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Author: Subject: A New Project, GT6 aluminium body
John Bonnett

posted on 22/1/13 at 05:55 PM Reply With Quote
A New Project, GT6 aluminium body

I hope this fits in to the Forum although strictly speaking it is not a Special; only a special body.

I have recently restored a MK3 GT6 and I really love the shape and lines of the bodywork. I originally bought the GT6 to use as a pattern for my new project; an aluminium replica body but it was so good I had no alternative but to put it back on the road for the first time since 1989 so losing my pattern but in return, deriving a great deal of pleasure both in the restoration and the 7000 miles of driving since April last year including two continental holidays.

As luck would have it, I located a MK3 bodyshell locally which has proved ideal for my purpose. I also have a tax exempt MK4 Spitfire onto which I am going to fit the new body.

I'm going to make a tubular steel frame to support the bodywork but for the last few days just to get back into the swing of metal shaping, I have formed some panels for the roof.






So although I have nothing in place as yet to support the roof, I'm going to finish it and then build the frame to suit.

John



[Edited on 22/1/13 by John Bonnett]

[Edited on 22/1/13 by John Bonnett]

[Edited on 22/1/13 by John Bonnett]

[Edited on 22/1/13 by John Bonnett]

[Edited on 22/1/13 by John Bonnett]

[Edited on 22/1/13 by John Bonnett]

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tegwin

posted on 22/1/13 at 06:42 PM Reply With Quote


Can't wait to see more of this! Epic!





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Mr Whippy

posted on 22/1/13 at 06:48 PM Reply With Quote
Good work but will an aluminium body be strong enough in a crash, the steel ones arnt all that strong in the first place, the spitfire chassis is very much inside the parameter of the bodywork so you can't rely on that. My brother in law has a red spitfire which I use quite often in the summer, it's a fun car if a bit low and the bonnet shakes a lot
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mark chandler

posted on 22/1/13 at 06:52 PM Reply With Quote
Triumph made some lovely shaped cars, you have a hefty challenge there.

Which version you after, I prefer the mkII myself.

One car that I would really like is the TR4a, mint ones look fantastic

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John Bonnett

posted on 22/1/13 at 07:58 PM Reply With Quote
Tegwin, yes I know it's an ambitious project but I'm hoping I have enough hours left not only to finish it but to enjoy driving it.

Whippy What's with these negative thoughts? If we worried about the consequences of crashing we'd never drive anything other than a Volvo

Mark I'm afraid it's going to be based on a MK3 GT6. It's very subjective I know, but perhaps unlike the majority I prefer the shape to the earlier roundtails.

So, a little bit more detail which I hope will put my friend Mr Whippy's mind at rest. I'm using the steel floorpan from a MK4 Spitfire and onto that I'll fabricate a tubular steel frame that will provide a safe and rigid support for the aluminium bodywork. The advantage of using the steel floorpan is that it provides the strength of the sills, needed by the chassis and of course the mountings for the standard seats. The bonnet too will have a supporting frame from which it will derive rigidity..

It is my intention to arrange things so that the standard bonnet and doors will fit my frame so if I sense that time is running out I can take a couple of shortcuts to get the car on the road.

Thank you for your interest and your replies. I'll keep you up to date with more pictures as the project unfolds.

John

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Not Anumber

posted on 22/1/13 at 08:41 PM Reply With Quote
A really excellent project. Where did you pick up the skills to hand make body panels, it's an incredible and a rare skill ?
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John Bonnett

posted on 22/1/13 at 10:00 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Not Anumber
A really excellent project. Where did you pick up the skills to hand make body panels, it's an incredible and a rare skill ?






Thank you but I'm self-taught and very much an amateur who likes a challenge.

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mark chandler

posted on 22/1/13 at 10:24 PM Reply With Quote
MkII does have a nice round bottom, they spoilt them with the mkIV

Good choice then, very hard to make matching sides, you must have a nice big English wheel then.

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Uphill Racer

posted on 23/1/13 at 12:55 AM Reply With Quote
In the dim and distant past I had a Spitfire 4, the first model they made and came with a works steel hard top.
When it came to fitting it after summer........, I had to put my back against the windscreen and feet on the rear bulkhead to stretch the living area to fit it....................The good old days..................

