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Old 08-30-2009, 02:30 PM   #1
xworks
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ireland
Posts: 233
e30 M3 minor rust repair.

E30 M3 minor rust repair
Hello.
First post on here but I've been reading the forum for quite a while now.
Started doing some minor rust repairs on my e30 a while ago and, well,
it just seemed to go on a little. Here's a few details.....

Bought the car in England a couple of years ago now,
despite the reg plate being 1990 it's actually one of the early M3's (1986).
It's a 195bhp with the cat and this is how it looked when I first got it.



Haven't had much time to do a lot with it in the few years since buying
it apart from some wheels and routine service work. This is how she looked
before taking off the road.



Unfortunately although she looks reasonably clean in the pic's the old saying comes to mind
"good from afar but far from good", reason being the dreaded rust had kicked in and was
starting to munch it's way through the chassis. Also there was quite a few dings around
the body and the front is severly stone chipped for some reason











the most noticeable of the rust was on the rear arches where it would appear
somewhere during it's life the rear arches were rolled to accommodate larger wheels
and tyres and poorly done..





So we set about getting the car ready for some small rust repairs....



















with the amount of stuff coming out of the bm, shelf space was starting to get scarce
so the poor escort has to double up as a fitted wardrobe for the time being ....





right ready to begin......


As mentioned the main reason for taking the car off the road was
the rust on the rear arches, but that was far from the least of the
rust problems. First up was some rust on the drivers side of the boot
under where the rubber seal sits.....



a few years after the car rolled off the production line the rear end
had an unfortunate coming together with a solid object, otherwise
known as a tank slapper. The previous owner had provided all the original
receipts for the main dealer repairs at the time , which showed that it
had a rear drivers side section of the quarter panel changed. Sure enough
real oem confirmed that a replacement section of the rear quarters were
available, and I have to admit that whoever done the repair done it well
at the time, I certainly couldn't have done better. Unfortunately the ravages of
time(17years) and salty water has taken it's toll on the repair
and while the main part of the repair (the face of the quarter panel) is
still perfect, the sections under the boot lid and under the bumper have
rusted badly.

So, first thing is to clean away the paint and see how much metal needs
to come out.....



mark up and cut out the rotten area.....





and then make up a replacement section from some shiny new sheet
steel...



and weld it in........



i'm not gifted enough to form and weld in the repairs seemless with the
original panel so the patches are welded in slightly below the surface level
to allow for a small skim of filler to blend the repairs.

next up was a small hole in the bulkhead under the battery tray about the size
of a cue tip which when wire brushed with the angle grinder opened
up to reveal itself to be a little larger......



same story again, mark, cut out, make cardboard template, transfer to
metal, tack in place, weld up, sand down welds and apply primer to bare
metal.......



after that it was on to the windscreen scuttle which on the whole was
blemish free, apart from a section on the passenger side at the drain
hole....



when wire brushed back it was mostly just surface rust, but as access to
view the far side of the panel was poor it was decided to play safe and
cut out and replace.......







next up the foot wells, having had the carpets out a year ago as a result
of a heater matrix leak I was reasonably confident that she wasn't a
Flintstone mobile and that the floors were still fairly well intact.
And sure enough she still looked presentable from the inside.....





but some routing around underneath revealed some less than pristine
metal, first up was the front of the drivers side inner sill panel, seen here
with the spot welds drilled and section nicked for removal.....





then it was on to the passenger side which was a little more involved.
At some stage the seamsealer had given way around the front jacking
box and allowed the elements in on top of the box section. The box
section was finished......



but thankfully it hadn't taken to much of the floor with it. Again to be
safe anywhere that had signs of even slight surface rust was cut
to make way for new metal......





after that it was back again to that rear quarter panel repair and the
rusted section hidden behind the back bumper. Surprisingly we didn't
have to wait for the wire brush to find out the extent of the rust here....





again cut out all that was coloured that expensive shade of browny
orange...



and make up some new pieces to fill up the holes.....



don't mind admitting this one took a few goes to get the bends right...







and thats about where it's up to now. Still plenty of rust to go and
still have to figure out what way to go at the rear arches. Loads of
stuff planed for the rebuild but we'll save that for down the line,
next installment could be fun though, as we attempt to swap a perfectly
good sun roof for a freshly purchased non sunroof roof.....





will she end up a soft top??
.
.
.
STAY TUNED

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Old 08-30-2009, 02:32 PM   #2
xworks
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Join Date: Aug 2009
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Posts: 233
We managed to get some progress done since the last post, the main
item being the attempt to change the roof. When originally setting out to
look for an M3 in the begining I had wanted one without a sunroof
but this proved all but impossible to find at the time so instead I settled for
a car with one. (which I bought off a member on here, howya steve if your
still tuned in!). So when planning this rebuild I decided that if so much work
was going to be done to the shell, changing the roof wouldn't add much more
effort, plus it'd get rid of a nice bit of weight to.
So after buying the roof skin from the local dealer, which is the same skin
as any other e30, we set about seeing what was involved in changing it.
From studying the parts diagrams it appeared that the rear roof addition
could be removed by drilling some spot welds to get access to the roof below
it.....




however when we started to clean around this panel to reveal the spot
welds that would have to be drilled we discovered that not only was the
panel a bit bigger than we had expected but it was also brazed in
places (i've outlined the panel in red to try and show a bit clearer what is
all one panel)........



and it continued all the way over to the other side.......



we hadn't minded the taughts of drilling out the spot welds around the
windscreen lip and the ones across the roof, but, in having to heat the panel
up to remove the braze and then removing the whole section across the
parcel shelf we were fairly sure we'd f**k the panel up,
which takes on a little more significance when your told the panel is no
longer available to buy. So instead we decided to do it like this.

first up cut out the lower section of the sunroof tray.....





which allows a good view of the brace that runs across the roof right
behind the sunroof opening. This had to stay, as cutting this out leaves
the roof very very flexible.
next up cut out the roof behind this brace......



which allows better access to carefully trim the metal off the brace.....



the sidewalls of the sunroof tray were still stuck to the brace and while
they at first glance look as if they are just bonded to it......



they are in fact spot welded to it.......



so drill the spot welds and carefully prise it free....



next up, the roof skin at the rear of the sunroof hole rolls in around
this brace.....



