Sunday, October 18, 2009

Never stand naked before a body man

It almost sounds a bit paradoxical. Not *that* kind of a body man, I'm talking the kind of body man that will find every single flaw in you. But they can't just sit there and stare at it; they have to touch it, and rub it, and hit it, and poke it, and grind it. If you are now truly offended by these perversions, then I suggest you never take your car to the body shop. No, they are not euphemisms, these are REAL LIFE THINGS that REAL BODY MEN DO. And finally--after enough mechanical manipulation--they will want to fill it in and hide it forever. The only thing separating a body man from a plastic surgeon are calouses. So never stand naked before a body man.

This philosphical departure comes after some reflection on the way home from my latest excursion on the purple people eater (yes, regardless of the lack of updates, I've been ferverently working away and new big neat things are happening). I took a body class at DMACC this fall because I can. It is in Ames at the new Hunziker Center so the sole convenience of proximity was my ultimate persuasion. We've learned rust repair, and a billion different ways how to hit, bend, distort, undistort, and unintentionally screw up metal. We've learned dent repair, rust removal, body panel fabrication, and welding. It's taught by a very animated, super nice guy skilled in his trade, and is more anal than a proctologist but equally effective at getting his point across. We'll call this guy Kirk, because that's his name.

Most of the welding is done on the car, namely the front end work. The next, and current major product is finishing up the rest of the car between the front [missing] bumper and windshield. So...painting the engine bay. I sanded and sanded on that forever. In fact, all I've done on this stupid car is sand. I've partially stripped most of the paint off with a stripping wheel on about half of the engine bay. The other half I'm convinced was painted with a missile proof army tank tar paint that seems impenetrable by nearly every thing at this point, but I haven't tried using a jackhammer yet. It was to a point where I was about ready to spray. I was in the throws of doing my final degreasing and getting down to the nitpicky of paint prep. But then body man Kirk came out and looked at it.

If you don't want to know every flaw in your car, don't show it to a body man. Fortunately I do though, and hopefully I have a good memory too because I have about a million pieces of new information on 'things to fix.' And then he basically explained to me that my engine bay prep wasn't ready for spraying yet. This is good to know because I would have sprayed the entire thing only to strip it off because I didn't do a good enough job at feathering the old paint remains.

I took some 320 grit sandpaper, by hand, and went over and over the panel smoothing and feathering the old surface out. Once I was convinced it was where I wanted it, I degreased it twice with paint prep, wiped off with a tack cloth, and primed and painted a test strip. It came out looking super sexy, I declared victory, and have a new motivation to finish the rest of the engine bay as carefully as I did this section.

Prior to this, the car spent some time at Mike Louis Auto Body getting some welding. The radiator support, passenger side front inner fender skirt, and passenger side strut support were all replaced. On the back driver's rear quarter panel where it meets the floor of the trunk, a patch of metal was welded in as the quarter panel had completely rotted/separated away from the place where it meets the trunk.

Also during this time, my rear seats came back from the repair man sporting brand new padding and burlap since the mice did a number on the seat guts. The seats look great, have better form now, and after getting them shined up I can't wait to ge them back in the car.

This entry is dedicated to Kirk, who undoubtedly saved me from inevitable insanity. Also, the formatting of this entry sucks and I'm completely fine with it.

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