Daily Archives: December 20, 2011

Black beauty

After a little snip here and a tuck there, you can’t tell that the entire back end of this car has been rebuilt, replaced and repainted.

The car was out of commission for an usually long time waiting on the insurance. Even though it was only a week, it seemed like forever before the insurance finally gave their approval for repair. Once the OK for repair was finally received, and the parts delivered, the repair went smoothly. The owner is so glad to be out of her rental, a full size Chevy pickup, and back into her own car.

I guess so … there’s a fair amount of difference between a pickup and a Nissan Altima … and I’m guessing if she had wanted to drive a truck, that is what she would have bought in the first place.

Working the glutes

Now that all the parts are here, it is is time to restart work on this Altima.

The first six  pictures show the newly installed rear body panel. This major structural piece of the car was removed and replaced by one of my subcontractors who has the equipment to do the job right and to make sure that everything is in perfect alignment. You can see there was a lot of cutting and welding, but the typical first rate job was done. This car needed to be put on a frame machine to ensure the proper fitment of the new rear body panel.

Pictures five and six show the panel after I sprayed the panel  to protect it from rust and to make it look a little better. Even though nobody will see it, I don’t like to cut corners. It was painted before the wreck, so it is going to be painted after the repair it as well.

The rest of the pictures show the rear bumper and trunk being painted.  The first of these, pictures 7 through 9, show the bumper and trunk in the booth, sanded but waiting to be sealed with a urethane primer.

The urethane primer binds to the bare metal primer, which was applied at the factory, and provides a smooth surface to lay the paint down on and to give the paint something to adhere to. You can see the freshly sprayed primer in pictures ten and eleven. The glossy look is because the primer is still wet so the slightly mottled look will disappear as the primer dries and becomes nearly flat.

Pictures 12 and 13 show the parts after the application of the color layer. The color layer also goes on nearly flat since it is the clear coat that provides not only the protection, but the shine as well.

The color layer is applied in several thin coats to ensure good coverage without runs or drips. These two pictures, numbers 12 and 13, were taken during the painting process while I was waiting for one of the layers to dry. I still had another pass or two to make over them before total coverage would be achieved, which is why the trunk lid looks rather splotchy.

The last three photos show the trunk lid and bumper after the clear coat has been applied. You will notice in these photos how much deeper the color looks in addition to the shine. Even though I work with this stuff every day it never ceases to amaze me, when I think about it, how spraying on something clear, and only fractions of a millimeter thick, can make so much difference in how something looks. Those chemists at PPG … they’re some smart people.

I left the paint to dry over night so we can start putting the car back together this morning.  I’m sure the owner is anxious to have her car back, and now that all the hard part is done, we should be able to wrap this up fairly quickly and get the car back to her in a day or so.

An early Christmas present from JMC AutoworX if you will.

JMC AutoworX will be closed Monday for Christmas

In celebration of the Christmas holiday, JMC AutoworX will be closed Monday, December 26th. We will reopen for business Tuesday, December 27th, ready to serve you.

From all of us here at JMC AutoworX, we want to wish you a Merry Christmas. May all your Christmas dreams come true.

Going to the dogs

Yesterday we had a visitor in the shop … Roxie.

Roxie is the Schorr family’s  pampered pooch and I brought her to work Monday to see how she would react to all the hub-bub around the shop. I used to have a shop dog, Nala, but a couple of years ago Nala crossed the rainbow bridge. Now that Roxie is a little older, and a lot calmer, I am beginning to introduce her to the shop to see how she does. Her job, as was Nala’s before her, will be customer relations … to give the customer someone to talk to while I write estimates, print bills and attend to other business on their behalf. Well, that and to give me someone to talk to when there is no one else around.

Where Nala was calm, to the point of near catatonia, Roxie had her nose in everything. She snuffled around every piece of equipment, every fender and door, every … everything … for the first few hours she was there. She finally got all her sniffing done, or her nose filled up with dust and she couldn’t smell anymore, so after a few hours she began to settle down. A couple of times I found her in my office simply staring out the window … I have days like that myself sometimes.

She did fine, all things considered. She still needs a little time to adjust to all the comings and goings as she still thinks that everyone who stops by the shop is there for the sole purpose of meeting her. Further, I don’t think she is done exploring the shop yet … I expect to find her covered in who knows what one of these days when she finds some little spot that hasn’t be cleaned in years. But overall it was a good day … nothing turned over, no getting into customer cars and taking them joy riding.

I think it might just work out.

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