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Ulster body painting
#1
Hi all

I collected my "Ulster" body from Rod Yates last week, and I'm pondering the paint finish.

I've turned the body sideways and upside down whilst musing. What have others done re painting, just the outside and engine bay internals?

What about paint to the underside...this could be simply hand painted black having etched it first?

Looking down into the tail, I wonder is others have fully painted or at least fully etch primed the total interior?

Very early days yet as the chassis hasn't even been blasted, then this will need painting and all components worked on.

I took the front axle to be lowered yesterday, then the lowering of the radius arms will tax my brain.

Now, if lowering the radius arms, say by 60mm or so (what is the recommended drop please?) the arms slope downwards thus when bolting up the lowered axle, the castor angle will have changed as the bolt up flanges now point down at a different angle?

My question therefore, should the radius arm ball joint on the cross member be lowered the same amount, thus putting the bolt up positions/flanges in the same relative positions?

regards

Arthur
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#2
The radius arm ball joint does not need to be moved.
The castor is corrected by using a flat front spring in place of the standard curved one. This takes the modified radius arms back to the correct position.
There are pictures of the lowered front end on the internet.
eg [Only registered and activated users can see the links Click here to register]
Jim
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#3
I etch primed the inside everywhere including spare wheel well etc then two coats of satin (semi gloss)black. I think I used enamel paint because I already had some, but it's 25 years ago since I did it!
Cheers,
Dave.
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#4
(12-11-2017, 02:58 PM)merlinart Wrote: Hi all

I collected my "Ulster" body from Rod Yates last week, and I'm pondering the paint finish.

I've turned the body sideways and upside down whilst musing. What have others done re painting, just the outside and engine bay internals?

What about paint to the underside...this could be simply hand painted black having etched it first?

Looking down into the tail, I wonder is others have fully painted or at least fully etch primed the total interior?

Very early days yet as the chassis hasn't even been blasted, then this will need painting and all components worked on.

I took the front axle to be lowered yesterday, then the lowering of the radius arms will tax my brain.

Now, if lowering the radius arms, say by 60mm or so (what is the recommended drop please?) the arms slope downwards thus when bolting up the lowered axle, the castor angle will have changed as the bolt up flanges now point down at a different angle?

My question therefore, should the radius arm ball joint on the cross member be lowered the same amount, thus putting the bolt up positions/flanges in the same relative positions?

regards

Arthur
David Cochrane (A7 Components) sells Ulster type axle connections for the radius arms. These allow the axle to retain the correct castor angle with the usual 'lowered' axle and flattened spring. This can also be achieved with fabricated links to the standard radius arm ends, with a spacer on the big stud which originally goes through the axle eyes.
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#5
(12-11-2017, 04:39 PM)AustinWood Wrote: [Only registered and activated users can see the links Click here to register]

The front spring can only affect the camber angle of the wheels, not the castor angle of the front uprights though?

Castor on uprights is the angle of the upright in relation to a 90 degree vertical, measured as +/-.

Surely on a 7, the angle of the axle through which the kingpins/uprights pass is the castor angle and if the angle differs as the radius arms are lowered, the angle goes forward, thus decreasing the castor angle?

When I build my own 3 wheelers on wishbone suspension, by altering the position of the smaller upper wishbone, backwards on its bolts it increases castor and decreases the angle by pushing them further forward and spacing accordingly, thus I have 2-6.5 degrees of castor.

The point I'm making is that if the radius arms are lowered at the front, than the angle of the front face to which the axle bolts, must have changed?

Arthur

(12-11-2017, 05:59 PM)Robert Leigh Wrote:
(12-11-2017, 02:58 PM)merlinart Wrote: Hi all

I collected my "Ulster" body from Rod Yates last week, and I'm pondering the paint finish.

I've turned the body sideways and upside down whilst musing. What have others done re painting, just the outside and engine bay internals?

What about paint to the underside...this could be simply hand painted black having etched it first?

Looking down into the tail, I wonder is others have fully painted or at least fully etch primed the total interior?

Very early days yet as the chassis hasn't even been blasted, then this will need painting and all components worked on.

I took the front axle to be lowered yesterday, then the lowering of the radius arms will tax my brain.

Now, if lowering the radius arms, say by 60mm or so (what is the recommended drop please?) the arms slope downwards thus when bolting up the lowered axle, the castor angle will have changed as the bolt up flanges now point down at a different angle?

My question therefore, should the radius arm ball joint on the cross member be lowered the same amount, thus putting the bolt up positions/flanges in the same relative positions?

regards

Arthur
David Cochrane (A7 Components) sells Ulster type axle connections for the radius arms. These allow the axle to retain the correct castor angle with the usual 'lowered' axle and flattened spring. This can also be achieved with fabricated links to the standard radius arm ends, with a spacer on the big stud which originally goes through the axle eyes.

