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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Feel free to skip to "Questions" if you don't want to read the whole thing.

Background:
After a hit-and-run July 3 2003 I decided to go JDM for the repairs. I've done everything out of pocket because I don't want to risk raising my insurance rates (yes, even for a hit-and-run claim). I used what I had in savings and some help from "the folks" to get the parts. The car sat for a couple months while I saved for the labor to get the frame fixed and the rad support welded on. I finally got the car driveable again September 2003. Now, over Spring Break my future father-in-law is going to help me paint it.



Condition: I got the parts used from PasswordJDM.com. They are definitely used. The hood and fenders have many many dents and scratches. The bumper and lip have some scratches that may need some type of plastic filler, it's iffy. I also have an ITR wing, stock side skirts, extra 4dr rear handles, scratches on rear bumper, and emblem holes in the trunk that I want to fix/paint. All parts can be removed to repair/paint, so no masking will be required.



Parts: This is a link to a breakdown of all of the parts and what I *think* they will require.

My experience: Not much. The past couple of months I've been rounding up little projects to practice. I've painted a computer, model car, my door trim, strut bar, brake calipers, grille of my bumper, etc., etc. I did all of that with spray paint, but my results have been pretty good. I also have experience wet-sanding a car way back in high school.

My father-in-law's experience: He is a self-employed farmer (of sorts). He runs a fleet of semi-truck sized forklift sorta farm equipment things called "squeezes". Basically they are forklifts on the back of semi cabs. He rebuilds/maintains/paints them himself. He has all necessary tools (hvlp guns and etc.) I'm just not sure if he's ever done small automotive projects.

Location: He lives in Oregon. I live in Colorado. This presents a couple of problems. First, I need to have all my ducks in a row before I make the (24 hr.) trip out there, ie. I need to have all my supplies lined up. Secondly and most importantly, the paint isn't going to have more than 3 or 4 days to cure before the drive back to Colorado. You can see my concern.

Questions: Being a novice, and wanting to be overly prepared to do a good job leaves me with a few questions that I hope some of you professionals will be able to help me with...

-Is it necessary for me to repaint the whole trunk lid and rear bumper to fix some scratches/emblem holes?
-I thought about covering the front in trash bags for the drive home. But then I read that curing under the bags/car cover/wax could cause the paint to bubble. Any thoughts on this? Other options I have to avoid rock chips?
-Do I need a paint softener or special primer for the ABS parts? Product suggestions?
-I'm planning on taking the JDM parts down to the metal/plastic before primering. Is this a good idea?
-Plastic filler? Thoughts or product suggestions?
-I'm guessing Bondo is the correct approach to fixing dents. Should I be looking in another direction?
-Are there other preparatory steps/chemicals that I haven't mentioned (especially for the plastic parts)?
-How much primer, paint, and clear coat am I going to need? Are there online sources for these supplies?


Thanks to all of you who took the time to read this whole thing. And an extra special thanks in advance to any of you who can offer me some help. Your comments will be greatly valued.

-Nate
 

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This is my third attempt at trying to answer your question, and my response is in no way a flame but your question is very difficult to answer.

Basically your saying you have no true "experience" with bodywork and painting, yet you want someone here at TI to give you that experience in form of a quick read over the internet which is not really possible.

If you absolutly can't afford a shop, be prepared to buy a lot of tools and very expensive materials to do the job right, which may in the end cost as much as the professional paint job would cost.

There are books and videos usually available at local autoparts stores to guide you through the process better than trusting something you read on the internet. The paint expert at your local autoparts store would also be able to help you on what products you need to get the job done.

The long distance part of your plan worries me, should something go wrong you are a long way from home.

Good luck on your project.
 

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Considering the situation, and questions -- I would either save and get it professionally done, or find some other means of transportation till your car is done. (You have to account for goof-ups that could detain you from bringing it home on schedule anyhow)

*To help answer the trunk lid question. Depends on alot of things but I would for a beginner's sake paint it all for a more uniform look. And that is only if you are pretty sure you can match it to the rest of the car. (Wouldnt want a 5 shades of color car lol)

*Id ask a professional about the bags. I dont know about that.

*Softener I would ask about too, as I do not know.

*JDMs. That would lay on how good you want it to come out, and how much work you want to have to do.

*Ive not used a filler for plastic, only vinyl. Perhaps someone else can help you there.