and the lip was buffed with the angle grinder untill the lip could be broken off without doing any damage to the brace. With everything now disconected underneath from the brace all that remained was to remove
the roof skin from above it. Two carefull cuts......



and then peal the skin off.....



revealing the roof brace....



with that done a few more carefull cuts were made to remove the side bits
of the roof skin.....



the reason why we needed to be carefull with the cuts was the roof
skeleton was only a few mm below the roof skin and we didn't want to
touch it.





with the skin cut down to the drain gutters on the side of the roof, these
were then buffed down with the angle grider to the flat mating surface,
ready for the new skin to sit on top (sorry lost the pic).
The last remaining piece of skin was the front section which involved
drilling out the spot welds around the windscreen lip and cutting it off....





the original roof is brazed on at the top of the front windscreen pillars
and this was removed by getting out the gas bottles and melting the braze
again to allow the last little bit of skin to be pulled off.....



after stopping for a brief smoke and whats reffered to in medical terms
as a sh*te attack when the realisation kicked in that I'd just cut a
perfectly good roof off my M3 , we moved on swiftly.

remove the new roof from it's fancy crate.....



and then offer up the roof to see how it fits. As said earlier we had decided not
to remove the rear panel which concealed a couple of inches
of the roof skin and instead decided to cut and weld the roof here instead.
First up mark the roof to trim off the overhang....



and then refit the roof skin to see if we'd measured right.....



thankfully we did, and the roof sat nicely in place as we had left an inch
of the old skin protruding out and had joggled this down allowing the
new roof to sit on top of it......



next up was to trim the "A" pillar joins and get them sitting right.....



a couple of laps around the car buffing down metal to ensure the roof
was sitting snuggly before welding started......



and then we started welding at the rear first working our way forward,
after each weld was done it was quickly quenched with a wet rag to try
stop the heat from soaking into the roof skin and warping it.....



ideally it would have been nice to use a spot welder for this but we don't
have one and after pricing a decent one decided that it wasn't worth
buying one just for this job, so mig it is.....



the nice part about this run of welds is that theres a nice little brace
that sits on the roof which conceals everything.....



we then moved on to the sides, on the original roof the gutters appear to
be continously roll welded, I've no idea whats required to replicate this
and hassard a guess that the equipment required would cost the same if
not more than the spot welder, so, mig welder at the ready we ran a
bead of weld an inch long every few inches........



and buffed them down flush when finished so the black rail trim pieces
will fit back over.......



next up was drill and plug weld around the front windscreen lip.....





and finally braze up the "A" pillar joints.....



and hey presto, no sunroof.....





thank f**k thats done, not that we were ever nervous of making a balls
of it you understand

hope to tackle the rear arches next.
.
.
.
STAY TUNED

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Old 08-30-2009, 02:34 PM   #3
xworks
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ireland
Posts: 233
Got a bit more done since last post.
First up was to sort out the battery box on the passenger side.
Thankfully it wasn't as bad as the other side, but it was still far from
perfect, that'd be far to easy.....




when cleaned up fully it wasn't to big....



but it had also spread to the battery box floor aswell....



so out with the grinder....





and make up the replacement pieces, weld in and grind down neat.....



next up was a little bubble just above this, which when paint stripped
revealed this.....



no idea how that one started? anywho, it wasn't too bad from the inside....



but with the outside wire brushed you could see it had to go....



so, cut out....



make up piece and weld in and clean up.....



was shifting along at a nice pace at this stage and could see only one
more little piece on this section, lovely, get this finished tonight....



aaah fu*k.....



the rust had actually started from the inside wheel arch skin and spread
to the outer panel as they run quite close together......



so, all together now.... cut



fabricate.... (like that word?, sounds real fancy for beating the shit out
of a piece of steel till it roughly resembles the bit you hacked off)



fab and weld inner skin (it's now "fab" instead of fabricate, with the
amount of bloody rust popin up on this thing i'm going to be typing that
word alot).....



not getting to carried away cleaning the welds flush on this one, it's
behind the bumper and behind the bumper bracket.....





if someone sees it, it should mean i've just run over them, in which case
they're unlikely to tell anybody about it.

right enough of that micky mouse crap, time to start hackin the arch off.
With the paint stripped off you could see how far the rust had spread up....



and although the main face of the arch hadn't holed through with the rust,
the lip inside when bent back down from the ""PROFESSIONAL"" arch
rolling job, looked to be totally shot to bits.....



reckoned that since the outside skin was this bad most probably the inner
skin would be shite too and both would probably need cutting back. I then
realised with both bits going to be cut away I was going to need a template
of some sort to help form the new arch metal in to the same shape. So
before cutting anything I bent up and cut a bit of mdf to act as a guide....





with that done it was time to mark up what had to go.....



and then chop it out to reveal a pleasant suprise....



the inner skin was untouched by the brown pox, even the lip cleaned up
with a slight wire brush, marvelous, see that, if this was an Italian car the
bloody axle probably would have fell out on that last cut. These Germans
know what their at.

anywho, now that you could see what need to be replaced we could get on
with making up the replacement piece.
Draw up a piece from the bit that was cut off....



leaving 10mm above the piece to tuck in behind the original skin, and
20mm below the piece to roll under for the arch lip....



we picked up this tool a few years ago and it's fairly handy for pieces
like this, think it's called a "joggler", probably wrong though, don't blame
me if they start laughing at ya when you ask for one down the tool shop.....



and when you look at it up close you can see the teeth which bends the
metal are shaped to bend it so the new piece runs up behind the
original piece.....



like so.....



next was to cut a few slits in it to allow the 90 degree bend for the lip on
the bottom of the arch....



and after studying the other arch you could see that the bend wasn't a
sharp 90degree but a little curved, so we made a little dolly piece to
bend the metal over....



