I need advice on bodywork schedule - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
Hotrodders.com -- Hot Rod Forum



Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Unanswered Posts Auto Escrow Insurance Auto Loans
Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board > Tech Help> Body - Exterior
User Name
Password
lost password?   |   register now

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 04-15-2004, 09:38 PM
rusttorod's Avatar
34 Plymouth Street Rod
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 63
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Question I need advice on bodywork schedule

I'm working on a 1934 Plymouth 4 door sedan street rod. www.RustToRod.com This is my first project, and I'm having trouble figuring out the correct sequence of doing things. I have a pretty long list of body modifications I want to do, but I need help to make sure I do everything in the correct order.

The biggest problem I have is with rust removal and prevention. I know there are a lot of other articles on this site that deal with rust, because I've read them all. None of them address my problem though. I'm working with a limited budget, so I want to do most of the labor myself, like the top chop, shaved handles, smoothed hood, and dent removal. Right now the car has 25 year old primer, with a lot of surface rust, with some pitting. The surface rust doesn't look bad from 5 feet away, but it's very rough to the touch. There's a lot of shallow wavy spots in the sheet metal that need to be smoothed out.

Here's the questions:
1. Should I sand the body down to the bare metal to do the body repairs and modifications?
2. It will probably take me many months, possibly years, to get this car ready for paint. Is the car going to rust again if it's sanded down?
3. I thought maybe I should just do one section at a time, like working some wrinkles out of the doors. How soon should I get the bare metal protected?
4. What's the best thing to do to the bare metal? I've heard people on here say etching primers, plain primer, high-fill primer, plastic filler, bondo, and a dozen others. What is really the best thing to put on my car to fill in some tiny pinholes (it's not bad enough to cut it out)?
5. Here's one sequence I'm considering - sand one section at a time with an 80 grit DA to knock off the surface rust, but not to bare metal. Use hammer and dolly to smooth out as many dents as possible. When finished with all repairs, sand down the whole car, and spray with something. Then come back with filler to finish smoothing it out. Does this sound logical? The problem with this is that it would take me forever to get it ready to spray. Plus, when would I do the top chop and body modifications?
6. I need to sand to bare metal for my mig to work. How do I fit time in for the major body mods, without everything rusting back over?

Ok, if you're still with me after all that, I thank you. Sorry if I'm rambling. I just want to have a clear plan of attack so I don't screw up! I've spent more time thinking and planning than actually doing any work. I'm ready to get to it!

    Advertisement
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 04-16-2004, 10:09 AM
GMW GMW is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 173
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
In my opinion, if you keep the bare metal parts out of the weather, in your garage, etc., they can be bare metal for a long time. Over a year even. The small amount of surface rust that might show up in a few places can easily be removed just prior to prime.

I have bare metal parts on my 65 chevelle that have been that way since September of last year and there is no problems. I much prefer to work on a bare metal body than one with old paint.

Besides, you may think your done and when you remove the old paint/rust, walla, theres more work to do.

Everyone has a prefered method but I strongly suggest you save enough money and have the thing chemically stripped before you start any body work. Will most likely cost you a grand.

Last edited by GMW; 04-16-2004 at 10:15 AM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 04-16-2004, 10:56 AM
Member
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Georgia
Posts: 3,578
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 10
Thanked 61 Times in 39 Posts
Not as bad as you think

Gmw
Has it right, to add that your in the same boat I was,TIME!
What I did with a field junker 55 Chev since could only work on weekends and nights when in town I sand blasted one panel at a time washed metal with wax and grease remover and shot two coats of epoxy over the panel. Next night did next panel.
Frame was a 3/4 day Saturday job. After that did my body work on two panels at a time for efficiency.
Took longer to set up frame, drive train and wiring than bodywork.

It won't take you as long as you think, in 13 months it saw its first show and ran its first quarter mile.

