Once the tea was consumed, I got started. First thing to tackle is the 90 degree bends at the end of the scuttle that sits flat on the top of the chassis rail. My problem is that I don't have a sheet metal bender and I wasn't going to go and buy one just for this job so I had to rely on a clean 90 degree edge, some clamps and a hammer. Definitely not the neatest of jobs but it will be hidden in the final build, so it is only something that I know about, and anyone who happens to be reading this blog!! Oh well, ces't la vie!!
The next stage is to line up the tabs on the scuttle panel with the tabs on the firewall. Now I am lucky that these panels have been refined a bit and the tabs now seem to line up correctly, which I think on some of the earlier Zeros, they didn't. At this stage is it also a good idea to form the rough shape of the scuttle by gently bending the panel as this stops the panel springing back to its original flat state. Once the tabs are lined up, they can be screwed together with self tappers, making sure you keep things aligned.
Now this is where I decided to be different. I am also fitting the inner dashboard former as I am going to use a fibreglass dash. This panel helps add shape and rigidity to the scuttle. I decided that I would tackle the job in a couple of stages. The first would be to bond and clamp the tabs that run across the front and back of the scuttle but on the top, almost flat part, leaving the bends until later. I marked out where the tabs would be fixed and applied the Sikaflax. I used self tappers and clamps on the front edge and an array of clamps on the back edge. The next couple of photos show the process.
Back edge. You can also see a bead of Sikaflex along the joint.
This then all had to be left to cure and go off over night. The following day I was able to repeat the process but for the curved sections of the scuttle, applying the Sikaflex and clamps, but this time I also fitted the scuttle to the chassis to maintain the correct fitment and shape.
Another view of the scuttle in place waiting for the Sikaflex to go off.
The following day I was able to remove all the clamps and I had a nearly finished scuttle. All that remains is to cut off the excess tabs and think about whether to apply some rivets to the joints as a belt and braces measure. I am not sure they are required to be honest.
I am pretty happy with the finished result and although I have not built it the same as others have, I think it is a viable build solution.