Carl's FFR Mk4 Roadster Build

Carlewms

The Rivet Man
Contributing Member
Member
With the cold temperatures and my cold/flu I have not been able to actually get out do any work on the body of consequence ... so I spent time getting acquainted with the spray gun I chose to paint the car ... here goes

I am reviewing the 3M ACCUSPRAY Paint Spray Gun System and the 3M Paint Preparation System (PPS) from a rookie painter point of view ... in other words a first-time user trying to paint his first car! After consultation with Jx2 (Jeff Miller & Kliener) and some research on line I purchased the following items:



Today I put the gun end of the system together and have the following observations so far:

1. The instructions that come with the system are pretty sparse but there is plenty of additional information on You Tube and 3Ms website;



2. This is a "plastic" system ... although a hard plastic one. The gun itself is a composite with a metal needle, valves, hose fitting and pressure regulator/gage. The instructions and online material clearly warn the user NOT to soak the parts in solvent or clean with a gun washer;

3. Parts of this system are ?disposable? ... meaning that each time you use an atomizing head and the soft inner cup of the PPS, you could throw them away and install new ones instead of cleaning them. 3M does provide instructions to clean the atomizing heads for reuse;

4. The system is advertised and demonstrated in videos to apply everything from undercoating and high build primers to clear coats. The system has 2.0, 1.8, 1.4, 1.3 and 1.2 mm atomizing heads but the basic system only includes the one each of the later 4 ... so order more of each you want;



5. Unlike other guns, this one comes with just one needle valve common for all atomizing heads. The pressure regulator is called a flow control valve in this 3M world; and,



6. The system requires a minimum of 20 psig at the gun with air and paint flowing (or 30 psig without the paint flowing) and 13 scfm.

Assembly:

1. Air Supply to Gun: After assembly of the pressure regulator, air filter and hose quick disconnect, that assembly is connected to the bottom of the gun. 3M warns to use two wrenches on the fittings to prevent damage to the gun;



2. Atomizing Head to Gun: Connecting the atomizing head 5 Nov 12, 2017 to the gun is pretty straight forward but is also a pretty tight fit ... because it?s plastic you have to be a little careful in making sure it?s positioned properly on the needle with the sleeve fitted to recess in the gun AND the trigger pulled to move the needle back BEFORE snapping the head in place; and,





3. 3M PPS Cup to Atomizing Head: With the assembled cup on a flat surface, turn the gun upside down to fit the atomizing head to the cup making sure it?s fully seated and twisted 1/4 turn to lock everything in place. Flip it right side up and put it on a stand.

 

Carlewms

The Rivet Man
Contributing Member
Member
As Jeff Miller suggested ... I went ahead and used spraying of the Slick Sand to get in some practice with the 3M ACCUSPRAY Paint Gun System.

I have to admit that I futzed around Saturday and the early part of Sunday getting ready ... not so much physically but mentally ... it was like I had "painter's block". Well I finally took the leap yesterday afternoon and here are the results.

As part of my futzing ...I spent a large part of Saturday evening watching videos on spraying Slick Sand and reading posts on its application on a fiberglass bodied car. Some of the additional insights I picked up:

1. Don’t reduce more than 10% and don’t do it until the last coat although there sure is a lot of views about thinning this sprayable filler;
2. Make sure the SS is thoroughly mixed ... the solids will settle in the bottom of the can;
3. Reducer with acetone or reducer but the later is better;
4. Filter the primer **before** adding hardener: don’t waste pot life time filtering;
5. Have everything ready to spray (meaning panel preparations, equipment, etc.) **before** adding hardener;
7. Remove the cup strainer; and,
8. Do not let the primer kick in the gun ... virtually impossible to clean after it does (most said no more than 30 minutes in the gun).

Painting Conditions

Temperature: 71 to 77 deg F
Humidity: 24%
Coats Applied: 3 at least
Thinning: Approximately 5% on final coat

Gun Settings
Fan Setting : 1 Turn
Flow Settings: 3 is the baseline
1st Coat - 4
2nd Coat - 3.5
3rd Coat - 3
Stage One Pressure: 35 psig
Stage Two Pressure: 20 psig
Gun Cup Filter: 200 micron filter removed





The panels were both cleaned off with compressed air and then wiped down with Eastwood’s Pre Paint Prep. For this “practice” I settled on bottom of the hood and the top of the trunk.

I also “settled” on a whole lot of orange peel mostly on the trunk top. So I need input on what I am doing wrong.

Trunk Lid After Final Application but Before Sanding



Trunk Lid After Partial Sanding with 180 Grit.



