Daily Archives: December 7, 2012
Today we worked on a little of this and a little of that on the El Camino. We seem to keep running into little problems that prevent us from fully completing a task … so we hop from one thing to another just to keep the project moving forward.
One thing we did get done today was the mounting of the rear bumper. In the first photo you can see Chris mounting some of the bumper brackets onto the bumper.
In the second photo Chris is under the car tightening up the various bumper brackets. When this El Camino project first arrived I advised, and after come cajoling the owner agreed to, lowering the car two inches. Now every time one of us has to get under the car I find myself asking, “What was I thinking!?”
Except for the addition of a license plate, you can see in picture three the back of the car looks complete. When this picture was taken we hadn’t yet hooked up the license plate lamp or the backup lamps. That is what those wires dangling from under the car are for, but we did get the lamps hooked up and working before the day was over.
After the rear bumper went on, we turned our attention to the installing the radiator. We had been waiting on it’s arrival, and what a work of art it is. It was almost to nice a piece to cover up, but cover it up we did. You can see the radiator installed in picture four. With the cooling capacity of 1,000 horsepower, I don’t think the owner of this El Camino has any overheating problem to worry about.
The radiator shipped complete with everything need to for the install with the exception of hoses and coolant. You can see the beautiful polished aluminum catch tank that came in the kit mounted to the firewall in picture five.
After installing the radiator in the car and attaching the included fans, the only thing left to do was to install the radiator hoses, wire the fans and pour in the coolant. Since it was late in the day and we didn’t have any hoses on hand, Chris (left) and I spent the rest of the day wiring up the fans. You can see us puzzling through the wiring harness that came in the kit in picture six.
Now that the radiator has finally arrived we nearly ready to try to start the car for the first time. We need to attach the radiator hoses and add the coolant before we try to start it, and we also need to finish plumbing the power-steering so we don’t ruin the pump by running it without fluid. But even with all that, I’m thinking next week we should hear some sound and fury from the old girl.
In the first photo you can see Chase (in black) and I wiping the car down with a strong cleaner to remove any oils or dust on the surface of the car. The epoxy primer we are putting on this car will stick to nearly anything … but just because it sticks really well to any dust or oil that might be on the car doesn’t mean the oil or dust is stuck to the car. So getting the car clean is key to good adhesion.
The next two photos, numbers two and three, show the car after the etching primer has been applied. The etching primer bonds to the bare metal of the car to ensure good adhesion of the products that follow. We don’t use etching primer much any more because the new epoxy primer we use binds to the metal surface just as well as the old etch and epoxy system did, but in this case I wanted to add just that little extra insurance in a couple of spots. Because the etching primer goes on nearly as thin as water I just felt more comfortable that it was getting into all the little cracks and crevices.
In picture three I can’t remember if I was excited about the results of the etching or I had just stubbed my toe on the car when the picture was taken.
The next two photos, numbers four and five, are of the car after the application of the epoxy sealer. The epoxy primer/sealer binds incredibly well with the etching primer underneath and provides super-tough waterproof protection against rust. These two steps, etch primer and epoxy sealer, have been combined into one product in the new epoxy primer that does the work of these two. That means less work and quicker turnaround, and that is what we use on most jobs. But sometimes you can’t beat the old tried and true method of doing things.
As good as the epoxy sealer is at keeping out water, and therefore preventing rust, there are areas on a car that need extra protection. The roof drip rails are one such area. You can see Chase (in red) and I seam sealing the rain gutters.
Seam sealer is like caulking for your car, except it is much, much tougher than your typical household calk. We apply seam sealer to all the seams in the car to prevent water from getting into the car and starting rust. I won’t say a car painted by JMC AutoworX will never rust, because never is a long time, but if a car does start to rust, the rust is going to have to work hard to find a place to start.
The last two photos, numbers seven and eight show the car with the high solids primer applied. High solids primer is like sprayable body filler and it serves the same purpose, the smoothing and filling of imperfections in the bodywork.
The car doesn’t look any different in the pictures because the color of the epoxy sealer and the high builds primer are nearly identical. In person, however, you can tell that the high builds primer is rougher with almost a grainy texture. That texture is all the good stuff in the primer that allows it to do what it does.
We will allow the car to dry over the weekend then on Monday we can start blocking on the car to begin the process of smoothing up the body work. Something to look forward to.
While this wasn’t that big of a job, almost anyone could have sanded the surface rust off and given in a quick coat of paint, most people wouldn’t want to go through the hassle of having to remove the rear window to do something like this for themselves.
Which is fine with me. I really mean it when I say no job is to large or to small.