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Superaquarama

Bonnet to wing gap at front

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Hi Guys,

 

Can anyone offer any advice on bonnet to wing gaps before I start fiddling with them ? Situation here is that I've assembled the body on the chassis of our 4A prior to painting and got the gaps surprisingly good, probably better than factory, with the notable exception of the bonnet.

 

The wing lines are fairly straight but presumably shouldn't be as the bonnet tapers inwards at the front and the wings don't, or very little, so there's a gap of about 1/2" each side where wings meet bonnet at the front. The new repro front panel (behind the grille) seemingly holds the wings too far apart - maybe I need to take it off and remove a small segment on either side, or bend the flanges round a bit ?

The lower front panel is original, however, so maybe the wings just need to be brought in at the top somehow. Tried moving the wing outward at the bottom by the lower front panel, but this only makes a small difference at the top in exchange for a huge gap at the bottom.

 

It all fitted ok before it was taken apart !

Thanks,

 

Anthony

 

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Something is not quite right with the body to chassis assembly. Is the cross-tube linking the spring abutments already installed ? Is the car jacked and where? Did you brace the front wheelarches before removing the body?

Edited by Geko

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You can easily bend the top of the inner wing in a bit to bring the gap down a bit, Be careful trying to get too small a gap at the front as the bonnet widens out and can catch on the beading edge as it lifts.

Stuart.

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Have you welded the inner wings in place yet?

 

Are they the original iner wings?

 

Are they repro inner wings?

Edited by AlanT

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Many thanks for the replies, everyone.

 

To answer the questions raised:

 

Is the cross-tube linking the spring abutments already installed ? No, not yet - thought I'd done it actually, but could it make a difference ?

 

Is the car jacked and where? No, sitting on chassis now

 

Did you brace the front wheelarches before removing the body? No - the car arrived in pieces and had been lightly sandblasted (no panel distortion at all).

 

Have you welded the inner wings in place yet? Never removed & presumed original (rust free California car), front wings also probably original. Photos of car "before" show good bonnet gaps

 

Stuart, you say "easily bend the top of the inner wing in a bit" - yes, but can you elaborate on how to do this, as it looks to me like it's the answer.

 

Your lovely photo reminds me very much of old childhood adverts for 60s Japanese cars, Stef - very clear and with a lush background. Is that a Penang plate ?

 

 

Anthony

Edited by Superaquarama

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When the wings were still off I was able to do a trial fit of the bonnet and like you found it wider at the front.

I put hooks through the holes at the front (where it was wide) looped rope through the hooks, and with a bit of wood, wound the rope up like a tourniquet.

Two weightlifters, one each side, might achieve the same result.

This bent the top inwards enough to get a reasonable front bonnet gap.

 

PICT0003.jpg

Edited by littlejim

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I bought a carpenters sash-cramp frpm B&Q. Its not long enough to span the engine bar so I extended it with flat-bar.

 

This allows precise squeezing of this whole area. It is also reversible so you can push out if you have over done it.

 

I use scrap fibre-glass circuit-board material to spread the load. Hardboard would probably be similar.

Edited by AlanT

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Sash clamps do the job pretty effectively but like I said before be careful of getting the gaps too tight at the very front. best to do a number of trial builds until your happy.

Stuart.

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Yes, I wondered about the Spanish windlass through those holes, Jim, but was a bit concerned about distorting that area.

 

So maybe the sash clamp's a better idea. So happens our neighbour a few hundred yards away is a carpenter & joiner, so I'll see if he's got one. Will bear in mind your comments about over-doing it , Stuart !

 

Thanks again, everyone.

 

Anthony

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I went for the " heavy engineering" approach. A piece of 4" x 4" x 2 foot of timber and a sledge hammer !!

Sounds brutal but the timber spreads the load along the major part of the inner wing.Gentle blows on the centre of the timber, brings the wing into line.

 

Constantly check with a tape measure as you go and you should obtain an acceptable gap.Be aware the metal will try to spring back so going" slightly " past the optimum point will get you where you want to be.Take it easy and slowly, rather than like a bull in the china shop.

You've got a few alternatives to consider.

Bob

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Thanks, Bob and Jim.

 

I've studied it a bit further now and tried the Spanish windlass through the holes with a spreader plate behind, however when you lower the bonnet the twisted rope prevents it from shutting ! And releasing the rope just takes the wings back where they started anyway.

 

So it's a block of wood or long sash clamp next (carpenter neighbour's clamp too short, needs to be a 48" clamp, I think), However, it's clear I need to remove the front wings again first but do wonder whether they won't just pull the inners back out when they're refitted.

