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Friday, June 1, 2018

Triumph Spitfire Restoration - "Just About Done" Epoxy Prep

Getting close now. The video:

Nothing all the exciting, really, but I got some old seam sealer removed and lots of the general area inside the car all cleaned up. I did find another area of concern, but it wasn't enough to replace metal.

This is the wheel arch / rear seat deck union. Picture rotated 90-degrees left because car was up on wings.

However, it did clean up quite a bit. I'll do the same here that I did with the rear valance panel and hit it with some vinegar, clean it up real well and get epoxy on it.

After cleaning. Not great, but it will get better.

Otherwise, it was just a matter of going around with my heat gun and wire brush to remove old seam sealer and the red Scotchbrite pads to remove seam sealer residue (with the help of some lacquer thinner) and general dirt and grime. There was also some old carpet adhesive to remove, but that was easy.

Passenger's side looking back into the boot. Cleaning up okay, but need to get that seam sealer out of there.

Cleaning up the dash area.

In addition to that, I also solved (as of now, anyway) my air moisture problem. Here comes a bit of technical explaining, so bear with me.

Dry, clean air is very important when painting a car. Since the air provides motive force for the paint, anything entrained in the air will come out with the paint. Dirt particles are obviously bad since you'll get dirt specs in the paint and/or clog the gun. Something less obvious, however, is moisture.

Essentially, automotive paint is oil-based (sort of). Since oil and water don't mix, high water content in the air will result in imperfections in the paint. Not good.

In a perfect world, I'd have thousands of dollars and be able to employ a large desiccant air drying to dry the air on it's way to the spray gun. Since that's not an option, another solution is to allow the air to cool after leaving the compressor motor. The idea here is that hot air holds more moisture than cold air (hot and humid in the summer, cold and dry in the winter). One way to  do this is making a "radiator" of copper pipe with drains in the bends.

Example of a copper pipe air cooler.

I was going to go this route (~$150-200 in supplies), but I found another solution that seems to be working and is much cheaper (and less labor intensive).

Motor Guard.

That solution is a Motor Guard  air filter. It's essentially a steel housing, with 1/2" inlet and outlet connections, stuffed with a roll of toilet paper. At about $60, it's a very simple and cost-effective solution. You can really use rolls of toilet paper to replace the internal filter, so it's really cheap to operate, too. Along with that, I purchased a desiccant solution for at the gun itself, also by Motor Guard.

Dynamic Duo. You can just barely see the filter in the housing of the Motor Guard.

I did some testing, albeit in relatively dry air, and it worked great. I'm sure if I get to painting in the middle of the summer, I'll have to pay special attention to ensure that the solution continues to work, but I'll also run the A/C in the garage to help dry the air.

Otherwise, that was about it.  The final thing to do before I was ready to paint the underneath was to replace the rear wing/valance finisher pieces, which, of course, had their own unique challenges.

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