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921 Posts
Discussion Starter #81
Bulkhead Repairs - Passenger Side - Part 3:
This side of the bulkhead has turned out to be a real basket case in a number of areas.
Thankfully I am now more confident about removing old rubbish and simply getting on with the repair work.

At this point, the entire lower edge of the passenger side of the bulkhead was finally complete.

Again, I am hoping all the Frankenstein type scars will "heal" after some treatment with filler.

Next up was the bulkhead corner at the front end of the external support arm.
( I was able to weld the edge of the internal panel to the box section before closing the hole up. )

I have just one edge of this repair panel left to shape, but you get the idea...

As you can tell by the photos, it was getting dark and very misty outside so I called it a day.
Which basically brings my build up to date, as finishing this corner is the next thing on my "To Do" list.

At this stage there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel, as I have broken the back of the main bulkhead repairs required.

I'll end with another photo from my Car for all seasons collection...

I'd spend a whole day working outside on the bulkhead in this fog which was really cold and miserable.

Although I'd like to point out that fog in London is not as common as the movies suggest. ;)

Until next time, take care, Paul. :)

215 Posts
I have to say you have tackled one monster project there. When its done you will have a fun car, its going to be cool. I also have to make one observation British wifes must be much nicer than American wifes. If I had one of my projects sitting in front of my house I would be divorced and she probably would add lots of dents with a hammer. She is a nice lady until l I push her too far.

4,741 Posts
Paul, you have the persistence of a Bulldog!
What a beast you've tackled and overcome! Keep it up, looks like you are almost done. Really enjoying the progress and looks like you're getting close to the fun stuff.

Let me make sure I have this correct:
  • cut
  • weld
  • anti-rust treat
  • fiberglass
  • prime
  • repeat
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I'd hate to see your welding rod and electric bills! :wacko:

ok, serious questions. what is your anti-rust treatment product?

What is the dash of the Cordite supposed to look like? Are you going to try to stay original or go for a vintage racing look?
Lesson Learned, when I mounted my electrical shut-off on the front wall (firewall on interior side), I like the location, but now I can't mount my fire-extinguisher on the front of the tranny tunnel, without blocking easy access to the shut-off. I still like the location, but now I'll need to compromise somehow.

921 Posts
Discussion Starter #84 (Edited)
Ringo222 - My wife has been very understanding and supportive.
Although I was pushing my luck a bit when the house was filled with car parts for sale.
Also when I managed to take over the whole drive & she couldn't park outside (oops).
Rather than rent a workshop/garage, it works better if I am near by at all times.
That way i can always down tools and help out inside if required.

MPTech - Looks like you have cracked my repair work "system". ;)

This is the anti-rust treatment I use...

The other day I could see my breath while working outside as it was quite chilly.
Then when I brushed some of this Kurust stuff onto the metal I could see steam rising.
So clearly there is a chemical reaction that generates some very mild heat.

My kit was supplied with a wrap around dash that looked like this.

This was going to need a bit of work just to look half way decent.

This is what the integrated dash now looks like on the new version of this kit.

Which is clearly a much better job all round.

However, because I am now going to use the Spitfire bulkhead, I need to extend the bodywork to cover the dash.

So I am coming around to the idea of modifying the Spitfire dash to suit.
I might put the new heater switch & control on an alloy plate and bolted that over the top of the wooden dash.
That way, it will hopefully look like a modern update to a much older car.

Cheers, Paul. :)

master craftsman
5,597 Posts
great work...............always enjoy watching your progress. Steven

921 Posts
Discussion Starter #86
Riptide Motosport - Thanks for your support Steven.

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Bulkhead Repairs - Passenger Side - Part 4
I know this repair work has been a long slog, but there is finally an end in sight.

I finished off the corner section that I had started welding at the end of my last update.

This left me with just two rust holes to repair.

Hole #1

Hole #2
( Sorry the first photo is a bit blurred. )

I then ran a line of weld along this edge where two panels join.

Which meant that the passenger side was now looking like this.

The bolts are in the door hinge mounts in preparation for my next welding job.

As previously mentioned, I will use the original door hinge mounting points to join the bulkhead to the rear kit frame work .
As this will not need the fine tuning built into the door mounts, I've decided to weld the plate to the bodywork.
There were a number of small holes in this area that I needed to sort out while I was at it.

In order to weld the mounting plate into position I had to use one bolt to hold it in place.