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snapper

posted on 23/1/13 at 06:53 AM Reply With Quote
Very much in the spirit of Locostbuilders
"I do it cause I can"
Now then what engine and running gear?
There's an opportunity to sort the rear end out and put a bit more power under the vast bonnet





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Ivan

posted on 23/1/13 at 07:28 AM Reply With Quote
Great project - have subscribed to the thread.
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John Bonnett

posted on 23/1/13 at 08:16 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by snapper
Very much in the spirit of Locostbuilders
"I do it cause I can"
Now then what engine and running gear?
There's an opportunity to sort the rear end out and put a bit more power under the vast bonnet




Ah, now there's the problem. I'm doing my best to avoid IVA and if I modify the chassis by altering suspension points or don't qualify for the mandatory eight points by not having retained sufficient mechanical components, it would have to go through the test.

If there were no constraints, I'd fit a Zetec/Type 9 combination and as you suggest do something with the rear end. But, the body is quite a meaty challenge so I'll get that under the belt first and see how it goes; literally.

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rdodger

posted on 25/1/13 at 09:00 PM Reply With Quote
Couldn't you change the engine on the V5 now? Engine swops happen all the time!
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adithorp

posted on 25/1/13 at 10:08 PM Reply With Quote
Good to have you back, John. Whatever the project your skills are always worth looking at.

Like Roger said, change the v5 first. But I think it should at least be another 6pot... Otherwise it'd be just a GT4. Have you seen Claire's MX5 THREAD ?





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rusty nuts

posted on 26/1/13 at 08:54 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by John Bonnett
quote:
Originally posted by snapper
Very much in the spirit of Locostbuilders
"I do it cause I can"
Now then what engine and running gear?
There's an opportunity to sort the rear end out and put a bit more power under the vast bonnet




Ah, now there's the problem. I'm doing my best to avoid IVA and if I modify the chassis by altering suspension points or don't qualify for the mandatory eight points by not having retained sufficient mechanical components, it would have to go through the test.


Would the chassis need modding if the transverse leaf spring was replaced with a wish bone mounting bolted to the diff instead?Might take a bit of thinking out to work but it could be done ?
Keep up the good work John

[Edited on 26/1/13 by rusty nuts]

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John Bonnett

posted on 26/1/13 at 06:27 PM Reply With Quote
Adi and Rusty, very good to hear from you and thank you for your good wishes. We just need 907 to come and join the party

Yes Claire's workmanship and skill is absolutely awesome and all apparently accomplished with consummate ease!

You are both absolutely right in what you say both about the engine change and ways of improving the rear suspension. But for the moment at least all my attention is totally focussed on the bodywork. One of the many problems I have as someone with very limited skills is trying to reproduce crisp coachlines that have, on the pattern, been pressed in and I am already considering taking a broader approach and rather than an exact replica produce a body that is inspired by.... if you see what I mean. If you go back to pre-war times, panels generally didn't have sharp creases, were more rounded, and easier to reproduce by hand. The decision was made when looking at the side roof section as picture



The line is as sharp as I can make it but not good enough and no matter how well the rest of the body turns out to be, the eye would always be drawn to that coachline. So easiest is to leave it out and continue the curve of the roof down to the gutter. There may well be similar decisions taken with the rear wings and on other parts. We'll see how things progress.

It is really good to be back amongst my friends the Locosters and to be involved in metal shaping once again. It really is addictive!

John

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cliftyhanger

posted on 26/1/13 at 07:12 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by rusty nuts


Would the chassis need modding if the transverse leaf spring was replaced with a wish bone mounting bolted to the diff instead?Might take a bit of thinking out to work but it could be done ?
Keep up the good work John

[Edited on 26/1/13 by rusty nuts]

believe you me, not as easy as it sounds. The leaf spring is possibly (and unwittingly) far cleverer than it seems. Besides, the bottom wishbones on the triumphs (the ones that have them) are short and not ideally positioned.

People have mocked up double wishbones, but I haven't seen one yet that I would remotely consider. Honest. Best I have seen is somebody who has modified the lower wishbone and mountings to achieve zero camber change. But I am unsure if that is beneficial. I suspect the inner wheel wants to be in positive camber (so it leans into the road/track) and the outer wheel negative. So they are sort of parallel.
Hmm, there my ideas run out.

