Sunday, December 25, 2011

Body work on the bolt-ons.

Christmas Day post #2, getting some catch-up on.  Before breaking (moving) for the summer, I worked on the driver's door, the hood, and re-worked the driver's fender.  I also epoxied all the parts that bolt on, such as the valances (both front and rear), the headlight buckets, the trunk lid, and the quarter panel extensions.

I. Driver's side fender.

These were the scope of my efforts in the summer of 2010.  I was new to body work when doing this.  Since I had improved considerably over time with additional practice and experience, I was no longer happy with the work I had originally done on these fenders, not to mention I had better tools now, such as my durablocks.

After already spending countless hours on the fender, I ended up taking most of the filler off I had applied previously so I could bump the low spots out.  Since I'm much better at bumping now it was well worth the effort because I ended up with a very straight fender with considerably less filler on it.  Here the bullseye pick was a lifesaver to assist with bumping out quarter-sized low spots on the top of the fender. 

When I took the fenders out of storage, I blocked them with my durablocks to see how far off from a thorough job I really was.  It was at this time I also removed much of the filler, bumped, and reapplied.  Here my Platinum was a major advantage over the heavy-building, poor-sanding cheap 3M lightweight filler I was using.  I shot another three coats of 2k primer on the fender, then blocked and bumped.  The very last step was to fill in every tiny scratch and imperfection with EZ Sand putty.  Before moving I put three last coats of 2k on and left unsanded.
Stripping the problem areas back off the fender

Blocking the fender

Filling in imperfections, pinholes, and scratches with glazing putty before the final coats of 2k
II. Hood

The hood was a reproduction because it had e-coat on the underside.  I washed the hood off and it looked pretty straight.

I sanded to bare metal in one spot to see how many layers it had.  Confirming my suspicions, it only had a layer of the e-coat, a gray primer, and the blue and purple pearl base coats.

The hood was DA'd with 80 grit then 180 to remove the clear coat and scuff the surface.

The hood was shot with 2 coats of epoxy and then blocked, which is how it remains.
III.  Driver's side door
The paint was stripped from the door.  The handle and lock were eventually removed.

The inside of the door needed some work, first.  Such as removal of the giant mouse nest inside.

The mouse nest was cleaned out and the rust was removed with an angle grinder and cleaned up with zinc phosphate.

The door de-rusted and ready for coating with some Eastwood Rust Encapsulator, though I don't have high expectations for it working well.

There were some holes in the door just to the left of the door handle that were from pulling a dent out back in the days before stud welders were a great idea.

The holes were welded shut.  Of course this caused some distortion, which was fine because the entire area was low anyways.  This was pushed out somewhat with a pry bar.

The welds were filled first with fiberglass filler, then with 3M lightweight filler.  Additional low spots on the door were filled, but the low spots were minor.

The door was shot with two coats of epoxy and ready to be blocked.
IV.  Priming bolt-ons and pot metal.

||: Blocking and priming :||

It's Christmas Day, and since we're in Michigan alone there's nothing to do and I'm quite bored.  So I'm going to blog.  There are a few areas left that I need to catch up on.  I actually started this entry back on Sept 26 and am just now getting around to posting it.  This will  be a boring entry because I never had my camera with me when I was blocking the car.  Probably because it wasn't much to look at, and it's what I spent the entire summer doing.

The purpose of this entry is to discuss what happens after the initial two coats of epoxy are laid down.  Because I'd rather fill over epoxy than the 2k high build primer, I guide coated the epoxy and blocked it to reveal the low spots.  Many of them I bumped out, some I filled to perfection.  At this point I wised up and skim coated large panel areas to give me something to work with and create a flatter surface.

After the filler work on the epoxy was completed, I shot 1-2 coats of epoxy again, and then it was time to spray SPI 2k primer, aka high build primer.  This goes on 3 coats at a time, flashing for 5 minutes between each coat.  By the way, what I describe in this very post is what I did the entire summer.  After the final coat was flashed and dried, I blocked the panel, once again bumping out what low spots I could or filling them, this time using polyester Marston Platinum filler; equivalent in all aspects to Rage Xtreme, but at a fraction of the cost.  Polyester filler can go over almost any top coat (which is why I selected it), but it's also much creamier than your normal talc-based fillers, not to mention it sands much better, making it ideal for skimming entire panels where a very fine, light, easy sanding coat is desired to remove any last waves.  Before shooting anymore 2k, I used the opportunity to guide coat the new area and block it down.  If there were low spots I'd gently bump it from the back or spot-apply more filler.  Finally, at the edges and where deep sanding scratches are present, I skim with polyester putty, or Evercoat EZ Sand, to be exact.  The polyester and EZ sand are both being sanded with 180-220.  When I feel it's perfect I'm ready to shoot another 3 coats of 2k and block again.  Hopefully after blocking I get a flat surface.

Before closing up shop in the face of the move, one of the last things I did was put [hopefully] the final three coats of 2k down on the roof and trunk.  I left it unsanded since those panels will be setting as-is for half a year or more.