That allowed me to weld two "holes", before removing the bolt and welding the third hole.

I did the same for the bottom bracket and this is the side view now.
( I did test fit all 6 bolts and they all went back in with no problems. )

I will have to build up the area around the bottom hinge mount, as the repair panel is higher than the surrounding metal.

921 Posts
Discussion Starter #87
Bulkhead Repairs - Passenger Side - Part 5
With all the welding jobs on the passenger side finally complete, it was time to start adding the filler.
( All the metal work had been given a coat of anti rust treatment before I started on this stage. )

Unfortunately, the winter weather is now hampering the amount of time I can work outside.
So this was all I could manage on the first day...

I just want to roughly smooth over the welds, not create completely flat surfaces.
So the overall effect will be quite "bumpy", but most of this will be covered by the kit's fibreglass bodywork anyway.

It was a couple of days before I could continue my epic "fillerathon"...

I put some tape around the threads of the Spitfire door hinge bolts & screwed them in.

This allowed me to apply filler without clogging up the mounting plate threads.

Eventually all the required areas on the outside of the bulkhead were covered in filler.

When this was all set, I creating yet another mini snow storm of filler dust as the outside edges were roughly sanded and cleaned up.

Again, the bolts went back into the mounting plate with some tape wrapped around them.

After a coat of etch primer, this is what the passenger side looks like now.

It was always going to be a bit bumpy in places, but as I am brushing the paint on over the top it isn't really a problem.

But there is certainly something about seeing it all in one colour that gives you a real boost.

I hope to post one last update before I down tools for a family Christmas.

So until then, take care, Paul.

921 Posts
Discussion Starter #88
Bulkhead Repairs - Passenger Side - Part 6
Getting all the fibreglass filler applied to the inside of the bulkhead took a little while.
As, in addition to covering up my welding, I added some extra filler to help me form some better interior shapes.

While I was waiting for all of that to set solid, I made some low tech "padded" work stands...

I just wanted to be able to work on the bulkhead without scraping my previous repairs, like so...

After covering myself, and the garden, in filler dust, the inside the bulkhead was ready for the next steps.

You might notice some areas that still need to be repaired (bottom of battery box, edge of dash board surround, etc.).
These will be dealt with in the next round of bulkhead work, as it is easier for me to do this repair work in smaller stages.

But all that was left to do at this point was for give any bare metal a final coat of anti-rust treatment.


921 Posts
Discussion Starter #89
Bulkhead Repairs - Passenger Side - Part 7
Well I am glad to say that after the etch primer went on, I could finally declare the passenger side of the bulkhead "repaired".
I still need to apply some seal sealer and some black paint, before I can call it "completed", but I'll take the little victories when I can.


The fact I could see through the pillar to the garden beyond should have been a clue to the state this side of the bulkhead was in. :rolleyes:
As although it didn't look too bad at first, but was pretty rotten in a lot of places, so some serious cutting out & welding back in was required.



Whilst it is clearly a very "lumpy" in places, the whole thing is rock solid and I'm really pleased with it. :cool:

921 Posts
Discussion Starter #90 (Edited)
Bulkhead Repairs:
I cleaned up the area around the Spitfire door hinge mounting plates on the driver's side.
Initially I was planning to weld them solid like I did on the passenger side, but the metal was in much better condition.
So I decided to save myself a job and just give the area a coat of etch primer instead.

I didn't think I'd make any more progress before Christmas as it has been raining a lot here.
But I caught a break in the weather today and make the most of it while it was still dry...

I brushed some seam sealer along some of the "factory" joins that I had previously cleaned up, treated & primed.

These were some of the few areas that didn't need any repair work, as all the repairs have been sealed by the fibre glass filler.
While I was waiting for the sealer to dry I got some more black paint on.
( I had started this a few days ago, but the rain stopped play. )

Thankfully by the time I'd finished painting the areas I could, the seam sealer was ready to be painted over.
Now that has been painted too, I can now proudly present the bulkhead as it looks today...

Driver's Side:

Passenger Side:

There is still a bit of work to do, but it will be on a much smaller scale compared to the previous epic repairs.
However, all that can wait for a few days as I am now downing tools and switching into full family Christmas mode.

So all that remains for me to do is to wish anyone reading this a Very Merry Christmas!

Take care, Paul.

It was the Winter Solstice yesterday, which means the days will now start getting brighter again and every little thing helps.
In the UK, the Stonehenge site is the most well known place to mark this event...

