Body panel options

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Monkeyfinger
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#1 Body panel options

Post by Monkeyfinger » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:21 am

Hi all - with regard to panels for OTS, is there a significant difference between the main suppliers with regard to quality? Price is of course important, but I suspect my bodywork guy will appreciate a good fit as a preference. Grateful for any experience and insight.
Richard
Richard
- 1969 Series 2 OTS

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JerryL770
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#2 Re: Body panel options

Post by JerryL770 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:27 pm

Depends on what you want.

I believe the cill panels with the best fit come from the States. Local ones may need lots of work to fit.
Jerome Lunt
1970 S2 FHC - Dark Blue, Red Interior, MX5 Seats

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#3 Re: Body panel options

Post by Monkeyfinger » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:36 pm

Probably(!) sills and floor area will be needed. Wasn't anticipating sourcing from the US, to be honest. Best option in the UK ?
Richard
- 1969 Series 2 OTS

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Heuer
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#4 Re: Body panel options

Post by Heuer » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:41 pm

Hutson's. They restore cars as well so can advise on any problems with fit. Speak to Andy Rayner.
David Jones
S1 OTS OSB; S1 FHC ODB

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#5 Re: Body panel options

Post by 288gto » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:56 pm

Heuer wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:41 pm
Hutson's. They restore cars as well so can advise on any problems with fit. Speak to Andy Rayner.
Hutsons make their own sills from the correct gauge steel in Zintec. I fitted these having returned the Robey ones as they were so bad. The Hutson ones will still need a little tweaking to get the curvature right but are infinitely better. I've also bought panels from Chuck at Monocoque Metalworks who i think you are refering to in the States and they were superb.
If you are paying someone else to do the panelwork you have to factor in the hours and hours ( no exageration) it takes to make the panels fit from the major suppliers in this country. One pleasant exception were the door skins from Robey. Floors not too bad, Bonnet front underpan atrocious.


Simon
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politeperson
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#6 Re: Body panel options

Post by politeperson » Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:24 pm

I found the Robey sills fitted very well.

I had to shrink a couple of edges to increase the curvature on one side, that didn't take very long.

They just needed a little squeezing with clamps and they lined up perfectly.

I found the floor section a very good fit too.

Often its the car that doesn't fit the panels!
James

L.J.K. Setright was right.
"You just cant beat a good E-type"

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#7 Re: Body panel options

Post by 288gto » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:45 pm

politeperson wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:24 pm
I found the Robey sills fitted very well.

I had to shrink a couple of edges to increase the curvature on one side, that didn't take very long.

Often its the car that doesn't fit the panels!
Unfortunately I wasn't prepared to alter the whole car to just to make the car fit the sills :bigrin: :lol: :lol:

All panels mentioned in my post were to replace original accident free factory panels that had not been previously restored or so badly corroded that they had lost any semblance of their original shape.

Out of interest James what were the top edges like where the bonnet meets the sill and the bottom edge of the door meets the sill like on yours. Mine had much too large a radius and would have required lead loading along the entire length to resemble the originals. The other concern was that they were made of a much thinner gauge of metal than the originals. I did bring this up with Robeys along with the incorrect curvature, perhaps they have addressed it now?

Not knocking Robeys, I've bought loads of stuff off them and usually cheaper than Barratts if it's a part they make themselves.

The thing to remember is that no matter who you buy from, they will need some level of tweaking . If you are lucky enough to be able to do this yourself like James and myself, it's just your own time you've used.

Another good point above is that Andy at Hutsons is a mine of information and will tell you straight what does and doesn't fit as will Angus of Moss Jaguar on here.

All the best restoring your car.

Simon
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abowie
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#8 Re: Body panel options

Post by abowie » Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:12 am

politeperson wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:24 pm

Often its the car that doesn't fit the panels!
After a number of restorations with panels sourced from different places I think this is as big a factor as any.
Andrew.
881824, 1E21538. 889457..oops
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#9 Re: Body panel options

Post by Monkeyfinger » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:17 am

Much appreciated responses from everyone. I think having an honest response from the supplier initially, to advise the level of panel adjustment that may be required, is going to be very valuable. Certainly the supplier in the US seems to have an excellent reputation for their panels, so I will need to assess if the initially high outlay is worth it for the 'easier' fitting. My car will be heading in for work this summer, and fortunately my chosen body shop is adept at fabricating new panels where required, and it sounds like this is important.
Richard
- 1969 Series 2 OTS

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#10 Re: Body panel options

Post by politeperson » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:05 am

Morning Simon,

I assume you mean the outer sill panel?

I didn't have any issues with the top edge of the sill or where the door closes. On the other hand I never expect panels to fit perfectly out of the box unless I am having a very good day.

The only minor issue I had the last time I fitted a Robey outer sill was that the radius of the outer sill was slightly less than the profile of the sill closing panels.

On the first one I fitted, I had to shrink the flange of the rear outer sill to be able to clamp it up tight to the closing panel. Since then, I have used a different method and it only takes about 5 minutes. I just cut 5 or 6 slits in the rear sill flange which allow the panel to curve more when clamped, then I weld the flange back up, when the profile is perfect. I find most cars are slightly different in this regard.

