2006 and time for a further strip down of Superlight R No.77. 12 months before the exterior
was treated to a new paint job, but the bare aluminium interior panels were
still in a tired state. A plan was made to remove as many of the panels as
possible to be powder coated satin black, offering better protection against
corrosion and the effects of salty winter roads. Where
necessary panels would be renewed and also powder coated.
The existence of potentially
corrosive dirt behind the side panels was severe, but fortunately the damage to
the outer skins is minimal. This area is commonly known as the "grot trap"
- don't believe this chassis is unusual with this amount of collected muck!
After careful cleaning of any corroded areas, all
the panels will be treated to a coating of cavity wax.
Whilst the chassis is
stripped out, there's an opportunity to improve aspects badly executed in the
past. The cable and pipe for the plumbed-in extinguisher passed over the rear
tunnel tubing resulting in the necessity to have a 40mm square hole in the cover
plate - routing under the chassis tubing and back up through the boot floor is not only
tidier but will enable a new cover plate to be made, not compromising the
effectiveness of the rear bulkhead as a firewall.
Removed panels are assembled
to be checked, cleaned, repaired or replaced. The vinyl-covered and honeycomb
panels cannot be powder coated due to the level of heat involved, therefore
these will be treated with a coating of cavity wax to improve their life.
Solid aluminium panels are
prepared for powder coating using a medium grade aluminium oxide paper.
This creates an extra "key" for the coating process in addition to the acid
etching applied prior to coating.
Before sending to be coated,
each panel is appraised for it's exact fit in the chassis allowing any small
shaping and changes to be made before powder coating, reducing the need to
reshape already coated panels, compromising the protection.
Room with a view! The view
of the bell-housing and exhaust primaries from the passenger footwell - all
interior panels have been removed including the passenger foot-box.
The cling-film wrapped
panels are new vinyl covered interior (outer) panels to replace the damaged
original items - roll cage holes & dents.
Removal of the scuttle and
allows much greater access to the under-dash wiring. Some work is needed to
bring this closer to "standard" and to ensure total reliability.
Part 2 - preparation & treatment ....
(back to paint the shop)