It’s Thursday today and last Monday I picked up the coupe from the chemical dipper. Unfortunately they were unable to give the car body an acid bath they had to sandblast instead. There is still wood bracing that the owner would like undisturbed and the chemicals would make the wood the consistency of wet cardboard I was told by the owners of the stripping business – Redi Strip here in Indianapolis. The doors were dipped though, and at this writing I am waiting on them to finish stipping the cowl section.
I have however, epoxy coated (e-coated) the underneath side of the body, mounted the frame to the rotisserie, and set the body on the frame. I’m excited to button the body to the frame and start aligning the doors and rumble seat but without the cowl braces welded in and that section attached, I’m afraid any alignment work would be a waste of time. In the mean-time I’m going to e-coat the doors inside and out and weld some patch panels in the bottom of them to repair some rust.
I’ll keep you all informed of the progress. Thanks for reading. -Kevin
Body filler is designed to bond to bare, clean metal. I always feel more comfortable if the metal is scratched a bit; at least as aggressive as 80 grit. Spreading filler is not an exact science so I’ve put masking tape along the body moulding and the body panel seem so filler does not get into the creases and crevices. The masking tape was peeled before the filler hardened.
To get a flat straight finish typically will require the use of a sanding block however, we live in the real world where machines are wonderful for saving time. I use a 6 inch dual-action (DA) finish [palm] sander just to knock the rough areas and for initial shaping.
Once the filler is sanded and even, there are likely to be ‘pin holes’ and deeper sand scratches that need to be filled. Glazing putty as a final coat with a new spreader and a final sanding with 150 then 220 grit should make the filler ready to be primed.
While priming is a good time to use the shine from the initial wetness to check the straightness of your bodywork. It’s even better if you have a portable lamp to set at one end of the panel. The primer I’m using is the the etch primer that needed to be applied right after manufacturing. I use a brand that is both a metal epoxy and a two part filling primer/sealer. It has some ‘body’ to it. Many of the etch primers are the consistency of water. If you are using one of those, it is necessary to follow up with a 2K urethane primer to make sure the 220 grit scratches get filled. As a final step a ‘guide coat’ of a contrasting color is misted over the primer. In the next article, I’ll show how the guide coat is used – thanks for reading.
This is a Model A Special Coupe – or I’ve heard it called a business coupe. If you will notice, the right rear quarter panel is quite rusty. Actually the left quarter panel is too as well as the trunk floor and rear sub-frame rails. I was hired to replace the frame rails, floor pans, wheel houses, and rear body panels. After I’m done welding, it will go to the stripper and come back to me for the bodywork. Working on a Model A is almost like working on a toy car except for using a mig welder instead of glue.
The first step was to square up the body by replacing the sub frame rails. Without doing that, there’s is no way to be sure the wheel house panels or rear body panel is properly aligned. Luckily there was enough left of the floor pans to maintain the cross member placement and allow me to just slip the new rail in without much measurement or hassle. In the second and third pictures, you can see clearly the level of deterioration in the rear rails by looking at the left one. The final picture shows the new right rail simply fitted into place. As I am writing this, all the welding is done and the car has just been delivered to the stripper for chemical dipping.
Thanks for reading. -Kevin
The first indication that I had a problem with the primer showed up when I started grinding the doors. Even though the doors were new, they had many dents along the edges. As I started grinding, the primer started coming off in small circles instead of just from the sand on the grinding disk.
I had a couple problems once I noticed the factory primer popping. First, I needed to show myself and my customer that it wasn’t an issue with the doors only. To do that I laid several strips of masking tape on the trunk lid and left quarter panel then pulled/yanked them up.
Sure enough, the primer came off with the tape. My second problem was how to remove the primer. My choices were sand it off, sand blast it, or have the body and parts chemically dipped and strip it that way. Each choice has its own pros, cons, and costs. As it was, I chose a combination of sanding and sand blasting. I wasn’t a huge fan of the chemical dipping but the more I research different methods and and post-dipping treatments, I’m becoming more open to the procedure. More on that in another post… Thanks for reading – Kevin