Thursday, February 08, 2007

Quater Valances

I just couldn't bring myself to fit the nice new indicators into the shonky old valances that appeared to have been badly painted with the wrong colour paint! So off came the drivers side to start with and out came the 4 bolts that were holding it on along with the bumper attachment. I then detached the old indicator electrical connections and pulled the whole thing free of the car!

So, after dealing with a seized screw retaining the indicators I was left with just the metalwork. I fired up the angle grinder and stripped the paint off using a wire cup brush. For the edges and finer stuff I used a smaller wire brush in a drill. The reason for the awful cracked paint became pretty clear. It seems that the valance had been crudely painted black before getting a waxy stonechip style coat and then finally a colour coat on top. Naturally a waxy coat like that isn't the perfect base for a colour coat!

When it was in bare metal I noticed a few little knocks that needed fillering so I protected the bare metal with U-Pol Acid primer before giving a few spots a skim of filler. I then gave those areas a good wet and drying afterwards until the areas were super smooth (no perceivable ridge between filler and bare metal). I then recoated with etch primer to give 2 nice and thin coats over the area and when that had dried I smoothed it with fine wet and dry paper and gave it all 2 coats of zinc primer followed by, you guessed it, more wet and dry rubdowns! At that stage it was looking like much better! Check out the spot welds - I could have filled and smoothed them but I like them original!

So I left that to dry overnight and started on it again the next morning. First thing I did was give it a couple of thin coats of regular primer. The zinc stuff isn't very smooth and this helps to give the colour coats a smoother finish. More flatting back followed that and then I could finally get on to the colour! One coat of Tahiti Blue (from a Halfords spray can) and it was now looking like this!

More news next time!

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