Joining the bonnet and scuttle

The biggest cosmetic problem with the Stalker has been some very bad paint chipping along the joint between the bonnet (hood) and the scuttle.  I had a few ideas on what caused this, either I had the bonnet fitting too tightly, or I had over catalyzed the paint.  Neither would be simple to fix. Rather than fix one and hope, I would get rid of the problem altogether…

Paint chips along the scuttle: Over catalyzed paint, over bonnet too tight?

The new Stalkers from the Brunton factory have a one piece design instead of the two piece design I have.  This design offers a few advantages. First, there is no joint between the bonnet and scuttle which gives a much cleaner look to the car, and it makes it much easier to get to the instrumentation and electrical wiring behind the dash.  So, I decided to convert my bonnet to the one piece design.

The scuttle in place.

Scuttle on the workbench. The paint in the joggle has to be removed to ensure a good bond.

The scuttle back in place with paint removed from the bond area.

The first step was to remove paint from the scuttle in the areas where the bonnet will be bonded.

Bond curing. The duct tape prevents resin from running while it is curing.

Once the paint is removed from the bond area, I replaced the scuttle. Using the frame to position everything would remove a lot of uncertainty. I scuffed the inside of the bonnet to give the resin some tooth to grab and mixed up a thick mixture of talc and epoxy resin; about the thickness of warm peanut butter. I spread the thick filler resin mixture along the bond joint and lowered the bonnet into place. The hood clips and a few well placed weight gave good pressure along the bond and I got decent squeeze out along the bond line. Along the sides of the bonnet I used duct tape to prevent the resin form running during its long cure.

Once the resin had cured I remove the bonnet and laid up six layers of six-ounce fiberglass inside both sides of the bond joint.

Six layer of 6-ounce cloth laid up inside the corners on both sides of the joint.

Bond joint complete and structurally sound. Time for sanding.

Bond joint complete and structurally sound. Time for sanding.

Bond joint complete and structurally sound. Time for sanding.

Now the bonnet is structurally sound but the cosmetics have not improved. Next up hours of sanding to prep to another paint job…


One Response to Joining the bonnet and scuttle

  1. […] up the wiring One of the side effects on joining the scuttle to the bonnet is that I will have much easier access to the electrical gear beneath the scuttle.  The down side […]

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