Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Interior Body Sealer and Primer

This process of restoring the inside of the body shell to some semblance of originality, or maybe a little better, has been a long, tedious, dirty, tiring, frustrating, and painful (both figuratively and literally) step in this restoration.  But there is a little light at the end of the tunnel on this part of the resurrection of my fastback.

Thanks to the factory welding and sealant manual, not to mention a recent article in Mustang Monthly here, I was able to determine not just where the sealer goes, but what materials to use.  I mentioned those products in my previous post.  What I've posted here was over the course of a few days.  I'll let the pictures tell the story...

Seat riser spray sealer applied

Floor to firewall  and kick panel spray sealer applied.
Rear seat and rear wheel tub spray sealer applied.

Trunk floor and wheel tub spray sealer applied

Sound deadener applied (same 3M product as sealer)

Rear valance to trunk floor spray sealer applied.

High build gap filling sealer (3M "fast n' firm) applied

More gap sealer applied.

Gap sealer at firewall to torque box applied.

Gap Sealer applied under spray sealer

Sealing complete in front of passenger compartment.  Dash sprayed with rust converter for now.

Sealing complete in rear of passenger compartment

So after painstakingly stripping, scuffing, and wiping down the surfaces inside the body, I masked off the areas I didn't want the overspray of Zero Rust to go.  That included the dash which I sprayed with Eastwood rust converter, which turns black on clean metal and will preserve it.  I'll detail the dash later.  I decided after masking the trunk area that I will wait to primer it later as that will need to be prepped more carefully since it will be exposed and sprayed with body color.

I approached this project as I would the room of a house.  I "cut in" all the seams and hard to reach places, like the cowl vents, by using a brush to guarantee coverage that spraying might miss.

Cowl vent and pinch seam areas brush painted with Zero-Rust.  

Body on its side.  Painting the hidden areas around the perimeter of the roof

More roof painting with a brush
After all the brush work was done, I set up my primer HVLP gun.  I reduced the Zero-Rust 20% to get a good flow.  I was using a 1.8mm tip in my gun.  That gave a fairly nice pattern and coverage.  The rotisserie came in handy especially for getting behind the dash and doing the inside of the roof.

The finished produce...

There are a couple of areas, particularly under the dash that are a little light on coverage, but at this point, I'm not worrying about it.  Sort of "out of sight, out of mind".  It's not going to be exposed after everything gets installed in the dash and interior and it's certainly not going to rust anymore.

With just 11 days before I head north for a couple of weeks, this major hurdle in the restoration process is now behind me!  It almost seems surreal.  Now I can focus on the actual bodywork.  The big question is do I leave it on the rotisserie, or take it off.  I'm leaning toward the latter for a couple of reasons.   The 1st reason is in spite of the versatility of rotating the body on the rotisserie, it's still fairly high off the floor.  The 2nd reason is  I can't put the front or rear valances on the body with it on the rotisserie.   So if I build my body cart, I can take it off the rotisserie, gain some garage space, and hang all the body panels on the car.  Then I can sell the rotisserie and get that out of my garage where I'm already pinched for space.  (If you know someone interested in the rotisserie, let me know.)

I would say I ate a few more bites of this elephant.  And it's tasting pretty good!  But there is a lot more to eat.  Hopefully I won't get sick of it by the time the elephant is fully digested.

Until the next time....

Thursday, March 15, 2018

More, More of the Same

What a tedious, dirty, and somewhat hazardous job this has turned out to be.  I never would have thought cleaning out the factory sealer and surface rust would end up with hours of work and dollars of consumables.  But it is what it is.

This post represents a number of nights and a long Saturday of work.  And I'm still not done yet.  But let's not dwell on that.  First order of business is safety first.  I use ear plugs instead of the muffs which are bulky in tight places.   Don't I look dashing?!?!

Decked out in all my safety gear.
I found that the best and quickest way to remove the factory seam sealer is Goof Off.  It's easy to apply and works well.  It will take three coats.  The first will get the majority of the larger pieces of seam sealer loose.  I used a wood chisel to scrape the first layer away.  The second coat will get most of the sealer off with the chisel and coarse steel wool.  The third coat I used red ScotchBrite pads to get the last of the sealer off.  Then I wiped down the area with mineral spirits on a cloth.  Finally, I used paper towels to dry off the mineral spirits.

