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Thread: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bumper

  1. #31
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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    Restoration has begun! Taking my time on this, I am really going to try for a pro-quality job. Here is the bumper as it came to me from Japan:


    It's in "great" shape, but has a few minor blemishes and is obviously the wrong color. It also has scuffed paint that goes down to the bare plastic on the right upper cheek:


    The lower right inside corner has a minor scuff, and the lower left side has a pretty bad curb rash:



    Enlarged to show texture:


    Broken bracket tab on the left inner side:

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    I started by removing and cleaning the special Limited grille, which is in excellent condition:



    I removed the rusty license plate U-Clips, which will be later replaced by new hardware:


    (BTW, the JDM license plate bolt holes are not spaced properly for USDM plates. I'll have to come up with some sort of adapter bracket.):


    I carefully washed and rinsed the bumper with mild detergent, then wiped it down with an isopropyl alcohol/distilled water blend and clean microfiber cloth. I then closely inspected the face of the bumper for small nicks and gouges. With a 120 grit paper and rubber backing pad, I then wetsanded all of the areas which had the gouges deep enough to penetrate the paint to base plastic. I did my best to carefully smooth all roughened rashes, while trying to maintain the natural contours of the bumper:






    I made a second wetsanding pass with 320 grit over all areas that I knew I would be applying bare-plastic primer. Lastly, I thoroughly cleaned the bumper again and let it fully dry overnight.

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    The next day I began the priming of the freshly-sanded areas of bare plastic, using a flexible plastic primer rattlecan product:


    I applied a few light coats to any area of bare plastic that had minor imperfections, and I applied somewhat heavier coats over the deeper gouges:


    When the first coat dried, I applied another coat, allowed to dry, then yet more coats, until the high-build primer seemed to mostly fill the gouges:




    The inside right corner had been especially worn down, so I applied extra paint to this area in an effort to build it back up somewhat:


    Body glaze would probably be needed to build up and sharpen that corner to the original dimensions, but I needed to see how well I could do with primer alone.

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    I allowed all the primer to dry over the following weekend. When I was able to return to the project, I wetsanded with 320 grit to reshape all of the primer-filled gouges:




    Some tiny voids that the primer left will still need to be filled, but those deep gouges are barely there.:


    Since both inside corners had already been rashed, I softened the right inside corner somewhat to match the left:


    I wetsanded the entire bumper with 320, removing most all of the primer except for the gouges that were filled. This also removed the glossy factory finish of the paint, changing it to a satiny look. I washed the bumper thoroughly again, allowed to dry, and will hit those bare plastic areas once more with a very light coat of plastic primer.

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    Primer alone wasn't giving me the thickness I wanted to build back those inside corners. I had some old body glaze laying around:


    Unfortunately, it was 7 years old and, even after thoroughly mixing with hardener, its consistency had gone thick and tacky, so spreading didn't go very smoothly:



    I was able to sand it down smooth with quite a bit of effort:


    I used a second can of spraybomb primer to do additional build:



    This stuff went on thicker than the first can I was using, but I had to be careful not to build up layers so thick that they wouldn't harden. More sanding, more spraying, rinse and repeat:


    Trying my durndest to get accurate contours, as if it were a factory-new part. Started out with edges too rounded, then built it up and the edges were too creased. Still going at it with sanding and respraying, but I'm getting closer.

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    Almost there... just needs the slightest tweak...






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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    I think I'm finally happy with the shaping of the inside corners.

    Before:

    After:


    Now that the rashes have been healed, I am ready to do final wetsand on the primer. Then I can perform surface prep with a Scotchbrite pad plus Final Sand paste on the remainder of the factory white paint. After that will be final cleaning, rinsing, drying, tack-cloth wiping, and then I think it will finally be ready for sealer, base, and clear.

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    Looks great so far.

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    Looks like you got it figured out pretty good!

    One thing to keep in mind, since it will be black, ANY imperfection in the part will show, unlike white that hide them well.

    Looks like you have that figured out pretty well though.

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    Thanks guys. Might be a couple weeks until I can shoot it... In the meantime I will try to prep the JDM mirrors, sidemarkers, JDM spats, JDM red badge L7 grille, side and rear skirts, etc. Not sure if I should be prepping and shooting those skirts before I'm ready to shoot the rest of the car, because that means I'll just have to take them off again later. Might be awhile (if ever) before I shoot the whole car though, and it'd be nice to have them painted up sooner rather than later.