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Old 08-30-2009, 02:34 PM   #4
xworks
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ireland
Posts: 233
and then bent it piece by piece......





which left it looking like this....



the last thing to do was drill a few holes in the lip so it could be plug
welded to the inner arch lip....



and then start the long process of weldin it in, bit by bit.....



spot by spot, till it's one continuous line of weld.....



and when it's finished grind the welds down smooth....



and weld the two lips together and all the little slits....



it's not 100% perfect, up close you can see where metals been added in,
nothing a light skim of filler won't hide though, isopon, the life blood of
many a bodger.

with that done there was just a little piece at the back of the arch which
was left....





time to move inside the wheel arch then, on the whole the main metal work
looked ok in there, but anywhere there was a bracket or something
sticking out had caught the pox, such as this little lad which supports
the plastic wheel arch liner....



when viewed from the inside it had actually holed through the panel....



so off with the bracket and cut.....



copy and paste....



bracket it's self wasn't to bad and cleaned up grand to go back on again...







next up was the little cover that runs over the fuel tank breather pipes
in the arch and if the other parts of the shell had caught the pox this bit had
contracted the plague. Heres what it should look like.....



and here's what's left intact of the old one once removed, the differences
are quite subtle at first glance, but those with a keen eye should be able
to tell the two apart....



unfortunately while the cover was an easy swap, the bit's the cover rested
against and had got infected took a little more effort.....

















had hoped this next bit would be available from the dealer as a replacement
panel.....







but after checking with realoem and then the dealer it appears that the
shock tower pictured only comes with the whole inner wheel arch liner.
So she'll get the cut and paste job to.

And that's where we're at at the moment, have to go now as it's taken that long to post this up
the fu*kin cars probably started rusting again.....

STAY TUNED

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Old 08-30-2009, 02:37 PM   #5
xworks
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ireland
Posts: 233
Been a while since the last update, reason being we've had some engine woe's, a bit hard to understand when your cars just a bare shell, but alas it was not the M3 engine that was the cause for grief. Instead it was the turn of the 325 I bought to get me around while the M was off the road that decided it was time she had some attention too.

For a while now I've been the proud owner of an environmentally friendly "biofuel" 325. She run's on both petrol and water, but when she started to use more water than petrol there was no avoiding it any longer. Work had to pause on the M to sort the head gasket on the 325.




Thankfully the few gaskets needed for the 325 didn't amount to much and the job was a quick one, however the other half of Xworks motorsport didn't quite fair out quite so lucky when his engine decided to let go at the same time. It took a lot more funds and effort to get this kitten purring
again....





with the engine woe's out of the way we were able to return to the BM again and something we've been meaning to get around to for a few years now. All the shells we've worked on in the past we've usually
rolled over on to some old tires to gain access to underneath, and while this has worked ok, it's not very elegant and an ability to hold a shell at a different angle while working on it can be very helpful. So, some box,
angle, tube, channel and a pair of housed bearings led to the creation of this....











the spit is designed for the weight of a bare shell and it can be rotated with one hand. Both front and back stands are identical, bar the locking mechanism welded to the rear stand to hold the shell at the desired angle. We used an automatic driveplate as it had a circle of holes allready in it and saved us having to make up and dill a plate.





the uprights of the spit were made just tall enough to rotate the shell 90 degrees as seen below....



it has worked out very handy and both of us agreed we should have made one years ago, especially when the metal and bearings needed to make it only costed around €140.



one slight modification we made to it when up and running was the addition of 2 outriggers front and back. As we found the shell had an irritating habit of rocking ever so slightly back and forward when you were sanding or wire brushing along the axis of the spit. The outriggers
cured this.







if anyone tuned in decides they're going to build one for themselves in the future I've drawn up a few measurements in the link below that may help.[/color]

http://www.xworksmotorsport.com/m3%2...%20%282%29.JPG

[color=white] with the spit finished it was back to the shell and where we left off last post. The passenger side rear shock tower. As mentioned earlier the shock tower isn't available as a separate piece, only as a part of the
whole wheel arch inner skin. So after a cut and paste this was the end result......



the only thing left to finish in this arch was a small bracket at the top of it, which was fairly well gone.....



thankfully with the bracket removed it hadn't done much damage to the arch skin....



the bracket however was kaput....



so make a new bracket.....



and repair the arch skin before rewelding the bracket left it looking
fine again....



After this it was on to the arch the other side, starting again with the shock tower. This time the actual tower itself was fine, but instead the arch skin right behind it had let go.....



2 choices, either crawl into the boot and cut and repair the skin fromin there, or, cut a piece of the shock tower out of the way to do the repair from the outside.....



innar skin repair piece.....



welded.....



shock tower piece remade and rewelded.....



cleaned up and a lick of primer......



After that it was on to the arch itself. Thankfully it wasn't as bad as the far side when cleaned up.....



two small sections needed replacing......

























then on to the lip itself. Again the outer lip once unrolled was wasted but the innar lip was fine once wire brushed.......



so new lip made up and clamped in ready for welding.......







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Old 08-30-2009, 02:38 PM   #6
xworks
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ireland
Posts: 233
next up, further down the arch where the side skirt sits over.
When wire brushed up it looked ropey......



So off it came to reveal the source of the problem, the innar skin



so off it came too.....



inner piece made first......











and then the outer piece.......







next up one of the holes on the sill where the side skirt clips
go through was looking the worse for ware......



before cutting it out time was taken to make a template of the
holes position. The last thing you want to have to do when reassembling
a freshly painted car is to have to file or redrill new holes in the nice
paintwork. So a few bits of tape as markers and a bit of cardboard with
the holes position marked on it......



with the piece cut out it now became a bit awkward to offer up and
trim the new piece as there is no access to the inside of the sill. A nail
came to the rescue.....







and then offer up the template back into position to get the exact
position of the hole.....





next a few more brackets on the outside of the spare wheel well
needed replacing.....









after which a few brackets were removed from the engine bay that
won't be needed down the line......









and finally a modification which probably won't be to everyone's
tastes. When I bought the car it had a nice set of rear speakers sitting
on the rear parcel shelf, but, the sound was poor because of no real
box to enclose them in the parcel shelf.



