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Clay Bars are GLORIOUS!

Check it out!  The right side is 'before', left is 'after'


No buffing wheel or anything!  Just clay bar, surface compound, and turtle wax!


1.  Wash surface

2.  Rub clay into surface, use water to help it slide across surface.  Massage into paint so it picks up dirt and such. 

3.  Towel dry

4.  Use a clean rag and rubbing compound, in circular motions around the surface

5.  Wax surface.  Let wax become opaque, then remove





Body work

So this started as a California Car.....then I moved to Michigan.  That sweet California patina turned into some good 'ole fashioned Michigan Rust.  I wasn't planning to do any bodywork yet - but I already had the interior out (see other post), so I figured I'd nip it in the but while it was easily accessed. The rust isn't too bad - no holes, and it's upper body rust (Cali style) instead of ground- up.  The rust is along the rear driver's side window.  




Prep area 

- Unscrew the window (there's two areas it's held in place), pop it out. 

- carefully take the window seal off the body (I stress carefully, if you don't want to spend $50 on another seal)

- Use Needle-nose pliers to press (carefully) welding rivets on the chrome plate (on the flat area, where the  metal isn't shiney, under the window)

- take out the chrome

- Mask off any areas you don't want to mess us (if you drip bondo somewhere you don't want).  I'd at least mask off remaining chrome bits on door)


Remove Rust

- First, I sanded all the surface areas that had rust, by hand.  Make sure you use something stiff under the sanding paper so you don't get low-spots in your surface. The removed the looser rust and dust.

- The next level, I used a small wheel to gently grind the rusted areas, again, working to keep the surface even.

- Most of the rust is removed at this point - aside from the parts that are deeper into the surface (like tiny potholes)

- I used a small dremel with a sanding tip to get the remaining rusty bits. No more rust should be visible.

- Lastly, I used a rust-eating gel on the exposed metal.  This is really gentle, and didn't seem to do that much - but should get any remaining dots of dust left behind. 


Bondo and Primer Prep

-Mix Bondo (I generally aim for a light pink color so it dries slower)

- Use a plastic bondo speader to apply the bondo to the surface.  Aim to have the least amount of bondo possible, while still covering the areas.  Use the speader along the surface so the surface of the bondo matches your car.

- When cured, mask off edges with thick painters tape, and sand to the edge, then switch masking and sanding sides. This makes sure you don't loose any edges on the surface of the car.   

- Sand the bondo, in diagonal cross-strokes across the surface. Make sure to use something stiff under the sanding paper to maintain a smooth surface.   I think I used 300 grit. 

- Mask off all the areas that don't have bondo.  Cover as much as the car as you can.  Leave an inch or so room around the bondo area for primer feathering



- Use a catalyzed Primer.  There's two parts - the primer, and hardener.  Mix carefully. 

-  I used a gravity-feed spray gun, and an air compressor to use the gun.  Use a breathing mask and safety glasses when you spray.

- Spay a thin coat at first. even and long diagonal strokes. 

- Allow primer a few minutes between each coat.  Just long enough for it to not be shiny anymore. 

- Let cure. 



- Use flexible pro-painters tape (you can find it at Finish Masters).  It's thicker plastic, and bends around edges, and is water resistant.

- Use the tape to maintain any edges as you sand. Take the tape off any re-apply to opposite areas as you move around

- Wet-  with something stiff behind the paper, in cross-diagonal strokes. Sand evenly around the surface to avoid lows. 

- Start with 400-ish grit. End at 1,000 grit. Use water to check surfaces (make sure the reflections are lined up smoothly.  Huge plus if you have overhead florescent lights to check surface continuity.)


...haven't painted surface yet, but that would be the next step.  For now, I'm leaving the primer, since I'll be painting the entire car down the road. 

End result should be a smooth, rust-free surface!






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Interior Progress

Finally getting around to posting some photos from my interior re-vamp.  Never been a fan of that 1970's tan - so used vinyl dye on the parts and made it all black.  Got some black leather Ricaro front seats (the dye doesn't last long on seats if you sit on them), and a new carpet.  Everything else is just cleaning and dye. 



Take out the interior (huge pain the ass)

-unbolt the front seats from racks, unscrew the racks from the floor

-pop out the back cover on the rear seat

-unbolt the top of the rear bench, then the bottom

-pop off the smoker-window knob (round adjuster).  This was hard to take off.  There's a little pinhole on the inside of the plastic - you gotta use a paperclip to pop it off. It's really hard to see, but you gotta look for it through the window on the opposite side of the car. 

-Unscrew the window crank, door handles, speakers, etc. 

-pop off the door panels (held in place with pressure clips)

-unbolt center console, shifter boot, and underside dash cover.

-unbolt seat belts, rear speakers

-Take out carpet, set aside (if you buy a new carpet, you'll want to compare them for cutting spots and sizing)

Clean and Dye

-Use interior cleaner, or soap and water.  Make sure the surface is dry before you paint.

-Mask off any chrome bits with painters tape. 

-Fill shift boot with paper so it's easier to paint evenly

-wear a mask when you paint.  This shit is bad for you. 

-Spray a thin coat of Vinyl and Fabric Dye (you should still see original color through paint).  This allows a sticky, tacky layer to prevent dripping

-Spray dye in long horizontal paths, thin coats.  Let dry a couple minutes between coats (it dries pretty fast)  

-Let dry. 


I just got the new carpet, will put it in when it's a bit warmer (I'm in Michigan, and it's 1 degree out.  Yuck.)




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