el Camino progress on underside

Dean Jenkins

Promoted Users
Pretty happy to be making progress!

Got all the underside repairs done and then got it prepped and sprayed epoxy today.
All of us DYI guys who dream of painting our own cars have visions of laying down color and then clear like glass.
The truth is that is only 1% of the job. The rest is hours and hours of tedious prep; welding, grinding, sanding, and then doing it over.
But it is all joy! (Mostly)

I posted a previous thread about the metal work I had to do.
Here is a refresher on that (had about 8 spots like that to repair):

Brace 3.jpg


I got them done satisfactorily and then moved to spot welding in all the nuts for bucket seats and seat belts etc.
Then, grinding and sanding and grinding and sanding to get ready to shoot epoxy.

Here is what I started with:

Underside start.jpg


I started out determined to sand off all of the EDP from the replacement panels.
As you can see in the next picture, I got the belly pan done . . . it was really hard!
And then I asked myself "if this paint is stuck so well, why am I sanding it off?" I did the thinner test and no color came off, so I switched to just sanding the EDP with 180 really well.
The picture doesn't look bad, but as we all know, epoxy needs a good scratch to adhere to. Can you see how many nooks and crannies there are under the bed and supports? HOURS!!!
Also, you may notice the "doughnuts" spot welded on the body mount pads. Some had pin holes so I decided to put a patch on all of them. Can't hurt.

Here it is, prepped and ready to spray epoxy (everything really is sanded, just some shadowing in the picture):

Underside prepped.jpg


Oh, and here is my super cool "strip curtains" booth in place and ready:

Underside ready in booth.jpg


And, it is epoxied. 2 really good coats.
Tomorrow I will do the inside of the cab and then this week will massively coat every joint with seam sealer and then shoot Raptor on the underside and the cab interior (most of it.)
Totally stoked with the progress!

And, the folks on this forum who encouraged me to get the rotisserie are my hero's! It made this whole phase way easier and more enjoyable. Each coat involved 4 rotations and it was super easy.

Underside painted.jpg
 

MJM

Promoted Users
A lot of work involved up to that point. Until one does it, you really don't know how much labor is involved. Great job, she looks great!

How did the spray curtain work out?
 

Klleetrucking

Promoted Users
Looks great!
I'm sure you already know this but there are seams that shouldn't be sealed to let moisture exit.

X2 on the rotisserie, well worth the investment in a comfortable working position if nothing else.

Very interested in your approach and execution of the Raptor.
 
I am pretty sure seams should be sealed, I would be adding more holes. The front floor supports, the lowest points do not have holes it what seems to be 3/4 low spots, which means the water reaches the level of the nearest hole and stays inside.
 

Dean Jenkins

Promoted Users
Looks great!
I'm sure you already know this but there are seams that shouldn't be sealed to let moisture exit.

X2 on the rotisserie, well worth the investment in a comfortable working position if nothing else.

Very interested in your approach and execution of the Raptor.
Roger that. Planning to seal joints where 2 parts are spot welded, but make sure to leave (and improve) the drain holes. And, The next 50 years of this classic will probably be much different than the first 50 ;)
 

Dean Jenkins

Promoted Users
Feels like good progress. Today got the inside of the cab shot in SPI Epoxy primer.
I was going to shoot it Sunday, but then my son needed help putting brakes on his daily driver. Good Fathers Day stuff, worth the delay. ;)

Here is what I started with in April of 2020 (rust city!) Yes you could step right through the floorboards, and WTH was that fiberglass patch on the trans tunnel o_O. And notice the nice dash mod, gotta love it:

20200413_212351.jpg




cab back rust.jpg


Here it is with new sheet metal on the floor, dash, back of cab and the new trans tunnel for T56, all shot in SPI Epoxy primer:

cab epoxy 1.jpg


cab epoxy 3.jpg
 

Dean Jenkins

Promoted Users
Re-thinking the Raptor bed liner on the underside of the car. In talking with Barry, he (very graciously) asked "why are you doing that?"
My answer was; nicer appearance, sound deadening and chip resistance.

He raised a point I hadn't thought about and that is resale. The point being that most high-dollar buyers/appraisers are going to be pretty savvy and will wonder what you are trying to hide under the bed liner undercoating, might even cause them to walk away.
Hmmm, interesting. I certainly have nothing to hide, the work is all solid. and the epoxy looks great. Maybe better to leave it all visible.
Barry made the case that I can do sound deadening with interior matt material and that the epoxy will be very chip resistant.

So, I'm leaning towards leaving it in epoxy. I have 2 good coats on and am working on the seam sealing.
I think I will put a third coat on, after the seam sealer, with a good, long (4 hours plus) induction time before spraying final coat and call that good.

Now I have 8 liters of Raptor, with hardener and a spray gun. I think I will still do the cab floor etc. with it, and add the Dynamat or similar over that.
 

Dean Jenkins

Promoted Users
Doing things right is a PITA! But worth it, I guess.

So, I lost my "7 day window" on the epoxy I had sprayed on the underside. Plan was to spray it, do the seam sealing, spray another few coats and be done.
I shot the first 2 coats and then did the seam sealer (lot's of it!)
But life gets in the way, my aunt came to visit and then the rental needed attention (see the rental story at the end of this post.)
Turned out three weeks went by before I could get back on the car, well beyond 7 days.
Part of me wanted to say "just shoot the paint, it doesn't matter." But, the chemist said 7 days and I trust he has good reason for that.

So, I spent 4 hours scuffing the paint with 180 before shooting again. Did I mention how intricate the underside is? Thank God for a rotisserie!
Hopefully this attention to detail will continue for the visible parts of the car.