The biggest issue I find when fitting a complete Robey floor is that the car might not fit the panel! The Robey floor is made on an accurate jig and comprises the floor, footwells, chassis legs, suspension cups, cross-member and inner sill, all beautifully spot welded together, including the lower frame brackets, threaded ready for the bolts. Its a big piece and comes in a big cardboard box with a lead time of about a month.

It is a complicated structure and good value at around £1,600.

E type owners are very lucky to be able to purchase this piece as it makes structural repair a relatively quick and accurate process. Try buying one for your Ferrarri!

On an E type, a relatively small frontal impact can easily be transferred to the center section of the shell as the engine frames are so rigid. Crumple zones?

If any particular car doesn't fit this large composite panel it could well be that the body has become out of alignment due to corrosion, bad repairs or accident damage. It is quite easy to tell if your shell is out of alignment when you drop in the Robey floor section. I say drop in because this type of repair is best done with the car upside down on a rotisserie.

Dropping in a Robey floor section is no more complicated than putting the top on a box. It the box is not square, the lid will not fit.

The rear of the Robey floor sits on top of the IRS cage flange which runs from one side of the car the other side.

Inner sill cut outs in the Robey floor should correspond with the door pillar seal channels, the two captive gearbox nuts on the Robey floor should also line up with the relevant transmission tunnel holes. If you cant get the two 5/16 gearbox mount bolts through these captive nuts, you may have alignment issues. The inner sill should just drop into the curved flanges on the bottom of the door pillars ready for welding.

Finally you should be able to trial fit the frames before welding .You should be able to fit the frames to the front upper bulkhead captive nuts and the floor section captive nuts.

If you do not achieve these alignment points, you could well have problems fitting the outer sills as this could indicate your body shell is slightly twisted, this is actually quite common on a 50 year old E type apparently.

The only way straighten a bent shell is to mount it to a jig and pull it, prior to fitting the new Robey panel. I have an acquaintance with an e type jig if anyone is stuck, it doesn't usually take that long to realign a shell.

Its all part of the fun.
Last edited by politeperson on Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
James

L.J.K. Setright was right.
"You just cant beat a good E-type"

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#11 Re: Body panel options

Post by Monkeyfinger » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:06 am

Crikey James, you make a scary thing sound so simple!
I'm hoping, maybe foolishly, that my bodywork can be tackled without a total strip down. However, until my car has been assessed, I'm guessing what may be required. I'm 8 months along a 12 month waiting list for my body shop, so I was planning to start purchasing a few of the panels I know for sure will be needed. I was lucky to get a pair of solid original doors from Eagle a few years ago, so at least that's one major expense already dealt with - my doors are very shot. I also know sills are gone, and radius arm areas.
Richard
- 1969 Series 2 OTS

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#12 Re: Body panel options

Post by Geoff Allam » Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:07 am

Richard,
I just finished replacing the floors,inner and outer sills, lower front bulkhead and lower rear wings on a 1967 ots. Floors were Robey panels and came in 2 halves to spotweld down the centre. These fit perfectly. Inner sills were also Robey and fit perfectly. Outer sills were from Monocoque Metalwork and also fit perfectly with no adjustment necessary. Lower rear wings were sng house brand as were the lower front bulkhead panels (x panels) lower wings required a bit of work to fit but were usable. X panels were approx 1/8 inch too tall but width was correct and were usable. All of the sill shutface panels also came from MM and fit perfectly. My car had been in an accident and was slightly twisted as well as racked off to one side approx 1/4 inch. Once the floors and outer sills were removed (inner sills and transmission tunnel still in place and with the car inverted) it was relatively easy to level it perfectly ( I used a bosch self levelling laser) and then I used the floor panels to square it up. Remember to brace the door openings very securely before removing any thing. I also had x bracing in the cockpit but had to loosen it before squaring the floor and then redrilled and reattached it. One major caution is do not weld anything until you have all the panels correctly placed or you will regret it. I used self tapping screws to position everything into it’s correct position and then systematically removed the screws and plug welded everything together . Also do not start modifying panels until you have examined the whole situation very carefully. With the exception of the lower wings whenever something did not fit it was because I was doing something wrong or something was out of shape in the car and needed to be corrected. Good luck.

Geoff.
Geoff Allam
67 series1 ots under restoration
64 series 1 fhc burning lots of oil
53 xk 120 fhc sitting in garage waiting for attention

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#13 Re: Body panel options

Post by 288gto » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:38 pm

politeperson wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:05 am
Morning Simon,

I assume you mean the outer sill panel?

I didn't have any issues with the top edge of the sill or where the door closes.

Its all part of the fun.
Afternoon James.

