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The “Real” Model - Part 11: November  2004 (Page 3 of 3)

To say rain stopped play was a bit of an understatement. During the week I discovered a product called “REFACE” that is a spray on polyester putty that has “super high build” properties.  This I thought, is the ideal thing to help flatten the sides of the car and build up the low spots. The weekend was all planned, my brother, Geoff, was coming over to help and we’d spray the car and get the body bolted down once and for all. Alas things didn’t quite go to plan. On the Friday my girlfriend phoned me at work to say that heavy rain, snow and strong winds have killed the gazebo and that its partially collapsed. Expecting the worse I got back to see a large dip in the roof and an ocean of water sitting in it. This was slowly pouring through onto the car.  Now I know that primer is pourous and the body of the car was absolutely drenched. Fixing things the best I could, the next day it continued to pour with rain.  The gazebo had now lost all its water proofing properties and water dripped straight through it onto the car. Covering the car with canvas we went off to the local DIY shop and bought new metal poles and a tarpaulin. We replaced the damaged poles of the gazebo and threw the tarpaulin over the roof to give it instant water proofing. This was tied down and finding several long wooden post, we placed a post on each side of the gazebo. With additional roof support it now seems the strongest its ever been. We just don’t want to to collapse again and soak the car right through.

The day after, the body had dried out suprisingly well and so we removed it from the chassis to fit the alternator. As we are changing the dynamo for an alternator a small chunk needed grinding out of the engine mount so that the alternator has some adjustment and sits OK.  This went well but then we realised that the fan on the alternator spins the wrong way, so we need to get another fan.  With the body off we took the opportunity to attach a battery and coil and started the engine up. It started wonderfully and so we topped up the radiator with anti-freeze (as it had none) and Geoff tweaked the carb settings a bit more as it seemed hesitant when you revved it.  It now sounds superb.

Body now back on the chassis (we are getting old hands at this now) I set about the body with a Long board sander that so many people have recommend I buy.  As I had sprayed a thin coat of gray primer over yellow primer, I was expecting to see a yellow car with a few grey low spots. What I actually got was a greay car with a few yellow high spots.  It seems that the sander just rides across the high spots and misses out pretty much most of the body.

Sanding the door I had painted blue showed why it looked so “wibbly wobbly” in the sun light.  The centre of the door was really high (as you can see in the photo) and the bottom of the door has numerous low spots.

Interestingly the rear of the body of the passenger side was one area that I never really touched. It had barely any cracks, and so after sanding out the cracks I just sanded it lightly and cleaned it down with thinners prior to priming.  After using the board sander on it, high spots of blue started to appear. This means that even when the car was new, the body was far from perfect!

With the outside temperature being 4 degrees celcius, I could not spray the body for two reasons.  1) It was probably still damp from the soaking the day before and 2) The REFACE product I have bought suggest that it be used at a minimum temperature of 15 degrees celcius. It was far to cold to do anything to the body apart from sand.

The rain was to soon return and so everything had to be pushed back undercover.  This time the rain is running straight off the gazebo, rather than through it. For the next update we need to heat up the garage so that the car can be put in there to heat up the body and give us a working temperature that we can spray the body with.

The November update has seen many, many, many hours of work on the body and yet whilst the body no longer has any scratches, holes, or scrapes in it, there is still a lot of work that needs doing before we have any hope whatsover of painting.

Elvis Payne,

November 2004

Go to Part 12 December

Geoff attacking the engine mounting to make room for an alternator.

Home Sweet Home, gazebo repaired (again) and now super reinforced!!

It’s me discovering just how many”high and low spots” that there on on the body.

Now you can see why the painted door looked bad, the grey areas are high spots.

Yellow high spots across the front.

The body probably never was perfect as an area that I didn’t sand previously shows blue high spots from the original finish.