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Sorry Jeff, I did not realise that the dash on these cars was wrapped in vinyl. Most of the TD's were made for the USA market. There are not so many of them over here. I am not a stickler for originality, it's just a personal preference. Mike

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1 minute ago, Mike Macartney said:

Sorry Jeff, I did not realise that the dash on these cars was wrapped in vinyl. Most of the TD's were made for the USA market. There are not so many of them over here. I am not a stickler for originality, it's just a personal preference. Mike

 

Certainly not an issue Mike, all opinions are valued.  If the burl turns out to be too busy I can always make another wrapped in vinyl.  I think even if I were keeping this car I'd probably go with the burl.  When I think of an English car I'm thinking more of the Jaguar that my Dad had and, of course, it had burl everywhere. 

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Jeff, you are a bit ahead of me, and may be able to help. I am new to painting wooden framed cars.

 

It looks like some of the wood frame is exposed and visible? I was wondering how you prepped the timber before applying the primer. The body that I am re-wooding at the moment has the wooden door pillars visible when finished. Originally they were hand painted in the top-coat colour. As it is raw wood, I'm thinking I need to seal it before the primer goes on. I have some water based primer/sealer ready to go on, but am a bit concerned that the grey etch primer may not get along with the water based sealer.  Any thoughts on this? I will be painting it in what we call Acrylic Laquer over here.

 

Very nice job, by the way. But that was to be expected, after observing your mechanical work.

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6 hours ago, Bush Mechanic said:

Jeff, you are a bit ahead of me, and may be able to help. I am new to painting wooden framed cars.

 

It looks like some of the wood frame is exposed and visible? I was wondering how you prepped the timber before applying the primer. The body that I am re-wooding at the moment has the wooden door pillars visible when finished. Originally they were hand painted in the top-coat colour. As it is raw wood, I'm thinking I need to seal it before the primer goes on. I have some water based primer/sealer ready to go on, but am a bit concerned that the grey etch primer may not get along with the water based sealer.  Any thoughts on this? I will be painting it in what we call Acrylic Laquer over here.

 

Very nice job, by the way. But that was to be expected, after observing your mechanical work.

 

Thanks!  You are correct that parts of the MG TD are either made from wood or have a partial wood frame.   I think originally nothing was done to the wood and it got primer/topcoat if and when the primer/topcoat was sprayed in that area.  I believe as a results of this the wood suffered greatly causing rot for it and rust on the sheet metal that wrapped it.

 

In response to that, and being a wood worker myself, I worked with the wood the same way I would for an exterior wood project.  After assembly with a waterproof glue, I brushed on a water base sealer (MinWax has one I'm fond of).  From that point forward there was little difference between the wood and metal... each and every piece got 3 full coats of epoxy primer.  Yes.. that's overkill but wasn't that much more work.  Wood pieces then were attached to their metal pieces and the assembly, bodywork and painting of the car continued.  As such, the very least covering any piece of wood will have will be; water based sealer, 3 coats of epoxy primer and then a final coat of epoxy primer.  The epoxy primer I'm using has UV protectants and can be used as a final covering (like a single stage or clear coat). 

 

As per what wood is actually exposed, there is a panel on the back behind the gas tank along with the floorboards.  Those are marine grade plywood with sealer and epoxy primer.  The panel on the back also got base and clear.

 

For your project I would recommend also using SPI's Epoxy Primer over both the wood and metal.  This should go on after the water base grain sealer and before any other primer or fillers.  Once primers/fillers are applied and bodywork complete, then one wet coat of the epoxy primer should be applied again before proceeding with paint.  The epoxy primer forms a very effective sealer and eliminates the possibility of compatibility issues.   Here is their website https://www.southernpolyurethanes.com

I do believe their products are available in Australia but if not they will be able to recommend a similar epoxy primer.  A big advantage of working with SPI is their tech support.  In addition to their normal support line you get the owner's cell phone number and can call with questions at any time.  I will not admit to the number of times I've called Barry so far... but let's just say I felt the need to send him a few gift cards. :)

 

 

Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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Excellent! Thank you Jeff, for that in depth reply. You have put my mind at rest. I am not familiar with SPI products, but I'm very happy with the Wattyl epoxy primer that I have used on several cars in the past. No doubt a similar product. I will go with a sanding sealer first on the door shut faces. (It's a tourer body, and no doubt will be subjected to rain at times). Then carry on as for the sheet-metal. As you mentioned, the complete wood structure will get the sealer/primer before the sheet-metal goes on.