However, there is an alternative way of tracking the sun as I look out of my bedroom window.
For you NFL fans, Wembley stadium is the location for the regular season games played over here.
( I saw the Vikings vs. Steelers game there back in September. )
At this time of the year the sun's path across the sky takes it under the arch.

This was 8.20am in the morning on the 19th of December...

I know it is not really a Christmas photo, but it was certainly a Kodak moment!

921 Posts
Discussion Starter #91
A very belated "Happy New Year!"
After taking a break from the car for a family Christmas, it took me a while to get going again.
In my defence this was mainly due to the weather, which just seemed to be raining all day, every day.
( I know it was mild here compared to the weather that was hitting the USA around this time.)

But my "workshop" at the bottom of my garden was water logged & the grass was taking a pounding too.

While I'm here I might as well get all my other excuses out of the way now before getting back to the build. ;)

There was also the anti-social builder who decided to burn the trash from his construction work (illegal in London).

I did wait until it had completely died down before going outside and whilst some smoke still lingered, it wasn't too bad.
It was only after I had set everything up and started working that he stoked the fire up again, blanketing the area (& me) in smoke. :cursing:

Then there is the limited daylight during the winter months, when I have to admit defeat as I can no longer see what I am doing.
I've tried using a spot light to weld in the dark, but it seems to trigger the welding mask meaning I still can't see anything.

Just to give you an idea, this was one evening when I ran out of daylight, photo taken without using the camera flash...

And this the same scene taken with the flash...
( Note the "fog" in the top right of the picture is actually my breath, as it was now pretty cold outside too. )

Thankfully, I can use my work lights to help me tidy up this mess up and make sure I don't leave any tools outside over night.

Also my spider senses are getting pretty good at judging when my luck with the weather is about to rapidly run out.

For example, this is never a good sign...

This storm rolled in really fast, so I quickly put the bulkhead back under its tarpaulin & dumped everything else into the summer house.

And I do mean "dumped".

I just had time to squeeze myself in here too, before an epic thunder & lighting storm hit.

At least I could spend some time tidying up before the rain died down enough for me to head back to the house.

There was some good news due to one small change to my working clothes this year...

As I final got fed up with welding splatter burning through my trainers and burning my feet / toes. :rolleyes:

Anyway, enough of all that, let's get back to the build.
As always, these updates do not follow a strict time line, so some photos will over lap other work.

921 Posts
Discussion Starter #92
Micro Heater Controls:
Initially I thought about putting the new controls where the original Spitfire ones lived...

But clearly this looked terrible, so Plan B was to make a new panel for them like so...

This was a much better idea, so I will now just seal off the original heater control "hole" with some metal like this.

Other beer brands are available.


Then I added some "tabs" to my original cardboard template for the panel.

When my friend lent me his welder, he also donated a sheet of steel to the project.
So rather than recycle some of the Spitfire, I had some nice clean metal to play with for a change.

After the initial round of hammering it was taking shape nicely.

After the final bit of hammering and welding it was complete.

I then marked up where I needed to drill the holes for the control dials.

This is the first time I've used one of my new step drill bits, what a great piece of kit.

The dials themselves have two small locating lugs at the back.

After making sure the dials were facing the correct way, I marked & drilled the holes required for them next to the main holes.

This allows the dials to sit flush against the panel when fitted.

I also cut out and cleaned up some metal from my recycling pile to blank off the old heater controls "hole".

This left the centre dash board section looking like this.

Whilst I really like this "metal" finish, the car will not have a roof, so I need to protect the metal & will paint it black.

Also I am still quite pleased that I am now capable of making something like this in the first place.

921 Posts
Discussion Starter #93
Panel for heater vent - Passenger side - Part 1:
After a bit of trial & error, I found a good place for the passenger side heater vent to go.

This vent position gives enough clearance above the heater for the ducting running behind it.

The panel itself will also help to cross brace the metal dash.

In the end I decided that the panel design on the right would look better.

In order to make the circle on the cardboard I had simply drawn around a roll of tape.
( As I'd forgotten to borrow a drawing compass from the children before they went to school. )

However, for the metal panel itself, I wanted a slightly bigger circle.
So in my best Goldilocks tradition, the tape was too small, the bowl was too big, but the cutting disc lid was just right.


I also decided to use another part of my fresh steel sheet for this panel.

Note: I still need to tidy up the edges a bit.

