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Ralph Whitaker

Chicken wire and filler?

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I was recently given an old AA book of the car, published in 1970, the year before I started driving. Made an interesting read, seeing the cars of "today", Austin 1100s, Mk1 Escorts etc, and not a computer in sight. I was particularly intrigued by the section on repairing bodywork, which showed how to repair rusty sills, in this case a Jag, by cutting out the rust and stuffing chicken wire in the hole to hold the body filler in place.  Now I might have been guilty of such practices myself in my youth, but even back then I knew it wasn`t right, and always faced the MOT with dread in case the tester spotted it. Little did I know it was an AA recommended repair procedure.

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12 minutes ago, Tony_C said:

we all knew ‘the right’ garage for MOT’s........

I remember one where you didn't need to take the car...

Pete

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When restoring an old Triumph (or no doubt an MG), it used to be possible to check when the bodywork had been repaired. After digging out the filler, just look for the date on the newspaper!

Nigel

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Come on guys the chicken wire and filler repair was probably stronger than some of the steel used, particularly .Fiats of the day.

There was a level of quality repairs, ie Baked bean can for Rolls Royce, Old oil can for lesser models and newspaper and chicken wire for all the rest. All before we became WOKE about structural integrity.

Off out to repair a barrow tube with a used Durex. Ho hum 

Rod

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There is indeed an element of truth in this method. When I was an apprentice we had a V12 E type in the works for a rebuild.  When I stripped the pint off the cills I found it had been 'repaired' with a Castrol oil can!  Further investigations revealed that the engine cradle which is bolted to the chassis tub by bolts at the top and the bottom only had the top bolts in place!  And this car had been driven all the way over from Holland in that state...   make you think doesn't it? 

hoges. 

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I remember when my brother used to take me to the MG Car Club lunchtime drink on a Sunday lunchtime, in the sixties when things like MG T types were just cheap old bangers. Somebody bought an early TA(?) and found the doors filled with plaster! He stripped the engine and found a wooden piston...

When I left local government in 1977 I spent my refund of superannuation on an MGB (sorry). Drove into a puddle on the way home and the passenger footwell carpet was pushed up by the fountain of water. Turned out both floors were Duckhams 20/50 gallon cans flattened out and popriveted together and to the sills and centre tunnel.

Pete

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Back in the day, I had an aged aunt who died and left me some money.  I spent it on a 1964 Alfa Romeo Guilia Spider - this was in 1970.  It had been undersealed at one time but it was still dissolving as I looked at it and the hood leaked like a sieve, but a wonderful car to drive.  1600 cc all aluminium, twin cam engine and 5 speed box, it was good for well over 100mph.

It failed an MOT a couple of years later when the tester shoved his screwdriver through the top hat box section under the driver's seat.  I drove it home jacked it up and repaired it - both sides of the car, with glass fibre formed around old Kellog's cornflake packets and then injected with polyurethane foam.  I painted it with underseal and covered it in dust and muck before taking it to a different MOT station where it passed.  When the sills needed replacing a year or so later, I cut off the old ones and used them as moulds to  make some new ones which I pop riveted in place.  THe car survived in that form as my daily driver until I went to work overseas for the first time and parked it up in my uncle's yard.  Someone bought it from there for £100. 

Different times.

Rgds Ian

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I was an upmarket bodger and used perforated zinc, used less filler and did not rust!! From there when I got a part time job  that used fibreglass progressed to this, again rust free. One of the cars is still on the road.

Yes I am ashamed in hindsight.  But we all did it, or most of us. 
Cheers

Gordon

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In my stewed ant days in Aberdeen in the late sixties a pal had a TR3 with registration  LFX something. The floors had been repaired with a Men at Work sign that had been appropriated from a roadside verge.

james

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Always used sand and cement for chassis repairs poured it in and painted it with tar worked a treat for Morris traveller front cross members along with bean cans pop rivets and tar elsewhere. Poke all you want she always passed!

Andy

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Cookie sheet in between carpet and floor pan worked a treat. Mum did not bake that much anyway!

graham

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On 4/4/2020 at 6:21 PM, james christie said:

In my stewed ant days in Aberdeen in the late sixties a pal had a TR3 with registration  LFX something. The floors had been repaired with a Men at Work sign that had been appropriated from a roadside verge.

james

Excellent James, I was around Aberdeen at that time and remember the stewed ants around the city. 
Don’t you just love predictive  text. 
 

Cameron

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There is a Youtube video of a guy repairing a crash damaged Ferrari, that he bought for 10K USD or so.   There is a hole through the floor where it landed on a curb or something.  He pop rivets an alloy plate over the hole.  You can do many things in the US that you can't do here.

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Some Ferrari like the 365gtc4 have fibreglass floors and interiors that could be fixed in anyway you liked.

and some dodgy looking welding of panels and fixings from new 

I blame the siesta culture. 

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« Don’t you just love predictive  text. « 

That phrase « stewed ants » was coined by non-Aberdonians in an effort to imitate the local city accent (quite different from the country loons) and long before the days of predictive text!

james

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His Ferrari has an aluminium floor and he uses pop-rivets because he's scared to TIG weld.  This is because it has a lot of dodgy electronics which he thinks will get blown up by welding near it.  Probably right.

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