So...... (lovers of originality look away now!)




















and thats about it for now, thankfully the end of the rust repair is
near, which means it's nearly time for a 500mile round trip to give the
shell a bath at the premises of SPL.....
(which turned out to be a decission years later I'd much regret)
.
.
.
STAY TUNED

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Old 08-30-2009, 02:40 PM   #7
xworks
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ireland
Posts: 233
Not a huge update tonight as the car's been away for most of the
time since the last post, however it is back now and it's 101% rust free!
But before we get to that I'll start where I finished off last update,
there was a few small rust repairs to finish before departure....

the rear tail light panel seems to be a week point on e30's for rust
and since mine had all the other common rust points present it
came as no surprise that I had the full matching set...

drivers side tail light section revealed...



magnified for those who frequent to many porn sites...



and some more underneath just to complicate things...



chop, measure, template, offer up, curse, bin, measure again, offer up...



magic wand...



arc eye...



grinder spark burns...



and on to underneath...









and then on to the passenger side...



and underneath of coarse...



and for whats hopefully the final time on this shell,
chop...



template...



and paste...



and clean...



and underneath...









although now we had to remove every grommet and plug from the
shell in preparation for dipping...



After this was done we loaded up the shell on the trailer and headed for
the boat, 9 hours later we were at the front doors of SPL in Dudley
Birmingham, where we left the shell and returned home. Well I say home,
but that wasn't untill after some twat overturned a concrete truck on the
A55 and forced us to wait 8 hours in Hollyhead for the next boat.
Beautiful place Hollyhead, loads to do. Moving on.

4 weeks later came the call from SPL to say the shell was ready for
collection. We rigged up van and trailer and headed off again like two
little kiddies off to visit father christmas. Below is the pictures of what
we brought home. The first 2 pictures are not of my shell, but a member
of another forum's car who has kindly let me use them to show what
the car looks like mid process, after stripping but before primer dipping...





and then the finished article, one 100% rust free shell and panels...


































Have to say I'm well happy with the outcome. The dipping process is
very good in so far as it reaches every little nook and cranny, no matter
what box section or bracket you look in or under it's clean and coated.
However there is some small downsides, this is underneath all an
industrial process and despite our best efforts to build a jig to keep the
shell safe while being moved around while in SPL's care there are some
"new" dents in the shell. They are few and small but unfortunately one
of them is smack bang in the middle of the new roof skin...



frustrating, but thats life I guess.

Since the shell's been home I've not had a chance to do much, but first
on the list was to give the underneath a very light sanding with 320grit
sandpaper to key the surface in preparation fro schultz and painting...





that last sentence took 10 seconds to write, the sanding took 2 days, it'll
be a while yet before this thing is getting speeding fines.

STAY TUNED

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Old 08-30-2009, 02:42 PM   #8
xworks
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ireland
Posts: 233
Sorry for the delay in updates but unfortunately we had a tough decision
to make. With the current recession and global economic
downturn we had to do some long hard thinking and in the end both
came to the same regrettable decision...
It's too f**kin cold to be working out in the garage during december.

Alas by mid January the temperature was picking up and the snow had melted away.
Before I go any further I'd like to explain that it wasn't to cold for us in the garage,
we were concerned that the low temperatures would play havoc with the paints and
sealers going on the car next and afraid that the metalwork underneath might be
damp and the underbody shultz going on might trap dampness in to the shell.
Thats our story and we're sticking with it.

So back to the work, first things first, heat...



and then back to where we left off last time, the underneath of
the shell was sanded and ready for a good coat of primer.
We have used this primer in the past and have found it good. Its
Upol P88 and can either be hand painted or thinned out and sprayed.
For under the car we went with a good heavy hand painted coat....







after this it was time for seam sealer. We used two types of sealer for this,
I had 3 quarters of a can of Upol sealer left over from another job which
was still good to go and also bought another 2 cans of 3m to finish the job off....







in the second picture above you can see the special brush that seam sealer
comes with to reproduce factory finish effect. I don't like using that brush
so instead you can see in the 1st pic the brush I prefer to use. It's a normal
half inch brush with about 1cm cut off the end of the bristles.
On the application itself basically you apply the sealer to any panel gap on the
underside of the car where water can creep in
to where you don't want it....





as well as any brackets on the underside of the car, although water
getting in to the car isn't a concern here what does happen
is water seeps in between the bracket and the floorpan of the car and stays there
slowly but surely rotting the surrounding metalwork....







with the underneath done it was time to move on and do the inside,
the boot and the engine bay.....







on the whole the seam sealer was fairly straight forward to put on,
if a little time consuming, there was however one b**tard of
an area to get to, the compartment underneath the front scuttle panel....



I'm pretty sure I got more on me than in there.

The next area that needed sealing was along the roof gutters and
rear windscreen clip. This will be visible under the final spray job
so it needs to be a little neater...







so we use this stuff, same principle, it's a seam sealer but instead of brush on
it's in a tube and can be squirted a little neater....



it can be put on using a normal silicone gun but with the temperatures
still a little low the stuff is fairly stubborn in the tube so we used an air gun to apply it.....







next job after that was to rebond the roof. When the shell was dipped
all sealer and bonder was disolved so it didn't make much sense to bond
the roof before dipping, so we done it now....



With all that done we could move on to Shultzing the underneath of the shell.
Before this started we "masked" off the section off the garage the car was in.
This was not so much to stop the Shultz getting on everything, it's a reasonably
tidy application, but instead to stop the dust from the sanding which was
coming next from getting everywhere. The car itself was masked of for
shultzing....









and as you may have noticed from some of the earlier pic's all
the little threaded nuts and brackets where you don't want the
stone gaurd to get were masked up.
For the underseal itself we decided to go with the 3m gear
thanks to some advice from a member on here RJB6 (thanks Roy).
The stuff comes in foil packets and cost 18euro a pack....



The other thing needed was the special gun used to apply the stuff, it cost 60 euro....



the gun is a little on the expensive side compared to other products guns
but the one upside, unlike others, is that the sealer doesn't run through
this style of gun so you don't have to clean it out after or worry about it clogging up.
The air pressure comes out of the gun and siphons the gue
up out of the packet and splatters it on to the shell....



Having not used this stuff before I made some "complicated calculations" on how much
exactly I would need to do the whole underside and came to the conclusion
that 6 packs would be sufficient.....



and the result....



yeah, 6 packs covered one third of the underneath, f**kin egit
so back to the motorfactors again.

12 packs later....









the finish is sweet, looks more or less identical to the factory stuff....





