Welding and Painting

Hornet Oil Filler

Variety has certainly been the spice of life in the workshop today with work on no less than four different vehicles. The morning has been largely taken up with painting various TR6 bits ready for re-assembly and, while the paint has been drying, work on a 3.8 litre MK2 Jaguar which is an ongoing project due to be finished this winter.  The TR sump, timing cover and various bits of bracketry have been chemically stripped and were originally intended to have been powder coated but I can’t say that I’m too disappointed that this last operation has never happened:  Powder coating looks absolutely lovely but it is quite brittle which can soon leave a car which is in regular use covered in ‘scars’.  Instead of the powder coat I have painted everything in a coat of Red Oxide followed by 2 pack primer and black colour coat.  2 pack paint is good stuff – strictly speaking it’s not actually a paint but an epoxy coating and consequently it is incredibly durable and very shiny which makes it very suitable for sundry items underneath the car as well as for the coach finish outside the car.  This particular job has turned out to be the swansong for my old De-Vilbiss JGA suction feed spray gun: It was the first that I owned and was pensioned off long ago to work only with primers.  I’ve lost count of the number of vehicles which it has repaired or re-finished before I replaced it with a more modern gravity fed De-Vilbiss GTi but since then it has given great service as a primer gun until today, when I have to admit that it’s in a dreadful state and needs to be replaced.  I have to confess that I have developed considerable brand – loyalty for these items: my GTi still looks as shiny as it did when it came out of the box several years ago and as nice as the products are from manufacturers such as Iwata, it will take a lot of convincing me to change.

The morning was finished off with some repairs to the oil filler cap from a 1930’s Wolseley Hornet.  Some previous owner must have been disturbed by all the crank case blow-by and had evidently decided that a more affordable option to an engine overhaul was to drill the beautiful engraved and polished brass filler cap in order to soft – solder a piece of domestic plumbing in place, so that the crank case could gain extra ventilation. After carefully removing all the soft – solder and planishing the cap to remove all the distortion, I used a punch and die to produce a brass disc of the correct diameter to fill the hole.  The disc was then silver – soldered into place and carefully filed flush before sanding and polishing. It has ‘sort of’ effected an invisible repair, in that you can’t see the soldered join but unfortunately the engraving suddenly disappears where the hole used to be.  The owner has taken it to the local jewellers in the hope that they can reproduce the missing lettering.

Final job of the day was to cut a large chunk of rusty metal from the front of a Landrover Series 1 chassis.  The area had previously been plated over and was a good illustration of why it’s a bad idea to cover rotten metal with a patch over the top:  A good part of the job was taken up with grinding away old bits of patch and lumps of weld before a new section of 14SWG steel could be cut and gas – welded in flush. The owner and I carefully treated the repair with Phosphate, painted it and undersealed over the top to match the existing chassis finish… you would never have guessed that both of us are fully aware that the entire chassis is going to be replaced soon anyway…

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