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That looks fantastic!! I have painted several cars in my garage at home and I will tell you base/clear is VERY forgiving with a good cut and buff. Once wet sanded and buffed out the car will look even more amazing. Trust me.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
That looks fantastic!! I have painted several cars in my garage at home and I will tell you base/clear is VERY forgiving with a good cut and buff. Once wet sanded and buffed out the car will look even more amazing. Trust me.
That's great to hear, thanks!

For the cut and buff do you do 1500 grit wet, 2000 grit wet, then polishing compound?
 

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I can only tell you what worked for me, I'm sure there are others with way more experience than me and hopefully they will chime in. I use 1500 wet, 2000 wet, then 3000 wet. Then I use the 3 stage 3M products. I had great success with that. This is right after I finished wetsand and buff.



Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Thank goodness for cut and buff! As stated previously, much of the clear didn't go down so well due mostly to lack of skill, insufficient CFM, spraying in a garage, phase of the moon, etc....

Luckily wetsanding and polishing works and it looks like I will be able to salvage the paint job.

I loosely mounted up the hood and bumpers so they were out of the way and didn't get knocked over in the garage. Nice to have the area cleaned up a bit after being in full body shop mode. I'll deal with panel gaps when I'm ready to bolt things on for good.



So yeah...some of the clear not looking too hot. See list of excuses above... :eek:


After wetsanding and polishing. Now this I can live with, even if it is a bit wavy in places.


50/50 shot, fender to hood


For those wondering, I am doing 1500 grit wet, 2000 grit wet, 3000 grit wet, then polishing compound on a foam pad with a rotary polisher, followed by swirl remover on a lighter foam pad. At this point the plan is to go panel by panel and try to get the whole car looking good in clear.

Thanks Chris for the tip!

Justin
 

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That is looking super slick!
 

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Discussion Starter #47
...Makes me want to tackle the paint on my stuff too.
If you do, be sure to pay attention to the CFM requirements on your paint gun. The gun I was using needs 15 CFM, meaning a large, capable compressor. Even with two compressors joined together I was probably only getting about 8-9 CFM at best. I think that was a contributor on how the clear went down. There are guns that require much less CFM that may work better if you don't have a monster compressor. With ok equipment and set up you can definitely do it!
 

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Before does look rough, but after sanding/polishing, looks great.
Let me know when you want to swing over to MN and paint my car. :grin2:
 

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Looking great man! You are a big inspiration to me right now. I have a white convertible in the same state right now. She is all stripped down to get paint going in the next few weeks. I will have to pick your brain as I get closer to paint. It will be my first time painting a full car in a garage.

Any tips for ventilation and curing? I see you cracked the main garage door about 1/4 of the way.

What brand and type of gun did you use for the job?

What products did you use to clean the underbody? I know most/some of these cars came with undercoating on it.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Looking great man! You are a big inspiration to me right now. I have a white convertible in the same state right now. She is all stripped down to get paint going in the next few weeks. I will have to pick your brain as I get closer to paint. It will be my first time painting a full car in a garage.

Any tips for ventilation and curing? I see you cracked the main garage door about 1/4 of the way.

What brand and type of gun did you use for the job?

What products did you use to clean the underbody? I know most/some of these cars came with undercoating on it.

Thanks!
Very cool! I'm typically the example of what not to do so I can share that experience at least lol. This was my first time painting a car so I will tell you what I would do differently, or considerations anyway.

Ventilation: I should have set up some box fans at the garage door opening and the garage service door and created a cross draft booth. That would have helped evacuate the overspray. It also would have helped keep bugs out. I had a few tiny gnats to deal with. As it was, just having the garage door open a bit was only ok.

Curing: Ambient air temperature matters. I was rushing to get the car painted before the weather cooled down where I live. Warmer weather is better for curing time and flash time, although when you buy clear you can select the correct activator for the temperature (faster activator for cooler, slower for hotter) I wouldn't want to paint below 60* F. Even at 70-75* my flash times were somewhat long, more than 15 minutes. Flash time is critical to avoid solvent pop which is bubbles coming up from a lower layer not having enough time to flash.

Guns: I sprayed the 2k primer surfacer using a $13 Harbor Freight purple gun. It was ok. Primer is forgiving since you are going to block it all out anyway but there are better options for guns. Pay attention to CFM. If your gun needs 10 and your compressor only does 5 it won't work right, especially for painting a whole car.
For the base and clear I used a $70 gun from HF. Pretty nice gun, much better than the purple gun but needed way more CFM than my set up could supply. So I picked the wrong gun really. The base actually went down fine but the clear was rough, so now I have to spend a lot of time on the cut and buff. With a decent gun and compressor set up you can be just fine. A lot of guys will say minimum 60 gallon compressor for painting, but then you need 220-240v in the garage as well. So, another consideration there.

Under car cleaning tools: Wife armed with a plastic scraper! (Did not get this one at Harbor Freight lol) Seriously though, she got the majority of the grease and oil scraped off, then I hit it with the 3200psi pressure washer, then some degreaser, followed by some more pressure washer. Worked like a charm. My car doesn't really have much in the way of undercoating on it, just the factory battleship grey paint under there.

Other thoughts:
-Spend as much time as you need filling and blocking to get it right. Anything that isn't flat can show up in the clear. Use guide coat and block it out til you are happy with it.
-Don't forget grease and wax remover and a tack cloth right before you lay down any paint.
-If you're not set up with a decent compressor/booth/gun you might consider taking the prepped car to Maaco or to a body shop to have them lay down the base and clear. The Maaco guys do it all day, they can definitely lay down paint and I would have killed for a heated/sealed booth and the right amount of CFM for my gun.
-Expect to spend a fair amount on supplies if doing body work and paint yourself. Just my base and clear was over $500 and that was considered mid-grade stuff. I have more $ in sanders/filler/tape/plastic/spray guns, etc... I was partly doing this to save $, but also for the experience. It hasn't all gone perfectly but glad to be learning through it. The local body shops wanted $5-10k to do body and paint on this car so at least I'll be _well_ under that and have the experience to boot.

Anyway, have fun with it and be sure to post some pics. Best of luck!

Justin
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Still at it. I had a mobile painter come out and do a bit of a re-spray focusing mostly on the top of the car where I had a bunch of fisheyes that I had to sand down. He got that part of it looking better. I then spent about 20 hours over two days wet sanding and polishing to cut down some of the orange peel, etc. Darn near sanded my fingerprints off! Still need to do a final polish but I will likely wait for warmer weather to do that. Painted and attached the side moldings and front spats. Cleaned and painted the rear end, front control arms and spindles.

Starting some re-assembly now. I went with Power Stop 13 inch brakes for a 2003 Cobra since I already had SN95 spindles. I also ordered some Cobra decals from ebay. They're a little cheesy but whatever, the powder coating on the calipers looks great and it's a nice functional upgrade over stock. Using KYB shocks and struts, Eibach springs, and UPR rear control arms. Got a bunch of stuff from Prothane for the front as well. I painted one wheel a gunmetal color as a test. I think we'll run that for a while.

The rear end will get new axle bearings and seals and I installed new Ford bushings as well.

Starting to come together a bit. I am hoping to have the car back on 4 wheels by the end of the week. :)






 

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This car is a splitting image of my 93 hatch, plan on repainting mine oxford white too. Really nice job on the redo, glad you got it back from being hacked up.

LX in NC.jpg
 
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