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Jag Paint and Body Page
The paint and bodywork for the Jag could begin only after disassembly of the car and removal of all the components as well as the tar, grease, and dirt. This took many hours of scraping and washing with solvent. Finally I was able to start with the sanding and prepping.
As I stripped the tub of it's paint and filler I found some trouble spots. I know that some will feel that the only solution would be to replace entire panels but I really wasn't up to that great a task. Instead I cut out the bad places, as best I could, and replaced them with new metal.
The other place that I had was simply more of the same.
After that panel was welded in place I tended to another problem and that was what to do about the interior. It was pretty clean but still needed some additional attention. Every thing got bead blasted and all the captive nuts got chased.
Next I stripped and mounted the doors.
At this point I am about ready to begin the leading. In preparation for that I got out the lead pot and began making sticks out of some scrap that a neighbor had given me many years ago.
First the welded in panel was ground down.
Then the area was tinned.
And then loaded with lead.
And finally roughed in with a body file.
Similarly, other areas were dealt with. Decades prior some idiot backed into me in a parking lot. What remained were the holes that the body man used to pull the panels back into shape. These I welded, ground, tinned and loaded with lead.
After that came the filling. I am using a product called All Metal. While it is plastic it is quite strong and I have had good success with it in the past.
After I work my way around the car with filler I will eventually finish with a sanding primer.
Next the bonnet got stripped.
At this point I needed to mount the bonnet to the tub so that I could work on properly aligning the two. This necessitated placing the tub back on the cradle.
And remounting the front cage.
The gantry was used to hoist the bonnet into place. I was not very pleased with how this worked so will probably seek another method for removing/replacing the bonnet next time.
While the balance on the cradle was good, the addition of a bucket filled with chain in the boot provided a little ballast making me a lot more comfortable about the possibility of me tipping the car onto it's nose while horsing around up front.
Next I needed to attach the boot lid. But before that could be done I had to deal with the hinge springs which had broken years prior.
Replacing the springs was one of those annoying tasks that just has to be over come so that you can move on.
Click here to see about that
Boot lid hinge springs.
With the addition of the boot lid and gas cap lid the car is ready to be blended together to make a good fit.
After many months of filling and blocking and the delays resulting from family matters, I finally reached the point where I needed to begin the priming process.
The bonnet and front cage were removed and the tub remounted on the rotisserie. There the underneath of the car was thoroughly cleaned and sanded, washed down with soap and water, cleaned with PPG DX330, treated with Ospho, and all the seams sealed.
Prior to doing any painting I needed to address one additional issue with the paint booth. The discharge for the ventilation system has been blocked off at the end of the booth since completion. To have provided a permanent duct to the outside would have been expensive in terms of time and effort and would have constantly gotten in the way. So, a temporary duct was what I chose to use. I built a simple skeleton of PVC tubing that can be disassembled and reassembled as needed and wrapped it in plastic sheeting secured with clothes pins. This will exhaust the fumes to the outside when painting.
I can close the door and, when open, I will still have access to the doorway to move the tractors in and out as needed.
Next the discharge filters had to be fitted.
And the intake filters. The filters are treated with a tacky substance to increase their efficiency. If I leave these in place all the time they will get dirty just sitting there so must be installed just prior to using.
And finally the tub was rolled into place.
After masking I cut in with PPG DP40LF epoxy primer. I wanted to be sure that I got good coverage in all the cracks and crannies so using a brush was a way to do that better than the gun can do.
The fender wells present an even more difficult problem for the gun. Not only does the gun not fit in there well, the paint tends to just swirl around in there and come back out to hit you in your face. The brush insured that I got complete coverage.
As soon as I was done with the brush I shot it all with the gun and found that the brush marks melted in very well.
And after that everything got a couple of coats of PPG K38 high build sanding primer.
From there the tub got put back on the cradle and the whole process started over again.
And the doors and boot lid got done as well.
Next trip I hope to get the interior, boot, and bonnet done at which point the sanding and blocking will resume.
The trip in May began with me having to address a problem with the way the bonnet was mounted (to the rotisserie) that I had been looking at for a while. Because of how the rear mount attached to the bonnet I could see that I was going to have trouble getting good coverage with the gun around the rear mount.
So, I cut in off and remade it like this.
This should allow me to cover this area well enough that I can brush it in under the mounts once the rear mount is removed.
After many hours of sanding and prepping in the same manner as the tub I arrived here.
Next came the cabin and boot of the tub.