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Old 08-30-2009, 02:44 PM   #9
xworks
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ireland
Posts: 233
With the underside sealed it was time to move on to preping the
bodywork for paint. Before I type any more I'd like to take
a second to point out, I'm not nor ever have I been a panel beater/
spray painter. The reason I say that is the following is how I've
chosen to prep my car for paint, it might turn out nice, it might
turn out horrifically crap, but if you've never made a balls of
something then odds are, you'll never make anything at all.
Moral of the story is if it comes up nice after paint then exellent,
I must have done something right, if it goes t*ts up, then at least
you'll have a detailed guide of what not to do!

First up was to refit the front wings, these will be sprayed on the
car. Thought this would be a 5 minute job until we realised that to
fit the wings on straight we'd also have to fit both doors, the
bonnet, front grill bar and the front bumper. Once happy with all
the panel gaps everything was removed again and the wings
screwed down tight....



the keen eye'd amongst you might have noticed from earlier
pic's that we've eventually decided upon the final color. The
rear of both wings and the parts of the chassis legs covered by
the wings were hand painted Jet black before fitment....



also we ran a little bead of sealer along the top of the chassis
leg where the wing bolts down on to, it stops any stray water
sprayed up from the wheels creeping into the engine bay.

after that we masked off the interior and boot of the car. It's
not 100% tight like you might do if you were about to spray but
it's just to stop the majority of the sanding dust finding it's way
into every nook and cranny inside....





this is some of the stuff we'll be using over the next while.
First up is filler, some decent spreaders and a perspex mixing
board. It appears there's different types of fillers, some easier
to use (apply/sand) than other. I don't know enough to say
which are good and which are not, if your going to use some
your local paint suppliers should be able to advice. If they say
they're all the same please pm me and I'll return to my supplier
and beat a refund from him. The metal spreaders in the pic are
handy as I find them a lot easier to keep clean over the plastic
ones. And the bit of clear perspex is handy as a mixing board
as you can see any dirt on it rather than finding it as a dirty big
plough mark down the middle of that nice smooth run of filler
you just applied.....



next up are sanding blocks. Bought these a while back and love
them. As you can see there's 3 different sizes....



basically they're just block's of rubber with a sheet of spring steel
bonded on to one side.....



the steel can flex but should always remains consistent against the
panel your sanding. How much it flexes/curves can be controlled by
inserting 1 to 3 of the little steel rods into the rubber block....



the sandpaper for them comes in rolls and the back peals off
so it can stick to the steel....



next up is an aerosol of paint called guide coat. Its a little different
from normal paint in that it's very thin, as in thinned out a lot.
This gives it 2 advantages, it dries out instantly on contact with
the panel and it gives a very light coating which can be
sanded off with a light rub....



and last thing is a decent can of grey primer. Like most people
I've used loads of cans of primer over the years and recently
made a discovery. Cheap motor factor cans of primer is cheap
for a reason, they splutter out the paint and take loads of coats
to get a decent covering. Whereas a decent aerosol from a paint
suppliers, sprays out in a nice mist and gives a much better
covering. If you get a chance try one....



Before the body prep starts I'll just take a second to explain
why the choice of final colour took so long. We've decided to
spray the car Jet black and as I've found out a cars bodywork
really needs to be super flat to show off black paint. I struggled
to get my head around this first till it was explained to me.
Lighter colour cars don't throw up the same level of reflections
that a dark colour car does. That is to say a dent will be easily
spotted in any colour car if it's clean but if going for a mirror
type finish then a dark colour will make the imperfection much
easier to see. Heres a few pictures of some Subaru's i found on the
net, which hopefully show how much more reflections black
throws up......





and then a white one....



both cars are spotless, but you can see how a black one will
show everything underneath whereas the white can hide a little.
So, no pressure then.

The next sequence of pictures are taken a little out of sink, just
to show what we're going to do to the whole car.
This is a flat piece of bodywork at the base of the rear windscreen.
It has never been damaged or dented from what I can tell so it's
as it left the factory....



first up is to give it a light sprinkling of guide coat....



then some 120 grit sand paper on the block....



after a light sanding this is how flat it is....



now that we know the section can be gotten a little flatter, it's
preped for filler. I learnt this next lesson the hard way years ago.
Filler sticks to a panel by gripping the surface, if the surface is
silky smooth it don't grip that well, so, a light sanding all over
with 80 grit gives it something to grip to...



next up a little filler and some hardener, well a lot of hardner
actually, it's still f**king freezing out here and the filler is
taking for ever to go off. It took me quite a while to learn how much
hardner to put in the fillers and I guess it just takes practice to
get the amounts right. Rough guide though is if your wrist breaks
while mixing it on the board ease up a little. If you can still draw
happy faces in it on the car 3 days later might be time to try a little
more.
And before anyone has a heart attack
not all this filler is for that tiny panel, most is going elsewhere.
The car needs to fit out the garage doors when finished....





some more guide coat....



and then sand most of it back off again....



sanding is stopped when the highest parts of the metal just start to
show through. As you can see theres still a few patches of guide
coat, so another little bit required. However this time its only a
slight smear of filler required so we thin out the filler a little to
make it easier to apply thin. This is done by using some of this.....



it's fiberglass resin, the stuff you use on the tissue type fiberglass.
A little of this is mixed with the filler before adding
the hardener.....



and then when the whole lot is slopped together the end result
is a mix which is runnier and easier to put on in thin
smears....





more guide coat....



more sanding and volla, a perfectly flat panel....



which reflects light straight....



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Old 08-30-2009, 02:45 PM   #10
xworks
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ireland
Posts: 233
next up is the most challenging panel on the car the rear quarter
which was previously straightened and repaired and had a
section joined in it years ago.
On first glance it looks nice and straight doesn't it.....



a little closer reveals the joint of the rear section. The stuff you
can see either side is lead or solder which is what they used
years ago to fill joints which has melted and ran out after the
shell was baked after being primer dipped. We knew this would
happen but decided to deal with it now rather than trying to tease it
out before the shell went for dipping.....



