Windscreen and bulkhead top more

After a long gap due to other commitments I managed to get an evening in. It was a little cooler than of late and such was my enthusiasm to get back to the Land Rover, I chose to listen to the England vs Croatia World Cup semi-final on a portable radio rather than watching it on the computer.

After a light rub-down, vacuum clean and wipe I applied the final coat of marine blue to the upper bulkhead using a small brush, and on the few flat areas, a 2″ foam roller. This would not have been possible during the hotter weather of the preceding weeks. The results are not great but considering the methods used and the tricky areas I am reasonably satisfied.

Upper bulkhead paint

I made sure that paint was worked into the seams around the vents. The smooth finish to the rain channel was achieved by dragging the end of the roller along the inside, hopefully providing a fast-draining surface.

The bracketry and other components for the windscreen were sprayed with a final coating of Paintman’s ‘Silver Galv’ spray, just because I was using this on the frame suspended on wires attached to the shed.

Windscreen components

I’d bought this ‘Silver Galv’ effect some time ago from Paintman and was looking forward to trying it out. I have found that all of his paint is superb, and this stuff is good too, but there are no magical miracles, there is no substitute for having everything re-plated. I would say that it’s basically a silver paint with a darker grey base, better than normal silver paint, and I will get another can.

I’m not happy with the finish, nothing to do with the new paint, it’s because I didn’t devote enough time and effort to removing the thick coats of silver Hammerite that existed before, a lack of preparation due to me wilting in the heat. This wasn’t apparent until I started spraying the silver. I never use Hammerite paint apart from their old formulation of No 1 rust beater primer (no longer available).  Now I dislike it even more and have a permanent reminder of the heatwave of 2018 and that well-known rule of 80% preparation etc.

Demister vent trim

With the screen out I noticed that when I did the upper dash, and refitted the trims for the demister vents, on the driver side, the vent wasn’t lined up within the trim, so any warm air would have been blocked. I was glad that I noticed it now and refitted it, getting the vent into the trim using a palette knife.

Glazing the windscreen

I had enough security glazing tape left over from my series 3 lightweight project to glaze the windscreen. I am so messy and incompetent when armed with a sealant gun that the results look like something from the 1970s game show The Generation Game. So the arrangement was that I would fix the glass with said tape, leaving a deep void, and my friend Trevor, who runs an architectural glazing company, would call round later and work his magic with the silicone sealant.

Fortunately I did a dry run with the tape, only to find that it wasn’t thick enough with the existing frame screw holes for the aluminium beading. So, I tried to source an alternative to the ‘Dum Dum putty’ that was originally used but no longer manufactured. The word putty is rather misleading here, it is more like a firm, sticky Plasticine that never hardens, even after 40 years.

One of my favourite past vehicles was my ‘bread van’ – a 1985 Renault 4 van, one of the most versatile, economical and treasured vehicles I’ve owned. The construction was similar to a Land Rover except the body panels were made from cheap, thin steel rather than aluminium, so few of them survived the salt and wet of the UK. But the panels were cheap to buy and I replaced nearly all of them over time, they were held to the chassis with a few bolts and many tins of Eldro Dum Dum.

The closest I could find was ‘3M Body Caulking Strips’ – this is indeed similar, more sticky I think, and is grey rather than black. The strips can be rolled together just like Plasticine.

3M Body Caulking Strips

So I rolled a few strips into a sausage and laid them in the frame, then pressed the glass into place. Another strip on the inside of the glass and I was able to push the beads in far enough for the screws to align.

Glazing the windscreen

To trim off the excess I used a Stanley blade with suitably placed insulation tape to avoid damaging the paint, the tape idea wasn’t altogether successful though. The excess from the first pane was rolled into more ‘sausages’ with new strips to glaze the second.

Trimming excess sealant

This part of the operation went quite well and I think it will be weatherproof. But overall I am not at all happy with the completed windscreen job due to failing to eradicate the existing Hammerite.

Fitting the windscreen

I bought new seals in a hurry, on a day where I was in a miserly mood. I got them from Ebay, they are clearly marked as ‘foam’ so it was my fault. I wish I had spent three times the amount and bought rubber ones from elsewhere. It was pointed out to me that foam holds water, rubber doesn’t. Alas, this advice came after sticking the ‘All-makes’ branded self-adhesive strips in place, and they are so firmly fixed that removing them would also remove my new paint.

The glazed screen assembly is quite a heavy object to manoeuvre without scratching fresh paintwork on the bulkhead, ideally I’d have had an assistant but it’s a big step to take wedding vows solely for these rare occasions, plus my neighbours weren’t around so I managed to manhandle it on my own. Normally I’d use blocks of wood on the bonnet and fix it in the folded-down position, but as the bonnet is missing I jacked up the roof and hardtop and dropped it in place.

Windscreen in place, roof not bolted down

That’s it for now, more to follow soon…


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