*Bondo is good IMO, as long as you arent filling something with space behind it such as a hole. In which case it would be stronger to weld.

*Prep steps? Id say make sure everything is very clean and very dry before you start paiting. For individual parts I would just check the packaging for preps. Meditate for a bit because youre gonna be there a while (You dont want to have to do it twice lol)

*Primer, paint, clear? lol, that depends again on how good you want it to look, and how deep your pockets are. Appearance over Paycheck. You have to also as I mentioned before consider if you mess up on something and have to do it over youd obviously need more. And yes there are tons of online sources for everything in the world pretty much.


Personally, Id save and get it all redone. Wouldnt have to be some exotic break-your-bankbook color but keep us posted on how it turned out. Best of luck.

- Josh
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the responses, guys. A couple things; my father-in-law has all necessary tools and experience for painting metal. I know he'll be able to take care of that end (or guide me) very well. But he's one of those "only buy American" kind of guys, so I'm not sure he's ever worked with ABS. Also, I'm looking for a 7 out of 10 kind of job on this. I know it won't be perfect with an amateur doing it.

I'm not really looking for a "how-to". I think I have the basics; sand, wash, repair, sand, wash, primer, wet sand, paint, clear coat. And my father-in-law should have all of the details I need. I guess I'm asking for any overlooked tricks or products that may not be obvious.

Josh, I have no clue what amount of paint it takes. What is ballpark? Like 5 gallons?
 

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I used to work for a body shop and some people have the skills and others don't. There is no way of telling unless you try to fix a car.

I say you go buy a junker and practice on it first. After you know your abilites then start to fix your integra. You could even sell the old junker after you have made it look decent.

flip.
 

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Are you going to paint the entire car over or just do it in sections?

For the whole car 5 gallons is overkill IMO.
If you are doing the entire car? You would need Id say roughly 2-3 quarts of base(gives you about a gallon of paint once its setup/mixed right to be sprayed)
and 2 quarts of clear which would put you at about 3 quarts of spray. Make sure you have good lighting or you could really be uneven. Its always a good idea to buy more than you need. So you can, after checking costs on the paint you need, buy however much more paint youre going to need/want.

As for the primer, its always good to have primer around. And the amount youd want would be determined on how much body work youll be doing which would change how much primer coverage you would need. If youre going to prime the whole car, it would depend on number of coats you would want. Primer is pretty cheap tho.

- Josh
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm not doing the whole car. Basically, the front clip, wing, skirts, and touch up trunk/rear bumper. Other than typical tiny door dings/scratches the rest of the body is pristine. Sorry if those pics aren't showing up. Imagestation is being sh*tty. But the car is fine from the wipers back. I could even live with the scratches in the rear bumper.

The hood and fenders need a lot of dents fixed, though. So I may need a good bit of extra primer.

Going off what you said for the whole car, 2 quarts each of base and clear and maybe 3 quarts of primer? Would that be enough to have plenty of extra? I'm assuming shelf-life is pretty good if I have a lot left over.

Where would be a good online source to start pricing stuff?
 

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be careful about using bondo because it absorbs water over time and if it is not sealed properly then it will swell up and look horrible. Most people say don't use bondo thick (more than the width of a dime) so you will have to find anotehr filler and use bondo on top to get the desired result. Like somebody else already said practice on a junker first. Take off all of the peices you can to paint as it will make it easier when they are off the car as long as you can see well enough to make sure the color will match. It will take a long time and a lot of hard work to get the car prepped for the job. Don't go cheap on prep work either because you could spend tons of money on the nicest paint out there and if you havn't prepped right then it will be a waste because its one of the most important things. Buying paint should run around $300+/- depending on what kind of paint you buy and where from. Be sure to document the process with pictures and keep us all updated on your progress.

Probably one very useful thing you could do is go to a body shop or auto painting shop and just watch how they do things and their technique with the hvlp gun. Also look around the internet for other sites because I have seen many DIY paint jobs that have been documented.

The trip back home I would be very careful or maybe put a bra on the front. Most paint cures within 24 hours nowdays but you still need to follow the basic rules after getting your car painted : not washing or waxing for however long etc.
PS: Some good paint to look for is 3M or House of Colors.
 

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ReX-7 on Feb/20/04 said:
Sorry if those pics aren't showing up. Imagestation is being sh*tty.