However you do it, Never let the wife or girlfriend or both visit the garage and set a plan and work the plan, you start fixing this fender and that quarter jumping all over without a plan and it will take you years.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 04-16-2004, 07:45 PM
rusttorod's Avatar
34 Plymouth Street Rod
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 63
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
GMW, thanks for the advice. I was thinking it would be ok inside my shop, I just wanted to hear it from someone else.

Is chemical stripping the same thing they did on an early episode of American Hot Rod? I remember them smearing some nasty goop on the 55 chevy and scraping off all the paint. Is that something I could do myself to save some money? If so, what's the best product to use?

I also thought about doing a full body dip. I think it's called e-coating or something like that. Anyone know of a place within driving distance from Memphis Tennessee to have that done? That would save countless hours of sanding or scraping.

BarryK, did you spray the epoxy yourself? I don't have any spray equipment. That's one area I don't want to do myself. 13 months is pretty quick. I pulled my car out of a barn last August, and other than disassembly and clean-up, I'm still stuck in the planning stage (in other words, saving up).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 04-16-2004, 08:01 PM
Randy Ferguson's Avatar
Ferguson Coachbuilding
 

Last journal entry: '41 Chevy sedan
Last photo:
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Robinson, IL
Age: 43
Posts: 388
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rusttorod, (man I wish we would all use our real name, it's much more personable)

Redi-Strip in Evansville, IN does great work. I'm sure GMW can attest to that. Give them a call. (812) 424-9866.
It's possible there's a Redi-Strip or similar franchise near you. A search on the net will turn up several choices, I'm sure.

Randy Ferguson
Metalshaping & Custom Paint
www.metalmeet.com
__________________
Randy Ferguson
Metalshaping & Kustom Paint
www.metalmeet.com
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 04-17-2004, 09:44 AM
Member
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Royal Oak, MI
Age: 42
Posts: 173
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 2
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My experience with paint stripper

If you use paint stripper yourself, keep a hose nearby.. If you feel it start to burn your skin, you want to get it rinsed off immediately, the longer you try to put up with it the longer and worse it's going to keep burning after you rinse it off. And when you rinse off paint stripper, it will hurt more if you use a high pressure spray.. When I've done paint stripping, I just kept a hose running nearby with no nozzle.

Of course, you want to avoid getting paint stripper on you at all, and prevention is your first line of defense, but if you're anything like me, it happens regardless of how carefully you try not to, and if you have to fumble around for even 15 seconds because you didn't plan for it, you're gonna feel it in a bad way.

It's been a while, but I remember that I found that you want to work with small areas at a time rather than trying to coat an entire panel then go back and start scraping. There's a definite window where the paint will come off best, and if it sits there too long after the stripper is applied it will kind of set up again..

All the panels I've stripped have had multiple paint coats on them.. It always was clear that the original paint came off kinda differently than the ones done later.. Usually, the lower the quality of the paint job the easier it is for it to come off.

As for choosing what paint stripper to use.. I've tried both the "please-don't-hurt-me" kind and the "make-dead-bodies-disappear-without-a-trace" kind.. I'm more impatient than cautious, and the former isn't as effective as the latter, and my impression was that although it might not burn as much, it still burns and it's a matter of stringing it out over a longer time period.

Rubber dishwashing gloves can protect you, but if you get paint stripper in them then dealing with it is worse than if you didn't have gloves at all, and then you have gloves that you need to either replace or clean out, which equals either more expense or more time.. My experience has led me to choose the no gloves and just avoid contact like the plague approach. But then again, any time I use a brush, I always come out looking like a leopard. Gloves might work if you never splash stuff around that much.

On other topics, if you're going to store bare metal parts.. You might want to try to store parts near a dehumidifier or keep a dehumidifier plugged in nearby.. They don't seem to be too expensive, or at least mine wasn't when i got it at Home Depot..

