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Sitting comfortably, Pt 5… / The Great Paint Conundrum

June 9, 2013

It appears I may have actually cracked the task of mounting the seats. I had a brainwave during a bike ride last weekend, realising I could use a length of box section to support the front of the seat and make separate stays for the rear rather than try to align the seat runners to the somewhat flimsy frame I welded together a few months ago. This revelation made things much easier as I realised I could fit the seat runners first and be sure they would work properly before aligning the seat afterwards…

So this weekend I:

Fitted the seat runners (measure thrice, drill once..), cut a length of box section to run across them, offered up the seat, marked out and drilled appropriate holes,  trimmed down nuts and bolts to suit, and spannered the whole lot together.

Seat runners and the bulky box section which will support the front of the seat...

Seat runners and the bulky box section which will support the front of the seat…

Then I dug out the harness I had stashed in the corner of the garage and, over a quick coffee, worked out how it all fitted together. The one I have now is a 6-point but i’ll only be fitting 4-point harness in the car.

Tea-drinking for the highly cautious...

Tea-drinking for the highly cautious…

Then, once I was convinced the seat would all move backward and forward OK I lowered myself tentatively into the seat to try it for size – with pedal box clamped in place down the end of the cockpit – and plonked the harness across my lap so I could work out where the lower harness mounts need to go…

Seat position OK. Lower harness mount positions identified...

Seat position OK. Lower harness mount positions identified…

As always it was nowhere near as straightforward as it sounds, each step only being achieved in a one step forward, two steps back, fashion. Not being able to access nuts and bolts within the seat runners with a spanner or a socket made the whole process torturous, when it all goes together it’ll have to be with allen-key head bolts…

According to the Willans fitting instructions the lap straps should go down vertically, NOT backwards... That'll need a new mount then!

According to the Willans fitting instructions the lap straps should go down vertically, NOT backwards… That’ll need a new mount then!

On a positive note, now I know how to mount one seat, so the second one will hopefully be a lot quicker to put in place.

Another, less impressive, step forward was the addition of a slight bend to the rear bulkhead panel. Several unsuccessful attempts were made at forming the rear bulkhead panel with a makeshift ‘sheet bender’, clamping angle iron across the sheet on top of the Black & Decker Workmate and attaching another angle iron to the ‘loose’ end. That proved less than successful so in the end I resorted to clamping it in position and then hammering away with a mallet until it adopted the shape I wanted.

Again, a good couple of hours work, but little obvious progress…

This bend was done the old-fashioned way, like a proper panel beater. For the rest i'll be finding someone with the right equipment though.

This bend was done the old-fashioned way, like a proper panel beater. For the rest i’ll be finding someone with the right equipment though.

Away from the car I’ve been agonising over what paint to use for the chassis. There seem to be a host of different choices, some that require a primer, some that happily sit on top of rust, some that come in two parts and need to be mixed… Just writing the options down helps!

 1. POR15 – apply direct to bare metal with no primer as the single coating, or with ‘Prep & Ready’ as a primer, then ‘Chassis Coat Black’ as a topcoat.

Cost:  Prep & Ready (1ltr) £17, POR15 (1ltr) £33.50, Chassis Coat Black (1ltr), £35.24. So nearly £90 all in then…

Alternatively a POR15 and Chassis Coat Black ‘Chassis Painting Kit’ with 3 118ml cans of each is available for £34.72. No idea how well it covers though…

2. Eastwood Rust Encapsulator and Original Chassis Black OR Eastwood Extreme Chassis Black Primer and Extreme Chassis Black

Cost: Rust Encapsulator (1ltr) £30.64, Chassis Black Original (1ltr) £29.50. Total £60

Extreme Chassis Black Primer (1ltr) £27.50, Extreme Chassis Black (1ltr) £39.50. Total £70

3. Epoxy Mastic 121. Another paint that can be applied straight to bare metal and doesn’t require a topcoat. However this is a two part paint, so possibly a bit more complicated to work with…

Cost: Chassis Pack (2ltr) – includes some free thinners – £55

4. The ‘old fashioned approach’. Red oxide primer and an ‘all purpose’ topcoat, e.g. Hammerite…

Cost: Not sure, but almost certainly the cheapest. Which puts me off slightly, why would people buy the other products if this was satisfactory…?

And, in the grand scheme of actually doing things properly, rather than mess up this crucial stage, I am still toying with getting the chassis professionally painted…

Still, there’s a bit more welding that needs to happen before I need to worry about that too much.

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From → Building, Buying

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  1. Sitting comfortably? (Pt 6!) | Me and the Kit Car

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