17. An old front wing with a careless repair.

First a few words about the Eckold tool used during the wing repair, the smoothing tool, Image 5. This tool does not affect the sheet unlike the English wheel, air planishing hammer or the shrinking/stretching tool. It just smooths out dents on damaged areas without making the sheet thinner. The secret is the rubber cushions in the tool which make the hit soft.

This time we are looking at a repair of a front wing for a MG TC from -49. Often at this time outer edges were beaded which means that the edge is wrapped around a thread, in this case with 3 mm diameter, see the book. The wing was in a rather bad state, some areas suffered from fatigue cracks while others were badly rusted. To this can an old misaligned area on top of the wing be added, Image 1. A lot of efforts were made to hide the dents with plastic filler.

Image 1 An old and careless repair.

A problem with this kind of work with several rather small repairs is the risk of deformations which can change both shape and measures. Not significantly and detectable by the eye but enough to create problem later during the fitment of the wing to the body. To keep the situation under control, repeated and thoughtful measurements during the work is recommended, images 2 and 3. Plus the make and use of, as we shall see later, fixtures and templates. This work should begin before the start of the repair! And remember: never remove anything before a replacement panel is made.

Image 2 Measuring of the length of the wing. At 880 mm from the extreme front a mark was made on a tape strip.
Image 3 Measure of the length from the mark on the tape strip to the rear end, tootal length should be 1680 mm. The last 10 mm have been eaten up by rust, the area in need of replacement is marked with a marking pen.

To make the work easier and to hold the wing steady or rock solid to the work bench a special made fixation equipment was used, Image 4. This will be discussed more in detail in a later blog spot but you can already find detailed information in the book.

Image 4 The right side wing under repair attached to the work bench by fixtures.

Before the cracks and the rust was attacked the misaligned area was treated in the Eckold Kraftformer and the smoothing tool, see the book. This tool has carefully rounded edges and polished surfaces and is rubber cushioned, Image 5. The latter minimize the risk of forging the sheet making the area bigger, it only flattens out the damages; see the small movie in the beginning of the blog spot and Image 5.

Image 5 The Kraftformer smoothing tool.

After the damaged area was treated in the smoothing tool the work with the rust and cracks could start. First with the repair of the parking light area, see Image 6. Note that the biggest hole in this picture should not be there. It have for unknown reason been created during the long life of the car, maybe as a suitable position for a rear view mirror.

Image 6 The damaged area after treatment in the Eckold, see Image 1.

After cutting a suitable piece of sheet it was given a correct double curvature in the air planishing hammer, a work which took 2 minutes, see the book and Image 7. The sheet was too small to be shaped in the English wheel; those who have got the thumbs between the wheels will understand the choice of machine.

Image 7 Creating of a double curvature on a small piece of sheet in the air planishing hammer.

The air planishing hammer, made by myself in the workshop decades ago, will be discussed in a later blog spot.

With help of an already repaired wing a template was created, Image 8, and used when marking out the holes at the sheet and the margins. The area for the headlamp bar was repaired in a similar way.

Image 8 Template for a panel.

In Image 9 the new base for the parking lamp began to be joined with the wing. Note that the corners of the repair panel and the hole in the wing have rounded corners. This will increase the result in the end with only a small need of aligning.

Image 9 The panel carefully dot welded with the semiautomatic.

In the next stage the hole for the mirror was closed with a washer. Too small to be hold by the fingers or any tool. To make it possible to fit a TIG welding rod was temporally welded to the washer as a handle, Image 10. With help of the handle the washer was hold into place during the initial welding, image 11,

Image 10 The washer for the mirror hole is given a handle.
Image 11 Dot welding of the washer.

To be continued……

Panel Beating Doctor Bengt Blad

At this point in my life when I was about three quarters through the medical schooI I discovered the English wheel and the Eckold machine, and, one thing leading to another - no more time for med school.

More about the book

This book, with around 1,500 pages of reader-friendly text and about as many illustrations, is a summary of 40 years of working with vintage, collectors' and racing cars.