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I originally was planning on replacing the bonnet center section. I got a used one off e-bay for $500. The seller had claimed that it would take a little work to make usable. It looked good in the pictures, but when I got the thing, I found that it was buried in filler and there was a lot of rusted through areas where the wings and lower pan attached. I had no luck getting my money back since the seller's words were well crafted and the pictures were taken just right enough to conceal how bad the bonnet center section really was. Let the buyer beware should be the ebay moto.

So I decide to see if I could fix the original center section before I spent another dollar. The first thing I discovered during the tare-down was that the bonnet was not original. In fact someone had replaced the whole assemble with a brand new one. That must have cost somebody some big bucks. I should have realized this earlier since there was no paint on the inside of the bonnet. There was a patch of factory primer between the louvers, but the rest was just surface rust and a thick coating of protective oil, which must have been factory applied.

I used a chemical stripper to remove the paint. This revealed some interesting light surface rust damage that had occured under the metal banding that was used to ship the bonnet assembly. In the pictures you can make out the one that went down the center. You can see the marks from the bands that wrapped around the side in the pictures of the front wings that follow.

I started out the repair by pounding out the big jambs using a variety of hammers, rubber mallets and plastic mallets. Then using the old school, pre-bondo, technique that my father showed me, I used a pick hammer and a flat body file to flatten out the dents. This took me quite a lot of time. As you can see in the last picture above, the bonnet center had come out damn good. I could have saved myself $500 if I had tried this earlier.

Since I was planning on taking some time off from working on the project for the summer, I primed the bonnet center section with DP50LF Epoxy Primer to protect it until I was ready to continue working on it again.

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