Side Valances for Spitfire 1500
by Andrew Miller *
I have prototyped two styles of engine side valances. The first style is a 1/8" masonite substrate wrapped in fibreglass, the second is the same substrate sandwiched between an aluminium sheet and fibreglass (the aluminium sheet faces the engine - opinion seems divided as to whether this heat reflector is a good thing or a bad thing). Two local LBC mechanics use aluminium exclusively, two use fibreglass panels (although they are not sure where they come from) and a fifth asked "why did I want valances ?"
I recommend the fibreglass wrapped valance, if you use couloured resin you can 'adjust' the valance for fit with a a surform or sandpaper (or in extreme cases, a belt sander) after the fact (please be aware that the sanding dust contains glass fibres and is very itchy). The aluminium sandwhich style has less flexibility for installation.
P.S. Although for straight ease and cost a masonite shape painted with one of the rust paints or polyurethane paints would work as well. I originally planned to make two sets. One for myself and one for the fellow who supplied the dimensions (Thanks Rod !) out of fibreglass or resin coated masonite. This took a long time. On reflection I would argue that primed and painted masonite is still better than the 20 year-old cardboard.
If you still have an air pump, I found it easier to build the 'tent' from aluminium and rivets and bolt in place rather than trying to create one form drawing and masonite. Since I no longer have an air pump fitted I wasn't able to trial fit.
Style 1, jigsaw, ruler, pencil, paintbrush to be sacrificed to the God of epoxy resin, Boddingtons, Ruddles or Kilkenny.
Style 2, jigsaw, ruler, paintbrush to be sacrificed to the God of epoxy resin, metal shears, utility knife, drill, pop rivet gun, Newcastle Brown, Smithwicks or Guiness.
If you do elect the fibreglass route - I recommend fibreglassing the masonite prior to final cut and trim. Fibreglassing over cutouts was a pain.
I bought some Aluminium flashing/Aluminium repair patch sheets from Home Depot (10' x 2') it was approx $ 14.00, this is enough to make two valances, make mistakes on many more and have enough aluminium to make a spare set.
Fibreglass cloth and resin. If you want to get fancy and avoid painting the fibreglass later, check out the specialty stores for epoxy colouring agents. Fibreglass must be done outside or in a very well-ventilated area !!!
Spitfire right side engine valance (as viewed from the tyre side). The valance has only two 90 degree angles, the top right (M) and the bottom right (unlabelled). I used *" masonite originally, but the fibreglass sandwich seems to be strong enough. There is no structural component to the valance, it seems to protect the expensive bits from road spray, rocks, marmots etc.
To aid in reproduction, I have not taken any angle measurements - I have provided points to connect as lines.
The finished valance is the polygon described by B-M-bottom_right_corner-K-H-G-J-C
Draw the lines
Draw the radii
Once the masonite is shaped construction may begin. The finished product is an aluminium, masonite, fibreglass sandwich.
The alumium is fastened to the engine side of the valance, the fibreglass side is waterproof and road slime resistant and so faces the fenders (wings)
I traced the 'adjusted' masonite template on the aluminium and cut 1 *" oversize on all sides. I used a standard utility knife and a straight edge to score the straight edges and coaxed the rest with a combination of knife and shears
I then folded the oversize edge over the masonite, slitting the aluminium as required to make the three radii
Once folded over, I secured the aluminium sheet with 1/8" aluminium rivets from a handheld pop rivet gun
Mix a small amount of epoxy resin in a disposable container
'paint' the side to be fibreglassed
place the dry cloth over the now sticky surface
'paint' enough resin over the cloth to cover any dry areas
Cover the epoxy resin with a sheet of kitchen wax paper (this gives it a smooth surface as it dries ANDreduces the potential of something valuable coming into contact with the resin ) (tools, skin, hair on your forearm etc.
use a 'Surform' or a sheet of coarse sandpaper over a small wooden block to 'ease' the edges
Mounting and Installation
Mark the holes for the mounting hardware
prepare, prime and paint as required. (The original valances were unpainted cardboard (??), perhaps paint to match hoodsticks, the jack which is absent from the boot )
The distributor side of the engine valance B-C-K-L-M-J-H-G-I
The left side valance is a piece of masonite 23 *" wide, A-D = 23 *" and 17 *" high, A-B=17 *"
Mark the points
AC=1" ,draw the line BC
DE = 6 *" ,draw the line CE
FL = 1"
DF = 9 *"
draw the line KL and LM
AN= 7 *"
AO = 11 5/8"
BI = 5 *"
BJ = 12 *"
draw the line NI and OJ
NG= 10 *"
OH = 10 *"
draw the line GH , the radii at G and H are also 1 1/4"
Cut out the valance
|copyright notice: This article has been archived here as Victor Micheal's site no longer is available to the general public. The information contained here remains the property of the originating author.|
All material copyright© Teglerizer 1996-2008
last edited 03/18/10
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