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Discussion Starter #301 (Edited)
Body Undercoat Adventure

Big day today. This morning my friend Greg, who’s building a challenge car and lives close by, came over and was a huge help completing the U-POL Raptor spray on the underside of the body and cowl. Super happy with how it turned out. But first some preliminary steps completed earlier this week. I’ve mentioned before, but I’m trying to get a decent enough finish in the cockpit roof to not use the kit supplied headliner. I really don’t want to mess with it, plus the roof kind of disappears behind the roll cage. So I’m hoping a clean, relatively smooth surface will be OK and look good.

I intentionally saved enough of the Lizard Skin Ceramic Insulation (CI) to coat the underside of the cockpit area. Not sure exactly how much but thought it might help to reduce heat radiated into the cockpit. Can’t hurt, right? So sanded the surface a bit to knock down the big bumps, masked it off, and gave it a spray. There are several coats.


The piece of Gorilla tape in the foreground has a story, which I’ll explain since it’s yet another lesson learned. I handle the body very carefully, turning it over, spinning around, etc. But when it’s on its roof like pictured here, the sides are quite flexible. Apparently, I wasn’t being careful enough because while working to mask off for the heat control spray, heard a cracking sound and found the back flange of the hatch opening cracked at the LH (as looking at the picture) hatch hinge opening. That area is under a lot of stress with the sides moving out, and the cut-out weakened it enough to crack there. I used some HSRF and some clamps to squeeze it back together. Then added two layers of glass in the area. I preemptively also put two layers of glass on the other side. Also left the glass across the cutout, and will trim out once the body is back on the chassis. The tape across the opening limited the movement of the sides to hopefully prevent any new damage. Lesson learned for other builders? Maybe not cut that back edge until the body is installed on the chassis for the last time. As an aside comment, the slot I cut is considerably smaller than the one shown in the manual. Some, with the revised hinges (which I have) report that no slot is required. I couldn’t find any position for the hinge where the slot wasn’t necessary.

Moving on, for the cowl, since the underside is exposed for the world to see with the cowl tipped up, spent some time trying to clean it up some. It does have a partial shell on the underside, which is an improvement over previous versions. And the remaining glass did have a pretty thick covering of some type of black undercoat material. But there was a lot of adhesive and rough edges to clean up. Then I decided it would really look a lot better if the open gaps between the rib pieces and the shell were filled. I think everything is bonded OK. But appearance could be better. So HSRF to the rescue again and filled everything in. Also chose to backfill the wheel opening lips with some HSRF to make a more gradual transition rather than the sharp angle. Did that for the front and rear wheels. Can’t see too much in these pictures but looks like this ready for spray.


 

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Discussion Starter #302 (Edited)
Body Undercoat Adventure (continued)

With that, time for masking and spraying. Spent a day plus getting everything masked including the outside of the body completely covered. My experience with spraying undercoat using a Shutz style gun is that material goes everywhere. So a complete mask is pretty important. I also took the time to mask all the edges, so they’ll be painted rather than have undercoat. And there are a lot of edges on these two big pieces. I spread two big tarps on my driveway and sprayed toward the woods. Fortunately, the weather cooperated with reasonable temps, no rain, and no wind. Perfect. Using the one gallon U-POL Raptor kit, was able to get a full coverage coat on everything (Greg was following behind checking as I went), two coats on the cockpit roof, and three coats in the rear wheel wells. The front wheel wells already have the thick factory coating, so didn’t need additional coats. Also got three coats on the rear splash guards. That used every last bit of the one gallon kit. A few hours ago, pulled all the masking. It’s cured enough to touch. But needs at least 24 hours, so I’m walking away from it until Monday. Tried to get a few pics. Shadows in the garage prevent good pictures. But the coverage and color is very consistent. Couple small details plus time to cure, and these pieces will go back on the chassis for the very last time.





Also, the rear splash guards.


So some comments/observations about the U-POL Raptor product and the application. I spent a lot of time reading the directions, watching YouTube videos, etc. First, note this is a urethane 2-part catalyzed product, so in theory cures to a much harder finish than air dry water or solvent based products. Like Herculiner. Plus it’s possible to have a finer finish than those brush or roller applied products. But it’s definitely more work, a little more expensive, and highly recommended to use a respirator, gloves, and use the product carefully. Note also since it’s catalyzed, once mixed the material has a one hour pot life and will completely cure in about 24 hours. You would need to save unmixed components to have any for touchup or whatever.