I then hammered the bottom edge to match the angle of the bulkhead where it will be mounted.

Thankfully I have learnt that it is always worth double checking metal rather than relying on a cardboard template.
Sure enough, the line I'd marked for the top bend now appears to be in the wrong place. :rolleyes:

I decided to wait until I'd double checked the dash position before bending the top of the panel to fit.

In the meantime, my attempt to drill a hole was an epic fail as my new cutter simply tried to rub its way through.

Clearly the supplier's definition of thin steel differs from mine. :angryfire:

So I simply cut the circle out with my jigsaw, this gave me a slightly rougher hole, but I could file it smooth.

To be continued...

921 Posts
Discussion Starter #94
Panel for heater vent - Passenger side - Part 2:
I also needed to file the inside of the "official" vent mount, which I intend to use as a big locking washer.
It only needed a bit of work on the inside edge to go from this...

To this...

Then I filed away the inside edges of the vent panel until the vent fitted neatly there too.

Then I gave all the edges of the panel a quick clean / tidy up / final shaping.

Notice I needed to file a "V" at the top to match a locating lug on the vent itself.

This is the view of the panel from the front, which I think looks pretty good. :cool:

Eventually I was able to mark up and bent the panel to the correct angle to sit underneath the front of the dash.

Then I cleaned up the metal on the panel and the bulkhead and drilled a few holes before welding the panel into position.

As the panel lines up with the edge of the dash, it is effective "invisible" when viewed from the front.
( Even though this repaired area will be covered by the wooden dash, I will put some filler over the top to tidy it up a bit first. )


921 Posts
Discussion Starter #95
Panel for heater vent - Driver's side:
Whilst there was a simple/obvious place to fit the passenger side vent panel, the driver's side was a bit of a pain.

Initially I tried a couple of positions that were similar to the passenger side.

But these were creating fouling problems for all the other "stuff" that has to be fitted in this area.

Eventually I came up with this design:

This effectively mounts the vent panel on two sections of the bulkhead and ignores the metal dash area all together.

Then I just had to make the panel in metal.

Unfortunately, this panel continued to cause me problems when it came time to weld it in place.

It started off well enough when I put a few "pubble" welds on, just to hold the bottom section in place.

However, it then became clear that the bend in the top did not lie up properly with the curves of the bulkhead.

So I had to start at one end, weld a bit, hammer a bit, weld a bit, etc. until I had I a good enough fit and it was all done.

The edge of this panel does stick out a little bit under the dash when viewed from the front...

But as it will be painted black, it should not be easy to spot when finished.

This should be a great position for the heater vent to keep my feet warm on a cold day. :cool:

921 Posts
Discussion Starter #96
Supporting the metal dash structure:
The panel I made for the heater controls will only fit if this bracket below the centre section of the dash is moved out of the way.

So I just used two clamps to slowly bend the bracket back thru 90 degrees.

So now the view from the front of the dash looks like this.

And the view from below looks like this.

The panel for the heater controls will simply be bolted to this flat section to hold it in place.

But before I could add any weight to this panel, I wanted to cross brace it into position.

I made three metal brackets to do this, two of which were very similar.

These link the panel to the original heater switch mounting points.

The final bracket ties the driver's side to the steering column supports.

This started off as another off cut from my recycling pile.

Thankfully the width of the bracket was the same size as this box section off cut.

So I could hammer the bracket's edges around the box section to create a better fit.

This joined the other bracket on the driver's side to the steering column support.

These brackets, all the other repair work (see post below) & the passenger vent panel have made the metal dash feel very solid. :cool:

921 Posts
Discussion Starter #97
More Bulkhead Repair Work:
As I've said before, there was so much work to do on this bulkhead, that I needed to tackle it one job at a time.
So the following repairs were always on my "To Do" list, which is why most are still in the original red colour.

I cut out a repair panel for the left hand side of the dash board from my recycling pile.
( Although it will be welded in behind the existing dash metal work. )

I just need to tidy up this mess first, including the return lip of one of the holes.

After cleaning it all up & adding a few extra holes for "puddle" welding, it was simply a case of clamping & welding a bit.
Then I just needed to move the clamps & weld another bit & repeat until done.

By now, I also knew where the micro heater & its pipe work was going to be fitted (see following post).
So I could seal up the holes in the bulkhead where the original heater pipes went.

I also wanted to remove the flex in the metal dash caused by the original de-mister vent holes.

