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My C4 Corvette Restoration Project

Show off your work! Anything from final results to full start-to-finish project journals.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:00 pm
First, I would like to thank everyone that takes the time to contribute to this site.
I've been lurking (and learning) here for a while, and figured I would start a post on my own project. I originally started sending parts off my project out to others, but reading this site has inspired me to attempt more of it myself.

Background is that I bought this car new (in 1988) and spent the last 20+ years modifying it to the point that I just don't drive it anymore. Guess I've gotten a little too old and it's just a little too "over the top" for me now. :oops:

This is how it looked.
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Crazy as it might sound, I've decided to remove all the body modifications and put it back stock, and repaint it.
Removing the fiberglass "body kit" left me with screw holes in the doors, front and rear bumpers, rear quarter panels, rockers panels, and two big cutouts in the hood.

How far I am along:
Repaired all the door holes with Lord Fusor 101EZ
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The rear bumper had many holes and was very distorted from the spoiler, so I replaced it with a new fiberglass bumper. I did all the fitting and prep work, but had a local shop prime it for me. I want to start doing the painting myself.
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I sent the urethane front bumper out to be stripped, holes filled and primed. I'm not to happy with the waves in the top surface, but I not sure how to deal with them yet?
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Rather than trying to repair the two large holes in the hood (from the scoops), I bought a pretty good used one, and am working on that part now.
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The used hood tips had been broken off, so I made rubber molds from my old hood and cast the tips back onto the used hood after grinding a chisel point to bond to. Not sure if this was the best way to repair them, but it looks to have come out OK.
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Now I'm finding a lot of deep chips and paint bubbles in the front of the used hood, and wondering if I can just deal with them, or strip the whole hood.
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That's where I am so far, so how am I doing, and how CRAZY am I for messing up a perfectly good Corvette.

:shocked:



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:56 pm
I think you are on the right track for several reasons. First of all, even though your original car looked incredibly clean, it also looked very dated. Very cool at the time, but now it looks (or looked!) like the automotive equevelent of a mohawk. Secondly, if you ever end up selling your car I am sure it would be worth much more in its stock form. Congrats on taking the plunge, and best of luck with your efforts. By the way, if you have any specific questions, I would recommend that you post them in the body and paint section as that seems to get the most action with the participants of the site.
Life is short. Play hard.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:12 pm
Thanks
I will post my questions in the other boards, but figured I could refer to this post when people ask for some background information :)

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:15 pm
SuperL98 wrote:I sent the urethane front bumper out to be stripped, holes filled and primed. I'm not to happy with the waves in the top surface, but I not sure how to deal with them yet?
Image


You might be able to bond a support on the underside to strengthen it. There's a lot of info in
the 'Fiberglass and Plastics' section that should be of help.

Cool Vette, in one of the best colors IMO...'Arrest Me Red'. :happy:
"If you can't move it, paint it." - U.S. Army



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:39 pm
my only concern is that if you can fill in holes and make tips for the fiberglass busted panels, you should of been able to prep and prime the parts yourself. its not easy so to speak but a good way to learn and technically easier than painting. plus what type of primer was used on the rear bumper and front bumper? need to know that as far as chemical reactions go to the paint etc. etc. etc.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:48 pm
NightTrain wrote:
SuperL98 wrote:I sent the urethane front bumper out to be stripped, holes filled and primed. I'm not to happy with the waves in the top surface, but I not sure how to deal with them yet?
Image


You might be able to bond a support on the underside to strengthen it. There's a lot of info in
the 'Fiberglass and Plastics' section that should be of help.

Cool Vette, in one of the best colors IMO...'Arrest Me Red'. :happy:

The front piece on my 88 is wavy too. guess they all do that with time. rear too. wanna see how you do the nose. :pcorn:
Looking good. Time to start practicing mask and primer. invest in a good primer gun and masking machine, :rockon:
Never argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:15 am
only product i use on any type of new or old urethane bumpers. Good time to practice your filling and leveling skills. Get a nice size long block and some guide coat and have fun. Will need to reprime. http://evercoat.com/productDetail.aspx?pID=8
Life is Short, Live your life and Do what You want to Do!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:08 am
I have a typical "car guy" background, when it comes to bodywork. I've welded in patch panels, replaced doors & panels, banged out dents, etc., but I've always just rattle can primed the repairs and taken the car to the painter. Years ago, I fit the Greenwood Body Kit to the Vette also, but then I had a body shop finish up and paint the pieces.

Unfortunately, I started this restoration the same way, figuring to do the bodywork and send the painting out, so I got off to a few false starts. :(
Reading this forum has inspired me to slow things down and take on the painting myself, try to do things right.
The car has just been sitting in the garage for the last few years anyway, and it's the first car I've had thats probably worth the effort.

Just bought an Iwata LPH400 to do the BC/CC, and I already had a 7hp 60 Gallon compressor in my shop. Had the idea to prime with the Iwata to get use to spraying with it, but its so darn pretty I just ordered a $40 crap gun from Summit (1.8 tip) to prime with.
I tossed out all my rattle cans :mrgreen:

A local body shop had sprayed the rear bumper with a 2K epoxy "that he was using that day". It wet sands easy and I intend to sand most of it off now, but it helped me to see how I did on the bodywork and fitting.

I initially bought a fiberglass front bumper also, but after two weeks of fussing I couldn't get it anywhere near fitting. Had another local guy sand/strip the old urethane bumper and fix the holes (from the body kit). He is the one that told me to use the Lord Fusor to fill the holes in the SMC. They just sprayed a thin coat of a 2k primer that I'm going to sand off also. Maybe I'll try that Poly-Flex filler and a long sanding board on the waves, but I think I should try to bond something on the backside first. I may also make another attempt at fitting the fiberglass one.

Thanks for the interest, the hardest part for me is slowing things down, and maybe I can do stuff once instead of three times :roll:

I also need to pick a paint line to start using.



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:01 am
like almost everyone here that has done this for a while is focus on one part at a time. either the front bumper or rear etc. get it how you want it. then move on. One step at a time. :allgood:
Life is Short, Live your life and Do what You want to Do!



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:00 am
You mention choosing a paint line, and you bring up a very good point. Like yourself, I am a hobbyist. I have done maybe 10 overall paint jobs in the last 30 years, and the last 3 of those were 1 base/clear and 2 single stage. I have always used the best name brand products (even at first when I really could not afford it). Many of the posts here speak to problems with the paint itself, and it always seems to be with the cheap products. Here is my advice, based on the last 3 overall paint jobs I have done-get the good stuff. Me personally, I have been using PPG products, and have had zero problems. My current daily driver is a PPG single stage black that I did almost 4 years ago, and it still looks new. When it is all said and done, cheap vs. good will save you maybe $300 on the total job. To me that is a small price to pay to ensure that the paint will continue to stick and look good for years to come. One final note-follow the instructions to the letter when it comes to mix ratios, dry time between coats, everything. Painting a car is all about patience, following directions to the letter, and making sure everything is as clean as possible before you paint. If you don't have patience on a particular day, walk away and come back when you do. Best of luck to you and your project!
Life is short. Play hard.
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