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    Worked on the JDM power folding mirrors this weekend. Still need to disassemble the right side for conversion.



    The left side mirror was suffering from a loose fastener on the pivot pin so I was following the repair DIY over at http://www.uklegacy.com/forums/index.ph ... ntry652304


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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    Modding the USDM bases to fit the JDM folding motor mounts:






    USDM Mirror housings, a bit banged up but solid enough to refinish:




    Left sanded:




    Right sanded:


    For some reason one mirror housing was molded in black plastic, the other was molded in grey plastic, covered in white primer, and black spraypaint over that.


    Adhesion promoter for the bare plastic mirror:




    Couple coats of high-build primer, drying out before sanding:

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    You're doing a great job!

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    Quote Originally Posted by r3v_v3ng3
    You're doing a great job!
    Thanks to your write-up!

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    Prepping the modified USDM door mounts. Lots of little nicks to fill in:



    Wet high-build primer:


    Sanding to level out the pitting:


    Several sandings and recoats later:



    Question for Dead and the paint pros out there - do I need to do a final sanding on the last coat of primer to smooth out the fine texture, or do I want to leave it raw for the base coat? (Hard to see in the photos, but you can kind of spot some slight texture near the screw holes):

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    Update - Spent a week or two designing and building a reusable mini spray booth that will fit in my oddball garage. The booth is about 10'x8'x7' and suspends from the overhead roll-up garage door frame. I now have a filtered fresh air inlet fan, and will be adding a filtered exhaust outlet as well. Going to replace the droopy PVC tubing with some rigid aluminum fence poles, but the basic design seems to be effective. One or more walls can be raised, removed, or pushed aside like a shower curtain at will for access. Reassembles in half an hour or less, and each side can be rolled up for storage for later use. Completely suspended from above without the need for any upright supports.



    ***EDIT: I used the aluminum fence-poles I mentioned above, but the other day I was in a Big-Box home-improvement store and I happened upon some metallic electrical conduit tubing, 10-ft lengths, in various diameters from about 1/2" on up. Cheap and light, it's what I would try if I had to do it over.***

    I think I will also try to find some JDM flush door trim for this project. I would appreciate any leads.

    My USDM door trim:


    JDM door trim (Photo credit: Reuben)

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    Any luck finding the side door moldings? They're pretty hard to find and I've only seen the RFRB ones on ebay

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    Sorry I missed this...

    You should always scuff a primed surface. If you are getting it prepped for base clear, 400 grit is the lowest you should use.

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    Quote Originally Posted by Dead91silvia
    Sorry I missed this...

    You should always scuff a primed surface. If you are getting it prepped for base clear, 400 grit is the lowest you should use.
    And sorry I missed your reply! Seems I'm no longer getting SL-i.net email notifications to my subbed threads or PMs. Anyway, thanks for the advice. I have put most of this paint project on temporary hold until the weather warms up again. My little plastic sheeting paint booth is pretty much done, fresh filtered forced air courtesy of a 20" box fan. Filtered exhaust as well. Was hoping to find a zippering system to join the walls at the corners, like those used for drywall projects. However, I found that those zippers don't unzip completely apart into two separate sides and thus I wouldn't be able to remove one wall from another. Right now I just have about a half-dozen mini spring clamps down each corner, squeezing the plastic edges to hold it in place for a fairly decent seal.

    I've transitioned to repainting the center caps and restoring the little nicks and curbs of the 17" JDM GT-B wheels that I was able to score:

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    In January I refinished the minor curbing on the lips, and these wheels look almost brand new! Hope to get new rubber on them in the next week.
    http://www.uklegacy.com/forums/index.ph ... ntry668652


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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    Received my JDM GT-B Wagon rear bumper yesterday. Plastic is in good shape, but the original paint is cracked and scuffed and will need to be completely stripped for prep and paint. Just talked to a local media blasting shop for an estimate, I'm looking at about $110 to get this done. It would save me a day or two of sanding by hand, and would probably give me a more consistent finish to start from.




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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    Been sanding for days. 220 wetsanding, 100% by hand with a foam sanding pad and Mirka paper. It was Dead91Silvia's recommendation to avoid media blasting, so I took his advice seriously. I think I'm done removing the original paint. I sanded as much as I could while still leaving a little bit of factory basecoat on the bare plastic so that the new primer will have something to adhere to.








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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    Haven't updated here in awhile but I've been continuing this project.