The dark stains that show in the pictures are not rust stains
by the way it's where some of the primer ran down the panels
after the dipping.
First up was to sand away the solder residue.....



then coat the whole panel in guide coat....



then very lightly rub it down with the sanding block and 240grit paper.....





weren't expecting that were you! The camera makes it look much
worse than it actually is, I tried to take the pic from different
angles to show a true reflection but they all come out like this.
If you run your hand across the panel you can feel slight rises
and falls but the picture makes it look like you might loose a
finger or two. The panel was obviously dollyed out back when
the original repair was done and what you see is as flat as it
was got with a hammer and dolly.
So now that we know theres no awkward high spots that need
further flattening the whole panel is roughed up for filler....



a light coat is applied to the whole panel....



and some guide coat....



first block sand reveals some small spots that need a second coat....







you can see from the remaining guide coat where the section of
quarter panel was added, that the joint was left low so it could
be hidden with filler....



so a lighter second coat.....





some more guide coat.....





and after the final sanding.....



the panel is then given a light coat of primer to protect the bare
metal form any dampness that might seep in before the spraying
begins.....



for any of you who may be concerned that the car will need
stiffer springs to carry the extra weight of filler when its
finished, then rest assured, this is the "least straight" panel on
the car requiring the most amount of filler. The total amount of filler
left on the panel after sanding would be equal to about the size of
a tennis ball. And the rest, well, it's just dust....


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Old 08-30-2009, 02:47 PM   #11
xworks
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ireland
Posts: 233
And finally, Just before I leave the rear quarter panel theres another
little thing that can help sometimes. The joint on the quarter
panel runs from top to bottom and as mentioned the whole
join was left slightly low so as to be covered be fillers. The
part I found trickiest to fill and sand was the crease line's along
the wing. With a couple of coats of guide coat and a few thin
layers of filler of slightly differing colours depending on the amount
of red hardner that was used, it can become visually hard to tell
if you've gotten the crease lines straight....



so when I thought I was close I gave it a light coat of primer on it
and the surrounding area and while it is still wet you can look
down along the panel and try and catch the light reflecting on it
and check to see if your lines are straight....





not rocket science I suppose but it all helps.

After that it was on to the front wings. The drivers side first.
The wings looked reasonably clean and straight with only one
or two small dents, but when you ran your hands along them
you could feel very slight little dips. So....











this was the only one I could actually see before sanding....



now I can't say for sure but I'm fairly certain that that last dent
would be the only one that that would have showed up if I were
hand sanding this instead of block sanding it. Will the final finish
be any the better for filling all these imperfections? Time will
tell, but I've gotta believe it will otherwise it's an awful lot of
sanding for nowt. 8O

next up a little sanding to everywhere gettin filled....



and apply a very thin skim of filler.....







followed by guide coat....



and then softly rub most of it back off again till theres no more
guide coat left....





when done and you run you hand back over the panel it certainly
feels smoother, but that could be because I've worn away most
of my fingers with all the sanding.

There are some areas of the panelwork that are too small to use
the sanding blocks on such as this bit at the bottom of the front
wings, it's got a sharp curve to it and no matter how flexible the
sanding block is, it's just to big to use....



so for these areas I use these these....



they're small sanding pads, which are used with normal sheets
of wet/dry sand paper....



the black side is soft sponge like, where as the red side is harder
rubber like....



I use the red harder side to shape the filler first....



and then when it feels reasonably flat, use the black sponge side
to fade the filler in to the surroundings....



STAY TUNED

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Old 08-30-2009, 02:48 PM   #12
xworks
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ireland
Posts: 233
As mentioned earlier theres been a little bit of a gap since the last update,
reason being the budget had started to run low for this project so I
decided I would win the national lottery, for some reason I can't yet
fathom I haven't been contacted by the Lottery people to arrange
how much I'd like to win. Still I'm sure it's only a matter of time.
The next plan to rob a bank has come to no end as it would appear
the banks have even less money than I do, bad timing, I know.
So after a month working the spanners for other people I could
now return to my own project. Where more sanding awaited.
With the exterior of the shell wrapped up last time it was now on
to the individual panels. First up, the doors....



looks nice and flat doesn't it, and in fairness it actually felt reasonably
flat aswell, but we all know a car doesn't make to through 20 years
without getting the few odd belts of the supermarket trolley, so, a
coat of guide coat....



and some 320 grit on the sanding block....



and volla, instant dents, I can also make rabbits appear from hats
but they too would probably be dented or missing an ear or something...



dents weren't actually too bad, these group of 3 below the crease line
being the most noticeable...



while those above the line couldn't really be called dents, more depressions
really, what you might get as a result of a fat kamikaze bumble bee ...



so a little filler to all and let it dry while moving on to the next door....



which also looked pretty smooth....



apart from 2 quite obvious high spots at the base of the door skin...



a little hard to see in the picture I know, but you could feel them
fairly obvious when you rub your hand over the panel, and after
guide coating and sanding the panel down you can see where the
high spots has rubbed through to the bare metal....



the high spots would need to be taken down level with the rest of the
skin and to do this we break out a hammer and dolly...



place the dolly under the high spot....



and then beat the sh*t out of the raised section, well actually no,
if your like me you have to use all your self restraint and ever so
gently tap the metal down....



when done another little coat of guide coat just to confirm that the
raised spots have gone down enough....



and thankfully they have....



a talented panel beater could get that section flat enough that no filler
would be needed and someday I hope to be able to..... hire one to
do it for me.
So, all the dents identified....



shovel on the filler...



sand most of it back off again and take a little step closer to
insanity in the process...



when that was done, flip the door over and sand every inch to
complete the task of going insane...


[/color]

[color=white]
with the doors done it was on to the bootlid, as you can see it's
still in the original colour because M3 bootlids are made from GRP
and dipping it in a vat of acid would have resulted in an expensive
pool of gue. So, a quick lick of 320 to break the lacquer...



and then a guide coat, white guide coat this time as the mensa members
among you will have guessed black guide coat on a black panel
would be as useful an under water hairdryer....



had to take a minute to admire the quality of the panel when sanded,
no filler needed in a 20 year old fibreglass moulded panel. Thats
pretty neat...





then as you may have noticed from the picture above it was on to the
after market spoiler i'd bought to replace the original. It's a fiberglass
replica of the sport evolution item with the adjustable flap. I had
considered buying the genuine item from BMW right up till I phoned them
for the price, after the cardiopulmonary resuscitation I started searching
for a cheaper alternative. The item was sold as a race quality part and having
done some work on fiberglass parts before I knew it would probably
take some work to get totally flat, but given the price difference it was
worth the extra effort.
First up some guide coat to the main flap....



well maybe quite a bit of work....



was a bit awkward to hold the spoiler for sanding so ended up bolting
it to the bootlid backwards and forwards to get at it all. It only
needed some filler here....



