gt40 repair and paint

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    Bill Musarra

    I want you to know that I have just finsihed watching your Painteducation series on paint guns and I think you have done a great job. There are only a few things that I felt you may have left out, and will bring them up later. Before I start I must say this is the first time I have attempted fiberglass repair and painting of a car. I have built, basically from scratch, a replica of the 1965 GT-40 MkI. I have learned a lot of skills from this build and I want to thank everyone on Youtube and the Internet in general for their help. In the 60s this would not be done at all.

    This car has been painted several times. About 2 years ago when fender extensions were grafted on, it was discovered that the previous owner had used an epoxy primer(blue) and had painted over it before it had cured or had done it too thick or both. The person I had employed to add the extensions peeled the old paint with a pocket knife and you could smell the primer some 10 years after the fact. I was in my 8th year of the build(kids and budgets don’t work well together) and the previous owner had it for 4. It was at this time we new that the whole car would need repainting, The fenders were grafted on and primered. We had planed to paint it later, but he eventually went bust and it was never done. I recently experienced some damage to the rear clip when the rear clip was unsecured and with a gust of wind “at speed”, lifted the rear clip and slammed it to the pavement. The damage was extensive. Both wheel wells were fractured, vertical supports to the clip were broken and the bonding agent on these supports was broken loose. Fractures in the fillers used, and cracks in the paint itself from the flexing of the clip, along with spider lines in the paint as well. Some delaminations in structural pieces occurred also.


    I would like to include more pics but I keep getting a notice that only 5 pics are allowed. I saw some threads that had way more but I don’t know how to do it. Any help there would be nice.

    Due to recent family health expenses I decided to do the work myself rather than spend the many thousands it would take to replace and paint.
    The Repair:
    All the vertical support surfaces were cleaned out and were rebonded with West Marine’s “Six Ten”. The supports were braced in place with steel straps, and supported to the clip with bar clamps that were placed through the cutout fractures in the fenders. Once that was done it was noticed that one grafted fender was higher than its counterpart. It may have come from some torquing of the grafted section in its initial bonding. A jig was made and attached to the fender to hold it in its proper place for the repair. After it was repaired with fiberglass and ground smooth, filler was added. It required two layers to get everything right, flat, and smooth.
    The paint:
    Before the accident I had planned to remove a rear view camera from the top of the car and repair the hole in the roof. The entire roof section was sanded down to the fiberglass in anticipation of a full length scoop. That idea was eventually scrapped. I had made a decision to experiment with paint colors before I settled on a new scheme for the car. Originally it was painted right after I got the car, with the Ford “Dark Shadow Grey” that had the red tints pulled out. This has darkened over time and to me is too dark. The stripes are copper, from Stacy David’s “Trucks” program where by he painted a 52 Chevy truck a new PPG color(at that time) called “Copperhead” which I like very much. In order to experiment I ran across a rubber based paint called “Plastidip” or “Rubber Dip Spray”. This is a sprayable paint that has the unique property of being able to be peeled off in sheets if you don’t like it with no damage to the underlying paint. There are some reports of damage to clear coats, but it seems they are from ill prepared cars or the Xylene or one of the other thinners utilized reacted with the clear coats. These paints use Xylene, Naptha and one other thinner I believe as their base. Their colors can be altered or enhanced with the addition of pigments, or mixing the stock colors. They will usually turn out as flat colors , but they have glossifiers and clears as well as pearls, metalics, and metalflakes(from children’s glitter). The colors can be changed by just spraying the new colors on top of the old ones as long as they are not competing colors(light on light, dark on dark). They have some of the fusion colors as well.
    They have many videos on Youtube and dealers around the country. It takes about 2-3 gallons to give the required 4-5 coats(for smoothness and peelability). I have found some of the guys that are doing the most on Youtube to see how it is done.
    This individual has many videos on Youtube. Quite a character.
    In anticipation of doing the rubber spray I bought an electric spray setup much like those in the big box stores. A Wagner “Power Spray Plus” “Lock and Go”. This is an electric unit that uses a blower that exerts about 2psi that drives a siphon type spray set up. It has an adjustable flow and fan control. After the accident I was researching primer paints, and discovered Eastwood. I ordered their primer Item #14759ZP a 1:1 primer sealer. I know nothing about paints or painting cars other than household paints, polyurethanes and varnishes.(use to do a lot of wood working). I read up, or rather watch many videos on primers and their application. I thought that since the rubber based spray was a thicker paint, then maybe it would spray the primer as well. I experimented with the electric unit(with water), and after a few minutes of practice, thought I knew how to use it. You guessed it. It was a mess. Runs everywhere and all didn’t get as covered as I thought. 2 days later I stared sanding it smooth. Got all the runs flat. Then put on a guide coat to see if I had at least gotten the high and low spots out, which I had. Then I stumbled on your education series. Found out how much I didn’t know. What it looks like now is this:


    Now come the questions.
    In reading other post, I didn’t realize there was so much to just primer a car. I plan on altering my 5 gal. compressor so that it will deliver what is needed to do the paint(cooling, filtration, and desiccant). It is set up to do shop work with the basics in oiling, water separation and a 25 foot hose. Right now I am only interested in the primer. The rest will come in a year or two. What is the sequence in the priming of a car(fiberglass) and why it it that way. The originals(1964-69) had enamels as I recall, so I won’t be using any of the fancy colors or metal flakes(for now). I bought a “primer gun” from my local auto paint supply store($49). Took it home, took it apart, and cleaned it thoroughly. It came with a 1.8 tip or pin. Got a pressure gauge for it as well.
    Do you think the Wagner can be used to do the primer? It is a big pin in it, probably around a 2.0 or so I would guess.
    On the air vents in the primer pic, Is there a best way to paint these areas. Very tough to get to. Should the fan be set to a spot pattern, or leave it at a fan and hit it lightly?? Should the back of the vent hole be blocked off while spraying it to keep the dry paint(over spray) from getting on the engine panel area beyond the hole?? I have figured out that the clip needs to be standing on its tail to get the vents in the right position so the gun won’t be sideways. Other than that can you throw some suggestions on how to paint that area and the top of the clip that joins the roof of the spyder. That section has 5 sides. Top, front, bottom, and an inclined section that goes up to the back. The engine panels that go around the carburation are below that section and it is hard to get to as well. Any particular spray pattern here? I think the tail sitting position will work the best. What should the order be, of putting the paint on this clip. First consideration, second, third. I am kind of at a loss here.
    Any idea of how to get more pics on the message? Would like to show more. If interested go here:
    Sorry to be so winded. Just need some help.


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