Don't stop. That's the answer: Don't stop.
After priming the car I started doing body work in the form of filler and more hammer and dolly. This was really tedious and all learning on my own. Having just an hour of someones time that knew how to use hammers and dollies more effectively would have paid dividends. Hitting too hard or not hard enough? Am I stretching the metal where I need it to stretch?
Body filler was the same. I bought CleanSheets which I found is a must when doing body work. I will never do body work without them.
My filler of choice was Eastwood's Contour body filler. It seemed to work well. The filler is yellow and the hardener is blue so you can aim for a consistent green for mixing which is easier than Bondo which is pink and red. I also had no idea what I was doing with the filler. I kept watching videos and these guys would lay it down so smoothly and feather it out like nothing.
It took me a long time to figure out that my filler spreaders were wayyy too stiff. The only way I found out was I randomly decided to by a different brand of spreaders and the difference was immediately apparent.
These are the one's that work well:
After I got all the panels and the body figured out (or so I thought) I put down another coat of epoxy primer let it sit for a day or two then topped it with SPI High Build primer
I had an issue with the second coat, but I think I recovered ok. Basically, this stuff is thick and heavy. I put it on with a 2.3 tip. I didn't read carefully enough and dumped my second cup of high build in the gun right after I shot the first. Well SPI specifically says to clean out the gun before each coat, and I found out why. The second cup started to flash off in the cup and gun within minutes. I lost about 3/4 of the cup and took about 25 minutes to pull goopy high build from all the innards of the gun and clean it back up.
This was all done in my very own paint booth!
I bit the bullet and bought a blow up paint booth. I got the GorillasPro booth.
It has been well worth the investment. Setup takes all of 3 minutes from rolling it out to fully inflated. It packs up into a large sack in about 10 minutes after a thorough deflation. It has been great and allowed me to get a clean environment set up quickly. One thing to be careful about is the material they are made with. Some are not PVC and thus cannot be used in direct sunlight. These would be used in a warehouse.
After high build primer was sanding down with 400 grit. Any filler touch ups were done with glazing putty at this point, then sanded, topped with a quick hit of epoxy and sanded once more. I was loosing temperature with the coming fall so I had to do this quickly and there are spots I am not completely thrilled about.
I stressed over the color and clear big time. I knew nothing of how this worked but I had a good source of information in the form of a local painter who got a great deal on a set of slicks on bottle caps from me. Paul has been very helpful and was always willing to push me in the right direction.
Color? I went with Imola Red.
I took a Friday off and laid down the base with the help from a friend then put clear down the next day.
Base went down great. So uniform and easy to see. Just an overall very enjoyable process. I de-nibbed with 800 grit wet where needed, dried, tacked, then shot more coats of color.
We let it sit overnight in the garage.
Next day I set up the booth and masked it all off for clear. Tacked off the body and shot a coat of color in area's I had missed the day before.
This is where things started to get... not ideal. Clear proved to be finicky, or so I have found. If you are not careful, you can get a lot of fish eyes. And this is how I know!
I should have done a few things before shooting color and clear.
1. Drain the compressor and get all that moisture out of it.
2. Drain the inline filter and get all that moisture out of it.
3. Drain the (you see where this is going) moisture separator and change the desiccant beads to a fresh pack.
I had moisture in the lines which gave me a lot of bumps and nibs and places that need rework.
I also found that clear has to go on heavy. If clear coats were Moosen, there would be many much of them. Overlap on passes should have been like 75% and movement should have been slower. When I asked Paul how much clear I should go through he said probably 4-5 cups for just the body.
I sprayed 3.5 cups (about 24oz. each) and thought I was done. I was quite wrong.
I say all of this because The roof and the quarters are a little matte with texture because I was light on my coat there. The nose and the tail however, I really laid it on and they came out great. Very happy with the way they turned out.
I only painted the body. I figure the fenders, trunk, hood and doors aren't going on for a while so why rush them. If they are painted they will just be damaged. I'll get those done in the spring.
Next is reassembly.
I have most of my hardware bagged and tagged but it is all really gross. All crudded up and oily. So I bought a blast cabinet from Harbor Freight. I got the larger, 40 lb one.
I made one modification and it has been working really well. I changed the inlet air hose to the gun from the little straw that it came with to a normal 3/8" line from the 1/4" NPT fitting on the side of the cabinet. It works really well. The 80gal compressor really helps. I can blast a normal sized bracket before it kicks on.
An additional thing was to get the home depot dust separator and hook up the shop vac.
This keeps the cabinet pretty clear and stops it from leaking.
With the parts blasted, it's time to plate.
Get some white vinegar, Epsom Salt and a few pieces of zinc. I added some zinc sulfate as a brightener, but you can also get the yellow chromate solution to dip you parts in after plating to get that yellow color.
I used this:
as a baseline, but you can zinc plate so many ways. I didn't measure a single ingredient, so don't worry too much about that.
Parts came out pretty well for my first attempt. Steps below:
2. Rinse in water
3. Metal Prep (metal etch)
4. Rinse in water
6. Rinse in water
7. 0000 steel wool to shine it up real good and nice.
The last body parts that I had to make were a few body plugs. These fit in two holes under the rear seat. I turned down a few pieces on the lathe to press out the plugs. It took an adjustment but I got them stamped out without much issue.
Last bit of work has been putting in some Kilmat to cut down on noise/vibrations.
That's about it.
Edited by peterman