The easiest thing to have done for both the LCP and T86 would have been simply to repaint them. They would have looked good for a short while but a quick splash of paint would only have hidden the corrosion which on the T86 would have continued to eat away at the pedestal roof, the chassis and numerous ferrous components. As the cabin is now fifty plus years old we are ensuring it can survive another fifty years by carrying out a full restoration by eliminating any corrosion found and ensuring the T86 cabin is water tight by replacing all seals etc.
Replacing Wasted Rivets
Our T86 (Ser. No. 501) is an ex Swedish radar and was converted to an RAF T86 before being operational on Yellow Section at RAF Bawdsey. A feature of the Swedish radars was the fitting of wooden rails along the external top edges of the cabin walls, the rails being fastened with coach screws and copious amounts of sealant. Over the years the wood had rotted providing a trap for rain water, not too bad on the alloy sections of the cabin roof but severe corrosion and wasted rivets was the condition of the steel pedestal roof under the wooden rails. Pete M had the task of drilling out and replacing the wasted rivets on the pedestal roof, which is all of them. The images below show work in progress on replacing the rivets and the new rivets fitted.
Here the original rivets where the alloy roof of the cabin overlaps the alloy cabin walls shows no corrosion or rivet wastage.
Ian did sterling work in applying the first top coat to the insides of the chiller compartments. The first top coat applied anywhere on the T86 cabin. Here you can see the rather impressive end result illustrating that the all the preparation work was well worth it.
Cabin Front Wall
It was decided that there is only one way to prepare the front of the cabin wall for a repaint and was to remove the access ladder, as shown here.
Trying to work round the ladder and its fitting was going to be a lot more trouble than removing it as it was a straight forward task.
One challenge faced in refurbishing the T86 cabin is removing any original nuts and bolts that are zinc plated rather than stainless steel. The external fittings on the cabin are a mixture of both types. Stainless nuts and bolts are replacing the zinc plated originals wherever possible.