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Thursday, 24 February 2011 17:27

The Rich Evans Designs-Mopar Kit for Dodge’s Challenger, Part 2

Written by Rich Evans
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A lot of times when I’m taking parts off the car and putting them back on, from mock up position I’ll go into the doors and the hinges and drill two 1/8th inch holes. That way I can stick two 1/8th inch dowels through, tighten up the parts and then they’re right back to where I was before so I don’t have to take the time to re-line everything up. That way when I do my graphics, they’re going to line up. So I do the same with the hood, deck lid; I really don’t have to worry about the fenders—on some projects you do, but on this one I don’t.

So after getting the graphics layed out, it’s time to tear it back down again. Now I’m ready for my graphic color, True Blue Pearl part number PBC36AB.

On the silver I applied three coats.  I just do that on all my projects, I have a system and I apply it with a SATA 1.4 tip gun and I use 27 psi, 3 heavy coats, then I seal it with a House of Kolor sealer. The reason for using three coats is so if it ever got in a wreck and I had to redo this job I know how I did it so I do that routinely on all my vehicles.

If for some reason I change my patterns from normal spraying I’ll write it on the back of the file so when the car comes back in I can repeat exactly what I did and get to as close of a color match as possible.

With the True Blue, I’m going to do six light coats just for coverage so I don’t get the blotchiness with a high build. I’ll do a half trigger using 27 psi. I do six coats to get a nice, dark, even feel. I’m painting everything in pieces so it needs to match. You’ve got to remember how you’re applying it, how close your gun is, to be able to paint cars in pieces. It gives me a better result.

After adding my six coats of the True Blue Pearl, now I de-mask everything, and add six coats of House of Kolor’s clear. Six good coats allows me to cut two coats off and not have any edges on my graphics.

I’m ready for color, sand, and buff. On my color sanding method I will use all 3M products. I start with 800 grit sand paper, then 1000 grit, 1200, then 1500, 2000, then to 2500.

Also I am using Soft-Sanders blocks along with their new sand paper. All their sand paper is wet from 800 all the way on up, and it’s sticky-back so that is a great time saver. Visit softsanders.com and check out the sandpaper products. They don’t wrinkle up, last a long time, and you can get them all the way from 400 grit up. Their blocks are also great, good for sanding out scratches and unbeatable for getting into curves.

I use the combination of 3M and Soft-Sanders products. 3M doesn’t have the sticky-back sand paper all the way up to 2500 grit so Soft-Sanders is the way to go. I burned through a lot of sandpaper on this project.

I’m ready for buffing, I do use the 1-2-3 step from 3M. That gives the fastest and best results that I have come across to date. Check out 3m.com and check out the 1-2-3 step buffing process. It’ll save you time and give you best results.

We created a headliner and I’m going to send it over to Rivo at Stitchcraft Interiors. I sent them a design to use in Katzkin Leather. I’m looking forward to seeing how it comes out and they’re also going to do the door panels. Katzkin styled me out with doing Rich Evans designed seats for this and Katzkin just does a phenomenal job. Visit www.katzkin.com and stitchcraftinteriors.com. They’re both great individuals to work with.

I’m at the point when I’m ready to put this project together and get it over to SEMA. I called Mike Curtis over at Curtis Speed Equipment. I had him cut me off some one-off wheels, created a center cap for it, and then gave it to Mike. He’s just over the top in his wheel cutting experience. I collaborated with Mike on the grill. You can just bolt these grills right on top of yours. It takes only eight screws to and you can change the whole look of your Challenger with just adding these inserts. They look cool and you can order them to color or just plain aluminum as you see them on my original.

Visit Richevansdesigns.com and get your grill inserts, your scoop, your wing, your lower front spoiler, left and right rocker, left and right flares, your rear bumper lower spoiler, your rear wing and your hood scoop. Even your headliner and grill inserts can be found at huntingtonbeachbodyworks.com and richevansdesigns.com and we’ll have these parts available for you.

At the Mopar booth at 2010 SEMA, the Challenger was on stage on the turntable and people were loving it. I had a great time working with the Mopar Aftermarket team and I had a great time working with all the sponsors and utilizing the Mopar parts on this build — it just brought this Challenger to a whole other level.

If you want to give this project a name it would be “modern muscle to the max.” We ended up with a name, calling it the Beast; 451 CID HEMI, pushing over 550 horsepower. Visit my site for more photographs or you can visit Mopar’s site and find some photographs on there.

The car is on tour with Mopar for the next nine months. If you guys want me to turn your car into a modern muscle car, look me up. I hope you guys enjoyed the build, I definitely enjoyed every minute of the 3-month build. See you next month!

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