Here are some of the things I “think” I did wrong:

1. I didn’t always keep the vertical fan perpendicular to the surface;
2. I didn’t get close enough to the surface;
3. One the first pass I increased the flow from 3 to 4 turns ... maybe I was trying to put too much paint down; and,
4. I lost discipline layering more coats at the same time making kickoff of the covered layer harder.Some areas had little or no orange peel ... the rib line belowThis stuff also reveals flaws I missed with Rage Gold ... which is a good thing.

Pinholes



Bigger Holes (not the big round one below) After letting it cure for at least the minimum 2 hours i started blocking out some areas to seem how hard it was going to be to remove the orange peel.



Less Orange Peel ...



Any and all feedback ... even humorous feedback ... is of course completely welcomed. The learning curve is steep for me and I need all the help I can get!

Impressions from using the 3M ACCUSPRAY Spray Gun System in another post ...
 

Carlewms

The Rivet Man
Contributing Member
Member
Last night I put up some poster paper and practiced with the following settings:

Slick Sand: 8.4 oz.
Acetone: 1.2 oz. (about 15%)
Catalyst: 1/4 tube

Gun Settings
Fan Setting : 1/2 Turn
Flow Settings: 3 Turns
Stage One Pressure: 38psig
Stage Two Pressure: 24 psig
Gun Cup Filter: 200 micron filter removed

Fan: ~ 5-6 inches from 6 inches from the surface. I also slowed way down which did create one run ...



It was a whole different and positive outcome ...almost no OP on the practice so I jumped on the outside of my PS door to see if I could reproduce it on fiberglass.

I will check out the link ... and I really appreciate your detailed feedback.

Here are the photos ...





I don't know if i got too close or slowed down too much but in any case it left this run ...



With some 150 grit paper it cleaned up rather quickly ...



Today I sanded it to 150 grit and it was much quicker than the hours I spent fixing the OP on the trunk lid and hood.

Thanks again ... keep the feedback coming.

Carl
 

Carlewms

The Rivet Man
Contributing Member
Member
Here is a short video of the results through last evening ...

[video=youtube_share;uGPYn166CtM]

On the hood top I applied some guide coat to check for low spots ... and found some on the hood top. I did not use guide coat on the door but I found that there is enough difference between the sanded and un sanded SS to see the low spots. While the surface can seem to be perfectly smooth it is not necessarily flat ...

Here is one example of a low spot on the hood ...



Although a bit difficult to see these low spots continued down the side edges of the hood ...



On the door ... where I did not use guide coat ... the darker areas are the low spots.



On the inside of the trunk lid ... well I think I really did not get enough SS on the vertical sections of the ribs and the edges of the lid.



Only one pinhole so far ...



All has been sanded to 150 grit ... so here are my questions:

1. Since I know that i have low spots ... do I respray SS the low areas now and then resand through 150 grit to eliminate the low spots before moving forward with the 180 grit?

2. Do I have to have all the gelcoat, Rage or glazing putty covered with SS or can the 2K Urethane serve that purpose?

Thanks in advance for your help ...

Carl
 

Carlewms

The Rivet Man
Contributing Member
Member
Before proceeding further with application of SS to the doors some repairs had to be completed ...

Passenger Side Door: On my first attempt at mounting the door on the paint fixture, I dropped it on the floor. This caused a crack in the jamb about parallel with the top row of hinge studs.

Last week I completed the structural repair of the crack by first opening up the hole and beveling out the fiberglass surrounding the hole with 80 grit grinding wheel. Using vinyl ester resin 3 layers of mat was applied to the hole. Today I finished the repair with Rage Gold.







 

Carlewms

The Rivet Man
Contributing Member
Member
About two months ago ... or more ... after getting gaps at the back of the door completed I faired off the HSRF into the side of the door jamb. I don?t know if I made this repair before or after learning that HSRF will not adhere to gelcoat. In any case while cleaning up the HSRF it popped off the gelcoat (the compressed air lifted it off as well); I ended up removing a bunch of the gelcoat to get down to some solid substrate .





I also filled in some more pinholes/voids on other parts of the door as well ...





So the work tomorrow will be to finish up the Rage sanding and then shoot 3 coats of SS on the inside of the doors and the outside of the DS door. After inputs from various forum posts, I decided that I will spot spray SS on the inside of the trunk lid, hood top, PS door exterior. Monday will be a sanding day!

Thoughts/suggestions/warnings are always welcome.
 

