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Ironhead

ANOTHER Datsun Z/LS3/T56 Swap Thread

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I finally got a coat of paint on the hood that I am going to live with.  It looks great in the pictures, less perfect in person, but I am not going to repaint it again any time soon.

 

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Painting a car piece by piece....

 

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I spent a good portion of today reading and looking through the pictures you have posted in detail. Trying to get an idea (or a couple) of what I’d like to do with my project. I just picked up a 1977 280z roller yesterday. I must say your craftsmanship is top notch. Inspiring to say the very least. Keep up the great work. Can’t wait to see the finished product.

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On 7/13/2020 at 7:18 PM, JD280Z said:

I spent a good portion of today reading and looking through the pictures you have posted in detail. Trying to get an idea (or a couple) of what I’d like to do with my project. I just picked up a 1977 280z roller yesterday. I must say your craftsmanship is top notch. Inspiring to say the very least. Keep up the great work. Can’t wait to see the finished product.

 

Thanks JD, much appreciated.

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, LLave said:

Looks great. Would you do it again, or job it out? 

 

Thanks.

 

I would do it again...so far....but that assessment has a few conditions.  I have not started on the main lump of the body/chassis yet, and with all the nooks/crannys and difficult angles, it might prove challenging in its own way.  Although....Most of it will also be simpler as there isn't much body work to do in the interior/engine bay/underside of the car, etc.  Just a matter of epoxy prime then paint with single stage.

 

Then, if you wanted to pay someone to do this, there is the issue of finding someone you trust.  Painting a car like this, where every inch was brought to bare metal, is a big job and would be very expensive based upon time alone.  It takes a lot of paint too, and I have roughly $4K invested in primer/sealer/base/clear because I wanted to use good quality product that hopefully will be durable and last.  It terrifies me to think of the vast number of corners that could be cut by someone doing this job for money...which would increase their profit and not be noticable until too far down the road for them to be held accountable.  Those sorts of concerns are basically why I DIY anything I possibly can....I have trust issues.

 

It is frustrating though.  Every single piece I have painted has flaws of one sort of another.  They are minor, and will probably be invisible when the car is assembled, but they still bug me.

Edited by Ironhead

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On 7/29/2020 at 9:01 PM, 280Z-LS3 said:

Ironhead, after you paint like 10 more cars you'll have all minor details/kinks worked out.  LOL!

 

I commend your efforts, looks great!

 

Thanks.

 

In my case, probably more like 100 cars....  For example, I have yet to clear anything without having any runs.  Fortunately runs are pretty easy to fix, but I sure would rather not have them in the first place....

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, 280Z-LS3 said:

The clear coat looks really good in the pics.  Did you figure out how to minimize runs?

 

I have figured out how to minimize them, but not completely eliminate them.  I'm sure you know the problem.  It is a very, very fine line between a nice wet coat of clear that smooths out nicely, and a coat that sags and runs....

 

Mainly I have become skilled at sanding/polishing out runs.  I used to live by the "you don't have to be a good welder as long as you are a good grinder".  Now that I'm painting, it's "you don't have to be a good painter as long as you are a good sander...."  LOL

 

It's all good though.  I'm mostly happy with how it's all coming out.  My labor correcting my screw-ups is free.  If I worked at a shop though, where time is money, my ass would promptly be fired.

 

 

Edited by Ironhead

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Posted (edited)

Getting ready to paint the interior of the body shell.

 

While working on this project, I have sort of been pondering how best to rustproof all the non-original lap joints that have resulted from the assorted modifications.  Where possible, I primed the blind side of all the parts I welded on with epoxy, but there is still going to be bare metal (burned off) in close proximity to all the welds.  There are also multiple seams where I removed the OEM seam sealer/paint and the epoxy in the course of stitch welding the shell.  Since these cars like to rust as they come from the factory, and this specific one had pretty much dodged that bullet by living it's life in the desert, I did not want to add potential future corrosion areas....at least no more than absolutely necessary.

 

Searching the internet for information on rustproofing car bodies during restoration revealed surprisingly little information.  There is no consensus on the best way to do this (short of dip-priming, which for all practical purposes is unobtainable).  As usual on the net, there is a wide variety of opinion, and those who seem to know the least are the ones who state their opinion in the most aggressive and obnoxious manner.

 

I have some past experience with POR-15, some of it good, some not so good.  But their recommendations for prep practically insisted on using their brand of metal prep followed by washing the surface with water.  My project has huge areas of bare metal, and this just sounded like a questionable plan.  I couldn't see how I could possibly dry it all quickly enough to avoid flash rust all over the place, including in many areas that I could not easily access to remove.  I don't know if this is really absolutely necessary, or if POR-15 just wants to sell their metal prep.  But I believed their advice, which led me to look at other products.

 

So I tried "Rust Bullet".  I tested it on some scrap metal, it adhered very well even with marginal prep, over light rust, you name it.  It was also totally compatible with an overcoat of the epoxy primer I am using in the next step.  It is an "apply on rust" product, which I wanted in case some unreachable surface rust has appeared in some of the lap joints during the time I have been working on the car.

 

So after scuffing and cleaning everything, my next step was to apply Rust Bullet, with a brush, to all the joints where I felt there might be a danger of future corrosion.  I chose the brush over spraying because it allowed me to force the chemical deep inside the joints in places where welding probably burned away all the primer.

 

Next step is a light scuff on the Rust Bullet, overspray the joints with epoxy primer, seam sealer, then an overall coat of epoxy followed by single stage color.  Then, Lizard skin sound/heat in specific areas and finally cover that with Raptor Liner.