 

It's interesting that you mention glue. So many people have told me that glue is not used in car bodies, in order to allow for flexing. But as I dismantled the remains of this body, I found that the builder, Vandenplas in Belgium, had glued almost every (and possibly every) joint. And many of them were still holding fast, after 97 years. A mixture of nails, screws and dowels were added, as the joint dictated. So I have rebuilt it in the same manner, as faithful to the original structure as I can make it. Possibly the 'no glue' dictum applied to closed car bodies, which have different twisting stresses to those of tourers. 

Thanks again,  Mick.

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Mick,

 

Yes, I too have read about the no glue dictum.  I haven't done that much research but I do know that the glues I use are flexible to an extent.  I can tell that the MG was glued and I do believe that they intended for the wood to allow the flexing, NOT the joint.   I do believe that rebuilding a wood frame using today's woodworking technique and materials will provide a frame equal to or superior to original. 

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Last time I used the paint booth which was essentially the first time I used the paint booth, I ran into a bit of a problem in that while most of the air exited out under the garage door and significant amount turned the corner, went back through the shop and then again out the fan. The white air filters I started with ended up becoming green. :)  I had always planned on fixing some sort of connection between the two walls and the garage door but at the time I couldn't really see a good solution.  This time around I added to extension "wings" to the last wall panel on each side along with an addition stub wall coming down from the ceiling and intercepting (nearly) the top of the garage door.  This effectively seals the gap.  I ran the fan for the first time this afternoon and was very pleased with the results.  The two "wings" automagically deploy when the fan comes on.   While certainly not really intended or needed... it is one less thing I have to do.  There is now enough positive pressure in the room that the door also stays shut by itself, indeed, it is somewhat difficult to open when the fan is on.   I'll need to get a bigger pulley for the drive on the fan to get it slowed down a bit.  Still too much air moving through.  Obviously that's the problem you want to have as it is certainly easier to get less than it is to get more.

 

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Got the scuttle reshot and the doors finished.  Still need to wet sand, cut and buff the doors.  After that I will most likely start on the dash. Once that is complete I should be able to get the car properly assembled sans hood and fenders.   Once complete I can drive it out and park it in the main garage and then have the whole shop area to do the fenders, hood, gas tanks and misc.   I will likely be wet sanding the tub again as I realized that my glasses were not quite strong enough and I missed some textured areas along with some scratches.  My normal reading glasses are 1.75 and my shop "detail" reading glasses are 2.25.  That's just not enough anymore.  I just picked up a pair that are 3.25 and suddenly I can see everything.  Better to find that out now than later.  In the picture below my phone has turned it a little blue.  Fortunately that is not what it looks like in person. 

 

owoQIAw.jpg

 

 

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And I thought I was having a hard time seeing.  My readers are 2.25 too.  As I was told by an older gentlemen "getting old is not for sissy's".  The car is looking great!  Can't wait to see it finished.  It's been 102 here lately and holding. I'm wanting to have some cooler weather soon.  Getting a little tired of roasting everyday since May.

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Looking great!

 

4 hours ago, Luv2Wrench said:

. . . Once that is complete I should be able to get the car properly assembled sans hood and fenders.   Once complete I can drive it out and park it in the main garage and then have the whole shop area to do the fenders, hood, gas tanks and misc. . .

As it is a British car, I just had to do this partial translation:

 

“. . . Once that is complete I should be able to get the car properly assembled sans bonnet and wings.   Once complete I can drive it out and park it in the main garage and then have the whole shop area to do the bonnet, wings, petrol tanks and misc. . .”

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@ply33 thanks for the translation :)   Wing is certainly more representative for what is on the front of the MG.

 

Driver's door is done.  I'm happy with how it looks and I think it is probably as close to perfect as I can get for now.   It still isn't a perfect mirror finish as there are some distortions from what looks like a low frequency wave more than orange peel.   I think it is possible this is in the base as I'm certain the clear was sanded dead flat.   The base looked great when I put it on and I don't think I could shoot it any flatter but maybe these stronger glasses will reveal more as I move on to the wings and bonnet.  