and here...



and here....



tiny bit here....



here...



and here...



and there....



like I said just a little bit of extra effort and a weeks sanding.



next up was the flap that bolts on to the wing using these bolt holes
underneath.....



the fibreglass spoiler did come with a fibreglass flap as seen in
the pic below, but, I'd also bough a carbon fibre flap to replace
this with.....




only snag being that while the fibre glass flap was predrilled with
the correct spacing holes....



the carbon fibre one wasn't drilled at all....



so how to transfer the holes to the new flap and get them in the
right place without making a balls of it? Sheet of paper the size
of the flap taped to the spoiler, punch the holes in it and...



place a few bits of double sided tape on top of the paper...



place the new flap down on top of the spoiler and hope the paper
sticks to the new spoiler showing you where to drill the holes.
I know, I can't believe it worked either...



tape up the marks for drilling....



and bolt it up with the new bolts....





to be honest the new bolts that came with the carbon flap were handy,
instead of needing the flap to be drilled precisely for the countersunk
heads, these came with a nice little cupped washer which meant you
could elongate the holes underneath to get everything lined up right....



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Old 08-30-2009, 02:50 PM   #13
xworks
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Join Date: Aug 2009
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Posts: 233
with the rear end panels done it was time to move closer to the front.
And first up was the front bumper. I wasn't looking forward to this as
I had a feeling there was going to be a good deal of effort (read ballache)
involved in getting the bumper fit for paint. The problem was that the
front bumper was originally off a red car and had been resprayed
diamond swartz when fitted to this car, that in itself is not usually a
problem if done right, however, this bumper looks as if it wasn't
fully preped before the black was put on....



the bumper had the usual stone chips you'd expect from a car of
it's age, but in the corners and along the crease lines you could see
where the black paint was lifting to reveal the red underneath because
the bumper wasn't fully sanded before painting.





So, a choice had to be made. It wasn't possible to know where the
black was stuck well and where it wasn't, meaning that if I chose just
to give everything a quick sanding over and sprayed on top of this,
then even if my paint job stuck well the paint underneath could still lift
down the line and end up looking crap again. I thought about it for a
while and decided if that happened after this much effort there was a
good chance I'd set fire to the car, so, no other option really,
all the black had to come off.



but as with most other things I tend to do, it wasn't that simple. The
red underneath was the original factory red and was really well stuck
on, so I wanted to leave as much of that as possible on, as my paint
job stands a better job of sticking to it as opposed to a bare plastic
bumper. Yeah, I know, I could probably make boiling an egg into
a four hour mammoth task.
80 grit paper and elbow set to full power....



only block sanded the top part as it's really the only large flat surface on
the bumper, hand sanded the rest. Block showed up a dent right in the
middle of the bumper, should've hand sanded it too....



bit more of the pealing paint in the indicator recesses.....



these channels were a pig to get into....



no need to totally do the bottom couple of inches as there will be a
spoiler covering it.....



this...



drove...



me....



f*cking ga ga....



finished, well actually no, while the 80 grit is good at getting the paint
off it's to coarse a finish to paint over and you'll see the sanding
scratches through the paint, so, a complete coat of guide coat
everywhere....





and then do it all again with 180 grit untill you see the scratches
fade away....





next up was the evo two chin spoiler, which was also multi layered
red and black, unfortunately she'd experienced some heavy landings
during her time and all the layers of paint had cracked quite badly,
so she got sanded back to the bone...



bolt it all together for the next part....



which was to size up the next carbon addition. This part was actually
fitted to the sport evolution and wasn't fitted along with the chin spoiler
above. But I've decided to fit both, not technically correct I know,
but if you don't tell anyone and I don't, then maybe they won't notice,
it can be our little secret. (yep, sanding is starting to get to me).





sat it up against the chin spoiler and decided on how much I wanted it
to stick out....



then traced a line on the chin spoiler....



removed it....



and removed the chin spoiler before clamping the carbon piece to it
again to check all is still square....





then take out the drill and mow a few holes through the pair of them....





the plan was to sink a few threaded rivets into the chin spoiler so the
the carbon piece could be easily bolted on and off in the event of
it breaking down the line during a hard re-entry....



but the rivets were going to sit a little proud of the surface and as such
not let the carbon splitter mount up flush...



so recessed the hole a little while preying the drill didn't slip all
the way through and render the hole useless....



whip out the rivet nut squeezers (i'm fairly sure thats not it's proper name)...



screw on a rivet nut....



cut out a little aluminium reinforcing place...



pop the rivet through the spoiler and plate....



and give it a wee squeeze....



which leaves a nice tight secure nut...



which is flush with the bottom of the spoiler....



8 of them in total....



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Old 08-30-2009, 02:51 PM   #14
xworks
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Join Date: Aug 2009
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then on to the splitter. It's made up of two skins which are hollow in between.
I didn't want to use a large headed bolt to tighten it and end up squeezeing
the two skins together, which would probably cause it to crack over time,
so, two little holes either side of the main one on just the bottom surface....



ream all 3 of them into one...



and cut up a little reinforcing plate...



slip it in to hole (large hammer kept nicely out of picture)....



bolt the plate down tight to straighten it out once in place....



remove bolt, tape up top side of hole....



and pour in some resin to keep everything from moving around....



when the resin dries, redrill the hole, insert the bolts and bolt it
all up, which leaves it looking like so....



after that was done it was on to sanding all the little bits and bobs....

















and then, finally, just one panel left to finish the prep work.
The bonnet...



this had been dipped along with the shell and because of this
the bonder that bonds the skeleton to the bonnet skin was long
since dissolved which left the bonnet feeling fairly flexible and weak'
You could feel some new dents on the surface courtesy of SPL,
the most noticeable of which was this one....



Still, how bad could they be, few hours and all this would be finished....





It looked like the whole bloody circus had just marched over it!
I couldn't fill all them dents, the front tyres would burst under the
weight of the filler.