The kit that I bought included the “free” standard Shutz gun. It worked fine and it’s handy how it screws directly onto the bottles of material. I read several bad reviews. But seems if you clean it after each bottle, it sprays consistently. I found this to be the case. After each bottle, just sprayed some reducer through it and went to the next bottle. This material and gun will always spray a textured finish. I was OK with that but wanted it relatively smooth. (Relatively being the key word here…) After reading other recommendations and doing a little testing, found that between 60-70 PSI and 15–18 inches distance gave the finish I was happy with. For the second coat of spray on the underside of the cockpit, we added about 1/2 ounce of reducer to the last 1/2 bottle of material. Then sprayed from a slightly further distance. This gave an even finer/smoother finish. Perfect for the second coat but maybe wouldn’t provide as good of coverage for a first coat. Late yesterday, I found that U-POL sells a higher end adjustable gun (UPL-UP4880) than can apparently give an even smoother finish. Wish I would have found out about that sooner because probably would have sprung for it. But couldn’t have it here soon enough to get the spray completed and my assembled car to paint on Oct 1. Maybe next time. U-POL also describes a process where with even more reducer and a more standard HVLP gun, you can get an even finer finish. Didn't pursue that, but another option.

I don’t consider myself an expert sprayer by any means. But I’ve done enough of it over the years to be mildly experienced. I found this product and the process to be relatively straightforward and not hard to apply. I think anyone following the directions could do the same. The finish is vastly better than the brushed-on water-based undercoat of #8674. But then again, for a Roadster, the underside is basically unseen. For the Coupe, not the case. No question it’s harder and in the long run probably more durable. Which may or may not matter as the material under #8674 is still fine after three seasons and thousands of miles. Would I use it again? Absolutely. Probably my first choice now. Where appearance isn’t as critical, U-POL does sell a brush/roll-on version. Also a urethane 2-part catalyzed material. For a Roadster build, that’s something I’d seriously consider while avoiding the time and effort for spray masking.

That's it. Next week everything goes back together and ready for the painter the following week.
 

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With that, time for masking and spraying. Spent a day plus getting everything masked including the outside of the body completely covered. My experience with spraying undercoat using a Shutz style gun is that material goes everywhere. So a complete mask is pretty important. I also took the time to mask all the edges, so they’ll be painted rather than have undercoat. And there are a lot of edges on these two big pieces. I spread two big tarps on my driveway and sprayed toward the woods. Fortunately, the weather cooperated with reasonable temps, no rain, and no wind. Perfect. Using the one gallon U-POL Raptor kit, was able to get a full coverage coat on everything (Greg was following behind checking as I went), two coats on the cockpit roof, and three coats in the rear wheel wells. The front wheel wells already have the thick factory coating, so didn’t need additional coats. Also got three coats on the rear splash guards. That used every last bit of the one gallon kit. A few hours ago, pulled all the masking. It’s cured enough to touch. But needs at least 24 hours, so I’m walking away from it until Monday. Tried to get a few pics. Shadows in the garage prevent good pictures. But the coverage and color is very consistent. Couple small details plus time to cure, and these pieces will go back on the chassis for the very last time.





Also, the rear splash guards.


So some comments/observations about the U-POL Raptor product and the application. I spent a lot of time reading the directions, watching YouTube videos, etc. First, note this is a urethane 2-part catalyzed product, so in theory cures to a much harder finish than air dry water or solvent based products. Like Herculiner. Plus it’s possible to have a finer finish than those brush or roller applied products. But it’s definitely more work, a little more expensive, and highly recommended to use a respirator, gloves, and use the product carefully. Note also since it’s catalyzed, once mixed the material has a one hour pot life and will completely cure in about 24 hours. You would need to save unmixed components to have any for touchup or whatever.

The kit that I bought included the “free” standard Shutz gun. It worked fine and it’s handy how it screws directly onto the bottles of material. I read several bad reviews. But seems if you clean it after each bottle, it sprays consistently. I found this to be the case. After each bottle, just sprayed some reducer through it and went to the next bottle. This material and gun will always spray a textured finish. I’m was OK with that but wanted it relatively smooth. (Relatively being the key word here…) After reading other recommendations and doing a little testing, found that between 60-70 PSI and 15–18 inches distance gave the finish I was happy with. For the second coat of spray on the underside of the cockpit, we added about 1/2 ounce of reducer to the last 1/2 bottle of material. Then sprayed from a slightly further distance. This gave an even finer/smoother finish. Perfect for the second coat but maybe wouldn’t provide as good of coverage for a first coat. Late yesterday, I found that U-POL sells a higher end adjustable gun (UPL-UP4880) than can apparently give an even smoother finish. Wish I would have found out about that sooner because probably would have sprung for it. But couldn’t have it here soon enough to get the spray completed and my assembled car to paint on Oct 1. Maybe next time. U-POL also describes a process where with even more reducer and a more standard HVLP gun, you can get an even finer finish. Didn't pursue that, but another option.