 

87IE0Fw.jpg

 

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Passenger's door was going absolutely perfect right up to the point where it became a disaster.  It seems that I just didn't get enough base on the bottom edge.  I was having some trouble getting down there to shoot and I just flat out missed a spot.  I tried to blend some base in but it wrinkled.  A trick is to shoot some clear over the area and try the base again but it still wrinkled.  Unfortunately this door will need to be sanded back down, shot in epoxy sealer, base and the clear.  It is unfortunate but that's the reality of learning on the job and having zero tolerance for mistakes.  I will continue forward with the dash, wiring harness and engine connections so I can get it fired up again and test the clutch fix.  Once I've confirmed that is working correctly then it will be floorboards and the remaining interior work.  I'll work on the door when I get around to sealer/base/clear for the fenders.

 

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Veneer work went a lot smoother.  They say the these burls really come alive once they are finished.  If that's the case then the burl I have is going to be something special because it looks good raw.

One cool aspect of how the MG TD dash is put together is that they have a chrome band that goes all the way around including around the glove box opening and door.  It is a bit pricey at $300 but it looks good.  In the last picture you can see two pieces that I have test fit.  The center section is a spare and the original one I sent off to have chromed.

 

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Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

I've gotten a lot of work in over the last week.  There's not really that much to show for it other than a few pieces starting to show up.  The wire harness is in and one (small) part is connected to components.  The bulk of the wiring fun is the instrument panel as the harness is hard wired into each component.    There's not a lot of room where the work needs to be done and it is an awkward position (at best).   Most of the last few days has been wandering around the shop trying to remember what is where, what goes where, etc. etc.  Unfortunately just about every time I go to put a component on I find that the nuts/bolts need to be plated.  The plating system has been running on overdrive the last few days.

 

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Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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Things have been moving right along at a nice pace.  I cutout the new floorboards and before I could mount them I needed to decide what I was doing for seat belts.  I decided to follow the The Complete MG TD Restoration Manual by Horst Schach and implement his lap belt technique.  The two outer mounting points are not a problem because the frame is right there where you need it.  The two center mounting points are a problem because while there is a bracket that comes up from the floor, it is very narrow as it just supports two steel bars that make up the edges for the floorboards and tunnel.  Horst's method is to make to brackets that extend up from those brackets vertically and then mount the seat belts on a bolt perpendicular to that (horizontal) that goes through the side of the tunnel.  There's a couple of things I didn't like about that but reasoned the while it would fail, the forces it would fail at would most likely exceed forces that would be fatal to the occupants for a variety of other reasons.   I spent about 4 hours fabricating and welding the brackets on and then found the tunnel wouldn't fit, the edge bars didn't line up, etc, etc.  I'm not sure if the car he worked on was different or if he was just OK with the lack of fitment... but I didn't like it so out came the grinder and off went the brackets.   While removing them it was a great chance to check out the penetration of the weld.  This is the first time I've welded 1/4" to 1/4" with gas.  I'm using a #4 tip at 7 psi on both oxygen and acetylene and I'll tell ya, for me... that's a vicious flame.  It does take a bit of getting used to.   If I needed a reason to get a nice TIG setup, the shear fear of using that setup is it.  It isn't just the heat, it is the area that is affected by the heat.  "Not localized" is an understatement. 

Anyway... the seat belt kit from Moss is a little different now then when Horst wrote his book and he might have done it differently had he started with the new kit.  Basically you're talking about 2 7/16" Grade 8 eye bolts that are to be mounted through the floor into the chassis and the seat belt ends clips to that.  Given that style...  the better approach was to just remove the horizontal parts of the center brackets and weld in some bigger ones that would 1) easily take a 7/16" eye bolt and 2) box the sides so that forces pulling the eye bolt could be resisted in all four directions.  So I did that.

 

Mock-up with cardboard, note bracket top on left cut off.

 

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Before bending - center hole for eye bolt

 

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Bent and ready to install.  Note small size of what was on the center bracket.

 

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Welded in.  Even in the tight quarters I was able to get good fusion on both sides and the top.  Certainly not a line of nickels but very good penetration.  I'll clean it up some tomorrow and shoot some epoxy primer over it.

