Front Bulkhead

I had forgotten all about the work that I had done on the front bulkhead as it was such a long time ago now.

But essentially, the following was done as part of the build.

1. Replaced complete bottom section of front bulkhead

The original bulkhead was in a bit of a state, there was the usual rusted out foot wells and a good smattering of  rust over the rest of it too.  I ended up getting hold of a bulkhead from a series III Lightweight that had been in a nasty accident.  The bulkhead was slightly bent or rather twisted.  If you stood it on the base the two main uprights on either side where about 15 degrees away from parallel. But I decided this would be a relatively minor thing to put right as other than this, it was sound.

So I straightened it out with the help of a few mates and a long section of scaffold pole by bracing one end and then over twisting in the opposite direction.  Once this was done I modified the passenger foot well to loose about 5 " to allow for the extra width of the V8 and exhaust manifolds.  I also reduced the drivers foot well but only by a couple of inches. 

2. Bulkhead Vent panel Rust Proofing

The Top vent panels seem to be notorious for rust  Mainly because they are made from a fairly thin steel pressing and they also have quite a few water traps.  Whilst mine was no where near the state of some I had seen, it was definitely showing signs that meant if I did not do something about it, it would not last for much longer.  So while I had the thing off the motor I decided to look into the various treatments available.

I went for something known as Metal Spraying or Combustion Wire Thermal Spray The entire treatment consisted of the section first being shot blasted to remove all paint dirt and rust back to the original bare metal, then having a layer of zinc sprayed onto the work piece. If you are interested in the process you can find all you need to know here:

This gives a very good rust proofing but leaves the work piece with a very rough surface, a bit like a medium sandpaper.  To get over this I then applied a good few layers of filler primer, rubbing down between each coat.  This then gave the desired flat smooth finish ready for the top coat.

Once this was complete, it was just a matter of replacing the sealing strip between the top and bottom sections with a brand new one, then bolting the two together.