I don’t consider myself an expert sprayer by any means. But I’ve done enough of it over the years to be mildly experienced. I found this product and the process to be relatively straightforward and not hard to apply. I think anyone following the directions could do the same. The finish is vastly better than the brushed-on water-based undercoat of #8674. But then again, for a Roadster, the underside is basically unseen. For the Coupe, not the case. No question it’s harder and in the long run probably more durable. Which may or may not matter as the material under #8674 is still fine after three seasons and thousands of miles. Would I use it again? Absolutely. Probably my first choice now. Where appearance isn’t as critical, U-POL does sell a brush/roll-on version. Also a urethane 2-part catalyzed material. For a Roadster build, that’s something I’d seriously consider while avoiding the time and effort for spray masking.

That's it. Next week everything goes back together and ready for the painter the following week.
Paul - looks outstanding - very nice work!! Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #304
Back Together, Ready for Paint

It’s been a busy week, but the build is back together and ready to take for paint next week. The good news is the various body parts all went back into place with alignment and gaps as I had them before. Had to tweak the bumpers just a bit on the back edge of the cowl, but that was it. Picked up my last batch of powder coated parts. Front lower splash panels, rear outside cockpit corners, and rear wheel well upper front fill pieces all permanently attached. Used some seam sealer to close up any remaining gaps or openings. There are just a handful of panels left. Front and rear splash guards, back hatch wall, and fuel filler cover. Those will go on after paint. Feels good to be putting so much together for the last time. Couple more details, and it will be ready to trailer over.

Took it off the lift, the Coyote fired right up, and backed out of the garage for a couple pics. If some of the exterior pictures look similar to ones posted before, that’s good! Nice to see the mostly finished interior inside the body. Tried to get a couple pics of the cockpit roof finish. To be honest, it’s a bit rougher than I wanted it to be. With more practice and improved technique, I’m sure it could be better. The best finish (e.g. smoothest) is the inside of the back wall of the body. Which will be completely hidden once the back hatch wall is installed. Go figure. But still happy I went that way versus trying to stick up the provided headliner material. One other thing I did was raise the ride height slightly. I just barely touched the underside of the chassis the last time I took it off the trailer. Probably can resolve by raising the nose of the trailer a bit. But for now just put a turn on each coilover. Enough talk. Pictures without further comment.








Next update and pictures should be with paint underway.
 

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Discussion Starter #305
Delivered for Paint

Today I loaded the Coupe into the SE and delivered to the shop for paint. Next in line into the booth behind the blue car that's getting final details. They promised pictures. But also said I can visit any time I want and it's only about an hour away. So will be doing that and have progress pics. Promised for about 8 weeks. This was also the last ride in the 14-foot SE. My new 16-footer should be done by the time the paint is done. Also supposed to have my fully polished side pipes sometime in October. Finish line is still a ways away. But definitely getting closer.


 

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Super nice job. I doubt that anyone else will ever look up to see your headliner. I look up at mine when it rubs on my head, you won't have to worry about that. Will the car come back with the windows and lights installed? Now what are you going to do for eight weeks? Did I miss your color selection or is it a surprise?

Glen
 

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Discussion Starter #308
Super nice job. I doubt that anyone else will ever look up to see your headliner. I look up at mine when it rubs on my head, you won't have to worry about that. Will the car come back with the windows and lights installed? Now what are you going to do for eight weeks? Did I miss your color selection or is it a surprise?

Glen
Thanks. The shop isn't doing anything but paint. Everything that goes on the body after paint has been mocked up (one of my rules) and bagged/tagged ready to put back on by me once it's done. I confirmed the fit of the windshield and adjusted the opening slightly. Haven't decided yet whether I'll have it installed by a pro or make it another learning experience.

You're right. Chilling for eight weeks will be interesting. The garage looks strange with the Coupe missing. I'm finishing up some of the interior parts, cleaning/organizing some, and plan to have a sale of leftover parts. Not sure about the other seven weeks.

