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926 Posts
Discussion Starter #441
Fitting The Rear Framework, Floors & Wheel Arches - Part 1:
Unfortunately, this section is now too heavy for my wife to help me lift it over the hood & bulkhead.

However, quite my chance, there were some builders working in a house across the street, so I asked them for some help.

Funny now much easier things are to do with three extra people helping out. :cool:

We even managed to get the hard fuel line through the hole in the trunk floor while the whole thing was held up high enough.

So I got to play with my simple pipe bending tool...

To re-route the hard line through the trunk floor opening.

Then I could add the grommet to seal it in place.

For now I have just roughly bent the pipe out of the way and will fix the final route / length another day.

So far, the bulkhead has 8 bolts holding it to the chassis...

Now the rear framework has 4 bolts through the chassis & home made crush tubes.

And each bolt has a spreader washer underneath.

There are also two bolts through the rear of the framework & rear aches and into the chassis.
( Again with crush tubes. )

Finally there are 6 bolts on each side holding the rear frame to the bulkhead.

So I think it is fair to this internal structure is securely mounted to the chassis. :cool:

End of Part 1...

926 Posts
Discussion Starter #442
Fitting The Rear Framework, Floors & Wheel Arches - Part 2:
Next the two parts of the hand brake mech was joined together.

The radius arms were connected to their respective brackets.

The tail pipe brackets were bolted to the boot floor and the twin tail pipes were pushed into place.

I didn't get a chance to tighten up the exhaust brackets at this stage, so it remains on the "To Do" list.

Unfortunately, at this point my available car time was rapidly coming to an end, so I spent some time tidying up.

So I moved the body shell from where it had been tucked away back next to the "go kart" & put the covers on.

Then I could wash down the drive way so my wife could have her parking space back.

But there was still a huge sense of satisfaction with how much progress I'd made in the last few days. :cool:

926 Posts
Discussion Starter #443 (Edited)
Quick Project Review:

15th September 2012:
This was my first opportunity to see how the Cordite framework fitted my Spitfire chassis.

Unfortunately, things went downhill from here due to "issues" with the original Cordite kit. :thumbdown:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

11th May 2015:
My Frankenstein creation of various Spitfire, Cordite & home made parts is finally bolted into position.

Although I dread to think about how much time & effort I have actually put into reaching this point. :sad:

Plus there is the fact that how I solved problems in one area generated a shed load of work in other areas. :rolleyes:
( E.g. The wholesale butchery required to make the body shell fit this Frankenstein's monster. )

However, despite all that, I am still very proud of what I have managed to achieved. :cool:

As, even allowing for my amateur welding, I believe this is a better internal structure than the original design.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Car Building Vacation:
For me, bolting the framework to the chassis was both a major landmark, and huge positive turning point in this build. :cool:

However, instead of pressing on with renewed enthusiasm, I am now going to walk away from this build for a short while.

As there are simply too many other things I need to do, that always get pushed to the back of the queue in favour of working on the car. :rolleyes:

As it happens, 20th April 2015 marked 3 years from the day I bought my donor car and this was supposed to be a "simple" sub 12 month build.

Unfortunately, the harsh reality of this project is that, even if I ignore paint, there is still a ton of work required to get this car on the road. :sad:

So taking some time off will not make much of a difference to my final deadline, but will hopefully bring a better balance to my life.

I am certainly not abandoning the project and I still plan to will keep chipping away at it until it is finally done.

So until next time, take care, Paul. :)

926 Posts
Discussion Starter #444
Belated Update:
Whilst my progress has slowed significantly in recent months, I have managed to take a few steps forward with the car.

It was almost 6 weeks after I put the covers on before I was finally able to take them off and do a bit of work.

I started by simply removing the boot lid.

As this makes it easier for my wife and I to lift the body shell back into position.

Then with the boot lid back in place and the hood lowered, it was looking like this.

There is still a long way to go, but the final look of the car is slowly coming together, which gives a small boost to morale. :cool:

In addition, this "tidying up" exercise also makes a big improvement to the driveway when the covers go back on.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seats - Part 1:
My plan is to get a working "go-kart" before I finally bond the body shell into position and for that I need to fit the seats.

