May 2014

POE the track day car

There was POE the road car that did track days, now the beginning of the transformation too, POE the track day car that does road. Ben will now take up the story.

IMG_4701 IMG_4696 IMG_4694 I like the look of the Group 2 Sprints with their wide arches and decided to get a set of the SprintSpeed arches from Rob. I have a set of the original style Gp2 arches but the SprintSpeed set are an inch or so wider and slightly thicker, so should be more robust for a track/road car that may be lent on and have doors opened against them. After the Club Triumph track day in late November we decided to get the car into Rob’s garage and get on with fitting them.

Rob began by making some angle section out of sheet steel, this will be used to close the outer wing and give a lip to weld a return onto the inner wing.


Rob then marked where the outer arch needs to be cut. With the wing marked he cut a piece of cardboard as a template and used that to shape the 1″ angle, the angle can then be offered up and spot welded to the outer arch.

Whilst Rob was doing the technical stuff I set about taking bits off, simply the bumpers, trim and fuel tank.

The SprintSpeed flared arches come with a large amount of material that you can cut down to size, we marked the bit to cut off using the advanced approach of running a marker pen around the arch a thumbs gap away. Provided your thumb stays the same width all arches should be similar.

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Once the arches are cut down it’s time to make some mess; sand the edges so they are reasonably smooth, cue one bodgerben sent outside the garage to make some dust.

With the rear arches all marked up it’ a simple matter of cutting the outer arch. POE had plenty of wax in the rear wings, the outer arch bits were just staring to go frilly so needed repairing. This is another reason why I took the opportunity to put the flared arches on.

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With the outer arch out of the way, I drilled though the inner arch and then join the dots to cut out the inner arch.

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The front flares are simply stuck and pop riveted onto the front wings, the front wings didn’t get cut.

We offered the arch up and using a marker pen, mark the wing. I then keyed inside the mark with a very fine pad and used an ultra fine pad outside the mark, this gives the sikaflex something to grip onto. So whatever colour I paint the arches I can simply flat up to the arch and polish.

One chap asked Rob what standard Sprint wheels would look like with flared arches, so we tried them. They look horrible. You’ll need some huge spacers. This was also the time I thought the 7×13’s were not going to be big enough. We had a bit of a measure up and thought about spacers. Then I ordered some 9×13’s from Minilite.

With the metal cut out, I set to and clean up the inner arch back to bare metal so Rob has something to weld on to. If there is anything I’m good at, that’s making a mess, here I got to cover myself and most of Rob’s garage in old underseal.

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With both sides inner and outer arches cut out, there’s no turning back. This was a good time to reflect upon all the grief POE has caused me and sit there happy in the knowledge that we’ve cut loads of good metal out. And a little bit of not so good rusty metal

The outer lip (the 1″ (ish) angle than Rob made) was spot welded to the outer arch and an inner closing panel has been made. The inner closing panel is then spot welded to the angle, tapped up onto the inner arch and welded to that. The rear arches are now back solid.

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The end of the NS sill was a bit frilly, so Rob cut that out and made a new section on the car, two pieces were made up on the car and welded together, once finished you’d never know it had been repaired. Rob did similar to the OS and fixed the opposite (rearmost) edge of both sides as well. It was a pleasure watching Rob make up the small sections and weld then in. Fabricating on the car as he progressed. It’s amazing how much you can learn from a professional, I’d have spent ages making up small panels and sticking them on, Rob used larger pieces, tacked and shaped them as he went and then cut them down using the fine disc cutter. I could have watched Rob working for hours….ok, I did watch Rob for hours 🙂 In between making some mess.

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On a trial fit the NS rear door was a bit close to the arch, using a 1 mm disc Rob put a cut in the C panel, he could then close the gap and we’ll have 1 mm more room. The front, bottom of the rear arch was also a bit frilly, using a rear arch repair panel, Rob cut the old out and welded a new section in.

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Once the repair was finished, which gives some more room for the door and removes the old frilly metal; it looks almost too nice to cover with a bit of fibreglass.

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Caroline helped to degrease, etch, POR and seam seal the new metal. I then put some colour over the panels for a bit more protection. The inner arches will be stripped back a bit more and re-sealed once I’ve done the final cuts to the arches and made the inner arch panels.

The rear door panels are held on with some alloy angle that Rob made, which we riveted and sikaflexed to the door. The door panels could then be fixed to the alloy brackets, again with sikaflex and rivets.

Rob’s metalwork meant no tinkering was required on the door. The gap to the arch is fine and once the door panel is added it looks great.

Some parts of the flares will need some bridging filler and fettling. We spent a bit of time moving the arches around and sanding the inner edges, but some places like the end of the sill/bottom of door needed to be cut, but mostly the arches fit a treat with just minor fettling required.

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After the arch is glued on I remove any traces of sikaflex. And that’s about it. I have some ‘tiddly poming’ (as Rob would say) to do, and then I can get on with the paint

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Manx classic 2014

Videos of the Manx Classic 2014, click on ‘check these videos out’. Report and photos to follow.