Hope that helps.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 04-17-2004, 07:48 PM
Member
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Georgia
Posts: 3,578
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 10
Thanked 61 Times in 39 Posts
"BarryK, did you spray the epoxy yourself? I don't have any spray equipment. That's one area I don't want to do myself. 13 months is pretty quick. I pulled my car out of a barn last August, and other than disassembly and clean-up, I'm still stuck in the planning stage (in other words, saving up)"
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Yes I sprayed everything myself. But been painting since 1971.
You have a great car to work on take your time and as you said
save up and buy what you need.
You need not be in a hurry as your car will go up in value just setting there!
How I learned, I went to a junk yard told them I wanted to learn to paint, paid them to deliver a car I painted it about 4-5 times with a rented air compressor and a sears paint gun, they came and got it and did another one the same way. The third time the guy bought me a compressor and a DA and a real gun to paint a car for him. And I will never forget the gallon of Ditzler green metallic cost me under $20 for a 68 Corvair.
NEVER GIVE UP!
The engine you see is in a 57 Tbird I finished every nut and bolt
every wire was replace only thing left in engine was crank (312)
Took a total of 11 months but it was a #2 car to Begin with.
More you do the more efficient you get.

Last edited by BarryK; 04-19-2004 at 04:26 AM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 04-19-2004, 02:43 PM
GMW GMW is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 173
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Just thought I would give you guys an update. I dropped my 65 Chevelle hood off at Redi Strip in Evansville, IN today. They had around 20 other hoods and they had me add mine to the group. They told me they were getting ready to do hoods today. $50 even per hood. They also had a complete 69 Camaro body, an early 50's truck cab, and around a late 30's sedan body as well as several fenders, doors, etc. all staged and ready to go.

As a matter of fact in the 15 minutes or so I was there I didn't see anything but car parts!

These guys really do a good job and take care of your parts while they have them.

Again, just my opinion, but I wouldn't even mess with brush on strippers. I would just save the money and have it dipped.

The only thing I can't figure out is if a hood, deck lid, door, fender, etc are only $50 each why is a freakin body without the hood, deck lid, doors, or fenders attached between $950 and a $1050. Just doesn't seem to make any sense to me.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 04-19-2004, 02:52 PM
Member
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Georgia
Posts: 3,578
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 10
Thanked 61 Times in 39 Posts
GMW--DITTO!

Especially if there is rust and another thing is for a $100 to 150 they will phosphate the metal to protect it for the ride home.

Just did a 69 judge convert and it cost 1400 & 150 for the phosphate. Not sure how much the convert saved?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 04-19-2004, 05:51 PM
Member
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Royal Oak, MI
Age: 42
Posts: 173
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 2
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by GMW
Just thought I would give you guys an update. I dropped my 65 Chevelle hood off at Redi Strip in Evansville, IN today. They had around 20 other hoods and they had me add mine to the group. They told me they were getting ready to do hoods today. $50 even per hood. They also had a complete 69 Camaro body, an early 50's truck cab, and around a late 30's sedan body as well as several fenders, doors, etc. all staged and ready to go.

As a matter of fact in the 15 minutes or so I was there I didn't see anything but car parts!

These guys really do a good job and take care of your parts while they have them.

Again, just my opinion, but I wouldn't even mess with brush on strippers. I would just save the money and have it dipped.

The only thing I can't figure out is if a hood, deck lid, door, fender, etc are only $50 each why is a freakin body without the hood, deck lid, doors, or fenders attached between $950 and a $1050. Just doesn't seem to make any sense to me.
Yeah.. that's not bad at all.. I wouldn't be too surprised if I went through a gallon and a partial gallon doing a '55 Mercury hood, and at the time IIRC I was paying $20-ish per gallon..

Full body dips are probably a matter of supply and demand.. Takes a larger tank, so the smaller parts have to be competitive, but the large ones you might not have as much choice of where you can go. Just a guess, tho.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 04-20-2004, 08:50 PM
rusttorod's Avatar
34 Plymouth Street Rod
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 63
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hey guys,
That's all good advice. Slipangle, I think I'll stay away from the paint stripper. Sounds too nasty. I'm kinda picky about keeping my painted shop floor clean. You should get a job writing the warning labels on the back of those products. Instead of it saying "Avoid contact with eyes and skin", you could copy and paste that post onto the label, and there would be far fewer people getting burned!!

