March 4th, 2012 to July 26th, 2012
The next project was to remove the body tub from the chassis. First the front fenders, running boards, bonnets, rear fenders, spare tire, and gas tank had to be taken off the frame. Finally the body tub was removed from the frame with the help of a friend. I moved it upstairs to my garage where I planned to paint.
The first order of business was to remove all the old primer and rust from the outside of the car. I used an angle head grinder and a wire brush to accomplish this. During this process when I cleaned the back end of the body tub I noticed that someone had replaced the metal piece along the back of the car, and had used galvanized metal to do so. The problem with galvanized is that paint will not stick to it. Off to Lowes and bought a piece of sheet metal to remake the part with. The first picture is the galvanized part, the next two pictures are the new part.
After cleaning the body tub I shot it with self etching primer. Rustoleum makes this product in a spray can. That made if quite convenient. My paint store sold me a similar product in a spray can, but I preferred the Rustoleum. This was followed by a couple of coats of primer surfacer. There were a number of minor problems with the body tub so I spent some time fixing those problems. Someone had drilled holes for a tonneau cover. These holes had to be welded, ground then filled. The routine was sand with 220 then shoot primer, then sand, then shoot, then sand, then shoot. I then repeated that process with 320 sandpaper and finally did the same process with 400 sandpaper. This is all a time consuming process, but the quality of your paint job is not in shooting the paint, it is in the preparation. I could have easily spent an additional month working all the little flaws out of the body tub, but this car is destined to be a drive and not intended to be a show car. Indeed I want it to look nice, but I don't intend to shave by looking in the door. Actually I don't intend to shave at all.
I have bought a quart of the light green color, and a gallon of the dark green color. The outside of the body tub, the doors, the inside and outside of the lower bonnet parts are all that will be the light green. In the process of painting the outside of the body tub I used about 1/3 of that light green quart. I still have the doors and the inside and outside of the bonnets. I believe that I will have enough paint. I bought a gallon of clear coat and time will tell if that is enough. If not then I can always go back and get another gallon.
First I shot the light green, then waited about 4 hours for it to dry enough to tape. After drying I taped the light green off and shot the dark green. At this stage the paint was a satin like finish and not at all shiny.
The next step was to shoot the clear coat. The directions said to wait at least 20 minutes and no more than 24 hours after painting the color to shoot the clear coat. It took me about 45 minutes to clean my gun, and mix the clear coat. I then shot 4 fairly heavy coats. The more clear coat you use the more you can sand it out later. I did this then waited about 36 hours before I started sanding and polishing. The first couple of pictures show the basic sanding process. I had some orange peal in the paint and simply sanded it out using 1500 sandpaper first followed by 2000 sandpaper. The idea is to block sand the clear coat until all the shiny spots disappear. I used a fairly hard piece of flat rubber for the block sanding.
Once the sanding was done I began the process of bringing the shine back to the paint. This is a three stage process. First use a rubbing compound and a buffer. My paint store recommended using a foam wheel and not a cloth one. This stage cuts the clear coat finer and takes it another step beyond the 2000 sandpaper. The shine begins to show again after this step. The second stage is to use a much finer grit polishing compound and a softer foam wheel on the buffer. This stage still cuts some, but not as much as the first stage. The third stage uses a glazing compound and an even softer foam wheel on the buffer. When you finish with this stage it is possible to see the shine again. If you did not do enough with the first two stages you can clearly see it after this stage. To fix any areas you note, simply go back to the first or second stage of the buffing. In a serious case you can go back to the 2000 sandpaper. The caution is NOT TO CUT THROUGH THE CLEAR COAT!
Sometimes in the course of events something happens that............ well.......... you just don't expect. Such was the case when I started polishing and buffing! On the right side of the body tub, right behind the drivers door, where the body tub goes up then back. I noticed a black spot! At first it just looked like a black spot. I started to sand with 2000 sandpaper to remove it. I then realized that it was a GNAT! Upon looking at the infestation through the magnification of a jewelers loupe I could see that this particular Gnat had made a departure from the normal life of a gnat. He (or she) had apparently been attracted to the idea of preserving himself forever, and perhaps even gaining some fame and notoriety by diving into my paint, either at the end of the color coat or one of the first coats of clear. In any case, it cost him his life, but he is completely imbedded in the clear coat. I just don't have the heart to make his life's sacrifice a waste by sanding him out. He is rather like one of those prehistoric bugs that we see today in pieces of amber jewelry. I have decided to honor his sacrifice by naming the car; NATTY, or GNATTY if you prefer it.
Following all the paint and polishing a couple of friends helped me move the body tub back downstairs and onto the chassis. Today I bolted her down, replaced the rear wheels. This for me is a major milestone reached! I can now put the windshield, the Brooklands screens, the floor, the carpets, the panel, the seats, and upholstery back into the car. I can also complete the wiring inside the car and install the top. My plan is to pause the painting at this time and take it up again once the car is close to being ready for the road. By waiting to paint I will not have to store painted parts that can easily be damaged. When I go back to painting I will paint parts, then install them, then paint the next parts and install them, until the car is completed. OK, well that is the plan anyway!
I wanted to see how the green interior will look with the duo tone green paint so I put a piece of the interior in place and took a couple of pictures.
I have thought that I used a color with too much green in it for my scuttle, but now seeing it with the green body next to it, it looks gray. I also decided to paint the wood between the scuttle (firewall) and the body tub black. I also used stainless steel bolts. These were used for two reasons. First, it is easier than painting the heads of the bolts so they will be the same color as the scuttle. Second, they wont rust like regular steel bolt would. Certainly this is not original, but it is just the way I did it.
It is January 8th, 2014 as I write this. I am currently updating my website. Unfortunately I have not finished this page. I will do so as soon as time permits, but I honestly don’t know how soon that will be. I have some work to do on our home that is going to take precedence. Can you say the word “HONEY-DO”!!
Just for fun I have posted a picture below of Sir Stirling Moss and Denise McCluggage, sitting in TC-1576. I finished the car back in March of 2013 and now have over 3000 miles on it. This was taken in September of 2013 at the Santa Fe Concorso. Denise is an old family friend and a wonderful lady and Sir Stirling is a good friend of hers. They were kind enough to sit in my car for the picture. Have a great day!
Bud Silvers TC-1576 - Low n slo in the Black Forest of Colorado.........