The first visit, covered in the video, was my final metal work on the run up to the next major step of body work on the passenger's door, boot lid and front valance - body filler.
First, I got those two strengthening brackets welded in to the front valance. This was as straightforward as it seems and there weren't any problems.
|One bracket in and cleaned up.|
|On going work on the door. The highs and lows are shown by the different paint colors.|
As I mentioned before, the hammer and dolly work doesn't lend itself to photographs (at least with my limited ability) so there aren't a whole lot of pictures. But, as before, I continued to use the various hammers and dollies and the shrink disk to work the dents as best as I could. In a perfect world, I would have loved to get all of the waviness out, but that's what body filler is for!
|Boot lid work at the end of the day.|
That was about it for that visit. The next was a weekend day, so I was able to get more work done, though I did have to cut it short for a soccer game. To the video:
I wanted to maximize the work but I was pretty sure showing up that I would not have time to get two coats of epoxy down with the remaining work I wanted to do on the panels. I found the closest shiny object, which happened to be that one bonnet pivot tube that had the rusted out end. Good enough!
|After some minor excavation.|
|And some more excavation.|
|Finally! Clean metal.|
I did cut the ragged stuff out, too.I had some 16ga metal so that's what I used to do the patch. I cleaned the interior of the tube, rust converted it, and got it into weld-through primer. Then, I made a paper template and cut and formed a repair patch (not much forming, thankfully), which I also got in weld-through primer (the back side of it).
|Metal patch "rough" fit. Some more forming to do, but it fits well, with good weld-friendly gaps at the edges.|
|Ready to weld.|
With the prep and final fitting done, it was a pretty simple matter to weld it in. Being thick metal, it's more forgiving and I could use "hotter" welder settings to get really good penetration.
|Done and cleaned up.|
|The whole tube ready for epoxy.|
That done, I refocused on my final metal work on the door and boot lid. I did some rough work on the front valance, but I'm going to be a bit more inclined to use more body filler on this since I'm not as concerned cosmetically with the repair since it'll be hard to see. My goal there was more to get it prepped for it's first coat of epoxy.
The day was drawing to a close so I hit all of the panels with a quick shot of Wax & Grease Remover just to get the bulk of the nastiness off, though I'd definitely hit it again before paint.
All in all, I was pretty happy with the end results of the visit. We'll see when I get to working the body filler, I guess. My threshold on that will be about three tries with body filler application. If I cannot get it smooth by the third application of filler (sanding each down from 40 through 220), then I'll go back to hammer and dolly work. Of course, that will mean another two coats of epoxy because I'm sure I'll be exposing bare metal again as I work the dents, like when I started this process. But, as I've said, I'd rather do it right at this point then intentionally cut corners.
With the hammer and dolly work all done, the whole goal of the next visit (combined in the same video) was to get two coats of epoxy on the panels. I got the "paint booth" final setup and cleaning done and got the panels sprayed down with two rounds of Wax & Grease Remover. After letting that dry completely, I used a tack-cloth to get any loose dust off immediately prior to paint. I will say that when I get to the point of base coat / clear coat, I will pay much more attention to this step so that I don't paint over anything inadvertently. In this step, with just epoxy going down and knowing that I would be aggressively sanding it still, I'm not as concerned for nibs (or bugs) stuck in the paint.
In the video I go into properly mixing the paint and my paint gun set up in the booth, so if you're interested in that and haven't watched the video, you can see my paint mixing comments here and my gun set up here. I also talk about my plan for the panel work stages from bare metal to final block sanding, though I reserve the right to change this approach a bit - we'll see.
Otherwise, it was two coats of epoxy. I made a pretty good mistake in one corner of the boot lid (which I point out in the video a few times) but otherwise I was happy. I haven't been back to the garage since, so I haven't had a really close look at the panels, but they looked good while still a bit wet, so hopefully they stayed that way.
|Boot lid. You can see my mistake in the light on the left upper corner.|
|Passenger's door. Really happy with this one.|
I ran out of paint right at the end of the second coat on the final panel (the front valance). Since I'll still be working the front valance more aggressively than the other two, I fully expect it'll need two more full coats, so I wasn't too concerned about this. Because of the way I had hung it from the ceiling, it kept spinning on me with the spray of the gun, adding a challenge. I'll obviously need to come up with a better solution next time.
|Front valance. Not a great job, but it's covered.|
Otherwise, that was it. Next visit, I'll be getting some filler on those panels!