So I made two cardboard templates for the mounting bolts on each seat.

These will be used to help me mark up / drill the holes required to bolt the seats directly to the floor, as there is no room for seat runners.

I marked up some "cross hairs" on the "sunny side" of both templates.

Then increased the size of the holes from bolt to bolt head size.

Which in turn will allow me to remove the seat, but leave the template on the floor, rather than have it still bolted to the seat.

The bolt heads will act as a rough match for the height of the seat spacers.

I then cleaned up a bunch of "penny" washers that were originally used during my various trunk locking experiments.
( And were covered in bits of filler and/or etch primer. )

These will be used underneath the floor when the seat is bolt in.

End of Part 1...

926 Posts
Discussion Starter #445
Seats - Part 2:
I started on the passenger side and put the seat roughly into position.

Unfortunately, given the angles of the lowered floor pans and the back of the seat, there is very little space behind the seat back.

So before I went any further, I thought I'd better double check the seat belts too.

From my previous tests, I knew the rear mounting point would not line up with the centre of the seat back.

But this does not seem to cause a problem when the belts are over your shoulder (excuse dodgy selfie).

So now that I was happy with the position of the seat, I could tape the template to the floor and remove the seat.

After marking the hole centres onto some tape I'd put underneath, I could drill the holes.

I will need an extra pair of hands to bolt the seats in position while the bolts are fitted thru the floor from underneath.

So for now, this was just a mock up photo to give you an idea of what the underside will look like.

I also had an idea to "tilt" the seat forward a bit by adding a couple of washers.

So the front two bolt holes would just have the large spreader washer and spacer like so.

Whereas the rear two bolt holes would also have a couple of extra washers like so.

This would increase the gap between the back of the seat and the rear cockpit wall ever so slightly.

I'm still not 100% if I will go down this route, but I ordered some longer seat bolts just in case I do.

So far I have only got as far as putting the driver's seat & belt roughly into position.

Because I wanted to fit the steering column first so I can set the seat position relative to that.

I also needed to refit the gas pedal, but that required a small modification first.

Triumph supplied the pedal in bare metal, but a top tip was to add some "grip" tape, so I made a template & cut a section out.

So now I have all three pedals in place, although I still need to replace the broken plastic brake light switch with a new metal one.

And another job I need to tackle at some point is sealing up the small gap between the bulkhead & rear framework / floors.

But fitting the steering column was my next job and this turned into a complete nightmare...

926 Posts
Discussion Starter #446
Steering Column - Part 1:
In order to set the steering wheel & column in the correct place I had to fit this section of the dash.

Even though this is just to help set up the steering and nothing is actually connected, I really like how this looks.

Also one of the column mounting brackets needed a quick coat of paint.

I re-fitted the bottom half of the steering column, which is held onto the steering rack by the nut & bolt in the centre of this photo.

Re-fitting this was a painfully slow process given the lack of room to tighten the nut up more than a fraction of a turn at a time.

The lower column then comes thru the bulkhead where a bracket / seal needs to be fitted.

Unfortunately, this is another job that requires an extra pair of hands, as one person can't reach both sides of the bolt & nut at the same time.

The upper steering column was next, so I cleaned and greased the inner section and printed some photos of the donor car set up.

The first two steering column clamps were loosely fitted into position with no real problems.

But the third clamp was a real pain as part of it was seized solid.

A hole in the upper column lines up with a flat side on the lower column here.

So the bolt in the middle is supposed to be tightened to clamp to the two sections together.

Thankfully after soaking both sides in WD40 and a long wait, I could separate the parts.

Then it was back to crawling around inside the bulkhead to get the bottom clamp into position.

End of Part 1...

926 Posts
Discussion Starter #447
Steering Column - Part 2:
Then I refitted the plastic column cover to ensure the steering wheel would be the right distance from the dash.

I will eventually replace this plastic cover with something else, but this will do to get me on the road.

It was only at this point that the steering wheel could finally go on.