Carlewms

The Rivet Man
Contributing Member
Member
Some lessons learned from this round of spraying Slick Sand:

1. Practice and check your spray pattern. Before applying it where it matters test somewhere it doesn't. I noticed the pattern looked wonky ... it turned out that when I put the new atomizing Head on I had the cap midway between the vertical and horizontal position;

2. Spray the hard to get to spots first. As DanEC pointed out spray the ribs and other edges first and then the remainder of the surface to make sure you get good coverage;



3. Make sure to have plenty of room to hold the gun properly over the surface. I had a few tiger stripes, some OP and a large ?blob? of paint on the hood and sone dusting on the trunk lid. This was caused by me being inconsistent in both distance, speed and angles of the gun to the surface. and distracted by the hose and my ass hitting the table behind me. Here is one result:



4. SS shows off a whole lot of previous body work sins ... especially after just one or two coats ... pinholes, gouges and dings;





5. Just as in the case of the Rage Gold knocking down my hood blob before it cured too much made it easier to sand later;

6 As suggested by others using an artist?s brush I applied a little of the SS from the last spraying to all the pinholes and voids ...



The shiny reflective spots are the ones where the pinholes were filled in ... next time I will be more careful so I can have less sanding;

7. Respirator Storage. When not in use I sealed up the respirator in a plastic food storage bag ... to keep the sanding dust off and to extend the life of the filter media (supposedly if continued exposure to the fumes will shorten the life of the media);

8. Cleaning Sandpaper. The life of the sandpaper can be extended by using compressed air to remove the dust and other stuff; and,

9. When in proper tune ... interaction between the spray and sandpaper "speak" to you. I found when I got the spray gun the right distance and speed along the surface ... the sound of the spray hitting the surface changed. The sound of the sandpaper when it has done its job changed; if you then hit an unsanded spot changed. Off course this could be that my respirator has failed.

Carl
 

Carlewms

The Rivet Man
Contributing Member
Member
Over the last few days I have spent most of the time creating dust from the SS applied to the two doors. I have already swept a pile of the stuff into the trash can.

After applying the last of three coats of Slick Sand to the doors ... it was time to get them sanded down to 180 grit. On the door exteriors, I used a guide coat when I sanded from 120 to 180 grit.

With more practice, applying the SS has gotten better ... near zero orange peel and or dry "dust" on these surfaces.

Here are a few photos of the progress on the doors ...

Passenger Side Door

On the painting fixture ..





I have found it easier to sand the doors by removing them to a table top.

After sanding to 180 grit. This door had a lot less Rage on it than the DS door; there was one area where the gelcoat was exposed after sanding but it is flat. My understanding is that, since it is flat, I can cover this area with 2K Urethane Primer before sealing and painting.



Driver Side Door. The DS door was a different story ... as expected. When I originally fitted it to the frame and body it required a lot more HSRF/Rage Gold to get matched up to the body.


On the painting fixture ...





After sanding to 180 grit.



This door has several spots that either went through to the Rage or Gelcoat.

My admiration for the folks that do this for a living is going up exponentially each day...

Carl
 

Carlewms

The Rivet Man
Contributing Member
Member
First ... why Ultra? I am running low on my second can of Rage Gold and had a can of Ultra so I decided to use it on the final skim coats before Slick Sand.

Second ... the interior of the trunk lid has been SS and sanded to 180 grit. It is flat but some gelcoat remains visible but I will cover that with the 2K Urethane Primer. I have something special planned for the interior of the lid so I don't need to go further with any SS.

The exterior of the trunk lid was another issue ... I spent about 3-4 hours getting the exterior ready for another round of SS.







Lessons Learned:

1. I need to practice spraying horizontal surfaces more before getting to base coat and clear;
2. Use a guide coat anywhere that an absolutely flat surface is required ... it is easy to use and reveals all the low spots;
3. The Rage Ultra produces a finer dust than Rage Gold ... almost like a talcum powder ... so I blew off the surfaces of the hood and cleaned the sand paper often; and,
4. There are very few flat surfaces, but lots of compound curves, on these cars ... so I use the largest blocks but sand with a light touch.

Next ... another 3 coats on the areas re engaged with Rage!
 

Carlewms

The Rivet Man
Contributing Member
Member
After finishing the hood, doors and trunk lid ... time to focus on the body. With my newly developed sensitivity to finding irregularities in the body after SS, I checked the parting lines on the body ... and I found some areas that needed some more attention.