Ok, so here's the revised plan. Tell me how this sounds -

The chopped top will be the biggest modification done to the car. I'll start focusing on that exclusively (as in, not wasting time jumping around) and get it done.

Once the top is done, how much more body repair work should I try to get done before having the car dipped and e-coated (prefered) or sandblasted (2nd choice)? Seems like if I have it e-coated or primed before working out the dents, wouldn't I end up sanding through to the bare metal later and end up with rust bumps under my paint in a few years?

Should I do all my body mods before protecting the metal? I still need to smooth out the hood, door handles, hinges, cowl, rear tail pan, fenders, running boards, and grill shell.

My wife went with me to the Super Chevy Show in Memphis this past weekend. We met a guy with a '34 Plymouth 2 door with a chopped top. He let us sit in it to check the headroom and visibility. He had filled in the big hole in the roof, and installed a sunroof. Now that's what my wife wants to do. I told her that would probably be a bigger project than chopping the top. Anyone know of any tips to help on that one?

Thanks for the help!!
-Shane
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 04-20-2004, 09:15 PM
Randy Ferguson's Avatar
Ferguson Coachbuilding
 

Last journal entry: '41 Chevy sedan
Last photo:
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Robinson, IL
Age: 43
Posts: 388
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Buddy, There's only two kinds of sunroofs.
Those that leak, and those that will

Randy Ferguson
Metalshaping & Kustom Paint
www.metalmeet.com
__________________
Randy Ferguson
Metalshaping & Kustom Paint
www.metalmeet.com
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 04-20-2004, 10:20 PM
Member
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Royal Oak, MI
Age: 42
Posts: 173
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 2
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
LOL.. yeah, nobody ever accused me of being neat and tidy or environmentally friendly.. I did most of my paint stripping work when I was younger and dumber, and I used a spot behind our garage where we park the leftover frames from donor bodies and kinda let it double as a weed killer.

Bear with me if I am iffy or wrong or say anything you might've already read.. This stuff is my own experience and I have really only read through FAQ's where I had my own questions, I'm sure there's lots of good info in the knowledge base and I don't doubt that I'm probably going to say stuff that is in there anyway and that there's probably plenty in there I'll forget to mention. (I'm trying to read more though when I can!)

Alright.. I would ask what you know about previous body work.. Is this an unmolested original that's just seen some weathering, or has it been through previous restorations?

I'm assuming worst case below, the first thing you want is a body that is generally sound and in proper alignment.

If you've got layers of filler:
Generally speaking, the first thing you're going to want is to get all the junk off.. the old bondo, chicken wire, screen door material and so on..

If you've got bent/dented/mangled panels:
Then you want to get these panels straight, even if you're going to cut them away. This is going to be your best way of getting any alignment issues worked out up front.

As much as possible, don't take doors off. This will probably be especially important during the top-chopping part as once you cut the a-pillars, the cowl will be flopping in the breeze and you want the doors to close the same after you weld the top back on as it did before. Same goes for the B-pillar, probably more so since it's just gonna be sticking up in the like a stick instead of a wall.. Weld (or at least screw in) temporary braces before making your cuts. You want everything to stay the same distance from side to side AND to remain square. You want to see triangles because a triangle can't change shape or size (unless one of the sides stretches or bends) and a rectangle can (kinda like a box after you cut out the top and bottom)

You will want a smooth surface for your bodywork. In this case, I mean smooth as in surface finish smooth rather than a rough surface with cracked and chipped paint, barnacles, rusty nails, etc. You can't really see a straight panel, at least not on a work in progress.. Finding high spots and low spots is best done by feel.. Where a glove for this so you don't mistake a dirty spot for a high or low spot. Circle high spots and low spots with chalk.

Unfortunately, I wouldn't know how to describe to do that. I kinda learned through experience, that and having an experienced instructor in the community college class I took who would do it himself, then say 'feel that'. (My project at the time was a '67 Pontiac, and you really get a kind-of trial by fire trying to get them huge quarter panels straight)

Another lesson I learned in my younger dumber days was that when you're sanding, the middle of the pad is good and the edge is bad. I'd kinda learned that using the edge is good for getting stuff sanded through faster. The problem is that this isn't a very even way of sanding stuff, if you use the middle of the pad (whether it's a DA sander, orbital sander, sanding board, air file, sanding block, whatever) then it will tend to be more even, and where applicable it will knock down the high spots first.

Also, when you do this and you see yourself sanding through to bare metal, it's a pretty likely that you have a high spot.. and/or if you can see spots you're not hitting, you can see that it's a low spot.

Arg.. My thoughts are kinda scrambled and I think I might be rambling, my apologies.. I gotta get to bed, so let me just run down your post with some quick responses:

Quote:
The chopped top will be the biggest modification done to the car. I'll start focusing on that exclusively (as in, not wasting time jumping around) and get it done.
I might say to save that for last if you're inexperienced.. Start with smaller mods that will give you experience with skills you will need for the big job. I can relate to wanting to go-for-the-gold, and it has its appeal in wanting to see results as soon as possible, but be patient..

Quote:
Once the top is done, how much more body repair work should I try to get done before having the car dipped and e-coated (prefered) or sandblasted (2nd choice)?
Well.. I'd say the most important thing is knowing what has already been done to the body, the one thing you don't want is for the car to fall apart because it's being held together by bondo and chicken wire that's going to get dissolved in a dip. (I haven't had this happen, but I've certainly seen bodies where it would happen.)

That said, if you're certain you're going to get the car fully stripped then it's probably one of your first things to do.. Where you're welding, you want it down to bare metal anyway so you don't get a contaminated weld.

Quote:
Seems like if I have it e-coated or primed before working out the dents, wouldn't I end up sanding through to the bare metal later and end up with rust bumps under my paint in a few years?
You should be applying a coat of primer before your color coat )after ALL body work is done) anyway. If your body work is really done (i.e all panels are straight) and you are sanding it, you shouldn't expose bare metal when you sand it (except possibly for edges). If you do, you are hitting a high spot and your body work isn't really done. This will be the problem with your paint job..

Bare metal isn't going to cause rust bubbles. This happens from poor prep work (such as fingerprints that aren't cleaned off) and you can get results that are just fine if you apply your color coat over a spot of bare metal that is clean and sanded.

And don't expect that you're only ever going to shoot primer on this car once. You may have many cycles of shoot primer, sand, repeat ahead of you.. They didn't talk about 20 coats of lacquer in the songs from the '50's for nothing..

I hate to go into detail.. I don't want it to seem like the project is going to be too big. I went through my full strip-down, full quarter panel replacement (both sides) repaint and reassembly on the '67 Pontiac Lemans in 1.5 semesters of body shop. I also went through most of what I did with my '56 Mercury station wagon in about the same amount of time: sand down and prep the whole body for paint, replace both rear quarters, rocker panels (inner and outer, full floor pan replacement forward of the rear axle hump, full paint job and fabricating and repairing the bottom of the tailgate. (not in that order) This was with 4 days a week in a shop with all the equipment I needed in an organized tool crib and all the lifts I could ever need, and the classes were 4 hours a day, but at any rate the point is that I don't want you to think doing this is out of your reach.

Alright I gotta stop rambling or else it'll be time or me to go to work! I have this funny thing for typing stuff out then doing the research and I see if I read more about your project, I'd probably see that your body looks like it is fairly solid and doesnt look as if it's been subject to some of the bondo and chicken wire body work I've seen on other cars.. I'd also know you already took the doors off.. At least so far you (hopefully) have enough witness marks in the forms of obvious differences in the paint that it should still be clear enough to get them back on at about the same spot they were if you deem that necessary.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Recent Body - Exterior posts with photos

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name (usually not your first and last name), your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:07 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
Copyright Hotrodders.com 1999 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.