I took a long break from Riley work. It was school vacation week and the little boy demanded attention. I started today by sandblasting the rear of the car and the trunk. The years of inactivity caused rust to form after the first sandblasting. I hate to sandblast because it makes such a mess and sand always dribbles out of the crevices just as you are trying to paint. I blasted for about 4 hours and then applied some phosphoric acid to neutralize any rust. It will also keep the surface rust free for some time. I need to take a good look at everything in the rear of the car and get it ready for paint.
I looked over the rear of the Riley and soon realized the repair that I did to the spare tire shelf was not very good. The first time around I cut some small patches and tack welded them in place. The metal was thin and weak. I cut the whole mess out and bent up some new sections on my brake. But, you guessed it, the brake is 24 inches and the parts had to be about 34 inches. I had to make up two sections and weld them together. I made about 15 sections because I kept getting them wrong. I did manage to finish by the end of the day.
Today I sanded the rest of the paint from the body. Lots of dust and lots of work. I applied some epoxy to fill the weld seams. It was very stiff and hard to apply. I figured it would be water proof and better than body filler. We will see.
I tried to sand the epoxy I applied yesterday. It could not be done. It was so hard the sander just heated it up and made it melt. I was able to shape it using a rasp, scraper and hand sandpaper. I hope I don't regret using this stuff. I applied some body filler to smooth some small bumps out. I don't have the skills or the next 100 years to smooth the metal to perfection but I am aiming to use as little filler as possible. I see lots of dust in my future.
I worked again on the rear of the car. Previously I replaced the lower body by the bumpers and all the metal below the swage line and the fender openings. All this requires some amount of filler to make fare and smooth. I spent lots of time sanding with long boards to try and fare the area. Anytime I exposed metal bumps I would tap them down with the body hammer. Inside the trunk I felt for low areas and tapped them up. I then applied a guide coat of paint to help locate the high and low areas. I've got lots more to do and estimate I am going to spend three more days on the back plus the scuttle areas, fenders and running boards.
More sanding and faring using long boards, guide coats and hammers. I bolted on the rear fenders to check their fit. They appeared to fit properly. The scuttle areas are progressing although they needed more work than I anticipated. I must have made ten pounds of dust and at the end of the week I had to have a big cleanup to be able to see the Riley once more. One thing that is keeping me inspired is my CD of the Riley Club newsletter. There are lots of helpful hints and good information. At the end of the day I depressed myself by looking at the left rear corner. Oops. I replaced this area long ago and now its back to haunt me. Upon reflection and examination it became obvious I did not profile the lower edge correctly. It slants upward about 5/8 of an inch and I will need to weld in more metal and re-fare the whole area.
I cut, welded and fixed the left lower corner today to make it match the right side. I had to make a small metal part and weld it in. It only took 5 tries this time. Yeah, I've got mad metal working skills.
I continued with faring the body...more sanding and more smoothing. I think I finished the body and I am not working on the trunk and spare tire door. To remove the trunk lock I had drill out the handle shaft and the screws securing the lock mechanism. I am preparing myself for the rude shock I will receive when I prime the bodywork and see everything I missed. I am still reading the back issues of the club magazine. It helps to see that people do finish their Rileys.