’73 Nova Drag Car Build – body and paint

Posted: April 16, 2013 By: MikeL

Home Forums Projects ’73 Nova Drag Car Build – body and paint

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    MikeL

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    My name is Mike, I’m a new tech guy here at Eastwood. This car is a project I’m doing for a friend of mine, it’s a ’73 Nova being built as a drag car and it has to be done in two weeks for his first race.

    The base coat color that will be used on the car is Nissan code A54 from the new GTR and it’s a solid red. The black that will be used elsewhere on the car is Nissan KH3, also a GTR color and just a plain old solid black. We’re using Eastwood clear coat and other products on the whole project.

    The process is somewhat slow since I’m working in a borrowed garage where there’s a lot of other things going on and I can’t make dust or overspray whenever I want to. This should give you a good idea of what it’s like to do a by-the-book paint job in your home garage.. this is everything but the booth!

    Basically the story with this car is that it had body work done very poorly. Honestly it’s probably the worst I’ve ever seen. I was originally just going to block out the quarters, prime and shoot the car. Once I got into it I realized that there was actually Bondo (yes, the actual brand… the worst filler ever created! lol) about 1/2″ thick piled on top of new quarter panels that were welded with a solid bead on top of the old ones. Basically, 1/2″ thick poly filler will crack the instant it sees any stress or major vibration. Good thing neither of those things happen to a drag car! :rolleyes: It was a complete mess. After much deliberation, the owner and I decided that it was best to take the whole car down to bare metal and see what we were stuck with.

    Since it’s just a race car and not in any way supposed to be show worthy, he decided to forget about the additional work and expense of re-replacing the quarters and just fill it with the proper material to build up such a thickness instead of Bondo. Polyester filler like Bondo can only be 1/8″ thick max after sanding, but a fiberglass reinforced filler can be up to 1/4″ after sanding – it’s strong stuff. I picked up some Duraglas to build up the panel (the teal green filler in the pics) and started the tedious process of rebuilding the quarters. It’s not the ideal way (replacing quarters would be ideal), but Duraglas plus poly filler in a thin layer on top is the proper repair for such a job.

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