Yes, I realise both, thank you, but I'm using and bending a 1938 Ruby axle with a twin stud radius arm, the pitch between the studs is approx. 60mm, so in effect I could drop both location studs 60mm respectively and still pick up both, the smaller stud through the larger hole suitably sleeved, and the larger on drop links?

I am still confused though since dropping the arms clearly alters the angle of the face to which the axle bolts, and angles the axle forwards, thus decreasing the castor angle, surely?

To correct this anomaly, it must be the case that the ball joint needs dropping the same distance?

Arthur
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#6
Don't think about this as dropping the axle. That isn't what's happening. By flattening the front spring, what you actually do is raise the axle relative to the chassis. But to preserve the radius arm geometry, what you need to do is keep the radius arm at its original angle. You can do this by drop links at the front end, or by raising the rear ( which will prove difficult)
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#7
(12-11-2017, 07:15 PM)Alan Wrote: Don't think about this as dropping the axle. That isn't what's happening. By flattening the front spring, what you actually do is raise the axle relative to the chassis. But to preserve the radius arm geometry, what you need to do is keep the radius arm at its original angle. You can do this by drop links at the front end, or by raising the rear ( which will prove difficult)

Ah....this sounds logical now, I think I'd forgotten that the whole purpose of lowering the radius arms is that they are closer to the chassis by virtue of eventually lowering the spring once one has removed leaves.

I'm probably "over" thinking about it without actually practically trying it all out first....maybe, over excitement and frustration over not getting immediately stuck into it!

Many thanks.

Arthur
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#8
(12-11-2017, 07:40 PM)merlinart Wrote: I'm probably "over" thinking about it without actually practically trying it all out first.........

Yes you are. Do what's been recommended in the posts above. It works!!

Steve
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#9
(12-11-2017, 08:51 PM)Steve Jones Wrote:
(12-11-2017, 07:40 PM)merlinart Wrote: I'm probably "over" thinking about it without actually practically trying it all out first.........

Yes you are. Do what's been recommended in the posts above. It works!!

Steve

Roger....wilco!

Arthur
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#10
Hi Arthur,

Yes, I know 'overthink' very well....it's that thing which happens when you spend all day at work dreaming about working on the Seven, then come home and realise it's not quite how you pictured it!

Radius arms seems to have been covered. On the topic of painting, I'm just completing an 'overhaul' of my Ulster rep. It's a slightly different situation as I was re-painting but maybe something of interest. I should start by saying I have no clue what the original scheme was.

The floor: I stripped inside and out to bare clean metal and treated with POR 15 & Blackcote. This included the scuttle & footwell area. I'm not sure I would do this again, it's difficult to get a nice finish brushing on Blackcote & the whole thing was quite an enterprise. I reckon Hammerite would be just as good. I also put a couple of coats of underbody seal on the underneath. I feel pretty confident it will last forever - it has been running the last 35 years with nothing but a coat of underbody seal and only rusted where this has finally dropped off. Paint the floor before you paint the body colour.

The tail (interior): I gave it a clean up, a squirt of etch primer, and a coat or two of 2-pack from an aerosol. The finish is not important here but I think it looks better in body colour.

Body interior: I didn't paint the interior body sides, but made some wafer thin trim panels from aero grade 1/16" ply, which I then covered with black Rexine. You can easily fabricate a couple of clips to hold the panels in position, mostly I used existing bolts and holes, the cockpit edge trim, etc. The beauty of these is you can run wiring for the tail lights behind them, secured to the body sides with tank tape.

Body exterior: Whatever you paint it with, ally will need a thin etch primer coat to begin with.
I was quoted £1500 to spray the body shell alone with 2-pack, which sounded a bit rich to me (though I gather this is a fair price). I'm not a fan of 2-pack paint either (in my experience it chips easily). I chose to brush paint my car with Craftmaster enamel. I will happily write you an essay about this if you choose to follow the same path. I warn you though that it's a major undertaking, which will eat at least one summer! And that you will not finish the job without some endearing imperfections. If I had another car to do I think I would buy a spray gun! The plus side of this is it's cheap (a couple of hundred quid perhaps), and when all's said and done, I hate 'restored' cars with flawless spray jobs, it's the single thing in my opinion which kills the character of a vintage car most effectively.

By the way, something which ought to be better known is that Ulster bodies are not particularly strong and eventually crack alongside the windscreen irons, and below the spare wheel aperture (especially if you carry luggage in the tail!) If building from new it is worth incorporating a bit of reinforcement in these areas. Make sure the dash supports fit well and consider bonding a patch of ally under the dash ends to increase the thickness of the body sides locally. At the rear, I installed thin steel panels on the inside of the body which bolt into the floor and bridge the gap between the front and rear of the spare wheel well, boxing it in. I also connected the (steel) floor panel of the tail to the back of the spare wheel slot using shelf brackets, making a strong and continuous floor. I have seen pictures of original 'Ulsters' which were modified (or repaired) in a similar way.

Chris
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