And that is when I discovered things were not going as well as I thought, as there was no thread available.

Initially, I though the problem was connected to the after market steering wheel and boss that came with my donor car.

Especially when I read on line that this may be connected with the fact I have a late model 1500.

The on line solution was to simply widen the opening in the plastic cover, which I did.



Whilst I only needed to be able to move the boss in a little bit, I figured it was easier to give myself a bit of extra clearance.

So this was as close as I could get the steering wheel boss before.

Whereas now, the boss could be pushed in a decent way without fouling.

However, this modification didn't make much of a difference, as I there still wasn't enough thread showing.

Clearly there was another problem with the set up, so I removed the clamp that holds the two sections of the column together.

This allowed me to slide the upper column up, so I could work backwards with the space required.

The steering wheel has to tighten up against the taper in the column here.

Although I did turn the air blue when I discovered the brand new steering nut I had bought was the wrong part!

I even found the original steering wheel to see if that would help me work out what was going wrong.

Unfortunately, the problem I was having remained the same:
- If there was enough room for the steering wheel at one end, the clamp would fit at the other.
- But if there was enough room for the clamp at one end, the steering wheel wouldn't fit at the other.


Given how hard it was to get my head next to the pedals to see what was going on, I had no choice.

The upper steering column had to be removed from the car, so I could get to the bottom of the problem.

End of Part 2...

926 Posts
Discussion Starter #448
Steering Column - Part 3:
This is the "cut out" section of the upper column that sits over the lower steering column shaft.

So the clamp is bolted into position here.

Which means the outer column can only be pushed down as far as this clamp.

However, this still doesn't leave enough room for the steering wheel at the other end.

But if I fix the steering wheel thread at the other end, this is what happens at the bottom end.

At this point I was at a complete loss to explain what was going on, but then Lady Luck finally shone on me.

With all the testing I was doing, I'd noticed that the nylon bush at the top of the steering column was split.

So I figured before I did anything else with the column, I should check the bottom bush as well.

According to my manual, the rubber "buttons" on either side of the lower bush needed to be depressed before removal.

But these buttons didn't line up with the holes and appeared to be partially cut off.

So I figured I should order a new one anyway and proceeded to cut off the remains of the buttons to aid removal.

It then took a long time and a significant amount of brute force and ignorance to drift the lower bush out of the outer column.

If the nylon insert wasn't damaged before, it certainly was by the time I'd finished.

But at least by the time I had finally finished knocking the rest of the bush out, I had got to the real cause of my problems.

Believe it, or not, but there were actually two bushes sitting at the bottom of the column (but only one nylon insert).

So I went back to the Triumph spares supplier's website and checked their diagram.

Clearly there is only meant to be one lower bush/bearing at the bottom of the column and it should sit around here.

Whereas I had two sitting somewhere around here, although not protruding out as far they are shown in this photo.

All I can think of is the previous owner tried to insert a new bush, without removing the old one first!

End of Part 3...

926 Posts
Discussion Starter #449
Steering Column - Part 4:
So I went back to basics again and started at the top...

With the steering wheel fully pushed down onto taper on the shaft there is plenty of room for the nut.

I then left a wafer thin gap between the steering wheel and the indicator cancelling "thingy".

I was very happy to see that with the top end sorted, there was still plenty of room at the bottom end for the clamp to go on. :cool:
( Note: The lock nut is loose, and will not be in the way when fully tightened up. )

When the new parts arrived, I could finally put the steering column back together.

I started at the bottom and used a bit of yoga mat to protect the bush and a washer to help me "tap" it evenly into position.

In the end I had a big stack of washers inside the column & also used a bit of wood to cushion the hammer blows.

I even managed to get the rubber button to pop out in the right place.

Funny how much extra room there was when there was just one bush fitted in the correct place. :rolleyes:

It turns out that the "split" in old upper bush is meant to be there, as the new one has one too.

Still, there is no harm in fitting a new one anyway.

But just when it looked like I was finally ready to refit the column, another problem arrived.

End of Part 4...

