Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Panels, paint and numerous bent wheels!

I’m typing this in the workshop whilst waiting for some primer to dry - then I can get on with spraying the top coat.  The car isn’t here so I’m trying to get on and get as many jobs done as I can whilst it’s missing.   My parents are in London and Ross is working so it’s just me and the dogs today.
We had a busy day last Sunday and spent pretty much the entire day in the workshop putting the panels on.  In fairness Boss panels are lovely quality and it’s no hardship to fit them as a lot of the holes are pre-drilled and everything lines up nicely for you to just bolt together.   We got stuck in and before long it was soon looking like the familiar blue and silver Tigra we are all used to - but without the chipped paint and scratches!    Terry has once again done a great job of painting them and we even managed to fit them without scratching any . . . . .  something of a miracle as we normally manage to put at least one mark on the fresh paint.  This is usually in a prominent position resulting in Terry having to come and blow it back in for us!
By Sunday night the kit was on leaving us with jobs like fitting the door clips and the little fixings that hold everything together.   We got all that done Monday night and spent Tuesday just wiping all the dust off everything from where we had trimmed bits and drilled holes.   It’s amazing just how much of a mess fibreglass dust can make.
The plan was to take the car to Jay on Thursday night and leave it with him for a week to do the stickers.   We loaded it Wednesday evening so we could just go straight after work on Thursday because it’s a three hour trip to get there at the best of times.   It was after nine when we got to Jay’s and a good hour spent talking saw it well past when we got back home.    Jay has been sending pictures as he’s designing the new signwriting and it’s going to look awesome when it’s finished.   I can’t wait to go and pick it up!
I wasn’t able to make it to the Thunder 500 as I’d hoped so Jason “two Hot Rods” Kew picked up all the various bits and pieces for me.   I’ve just been down to collect everything this morning and looking back in hindsight dad’s new Range Rover wasn’t the best car to go in - trying to cram two sets of tyres, a splitter and a wheel in around the dog’s cage was a bit of a challenge, resulting in the tailgate refusing point blank to shut !   After folding the seat partway down I managed to get it to ‘just shut’ and despite a lot of beepers and flashing lights it stayed shut all the way home.  I had to leave an axle casing behind though - I wasn’t brave enough to risk laying it across the back seats.
As I mentioned before the wheels for the car are all mixed up so it’s a good time to get them sorted. It seems I’m jinxed when it comes to doing anything with wheels so it was always guaranteed to be a bit of an ordeal.   We had six that needed to be stripped down and before they will come apart you have to get the silicone that seals them around the join off.  It is a truly hateful job.   The best way I have found to do it is with a wire brush in the angle grinder.   It makes a real mess and the bits just fly off and stick to anything and everything.    I plucked up courage one afternoon at work, put a set of overalls on and got it done - I ended up looking like a snowman, covered from head to foot in white silicone.
Whilst in bits it was the perfect time to paint the centres so they all matched.   Terry got us an aerosol the same colour silver as the roof of the car so the plan was to paint them that colour.  I thought I would use paint stripper to get all the old paint off and start again with bare metal.  The only problem here was that the paint stripper was awful!   Hours later all I had was a big mess with paint coming off in just a few patches, even the pressure washer at close range didn’t help so in the end I resorted to the trusty angle grinder and wire brush and got all the paint off that way.   I then had to spend hours with really course sand paper getting into all the fiddly bits.   They turned out ok but not as well as I had really hoped . . . . . but do look better now the primer is on.   Soon as that is dry I will get straight on with the silver.
It’s going to be much of the same next week, we need to finish the wheels, fit the tyres, fit the blow off valves in the wheels and set them at the right pressure (another nasty job) and get the rear under tray repaired and touched up.  When the car is back it’s a case of changing the diff, checking everything over then doing a big setup.
In exactly two weeks we will be pushing the car round on the parade lap before the big race gets underway and for me it can’t happen soon enough!
Thanks as ever for reading
Until next time

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