 

Thanks for looking.

 

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Edited by Ironhead
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Posted (edited)

Intrigued by this product Rust Bullet since I am now seam welding and doing other chassis stiffening welding.  From the product web site I could barely read the label but did make out it is an epoxy product. 

 

A few questions:

Is is a two part epoxy?

Does it have a thin viscosity to flow into joints?

How is it different from say Tamco's epoxy primer which does not have a 24 hour minimum temp requirement?  I assume it's ability to penetrate rust claim that makes it different.

 

I have used SPI epoxy primer which needs 70+ degrees for 24 hours to fully cure/cross link and it's a super strong coating that can be brushed on which I have not ried yet.  I would think most coatings can be brushed on as long as the product can be applied before it starts to set.  Per Barry, the owner of SPI, his epoxy can cure quicker at higher temps, say if the work piece was placed in the sun to heat up after coating if ambient air temp was slightly below 70.  For me this temp requirement was nerve wreck because I don't have a heated work space and temps here on the central coast of CA vary greatly in 24 hrs period year round.

Edited by 280Z-LS3

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Posted (edited)

I cannot say whether it is an epoxy or not, but I can tell you it is a one part product.  You just open the can, brush it or spray it on.  You can thin it with xylene, or their own thinner, but neither product will soften it once it cures. They claim that once it is hardened it is solvent proof, and that has been my impression as well.  I test stuff like this a lot before I actually use it, and after 24 hours of drying it is immune (as far as I could tell) to acetone, brake cleaner, lacquer thinner, prep sol, xylene, and 91% IPA.

 

It has a fairly thin viscosity...it runs easily and will flow...I would say it is just a bit thicker than milk....like a light cream.

 

The main reason I used it...in fact really the only reason....is that it can be applied over rust and neutralizes it...just like POR-15 and similar products.  I was concerned that in the 3+ years I have been working on my body shell, rust might have taken a toehold in some of the lap joints where I had burned off primer with welding.  Since there is no way to know, nor any way of sanding/wire brushing it off in such places even if I knew it was there, I figured this was a wise precaution.  If I was positive I had 100% clean metal everywhere I would have skipped this step and just used epoxy primer, even to the point of brushing it inside the lap joints, which you can certainly do even though everyone assumes epoxy primer must be sprayed.

 

But, theoretically at least, epoxy primer will fail if applied over even light surface rust.  Rust Bullet, it is claimed, will not.  Simple as that.  Obviously these painting prep steps are the sort of thing that you only have one chance to get right, so I am checking all the boxes even if it is a bit of a PITA.

 

I wanted to add, even though you didn't ask, that prepping the entire shell for paint is a tedious f***ed up job.  Weld spatter, old seam sealer, pinholes I previously missed, ugly welds that I just have to improve, and simply having to scuff every square inch/nook/cranny.  I'm sort of hating life ATM.

Edited by Ironhead

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How much Rust Bullet would you say is needed for your job, 1/2 gallon?  I'd like to experiment with this product and would like to purchase enough for the welded areas and exposed seam metal.

 

The cowl area in my car has a fair amount of surface rust.  My plan was to treat with phosphoric acid because there is no way to hand sand many areas.  Doubt media blasting would work either since no "line of sight" to aim the blasting gun.  Maybe using Rust Bullet on seams, joints and inaccessible areas in cowl is the way to go for this job also and forget about using the acid with it's neutralizing concerns.  With the body on rotisserie and getting creative with application tools thinking I could get everything coated.

 

Allow me to commiserate and empathize.  At the moment I am choosing not to have the underside of shell blasted clean but may change my mind if things don't clean up as planned.  At first scraping off the under coating was relatively easy because went for the low hanging fruit, flat floor pan areas and portions softened by oil and grease then onto areas where the undercoating was dried out and brittle.  The wheel wells, OMG, it's like the Devil himself took a crap and just smeared it around, seems to take forever just to clean a few square inches because it's waxy and doesn't chip off.  I've almost completed this horrible task and then will use mineral spirits to remove remaining residue.  Actually looking forward to breaking out the MIG welder to stitch weld all the seams.  Following your lead using dental picks to scrap out seam sealer from seams.  I know it will not smoothly but anything must be better than scraping under coating.

 

 

 

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Nowhere near 1/2 gallon in my case.  I just ordered one of these: https://www.rustbullet.com/product/six-shooter-combo-industrial-automotive/, because it is a product that if you do not carefully clean off the lid/rim of the can after each use, it is impossible to get the lid off again.  I have just done the seams on the interior of the car so far (two coats), and that used up one small can.

 

Yeah, chassis prep sucks.  It is hard dirty work in awkward positions and there is little satisfying about it.  The stitch welding in particular.  Try to meticulously get the joint clean enough of seam sealer to make a sound weld (you can never get it all...unless you burn it out), then you get a contaminated weld anyway, grind it off, start over....rinse...repeat.

 

I never found anything better for removing surface seam sealer/undercoat than a wire brush in a grinder....but even then it kind of partially melts and redeposits in other places.  In large seams, dental picks and small screwdriver blades.  In small seams, use a torch and burn it out.  The fumes from that crap probably took five years off my life.

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17 hours ago, 280Z-LS3 said:

The cowl area in my car has a fair amount of surface rust. 

Drill out the spot welds and remove it. Was well worth it for me. so much you cant get to otherwise and is s shame to leave if you are doing the rest of the car.

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