 

Will report back when I've had another go at it.

 

Anthony

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Anthony

On reflection perhaps my description of the inner wings "springing back " was over dramatic.It happens during the adjustment process but once in the right place ( checked by laying the bonnet... easier with no hinges on... on the car ) refitting the wings will not have any effect.

 

I've just remembered... beware hitting the leading edge , by the headlights, too hard without the wood block ,it's easy to bend over too far.

Bob

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Is the cross-tube linking the spring abutments already installed ? No, not yet - thought I'd done it actually, but could it make a difference ?

 

Yes it could especially if the chassis is not perfectly rigid and if the car has been jacked a couple of times during restoration without the cross-tube installed. The chassis and springs abutments could have angled outwards by a couple of mm. With the cross-tube installed at least you have a sound ground to start with

 

Did you brace the front wheelarches before removing the body? No - the car arrived in pieces and had been lightly sandblasted (no panel distortion at all).

I wouldn't bet on that and would also look where the inner wings are bolted to the chassis by loosening those 4 bolts holding the inner wings to the chassis and only then start fiddling with whatever rope/sash clamp before tightening the bolts again once in the correct position.

 

This combined with the above might win you a couple of mm, not much though

 

 

 

Edited by Geko

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I used the Spanish windlass in a couple of places on my TR3. The beauty of it is it is very controllable.

 

Rgds Ian

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I chatted with new people at Stoneleigh yesterday, one of them was the proprietor of TR Bitz, a very helpful chap with 30 years experience.

 

He said this problem occurs because over time the main wheel arches push the inner wings outwards particularly at the ends of the wings.

 

To fix he said he removes the outer wings and bonnet (or just raise it) and places a ratchet strap around the who lot and tightens it in beyond the

line of the bonnet because it moves back a certain amount on its own. He's even had to do the same car some years apart where its moved more than once.

 

On mine I did a similar thing but just bent the top of the inner wing well over and this helped, as I tightened the outer wing in place it does pull the inner wing back somewhat so its a bit of trial and error.

 

Just thought I'd share so its recorded.

 

Colt

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My 4A has just been subjected to a full panel off re-spray and is now completely reassembled.

 

I would like to know if any adjustment of the gap mentioned above is possible without dismantling again. The gaps on mine are acceptable but I would like them to be a bit tighter and am considering placing a piece of timber under the wheel arches and gently knocking it against the inner wing in an attempt to push the whole lot towards the bonnet. Obviously, I am concerned about doing any damage to the pristine paintwork but would welcome any thoughts. My other alternative is to use the same piece of wood and a bottle jack (sideways) to push against the garage wall. These are just ideas at present and I will probably end up living with the gap. Out of interest - what would be an acceptable gap? I have seen other TRs with a variety of gaps from virtually nil to around half an inch.

 

Thanks

 

Bob

 

PS If enlarged the current gap can be seen on the attached photo. On reflection it doesn't look too bad.post-13925-0-08651000-1456142166_thumb.jpg

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Bob I would be inclined to live with that, if you get them too close over the last 4 inches then as you lift the bonnet it will catch the very front end of the wing beads.

Stuart.

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It looks pretty good to me and probably better than when it was new. I'd leave well alone especially now that the paint is finished and see how it settles once its seen a few miles over bumpy British roads.

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Agree those gaps look good.

 

If you do ever need to do it though the front outer wing is surprisingly simple to take off, just a series of easy to reach bolts,

assuming they aren't rusted in.

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Good points - thanks Stewart and Andrew.

 

I hadn't considered any settling. It hasn't been driven for a year now so I will be interested to see how things "bed in" when it has been on the road for a few weeks. Should have had MOT last week but we found very low water level combined with overly high level of oil when getting ready for start up. Now have new head gasket, etc.

 

Bob

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It looks pretty good to me and probably better than when it was new.

 

I would say "highly desirable and not often achieved" rather than

"pretty good" and "certainly" better than when new.

 

AlanR

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Having started this post and forgotten about it, I can offer a bit of an update now.

 

The panels were given a preliminary fitting, which is when I noticed the problem, then they were all taken off for undercoating, polyester stopper, etc. On refitting the panels for a final trial before removing them for painting, the fit was perfect ! Investigating why, I realised that I hadn't bolted the front end of the n/s inner wing to the front flange of the outer wing. So what we did was to lengthen the inner wing by adding a strip of about 3/4", and bolt through that.

 

The whole thing seems much happier now that the misalignment isn't bowing out the wing. Hard to say why the problem had arisen, maybe at some point that corner had a bit of a bump ?

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