 

d9J1Mnk.jpg

 

 

Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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Long day in the shop... with the wider bracket tops the rails that parallel the tunnel needed to be modified to sit on top.   The rails are basically angle iron and the vertical side faces out so it intersects with the wider top.  I cut on each side of where it would sit on the wider mounts.  I bent that up flat, then bent it back down to expand out the area to about 1.5" wide.  Obviously the structural integrity of the rail was ruined at that point.  I welded pieces at each end to tie the rail back together, essentially creating a little box out to go over the wider mounts.  

 

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At this point I then needed to drill and tap the new mounts such that the rails/floor could be attached.   A bigger hole was also required both in the rails and the tunnel cover to clear the seat belt eye bolt and this hole needed to be transferred to the new floorboards.   I went ahead and put a 1" hole in the floorboards and I'll make a spacer out of something like 4140 so that the eye bolt can sit on that and be proud of the plywood floorboards and just poke up through the carpet.  I'll save that until I get the carpet in so I'll know just what the height should be.   I'm super happy with how it all turned out though it took an enormous amount of time.   It isn't really done either... I need to take the floorboards out and spray a good bit of epoxy primer, both to cover the new fabrication and heat damage to adjacent parts. 

 

PyOX8rZ.jpg

 

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6 hours ago, Mike Macartney said:

Just a short question Jeff. In the USA, do you have to have seat belts fitted to cars that did not originally have them fitted? Mike

 

I believe the general answer is no, though it is possible that is also regulated at a state level and there could be states that require it.   Given the size of this car, the "openness", suicide doors, drums brakes, etc, etc, I felt some lap belts were just a good idea.   I can certainly imagine some general and frequently occurring traffic events where they would provide considerable safety.  I can imagine some where it would do no good.  A more overwhelming contributor to the decision is that with almost all states requiring seat belt wear, most people do wear seat belts and there is a strange feeling of NOT wearing one.  

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9 hours ago, Mike Macartney said:

Just a short question Jeff. In the USA, do you have to have seat belts fitted to cars that did not originally have them fitted? Mike

In California most equipment laws are written to specify vehicles made on or after. So no seat belts required on cars originally built and sold without them.

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I have, always been against the thought of fitting seat belts in our 1934 Singer Le Mans. Mainly due to heavy front end impacts pushing the steering back into the drivers chest. Possibly, my thinking is an age thing, because I started driving before seat belts became mandatory?

 

I must admit that I have sat on my vintage motorcycles, ready to go for a ride, and looked for the seat belt!

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1 hour ago, Mike Macartney said:

I have, always been against the thought of fitting seat belts in our 1934 Singer Le Mans. Mainly due to heavy front end impacts pushing the steering back into the drivers chest. Possibly, my thinking is an age thing, because I started driving before seat belts became mandatory?

 

I must admit that I have sat on my vintage motorcycles, ready to go for a ride, and looked for the seat belt!

 

Absolutely agree Mike.   The added seat belts will likely do little other than to make someone familiar with that "feel" be more comfortable.  I can imagine accidents around town where they would be a help but at any real speed they're not going to do much more than keep you body close to the scene. 

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Still working hard, just not a lot of photo worthy updates.  The new floorboards are fitted and I've added some heat shield to the bottom of the passenger's side, drive shaft tunnel and the transmission cover.  This should help keep some of the heat out.  The exhaust runs really, really close to the floorboards and tunnel.  I'm working on the rear shelf right now.  Given the unbelievable gorgeous weather we have in store for today and tomorrow... I shall be utilizing the external paint booth to try and get primer shot on all of the remaining body panels.

 

fAo3sLL.jpg

 

 

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Still making good progress but it has been a battle... I forgot about the all the holes the previous owner (or someone) added.  I've posted about this before and I still don't have a very good explanation but the car is riddled with holes, from 1/4" to 7/16".  They are all perfectly formed and usually very evenly spaced wherever they appear.   I think I filled more than 30 on the firewall alone.  I had sorta forgotten about these so when I got the fenders out to do a little repair welding on them I was disappointed to see a series of 8 holes at the front of each front fender.   If you didn't know better you'd think it was factory made.  Anyway, I've gotten pretty good at filling the holes in the sheet metal using just filler rod.  Even still it does take some time.   The real time sink was the spare tire carrier.  This was filled with 9 holes 7/16" in diameter and 3 at 5/16" all in 1/4" thick steel plate.  This was too much for just filler so I turned some 1/2" rod down to size and cut off some plugs.   Pretty simple procedure, metal bar behind to hold the plug in place and weld it in.   It certainly creates an impressive weld pool though you have to be careful because it can start to move pretty quick and "escape" out and then you're just messing up the plate.   After it is filled in and while still very hot,  I would reposition on the table such that I could smack it pretty hard with a ball peen hammer.  The idea here being to create a little stretch to minimize distortion as it cooled.   I don't know if it really did that much but I didn't have any distortions so maybe that worked.  I ground it flat afterwards and it is another task in the books.

