Monthly Archives: October 2011

Progress

I was at the shop late yesterday and realized that it has been a while since I have posted any news about the Mustang. It’s been busy around the shop the last few weeks, but we have still been able to put in a few hours here and there on the Mustang. So progress has been made, it’s just that the stuff that we have been doing hasn’t been particularly glamours or photogenic. To rectify this oversight, here are three photographs of the Mustang, unrelated except for the fact that I remember to take them before I went home.

The first picture shows the transmission cooler, the small radiator looking thing with the two silver lines attached, installed and plumbed. The transmission cooler’s function is to cool the hot automatic transmission fluid, extending the life of the transmission. The harder the transmission has to work, the more it needs cooling. With as much power as this beast makes, it needs cooling indeed.

The second photograph shows the front valiance installed. That is one more step in getting the nose finished up and looking as buttoned down as the rear.

The last picture shows the instrument cluster installed. It looks a little drab in this shot because, despite my best efforts, a body shop is a dirty place and the dash is covered in dust. A quick wipe with a damp cloth and a squirt of vinyl protectant will perk it right up though.

Next week the car gets loaded onto a trailer and hauled off to have the headers and exhaust system installed. That will take a few days, but after that, when the car gets back to the shop, we might be ready to spark the ol’ girl up.

On a build like this, when the car is running you really are in the home stretch. I hope Cassie and Karl have found a place to hang the keys.

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Bent door? What bent door?

We finished painting assembling this Acura MDX yesterday and it now ready to be returned to it’s owner. The ravaged door and tweaked fender were replaced with new sheet metal and after splashing on a bit of paint, it looks good as new.

If it weren’t for the picture evidence on this very site, there would be no proof anything even happened.

Got to love all those curves

Modern cars are superior to old cars, like this 1932 Ford, in every measurable way. But … there is something that makes these old cars special, and that’s curves. Lots of curves.

The first two pictures show the right and left front fenders. When was the last time you saw a fender like that on a modern car?

The next two photos show the two sides of the hood. This truck was built when they still had side opening hoods so there is a door on each side that is opened to allow access to the engine. Fantastic!

And check out the radiator grill. I really like the way it looks with the filler neck sticking up on the top like that. Notice the hole in the bottom of the grill? That is where the crank start lever goes. Battery goes dead? No problem! Just pull out the ol’ crank and give it a spin.

The last picture is of one of the rear fenders. More curves to complement the curves of the front fenders.

This is the last of the paintwork for this old girl. Most of the truck is already gone to my fabricator for reassembly, and these parts will soon follow. Even though I am not doing the reassembly on this truck, I am going to try to get some pictures of the truck after it is reassembled. That is when all the these individual curves really complement each other and when the truck becomes something really special.

And all because of the curves.

Back in black

Today the MDX that came out second best in a shoving with a garage door went into the booth for a spot of paint. Fitting a new door and fender took care of the metal work. Now it was time to make the incident just a bad memory.

The first photo shows me putting the final touches on taping up the car so the paint goes only where it is intended. The second photo shows the car all taped up and ready for paint. Because the car is black we are not going to have to blend the paint to make it match as we do on other colors, so the car is taped up where only the door and fender are exposed.

The third photo shows the car in color, but not yet cleared. You can see a bit of a shine from the overhead light, but the reflections are very muddled. Once the color dries completely it will have almost no shine at all.

The last photo shows the car with the clear coat. If you look at the light fixture reflected in the fender you can actually see the bulb after the clear coat is applied, where before the clear was applied the fixture reflection was more of a white blob.

The paint will dry overnight and tomorrow we will put the trim back on the car and it will be ready to go home, good as new.

Inside job

Here are some additional bits and pieces of the ’32 Ford in for paint, bits and pieces that go inside the cab of the truck.

The first three pictures show the various parts in primer, the second three in color, and the last three with the clear.