This time I used Rage Ultra and the largest spreaders I had on hand to sort of skim coat the parting lines. The basic steps were:

1. Clean the area with Eastwood?s Pre Paint Prep and lint free blue shop paper towels;
2. Apply Rage Ultra (RU) with a large yellow spreader that I could shape around the curve of the fender and a large stainless steel spreader to get the smoothest results possible ... at least in some cases;
3. Before the RU fully set:
- Use the metal spreader to scrape off the excess around the edges and any high spots or ?droppings? on the gelcoat;
- 80 grit on blocks used to further smooth out the ridges; and,
4. After fully curing 80 grit was used to get to the final shape.



After all this sanding or shaping ... one of the things I found myself constantly having to check or realize is that what may look smooth visually can be deceiving.



To get the "truly" smooth transition you need to sand the RU to the point it blends evenly with the gelcoat as illustrated on the right side above.

I spent almost all my time over the last 2 days working the lines on the body ... tops of the fenders and the line in front of the hood opening, and those from the trunk edge going down the quarter panels just in front of the tail lights.

The front is ready for SS ...



Parting line across the body forward of the hood opening.



Lots of dust created ... DS Rear Fender



PS Rear Fender



Starting to look pretty "shapely" ...





With the Rage Ultra ... less than 5 pin holes to fix on the body so far.

I should be able to wrap up the RU shaping tomorrow and then get the body off ...

Although the RU loads up quickly on the sand paper ... you can blow it off with compressed air.


DS looking forward ...
 

Carlewms

The Rivet Man
Contributing Member
Member
Folks,

Thanks for the encouraging words ... it keeps me in the garage even when it’s full of dust and pieces of used sandpaper.

After a few more applications of Rage Ultra and the creation of more dust ... the fenders are ready for SlickSand. The ultimate test was “feeling up” the entire set of fenders and across the front of the car. I also used a profile gauge to compare the fenders at selected spots and they were comparable (remembering that the body is not perfectly symmetrical anyway).

Here are some photos sighting down the fenders on each side of the car. Unless you all see something I have missed I plan on getting the body on the buck before heading off for the holidays.

Passneger Side

Looking to the rear of the car





Looking to the front of the car



Driver Side

Looking to the rear of the car





Sorry about the shadows

Looking to the front of the car



My plan is to get the DS roll bar tack welded in the next few days so that I can remove the body and flip it over on its back to:

1. Apply some time of undercoating bed liner to the areas susceptible to rock damage;
2. Reinforce the narrow areas around the rear door jambs (basically put some mat and cloth on the back side of the area;
3. Glaze in all the lips of the wheel wells or fenders;
4. Mount 1/4"-20 studs to support the cables to the lights; and,
5. Fix a self induced cracks in the fiberglass.

Carl
 

Carlewms

The Rivet Man
Contributing Member
Member
Its been awhile since I have posted any build information ... and so these posts are from work I did before my extended stay in California ... due to septic shock/aspirated pneumonia.

I just knew I was due for an OCD attack ... so here are the results.

When the bed liner was applied a lip of about 1" was left at all edges of the body shell except the openings for the brake cooling, oil cooler and radiator. Additionally I had applied filler to certain areas to smooth out the rough fiberglass like the "ceiling" of the trunk and around the exhaust openings.

Now here is where the OCD set in ... I decided that these areas should look like aluminum. Here is the basic procedure I followed:

1. Sanding and grinding ... actually done before the filler and bed liner was applied;
2. Fill ... I ended up using a combination of fillers but the goal was not perfection; the aluminum on the originals was not perfect from what I can see in photos;
3. Brush on the primer ... The primer was brushed on to assist in creating a grain in the "aluminum";
4. Brush on the aluminum ... After the last coast was applied a stiff bristle brush was used to further the grain; and,
5. Trim the bed liner just over the edge of the aluminum to create the appearance that the bed liner was laid over the aluminum body.

This also served the purpose of completely sealing the inside of the shell.

The "grain" and patina ...





The overlapped bed liner ...



Here is the "ceiling" of the trunk area ...



If I had known that I was going to do the aluminum paint ... I could have painted it first then masked it off and then painted the bedliner.

The hardware for retaining the wiring for the lights at the four corners of the body installed.



My plan is to now mask everything off once it has dried for a couple of days and flip the body right side up for the application of Slick Sand.

The Olde Goat Went Crazy on this one ...
 

Carlewms

The Rivet Man
Contributing Member
Member
The updates are going to get out of order ...

After getting the inside of the shell completed I flipped the body over on the buck to finish the masking and start applying the Slick Sand to the exterior.

With the space limitations I decided to apply to the front part of the car (the door posts forward) and then do the rear section. All was fine until the second application ... I got interrupted during the preparation of the SS and forgot one key ingredient ... the catalyst.

