Monthly Archives: October 2012
The rest of the car should be following along shortly, but until then we can get started preparing these parts for primer and paint. We always do the fenders, doors, hood and trunk separately anyway so not having the rest of the car in the shop makes no difference whatsoever.
The high solids primer is like sprayable body filler. It’s function is to fill and smooth any small ripples and imperfections in the sheet metal. The primer is sprayed on the car a fraction of an inch thick and after it dries it becomes a solid that can be sanded smooth.
The sanding process, called blocking, involved wrapping a piece of sandpaper around a semi-flexible plastic block. The block allows the sandpaper to really dig into any high areas while only lightly skimming over low areas. Most of the material that was sprayed on the car will be sanded off, but that which remains will produce a glass like smoothness that really brings out the beauty of the paint. Since this car is black, having the ulta-smooth surface will make the paint really pop.
Tomorrow the primer will be dry and ready for blocking. More sanding … I can hardly wait.
After removing the side mirrors and welding up the mounting holes, the door were ready to paint. Yesterday we got the doors primed and painted. You can see the doors fresh from painting, still in the booth, in the first two pictures.
After allowing the doors to dry over night, today we got cracking on wet sanding and polishing to return the shine to the point it was before we started hacking at the doors. You can see Chris polishing one of the door in the third picture.
The last two photos show the doors after they have been polished back to a brilliant shine. Now that the doors have had, in effect, two complete paint jobs, they are just about as protected from rust as any piece of metal can be.
The doors are going to look great with the new style windows in them. Moving the mirrors forward on the door is only going to help the look. Certainly worth every bit of the time and effort to move them.
The first picture shows the bumper after the base coat has been applied. The base coat is the first of two coatings that form the modern, two-stage, automotive finish. The base coat provides the color and dries to a near flat finish.
The second coating, the clear coat, is applied after the base dries. As you can see in picture two the clear coat not only provides a tough protective layer for the more delicate base coat, it also provides the gloss.
The third picture shows another section of the bumper. Though undamaged we painted these in addition to the bumper to ensure a perfect color match.
We actually painted the bumper yesterday but I forgot to post the pictures to the website until today. That’s fine because we put the bumper on the car today and the owner picked it up … and I forgot to take pictures of the car finished before it left.
That makes for a certain symmetry, don’t you think?
The owner of this Maxima wanted a do over. After the car was damaged the owner had the car repaired using one of the “we come to you” body repair businesses that repair minor dents and dings in the parking lot. I’m not knocking the work these guys do, but the fact is you can’t possibly get the same quality work repairing a car in a parking lot as you can in a body shop. Because of time constraints the repair guy has to focus on doing the job quickly to the detriment of doing it well. This car arrived this morning, but it won’t be ready until tomorrow because it simply takes that long to do the job right.
The first picture shows the repair on the rear bumper. It is a bit difficult to see in the first picture, but in the second picture, taken closer, you can see that the repair is still visible. A definite no-no in the body shop business.
After sanding you can see in the third photograph the damage, a crack in the bumper. The first step is to remove the improper repair.
In picture four the defective repair has been removed and we are ready to repair the bumper properly this time.
Picture five and six show the bumper with a high-strength epoxy used to bind to and seal the damaged area on the bumper. We also applied a fiberglass mesh to the backside of the bumper, shown in picture six, for added strength. Once this filler dries we will be able to sand it smooth.
The last picture, number seven, shows the damaged area fully repaired. It still need paint of course, but the bumper is now as smooth and strong as it was when new.
This type of repair only works on light damage, as this bumper had, but even this only slightly damaged bumper still takes time to repair correctly. It takes time to allow the products to fully cure, to sand, and finally to paint. Time the parking lot repair guys simply don’t have.
Remember, it almost always costs less to have it repaired properly the first time … than to have it repaired twice.
Today we finished painting the sheet metal on the car. I think. We may turn up a few things here and there that need a new coat of paint, but I really think we are done painting Blackberry Pearl, the base color of the car.
The first photo is of the “smuggler box” cover painted to match the car. Considering how bad it looked when we started, it looks really, really, good now.
The second photo is the other end of the bed, the tailgate inside cover. The owner made a late evening run to the parts store to pick this piece up so we could complete the painting today.
The next three photos, numbers three, four and five, are shots of various parts that came with the car cleaned up and painted. Picture three contains the head-lamp buckets and various braces. After looking at all the parts hanging there most of the day we started referring to this stand as the “body shop Christmas tree.”
The items in picture four are the tail-lamp mounting brackets. You won’t see these at all, they will be hidden inside the fenders, but they were so grungy that I couldn’t stand it so we cleaned an painted them too.
In picture five you can see the tailgate latch mechanisms. These are mounted to the edges of the tailgate and lock the tailgate in the upright position when they interlock with their mates on the edge of the bed. The only part you will see of these are the parts painted black. The rest of the mechanism will be hidden inside the tailgate.
In the sixth photograph I am hunched over the instrument panel wiring the gauges. It isn’t hard, but it is tedious cutting and fitting all the wiring to make everything work. I worked on it for a couple hours today but ran out of time before I finished, so you will probably see another shot of me looking much like this in a later entry.
Though the instrument panel isn’t fully wired, you can see what it will look like in picture seven. These are a new style of gauge recently introduced by Auto Meter called Black Diamond and they look fantastic, a perfect match for this car.
We have gone about as far as we can with the car until it comes back from Murphy Rod & Custom. About all we can do until then is wait for the paint to dry.
However … since we were sandblasting and painting a few parts for the El Camino I decided to throw a couple of the Satellite parts into the mix. They needed the same treatment as the El Camino parts and I figured if we were sandblasting and painting parts, we might as well do them all.
These are the bumper brackets and part of the hood latching mechanism from the Satellite. I neglected to get any before pictures, but take my word for it, they look a lot better.
Yesterday we painted the front and rear bumpers on this Camry. The front bumper had a few scrapes and bruises that didn’t show in the pictures I took. The rear bumper, however, had a nice little ripped place in the bottom.
In the first picture Chris and I are putting the rear bumper back on the car. We put the front bumper on a few minutes earlier. Modern cars are great … once you get everything properly lined up the bumpers practically fall onto the car.
The second picture is of the car cleaned up and ready to go home. It looks good in it’s bright white paint sitting in the sun.
I think we can call this one done.