In article <3C6686DC.9CF0CA09@sympatico.ca>, Livia I. Haasper
>We'll try to answer your questions as best as we can from here.
>After reading this thread, we have a better idea of the condition of
>They most important, and most costly repairs, are already done.
I am very relieved to hear you say that. This was my intention - get
the important stuff done first. The rest can wait until I have the
time and money to get to it.
>Since most of the rust occurs beneath the windscreen seal, it would be
>necessary to remove the wind screen for repairs.
Interesting. The windscreen was replaced last summer, and I took the
opportunity to examine the area under the seal. At the time (and
bearing in mind my total lack of expertise in this field), that part of
the frame looked perfect to me. The rust is only visible on the flat
metal flanges that stick out from the pillars.
> This way you'll be
>able to assess the damage and work on the problem.
I appreciate the advice. I suppose I knew in my heart of hearts that
the only effective way to check for rust is to completely strip the
suspect area back to bare metal. :-(
> Rust removal can be
>done by sand blasting or, as mentioned earlier by other listers, with
>rust converter. If there is rust perforation, we would advise, to
>remove the whole windscreen frame and have metal welded into the area.
>You can do the finishing yourself.
<gulp> OK. I hadn't really psyched myself up for that amount of
>Any rust perforation should be repaired by welding metal sections into
>the panel, or replacement of the panel, if the rust is too much
>advanced. Any covering fix- up with aluminum tape or fiber glass, is
>only a compromise and not recommended.
>It will make repairs in the future more difficult.
I think I see. What you're saying is that I have been deluding myself
by thinking that even the best aluminium-and-filler job is anything
other than a temporary bodge. Now that you mention it, it does make me
feel better about the poor results I have achieved with filler in the
>Replacing the wheel arches, if done properly, may be sufficient, but
>it's a time consuming procedure and therefore almost as expensive as
>replacing the whole wing
>(quarter panel). It all depends on how much rust perforation there
>really is. If most of it is surface rust, and only a few inches are
>perforated, a repair panel of a few inches would be acceptable.
As far as the wheel arches are concerned, at least the first inch or two
on either side is filler and aluminium mesh. Sounds like new wings.
>Spitfire door skins are simple panels. A panel beater should be able to
>fabricate a replacement panel for the lower section and weld the metal
>in for you. You can then do the finishing yourself.
That's an unexpected bit of good news. It even sounds relatively
>Any more questions, just fire away. We'll try to help, if we can.
Many thanks. I may well be back to you once I've had a chance to talk
to a few panel beaters. Just one thing for now - what about the
perforated/corroded leading edge of the bonnet? The rest of it is
pretty damn good, and I really don't fancy buying a new one if it can be
Michael Hargreave Mawson, author of "Eyewitness in the Crimea"
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