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Old 05-27-2012, 05:03 PM
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Advice for doing body work at home

Hello guys, I need some advice about where to begin doing body work on my 90 LX. I got the car just to be a nice project for my father-in-law and I to actually do something together we enjoy besides to going to the range.

The PO painted the car this terrible purple color right before I bought it. He gave my the paint bucket and its Summit brand "black cherry pearl" paint. It looks absolutely terrible. He didnt get overspray.. he PAINTED everything!

I had one of the body guys at work check the car out and he said the driver quarter has some filler on it, but with a ALOT of time the car could look very nice. He recommended I get a new hatch, rear bumper, hood, and a new front clip.

My main question is this, I dont have a way to spray the primer and i would rather not get the cheap walmart spraybomb primer, So how could I go about laying down the primer? I have been told to get a good epoxy primer, any recommendations?

Also could epoxy primer be brushed on or rolled on? Im sure that I can made the primer looks decent by sanding it smooth correct? Sorry for this being so long, thanks!
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Old 05-27-2012, 05:09 PM
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Go online, buy one or 2 of the Harbor Freight spray guns. Check in your area for some SPI epoxy primer, something else you can buy online. A ton of sandpaper, personally it sounds like a candidate for paint stripper. Invest in a decent compressor, you will be miles ahead. If you do all this by hand I am afraid the length of time and labor will discourage you, just my opinion. A D.A sander from H.F., a few blocks and some plastic filler and start!
"When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not." - Mark Twain
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:31 PM
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If it were mine...

strip all the paint off

get a 2 spray guns (big tip for primer and small for paint) and decent compressor. By decent I mean you really need a 60 gallon, 220 volt comp at minimum to have a hassle free painting experience. Lowes sells a nice one for $499, get 10% off with a change of address packet from the post office.

You dont need a garage for bodywork and priming, but if you plan to paint it too you will need something even if its just a rigged up plastic "booth"

wear a respirator for sanding and painting

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Old 05-28-2012, 09:03 AM
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In doing this car you "could" do it without a compressor but that is adding a LOT Of work and believe it or not it could cost just as much. As far as brushing or rolling the epoxy primer on, yes it is "possible" but WAY, WAY more work!

You could use REAL epoxy 2K from an aerosol can, there are a number of brands out there that work very well. But at about $20 a can and needing a couple of cans for one fender JUST TO get a decent film build on it (not to bondo over or surfacing work) by the time you are done and ready for paint you will spend more on the primer than if you just bought a small compressor gun.

It's real hard pulling something like that off without a compressor and the correct tools. Even a small compressor and you limit your work to small areas so the compressor can keep up you would be way ahead to get the compressor. Watch out with the cheap tools though, there is a BIG difference between a quality sander and Chinese junk at Harbor Freight.

The cheaper the tool the more air it needs is a accurate rule. So that cheap tool you bought needs a bigger more expensive air compressor to supply it with enough air so it will work, get the idea?

If you were to chemically strip to bare metal one panel buy duct taping plastic around the it, leaving duct tape covering the seam at the edge of the fender so no stripper gets down in there, you could do one panel at a time. Strip one panel, then remove all the plastic being careful not to get any stripper on anything and throw it out. Then neutralize that stripper and make sure you get it all off the panel, then sand the panel and strip the paint off the edge that you had covered with tape with the sander. Then epoxy prime that one panel, then move onto the next. THAT Is how I would recommend stripping it.

Stripping the whole car at once is SERIOUSLY OVERWHELMING. Take it one panel at a time. This goes for doing the bodywork too, do one panel at a time and get that one panel back in surfacing primer before you move onto the next panel.

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Old 05-28-2012, 09:32 AM
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Stripping your car.......

X2,on everything Brian said in the previous post,BUT,i would strip (to bare metal) all the panels with the BONDO on it first,to see whats under the bondo,then repair THAT panel as necessary.THEN 2 K prime it.take your time,when the job gets overwhelming,walk away for awhile.
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:34 PM
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unless you have the money to get a GOOD DA, or a nice air compressor like these pro's have, don't get a DA. They all recommend it but they're used to their good stuff. I have a cheapie $40 DA and even with my 60 gallon 3.7 hp air compressor (which is basically the 60 gallon Kobalt at Lowes) it can't keep up with this DA and makes it utterly worthless. It's the only thing in my tool box I don't use.

I have an electric DeWalt orbit sander. Not as fast as a DA but still gets the job done. For ripping off paint like it's nobody's business, I use a wire wheel on an angle grinder. I stripped my entire car this way. A black and decker angle grinder is $30 at walmart, and occassionally Menard's has them on sale for $19.99. This also then comes in useful for removing filler and rust. A wire wheel on an angle grinder takes off filler like butter, it's just a very dusty experience.
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Old 05-28-2012, 01:06 PM
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All of the above advise is good. I stripped my first car with a drill and sanding disk. I definitely DO NOT recommend that but it shows anything can be done if you want it badly enough. The reason most projects fail is because people don't realize what they are getting into. To be successful you most first enjoy doing it and secondly understand how much work is involved. I guess thirdly, you have to have the time to invest. The suggestion to work one panel at a time is excellent. That way you can walk away from it for a while if you choose to. I don't think you can succeed without a compressor. If you are going to do this you have to have some tools to work with. By the way, my favorite stripping method is a 3500 rpm 7 inch sander/polisher with a 40 or 80 grit sanding disk. It will flat hog the paint off.

Best of luck and remember. we like pictures!


John L
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:14 PM
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Ive used a 4 1/2 angle grinder with a paint stripping disk, worked very well and was pretty fast, its also pretty safe as far as not getting the panels too hot and warping them.

Ive also used a 7" polisher with the 40 grit, be extra careful on hoods, roof and trunk if you use that method... you CAN warp things. ESPECIALLY on a late model car like the Mustang!

what worked pretty easy for me on my 72 Nova was a combo of aircraft paint stripper first and then the grinder for the leftovers.

Like these guys say, work one panel at a time.

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