This area will be covered by the fibre glass body shell, so I could simply weld patches over the top.

As mentioned in the last post, I am very pleased with the way all this work has stiffened the whole dash area.

921 Posts
Discussion Starter #98
Micro Heater Mock Up:
I drilled new holes in the bulkhead for both the micro heater and the bulkhead hose connectors.
( These connectors also step the hose sizes down from the larger bore from engine to the smaller bore for the heater. )

I had to enlarge the holes in the heater mount slightly to take the mounting bolts supplied.
( In the photo, the right hole has been done, but the left hole is next. )

This is how the heater and connectors look on the cockpit side of the bulkhead.

And this is what the connectors look like on the engine bay side of the bulkhead.

With the heater and bulkhead connecting pipes bolted into place, I cut two lengths of hose to join them together.
( This needed a bit of fine tuning so the hoses were at just the right length to avoid any kinks in the curves. )

I then spend ages double checking the ducting routes and lengths required before finally cutting & joining them to this "Y" piece.

And this is the final duct routing from heater to vents.

And is the view from the front showing plenty of room for the dash board instruments.

Top Tip
If you are going to any mock up work using your brand new micro heater, don't forgot to tape it to the bulkhead.
That way it wont drop on the ground and get a dent in it! :rolleyes:

Despite the small dent, I am very happy with the way I've managed to fit all this new kit into the bulkhead. :cool:

It has also been a lot easier to do this work with the bulkhead as a stand alone unit that I can rotate with relative ease.

921 Posts
Discussion Starter #99
More Recycling:
I saw this section of old Spitfire in my scrap pile and though I could use the "nuts" to mount the new heater control panel.

So I cut it out and drilled out the four spot welds that held it the main panel.

This will now line up with the lip in the dash.

However, to avoid having too many holes close together, I needed to bring the nuts nearer to each other.

So I just cleaned this up, marked it, cut it & welded it back together.

This is what the bracket looks when held in position.

I then drilled two new holes in this section of the metal dash.

However, there is a small "step" in this area after I bent the original bracket back thru 90 degrees.

So for now I made a quick fix by clamping and angle grinding some washers.

The trimmed washers could then be slotted into place here.

And the plate with the nuts could be held like so.

There is still a bit of fine tuning to do here, but you get the general idea & I might weld the whole thing in place.
However, I can't put the corresponding holes in the new heater control panel until I have the wooden dash fitted.
( That way I can be sure that everything will line up properly. )

921 Posts
Discussion Starter #100
Gearbox Tunnel Cover:
The box section 'brace' I welded to the back of the bulkhead is actually in the way of the gearbox tunnel cover.
And I need this cover to sit flush so I can see what repair work is required on the inside edges of the bulkhead.

So I cut & welded three sections of box section like so.

I then welded this to the existing cross brace.

With allowed me to cut out the middle section.

Which in turn allowed the gearbox cover to sit nicely against the bulkhead.

Now I can make a list of repairs which will include things like this.
( I just held a bit of wood behind the holes to make it easier to see in the photo. )

I am also considering buying a new tunnel cover, as the one that came with my donor car was not in great condition.
There is a plastic cover available that comes in black, which would also save me the hassle of painting this white one.
I guess there comes a point when I need to pick my battles if I am ever going to get this project finished.

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Battery Box:
Unfortunately this is another one of those things where I am actively making more work for myself.
I don't mind buying something new to save me some time, but I can't ignore a previous "bodge" and hope for the best.

There has been a half hearted attempt to repair the battery box by simply welding something over the top.
( You can see the new metal through this hole in the original battery box. )

Also the engine bay edge of the box looked very "bumpy" on the inside.

Now I have already seen several repair panels simply welded over rust on this bulkhead.
I've also spent a long time removing and repairing / treating every bit of rust I've found so far.
Which meant that if I was going to do this job properly, I had no choice...

Whilst I know this will be a pretty big job to sort out, I'm pleased that I cut it all out.
Because, sure enough, there was a rusty mess beneath the bumpy surface where the repair was joined.

So now I have a gaping hole in the bulkhead where the battery box used to be.
( There is some white plastic in the bulkhead to make the hole easier to see. )

I will take my time making a cardboard template and then build the new box in metal.
However, I did spot something in my recycling pile that might come in handy. ;)

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Well that brings me up to date, and also reminds me not to leave a big time gap between posts!

Until next time, take care, Paul.
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