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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Body Panel Gaps

Is 3/16" the preferred final gap for body panels (doors, hood and trunk lid)? Is it 3/16" after paint or before paint?

Thanks.

Wade


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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 02:37 PM
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Basically after. Don't forget to allow for the accumulated thickness of Slick Sand type high build primers+base+clear and remember that it builds up on both sides of the gap. You can tighten up a bit but be careful of areas that can pinch if you get them too tight---specifically the front vertical edge of the doors and leading edge of the trunk. Things will move and grow on a hot sunny day, especially if it's a dark color.

Cheers,
Jeff


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKleiner View Post
Basically after. Don't forget to allow for the accumulated thickness of Slick Sand type high build primers+base+clear and remember that it builds up on both sides of the gap. You can tighten up a bit but be careful of areas that can pinch if you get them too tight---specifically the front vertical edge of the doors and leading edge of the trunk. Things will move and grow on a hot sunny day, especially if it's a dark color.

Cheers,
Jeff
Great. Thanks Jeff.

FFR Roadster Mk 3.1, 2002 SOHC 4.6 with Edelbrock intake and 4 bbl carb, T45 trans, solid axle with FFR 3 Link, Yukon Axles, Levy Racing rear lower control arms, VPM 3 Link Brace, Fox length axles, 11.65" rear disks, Koni coilovers, stainless steel side pipes with Flowmaster Slimline Mufflers
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 02:55 AM
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Sorry for the dumb question but how much does paint and sprayable primer add? If the final gap should be 3/16th of an inch, what would the starting point be?

Am I overthinking this and should just get everything just a tad over 3/16"?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 01:26 PM
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On my fiberglass bodied car, I set the gaps to 1/8" (.125), prior to final paint. I used a lot of high build primer (sprayable body filler), but a great deal of it gets sanded off. High build primer is really meant to allow extensive blocking of large panels, so they are straight. If a jamb were to build up so much that a gap was too tight, just keep sanding until you get what you want.

Edges are the hardest part to get the paint to build up anyway. Getting the proper corner radius on the edges is a bit of an art. You don't want sharp edges, or you won't get much paint thickness. That makes it easy to color sand or buff through the paint, on a edge.

I like using firm neoprene rubber (like gasket material) for gap checking. The paint sticks I get usually measure .140-.150, which is too thick for me, but significantly less than 3/16" (.188).

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 10:46 PM
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Paint and primer or not fans of sitting on an edge. Primer builds up a lot less on the edge and when sanding we always finish by cupping our fingers around the edge and taking most of the primer off leaving as round an edge we can to give a surface for the paint to stick to. If you leave a sharp edge it can come back to bite you when you cut and buff. As far as the gap....I like 3/16. More important is that the gap is even. These car bodies swell up in the heat and sometimes a tight gap can cause a problem...da Bat

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