Paint (and other stuff)
(January 2003)

Home  Previous  Next 

While I waited for the rear wheel arch extensions to arrive, I realized that by finishing the engine compartment I could transfer the remaining parts from the '97 car over to the new body. I bonded the exhaust hangers to the body, finished painting the engine compartment and added a few missing holes around the car. I also dry sanded the entire car with 100 paper to remove the a lot of the clear coat and then 220 paper. With all this done, it enabled me to move over the wiring harness. This was moved in three sections. One section goes from the battery box to the right A-pillar. The next section goes across the underside of the dash from the right to the left A-pillar and includes offshoots for the forward relay rack and the ABS (both through the forward bulkhead). The last section goes from the left A-pillar up across the inside of the left fender well and then across the front of the car under the forward lip just behind the headlight pods. Since the car was damaged in the right rear, battery acid and rain harmed the relay box a bit so it needed to be cleaned and painted. All of the connectors in that area needed to be wire brushed.

'97 Relay Box a bit damaged

Cleaned up relay box in position

I have decided to refit the carpets later.

'97 Right Fuel Tank

Wiring transferred

Under Dash Wiring Transferred

And with this we say good bye to a 16-month resident of the garage.

Not much left

Both Johan Hybinette and Tony Grasso have been kind enough to advise me on modern painting materials and techniques. I have been asking Tony for advice with issues and questions almost daily during this phase and it has indeed paid off. My sincere thanks goes out to him (and my condolences to his wife). So on to the paint! Next I masked the body.

Ready to be primed

Masked Front

I then sprayed the car with primer surfacer. I used products from Western Automotive Finishes called Refinisher's Select. RS3701 2K Surfacer, RS8800 Medium Reducer, and RS9710 2K Surfacer Hardener. These are mixed in the ratio of 8-parts, 2-parts, and 1-part accordingly.  The surfacer fills scratch marks from sanding very well. Next I...

Kathe (over the phone intercom): GUY!!!
Guy: Yes dear?
Kathe: You've got that damn smell going through the whole house. It's so bad up here in the guest room that it woke me up! Thanks a lot!
Guy: Sorry.

My wife can't tolerate any chemical smells. The house's furnace is in the garage and it was off for painting but it must have sucked some residual drying fumes into the house when I turned it back on. Sigh.

Next I sanded down the first coat of primer.

First coat of primer (a.k.a. red be gone)

I dry sanded this coat of primer with 220 paper and then sprayed 2-3 more coats of primer / surfacer. I had some difficulty getting the HVLP guns I have to spray like I wanted but through adjustments, I finally got a nice wet fan going. I am using a Sharpe Platinum H.O. gravity feed gun. I then wet sanded with 320 paper.

Wet sanding

I used a squeegee and a work light at an angle to verify a smooth surface. It took about 3 days to wet sand the entire car.


Even with 320 paper, it is fine enough to make the primer shine. Especially as the paper wears, the finish gets finer.

Real Shiny (notice Tina has a sister)

A few rub throughs

I rubbed through the primer in a few places. In the front, I reached the previous yellow primer but elsewhere I did hit red. This is OK though. I went over this with 400 paper wet sanding again. I also fit the rear wheel arch extensions (more grinding, filling, and  primer surfacer). Next we move on to base and clear coat. The base costs $471 per gallon.

Click here to see the next chapter in the saga.