Of course I did not realize this until I went back to the bench after applying about 13 oz of the stuff on the car ... mainly the front end, the lower parts of the body when where it curves under the body and a few other choice spots.

After some quick internet searches and consultation with Jeff Kliener ... there was only one solution available. Strip all the SS off the areas where the non catalyzed material had been applied.

The challenge is getting this gooey soft stuff off the car. Even after about 5 hours the stuff was still soft.



It just clogs up any sandpaper and just rolls up ... so I broke out the paint scrappers, scotch pads and acetone. The final step was a DA sander with 80 grit sand paper (which I still went through a bunch of disks). After my wife and I worked for about 3 hours we got most of the bad stuff off the car. I still need to take care of a few spots under the radiator opening, the PS door jamb and lights. This was about midway through the process.



After scraping ....



The a different surface after sanding ...



I did manage to correctly mix and apply SS to the rear part of the car ... started guide coat sanding.



Carl
 

Eric Nelson

Contributing Member
Member
Its been awhile since I have posted any build information ... and so these posts are from work I did before my extended stay in California ... due to septic shock/aspirated pneumonia.

I just knew I was due for an OCD attack ... so here are the results.

When the bed liner was applied a lip of about 1" was left at all edges of the body shell except the openings for the brake cooling, oil cooler and radiator. Additionally I had applied filler to certain areas to smooth out the rough fiberglass like the "ceiling" of the trunk and around the exhaust openings.

Now here is where the OCD set in ... I decided that these areas should look like aluminum. Here is the basic procedure I followed:

1. Sanding and grinding ... actually done before the filler and bed liner was applied;
2. Fill ... I ended up using a combination of fillers but the goal was not perfection; the aluminum on the originals was not perfect from what I can see in photos;
3. Brush on the primer ... The primer was brushed on to assist in creating a grain in the "aluminum";
4. Brush on the aluminum ... After the last coast was applied a stiff bristle brush was used to further the grain; and,
5. Trim the bed liner just over the edge of the aluminum to create the appearance that the bed liner was laid over the aluminum body.

This also served the purpose of completely sealing the inside of the shell.

The "grain" and patina ...





The overlapped bed liner ...



Here is the "ceiling" of the trunk area ...



If I had known that I was going to do the aluminum paint ... I could have painted it first then masked it off and then painted the bedliner.

The hardware for retaining the wiring for the lights at the four corners of the body installed.



My plan is to now mask everything off once it has dried for a couple of days and flip the body right side up for the application of Slick Sand.

The Olde Goat Went Crazy on this one ...
You would have done better to just get an aluminum body.
 

Carlewms

The Rivet Man
Contributing Member
Member
Yes ... if I had a budget for an aluminum body ... frankly based on what I have read of the fiberglass, it is not subject to the dents, etc. that the aluminum bodies had or perhaps still have.

Carl
 

Carlewms

The Rivet Man
Contributing Member
Member
For the first time since the beginning of March I actually did some work on the Cobra ... after getting medical and Commander in Chief clearance to do so.

Since I am not quite ready to tackle the remaining body work and painting, I went back to the frame to work the punch list of items needed to be done before the body goes back on for the final time.

First up ... electrical

Since when I last had the car running in October 2016 I had made some modifications/improvements behind the dash which required requiring the bulkhead connector.

All the sensor wiring for the gauges, the controls for the electric heater control valve, wiper motor as well as starter and EFI related wiring.

Here are photos of the work in progress:

I first connected the pins on the dash side using my "cheat sheet" ... which was modified to make the assignments a little easier to understand.



The dash side and the "cheat sheet" was used to connect up the pins to the engine side connector



I finished up the in dash side of the bulkhead connector and started on the engine side. I found one error in my original engine side drawing which I had to correct but left the pins in the same spots.

I am taking the engine side slowly to make sure I have the correct pin connections ...

Other than testing ... I have finished the bulkhead connector with the new wiring. Here is the new diagram:

Here are two views of the installation:

Engine Side. A cover will be installed over the connection and attached to the firewall via the three 1/4”x20 screws through the three rivnuts shown surrounding the connector.Basically all the unbraided wires will not be visible after the cover is installed.



The connector inside the dash ... the temporary wire wraps will be removed and cleaned up once the dash is removed (one last time I hope).



In hindsight I would have taken a different approach to getting the wiring through the bulkhead. In the early stages I was thinking that if I ever had to remove the engine I would have only one disconnect inside the compartment to remove. As the wiring through the bulkhead expanded to include other stuff that design goal was abandoned.

At least now I feel like I am starting to move forward ...
 
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