926 Posts
Discussion Starter #450
Steering Column - Part 5:
Unfortunately, the main power wire from the ignition switch had broken off & can't be fixed.

The only good news is that there are just two small screws holding this piece in place.

So the whole thing was removed and a new replacement ordered.

On closer inspection, the white wire in the close up photo above is just hanging on by a thread.

So this was a failure waiting to happen and at least it will now be taken care of properly.

New part arrived.

And fitted.

Next I tapped the two pins that came with the steering wheel boss into position.

These pins engage with the indicator cancelling "thingy" like so and everything works like it should.

After yet another session crawling around "upside down" in the foot well the steering column was back in position.

Except this time, there is plenty of thread available for the new (& correct) steering wheel nut.
( Note: Just finger tight in the photo. )

So I could now turn the steering wheel and watch the front wheels turn.

I know it isn't much, but after all the hassle this job had given me, it did seem like a major step in the right direction.

For the record, I went back and checked the last time I could turn the wheels and it was 21st July 2012.

Look how happy I looked back then, clearly I had no idea what a nightmare this project was going to become.

But rather than dwell on the negatives, I took more positives from temporarily fitting the steering wheel centre section.

This will not be permanently fixed into position until the dash is removed again and all the instruments are wired up.

So for now, I've cut a hole in an old tennis ball to protect the steering column threads when the steering wheel is removed.
( I hope this will also protect my head when I'm working in the cockpit. )

Now there was a lot of waiting around for parts with this job, so I was working on another area at the same time.

Unfortunately, this job turned out to be quite a pain as well...

926 Posts
Discussion Starter #451
A very long time ago I bought a new wider radiator, which was a standard Spitfire replacement part.

But I didn't fit it at the time because I wanted to get other work, such as the hood hinges, sorted out first.

There were just four bolts to remove, as I don't need to reuse the metal sections on either side of the radiator.
( Note: I do have a mounting bracket for the overflow bottle. )

So the removal stage was straight forward.

But then I seemed to really struggle to put the new radiator into position and how hard can fitting 4 bolts be?

For once the problem was not related to my limited mechanical skills, but actually a faulty part that was never going to fit.

This was the radiator that had been supplied.

- The mounting plate on the right hand side of this photo is correct.

- The mounting plate on the left hand side is actually another right hand bracket turned upside down so it could be fitted in error.

Discovering this fault caused both a significant bout of profanity and a major sense of humour at the time.
( Especially as this was an "easy" job I picked when I was having problems with the steering column. )

But the supplier sorted it out very quickly, as after I sent the first radiator back, the second radiator was with me within the week.

Although when I tried to fit this radiator, I ran into a different problem, as it now fouled a bolt holding the radiator frame in position.
( Sorry, not a great photo and radiator is now propped up out of the way. )

So I had to undo and refit both of these fixing bolts with the heads on the top, which gave me the room I needed.

Note: The scrape in the radiator paint was where the bolt caught it the first time I tried to fit it.
( I will tidy up the paint work when the engine has been restarted and I know there is no more dismantling to do. )

Sorry for another blurred photo, but at least the radiator was now finally in position.

When doing this work, I also noticed one of the cooling hoses has split.

But that was a very straight forward fix, which made a nice change.

However, fitting the shiny new radiator cap was start of a whole new can of worms...

Thankfully I decided to lower the hood slowly, so I could double check the clearances, as there wasn't any!

Yes, not only is this new radiator wider than the original Spitfire one (a good thing), it is also slightly taller (a bad thing).

Obviously, this wouldn't be a problem inside a Spitfire hood where it was designed to fit, but it was a major pain for me.

After the traditional round of profanity, I was left with two basic choices for a solution:

#1 - Lower Radiator
- Cut, shortened and re-weld the original radiator frame mounts (something other builders have done).
- Adjust the cross braces at the top of the radiator frame, so they reach the new lowered position.
- Add a header tank and the associated plumbing, as the radiator cap would no longer be the highest point in the system.
- Finally, if the radiator is lowered, the existing fan would be too high, so it would also need to be replaced.

