Thursday, March 29, 2012

Paint - Black Primer Sealer

News Flash: Poll results are in.  We will paint our Corvette with the BLUE racing strip, panel B.  Thanks for voting!

It's time to prepare the body for primer sealer.  But before we do that we have to fix this last little stinking blemish.  One finger swipe of glazing compound did it.  With that, the body work is done, done, done (less the doors, hood, headlight buckets and rear valance).

Because the primer has been curing for several days the surface needs to be roughed up so the next coat of paint will stick.  House of Kolor recommends a maroon scuff pad and that's what we will use.  In addition we will use Dura-Block, a sanding block that has properties similar to that of heavy shoe leather.  The combination of the scuff pad and the sanding block will give us an even flatter/smoother surface.  This will take several hours.

If you look close you can see that the scuff pad can remove a lot of material.  You have to be very careful, especially along edges and corners.

When the scuffing was done I put the car on jack stands, removed the tires for access to the wheel wells, masked where needed, then wiped down the body with a post sanding cleaner.

We are using House of Kolor's black primer sealer called Ko-Seal II.  This primer sealer is used to prevent the topcoats (color and clear coat) from soaking into our green primer.   Without the primer sealer we would loose gloss over time.   The primer sealer also acts as a bonding agent between the primer and the topcoats.

The paint booth was put up and ventilation was established before I started painting.  I started painting in all the tough to reach places first.  We want at least two full coats when we're done.

Door jambs, hood jambs, headlight recesses, tail light recesses, wheel wells, the exhaust valance and the entire perimeter of the bottom of the car make up the tough-to-reach areas.  This was done using a SATA Mini-Jet spray gun, a small, high quality gun used for getting in tight spots. 

I used my full size SATA HLVP spray gun for the body.  OMG!  It worked great but boy did it tax the capabilities of my makeshift paint booth.  I am really glad I was wearing a respirator and paint suit.

When done I tore down the paint booth and put the wheels and tires back on.  Thankfully my garage survived.  No over spray anywhere... except for the camera.

It really looks nice.

Now I'll let it dry for at least a week.   While that's happening I'll spend some time cleaning the camera.

The green is gone!  Whoo hoo!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Racing Stripe - Which One?

This is a sign blank I recently painted with 4 different colors for the racing stripe.  The large stripe in Panel A thru D are Black, Blue, White and Silver, respectively.  Panels C and D (the top 2 panels) are considered too bright and have already been excluded.

I'd like your opinion on the bottom 2 test panels, panels A and B.  Ignore the blemishes, nubs, runs or whatever.  I'd like you to look at the colors only.  I've provided two close up pictures of each, one with flash (daylight) and one without (evening).  Let me know which stripe you like by voting in the pole in the upper right corner of this blog.

This is the black strip in daylight.

This is the same black strip in the evening.

This is the blue stripe in daylight.

And the same blue stripe in the evening.

So what's your preference?  Do you like the black or the blue stripe?  I'll run the poll for 8 days so be sure to vote.  If you have a different recommendation let me know in the Comments section.  Thanks.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I am Sexy and I Know It

It took about 10 hours to remove the rest of the guide coat.  The good thing is it's done and the car looks really good.  The car is just about ready for it's next coat of primer.

But before we apply primer there is a lot of work that needs to be done first.  This includes masking, wiping down the car and building a paint booth to protect the floor and everything in the garage from over spray.  This pre-painting ritual is an all day ordeal.

But now it's done and the car is looking super sweet.  Check out the masking of the hood.  I am getting better.

I didn't do too bad masking the rear window either.

I found out there's a drawback to using the plastic sheeting.  Paint doesn't adhere to the plastic so when you come back to a previously painted area the spray gun disturbs the plastic which sends bits of dried paint airborne.  I think I'll just use masking paper in the future.

Check this out.  The body lines are gorgeous.  You'd never know those wheel wells had been cut out.

What more can I say.

Even the fake louvers look good.

As do the front fender louvers.

I double checked the point on the stinger.  It's straight as an arrow. 

That's just sexy.

Now we let the car sit for a good week or more to let it dry.   After that we will do some light sanding (no guide coat) followed by scuffing with a Scotch Brite pad.  More on that later.  In the mean time I think we will start working on the hood.

We should see color soon, even if it's only a black primer/sealer.

Thanks for watching.

Monday, March 12, 2012

We Gather Here to Join this Body and Frame... Forever

This body bolt is one of 12 used to fasten the body to the frame.  It took a whole day of measuring, shimming and torquing to complete the installation.  A total of 12 Grade-8 bolts were used.  When it was all done, 10 locations required no shims and 2 required 2 shims each.

