1993 Toyota MR2 project

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



Settled In
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:53 am

Country:
USA
PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:57 am
Hi all,

I'm painting my 1993 Toyota MR2. I've already had invaluable help in another thread, and I'm probably giving way more information than needed here, but I will have more questions, so wanted to give the full background. I've never painted a car. I've only recently used an HVLP gun for the first time, shooting the front bumper and rear spoiler with epoxy primer. I've been reading and listening and studying a lot, and I'm just about ready to paint. But first, here it is.

[url]
Image
[/url]

You might not see obvious problems with the paint there, but it's dull and the doors are riddled with dings. Also, plain white is boring to me. I've wanted to paint it since day one. I've always loved the lines of this little mid-engined boy racer, and want to bring this one back to life for real. Extended quarantine finally presented the opportunity.

My compressor is probably going to be an issue, so I already have credit card space reserved for a decent two-stage, 80 gallon model if so. What I have now is a 33 gallon 6.5 hp (heh heh) Craftsman. Yes, we all know they inflate their specs. However, it worked fine while spraying the epoxy, and this is a very small car. I *think* it will get the job done. But we'll see.

Painting in summer in North Carolina with an undersized compressor means water, so I built this:

Image


I added a larger dessicant filter and a particle filter after this pic was taken. I also have an inline dessicant filter at the gun. Seems to be working, as the water traps release moisture when opened, and when I sprayed epoxy, the bottommost dessicant beads of the first filter turned only a light violet, and the ones at the gun remained blue. So far, so good.

The front bumper was a nightmare to work on, for a few reasons. It is thermoplastic and VERY soft, and has been butchered beyond belief by previous owners over the years with fillers and rattle cans. I mean seriously - look at this. This is what it was like when I got it three years ago:

Image


Pretty obvious that someone burned into the plastic with the edge of a sander & then slapped on some filler to 'fix' it, without considering guide coat/block sanding. I spent the entire month of July working on this bumper. I am no master body man by any means, but I took my time, and after many rounds of skim filling and block sanding with guide coat, and then hitting it with two coats of epoxy, I have this:

Image


(curing in my basement, as I should mention I have no garage. I have a covered back patio where I'm doing all my bodywork and priming. I'll be building a 2x4/plastic sheeting positive pressure booth for my spraying. Or maybe going the wedding tent route. I will have questions about this soon!)

It's not perfect yet, but I'll be hitting it with high-build poly, and that, along with more block sanding, should take care of any remaining imperfections (that anybody might notice).

For my gun, I'm using an Eastwood LT100, which is specifically designed for modest SCFM output, since again, I don't know for sure what my compressor is putting out. I have a 2.0 needle/tip for primer and 1.3 for base/clear. It's no high-end gun for sure, but is a good fit for my current setup.

So, my painting plan: a tri-stage white with a ghost pearl. I have two different pearls I'm going to try on a test panel before making a decision. One is purple, and the other shifts between purple-blue-green. Both sound kind of obnoxious, but with a white base, they will be subtle. Like this:

Image


The main question I have right now is about how to physically handle the base/midcoat pearl/clear when painting day comes. I was surprised by how fast the 20 oz hopper emptied when spraying the epoxy. I had to pause mid-panel to mix and reload, which made me realize it probably makes sense to have a few cups mixed in advance. How do you guys handle this when doing a full respray? I am especially curious about the midcoat, since I need the pearl mix to be consistent. Should I mix an entire gallon in advance (I doubt I will need even close to a gallon, since I'm just going for a visual effect rather than 'coverage') and then portion it out into individual cups I can dump in on the fly? And should I finish with a drop coat to ensure uniform pearl coverage?

I'm probably going with Tamco base/midcoat/clear. Only question I have is about compatibility. The epoxy I sprayed and poly I will be spraying are both Eastwood, as I have a source there and got a few things for cost (not a well I can dip into forever tho). Is it safe to mix brands like this? I would never mix different brands of base/clear, but is it okay to use different brands of poly primer and topcoats?

Or since Eastwood is already on the car, should I use their base/mid/clear too? I'd prefer to use Tamco as it seems well regarded here. But then this is a 25-year-old Toyota that I bought for two grand, and it's driven daily. It's never going to be a valuable garage queen.

I am expecting to make mistakes (I made one while spraying the epoxy - I let my air hose touch a panel on a different table), I'm not expecting this to be perfect, but I'm willing to put in the hours wet sanding and buffing as needed to get a good final product. Any and all help here is greatly appreciated, and maybe another newbie can learn from my mistakes and experiences. Thanks! Justin in Raleigh.

User avatar

Settled In
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 2:47 pm

Country:
USA
PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:17 pm
Hey Justin - Nice start on your project. Where in Raleigh are you ? I'm in Pittsboro.

I'll let more experienced members answer your questions. Just thought I'd mention that my son is painting his Corvette and bought a "portable garage" from harbor freight. Looks like a pretty god deal.
https://www.harborfreight.com/10-ft-x-1 ... Shop+Press



Settled In
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:53 am

Country:
USA
PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:54 pm
Hey Pete, thanks for the reply. I've thought about that Harbor Freight portable garage too. It's more weather-resistant in the (not too unlikely) event that we get surprise rain or my painting stretches into a second day. I'd be interested to see any pics from your son's project. I worried there might not be quite enough interior space.

