While this project set away as a touch-up job of the bike there’s also a bit of work needed on the sidecar, mainly cosmetic but there’s a bit on the underside will need a portion of a panel replaced.
There’s a place under the seat where water can accumulate, remember it is an open sidecar! and the base panel has corroded through here. It’s not at a point that’s structurally important so what I intend is to simply seal up and re-inforce the existing panel.
Rather than weld the new part in place, which could result in places where more water could accumulate I’m going to use epoxy to fit it and I’ll sandwich some glass mat between the old part and the new.
Another touch-up is at the nose of the body where there is an area where the paint has lifted away with rust underneath. This will need cutting back to bare metal, treating with a rust preventative and a repaint.
The body on the sidecar is a Polish made replica I fitted when the old body became beyond repair about 15 years ago and while a nice copy I don’t think the surface preparation of the bare metal was as good as it might have been, but still at least it was available!.
What I’m doing is to use a wire brush in the angle-grinder to remove the rust itself. This will need some care as the panel is edged with an aluminium trim.
With the panel scoured clean then the ally trim needs to be masked off, as did the surrounding bodywork before panel could be treated, I’ve some Bondaprimer that goes on first to etch into the steel surface before the primer/surfacer, a couple of coats of that, flatted down and then the top coats added.
So with the body upside down on the trestles and a piece of 2mm steel plate I began work.
First was to cut the plate to suit, and as the panel came up to the cross channel in the bodywork thats to clear the chassis cross tube I bent the end over at 90º.
The body area was well cleaned down and swabbed with Panel Wipe and then I turned to the patch plate.
This was given a good scratching to key it for the epoxy and then it too was swabbed down with the Panel Wipe, glass matt was cut to match the patch and then laud up on it with epoxy resin.
The beauty of the resin I used is its extended working time, there was plenty of time to then coat the damaged area of the body with more epoxy and then offer the patch plate up to it,
An old carrier bag was then placed on the plate and a heavy weight put on that to compress the joint and the whole thing left overnight to set.
Next day the exposed metal of the plate was given a coat of the epoxy resin and some glass cloth laid up onto it to seal the surface.
Once this had set up the whole patch area was given a couple of coats of paint, it’s on the underside of the sidecar body and masked by the wheel and mudguard so cannot be seen so it has not been necessary to camouflage the repair, the paint job being sufficient.