11

As I worked on getting the Lotus ready for last week's show I started a list of a the little things it needs. Turned out to be a pretty long list. I decided to try taking the Lotus to the shop on Sundays and knocking off a few at a time as I work on the E9, but before I do that I want to improve its starting. Currently it only cranks from the booster battery, and when the engine is hot even the booster has a hard time getting it going. Funny thing is, once it starts to crank it turns very fast. I already changed out the original starter with a Denso reduction gear model from Dave Bean (see photos). I brought home my toolbox today and plan on checking all of the grounds in the starting circuit. I don't think it's heat from the headers, because it also happens, to a lesser extent, from a cold start.

BMW100606-01 BMW100606-02

Today was just a continuation of the E9 nose job, which has progressed to the roundel mount. I hand formed one several months ago and since it turned out better than expected I decided to use it. To get started I had to measure everything very carefully and come up with a way to position the patch after the original is removed. In the process I discovered that the existing mount is offset to the right (to the left in the photos, which are upside down), about 1/8 in.

BMW100606-03 BMW100606-04 BMW100606-05

After getting the alignment worked out and a rough cut on the rear edge it was time to put some bend in the patch. This does not need to be perfect, just good enough to slip under the existing good metal. For this I held it in the vise and whacked it with a hammer on a hardwood block, moving 1/8 in. at a time, then a little smoothing witha convex faced hammer on a sand bag.

BMW100606-06 BMW100606-07

Finally the time had come to cut away the old roundel mount. A bit nerve racking, because I had to be able to position the replacement without it. With the rusty pieces removed I went in with tapered and straight file tips in the die grinder to remove a few damaged places underneath and the smooth out the cut edges.

BMW100606-08 BMW100606-09

I finally got to where I could slide on side underneath, so that I have a better feel for how this will end up. Not sure which side will get cut down, maybe both. It's good to sleep on it. I finished by giving everything a fresh coat of Metal Prep.