I'm gonna' go out on a limb and predict some kind of red >:)

Jeff
Lucky guess there Jeff. :eek:hmy:
 

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Paul,

You can do the window placement yourself. I just did it myself and its pretty simple. Paint the border before install, get the rubber and the window caulk and slap it in!
You have 9 weeks to figure it out (figuring you 'll have the entire car back together in 2 weeks:grin2:)

John
 

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Discussion Starter #310
Paul,

You can do the window placement yourself. I just did it myself and its pretty simple. Paint the border before install, get the rubber and the window caulk and slap it in!

John
Thanks John. I'm leaning that direction right now. I have the gasket material and waiting on the balance of materials until the time comes.
 

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Discussion Starter #311 (Edited)
Bodywork Underway

Today I visited the shop where the Coupe is getting painted. First time back since delivering it there. Happy to report body work is moving right along. They are hoping to spray sealer by the end of the week. These pictures don’t show too much, other than evidence of lots of filling, sanding, and dust. Had a chance to meet and talk a bit with the guy doing the work. I was pleased and impressed with his attention to detail and wanting to get it just right. He was happy in general with how everything lined up, gaps, etc. He said it was quite a bit of work getting the mold mismatch behind the quarter windows fixed. But looked really good from what I could tell. They haven't done a Coupe before. Only Roadsters. So one of the conditions I asked for (and also because I’m local) was that I personally do any assembly and disassembly. Saves them time trying to figure stuff out plus I want to preserve the alignment on everything and (I hope) know best how to do that. With my retirement schedule, I can get there most any time with short notice. Today’s trip was to remove the doors, door frames, and hood latches. Now that basic body work and panel matching is completed. The body will stay on throughout the process, as I’ve already described. They haven’t decided yet about the hood (cowl) but easy to remove if they want me to. On a side note, he said the Coupe has been a bit of a distraction in the shop. It’s a pretty big place with quite a few people working there. He said it gets a lot of traffic and everyone is really interested in the final result. So am I! Pictures from today:




While the Coupe is out of the home shop, have been finishing up some other open items as much as I could. One of the subjects talked about a lot is the wheel spinner adapters and various ways to keep the threads from locking and/or the adapter spinning in the wheel. Making it difficult or impossible to remove. I’ve drilled and tapped for set screws through the wheels and through the adapters on previous builds. It’s 100% effective and was planning to do the same on this build. Lots of other choices (o-rings, pool noodles, silicone adhesive, etc.) but still prefer something more mechanical. Then I saw another set screw option in a build thread and stole that idea. Instead of a set screw through the wheel and adapter, which isn’t hard but a little tedious, the idea is three set screws on the inside of the adapter only. These lock against the ID of the wheel. Was pretty easy to do and I think will be effective. I used 10-32 SS cap screws. Could have used regular set screws. But these have a bigger Allen head and a bit easier to work with.


I confirmed that when the drill and tap is positioned exactly in the center of the flat between the adapter threads and angle, the set screws hit a matching flat on the ID of the wheels. Perfect.


To install, before tightening the screws, I’ll put the adapter in the wheel with the lug nut cover and spinner tightened. That will hold the adapter properly angled and centered. Then tighten the three set screws along with some blue Loctite. Need to not overtighten as the threads are in aluminum. But with the testing I’ve done, as long as all three are reasonably tight, the adapter is locked into place. Also on this build I’m trying the CRC Dry Graphite Lube recommended by Jeff Kleiner for the spinner threads. I’ve used a light coating of anti-seize in the past. Seems to work OK. But does get a bit gummy and stiff. This material is a little different than I expected. Almost goes on like spray paint, e.g. black and dries in place. So you’ll want to mask off like paint. I have all four ready to install. Will be interested to see how it works. I’m guessing all good.
 

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Discussion Starter #312 (Edited)
Bodywork Underway (continued)

I also had some remaining work on my door cards. The shop that did interior work for me mainly just did the stitching and placed the padding (where used) and vinyl panels. I did most of the wrap and final details. So finished the wrap on the door cards, plus did the cutout and wrap for the door handles and openings for the bins I fabricated and showed previously. Happy with how they turned out. Matches the theme of the rest of the interior.


Also put padding and vinyl in the inside of the bins, and carpet on the bottom. The bar, which I’ve shown before, is attached to the door along with the bin. It sits right below the bottom edge of the opening in the door card, and is strong enough and in the right location to use to open and close the door.


Finally, totally off topic (and you can tell I’m running out of tasks for the Coupe) some time ago I scored a very cool Ford Racing neon sign. Wasn’t sure where I was going to put it. In the basement somewhere or in the garage shop. My wife already ruled out putting it somewhere in the house itself. Imagine that. Went with the garage shop. Maybe I need to hit Ford up for some advertising revenue. Wish me luck. Regardless, I like it.