Here it is all scuffed and ready (seemed almost sacrilegious to sand really nice paint):

180 underside.jpg


And, now shot again, 2 more coats (with 24 hour induction time since this is final) over the seam sealer:

New underside epoxy.jpg


Seam sealer is messy, sticky stuff. hard to make it look good. I used tubes of it with a caulking gun and then acid brushes to get it into the cracks and to smooth a bit. I am going to use the Raptor bed liner on the wheel wells, but not the rest of the underside, based on Barry's advice that I discussed earlier.

Wheel well seam seal.jpg


One more shot. This is the floor of the cab. Car had factory bench seat, I'm going to buckets. There is a GM bracket for the buckets, but is was ~$150 for a set and of course they are on back order. I think the 1/8" X 1" steel strap that I shaped and welded to the floor braces will be even stronger and work just fine. Seats have been fitted and the nuts all spot welded on the bottom.

Bucket Seat Brackets.jpg


I'm really close to putting this shell back on the frame and bolting it down. Just need to shoot the Raptor in the wheel wells and spot in the points where the rotisserie connected and then ready. That will be a big milestone. Bottom done, body back on frame!

The rental story:

4 years ago my wife wanted to buy a rental house, she has indulged my hobby so I wanted to indulge hers. I said, "fine, but I'm not spending my time off working on it. If you want it, find a handyman to do the maintenance." Seemed reasonable. She said OK.
Then reality hits. It needs a new sink. Plumber wants $1000 to do it. I say, "No way, I can do that in an hour!" So, I drive 4 hours to the rental and spend 4 hours putting in a new sink. Then it needs a new toilet . . . same story. You get the picture.
I think she knew how this would play out - she is so much smarter than I am!
Anyway, the latest rental repairs put me behind on the car, missed my paint windows and everything.
But, it is all good! Happy wife, happy life, right?

Having fun with the car and looking forward to bolting that body on, for good. Then on to hours and hours of blocking . . .
 

Klleetrucking

Promoted Users
Looks really good!
4 hrs.? You work at warp speed.
Please share how/when you do the Raptor in the wheel houses as I'm planning the same approach.
 

Dean Jenkins

Promoted Users
Shot the Raptor on the rear wheel wells. I like this stuff! Very easy to work with and I really like the texture and look of it.

It comes in 2 parts, the bed liner material and the hardener. The bed liner container is about 3/4 full and has a line, you add the hardener to the line, shake it up, screw the gun on and shoot it.

Raptor.jpg


Here is the gun to NOT get! I ordered a kit from TCP Global and it included this gun. Sounded great. The gun is a piece of crap! Get the one from U-Pol.
Notice the plastic trigger handle. It wobbles 20-30 degrees and comes off of the needle. Not fun to mess with when you are suited up, gloved up, with a respirator etc. Very frustrating! When I got the trigger in the right position, it shot just fine, but life is too short to work with crappy tools.

wrong Raptor gun.jpg


End result was very good (despite the crappy gun!)

Here is another tip if you are thinking of using this stuff:
-They recommend a 60-minute flash time between coats.
-The material in the gun will catalyze in less than 60-minutes and clog the gun (ask me how I know this :mad: )
-After the first coat, spray some acetone or urethane thinner through the gun, then go smoke your cigar, drink a beer and wait to do the second coat.

Raptor right wheel well.jpg


Raptor left wheel well.jpg


Raptor Wheel well close up 1.jpg


Raptor Wheel well close up 2.jpg


BTW, this stuff has fumes! Of course I was all PPE'd up, but when I was done shooting I took the respirator off and nearly fainted! Strong stuff! Can still smell it while I'm posting this, 4 hours later.
 

JimKueneman

Mopar Nut
Re-thinking the Raptor bed liner on the underside of the car. In talking with Barry, he (very graciously) asked "why are you doing that?"
My answer was; nicer appearance, sound deadening and chip resistance.

He raised a point I hadn't thought about and that is resale. The point being that most high-dollar buyers/appraisers are going to be pretty savvy and will wonder what you are trying to hide under the bed liner undercoating, might even cause them to walk away.
Hmmm, interesting. I certainly have nothing to hide, the work is all solid. and the epoxy looks great. Maybe better to leave it all visible.
Barry made the case that I can do sound deadening with interior matt material and that the epoxy will be very chip resistant.

So, I'm leaning towards leaving it in epoxy. I have 2 good coats on and am working on the seam sealing.
I think I will put a third coat on, after the seam sealer, with a good, long (4 hours plus) induction time before spraying final coat and call that good.

Now I have 8 liters of Raptor, with hardener and a spray gun. I think I will still do the cab floor etc. with it, and add the Dynamat or similar over that.

But you do have lots of photos to show people what the condition was before you sprayed the Raptor. If this was a high dollar rare car (which it is not correct?) I am not sure that would matter much as long as you have the proof that you sprayed it over an exceptional body. (which it is as you have done an outstanding job).
 

Dean Jenkins

Promoted Users
But you do have lots of photos to show people what the condition was before you sprayed the Raptor. If this was a high dollar rare car (which it is not correct?) I am not sure that would matter much as long as you have the proof that you sprayed it over an exceptional body. (which it is as you have done an outstanding job).
Thanks for the nice compliment. No it is not a rare car. In fact it is the lowest possible base model (6-cylinder, power glide, no extra's at all.)
It's value will be in the "Resto-Mod" approach with LS3, T56 Magnum, upgraded suspension (coil overs, tubular A-arms and trailing arms,) Wilwood brakes, classic air, etc. And of course dependent on the quality of the work.
I ended up liking the look of the black epoxy on the underside, and the Raptor in the wheel wells.
 
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