    I just returned home from the dealership to check pricing on genuine Suby body panels and trims. Somewhere I got the idea in my head that the dealership pricing was surprisingly reasonable for new panels, but I can throw that idea out the window after today. lol
    Front fenders ~$250 each
    GT hood ~$500
    GT side skirts ~$350 each (each!!!)
    A-pillar exterior front trim strips ~$60 each

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    GT skirts are still available? Color me impressed...
    Space Unicorn - 1995 Legacy L wagon. Silver/black, with planets. 5mt. (Dead, but not gone, yet.)
    1997 Legacy Brighton wagon. White. (Parts car, scrapped.)
    Grace - 1995 Legacy L wagon. WGM. (Sold for scrap. RIP.)
    Luna - 1993 Honda Civic Del Sol Si (Sold and deeply missed.)
    2000 Legacy Brighton wagon. White.(Blown HG, awaiting transplant)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lancaster6
    A sherpa could rip ass somewhere high up in the Himalayas and my Prius will be blown almost off of the road.

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    Quote Originally Posted by camroncamera
    Haven't updated here in awhile but I've been continuing this project.

    I just returned home from the dealership to check pricing on genuine Suby body panels and trims. Somewhere I got the idea in my head that the dealership pricing was surprisingly reasonable for new panels, but I can throw that idea out the window after today. lol
    Front fenders ~$250 each
    GT hood ~$500
    GT side skirts ~$350 each (each!!!)
    A-pillar exterior front trim strips ~$60 each
    So I think I will try to find used parts listed in the post above, instead of dealer-new. Of all the JDM parts I have collected so far, it occurs to me that everything is plastic. So, if I were to find spares of fenders and a GT hood, that would be the first metal parts I would deal with for this project.

    Work finished so far:
    Mini spray booth built, with filtered inlet and outlet positive-pressure air supply.
    JDM 17" GT-B Wheels restored and installed on car with new Michelin 215/45/R17 tires
    GT-B Limited front bumper - scrapes repaired, surface scuffed, and ready for next step
    GT-B rear bumper - sanded, repaired, primed, and ready for next step
    JDM mirror housings/USDM folding mirror bases - repaired, modified for LHD, primed, ready for next step
    JDM sidemarkers: lens masked off, primed, ready for next step
    JDM door trim strips: sanded, repaired, adhesion promoter applied, primed (might still need a slight bit of finessing at the broken corner I repaired), ready for next step
    JDM spats: fairly clean, needs a true prep clean before next step
    JDM GT-B grill - unprepped, needs some figuring out (see below)

    Looking for spares of these parts so they can be worked on and quickly swapped on the car for minimum vehicle downtime:
    Front left and right fenders
    GT hood (I would prefer black, but I might be able to make do with white. Don't really want to try to repaint the underside of a used red, green, blue, etc. colored hood with all of the voids in the underside reinforcement structure.)
    GT side skirts
    A-pillar exterior front left and right trim strips (might get these new from dealer)

    Still needs to be done:
    Figure out painting logistics - my paint booth is only big enough to spray one bumper plus a few small parts at a time. I'll have to carefully plan the moving of parts taking into account the flash times of the coats.
    Figure out how to hang some parts as they are painted and as they flash/dry. Some parts have no way to really hold them without interfering with the paint spray (the mirror housings and trim strips, for instance)
    Spares listed above will need fully prepped, then primed/sealed, then base, then clearcoat
    GT-B Limited front bumper - ready for final cleaning, then primer, then 320 wetsanding, then final cleaning, then base, then clearcoat
    GT-B rear bumper - ready for final cleaning, then base, then clearcoat
    JDM mirror housings/USDM folding mirror bases - ready for 320 wetsanding, then final cleaning, then base, then clearcoat
    JDM sidemarkers: ready for 320 wetsanding, then final cleaning, then base, then clearcoat
    JDM door trim strips: might still need a slight bit of finessing at the broken corner I repaired ready for 320 wetsanding, then final cleaning, then base, then clearcoat (I think I'll need flex agent for these).
    JDM spats: needs a true prep clean immediately prior to masking, then adhesion promoter, then base/clear (I dunno if these rubber parts really get base/clear like a regular plastic part would... might need base with flex agent and gloss additive, then shot as single-stage?)
    JDM GT-B grill - unprepped - flaking chrome needs sanded off, then I need to figure out how to get it rechromed with the smoked look in which originally came. I have a very nice JDM L7 Legacy badge ready to apply once the grill chrome is restored.

