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New Finishing process launched

Posted by Bodyworks Robin Gell on July 24, 2017 at 8:05 AM

Becoming standard practice now is to first coat vehicles

in a marine grade polyurethane aluminium loaded epoxy

paint.  This is the ultimate in painted  corrosion and

moisture ingress protection.  It is very hard and difficult

to sand, so is overcoated with further coats of alternative

marine epoxies for surface finishing.  This can be

overcoated again with automotive 2k filler primers in

different colours so as to provide visual sanding aids for

surface perfection, or alternatively just used as a main

primer.  Top coats are also now available in marine

grade polyurethane epoxy and the finish is similar to that

of cellulose.

This is ideal for those users who wish to use their cars

all year, or do not have ideal storage conditions over


Lotus Phase Three, Substantial completion

Posted by Bodyworks Robin Gell on January 26, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Well, true to form, the car was on the spit until resprayed, which took place at the beginning of November 2011.  It was then taken off, and put back on the lift, for building up.  Currently at the time of writing, in January 2012, most of this work has been done.  Outstanding work is the bonnet, which was left until last, and needed a new front edge, inside and outside, which has now been done, and final fettling for spraying is underway. The sunroof has been dismantled and new front and rear frame sections made, ready for reassembly.  Another couple of weeks will see the job complete hopefully.

Phase two at last, with Lotus

Posted by Bodyworks Robin Gell on June 19, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Yes, at long last, with major structural welding substantially complete, it was decided that most of the rest would be better undertaken on the spit.

This means the outer / inner arch bottom joints, some floor and inner arch repair finishing which would otherwise have had to have been done upside down, and some other sundry repairs and finishing underneath, meaning quality seam welding the right way round with the car upside down!  We can't reverse gravity unfortunately, but turning the car upside down is a good alternative!  We will also be able to lead load everything necessary at good angles.

Being on the spit also means that phase two can start at the same time, and that means stripping and cleaning the bottom of old underseal, (mostly complete as this is written), inspection and treatment of any rust patches found, (plenty, but none serious), and then re-sealing with a new and better bodyshell coloured coating to replace the underseal.  This done, we will be able to progress into prepping the lower sides, and work our way up.  Currently I envisage the car to be on the spit until substantially resprayed.  Good stuff.

Welding near completion at last

Posted by Bodyworks Robin Gell on June 12, 2011 at 5:38 PM

Much has happened since the last entry and I can't quite believe how long it has been.  The rear radius arm bracket manufactured in March was installed and since then, we have progressed around the car, systematically cutting out and replacing anything with rot.  In this car, it was much.

March also saw us construct a complete new chassis leg for the front off side, which, when installed also looks like it's an original part. 

The end of the month into April saw some progress in reconstructing the rear lower quarters, cutting in, the previously made new sections, before eventual fitting back to the car.  We moved on from this however, and these were not tacked in place until the middle of June, to accomodate what was considered as more major work, which was prioritised first.

Much of April saw us cut out and reconstruct a complete new top section of inner wing for the rear off side, including the tube section connecting the inner and outer wings, for the petrol filler pipe to pass through.  This section included the new interior closure panel behind the wheel well, and required new flanges to be fitted to the arch section.  Other sundry repairs to lighten the day were the filling in of big holes cut out from rear pillars either side of the bottom of the tailgate, which had rusted out completely.

At the end of April, the engine and gearbox were lifted out, as one unit, in order that most of May would be taken up with suspension turret repairs, and footwell replacement. 

Firstly, both footwells were cut out and remade in new metal, as per the original construction.  Together with new sections of inner wing, these were rewelded into position.  Then the wing retaining flange to the top of the inner wings had to be replaced on both sides.

The inner wings over the front turrets were double skinned, and the underside skin was in holes, as could be seen underneath around the turret top.  Thus the top sections of inner wings had to be cut out and the lower skins replaced.  I have preserved the double skinning as there is just a chance that this could have been an original Lotus addition to this car, despite it not being a standard fitment.  Better safe than sorry, and the turrets are now very strong with new double skinning.

The end of May saw us try to repair the headlight box on the offside, give up and make a new one.  That was installed, and then we cut off the radius arm bracket outer ear from the near side chassis rail, as the chassis was in holes behind it.  We renewed the holed section of chassis and then reattached the bracket.  Repairing a big six inch square hole between the turret gussets just above the chassis leg, finished the month off and started into June.  Even this was not an easy repair, it needing seam welding all around, and spot welding to the chassis leg flange and turret legs.

So now we are into June, exactly six months into the work from the start.  We are going round the car mopping up the remaining welding stages which were either left unfinished due to prioritisation, or were left until later.  We have just tacked on the repaired rear arches and quarter sections, ready for final setting before seaming up and joining to the new inner arches.  All that is left to do now is to fill some more holes in the shell, replace some interior panels by spot and seam welding, and then we can lead load all the joints etc. to get a trully perfect result.

One more interesting job to do, and that is to repair the rear C pillars which have rusted out under the vent louvres, due to the big built in moisture trap,  This is being designed out of the repair, as the relevant part of the restoration page will show.

The shell can then be put on the spit and turned over sideways to clean off the underside.

Further metalwork

Posted by Bodyworks Robin Gell on March 16, 2011 at 9:53 AM

It's now the middle of March.  Unbeknown to me, more nasties were hiding waiting to be discovered.  Checking very closely, the offside rear radius arm bracket resulted in cutting out the floor inside the car over the box section chassis member to inspect it from inside.  Sure enough, it had rusted out completely and this resulted in the  whole bracket and chassis section being chopped out and a new one made from scratch. 

That's now ready, along with numerous new flange edges for the wheel well edges, which had become very frilly with rust!  We plod on!

All rust identified and new panels under construction

Posted by Bodyworks Robin Gell on February 20, 2011 at 7:19 AM

One month on nearly, and we have cut out the rear arches and replaced the inners.  A new chassis leg is being fabricated for the off side front end.  Progress is good and these major items will soon be out of the way now.

Lotus progress.

Posted by Bodyworks Robin Gell on January 27, 2011 at 6:20 PM

The doors have been taken off and the skins removed and cleaned up, together with the frames.  All will need some reconstruction work.


I hope that the investigation stage is nearing completion when the full extent of reconstructive welding will be known.  We can then progress and make some new metalwork to repair the holes with!

Moving to the Lotus

Posted by Bodyworks Robin Gell on January 25, 2011 at 11:11 AM

The Lotus was moved into position on the 8th January and the following week saw it being stripped down to a shell, while leaving the mechanicals in place.  Investigation works followed, and by the 25th, the doors were off, skins removed and cleaned up, most of the rust cut out of the rear end and thoughts are slowly turning towards weld repairs before we can do any further prepping.

MG substantially finished.

Posted by Bodyworks Robin Gell on January 25, 2011 at 11:09 AM

The V8 was substantially finished and test run early in January 2011.  This has made some room for the next project.  The Lotus.