#2 - Modify Hood
- Cut out a section of the hood to provide clearance over the radiator cap in its current position.
- Then use fibreglass to make a more professional looking "feature" out of this hole.

Deep down, I would actually prefer if the engine bay remained the way Triumph intended it to be.

So I decided to modify the hood to provide extra clearance over the new, higher, radiator cap...

926 Posts
Discussion Starter #452
Hood Modifications - Part 1:
Adding an air intake "scoop" to the hood has been done by a number of other builders.

Here is one example under construction.

So to do some rough mocking up, I simply cut a piece of card out to match the area I wanted to clear.

Then make two versions of a very simple design.

Option #1 - Straight vertical sides

Option #2 - "Spread out" sides

An alternative way to the options above would be to add a "bulge" in the hood over the radiator cap.

Again, other builders have added these to cover various items that have ended up as the high point.

Here is an example of one of these under construction (which is actually the same hood featured above).

If I am going to stick to a KISS approach, then a "tear drop" bulge is definitely easier for me to make than a scoop.

After spending a bit of time chewing over my options, I decided to cut a tear drop shape in the hood and see what happens.

So I used my old radiator cap as a starting point for a cardboard template.

Then I drew a couple of design options and settled on the red one.

With the shape cut out, it could be positioned on the radiator cap, with some tape on top ready to stick to the inside of the hood.

End of Part 1...

926 Posts
Discussion Starter #453
Hood Modifications - Part 2:
I had to hold the template in position when gently lowering the hood to avoid it being knocked out of position.

Then I just needed to re-open the hood and the template was in the correct position, ready to be marked up.

However, it then occurred to me that it would be a good idea to actually cut out the hole from the "sunny side" of the hood.

So I drilled 4 pilot holes from the inside, which allowed me to position the template and mark it up on the top side.

I just needed to drill a larger hole for the jigsaw blade to fit in before I could cut the hole out.

Then came the moment of truth, as I gently lowered the hood back down to see if this approach would actually work.

The good news was that from the "sunny side", at least it was clear that I had cut the hole in roughly the right place.

However, the real test would come when I looked underneath so see this approach had created any other clearance issues.

Thankfully nothing else now touches the bonnet on either side.

Although the corner of the radiator nearest the camera in the photo above is pretty tight.

I did mark up an option for extending the shape of the bulge to clear this corner.

But quickly came to the conclusion that this would look both odd and ugly.

Thankfully I realised that this problem will disappear when I finally get around to fixing the profile of the rear edge of the hood.

I've already taken a mold of the scuttle on the body shell, so the rear of the hood will have a similar "flat" profile at the back.

Which means the middle of the hood will be lifted slightly to help build a smoother transition towards the back of the hood.

This should be enough to clear the corner of the radiator, but not enough to clear the radiator cap without the bugle.

End of Part 2...

926 Posts
Discussion Starter #454
Hood Modifications - Part 3:
Once I was happy that a single hood bulge was all I needed, I set about making it, starting with a block of insulation foam.

Which I then roughly cut into shape.

The curve/slope of the hood means that the hole I cut out doesn't have a matching gap on each side.

I also had to hollow out the underside of the foam so that it would sit over the radiator and the cap.

After a bit of work I had the rough shape I wanted.

I plan to do the final shaping of the bulge with filler when I have this basic shape in fibreglass fixed into position.

I wrapped the foam former in some cling film (food wrap) to stop the fibreglass matting sticking to it.

When this was set I gave a rough trim to the bottom edge to make it easier to remove from the mold.

Before I marked the bottom edge of the bulge on both the mold and the fibreglass before the next round of trimming.

And this is what is looks like just resting in position.

At this point both the edges of the bulge and the hole in the hood still needed a final trim so their contours & shapes match.

But I just taped it roughly into position to do a final clearance check.

Extra fibreglass matting will be added to the inside edges of the hole/bulge to form a permanent seal here.

I made several attempts at taking a decent photo showing the gap around the radiator cap, but this was the best I could do.

End of Part 3...

