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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Doug's Domain

Doug Vetter, ATP/CFI

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Powdercoating and Painted Front Support Arrive

This morning I picked up my last batch of powdercoating. Everything came out as expected with the exception that my instruction to mask the alignment dowels and surrounding surfaces on the A/C support was not followed. Once I got the part back to the garage and unwrapped it I also noticed uneven coverage of powder (i.e. the surface texture was smooth in certain areas, indicating almost too much powder, and textured elsewhere, indicating too little powder). Less than ideal, of course, but not worth the trouble of taking it back. The point here was to simply to clean up the part and make it less susceptible to corrosion and I think the current finish achieves both aims.

I also picked up the front support, only to learn that the part was not finished to expectations. The manager and I clearly discussed the use of a single stage paint here and my directions indicated this as well, but when the manager handed me the part it was painfully obvious that they had used a two-stage painting process (basecoat / clearcoat). His only consolation? "Well, at least it won't scratch or chip as easily". The part is far enough away from the hottest parts of the engine bay that I'm not expecting the clear to fail and I'll admit it does look better than the single stage paint would have, but doing something completely different than discussed and outlined in writing is not the way to get a plug on this site so the company will remain nameless.

Belly and Engine Bay Painting

Today I continued my painting efforts. I began underneath the car by applying VHT Satin Black over the VHT primer, but only in areas that would not receive seam sealer, as my intent is to apply the seam sealer and then paint over it as recommended.

I lowered the lift and prepped a few areas in the engine bay for painting with the rattle can I ordered filled with my exterior color, Boston Green. Once again I used my die grinder equipped with a roloc disc to get down to bare metal as required to remove rust in several locations. Then I used what was left of my VHT primer (light gray in color) to coat the bare metal. This turned out to be an annoyance, as I had to apply about six thin coats of the finish over a period of 2 hours (to allow for drying) to get proper coverage.

Of all the areas I painted today the only one that didn't turn out as expected was on the left side shock tower. A noticeable dividing line occurred where I masked a bit too close to the area being painted. I'm planning to scuff and reshoot this area, but to be honest it's not a big deal and I could leave it as is. After all, most of it will be hidden by the airbox, and perhaps more importantly -- it's an engine bay and doesn't have to be perfect. My only requirement is that it be as rust free as possible.

Miscellaneous Assembly

While waiting for each coat of paint to dry I performed a variety of other assembly tasks:

Next Up

I plan to clean up the paint on the shock tower. I'll then reassemble the front end and install the new hood latch receptacles. Once the front end is back together and the hood is opening and closing reliably I'll start the fuel hose replacement project. After this I'm expecting to begin assembly of the engine. By the time I wrap that up the new sound / heat insulation blanket should be here. Once that is installed the vehicle will be ready to go back to my tech for installation of the overhauled drivetrain.