Another week of work has gone into Babe and instead of just disassembly week #2 included the first repair and restoration steps. As seen in the previous post (Top Down Approach), the fiberglass cargo box and pop-top were the first to get completed. They weren’t the only parts to get worked on though!
Babe has always had a small solar panel on the roof (at 10W it wasn’t much more than a trickle charger for the house battery) and it’s always gotten in the way trying to clean the top. It also represented some holes drilled into the fiberglass and were a source of moisture getting in. That’s no longer the case as she’s getting a new solar setup and it won’t be roof-top mounted. As you can see from the photos, the top has become very porous and all of the crevices have filled with dirt. The area around the pop-top seals also accumulated a lot of dirt and organic material over the years. Volker worked to get all of the surfaces as clean as possible before filling in scratches and other defects.
Step one was to packed up and protect the canvas and then take off the old seals and the various hardware bits. All photos courtesy Volker at Body By Crome.
Next up was the cleanup followed by the repairs. These two photos show the top before the cleanup began. You can see the large scratch and how dirty the top was, particularly around the solar panel. The 2nd shot is of that area cleaned & repaired.
The front got a similar treatment with the worst staining coming from the original and very rusty footman’s loops. The decals all got taken off, the inside and the outside got cleaned and the dings and nicks repaired. And then both parts got painted in L90D.
Also on the repair/restore list were the two sliding windows (one in the slider and the other behind the kitchen. These showed signs of wear and tear in a few different places. Volker was able to remedy most of the problems and improved how they will work. And eliminate the rattles! The one thing that will remain is the scratches in the tint. Without knowing what tint was used it’s almost impossible to redo it. The repairs included replacing parts of one window latch with one in better shape and replacing the felt pads. The rubber slide area also got some love.
The other major work this week was on the slider. The outside surface needed a little attention but not too much. The window opening had a little rust that needed attention, still not bad. The bulk of the work was on the inside along the sides and bottom. The original seam seal was dried and cracked and there were some significant rust spots. There was also rust under the cracked seam sealer. Volker addressed this is a few different steps but started by exposing all of the areas that needed treatment. All of the areas were cleaned, ground down as necessary and then treated with Wurth Rust Convertor. Once it was all stable all of the bare metal was primed before the seams were resealed. And then the lower edges were treated with under-body seal. It’s now ready for painting. Next up will be the front doors which will get similar treatment.
Speaking of paint, this is what we picked… Volker got a pint of it to test the colour. Let’s just say it’s brighter than Assuan Brown. In the photo with John & I, you can see the original colour on the inside panels. The previous owner had painted it a little brighter, I’m dialing it up a little more.