It is difficult to express the mind numbing effort required to adequately prepare areas like these but it pretty much consumed the rest of my trip. Thankfully the cabin and boot are ready to be primed next trip.
June saw more progress.
The cabin interior and boot got primed with DP40LF...
Then shot with color, DCC Concept Acrylic Urethane in Regency Red. DCC is a single stage paint and I will be using it on the under carriage as well. However, I will be using two pack on the exterior and firewall. Not only did I not want to deal with the additional effort needed for base coat/clear coat but I also didn't want the film build up in these areas.
The camera flash makes the color look a little redder than it really is. In natural light it's a darker maroon than it appears here.
Once that was done I left the tub to cure and returned to the bonnet. At this point the blocking and sanding have become most critical. The quality of the finished paint job will be determined by how straight I can get these exterior panels. Always in the past, once I started the color sanding and finishing, I have always found small imperfections in the underlying body work. Usually these presented as a random dent, weave, or crease that I just couldn't see when prepping. I am trying a new technique that can only be described as a crutch, fore any painter worth his salt would never waste his time like this. But, when you lack the talent and experience, the "painter's eye" so to speak, you find yourself grasping at straws. What I am doing is, once I have blocked with the coarse paper (320 grit wet) to the best of my ability, I go over the area with 2000 grit wet. This causes the primer to develop a shine which brings out those flaws that I have missed. I can then go back and rework those areas until I run out of primer film, checking with the 2000 grit as I go.
I was amazed at how the ripples and weaves popped out at me once I got a shine. As this is the first time I have ever tried this I don't know if other primers can be brought to a shine like this K38 can so maybe it wouldn't work with them, but I will continue to use this until I develop a better "painter's eye".
Once I ran out of primer film I began using a glazing compound to get me a little closer. However, the glazing compound disrupts the surface such that I can no longer get an adequate shine so will have to recoat with the K38 high build primer and do it all over again.
All in all it is pretty scary because I won't really know if I have succeeded until the two pack is on, buffed, and polished.
Once the tub was as good as I could get it, it went back on the rotisserie in preparation for color on the bottom of the car. Trying to get this all to come together in the right sequence has been a challenge. In the end I guess there is no way to avoid having it take more time and work than it should.
In spite of Hurricane Debby blowing over us and dumping incredible amounts of water on Florida I still managed to get the bottom prepared for paint before having to pack up and head home.
In July I managed to get some color on the bottom of the car.
And so I am now able to focus on the blocking and sanding of all the exterior surfaces. In the end, the paint job will live or die by how straight I am able to get the exterior panels.
Blocking and sanding. I am using three blocks, a 12" and 6" stiff block and a more flexible 6" pad for the tighter curves. The green stuff is the glazing compound. Unlike the old stuff that was basically thick lacquer primer, this is a two part, catalyzed putty that hardens quickly and is as tough as the K38.
And, more K38. I ran into a problem that like to drove me crazy until I figured it out. I have been doing a cursory cleaning of the guns between every coat and a full disassembly cleaning after each painting secession in an attempt to deal with the thickness of the k38. This led to me to just snug everything up after each cleaning. What I think was happening was that I wasn't getting a good seal when I tightened the nozzle. This would cause the gun to stop spraying material momentarily and leave a dry spot every 6" or so as I traveled back and forth with the gun. I hope I have this resolved.
And, more work on the doors. At this point I ran out of K38 so had to shift to other things. I keep looking ahead to fall and cooler weather. Getting the car in color before it becomes too cool to paint is the goal.
At the end of October I finally got the tub and bonnet in color.
But there are problems with the clear coat.
I also was able to get a few odds and ends done as well.
After my failure with the clear coat the painting was set aside until warmer weather returned. Finally in March the Jag has returned to the front burner again.
This is just an initial sanding, now I will have to go back and pay more attention to detail.
One of the many suggestions that I got about what I needed to do to correct my problems with painting the clear coat was to practice. Some suggested that I go to the junk yard and buy scrap fenders or hoods and practice on them while others said that I could get wrecked parts from any auto body shop for free.
While practicing seemed like a worth while endeavor, neither of the suggestions about what to practice on seemed the way to go. I already had numerous panels on hand to practice on but just couldn't bring my self to do it on something that would have no use to me later. Finally I decided to paint a car that I already had and do my practicing on it.
Sitting in the wings was an old 1990 Ford Thunderbird. I had bought it new and it was an SC Anniversary special. It had been the wife's car which got handed down to me when it was replaced. It got placed in storage when I bought my new truck and was in need of a paint job.