I think it's all down to how close to the original you find acceptable. Unfortunately I'm cursed with an affliction that when I look at a large radiused edge that wasn't there on the original, it irritates me to the point that the "fun" you mention is taken away. Thankfully my son is not cursed with this affliction and quite honestly genuinely can't see the difference. I think that's the main reason he doesn't enjoy working with me :lol: saying that I'm a "stresshead"
Below are a series of pictures that show the differences with the last showing the nice tight radius and angle of a Hutson sill. Pics 2 and three show the large radius on a Robey sill purchased a month ago . ( Not my car )

I would love more than anything not to be able to see any difference as it would make the restoration "fun" again. :bigrin:


Image

Image

Image

Image


To those that can not see the difference , I envy you, I truly do :lol:

End of meltdown. :bigrin:

Simon
Simon
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#14 Re: Body panel options

Post by politeperson » Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:33 pm

Looks a bit like the Robey profile would tap down to match the Hutson profile on the leading edge. How does that compare to the original though?

I have an original profile, a Robey profile and also a unknown American brand profile, so I will have a look I I get a moment.
James

L.J.K. Setright was right.
"You just cant beat a good E-type"

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#15 Re: Body panel options

Post by 288gto » Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:08 pm

politeperson wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:33 pm
Looks a bit like the Robey profile would tap down to match the Hutson profile on the leading edge. How does that
Just when I thought my medication was kicking in. :lol:
What you see, is that the angle is wrong and a bit of tapping will resolve it, and yes to a certain extent it will, and you will be happy and so the project continues. However what I see is the radius will remain the same ,no amount of bashing will make it right and it's probably best to make one from scratch. Project is shelved . :lol:

Below are two pictures of two sills. In each, the upper bare metal sill is a work of art as were the original sills the factory fitted. The lower sill painted black is in contrast, an abomination. :bigrin:





Image

Image


Simon
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#16 Re: Body panel options

Post by 288gto » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:02 pm

Another area to check is the drain hole or bulge. Anyone who has had hands on experience fitting an E type sill should realise the drainage bulge on the black sill will do absolutely nothing as the first 10 to 20mm of lower edge of the sill overlaps the floor and consequently the drainage hole would be blocked. Any water in the sill would have to find its way out through the welded seam.

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Simon
Simon
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#17 Re: Body panel options

Post by Geoff Allam » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:54 am

The unpainted sill very closely resembles the sills I bought from Monocoque Metalworks. I have no affiliation. They are pretty much exact in all dimensions and were extremely easy to fit. To modify an incorrect sill to have the correct bend radius and overall curve would be difficult as they are 18 gauge and would not yield to pounding easily. The savings in time would more than make up for the extra cost in purchase and shipping. I went through the exercise of fitting poorly reproduced engine frames as I had them on hand from a purchase many years ago. If restoring another car and faced with a choice of that brand or the brand that most people say fits well I know what my choice would be despite the price difference.
Geoff Allam
67 series1 ots under restoration
64 series 1 fhc burning lots of oil
53 xk 120 fhc sitting in garage waiting for attention

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#18 Re: Body panel options

Post by Monkeyfinger » Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:00 am

Many very useful comments here, which is leading me to believe that importing panels from the states at significant cost, is probably a very wise move, certainly with respect to highly visual areas such as the sills. I would add that I am an engineer and draftsman of many years, and those panels are a million miles apart and I would be ashamed to have been part of their production. It looks like they got nearly there with the curvature, and decided that would be good enough. I'm with you Simon, and would rather start from the best possible position, or at least give my body shop that option!
Richard
- 1969 Series 2 OTS

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#19 Re: Body panel options

Post by Geoff Allam » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:09 pm

It will save you money in the long run. If you are contemplating ordering from MM many of Chuck’s panels are not readily available from other sources and the ones that compete with the commonly available ones are very competitive if not cheaper. I would suggest going through his catalogue carefully and ordering all the panels you need at one time to reduce shipping costs. I am from Canada and our shipping and brokerage on stuff from the states is brutal. Mine was a fairly large order and Chuck very generously gave me a break on shipping. Also with a large order Chuck is quite accomadating on answering fitment questions which I found invaluable. If you speak with him ahead of time and supply photos of your problem areas he will supply you with a list of suggested panels, both his and ones only available from other sources. He will also advise you on which supplier to buy specific panels from based on the quality of fit. I know it sounds like I am his Uncle shilling for him but I am just a very satisfied customer. I found that if his part or any part he recommended as being spot on did not fit it was time to reevaluate and correct whatever was wrong with the car. Nothing required anything more than perhaps slight adjusting of the angle of a flange. It sounds like you are having the panel work done at a body shop. I would suggest going through the car with the bodyman once it is stripped and you can determine what you need. There are no back orders from MM. if it is not on the shelf they make it up immediately and ship it out. Good luck with your restoration and remember that the cost of panels is usually a prety minor part of the final cost. The hourly rate and the time required for fitting is the real big ticket item and can add up quickly with poor fitting parts. Plus good fitting parts just look better. Good luck with your restoration.
Geoff.
Geoff Allam
67 series1 ots under restoration
64 series 1 fhc burning lots of oil
53 xk 120 fhc sitting in garage waiting for attention

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#20 Re: Body panel options

Post by christopher storey » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:11 pm

Monkey finger : the properly radiused panels are from Hutsons . At least if you're not satisfied you can take them back ! If you've bought from the US, the logistics if anything is not as required are both expensive and complicated

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