Monday 9 November 2015

Fettle, fettle, fettle!

The time had come for the addition of the frame head bottom plate. I knew the fit was going to be a challenge with this Klokkershite panel and my intuition was correct! The main cause for concern was around the front lip which had not bent up to 90 degrees, so it caused the panel to sit further back than it should. To remedy this I cut a series of slits around the corners of the lip in the report panel to allow for easier manipulation of the steel. I gently bent the lip back so that I could get the whole panel into rough alignment. My thinking was that if I could get 75% of the panel to fit satisfactorily then I could fettle the rest using the persuasion of my body hammers. I spent A LOT of time on this - checking, measuring, making small adjustments and rechecking etc...

I unclamped the bottom plate and began my final preparations before welding it on. Once again I coated the inside of the framehead and naps hat with some FE-123 and once it had dried I mixed up some Mastic 121 and coated the inside for extra rust protection. Also stripped part of the bottom plate with a wire cup and gave it a lick of 121 in the middle and zinc primer around the edges to be welded: 

before permanently sealing everything up, I bent the last section of the new fuel line into place so that it exited through the correct hole in the top of the frame head:

I cleaned up all the framehead flanges and gave them a decent coat of zinc primer:

Drilled out a series of 8mm holes for plug welding, to emulate the factory spot welds:

Starting with the centre of the spine I added the first few tack welds. I then filled the plugs along the Naps Hat flanges before filling in the rest of them on the underside:

To ensure a flush fit in the hard to reach areas I invested in a deep throated G-clamp, which really did the trick here:

Got very positive signs of penetration on the top side. In fact I probably could have eased back a little on the power settings, but at least I know these plugs are super strong:

The bottom plate is almost there now. Just a few tweaks to make along the front edge, a couple of seam welds to add and the brake line brackets to reattach. 

More updates to follow shortly...

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