So,

dial tone,

"hello, that BMW?, can I have the parts department please"

"hello parts, can you give me a price for an e30 bonnet please"
.
.
.
"no you must have misheard me I only need the price for one please"
.
.
"HOW MUCH"
.
.
. dial tone


one secondhand bonnet later...



nice and clean, no rust, very little stone chipping, and most importantly
no evidence of previous circus marching....



quick block sand with 320 grit revealed only some small dents...



and some nudge marks across the front from some over zealous
closing of the bonnet....



an hour had them filled and sanded....




and then on to underneath. As this bonnet was from a 325 it had
the sound proofing glued on as opposed to the m3's clipped on mat.
A steam cleaning took care of the heavy sound proofing but this
still left the glue residue...





an hour with thinners and a scotch pad got the bonnet clean and
me stoned from the fumes....



which was convenient as it helped block out the pain from having
to sand every inch of the underneath....







after that, a quick sand of the boot, interior and the engine bay.
Spent a little more time in the engine bay getting all the seam sealer
sanded smooth, I don't like the factory finish brush marks look.



and then finally it was time to get ready for some primer.
Only problem was the garage was an inch thick in dust and
someone had filled it with various crap over the last 12 months







a quick wipe of a rag later....



and the expert installation of the "Spray booth 3000"









complete with NASA spec airlock....



car was put back on wheeled dolly during cleaning and
wheeled outside to have the dust blown out of all the cracks and
crevices (neighbours really love me now, and I even offered to
do their washing again for them, no pleasing some people).
With the place now clean and the car back in we could start taping up
the shell....



the first coating of filler primer is only going on the large panel
surfaces, so everything else gets taped up......














STAY TUNED

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Old 08-30-2009, 02:53 PM   #15
xworks
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managed to get a small bit done again since the last post,
so, roll a fat one or crack open a beer cause here comes the boring details.

As it finished up in the last post the car was taped up and ready for
filler primer. As you may have noticed from the previous pic's only
the large surface area's were getting a coating of the filler primer,
and the reason for that is as follows. From my limited understanding
of bodywork there's 3 main types of filler or to put it another way
3 different layers of crap you can plaster on the outside of your car
in an attempt to get it as smooth as possible. Taking them in order of
thickness they are, first, isopon, filler, bondo, call it what you will, it's
the stuff you've seen me shovel on to the car already. Then there's stoppers
which we'll get to in a while and finally theres filler primer, which we're
about to spray on now.

Filler primer is much the same as normal primer it's just applied alot
heavier to build up a thicker coat. The reason for using filler primer?
Although the fillers was block sanded down smooth the shell is still not
smooth enough for the top coat yet, the spraying and sanding of the filler
primer will get it the last step. Plus, unlike metal, filler is porous and
will absorb some paint, if the shell was just given a quick coat of primer
and then top coat the paints can sometimes sink down on the filler spots
leaving your beautiful pride and joy looking like it was sprayed
by a blind man with aerosol cans in a force 9 hurricane.
(may be a slight exaggeration).

And this is how it went, after the car is taped up all the panels are given a quick rub down
with this stuff. It's called panel wipe or pre-cleaner and is a weak version
of standard thinners. It should clean off any crap that could react with
the paint going on...



with the car now clean and ready to go theres one small job to do before
painting and thats set up somewhere to clean the gun and mixing pots
after your finished. The items used are, 1 gallon can of standard thinners
to clean with, tools for dismantling the gun, some rags, a scotch pad
and an empty can for the dirty thinners. The professional work bench
pictured below should be available from your local snap-on dealer.




the reason for setting up the cleaning area before hand is, from past
experience, once you are finished spraying, the paint in and on the various
tools you've used tends to dry and harden quite quickly. Should you
wish to take a more laid back approach to cleaning up afterwards then
these are the only tools you will require....



then back in to the "spray booth" itself. While spraying in a confined
space the paint fumes and overspray will start to build up and the need
will arise to extract these somehow. This will require the use of a highly
expensive, state of the art, high volume air extraction and filtration unit.
Unfortunately on the day I visited the local hardware store to purchase
this they had just sold out, so, instead I've ended up with a 6 inch
fan which would struggle to suck a fart from a fly's arse. This coupled to
the length of flexible hosing you see below would be our state of the art
extraction system....





on a clear starry night, if you look just right at the correct angle, you
can just about make out the little hole in the ozone above my house.

Once suited, booted and masked up the last preparation before mixing
the paint can be done and it's the application of this stuff....



you've no idea where i'm going with this one have you? Let me explain.
A long while ago after spraying the interior on an orange rally car I became
acutely aware that the piece of your face not covered by the gas mask can become
covered in a light coating of the paint your using as it blows back off the area your
spraying. When that colour is orange and you spend the next several days looking
like an Umpa-lumpa from Willy wonka's chocolate factory it focuses the mind on
finding a solution. Hence, the Vaseline, spread a little on exposed face to avoid this....



the compressor is placed outside so the noise of it doesn't drive you insane...



and the shell is given a final wipe over with a "tac rag". (Lint free rag
with some sticky gue coated on them so all the tiny dust crap sticks
to it rather than your car)...



Then on to the paint itself, I know nothing about paint, but as this is
the internet and 50% of what you read on it is lies and the other 50%
bullshit, I will attempt to maintain the high standard.
The stuff below is what makes up 2 pack paint, on the left 4 litres
of filler primer, in the middle 5 litres of 2 pack thinners (which is
different to standard thinners) and on the right 1 litre of 2 pack
hardner....



which shall be mixed in to this old paint pot....



with the aid of this....



it's a paint stick. Basically a graduated ruler which lets
you mix 4 parts of this with 1 part of that without
having to guess...



one side is for top coat which is usually 2 parts colour to
1 part hardner with 10% thinners.
And the other side is for primer's as most primers are mixed
4 parts primers to 1 part hardner and up to 1 part thinners
depending on how thick/thin you want it, like so.....

paint...



hardner....



and then thinners, by which stage you should have messed enough all
over your hands to make using a camera impossible.
When stirred up and mixed well, it's poured in to the spray gun....



through these paper filters to catch any little crap that'll clog the gun...





then hook it up to the air line and spray like the clappers. It can be
helpful to have an old panel in the booth so you can practice the
technique of getting runs in your paint so that you have it mastered
when you turn your attention to the shell...



the results of which came out looking like this....













after spending the guts of a year working on a mutli coloured shell it's
actually nice to see it all one colour again, even if it is grey.


Last edited by xworks; 03-05-2016 at 04:09 AM.
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