A Close Look at the Frame

With the vehicle stripped down the frame and a reasonable idea of its vintage, I took to work getting it down to bare metal so it could have a proper prime/paint job. the first things I noticed were two notches that someone had cut in it. One was just behind the right outrigger on the inside of the frame, and the other was forward of the transmission mount on the left side, including the left-front transmission bolting area.

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The first notch will be left as is. The second notch will get retrofitted to be as close to original as possible. I don’t understand why anyone would think it was a good idea to cut out one of the transmission mounting bolt areas. That makes no sense. I will have to clean up that cut, fit a new piece of metal, and borrow a welder to weld it back in place.

Other than that issue, the frame looks good. I could find no rust other than minor surface rust. Much of the black paint job was done apparently without primer, so the twisted wire attachment on the angle grinder made short work of it. That made me glad I was going to the effort of redoing the paint, as no one could expect such a paint job to last.

On the front third of the frame under the black paint, I discovered what appeared to be original green paint of the same shade as the chassis. No one will ever know for certain, but it makes me think the chassis and frame are a match from the factory. If that’s the case, I feel even better about going with this car for a restoration project. The green paint and primer underneath did not go easily, and was clearly a better job than whoever had shot the black paint some years later.

Standing over the frame for a few hours running an angle grinder, I got a very good idea of all the nooks and crannies in this frame, and I’m wondering if a full paint removal is realistic with just an angle grinder, or if a media blaster or other method will be needed to get in those tight corners. Especially toward the front of the frame there is obvious surface rust in some of the areas an angle grinder will not easily reach, so I’m going to have to do something to get that rust off the frame before priming and painting.

After about two hours of running the twisted wire attachment I got through most of the top surfaces of the frame. I flipped the frame over to give it a good look and did not see any welded ID plate, so that may have gotten removed at some point. An observer at http://www.triumphexperience.com thought the outriggers did not look to be factory, but they had the same green paint and primer underneath, so I think they may indeed be a factory piece.

Tomorrow I have to diagnose a refrigerant leak in one of our cars but hope to spend a couple more hours with the angle grinder to continue working on the old/bad paint. I think it will probably take about 10 hours of grinding to get the frame to a point that it’s ready for final prep. Even though most people will never see this finished work under the car and it will probably never be driven in rain or snow (to cause rust), I will know that this frame is set for another 50 years. 

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