Going off what you said for the whole car, 2 quarts each of base and clear and maybe 3 quarts of primer? Would that be enough to have plenty of extra? I'm assuming shelf-life is pretty good if I have a lot left over.

Where would be a good online source to start pricing stuff?
Na, Images are working (At least for me they are)

For minor work and touch ups, it would be plenty of paint. (Granted you dont drop it and spill paint all over lol j/p) But yeah that would be plenty.
Im no psychic on exact sq. footage youll be painting but you could probably get away with not even a quart, but rather buy it in pints. That would best be left with calling a shop and asking em how much paint they would need to use to paint [list parts].

Sealed properly you have a decent shelf life on it, just remember to mix it properly before you use it each time.

Prices? There are probably hundreds of places try a net search on "auto paints" and the like. (Or the name of your exact paint.) (That white could be a b**** to match up though..And go from there. From what you stated you are painting it shouldnt hurt your wallet too bad, you get what you pay for though (And the looks depend on how good a job you do on it). Keep the updates comin. Good luck again.

- Josh

p.s. stay ventillated/masked lol, wouldnt want you to not return from your trip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
built4speed on Feb/21/04 said:
p.s. stay ventillated/masked lol, wouldnt want you to not return from your trip.
Hehe, no worries there. My fiance informed me that her dad has a huge make-shift paint booth with a couple giant heater fans pushing the air. I'll still use a mask though.


I did a search for online paint sources and came up with paintscratch.com. Price is $115/quart for base and $40/quart for clear and primer. Does that sound about right?
 

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Don't underestimate the amount of time needed to do this. The actual spraying won't take very long at all; most of the work is in the preparation, and in the finishing (buffing). You'll be doing a LOT of sanding at first, and a lot of buffing and polishing at the end.

one quart of paint should be enough for the whole car, I believe. These cars just don't have that much paintable surface area. The hood is easily the largest part. BTW, I'd recommend removing the hood and hanging it vertically when painting it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks dwolsten, I've never done bodywork, but I prepped my entire S-10 Blazer for bondo and paint way back in high school. I remember how many nights I spent in the garage wet sanding that thing!

I do plan to remove all of the parts to paint. So that should make the spraying a lot easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here's an updated for you guys that are still keeping tabs...

The car is home. I haven't found any rock chips yet, but I haven't had time for a thorough cleaning either. All in all, everything turned out really well. I'm going to do a full writeup on my experiences when I am caught up on my homework. Until then, here is are some teaser pics from the drive back through the Columbia River Gorge...





Please disregard the wheels/tires. I'll have my 16's on in short order.
 

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Nice job man. Good conversion.
And that background in your pic is the sh*t lol.

Front plate slot is a eyesore though if you arent required to put one there I would find something to replace it.

Keep us updated bro.

- Josh
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I agree about the plate mounting. I have a fake Japanese license plate that I'll probably put back on.

I've had steel grey subzero's with ParadaII's for a while. But the low profile and low treadwear rating don't make for a good (2700 mile) road trip combination.
 

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FANbox on Mar/22/04 said:
Very nice job man. If you don't mind me asking, What PSI did you spray the body parts at and how many coats of base and clear did you put on? Very clean and great color match.
I also want this info!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I will have to check on the psi. I didn't set the gun myself. But I believe each paint system (PPG, Dupont, etc.) has it's own specific setting.

As for the coverage, everything was two coats. All of the parts had old light-colored paint, and the primer/sealer was white, too. That helped not needing additional coverage. I think there were a couple spots where a third coat of base would have been nice, but not necessary. There is a fine balance between deep, rich coverage and thin paint. Old-school painting mentality is to just keep recoating until you run out of paint. However, think paint actually chips and cracks easier than thin paint. So it's a good idea to spray as little as possible.

For those of you considering learning by yourself, I don't recommend it. If I had bought a compressor and done it myself I would have been in WAY WAY WAY over my head. The clearcoat is like a finely tuned Ferrari. Take it easy and it doesn't do it's job, but overdo it and your offroading before you know it. Very small margin of error.
 

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Nate I have to say it looks great, I saw when you first posted this and I thought you were crazy to try it yourself, all in all I think it came out great
Great job and post pics once you shine her all up and put them rims on

Congrats
Michele
 
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