Switching topics, I removed the chrome American Racing Torq-Thrust D wheels from the Corvette.  The replacement wheels are American Racing Torq-Thrust D's in grey spoke.  The gray spoke wheels were very popular in the 60's and we feel they're more appropriate.  At Dennis K's recommendation we also put the raised letters to the inside.  Raised white letters were popular but the word Radial was not.

The picture does not do the wheels justice.  You'll have to trust me that they look awesome.

We put the chrome wheels on our newly acquired Nomad.  Bob D, my brother Jim and I have owned this car for the last 40+ years.   We just keep handing it off every 12 years or so.  The old Cragars are finally gone and the new wheels and tires look great.

We had three open issues from a recent post.  One was to replace the universal joint bearing caps with the correct U-bolts used in 63.  All 4 U-bolts have been installed and we even gave the rear cover of the differential a new paint job.

Another open item was to replace the transmission shift forks.  In this photo the new forks are installed.  They are made in the USA and are substantially beefier than the ones removed.  Lets hope they work.

Getting the transmission back together was a bit of a chore because of limited space in the tunnel.

We also purchased and installed a clutch fork push rod for the 1963 ball-and-socket clutch fork.

That about wraps up the mechanical work which means I'll be block sanding the body soon.  Either that or I could paint a test panel to figure out what color racing strip we want to use.  I think I like that.

Stay tuned and thanks for watching.   

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Installing the Body - Finally

It's been a long time coming.  The body is finally being installed, permanently.  It will be bolted down and will hopefully stay that way for many many years.

I am using a $65 12-volt electric hoist bought at Harbor Freight to lift the body.  This hoist has been a real work horse over the last couple years and it has never failed me.  A friend even borrowed it to move a small shed in his yard.  He said it worked great.

Without the doors the straps have a potential for putting a lot of stress on the body.  I used softeners (towels) at all contact points.  They worked great with no issues.

Although I've never heard of anyone doing this I decided to cover the rolling chassis with plastic before installing the body.  The theory is it will act as secondary protection when we paint the car.  It should be easy to remove when the time comes (I think).  As the body is lowered we have to pay particular attention to the distributor and the gas tank.  Experience tells us these two items can easily get hung up and the distributor will scratch the firewall if we're not careful.


Nothing scratched and the body to frame holes all line up nicely.

I couldn't have wrapped the motor better.  If nothing else it will keep the dust off while we finish sanding.

I am impressed.

How sweet is that!

Next we crawl under the car and start shimming and bolting the body.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ty has Left the Building - Revision 1 (See Post Script)

My good friend, car enthusiast and shop buddy Ty T. has been transferred to a new assignment on the east coast.  It's good for Ty but I have to admit I am going to miss the camaraderie.  Ty has been a part of this build since day one and he's responsible for many of the major decisions and accomplishments made over the last couple years.  I thought it fitting that we recap some of the more memorable times.

This is Ty removing the first bolt on the first day of our restoration.  It was raining that day.  Look close and you'll see his tool of choice was an air chisel.

Safety has always been first.  Yes, that's a garbage bag used to protect him from fiberglass resin.  It's simple but it worked great.

Ty and Wilson.

By far this is the most viewed picture on our blog.  For today, I'll tell you it has nothing to do with the 1963 fuel injected 327 small block engine.

Ty has always been keen on the period correct/era modified vision.  To do that, countless hours of research have been required.  As a result Ty speaks fluent Mechanical Fuel Injection as well as many other 1963 Corvette related languages.    

Never afraid to tackle anything, here he is rebuilding the A-pillar and windshield support.

Grinding, welding, fiberglassing, you name it, he's done it.  More than once I've cringed while watching Ty pull a sledge hammer and crowbar from the tool chest then head for the car. 

Ty helped figure out the solution to at least 5 fatal flaws made during the rebuild of the fuel injection unit (the rebuild was done by others).  In this video Ty, Max, Dennis and I attempt to start the motor for the first time.   That's Max sucking on the vacuum advance line, Dennis is running the throttle, Ty is operating the starter and I am playing with the distributor.  I title this video, How to Suck Start a Chevy.


This is a photo of Ty on a non-Corvette related excursion.  Although it has nothing to do with our build it was the only photograph I could find where Ty wasn't covered in grease, fiberglass or blood.

As I publish this post Ty and his wife are ready to head east.  The good news is his new assignment will bring him back to this area occasionally so I'm sure we'll see him with a crowbar and hammer again.

Thanks for everything Ty and good luck with your new assignment!

At the recommendation of my brother Jim, Ty T. has secretly signed our Corvette.  I don't know where it is but I am told if you make a guess in the comments section of this blog Ty will let you know if you guessed right.  If you've been following this blog since the beginning Ty says there is enough information in the photo to make a good guess.  I am not going to look for it so I hope you guess and guess right.
Good luck!