Daily Archives: November 16, 2011

Wire we doing this?

The wiring harness for the 1950 Chevy truck, from American Autowire, has arrived and today I cracked open the box to see what was inside.

I exclusively use American Autowire kits because, quite frankly, they just work. I never have trouble from their kits, and their kits are so clearly labeled that you don’t have a degree in electrical engineering to install it. Which I don’t.

This kit is their Classic Update kit, which provides wiring for things that weren’t even a twinkle in Charles Wilson’s eye in 1950, like power windows and air conditioning. Advanced stuff for 1950, but in a truck? Not likely.

Most people look at me funny when I tell them I enjoy wiring a car. For some reason I find it rather rewarding stringing all the wires and bringing the car to life.

And if it doesn’t burst into flames the first time power is applied … well … then the experience is very  rewarding.

Let’s paint!

After allowing the primer to dry overnight it was time to push the Pilot into the booth and put some paint on it.

The first two photos show the repaired areas sanded and sprayed with a sealing primer. The sealer actually performs a couple of tasks. First and foremost it seals the primer underneath and provide a surface for the paint to adhere to. But it also is used in color matching.

The sealer can be mixed in one of seven shades of gray, from nearly black to almost white. The color of the sealer is determined by the color of the paint that goes over it. Light colored paints use a light colored sealer, dark paints use a darker color. The paint manufacture specifies one of the seven shades of gray for each paint color to ensure a perfect color match.

The sealer and the color layer work hand-in-hand to produce the desired color. I have samples in my office of the exact same paint sprayed over sealers just one shade different, and it makes a noticeable difference in the perceived color of the paint.

Now that you know more about paint sealers than you ever wanted to, it is time to move on to the the third and fourth pictures. These pictures show the Pilot after the color layer has been applied.

As the name implies, the color layer is the actual   pigmented medium that gives the finish on your vehicle it’s color. You can call it paint if you must, but it is really only ⅓ of the process that gives your vehicle’s finish it’s color and shine. That is why it is normally called color layer as opposed to paint.

You will notice in these two pictures the color appears quite flat. The reason is the color layer isn’t the shiny part of the finish. The color layer’s function is simply to provide the color. It is the next step that provides the shine.

The last two photographs, numbers five and six, show the finish after the application of the clear coat. The clear coat not only provides protection for the color layer underneath, but as you can see, it also provides the shine of the finish.

So there you have it … car painting 101. Class dismissed.

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