    After that, I will still have to get all the parts fitted on the car, but I am planning to have this work coincide with a suspension upgrade (fenders off = a little more working room installing front struts), plus some wiring work for the JDM foglights (including grounding wires upgrade) and getting the JDM mirrors wired up.

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    Quote Originally Posted by Dead91silvia
    Sorry I missed this...

    You should always scuff a primed surface. If you are getting it prepped for base clear, 400 grit is the lowest you should use.
    Dead, could you clarify this for me? Does this mean I shouldn't use anything *finer* than 400 grit (because the base coat won't stick?) or does this mean that I shouldn't use anything *rougher* than 400 grit (sanding scratches will show through?)? I was planning on final primer wetsand of 320 grit before base/clear.

    Thanks!

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    Usually you want to use 400 grit sandpaper because you will end up putting base coat which will hide the 400 grit scratches for base/clear. Single stage would be no lower than 320 (paint is thicker). Some sand scratches might bleed thru if you sand it down to 320 since the base is thin to try to fill in. The reason why you use no lower than 400 grit is material and time. Your sandpaper will clog faster with finer grit and take longer to sand (600/800/1000 etc) when your prepping it. So you can use finer paper but you will just be wasting paper/time. The base will stick as long as the area being painted is clean and dull. Theres more to it but just the basic without going too technical.

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    Quote Originally Posted by r3v_v3ng3
    Usually you want to use 400 grit sandpaper because you will end up putting base coat which will hide the 400 grit scratches for base/clear. Single stage would be no lower than 320 (paint is thicker). Some sand scratches might bleed thru if you sand it down to 320 since the base is thin to try to fill in. The reason why you use no lower than 400 grit is material and time. Your sandpaper will clog faster with finer grit and take longer to sand (600/800/1000 etc) when your prepping it. So you can use finer paper but you will just be wasting paper/time. The base will stick as long as the area being painted is clean and dull. Theres more to it but just the basic without going too technical.
    ^ Thanks... haha

    He got it right there. The only time go really go higher is if you are just going to re-clean a panel. In that case you would use no less then 600-800 grit. You could use 600 on something you cover with base, however, if you do I would recommend wet-sanding as the paper will get toasted really fast using dry.

    You're doing a great job Cameron!

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    SLi Lurker camroncamera's Avatar
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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    Thanks guys for your helpful info. I'll be sure to do a 400 or finer wetsand pass on my primered parts before base/clear. Right now I'm at 320 wetsanded, I was afraid that anything finer would be an adhesion problem for the basecoat, but I see those fears are unfounded. Might a sealer epoxy shoot over the 320 fill everything in? Then no sanding but go straight to base?

    I went to one of the local paint supply shops in town, picked up some Duplicolor chrome spray for my JDM grille restoration, and talked to the shop owner for a good twenty minutes or so and got a materials quote for enough to repaint the whole car. The brand he recommended was Matrix base and clear. He explained that Matrix is a supplier for PPG and that the formulas are virtually the same, but it costs quite a bit less, partly because of branding, and partly because there is no PPG-grade warranty coverage. He also implored me to paint the whole car instead of just fenders/doors/hood, because matching colors is a bitch. I'll shoot a practice panel first and see how close I get.

    Since the wagon is a daily driver and I can't have it out of commission for more than a weekend at a time, I won't be able to strip the car down and take the time needed to prep it all at once. So I am trying to round up a lot of spare panels for my car. I'm buying the four doors, rear hatch, and passenger fender from Red85Celica's wrecked wagon. Still need spare GT side skirts, driver side fender, and most of all, a spare black GT or Outback scooped hood. I want to paint the panels off the car, then swap them on afterward.

    I will need to have a good look at Red85's doors once they arrive this weekend and see if they are in better shape than mine. Mine look pretty good to begin with (8 out of 10). I'll see how his doors buff up and if the factory color on them are a perfect match for my car (I expect it will be a great match). I plan to swap and paint panels as necessary, then swap them back to the car once they are refinished. I have to decide whether to repaint my original doors so that I have matching VINs and locks, or if I should hang onto my doors as they are for spares.

    My home-built paint booth is not very large, so I need to figure out how to paint as many panels as I can at one time without getting too crowded inside. I also have a limited air supply. I am worried about primer/sealer flash times and whether I can get base over sealer and clear over base within the proper adhesion window times.

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    Re: Partial or complete repaint of Wagon and GT-B Limited bu

    600 grit will work fine for sealer or base coat. I wouldnt go any finer though.

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