Sunday, April 5, 2020

Scuttle Ramp

PROJECT 51: Scuttle Ramp. The bottom third of the firewall on the MG is referred to as the "scuttle ramp." The scuttle of a car is known in America as the cowl, and is the body panel directly under the windshield. Over time, it has come to include the firewall. The scuttle ramp is a separate section of the firewall, angled upward (hence "ramp"), is located right behind the engine block, and has a semicircular opening that fits closely around the bell housing.
When Brutus removed the engine and gearbox from the car he obviously had a great deal of difficulty (See the post about the broken mounting flange on the gearbox and the bent up mounting bracket from 12/11/19). While trying to force the engine/gearbox free, he lifted the pair so high (and so hard!) that he bent the bejeebers out of the edges of the scuttle ramp. He even managed to put a split in the sheet-steel panel!
Over the past several weeks, while waiting for engine parts to come back from the shops, I used the time to get the scuttle ramp back into a more presentable condition.
After degreasing it, I set about straightening and flattening all of the damage that included various dents of unknown origin. First, I used my drill press as an arbor press, and using a 4x4 and a 2x4 I was able to get some of the end-to-end bend out while preserving the crease along the top that is supposed to be there.
I got the rest of the bend out by clamping the top edge of the scuttle between 2x4s in my bench vice, and used a wide pry-bar to lift and bend the metal back into alignment.
I then went to work with a body-work hammer to flatten the dents. Finally, I used a modified pair of Vice-Grips to straighten the curled edges.
I welded the split, after which I used my trusty lead filler to level the area. Spot putty was used over the lead and in several dents to get a smoother surface.
The final step was sandblasting, priming, and painting, and now it's ready to reinstall … sometime in the future.

As removed from the car.
The circular section should be lying flat.

Using my drill press as an arbor press
to flatten part of the bend,

Lifting more of the bends into line with a pry-bar.

Tapping out some of the miscellaneous dents.

Split in the sheet steel panel.

Split held in alignment by a small bar
clamped to the underside.

Spot putty to fill some of the dents.

Modified wide-grip Vice-Grips used to flatten some of the curled edges.

Primed and painted and waiting for installation ,,, sometime in the future.

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