Friday, November 28, 2014

Adding panel emblems, lettering, trim, grille, and molding

After the car is all buffed out (and in some cases even before) I started adding the panel letters (also called emblems), trim, and molding.

Adding the molding to the front edge of the hood is pretty easy and straight forward; it snaps onto the front edge of the hood and then screws on from underneath.  The screw holes are already there in the hood, even on a reproduction hood.

However,  before I added the molding to the front edge of the hood, I added the F O R D lettering.

I used these adhesive letters from KS Reproductions.  After using Scott Drake adhesive lettering for the back, I liked the KSR ones much better.  The adhesive was stickier and stronger.  I prefer the adhesive much to the letters with the pins; no drilling holes this way, and no pesky barrel nuts to push into holes and then pressing the letters in.

 I used this article from Mustangs Monthly to get dimensions for the lettering.  Starting with the hood...

I did my install just as described in the article.  The bottom of the letters are located 3/4" from the front edge, and the measuring tape I used (borrowed from my wife) was 3/4" wide so it worked perfectly to line it up along the edge of the hood.  I taped the end to the edge of the hood, and then put a piece of tape at each measurement where the left side of a letter would go.  I just positioned the letters to make sure they looked right, and then I stuck them on.
I then did the same thing for the driver's side of the hood.

...and the final product.

Installation of Wide Grille Molding
I highly recommend buying an original molding and refurbishing it rather than go with a reproduction wide molding.  However, if you must use a reproduction molding, then use a reproduction molding for each side.  I bought an original wide molding set to refurbish, but one of the sides had a mounting tab missing.  So I bought a repro molding for that side, but it did not match the other side in dimensions.  So I opted to make the original molding work as best I could, and as it turned out it worked just fine.

To repaint the moldings, paint them with Krylon #1403, Dull Aluminum.  This will be a near-exact match to the original argent color. 

I don't have any pictures of when I did this work.  However the installation is easy; there are tabs on the front of the molding that screw onto the headlight buckets or stone deflector.  Then the thin molding is mounted, by setting the mounting studs in place and adjusting them to line up with the holes in the headlight bucket and stone deflector.  Then they are nutted down.

Installation of Grille

I wrote these instructions for CJ Pony parts to install the grille.  I wanted a more modern/custom look and ended up painting my grille with the Mastercoat Silver Rust Sealer, which is aluminum colored,  and then painted it with an aluminum metallic spray paint to get an aluminum colored grille.  I used the spray paint because it was more UV resistant than the Mastercoat silver primer.  And it looked pretty cool:

Installation of Fender Ornament and Lettering
For the fender ornaments, I just did the plain pony without any engine designation.  I could have got the custom Scott Drake 5.0 pony, but they were pricey and I still wanted to maintain a somewhat original or 'stock' appearance.  I went with Scott Drake pin-on emblems, but only because my fenders were original and already had the original holes in them.  However, after doing this I realized the pin-on was a mistake as the factory holes weren't always perfectly straight (or perhaps the pins aren't in the right locations).  Needless to say, some of the letters are slightly crooked, but only if you're looking hard.

I also did away with the barrel nuts, as you have to push the emblems in really hard and this will create low spots in the fender.  Instead what I did was took a round mini diamond file and filed out the holes (they will fill in from filler, primer, paint, clear coat) until the emblem pins fit in snugly.  Then I took some Mastercoat Silver and painted a glob near the base of each pin, and pushed them into place, securing them to the panel with tape.  The Mastercoat silver will dry rock hard and once it's dried, it's stuck.  So it essentially glues the emblems to the panel, only the benefit here is you won't get rust streaks running down.

Unfortunately, my Scott Drake pony emblem doesn't fit the exact contour of the fender.

Installation of Trunk Molding
I wrote these instructions for installation of trunk molding for CJ Pony Parts.  All of the molding, including this, that I've put on this car so far has been Corvex and I've been pretty happy with it.  The fit was good and overall quality was pretty good.

Installation of Trunk Lid Letters
The trunk lid letters were Scott Drake stick on letters.  As I mentioned earlier, I did not like these as much as the KSR stick on letters.  I also used the measurements described in the previously linked Mustangs Monthly article above.  The one dimension they do not give is for how high the letters are from the bottom edge of the trunk lid, which is 1 5/16".

(The trunk lid is not shut, just sitting)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Cutting and buffing part II: Buffing

Buffing is a lot more rewarding than cutting to a degree, but it also makes the cutting rewarding, especially if you took your time and didn't make large jumps between grits.  Since I sanded up to 3000, a shine comes immediately after starting buffing.

For buffing I took the advice of some of the most anal pro's I know and used the same materials they did: Chemical Guys V-series 32, 34, 36, and 38 compounds or polishes.  The 32 and 34 are compounds with more cutting, while the 36 and 38 are polishes that deliver a final intense shine.

I used a rotary buffer, and for the pads I used Hexalogic 6" pads, using the orange pad for cutting and the black pad for polishing.  The orange pad is a much more dense foam with more cutting, while the black pad is a very soft foam.  I used Chemical Guy's pad wash and conditioner.  I also used a flexible backing that I also got from Chemical Guys.

Let me first say the smells of these products will keep you going if nothing else.  The conditioner smells like bubble gum and I take a big whiff every time I use some.  Each of the compounds or polishes smell glorious too, and the pad wash also smells wonderful.

My buffing process went something like this:

  1. Make sure the panel is clean; impeccably clean.  I dusted with  California Duster first, then washed down the panel with soap and water.
  2. Put three to four small drops of compound (starting with the V32) on the orange buffing pad.  Less compound is better than more.  Use too much compound and it glazes the panel and doesn't actually cut.
  3. Spray some pad conditioner on the pad.
  4. Put the buffer on the lowest speed and start running over the panel to work the compound in.
  5. Turn the buffer up just a bit faster and work in a 2x2 foot area, making slow passes back and forth and up and down until the panel starts to clear off.  I found it's not necessary to apply more compound every time you go back to make more passes.  Adding more conditioner brings more compound up out of the pad and this still cuts.
  6. Wipe off the excess with a clean microfiber rag.  I had three designated microfiber rags and I stored each in a separate labeled ziplock baggie: "Dusting" (for wiping the panel off before compounding), "Compound" (for wiping excess compound off), and "Polish" (for wiping extra polish off).  The one thing I tried to do here was keep up with wiping off adjacent panels too, however I did a very poor job at this and now looking back, I wished I would have covered the entire car with soft cotton sheets except for the panel I was working on.
  7. Clean the pad after every three applications of compound.  To clean the pad, I put 4 capfuls of pad cleaner in a garden sprayer then filled the rest up with water, hooked it up to a hose, and sprayed the pad down with this to clean out the compound.  Then I stuck the pad back on the backing pad, stuck the buffer down inside a 5 gallon bucket and turned it on high speed to spin out the water.
  8. Move to the V34 compound next, then change to the black pad and move to the V36 and then the V38.  After some time however, I questioned if I could actually tell the difference between each of these compouds (I didn't think I could), so in the end I started with the V32 to cut and then polished with the V38 and to my eyes, this didn't look any different than the panels I had used all four compounds/polishes on.
Some illustrations:
Rogue scratches like this will haunt you through the entire process.  Time to back up and resand this area.

The roof all buffed out

The 'dollar bill test'.  Unfortunately the metallic cuts down on some of the clarity of the reflection in the picture.

The hood buffed out, sans hood scoop

Buffed quarter panel.  The only bad thing about having a really shiny car is it shows all the other crap you have sitting in the shop.

Ok, so I'm really behind in this blog and have been a bit more busy than buffing, however, this is the entire car buffed out.