That’s it. I’ll keep the paint progress updates coming.
 

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Discussion Starter #313
Let the Spraying Begin

First coats going down. This is when it starts getting good.



 

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Discussion Starter #314
Sanding and Guide Coat

Progress continues. Like how it looks. Another coat of primer and wet sand after this. Then should see some color.





 

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Discussion Starter #315
Primer and Wet Sanding Done. Bring on the Color

Received these pics today. I'll be visiting end of the week, and they're saying should have color going down by then. Looking really clean and straight.





 

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Really nice build! And lots of great details! Great work!
 

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Discussion Starter #318 (Edited)
It’s been a couple weeks. Thought I’d at least check in. These projects have a lot of moving parts and remind me all too much of my former life with project management. Right now I’m chasing five different things that are affecting my build. Kind of goes with the territory, but for someone who has never been accused of being very patient, I’m struggling a little. Especially since it’s too cold and crummy out for any more cruising with the Roadster. Wish I had more to share today, but here’s progress on a couple fronts.

#1: My new Serpent Express is in the house. Drove to R&R Trailers in Three Rivers, MI on Wednesday and picked up my new 16-foot SE. Couple of minor differences, but essentially the same as my previous 14 footer, just a little longer. The Coupe will fit and extra room for the Roadster. The new owner of my previous trailer picked it up today. That’s one thing off the list.


#2: The final polished version of my Gen 3 Coupe/Coyote side pipes arrived this week from Georgie at Gas-N. Wow, they are like jewelry. I’ll get them mounted on the Coupe during final assembly when it comes back from paint. I’m a huge fan of the twin pipe look on the Coupe. And also like my bling. Polished stainless looks amazing. These are the first production pipes to be delivered. Contact Georgie is you're interested for your build. You won't be disappointed. That's two things off the list.

#3: Paint. Wish I had something new to share here. Was hoping to get an update today but didn’t. It’s completely ready for color. Primer is done, wet sanded, etc. as I previously posted. Last week I visited the shop and approved the color spray-outs. Now just waiting for my turn in the booth. On the home stretch, just need to get it finished and back in the home shop. Will lose a couple days because of the Thanksgiving holiday. So suspect I’m still 7-10 days away unless something happened in the last couple days I don’t know about. One comment that may be of interest. The color I have on my Roadster is Ford RZ Red Candy 2, which is a tri-coat. Love the color and specified the same on the Coupe. Since that time, the shop has switched from Standox to Sikkens. They said they could get very close to the effect of the tri-coat with a more standard Sikkens base coat/clear coat. I agreed and that’s what Sikkens mixed. It’s hard to exactly compare small samples but looks really good. It’s a bit cheaper for materials, spraying is much simpler, and acceptable touch-up is more possible.

The other two items aren’t affecting anything at this moment, so I’ll leave them out for now. Hopefully my next post will be colorful. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. We have a lot to be thankful for.
 

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Discussion Starter #319 (Edited)
Big progress to report for the paint. Yesterday, the shop did the stage and mask for the final paint steps. Then sprayed a tinted sealer over the completed and wet sanded primer. Said they added the tint to the sealer to give the most consistent color possible for the base color. Plus said for rock chips and such would show some color versus white. (Perish that thought. For now anyway.) Then put the base color on. Today the clear started and I was there to watch. These pictures are after the first coat. Said it will get five. Next week it will get sanded and polished and I may have it back home late in the week. If not then soon after. The color is just what I wanted and I think looks amazing. All the work they did getting the body sorted out is paying off now. Looks flawless. I did half white on the back. Kind of a trademark Coupe look plus Peter Brock’s is painted that way with no stripes and just that trim color, as I've mentioned before. Kind of cool and the look I’m going for. Nothing more to say but show the pics.






 

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Big progress to report for the paint. Yesterday, the shop did the stage and mask for the final paint steps. Then sprayed a tinted sealer over the completed and wet sanded primer. Said they added the tint to the sealer to give the most consistent color possible for the base color. Plus said for rock chips and such would show some color versus white. (Perish that thought. For now anyway.) Then put the base color on. Today the clear started and I was there to watch. These pictures are after the first cost. Said it will get five. Next week it will get sanded and polished and I may have it back home late in the week. If not then soon after. The color is just what I wanted and I think looks amazing. I did a half white on the back. Kind of a trademark Coupe look plus Peter Brock’s is painted that way with no stripes and just that trim color. Thought it was kind of cool and the look I’m going for. Nothing more to say but show the pics.







Love the color.


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