Monthly Archives: July 2012

Ready to roll

Today we splashed some paint on the front bumper of the Suburban that hit a deer. Light repairs like replacing a bumper cover normally go very quickly. This job was no exception.

Yesterday we pulled the bumper off the truck and prepared the new one to receive paint. This morning we shot the bumper in a brilliant white. Picture one shows the freshly painted bumper drying in the booth.

The second photo shows some headless guy putting the bumper back on the truck. Proof positive that you don’t have to have a brain to work in a body shop.

The last photo shows the truck freshly repaired and ready to go home. In and out in two days. Not bad … for a guy with no head.

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It’s a-door-able

After working on collision repairs all day I realized near the end of the day that we were at a stopping point and the paint booth was empty. Hmm … I wonder what needs paint?

The first photo shows Chase (left) and I sanding on one of the El Camino’s doors. With both of us working on them it took almost no time to buzz over them with a DA (Dual Action) sander and get them ready for priming. The second photo has the doors, after we finished sanding them, hanging in the paint booth ready for primer.

Pictures three and four have Chase putting on the epoxy primer, picture three, and the high builds primer, picture four. The epoxy primer is sprayed on both sides of the door to bind to the metal so the subsequent layers will stick and to provide a tough barrier to the elements to prevent rust.

The high builds primer is sprayed onto the exterior side of the doors only. The high builds primer is used to fill and smooth any small dimples or waves in the metal to produce a laser straight surface.

The last four pictures, numbers 5-8, are of the doors, primed. It was too late in the day for the primer to dry to sufficient hardness for sanding so that will have to wait for another day.

Getting the doors primed, even if we didn’t get them sanded, is another step forward. Now that the doors are primed, the entire car has been primed and only the doors remain for the first, rough, block sanding.

There appears to be a few parts missing

This Nissan Altima, like the Nissan Titan that is also in the shop, had some front end damage that required the replacement of the radiator. You can see Chris working to remove the radiator in the first picture. The second picture shows that he was successful.

And no, the didn’t look like this when it arrived at the shop. I just forgot to take some before pictures before we started tearing the thing apart.

That old black magic

There is something about black paint that is near magical. Done right, black just explodes off a car. Take these two photos as an example.

This Nissan Titan was painted using our work-a-day finish. This finish is comparable or superior to  a new car paint finish and is our standard finish when repairing a car damaged in a collision. Further, if you look closely, you will see this truck isn’t really black. It is more of an ultra-dark gray.

So, even though this isn’t our special High Performance Finish nor is the truck actually black, look at how the paint shines and reflects. It’s like a mirror.

And that is the magic of black paint.

Suburban 1, Deer 0

What happens when a Chevrolet Suburban and a deer tangle? The deer looses and the Suburban gets a scuffed bumper. You can see in the first picture that there doesn’t appear to be any damage at all, though looking a bit closer in picture two, you can see that yes, in fact, the bumper did take a little damage.

The third photo shows Chase sanding the replacement bumper, roughing up the surface a little bit so the paint will have something to get its teeth into.

A quick spray of white on the new bumper and this Suburban will be ready to go back to the ‘burbs.

Right in the shnoz

This Nissan Titan arrived at the shop with some minor damage to the front end from colliding with another car. You can see in the first picture that the front bumper and the leading edge of the hood took some damage, but what you can’t see in the picture is the punctured radiator behind the grill.

The second photo has the front of the truck removed so we could move parts undamaged in the crash to the new radiator and radiator support. You can also see that we pounded out the dent in the hood, requiring only a small area of filler to complete the repair.

The third and final photo shows the truck with its cooling system plumbing hooked up and the hood coated in primer.

Now we just need to get the bumper and the hood painted and this Titan will be ready to hit the road once again.

JMC AutoworX is open for business

JMC AutoworX is open for business. I am back from my annual vacation refreshed and ready to go.

Let’s get to work.

JMC AutoworX is closed

JMC AutoworX is closed this week so I may take my annual vacation week with my family. We will reopen for business Monday, July 30th, ready to serve your auto body repair needs.

Guess what Chris did today?

While I cleaned up around the shop and painted a speaker enclosure, Chris was … what else … sanding on the El Camino.

The first photo shows Chris blocking the quarter panel on the car. Blocking is a sanding technique where a piece of sandpaper is attached to a semi-ridged foam block. The block allows the attached sandpaper to really dig into the high spots while at the same time skimming lightly over the low spots. This has the effect of sanding the high ridges off until they are even with the low spots. This leaves the surface being sanded ultra-smooth.

The second photo shows just how dirty a job sanding a car is. Chris is using compressed air to blow the car clean so we can see what additional body work the car needs. And believe me, it needs some.

The third and fourth photos show the car after the car has been completely blocked. You will notice in the photos that the car has a splotchy appearance. This is because after blocking this car isn’t perfectly smooth and even. It is going to need a little more work.

Not only does blocking leave the surface dead smooth, it also reveals any imperfections in the surface, and this car has some. The shiny silver areas are places where the block cut through the high solids primer all the way to metal before the high spots were even with the lower spots. The dull areas are places where the block never touched the primer because the low area was so low that Chris hit metal on the high spots.

It is not as bad as it looks, but there is going to be some body work … okay, a lot of body work … this thing has more waves than the North Atlantic … before this car is going to paint. But none of the problems are so bad that a bit of body filler can’t fix the problem.

Picture five shows me using fiberglass reinforced filler, called Kitty Hair believe it or not, to fill the area around where the rain gutters were removed and the roof was attached to the car when it was built. The Kitty Hair is some super strong stuff that will provide a much tougher repair than straight body filler would. You can see in picture six that Kitty Hair is nasty looking stuff that is rough and full of “hair.”

After allowing the filler to dry for an hour or so it was sanded smooth, as you can see in the last two pictures, numbers seven and eight. Because the Kitty Hair is difficult to spread smoothly, after sanding it still had some spots that needs more work. But it filled the areas enough that regular body filler can take care of the rest when I come back and fix all the other places on the car.

Next week I am on vacation so no work will get done, but this car has come a looong way in just over a week. The fenders and hood are all but ready to paint, and after today the toughest part of preparing the body for paint, blocking the high solids primer, is complete.

If we’re lucky, we may have some color on this thing in a few weeks.

Sounds good

We don’t only do automotive body repairs and restorations, sometimes we do car stereo stuff too. We don’t install ’em, but we do paint bits and pieces of them … like this bass enclosure that Auto Acoustics, one of our recommended suppliers, needed painted. I picked the box up about lunch time, right as the UPS guy delivered it, and brought it back to the shop. It then went through the same process that I would use if I were painting the car it was going in.

The first photo shows me sanding the box. Like everything we do here at JMC AutoworX, we start with sanding.

The second picture shows the box masked off and in the paint booth. The sealer has been applied in this photo. The urethane sealer is used to seal the surface and give the paint something to stick to. The sealer comes in seven shades of gray, from nearly white to almost black. Each color specifies one of these seven shades of gray … a light medium gray in this case.

The third photo shows the box after the application of the base coat. The base coat provides the color for the finish. This paint is still a bit shiny because it is still wet, but it will dry to a near flat finish. The orange selected for the enclosure is the same color as the accent stripes on the car it is going into.

The last photo, number four, shows the enclosure after the application of the clear coat. The base coat provides the color but it is the clear coat that gives the color the pop! and zing! and provides a tough protective layer as well.

After the paint dried a couple of hours I unmasked it and took it back to the stereo shop so they could start installing it. With those three 10-inch subs the stereo should thump … and it will look good while doing it too.

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