926 Posts
Discussion Starter #455
Hood Modifications - Part 4:
To permanently join the bulge to the hood, I started by removing the gel coat layer from around the "sunny side" of the hole.
( As I plan to add a layer of matting along the join on this side. )

Then I shaped the bottom edges of the bulge to match the contours of the hood.



At this point I could firmly tape the bulge into position on the sunny side.

Which allowed me to widened some sections of the hole itself from the inside, so it joined the bulge nicely.

There was just one small section where the two pieces didn't meet up properly.
( So some extra matting will be added into this gap before I cover the edges. )

After two fibre glassing sessions, I was left with at least 3 layers of matting across the bulge to hood join.

I also used some "pulled apart" matting strands to seal off the join on the sunny side, which was a very messy job.

But at least I can sand down all the stray matting strands around the base of the bulge when it has all set hard.

Although on this particular day, by the time the fibreglass had set, I had to pack for the day, but at least I could now close the hood.

I will also sand down the bulge itself into a neater basic shape before adding some filler over the top for the final smooth shape.

Finally, this view underneath the hood, taken from the front, gives you a better idea of the clearance available.

End of Part 4...

926 Posts
Discussion Starter #456
Hood Modifications - Part 5:
The sunny side of the bulge was sanded down.

Before being smothered in a layer of fibreglass filler.

Which was then sanded down and there is now a bit more of a tear drop shape forming. :cool:

This just needs a final skim of normal body filler and it should be done.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

There are still three big hood modification jobs I need to do:

- Cut the rear lower sections off and attach them to the body shell in a similar way to this builder.

- Modify the front wheel arches to close the gap around the tyres.

- Ensure the rear edge of the hood matches the profile of my home made scuttle area of the body shell.

In order to tackle the rear hood edge, I'd previously made a mould of the scuttle profile.

Unfortunately, I should have extended the sections of foam bracing I added the whole way across.
( As there is too much flexibility in the mould when it is lifted off the scuttle. )

I had a brief look at making some sort of external brace with wood to help it keep its shape.

But in the end, I figured it would be easier to add more foam to the mold instead.

After two fibreglass sessions, I was getting there.

Unfortunately, the sky was now looking like this.

So rather than risk adding more matting and getting caught out by the rain I stopped at this point.

I then left the fibreglass to set, but with everything prepared for a quick cover up if required.

Have I ever mentioned that deciding to build a car outside was a dumb idea? :rolleyes:

So finishing off this mold is still on the "To Do" list.

926 Posts
Discussion Starter #457
Odds & Ends:
I'll finish off this round of updates with a few other small jobs that were ticked off.

I soaked one end of the speedo cable in some oil.

Before pushing the cable in thru the bulkhead in preparation for re-connecting dash.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I cut out a small section of metal & bent it a little to see if would seal off a surplus hole in the steering column cover.
( This is where the original windscreen washer lever was located. )

It still needs a bit of work, but I should be able to sort this out later on.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I also pruned my "garage wall".

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Well that brings me back up to date and it does seem that I spend a lot of time going backwards.

But overall I am still slowly moving forwards and I've just got to keep chipping away at this.

So until next time, take care, Paul. :)

926 Posts
Discussion Starter #458
Hood Bulge:
A layer of normal body filler was added.

Then sanded down.

Even now, I am still impressed with the visual improvement a coat of etch primer makes.

Which leaves the hood looking like this at the moment.

In an ideal world, the new radiator would have fitted without the need for any extra work at all.

Having said that, I am really pleased with how well this new addition has blended in with the rest of the hood. :cool:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Scuttle Cleaning:
I will cover the scuttle mold in the next post, but I had some excess fibreglass mess to clean up on both sides of the scuttle.


After sanding:

After a quick dusting of etch primer:

This whole area still needs final body work preparation to improve the surface, but at least it looks better for now.

926 Posts
Discussion Starter #459
Scuttle Mold:
Eventually I finish adding extra fibreglass matting over the foam & I also extended the depth of the mold a little.

I've already covered cleaning up the mess left when the mold was removed from the scuttle in the previous post.

The good news is the mold really holds it shape now, without any of the wobbling I had before.