This does a good job cutting through the factory seam sealer
The seam sealer is all gone and cleaned up

That process of removing the sealer worked the best.  The next step was to use the combination of 4-1/2" and 2" surface conditioning disc.  I did buy a lot of 25 Sharp brand 3" Rolok surface disc.  They seem to hold up a little better than the 3M disc. So work began on the door jamb area.

cleaning up the rocker panel and door jamb

The left rear quarter panel had never been completely stripped of paint entirely and there was some primer left from previous metal work.  So I got this all done.

I then started on the interior driver's side and got most of that cleaned up from the rear diff tunnel to the foot well area.

Then it was on to the part I was dreading...the upper firewall and cowl behind the dash.

The advantage to the rotisserie is easier access to areas like this.  It's not easy.  Just easier.  I can't imagine laying on my back or in a contorted position to do this work.  Because of the confines, I used the 90 degree die grinder with the 2" and 3" conditioning discs.

This is the view through the dash on the driver's side of the firewall
 On the larger flatter surfaces, I used the 4-1/2" angle grinder, especially on the toe board, side apron and flat areas of the bottom of the cowl.  I made good time but found that caution must be exhibited in the process.
Yes Virginia, the body is upside down! (not the picture)
My 29 year old Craftsman angle grinder has served me well over the years, especially on my 1929 Ford hotrod and this one.  However, I failed to notice a bracket that was spot welded on the bottom of the cowl.  The conditioning pad caught it, twisted the grinder out of my right hand where it then proceeded to dance across the back of my left hand, out the door and onto the floor while still turning!  Needless to say, there was some collateral damage to me, the grinder, and the hook and loop backing pad.
My ouchie looks better in the picture than in real life.
I used this moment to take a break, clean myself up so that a CSI team won't find anymore blood on the garage floor than is already there.  The grinder case was now loose at a parting joint.  I could probably just use some Gorilla tape to fix it, but decided it was time to replace it.  I ended up spending more than planned, but got a DeWalt angle grinder with more amps AND a paddle switch which is much safer than the toggle on the old Craftsman.  Besides, almost 30 years of service is enough.  I'm also going to make sure I'm wearing my mechanic's gloves when I'm using the grinder.

I had created quite a mess in my "Dexter" kill room, but that plastic cocoon I made has kept the garage messes at bay.  I pushed the fastback outside since it was a clear sunny day and blew the crud and dust out of all the nooks and crannies.  Again, the rotisserie really helps facilitate this process.

After the cleanup of the body and garage, I tucked her back in the garage.  The next step was working on the inside of the roof.  I was down to my last 4-1/2" conditioning disc.  So I placed another order for a box of 10.  The cost of consumables was on a steady climb at this point.

With the body hanging upside down, it made easy work of the roof.  My helper Joey came over for a couple of hours one evening and helped with the task.  I put him on the new DeWalt grinder and I used my 9" grinder with the big bristle brush that worked OK.  I spent a little more time doing some detail cleaning under the dash with my 2" discs.

My helper Joey getting after the roof
 The roof is about 2/3 done at this point.  Joey had school and I was getting tired, especially my hand that was somewhat sore after the fight with the grinder.

I'm probably 75% to 80% done on cleaning up the inside before it's ready for degreasing, resealing, and primer.  I did, however, order some of the sealer materials.  The October 2017 issue of Mustang Monthly had an article that was quite timely.  You can see the article here.   I ordered the "Fast N Firm", the spray rubberized undercoating, and the grey seam sealer that came in a sausage looking tube.  So I had to order the special caulking gun to use with that.  I was a little shocked at the cost.

More money for pricy product
What you see in the picture above represents almost $150 in supplies.  And I know I'll need more, especially at sausage seam sealer which is $40+ for that 10 ounce tube.  Yikes.  And people wonder why restorations can cost so much.  I haven't even gotten to the paint yet.  But if you're going to do a restoration to this level, it has to be done correctly.  So it's part of the price of admission.

I've got work and family obligations this weekend, and I'm waiting for my box of conditioning discs to arrive.  It will also give my hand time to heal up some more.  Hopefully, I'll be back on this beast in the next week or so.  Then I'll get the rest of the inside roof done, a little still left on the underside of the dash on the passenger side, and cleaning up the back of the truck area.  It will be time for some degreasing, Pickle-X 20, seam sealing, and finally primer.  Then the inside of the body will be finished...finally.

