Let’s review the steps and procedures that it took to get Woody’s car done and on the road back to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. When we we left off in July I had just widened the rear end 3 inches, installed my body kit, mocked it up, and we used the mar-glass fine hair (from Marson®) to bond the body kit to the 2008 GT Mustang. Now to shape the rear flares so it’s part of the body and also mold in the rockers to the fender and the rocker panel. I’m going to use the mar-glass to blend it because it’s stronger material than the Bondo™. I use the 3M® tape and I’ll align myself about 2 inches away from where I want to mold the two panels together. That way when I’m spreading the mar-glass I’ll be able to pull the tape and not have so much extra sanding work. You’re not really having a heavy build but you have enough build to seam that metal to the fiberglass and not have the seam break loose after primering and painting it. That’s why I chose the mar-glass. It’s a short-strand fiberglass reinforced auto body filler. I’ll apply Bondo™ on top of that. After 2 or 3 days getting these panels shaped up with 36 grit. I’m going to use the Soft-Sanders™ with this body kit. The Soft-Sander™ blocks are an everyday use of mine anyways, but these blocks really truly save me up to 75% of the time because of all the shapes that they come in. So I’m able to get in the grooves. I’m able to sand a continuous stroke and also shape better with the Soft-Sander™ blocks just because you’re able to form them to the radius of what you’re sanding. They come in different sizes: 4-inch, 8-inch and 12-inch. With my body kit it’s really got a lot of shape to it so these blocks are able to get me there quicker. If you go to www.softsanders.com you can get a whole list of their product. I’ve always said time is money and this product is a time and money saver. I wish I had run across it 15 years ago.
Let’s move on to the paint. Obviously we’re going to have to prime it first. So I gave Sherwin-Williams a call and they were cool enough to sponsor me for this build which gives me a chance to try some other products. I used the Speed P30 Spectra Prime. The mixing ratio is 2 part Spectra Prime, 2 part SR15 and one part UH900. I applied probably about 8 mills and used a 1.9 tip on my HVLP SATA primer gun. You want to shoot it at about 25 to 45 psi and that will give you a good atomization and break down that thick primer. I really loaded up because I only want to primer it once. After sanding it ended up with about 320. With my sand scratches I usually leave about 80 or 150. I don’t get too detailed because I’m going to follow up with 80. So with this project I left my sand scratches at 80 and I feather-edged everything with 150 and then the additional paint that’s left over you want to hit with the 320.
Applying the three coats of primer gives you probably close to 9 mills. I guide coat it with some black guide coat. This will give me a reference for my highs and lows to blend this into the quarter panels or down in the rockers all the way to the fenders. It’s going to give me a good reference where my highs and lows are and if I have any additional pinholes I’ll use the 417 putty to get in there. It’s pretty much like a poly primer. After priming I use the Soft-Sander™ blocks and hit it with the 80 grit. After that I’m going to re-guide coat it and come back with the 150 grit. Basically I chase out the 80 grit scratches with the 150. I re-guide coat it and then wet sand it with a 400 wet. This sand paper from Soft-Sanders goes from 320 all the way up to 2500. It’s amazing paper, it’s called Superflex Sandpaper. After the 400 wet, I 800 the rest of the car.
Now we’re masked up and ready to get in to the booth. After getting into the booth I’ve got to take the wheels off. Obviously we’re changing the color so I’ve got to remove a lot of the parts in the engine compartment, which makes it easier. You try to remove everything from the left and right inner aprons and then I use aluminum foil for things that I’m not going to remove. I’m not going to remove the motor but I still want to get as much detail as possible which you’ll be able to see in some of these photos. I’m leaving the radiator and the A/C condenser in.
Tape really tight tape and you can get a really good job of changing the color. I’m first going to start with a sealer that Sherwin Williams provided me with—Spectra Seal. It’s a 2.1 VOC color primer. I’m just going to use a grey primer on this which is a P27 and then they have P27 black and also P27 white which you can intermix to get the different color tones. Basically the mixing ratio on this is take the P27: 4 to 2 which would be the S42 to 2 which would be the H45 hardener and then the solvent will be an ES15 and that’s the 4. So 4 to 2 to 2 to 4.
I’ve shot a lot of sealers. This one goes on flat, no orange peel whatsoever. It just flows out and then it’s shiny, so they say 15 to 30 minutes. You just have to be able to put your thumb in it, check it on a test panel, because I always shoot a test panel, and move your thumb. If it’s locked down you’re ready for base. On the base I had them mix me up some Colorado Red and I only apply one coat of the sealer, so one coat you’re good. Hats off to Sherwin-Williams. So on my base coat we’ve got the Colorado red and I applied 3 coats. I’ve got a system and anytime I apply a base coat, I apply 3 coats. That way if the car ever gets in an accident or I’m redoing it I have a system. Always create a system for yourself.
The reducer I use is a 0025, so on our base coats I’m going with 3 coats. It’s 1 to 30 percent, so pretty easy mixing ratio with this water. It covered really well. I was really surprised. The first coat covered, second coat was even better, and—with my system—3 coats because I’m painting everything in pieces. You want to use the right psi. I use 27 psi on my base coat and a 1.4 tip with my SATA gun. Go to sata.com and figure out what you need.
I’ve got about 20 different guns so I’ve got a gun for every application. So after my 3 coats I’m giving it about 15 to 20 minutes wait. I’m spraying it in a cross draft. Now I’m ready for my top coat. The top coat that I chose from Sherwin-Williams is the 1100755 Elegance clearcoat. It’s a 2.1 VOC. Mixing ratio of the clear is 2 to 1 as reducer with BUS4 to the UH 80 hardener. So it’s 2 to 1 to 1.
This clear just lays down flat. I haven’t used reducer and clear in over 10 years and I was pretty impressed with the way the clear shot. I tend to want to put more mills on. We’ve got no graphics so I’d usually do 3 coats on this job. However, I applied 5 coats just because I knew we’d be cutting some off and when you add reducer that thins it out a little bit so it’s not as thick. That works out to 4 coats on this project. I don’t think you want to go with too much more. I’m waiting 10–15 minutes between each coat. That way you don’t get too much build on the edge. You don’t want it to bubble up on you or get air pockets on your edges. So, four coats worked for me. Three coats would probably be okay but the extra is an insurance policy with myself, just because I like the flattened panels. So we’ve gotten through the paint stage, now we’re ready for color, sanding and buffing.
Next month we’ll finish up the project. This car has got stamp #7.
I’d like to thank my sponsors on this project, Sherwin-Williams, 3M, Grit Guard (which we’ll talk about next month), and Soft-Sanders. Thanks to Woody and his family for giving me the opportunity to do this great project for them. I’m always looking for great projects so if you want quality, and you want it done my way, which I hope is the right way. Try to better yourself at what you do every day and try to learn something new. I’m definitely practicing every day to be better.
I’ve got six cars going to SEMA.Visit my site to see what’s going on:
huntingtonbeachbodyworks.com or richevansdesigns.com and don’t forget to visit mopar.com and follow me on my Challenger build. This thing is cool. You’ll be able to get the product to trick out your own car in two hours. We’re supposed to be done with that October 1. Until next month.