Monthly Archives: May 2012
This morning, bright and early, I arrived at the Murphy Rod & Custom shop to determine what needed to be done to get the bottom of the El Camino finished up. On Thursday we sanded the heck out of it, and today I wanted to try to get it undercoated.
The first photo shows the El Camino in the background. Kelly had pushed the car to the loading door for better light and ventilation while we finished preparing the bottom of the car. But mostly, I just used this shot as an excuse to take a picture of my truck.
The second photo caught Kelly and I discussing the best way to accomplish all the things that needed to be done today. I’m the one standing on the right in the gray t-shirt.
The next three photos, numbers 3, 4 & 5, show me cleaning and preparing the bottom of the car for the application of the epoxy primer. In picture number three I am blowing all the sanding dust off the car with compressed air. This is the best way I know to get all the loose dust and debris off the car.
The fourth photo has me digging in the corners with a screwdriver, digging out old sealer and gunk that wouldn’t sand off. It is important to get the car as clean as possible prior to priming so the primer will stick.
The fifth photo has me wiping everything down with a strong cleaning agent to make sure all the dust and oils have been removed. The metal might look clean, but I turned several wiping cloths black before I was satisfied that the surface was truly clean.
The sixth photo shows the bottom of the car after the application of the epoxy primer. The epoxy primer is, more or less, a sprayable glue that dries to a super-hard surface that seals and protects the metal from the elements. It is the epoxy primer that binds to the metal and forms the foundation upon which all the other layers are built.
After the primer had dried, I went over all the welds and seams with a seam sealer that prevents water from working its way into the seams and starting rust. Rust never sleeps and anything that we can do on these types of builds to prevent the rust from getting a toe-hold, we do. You can see some of the seams protected thus in the eighth photograph.
The last two photos, numbers 9 & 10, show the car after the Raptor Liner has been applied. The Raptor Liner is a light duty bed liner that works great as an undercoating, provideing another layer of protection to the bottom of the car. It works as yet another sealer against the elements and provides a super tough barrier to rock chips and other damage. And it looks fantastic at the same time.
Now that the bottom of the car has been protected as much as possible, Murphy Rod & Custom will put the chassis and body back together and begin to fit the rest of the sheet metal on the car.
Then I can start work on making the top as nice as the bottom.
On the television show Dukes of Hazzard, Bo and Luke Duke charged (no pun intended) around Hazzard county in a 1969 Dodge Charger. This car is white instead of orange and there isn’t a rebel flag to be found on it. But the most important difference between real life and television … when someone hits your car, the car gets damaged … unlike the Charger on the television show.
You can see in these photos that the Charger took a pretty good whack in the back end, scuffing up the bumper pretty good. Fortunately the car isn’t seriously damaged and we will be able to fix it up so no one would ever know anything had happened to it.
The Duke’s Charger survived all manner of abuse with nary a scratch, but this Charger gets roughed up by a comparatively minor dust up. Dodge sure doesn’t build them like they used to.
Today Jordan and I payed a visit to Murphy Rod & Custom to do a little work on Terry’s 1969 El Camino. Before Kelly joins the chassis and body together I wanted to get the bottom undercoated. Today was all about the preparation for that task.
The first two photos show yours truly sanding away on the bottom of the car with a power sander. This roughs up the metal and the anti-rust coating applied at the factory so the epoxy primer, which we will spray on in a couple of days, will have something to get its teeth into for good adhesion. This was the easy part.
The third and fourth photo shows Jordan and I working on the not so easy part. Where the power sander is great for the big open spaces, it doesn’t work at all in the little nooks and crannies, which also have to be sanded. The only way to sand all those spaces the sander won’t go is to sand it by hand. Because of the all the bracing on bed floor, this car … or truck … whatever … had a lot of those types of places. We spent the first 30 to 45 minutes buzzing down 90% of the bottom, then spent the next two hours sanding the last 10%.
The last photo, number five, shows the bottom of the car sanded and ready to be cleaned and painted. I want to put a shout out to Kelly Murphy over at Murphy Rod & Custom for letting us work in his shop. Kelly is going to let us use his rotisserie to do the bottom of the car … and that has made the job sooooo much easier.
I get a lot of enjoyment my job. I take a lot of satisfaction from taking an ugly duckling of a car and turning it into a beautiful swan. But I have to be honest, sanding the bottom of this car … I didn’t enjoy that part very much.
The first photo was taken at the end of the day yesterday. It shows a bit of the car in primer, but because we had to wait for the primer to dry we weren’t able to start painting until today.
The second and third photos have the car and bumper in the booth and sprayed with sealer. The sealer seals all the primers and body fillers use before and prepares the surface for paint. It also provide a consistent base color, selected from one of seven shades of gray and determined by the paint color, so that the paint will match from section to section.
The fourth photo shows the car after the base coat has been applied. The base coat is the part of the automotive finish that actually provides the color to the finish. The base coat dries to a near flat finish which is why the paint looks so dull and lifeless in the photograph.
The remainder of the photographs, numbers 5 & 6, show the car after the clear coat has been applied. Clear coat is a tough, thick, coating sprayed over the base coat to provide protection and gloss to the finish. As you can see the clear coat makes a huge difference in how the paint appears, brightening and adding some zing to the previously dull finish.
Now that the car is painted we will let the paint dry thoroughly overnight and we will begin putting it back together tomorrow. Then this bimmer, better than ever, will be ready to go home with its owner.
As you can see, the right front door is a bit … bent. Fortunately, this isn’t a major repair. We will replace the door, give it a splash of paint, and badda boom, badda bing, the car is good as new.
We still have a ways to go before this Sentra is ready to be turned over to its owners, but we are making progress. Late last week we painted the inside and underside of the car and trimmed it out. Today we painted the outside.
The first two pictures show the car after the base coat has been applied. The base coat is what gives the car its color. The finish isn’t very attractive right now because the base coat has almost no luster to it at all, drying to the this chalkboard like dullness.
The last two pictures show the different a little clear coat makes. Not only does the clear coat protect the base coat underneath it, it also give the paint more depth and provides the sparkle to the finish.
This car was really messed up when it arrived at the shop and was quite an large undertaking to repair. But as the old saying goes, “How do you eat an elephant?”
“One bite at a time.”
We have just taken another bite out of this elephant.