Daily Archives: January 7, 2012

Primed for action

Friday was a long day … a very long day. We nearly 10 hours in the booth getting this ’65 Chevelle prepared, primed and ready for the next step, so it was worth it.

The first five pictures show the Chevelle after the application of the epoxy sealer. The epoxy sealer seals and protects the metal from moisture and rust. It also provides a good bonding surface for the products that follow, such as the Slick Sand primer.

The epoxy primer has a strange property … all five pictures show the car covered the same stuff, the epoxy primer, but depending the light and angle, the camera sees the primer as either dark gray or blue. Dark gray is the color your eye sees, so I don’t know where the blue is coming from, but it really is all the same stuff.

The car was completely coated in the primer, top to bottom, inside and out. The third picture is a shot taken from underneath the car looking toward the back. That hole in the floor is where the shift lever comes through the floor from the transmission.

Here at JMC AutoworX spare no effort in our battle against rust, especially on these high end restorations, so not only do we spray the entire car in this very tough primer, we go the extra mile and coat the underside and interior floor of the car with our Raptor Liner bed liner material.

The Raptor Liner is a light duty truck bed liner. While we do use it for that, we use it more often as a protectant on restored and custom cars. The Raptor Liner provides a super tough, water proof layer that provide extra protection against damage and rust. So while it might not stand up to contractor throwing concrete block in the back of a truck, it is a supremely tough protective coating on a car.

Another benefit of the Raptor Liner is that it provides some sound deadening properties as well. Later we will cover the floor, roof and doors with another sound deadener, but the Raptor Liner provides just that much more deadening.

Photos 7-12 show Jordan spraying the Raptor Liner onto the car. As you can see in pictures 7-9, the spraying of the Raptor Liner under the car is no picnic. This car is a frame off restoration, and we received the body and the frame as two separate units. The body is sitting on jack stands so it is high enough off the floor to get under … but just barely.

Because Jordan is the youngest, most resilient of us, he was elected to crawl under the car and spray the liner. Having done this job many times myself, I can tell you it is not a fun job. While the Raptor Liner dries to an extremely hard surface, it starts out as a wet, gooey, sticky gunk. When spraying it under a car like this most of it goes on the underside of the car, maybe 99.9% of it does, but that tiny little bit that doesn’t ends up on the floor and on your protective coveralls. Then it begins to dry and sticks you to the floor, making moving difficult. Remember, this stuff is designed to be a truck bed liner, sprayed from the standing position down onto a surface. So spraying it up onto a surface … well, let’s just say Jordan, despite being a healthy and strong young man was pretty tired, by the time he was done.

As you can see, the Raptor Liner makes a very attractive coating under the car. It leaves a nice rich black textured surface that not only looks good, but also can stand up to being driven. With the Raptor Liner underneath you can drive the car and enjoy it, knowing that the car is as well protected as possible from damage and rust. Some may disagree, but I think having a car I can drive and enjoy is much more desirable than a trailer queen.

Photos 10-12 show the Raptor Liner going onto the trunk and floor pans of the car. It looks just as good on the inside as it does underneath. While this will be covered with carpet and won’t be seen, it will still provide the sound deadening properties, and more importantly, rust protection into the future. The floor and trunk pans always rust out on these old cars. Well, they did, but that won’t be an issue on this Chevelle thanks to the Raptor Liner coating.

The last seven photos, numbers 13-20, show the final layer of primer for today, Slick Sand. Slick Sand is a high-solids primer that we use to smooth body panels for our High Performance Finish. One of the hallmarks of the High Performance Finish are the razor sharp reflections in the paint. Those reflections can only be obtained if the body panels are dead straight and true.

Only the super-expensive cars like Bentleys and Roll Royces have perfect bodywork from the factory. It is just a fact that all cars have some slight rippling in the bodywork, even fresh from the factory. And the panels of a near forty year old car? Oh yeah. Be sure to wave as you go by because it will be waving back.

Most people don’t even notice the ripples because they are very slight, all cars have them, and the factory paint finish just isn’t good enough to make the ripples really pop out. Next time your new car is out in the sun, sight along the side of your car and you will see what I mean. While this is understandable and normal for a mass produced car, it is not acceptable on a restoration such as this.

Have you ever wondered why it is that show car paint always looks so beautiful, so deep, rich and glossy? It is because who ever was painting it took the time to make sure the body panels were ripple free before the paint was applied. There is more too it than that of course, but this is where that gorgeous paint starts. The average person might not know why the paint on a show car looks so much better than the average car, but people certain notice when the extra care is taken.

Anyway, because the gloss of the High Performance Finish far exceeds the finish on the average family car, any ripples in the body work are much more noticeable. They show up as distortions in the reflections, causing straight lines to warp and twist slightly. Slick Sand allows us to remove these small imperfections so the reflected images are not distorted.

The Slick Sand primer contains a high solids content, solids that when dry form a hard surface that can be sanded away, filling low spots and smoothing down high spots. Slick Sand won’t fill in dents, but it will cover the slight rippling that will spoil a high end paint finish. I will talk more about sanding, or long blocking, a car when we begin the blocking process on this car.

Finally, about seven o’clock Friday evening, the last coat of Slick Sand went on the car. It will dry over the weekend so that on Monday it will be ready to sand off.

Such is the life of a paint and body man. Spray it on today, sand it off tomorrow.

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