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Spitfire MK IV Restoration project - Part Eight -

With the body back the right way up I started to assess the damage that time and the British weather had caused the body. Some areas were in very good condition and some areas were very poor indeed, the floors, sills and part of the front bulk head being the worst.
I started to remove the many layers of paint with a combination of paint stripper and wire brush in a drill. This took quite some time as the top coat had been lacquered, then there was the red top coats, the primer for the red top coat, then the original yellow top coat colour and finally the primer before bare metal was found. Once I got through all the paint it was not plain sailing, as the car have been “restored” sometime in its life copious amounts of filler have been applied in fact on the rear wings in places the filler was ¼ inch thick.
One area I was most concerned about was the area around the windscreen. As this panel is no longer available (and I did not fancy changing it anyway) it was a turning point in the restoration. If I could not repair it satisfactory then I would have to start and look for second hand body tub that was in better condition that mine.

Windscreen Frame Corrosion

I decided to have a go and repair it (it would be good practice anyway) as it requires a very delicate piece of welding.

The first thing I did was to clean up the area as much as possible with a wire brush and then tidied up the rough edges with an angle grinder. Once the area had been tidied up the whole area was treated with a rust converter solution to stop any further corrosion.

As the flange for the windscreen rubber had completely disappeared this was the area I tried to reconstruct first. As the flange goes round a radius at the bottom of the windscreen I cut some small pieces of metal no more than 2 inches long and tacked them onto the screen frame and filled some of the holes in at the same time

Windscreen Frame Corrosion

After the flange was welded up fully to take up any gaps or holes it was cleaned up with the angle grinder to get the area as smooth as possible. This had to be repeated a few times to make sure it was fully welded up.

Windscreen Frame Corrosion

Once it was sound, flat and level a light skim of filler was applied to the area and once fully dry sanded back to give a smooth surface to apply primer to when the time is right.

Windscreen Frame Corrosion

The same procedure had to be repeated on the other side although there was more work to do on the inside on the dash top.