Until the next time.

Monday, February 19, 2018

More of the Same

Once again, I headed north of the border  the first weekend in February for more work among the First Nation people in northern Ontario.  I conducted a "train the trainer" class on family and parenting for a group of aboriginal pastors and elders.  It's a badly needed skill among the many communities thanks to the decades of children being raised in residential schools.  But that's another story for another time.

Nnow that I'm back home and south of the Canadian (Eh?) border for at least a few weeks, it was time for a little R & R... Relax and Restoration.  It was not going to be anything exciting, but a continuation of the joys of surface preparation for paint.   It's boring.  It's dirty.  It's time consuming.  But necessary.

The remaining part of the body that needed prepping were the rocker panels, the door frame pillars and surround, and the entire inside of the body.   That's a lot of real estate.  But on with the show.

First task was to start on the passenger side since it's the easiest part of the body to get to without too much rearranging.  I had ordered a box of 2" 3M aluminum oxide Roloc conditioning disc along with a box of 5" hook and loop conditioning disc and backing pad.  The amount of money spend on consumables just to clean up the surface of the body for any paint and body work is adding up.  But it has to be done and is a lot cheaper than what professional media blasting or dipping would cost.

I removed the door hinges being sure to make sure that they were marked for the right side and position.  I was going to do the trick of drilling an 1/8" whole through the hinge under the mounting bolts.  However, the hinge is thick and I'll be hanging a different original fender on the front.  So screw that idea especially since it's time spend on something that just isn't worth the effort in the long run.

I guess I've been putting this area off because of all the intricate surfaces.  But with an arsenal of discs, wire brushes, and bristle brushes of various sizes, there was no excuse left.

The "before" shot of the door frame surround and rocker panel

There's not a lot to show except the "after" pictures.  This represented over 2 hours of stripping and cleaning...

The B-pillar all cleaned up

The A-pillar all shiny

The cleaned up rocker panel (minus the pinch weld on the bottom)
The progress after one long evening
When this last Saturday rolled around, I moved to the inside to try and get as much of the passenger side done.  The heater was fired up, the "kill room" curtains lowered, and all the tools and supplies laid out.

I used "Goof Off" spray stripper and coated all the old seam sealer and let it soak in for 10-15 minutes.  A wood chisel provided the method to scrape the majority of the sealer away.  This took about the same amount of time as using my multi-tool with a scraper blade.  The results were mixed.  Some of it popped off all the way to clean bare metal.  Other sections didn't and left a layer of residue.  It took another application and some "persuading" with "O" steel wool and a red Scotch-Brite pad.  The remainder was removed with a rag and mineral spirits.  A blast of air cleaned out the joints.  (PSA:  be sure to wear rubber gloves, goggles or face shield, and a fan to vent the area).  I crawled up through the gas tank opening and cleaned up the rear axle tunnel.  (Try that on a Government Motors car!)   I was able to finish the floor from the axle tunnel up to the the floor before the toe board.  I'd do that when I dive under the dash.

The cleaned up passenger side floor

Before on the right...after on the left
I pulled the rotisserie into the middle of the garage and re positioned all my tools and supplies to the driver side.  First task was removing the driver side door hinges.  Then I started cleaning up the A-pillar.  I had a malfunction/failure of the 4-1/2" grinder hook and loop backing pad.  (Let's just say it involved operator error and a band-aid).  That limited my productivity on the door frame.

I decided to move on to removing the sealer on the driver side floor.  It looks like crap after the first application and removal.  But the final product is quite acceptable, in my humble opinion.

Part way through the sealer stripping process
I realized that it was time for supper both by the clock and my growling gut.  Beside that, my back was beginning to protest.  I can't imagine what it would have been like to do this WITHOUT the rotisserie.  Best money I've spend on a restoration tool!  (I'm hoping to sell it this spring...hopefully)

I got on my Amazon account and ordered another 5" backing pad and a 3" pad with a box of conditioning disc to get into smaller spaces with the angle grinder without having to deal with "Big Bertha" having to keep up with compressed air.  The plan is to do another weeknight and Saturday to try and knock out not only the floor, but start the work up the back side of the firewall and underside of the dash.

At any rate, there's more progress made and another bite of the elephant swallowed.

Until the next time.