I live in the Crabtree Valley area, been here since 2013.



Fully Engaged
Posts: 203
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:36 am

Country:
USA
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:25 am
Nice color! Hopefully I can answer your questions satisfactorily. Mixing the pearls into the mid-coat: I do mine one spray gun full at a time. I have small 1/8 teaspoon ceramic spoons that I use. By the time I'm ready to spray, I already have the right formula of how much pearl to put into a given amount of clear, and how many coats to get the effect I want. So I mix each gunfull of midcoat as I spray. You won't need nearly a gallons of midcoat to do your car, with say, 3 coats of pearl. If you need more coats than that, I would work out mixing more pearl with the clear. Midcoat clear is not meant for lots of film build up.
Compatibility is not an issue with primer to paint. Just be sure your primer is cured, and sanded. As for worrying about your gun's capacity, using a 2.0 tip pus a lot more material on than a 1.3. So your paint consumption will be much less. Be sure your gun pattern and fluid mix is set correctly (you can find instructions on this forum). Base formulas dry pretty quickly, so don't worry about mixing in advance. Won't make a difference if you just go and refill your gun, or mix and fill.

User avatar

Board Moderator
Posts: 5445
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 7:00 pm
Location: central Ohio
Country:
USA
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:08 am
^^^^^^^^^^^^That is good advice. The kind of effect you are doing is basically what I just did on my Dodge Charger truck project. Mine was a bi-flop that went over black. One thing I will comment on that you may not be aware of.....lighting....I constantly moved portable LED flood lighting around to check my pearl application. At one point I thought I was done with pearl, un-masked, rolled out into the sun and NO.... it just did not match my sample sprayouts. Rolled it back in for another final session. Honestly I was not off that much but a little off with these pearls makes a big difference. Make sure that you are doing some sprayout samples both on flat and curved surfaces.
Metal, wood, fiberglass, we work it all... www.furniturephysicians.com We can restore the irreplaceable!



Settled In
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:53 am

Country:
USA
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:39 pm
Great advice gents, thank you! Project has been stalled because of an electrical gremlin in the car (turns out a previous owner had hacked up the wiring in order to use the more readily available 1991-92 alternator). I'm now in the home stretch of bodywork. Amazing what you find when you start taking panels off the car. Lots more small imperfections than I had realized. Almost done sanding everything down with 400 and will shoot the high-build poly primer as soon as we get past the unseasonal chilly/wet spell we're in in North Carolina.

What do people use for sanding a convex 90 degree curve? The rear end has several of these on the bumper and spoiler, and all of them have had gouges and angles sanded into them by people haphazardly using DAs. Is there a material I could heat and press into place to replicate the exact dimensions of the curve, and then use as a sanding board?

User avatar

Settled In
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 2:47 pm

Country:
USA
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:12 pm
There are many options for sanding curved surfaces.
I like this set:
https://www.amazon.com/Style-Line-STY07 ... 7004&psc=1

User avatar

Board Moderator
Posts: 5445
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 7:00 pm
Location: central Ohio
Country:
USA
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:18 pm
In wood restoration we run into this a lot with fancy profiles in hundreds of board feet of pre 1900's trim. What we do is mix up a batch of our favorite bondo type filler, slap it into a ziploc, and hold it over the area of the profile. Takes a few minutes to harden enough....pull shape out of bag and use peel and stick style paper....works pretty well for a lot of profiles. I had a large truck that had a fiberglass tilt nose. A forklift had run through a section and I was missing a basketball sized hunk. I had no problem laying the piece back up but knew when it came down to that final shape it was going to be a bear. Did the trick with bondo in the bag and go the round profile patter off the other side....no problems...
Metal, wood, fiberglass, we work it all... www.furniturephysicians.com We can restore the irreplaceable!



Settled In
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:53 am

Country:
USA
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:15 pm
DarrelK wrote:In wood restoration we run into this a lot with fancy profiles in hundreds of board feet of pre 1900's trim. What we do is mix up a batch of our favorite bondo type filler, slap it into a ziploc, and hold it over the area of the profile. Takes a few minutes to harden enough....pull shape out of bag and use peel and stick style paper....works pretty well for a lot of profiles. I had a large truck that had a fiberglass tilt nose. A forklift had run through a section and I was missing a basketball sized hunk. I had no problem laying the piece back up but knew when it came down to that final shape it was going to be a bear. Did the trick with bondo in the bag and go the round profile patter off the other side....no problems...


That is an incredible idea! Going to try it tomorrow. And thanks also Pete for your suggestion - those blocks look like they'd be great for the MR2's swoopy fenders.

User avatar

Settled In
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 2:47 pm

Country:
USA
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 6:56 am
FWIW - Here's another idea:
https://www.classiccarrestorationclub.c ... ks-016543/

Return to Completed & In Progress Member Projects

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests