When to install running gear vs. paint
Hi all: I'm restoring a '64 Volvo 1800. It's on the rotisserie, blasted and primered and I'm currently finishing up the last of the metal work in preparation for mud and painting.
Question: should I shoot the finish coat on the underside and engine bay first and install the running gear? Or should I shoot the whole car and install everything afterward?
I'm thinking the former, as I wouldn't have to worry as much about nicking a fresh finish on the top side during assembly plus it would be easier to move around.
Ahhhh, the age old question. This is really one only you can answer, how far do you want to go and are you up to the task? It is way less nerve racking to put the drive train in first and not have to worry about that fresh paint on the outside. But the biggest pain is keeping it from getting overspray all over it. You most certainly want the outside completely finished, blocked, ready for a quick sand and paint. But even then it is very difficult to keep that undercarriage free of overspray and sanding dust. But realistically it's the best way to go unless you are making an out and out show car. You can keep it perfectly clean as you do the outside but it's another bit of work to add to the project.
But assembling it all painted isn't out of the question in the least bit.
You won't be painting the underside and the top side at the same time anyway (that is a HUGE undertaking shooting them both at once) so doing the underside then putting the drive train in makes a lot of sense on your typical build.
A 1800 isnt that large. I would paint the underside frist then put in the running gear. You can bag it good and keep most of the overspray off it when you paint the rest of the car. You may want to look at a tintable bed liner for the underside and fire wall.
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