A BIG Milestone
Some milestones bring more excitement than others, but for me seeing the car all one color is a big one for me. After purchasing a stripped out shell in 2017 with obvious accident damage, I knew making this car driveable again would be a challenge. The original plan was to rough out the suspension attachment points so it would drive straight and leave a bit of wrinkled inner sheet metal as a badge of honor. However, as I kept cutting into the damaged sections my over zealous workmanship standards took over. Now the idea of a true beater that could be left on the street is turning into more of a show car. Its not that I want it to be a show car because I intend to drive the snot out of it, but my hands can’t stop perfecting metal…. O’well.
All the swap meets parts that I acquired for as cheap as possible are now actually fitting on the car. When I bought these parts and bolted them on, I was rudely awakened to the fact that the hood wouldn’t close, the doors wouldn’t fit, there was holes to fill, etc. So after many sessions of pulling, measuring, levelling, banging everything is back into shape. (With high build quality I might add! )
The car was 6 different colors based on the parts I collected over the year, Togo brown, Viper Green, Blue, Gold, Silver, and Black. So to see it all in grey epoxy primer with all the panels fitting is euphoric to say the least. I knew that this would be the most challenging part of the build and I’m so glad to have that work behind me.
While I don’t have any video or pictures left of all the accident repair work, its hard to look at the car and see any signs of an accident. I know where to look because I did the work, but to the casual observer with a lift and a flashlight, I don’t think he or she can find the damage.
The other positive aspect of this milestone is that I’m now putting things on the car instead of taking things off. Fitting the latches, building the foundation of the paint job, fitting the lights, all these things get me closer to driving the car someday!
The details of stipping and priming the car are not trivial. As everyone says the majority of a paint job in the preparation. Since my car sported severely weather checked paint while enduring the Neveda desert for over a decade, all the original paint had to come off. My favorite method of paint stripping is chemical stripper and a mechanical strip it disc working in tandem to ball up paint and throw it on the floor. I stripped the entire car in a day for $50 max. You can’t even rent a trailer to tow it to a blaster for that, which would also take a day of renting, loading, driving, picking up, etc.
Its all one color
I chose SPI epoxy primer based on several peoples recommendations and their great technical instructions for the layman like me. They provide a recipe for the perfect paint job which I decided to follow. Why re-invent the wheel right? Their instructions recommend shooting the epoxy like 30 minutes after stripping to bare metal, Wow. The idea I guess is to protect it before the humidity causes flash rust at the microscopic level.
So I ran the DA sander over the bare metal with 80 grit to clean and roughen up the metal at the same time. SPI recommends a water-borne wax and grease remover that I used as directed. Those directions say to let the W&G remover evaporatre for 45 minutes but not too much longer than that or the humidity will take over.
I shot the epoxy with a new to me Harbor Freight gun. These guns are really cheap but have the right size tip so I thought it should be okay for primer. I need to dial in the settings a little better because i did get some dry spray in a few areas. Barry at SPI said no worries and no need to sand and re-coat. Just keep going, which I did.
I also got some dust in the primer which was to be expected given my dirty garage. Next time I spray the primer, I’m going to do a better job masking and making sure the paper is clean before I spray. Most of the dirt in the primer came from settled dust resting on the masked areas. Rookie mistake.
So I’m excited to now have a foundation to build up from here. I’m going to adding some filler on top of the epoxy to smooth out the body for a nice paint job. See what I mean, I keep steering my way to a show car, but I have to constantly remind myself that I want more of a race car than a street car! Stay tuned for more progress.
Watch the following video for more information about stripping and painting my Porsche 911 Shell