Archive for October, 2013

The painting post

I promised I’d do a more detailed post on the process of painting my ’78 242GT so here it is. Apologies if some of the pics are repeats but I’ll need to include some material from previous posts to provide a complete picture.

So, in the beginning there was a virtually rust-free GT from California. I drove it around for a few years with the original heavy patina but people kept asking me when I was going to paint it.

Note Rebel Alliance emblem. That's for my son's benefit.

Note Rebel Alliance emblem. That was for my son’s benefit.

Then there was an accident. A friend the driver was unhurt but the car looked pretty sad.

Ouch. Yeah, the subframe  is pushed back about 2-3 inches.

Ouch. Yeah, the subframe is pushed back about 2-3 inches.

I had some doubts about saving the car but I thought I’d at least try. I took a lot of the car’s face off and brought it to a fellow just up the street from me who came highly recommended for reasonably-priced frame work.

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Luckily the fellow up the street said that it could be fixed. What a relief. My friend said that they would pay for the repairs so off it went.

It looked very funny driving down Broad Street in Providence like this but nobody raised an eyebrow. Ahh, city living!

It looked very funny driving down Broad Street in Providence like this but nobody raised an eyebrow. Ahh, city living!

A week or so later they had taken care of it.

As picked-up.

As picked-up. Hood still needed help.

Now it was time for body work and paint. First I considered Macco because I had good luck with Sadie there. Their quote was $2600 because they wanted to strip it completely. I didn’t like the idea of removing the factory primer from the whole car for a Macco job so I decided to just do the body and paint myself.  I had never done that much finish body work and had never painted a whole car before but hey I was taking some time off and was up for a learning experience.

The first step was to pull off both fenders and take care of some small patches of surface rust.

Then the stripes had to come off. Heat and chemicals failed so we resorted to careful swipes with a fresh razor blade.

Best done at night after a few beers of course

Best done at night after a few beers of course

Look mom no stripes on my racecar

Look mom no stripes on my racecar. Note cracked taillight lens. Found one cheap on Turbobricks.

Then sanding. Lots of sanding. And endless filling of tiny dings.

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Then the hood edge:

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After a certain point it had to start living indoors to avoid rust.

2013-08-10 21.40.54

Helmer was a little cranky about having to live outside temporarily but I needed to put some miles on the new motor so it was a good thing.

Getting there

Getting there

To make a long story short, after many days and help from friends it was ready for paint:

Gray like Granny

Gray like Granny. Note view flaps.

But first we had to turn my garage into a primitive paint booth:

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I chose PPG Omni AE. Inexpensive and easy to use basecoat-clearcoat system.

half paint, half reducer. easy

half paint, half reducer. easy

It took a little time to get the technique right. At first I was moving the gun too fast because I was afraid of runs, then I got the knack. The Eastwood Concours is a very forgiving gun. And it only requires 4 CFM so I can use it with my small compressor.

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Well, now the paint was done. Still lots of work ahead. Bumpers, grill restoration,  and a million little details.

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And the GT is finally almost complete. I need to finish the trunk stripes and the small trim above the front bumper before winter but I’ve been having a blast driving it around.

Straight-back stripes will soon be trimmed for the correct over-the-trunk style. The vinyl kit is pretty straightforward to work with.

Straight-back stripes will soon be trimmed for the correct over-the-trunk style. The vinyl kit is pretty straightforward to work with.

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From up top

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The 1800 engine is breaking in nicely. Meanwhile the Unknown Mechanic prepares for his Halloween ride…

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Nockenwellenrad

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Sniff the threads

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Ugwig’s B230 started weeping coolant out of the head close to #1. That headbolt had a pasty coolant-smelling funk on it. Head gasket theory confirmed.
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Out comes the head nice and smooth-like. Further examination of the head gasket confirmed the oddity of its breakage:
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Everything else looked good.
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Off to the machine shop. Meanwhile on to the breather box for Jesse.
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