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rusty nuts

posted on 26/1/13 at 07:47 PM Reply With Quote
ISTR there used to be a leaf spring to decamber the rear suspension, possible from a company called SAH that was supposed to improve the rear suspension?? I've never really looked at the rear suspension with modifying in mind but would have thought that it would be possible to maybe attach a lightweight subframe with suspension attached that would not need to be IVA'd?
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907

posted on 27/1/13 at 09:21 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by John Bonnett

Adi and Rusty, very good to hear from you and thank you for your good wishes. We just need 907 to come and join the party


John



Hi John,

There was a time, when at the mere mention of a party my three word answer would have been; "Mine's a double."


Sadly, my answer now is; "Two sugars", although that's not strictly true.
"Two sweeteners" is nearer the mark.


As for crisp lines I would say, if a jobs worth doing it's worth doing well. Better to find a method of sharpening the lines
than making compromises that at the end of the job your "heart of hearts" isn't happy with.

I made 4 rear arches before I was confident enough to make a mirror image one for the other side of my car.
Life is a learning curve, and metal shaping even more so.
I now consider myself in the 40th year of my apprenticeship and still learn something every day.



All the best John,
Paul G

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John Bonnett

posted on 27/1/13 at 01:21 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 907
quote:
Originally posted by John Bonnett

Adi and Rusty, very good to hear from you and thank you for your good wishes. We just need 907 to come and join the party


John



Hi John,

There was a time, when at the mere mention of a party my three word answer would have been; "Mine's a double."


Sadly, my answer now is; "Two sugars", although that's not strictly true.
"Two sweeteners" is nearer the mark.


As for crisp lines I would say, if a jobs worth doing it's worth doing well. Better to find a method of sharpening the lines
than making compromises that at the end of the job your "heart of hearts" isn't happy with.

I made 4 rear arches before I was confident enough to make a mirror image one for the other side of my car.
Life is a learning curve, and metal shaping even more so.
I now consider myself in the 40th year of my apprenticeship and still learn something every day.



All the best John,
Paul G






Paul,

Very good to hear from you and thank you for your wishes and words of wisdom; as always, very much appreciated. You are absolutely right about not settling for a job that you are not 100% happy with. It's like "Marry in haste, repent at leisure!"

I've thought long and hard about about the coachlines and have made the decision simply not to have them. The roof will just curve down in a tighter arc to the point where I'll pull out a return flange as part of the gutter. That particular panel if it did have the coachlines, would need making in two parts and welded together and getting the two coachlines to line up with a weld crossing and to be identical to each other is beyond my meagre skills. In actual fact, I don't think the coachlines add anything to the beauty of the shape and in my opinion a progressive curve will look better.

I've made a start and it all looks very promising. Pictures to follow.

Best wishes Paul

John

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John Bonnett

posted on 28/1/13 at 04:24 PM Reply With Quote
This is a picture which shows the coachline I'm referring to.
[img][/img]

I don't think it adds anything and in actual fact a progressive curve might be visually more pleasing. So,I formed quite a nice a sub panel omitting the coachline but it was ruined it when I turned the flange for the base of the gutter and no amount of shrinking made it any better. I'm still unable to upload any photographs which is perhaps just as well. So, my next plan is to form the gutter separately and weld it onto the sub panel.

All part of the learning curve

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John Bonnett

posted on 11/2/13 at 05:18 PM Reply With Quote
I've made some good progress and have now nearly finished wheeling the main roof panel and the two sub panels. Unfortunately, I've been unable to upload any pictures.

They say that a low crown panel is among the most difficult to form and my aching arms and shoulders wouldn't argue with that. But, a great feeling that the roof is done and ready to weld together.

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ceebmoj

posted on 13/2/13 at 10:49 AM Reply With Quote
can you put the pictures some where else for us to have a look?
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D Beddows

posted on 13/2/13 at 10:56 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mr Whippy
Good work but will an aluminium body be strong enough in a crash, the steel ones arnt all that strong in the first place, the spitfire chassis is very much inside the parameter of the bodywork so you can't rely on that. My brother in law has a red spitfire which I use quite often in the summer, it's a fun car if a bit low and the bonnet shakes a lot



Possibly one of the most ironic posts on Locostbuilders considering some of the things you have proposed building over the years

Only pulling your leg before you get your rant hat on

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John Bonnett

posted on 13/2/13 at 07:56 PM Reply With Quote
I've put a couple of pictures on flkr showing the sub panels that are nearly ready to be trimmed and then welded together.

[img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/67580543@N08/8471773818/[/img]


[img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/67580543@N08/8470676613/[/img]

I was hoping that they would open automatically but I don't think they will

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