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The “Real” Model - Part 9: September  2004 (Page 1 of 2)

The first task this month was to take apart the passenger side door and repair that. The quarterlight window on this door had corroded badly and so the rubber insert had fused itself to both the metal and the glass. As I tried to free it, twice, I accidentally stabbed myself in the hand to have sudden puddles of blood dripping everywhere.  My hand now repaired with several plasters I took the remnants of the quarterlight window over to my dad, along with the quarterlight window from the door I bought off Jack Hemming last month. As my dad made such a superb job of the driver’s side quarterlight window, I hoped he could fix the passenger side to.  Entering my dad’s shed he pondered the bits and I explained that my hands were now full of holes, as a result of stabbing them whilst trying to separate the rubber from the glass etc. I said, “Can we just get the blow touch and burn it out?”. My dad loving a good challenge, picks up a small flat bladed chisel.  I said, “Dad, I’ve tried that, that’s why I have a hand bandaged up like the mummy”. Raising one eyebrow as a sign of empathy he starts digging into the rubber around the glass. I said, “watch your hand”, but then within a couple of seconds the rubber easily separated from the metal and with a beaming smile he said, “There you go”.  I looked in disbelief, why is it dads can always do that? 

Cutting off all the bad sections from the quarterlight window and cutting good metal from another and shaping / welding it etc. my dad again soon made a new quarterlight window for me.  Still shocked his hands didn’t have holes in like mine I came back home.

I have been going around the car prodding what appears to be weak areas of fibreglass with a screwdriver and more often than not the screwdriver just sinks into the body.  One of the biggest shocks was on the passenger side, at the front, just under the windscreen.  Pushing in the screwdriver revealed a weak area just above the steel tubing inside the body.  I then dug out all the weak stuff and repaired it with P40.

There were also large areas that were just full of body filler.  A prime example of this was under the front bumper on the driver’s side. The body filler was at least 1/4 inch thick and when I pulled it all away, it revealed parts of the body that seemed OK. I then filled any damaged areas with P40 and sanded it all down flat.  In addition, I also attached a strip of fibreglass matting at the back of the body just to give it a bit of extra support incase the body filler was doing something.

The Passenger side door is now also sanded down and the metal primed ready for painting. I will be priming the body before I paint it so the metal will get a few decent coats of primer.  One thing I have never noticed with the passenger door before is that the front of the door handle had been pushed through the fibreglass.  Not the whole handle, just part of the stem behind it. So quite enjoying cutting bits out and sticking new bits in, I cut out the damaged area and fibreglassed in a new section. Many hours have been spent sanding out cracks in the gel coat and then rebuilding the areas so that its flush. again. (and crack free).

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Almost all cracks removed from the front.

Steel tubing sticking out of body - Before and after repair.

Remnants of the passenger side quarter light window.

Passenger side quarter light window repaired by my genius dad.

Layer upon layer of body filler under front driver’s side corner.

Passenger door sanded and metal primed.