 

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Picked up the chrome today and I honestly can't say I'm that pleased.  I guess it is good, maybe very good, but it isn't what I expected.  There are tiny little bubbles in places.  Yes they are very small and yes they are minimal and spread around but I've been plating zinc on bolts and other things and don't have those issues if my solution is clean.  When I see those issues I either toss the bath or filter it and run a long plate on a bar to clean the solution up.

More concerning was a bad weld job on top of the radiator shell where they said there was a split... one that I don't remember and I looked very, very closely at everything.  I myself welded up all issues on the bumpers and risers because, frankly, I only trusted myself.  Looks like I wasn't being paranoid at all.  They are redoing the shell.  When I got the back home and went through everything else I also found "shadow" areas on the two windshield supports.  These are areas that are difficult to plate and/or burn and there are marks on both of the supports.  100% not acceptable.  Those will be going back as well.   What disappoints me the most is that they *absolutely* knew there were issues in these areas but hoped that I would either not notice or just accept them.   I'll stay off my "what has the world come to" soapbox for now...  but I paid $700 ALONE for the plating on the radiator shell and to have a weld pit ON TOP like a zit on a teenagers nose during a first date.... I just find it incredible that they'd hope to just get away with that.  Shameful. 

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Sorry to hear the chrome came out sub-par.  Don't you wish you could do it all so you wouldn't have to depend on other people.  Seems like "good enough" is the new standard now a days.  Sad situation.  It takes the same amount of time to do a job right as it does to do it bad.  Hope you can get it all worked out.

 

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10 minutes ago, Laughing Coyote said:

Sorry to hear the chrome came out sub-par.  Don't you wish you could do it all so you wouldn't have to depend on other people.  Seems like "good enough" is the new standard now a days.  Sad situation.  It takes the same amount of time to do a job right as it does to do it bad.  Hope you can get it all worked out.

 

The whole way home I thought about how far $5,000 would have gotten me towards setting up chrome capability....  I think I'll just stick to brass era cars.

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I don't think I'll ever try to do a car with chrome trim...I have thought about doing nickel plating and at some point I will experiment with "close plating". I'd really like to be able to do that but since it's virtually a lost art I can't be tempted to have it done.

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Finished up a bunch of welding on fenders and hood.   Nothing major, just some splits where the design had right angles and stress points.  I added some weld on the back of those as well as added a bit of a bead to the edge with more of a curve than a 90 degree cutout.  I think it should help and doubt it will have issues in the future.   The bottom panels on the hood had more holes in them... I don't think it was another case of the mysterious holes but probably the previous owner mounting badges of some sorts next to the handles.   I cleaned up some dents and have all the sheet metal solid and reasonably flat.  I've used the shrinking disc again a few times and it really seems to work magic.  All in all quite a bit of work with very little fuss and heartache... almost like I know what I'm doing. :)  With any luck I'll be able to get the epoxy primer and 3 good coats of 2K primer shot by start of next week.  Mother Nature is certainly doing her part to help out and it is very much appreciated.

 

I might have mentioned that I have multiple tiny holes in the gas tank though it is in otherwise wonderful condition.  I made the very, very good decision to take it to Sims Radiator here in wonderful Lawrenceville Georgia.  Sims has been in business for over 70 years and still does the old school work on radiators and gas tanks.   I was impressed with the shop and thrilled to see it manned by a youngish group of skilled craftsman.  Wonderful sight to see... old school shop, gas welding/soldering/etc with a young group of very clearly skilled guys getting the job done.  I could have stayed for hours watching them work.  They really knew what they were doing.  They tanked they tank, evaluated the issues, soldered the holes and sealed the inside all for $150.  They did a great job for a great price.  When I get ready to get the Metz going I will certainly have them go over its radiator.   Since they turned it around in two days I will be able to get it shot in epoxy primer and 2K this weekend as well. 

