Dave has done a tremendous job on fixing the T86 door lock and mechanism which was completely seized after years left exposed to the elements when in storage as the door was left open! The T86 door can now be closed and locked … if we could find the key which highlighted a problem. That is we keep losing things and I include myself in this.
After a bit of initial paint scraping by yours truly Pete M arrived and after the usual cup of tea we discussed how to repair the damage to the skin of the LCP cabin. Options discussed mainly revolved around how best to pull the panels out and flat etc. and what was practical and/or possible. Where the skin of the cabin has been bent, creased or distorted and in one place holed is mainly due to the ‘U’ channel framing on to which the panels are riveted being bent. After some discussion re options we decided that we had to remove one section of creased skin to see what we were up against as ‘pulling it out’ would not restore the original flatness or shape of the U channel frame or panel . Thanks to Dave having his multi cutter Pete M removed a damaged section of skin, an area that had been holed as it would need patching anyway, so we could better asses what we were up against. The attached photos show this process. First conclusion: To restore the shape of a bent U channel frame section (forget the skin for now) would require removing the skin in the area of the damage and then involve a good deal of force to pull out the bent section of frame. You will see in photo 3 how the section of U channel frame has not only been bent inwards but the bottom of the channel rolled over on itself. Pete M designed a pulling system for the channel from materials we found in the hangar, the pulling force being provided by a car jack. This system worked well in pulling out the bent section of the frame but the ‘rolled over’ damage to the frame is another matter for consideration. My thinking on repairing the skin is to fit flush ‘invisible’ patches riveted to supporting sections under the skin. Any thoughts or input on these repairs is welcome.