The primer coat is used to seal the metal and to provide adhesion for the paint layers that follows. All vehicles painted at the JMC AutoworX shop will receive at least three coats of primer … an etching primer that binds to the metal, an epoxy primer to seal the metal and to protect against rust and a urethane sealer to seal the primers and provide a base for the color layers to follow.

The color layer is just that, the color. The color can be mixed in an infinite number of hues, but all two-stage paints, the only type of paint used at JMC AutoworX, goes on flat and lifeless. It is the next step, the clear coat, that provides the gloss of the paint finish.

The final layer is the clear coat. The clear coat not only protects the color layer underneath from damage, it is also the layer that provides the gloss that one expects in an automotive finish. The difference the clear coat makes is striking and can be clearly seen by comparing the second set of photos to the last.

The difference is clear, isn’t it?

Garage door 1, car door 0

Just a second of inattention is all it takes and the next thing you know your car is bent. That is what happened to this Acrua MDX. The driver started backing out of the garage with the door still open and … well you can see the result.

The first couple of pictures show the results of the MDX’s door impacting the garage door frame. It wrenched the door open beyond its design limit, bending the door at the hinges.

The front fender was also damaged, tweaked when the door was forced open, so that it no longer aligned properly. It’s a shame too because at first glance it appeared the fender survived unscathed. After test fitting the new door, however, it was obvious that something wasn’t right because the body gaps were all wrong.

The last three pictures show the replacement door being painted. After the paint dries the door will be ready to reattach to the car to make it whole again.

Everyone has moments while behind the wheel when their attention is diverted and not focused on the task at hand. But that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow when just that moment of inattention leaves you with a repair bill.

Return of the Hurricane

Back in  May I painted the tank and bodywork of this simply stunning 1972 Triumph X-75 Hurricane. When it came into the shop all I had was the part you see in orange. As part of that original entry I linked to a Wikipedia entry because so few people knew of the bike or what it looked like.

But no more. The owner has the bike assembled and today he sent me these pictures. The bike is simply knee-weakening gorgeous, and I am glad to have played a part, no matter how small, in getting this icon back on the road.

Bedding down the Old Timer

After getting the frame painted on this ’32 Ford, we are moving on to the bed. The first couple of pictures show the bed in primer. The floor of the bed, along with the wheel wells are covered for protection.

The bed floor is covered to protect the paint from flying debris. The floor of the bed is going to be wood, and since the rails that support the wood floor are not going to be painted, nor are they particularly clean, the rails were covered to prevent any debris from being blown into the paint or clear by the paint gun.

The wheel wells are covered to protect the protective bed-liner material already sprayed on the bed in those areas. Leaving the bed-liner material black will cause it to “disappear” once the truck is assembled.

The third and fourth shots show me spraying on the urethane sealer, which binds to and seals the primers, providing a good base for the color.

In the next four pictures, shot five through eight, you can seem me spraying on the first of several coats of this beautiful blue.

The last four shots show the bed after the application of the clear coat. The clear coat not only provide protection to the color layer beneath, but it also provides the shine.

And shine it does.

No wheels, no body … no problem

After looking over the frame this morning I quickly came to the realization that we were not going to able sand the frame to the degree necessary. If this frame was going to get sanded, it was going to have to go back to the media-blaster.

Not wanting to take the time to send the frame out and wait for the blaster, I decided to use POR15, a paint over rust product that works well for this application. While POR15 doesn’t leave the frame with a High Performance Finish, it still looks pretty good.

And really, since this car is a driver, there is no need to spend a ton of money on something that will only be seen by the guy on the oil rack.

Return of the Old Timer

After a delay of just over a month, we were finally able to get back to this old timer to move the project along. When we last saw this ’32 Ford, back in late August, we were painting the cab. Now we are finally painting the frame.

The frame wasn’t in dire need of work, just a touch up really. We sanded the frame down to rough up the existing paint, to give the primer something to get its teeth into, then shot over that with a semi-gloss black, just to clean the look up.

It’s not fancy or glamorous work, but these little details when taken together make a difference.

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