Note: This photo was taken after I had trimmed off the edges and generally tidied up around the outside of the mold.
( In a vain attempt to reduce the number of fibreglass splinters in my fingers! )

Unfortunately, extending the depth of the mold had been a last minute decision & I didn't prepare the existing edge properly before I started.

As we all know, there is a clear link between performance and preparation, so I was left with some "hollows". :rolleyes:

So I tidied these up before giving the whole join a skim of normal body filler to fill in any gaps.

Once that was sanded down to a smooth (ish) finish, the inside edge was covered in parcel tape.

I slowly built up the layers of fibreglass matting over a number of days, until I was left with this.

Which is 3 layers of matting all over the mould, plus the extra depth where the matting overlaps.

- I will add at least one extra layer along the hood's closing edge, but the initial fit will determine if this is to the top, or underside.
- There will also be multiple extra layers along where this section joins the existing hood (more on that later).

When the fibreglass was cured sufficiently, I separated the new rear hood edge from the mold.

Before giving all the edges a quick trim / tidy.

Then it was time to see how close this new fibreglass section was to the final rear hood edge profile I need to achieve.

After a bit more cutting and trimming, at least the first rough fit was there, or there abouts.

Although the harsh reality is that the corners of this new piece taper inwards (due to the shape of the scuttle) which is going to be a pain.

But I always knew that there would still be a lot of extra work required to blend the hood in nicely with the scuttle.

So this gives me a starting point to work from, rather than the finished article and that is good enough for me.

926 Posts
Discussion Starter #460
Front Wheel Arches:
I've spent quite a bit of time trying to work out the knock on impact of re-shaping the wheel arches on the other work I have to do.

My "normal" car has a 3" gap from the tyre to the arches.

So I made a cardboard template cut out at a 3" gap, but with a 2" gap also marked in red.
( As most other builders seem to run their cars with gaps of 2", or less. )

The widest gap in the photo above is 1.5" from the existing arch to the edge of the cardboard template (or 2.5" to the red line).

In addition to re-shaping the arch, I plan to cut off a section of the hood and attach it to the body shell.

So I made another cardboard template.

This template also allowed me to compare the relative position of the tyre to the Spitfire bulkhead on both sides of the car.
( As my sloping driveway makes it very difficult to check if something is straight/level by eye. )

The next step was to combine these two templates to see where a horizontal line from the bulkhead would meet the arch.

Thankfully, at this point I spotted something else, that I had previously missed.

I need the body shell extension to cover the Spitfire bulkhead and a 3" gap wouldn't cover it.

With some tape around the bottom corner of the bulkhead and a cut in the gap template I hope this makes it easier to see.

Which means the maximum gap between the tyre & wheel arch can't be bigger than 2" if I want to completely cover the bulkhead.

So that is what I will build, although the final gap will probably end up slightly smaller when the car reaches its final "racing" weight.

Either way, any significant reduction in the current "gaping hole" arrangement has got to be a good thing.

This is a photo of another builder re-shaping his rear aches & I will need to approach this in a similar way.

Unfortunately, as is the tradition on this build, finalising one thing lead to a revisit of another.

If I extend the line from the bulkhead to the centre of the wheel arch, there would be a "step" in the body shell extension like so.

Which is similar to how another builder approached this.

But if you look closely, you will see his extension doesn't go as far out as the centre of the wheel arches.

Unfortunately, if I shorted my body shell extension, then the step to the arches would become deeper.

So I've decided to change the design of my hood cut / body shell extension to something like this instead.

Where the horizontal line ties in the body shell extension with the outside edges of the Spitfire bulkhead.

I very roughly marked out where this hood cut / body shell extension might go.

So when the hood is open, everything to the right of the tape will still be attached to the body shell.

Which means that there should be no reason to "catch" the pointy bit of the hood's wheel arch when looking into the engine bay.

Although after looking at this design a bit longer, I will form gentle curves either side of the horizontal line, rather than sharp angles.

A bit like the cuts through the outside edges of the aero humps.

I always knew that this final phase of major alterations were going to be hard work, so it was time to make a start...
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