Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fenders primed

This is old news, as in it was the bulk of what I did this summer. I was surprised to see I haven't posted the progress on the fenders yet, so here goes.

The fenders have been a long, frustrating process. From the aspect of being rust free, they are good, solid--virtually perfect--fenders in that regard. From the aspect of being dent and ripple free....not sooo much. There were many small low spots or imperfections all over both fenders that I filled in with either plastic or fiberglass filler depending on the need, or just glazing putty. To put it briefly, I began overzealous with the filler and filled anything and everything. After I thought I was ready to start spraying, I decided I was then not happy with the amount of filler (basically out of fear of filler contour I might get in the final product) so I then proceeded to remove 70% of the filler I put down and put more effort into working out the low spots with a hammer and dolly. While painstaking, it was definitely in my favor as some of the low spots I was able to completely work out and required little more than a skim coat of glazing putty. By now this is probably boring you all, and you might not have even read this because you've already skipped down to the play by play action.

These first two pics basically show what we're starting with. This is the filler I put on the first time before I decided to go and take most of it off. Much of the filler on the top was then reduced to small skim spots.

I used the infamous Southern Polyurethanes (SPI) Epoxy primer to shoot on the bare metal. SPI is best known for their epoxy.

For this first painting step, I was working with both fenders and the cowl. This is after shooting them with epoxy. I shot two coats of epoxy with 30 minute flash time in between coats.

I then filled in minor imperfections with a skim coat of glazing putty. This pic was actually before I sprayed the cowl. I originally had the entire cowl and both fenders sprayed with Sikkens Washprimer, but after seeing some rust starting to come through that, I decided to sand it all back off and go with Epoxy, which is considerably more durable and corrosion resistant.

After the epoxy was on, I laid down some SPI 2k filler primer. The Epoxy needs to be sprayed within seven days so I had to plan my timetable ahead to make sure I could get on all the coats in the right time frames. I sprayed on three coats of filler primer at a time. This stuff is great and is very thick. It fills in very well and sands easily to boot. Here I have applied a guidecoat to the cowl and am blocksanding it smooth with 180 grit.

Of course I wasn't happy with everything after getting my final coats of fill primer on. I could still see some weird contours from the body filler that weren't natural for the car so once again I sanded off all the primer in select spots, removed the filler, bumped out the low spots better, and filled again.

After redoing everything, I again had to shoot the spots I fixed with epoxy followed by filling primer.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

door skin and repair, part 2

Part two of what looks like will be a three part series... After the door skin was fit, I finally got around to getting it permanently installed. To do this, the edge of the door skin is hammered down flat against the underside of the door, where it is then welded to the body of the door.

Picking up right where the last blog ended, all the rust was removed with a wire brush on the angle grinder, shot with a few coats of rust converter, and then shot with two coats of Eastwood Rust Encapsulator as seen here.

I could not find a reproduction insulator that goes between the door brace and skin, so I fashioned one out of cork that was the same thickness as the original insulator. I straightened the original staples out and then reused them. I then reinforced it by wrapping duct tape strips over all stapled areas, and finally a duct tape strip ran the entire length of the cork to cover it and hopefully prevent some degradation. The verdict's out on how well it will hold up.

The edges of the door skin were then hammered over and welded to the door. I ground the welds down.

The completed door skin.

I had a problem with getting tons of tiny little dimples across the bottom from the dolly, even though I was trying to be careful with it. I ended up pushing hard on it with my palm and using that as a dolly.

Next step in the repair was to fix this rusted out lower fron corner of the door.

The offending area is cut out.

A new piece is fabricated from scrap metal I saved from the trunk lid. I pounded this on a large pipe to give it a round contour that matched the contour of the door.

The piece was then welded in. It wasn't a perfect fit and there were some big gaps on the bottom and right side, so I had to fill that all in with the welder, leaving it less than pretty, but I've seen much worse weld jobs.

But after grinding down the welds it looks almost as good as new. It won't be in a visible spot and will receive a skim coat of fiber glass filler to cover up any pinholes where the welder didn't completely fill in.