Edited by Luv2Wrench (see edit history)
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Got to love the platers. It seems the majority of them will send you back stuff that’s marginal and see if you’ll accept it especially if it’s your first time having something plated with them. I sent back my radiator shroud also as the neck was yellowish because the anode used wasn’t heavy enough so they had to get a larger diameter one for the second attempt. My dash was originally done completely wrong and the plater couldn’t understand at first why I was so picky with a 32’ Olds and that plater is known for being one of the best in the country! Then the price of chrome. Over half the cost of the TOTAL restoration expense was for the chrome work alone on my Olds and then having to send some pieces back? To me, unacceptable. The guys restoring model T’s have the right idea, basic black, and only a tad of nickel.

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So remember the glowing review of the tank repair shop?  Yeah, forget that.  They obviously never even tested it.  I finished prepping it for primer this evening and found more holes, fairly large ones.  I hope they plan on redoing the entire process because now that they've "sealed" the inside, soldering on the outside is going to ruin that seal... so it should be back in the tank, solder, TEST and seal.  Very frustrating.  They didn't even need to pressure test it, just fill it with water and it would have come out. 

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I see that you are local to me, this means I have an improved chance to see the car.  Your work looks great.  I wouldn't have thought Johns Creek would have a neighborhood suitable for your hobby, Brookhaven isn't easy.

 

Who did you use for plating?  I've not had any good luck with the local shops except the for the bumpers and bumpers only on the south side of town.  I've had a great deal of success with R&D up in the northeast corner of TN.  I drove my parts up to see the shop then had them shipped back as the shipping was cheaper than the TN tax.  They were referred to me by a particular restorer and they sure lived up to their reputation.  

 

Sorry to hear about Sims, I've used them for my radiators and was hoping to use them for my gas tank as well.  Now you have me feeling a little tentative.

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4 hours ago, kgreen said:

I see that you are local to me, this means I have an improved chance to see the car.  Your work looks great.  I wouldn't have thought Johns Creek would have a neighborhood suitable for your hobby, Brookhaven isn't easy.

 

Who did you use for plating?  I've not had any good luck with the local shops except the for the bumpers and bumpers only on the south side of town.  I've had a great deal of success with R&D up in the northeast corner of TN.  I drove my parts up to see the shop then had them shipped back as the shipping was cheaper than the TN tax.  They were referred to me by a particular restorer and they sure lived up to their reputation.  

 

Sorry to hear about Sims, I've used them for my radiators and was hoping to use them for my gas tank as well.  Now you have me feeling a little tentative.

 

Johns Creek isn't the place you'd think would work well but I'm in an older neighborhood with 2 acre minimum lots, so we're spread out a bit.   I can imagine Brookhaven isn't easy. 

I used Dallas Plating out in Dallas Georgia.  I'd heard good things about them but it didn't work for me.

I would still use Sims but I would have some written instructions for them.   A checklist of sorts.  I think the kid that did my tank saw the obvious holes, filled them, sealed the tank and he was done.   They should be set up for pressure testing and I'd make sure they did that before I took the radiator/tank back.   With Sims I think it was unclear directions and I would work with them again.  With Dallas plating I think it is simply the case of them having a 5 month backlog and the one key guy that does most of the work and he's blind as a bat.  They appear to store that backlog outside in the gravel parking lot and I'm sure my radiator shell was damaged after I gave it to them. I would not use them again under any circumstances. 

 

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Productive few days.  Got everything welded up, sanded and ready for epoxy primer.  Managed to get epoxy primer on Saturday.  Started in the external paint booth but had to move inside due to scheduling changes by Mother Nature (rain).  Fortunately I was able to get two coats on the hanging items and only had to finish up the fenders and such inside.   I took it easy this morning and early afternoon waiting for an "opening" in the external paint booth.  Late in the afternoon I got that and managed to get two coats of 2K primer shot before the lights went out.   I reserved a slot tomorrow afternoon to shoot another 2 coats on the fenders and hood.  I think that'll get me in good position to start filler and block sanding next week.  With some luck I might be able to start color the week of the 16th which would really be nice. 

 

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