The car was a good practice project because it had clearly defined panels that were easily masked off and painted separately. As it would turn out I would end up painting all nine panels at least twice and sometimes three times trying to improve my gun work.
Unfortunately by the time I finished with it I still had not resolved the problems that I was having with the clear coat. It would only be as I began to shoot the Jag tub again that I would discover one of the missing pieces to the puzzle.
Click here to see about the
T Bird practice car.
As I was preparing to have another "run" at the tub (pun intended), I was talking to a friend one night and the subject of my problems with the paint came up. It seems that he had been discussing my problems another friend who was also an acquaintance of mine. His friend was a long time painter and he suggested that my problem sounded like the paint was going on "too hot" and was "firing off too quick" . Of course, not understanding the jargon all that well. I had to call him and get him to explain.
I had learned decades ago that reducer came in different temperature ratings. The hotter the shop temps the slower the reducer needed to be. What I did not realize was that the hardener or catalyst was, many times, also rated to ambient temperatures.
This lead me to a different supplier than I had been using and during conversations with him I also came to understand that much of the information in the tech sheets was what could be called "generic". Meaning that, here in the south, conditions were such that often times a painter needed to go even further to the "hot" side than what the tech sheets said. I also picked up another "tidbit" of information and that was that times between coats could be spaced out farther than I realized. This would reduce the problems with both solvent pop and runs.
With shop temps in the 90s and rain that came and went I re-shot the tub with the slowest reducer that I had and with a one step slower hardener. While I didn't have runs I still got some dry and solvent pop. However, I would later decide that some of what I was calling solvent pop was actually more dry.
This, I think, is definitely solvent pop.
Many of the problems sanded out but I was just not willing to accept the end results. While I had put four coats of clear on over a fresh coat of base coat it just seemed like too many problems remained. It had taken so much sanding that I was concerned that, in addition to the remaining problems, I might also have problems with the clear coat lifting. So I decided to try again next trip.
Prior to August's trip I did a little more research and found an even slower hardener so decided to give that a try. In talking with the supplier I found that he and the manufacturer had had many complaints about problems similar to mine during July. He said that the factory reps spoke of the high heat and humidity and described the hardener as "firing off" between the nozzle and the panel preventing the flow out that would normally occur.
On the day I shot, shop temps were in the upper 80s and, while I had a little less rain, the humidity remained high. I replaced the filter in my regulator just for good measure and used the slower hardener (this is probably going to be the slowest that I can get) and found that the results were improved. One of the problems that seemed to go away was that previously I was not able to go back and wet a dry area after I had made a pass with the gun. Always before, a little squirt with the gun on an area like that just did not help. Now I found that I could wet an area that had gone on dry and it would flow in and lay down. This helped over come minor errors with the gun as I sprayed a panel. I still had to pay close attention to my spray patterns as I went along, often having to get down on my knees or even lay down on the floor to get enough angle on lower panels so that I could see how the paint was flowing together. I guess my eye sight is just not what it use to be.
I waited at least an hour and sometimes almost two between coats and put on four coats of clear. I did not recoat with base coat prior to shooting the clear. I have been leery of the build up of paint and was not looking to increase that anymore than necessary. I only had two small places where I had gotten "cut throughs" and those I fixed with some base coat using an air brush.
Any way, the results were much improved. I still had some solvent pop and also a few dry spots and one small run but the over all results were good enough.
I was able to fix the problem areas fairly easily with 2000 grit wet and the orange peel was so shallow that it cut off with only a little effort. I will set the tub aside for a couple of months to give the paint a chance to cure and harden before re-sanding, compounding, and buffing. For now it's on to other things.
Over the winter I was able to get back to the tub for the sanding and polishing. Here are the results.
The dull that you see is what's left after sanding with 2000 wet. The shiny is after compound and polish.
The arrows point to markings on the florescent bulbs in the ceiling lights.
Once weather warmed up a little I got the doors and trunk lid shot.
My gun work on the doors and boot lid was improved, however, these panels are small and easy to get to.
In May, I had another go at the bonnet.
I got an early start that morning so the temperatures in the booth were not so high as they might other wise have been. The last coat of clear went on at about 85-88 degrees. I used the slowest reducer and catalyst that I had but still got a little dry. I only got one small run which easily sanded out the next day. It was in the first coat of clear and at a point where I was forced to over lap due to stopping and then restarting as I transitioned from one panel to another, just too much material for the first coat.
I got pretty good flow with only a couple of areas that were dry. My gun work still leaves much to be desired. But, it's good enough so on to other things.
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