78 VW Rabbit 2 door 1.5L EH Panama Braun
82 VW Rabbit Pickup 1.6D Diesel 4 speed
81 VW Rabbit 4 door 1.7L EN 4 speed transmission GP 020 RIP
END *FS* 1991 EA Cabriolet Junkyard part out END
Congrats to taking on a project of this magnitude.I too have come 360 degree's. I have many of the higher end cars of cost and speed and prestige in class in my lifetime.But find myself drawn back to my real 1st passion of cars.A MK1 GTI.
I happen to be lucky in finding a 98% rust free speciment.As I am very poor with bodywork.But a excellent mechanic on these A1 chassis.
After buying my project,aquiring parts still,and reading your build have given me more incentive to try to finish what I started..I will be yours
My thread http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...Stage-II-Turbo
I am now 9 months into this project with a massive amount of grinding, welding, sanding, painting, wrenching, scraping, etc. over that period and my hands have really taken a beating. Something you don't really think about when starting in on a project like this. Anyway, I started waking up in the morning about 2 months ago with mildly sore, stiff fingers, and it progressed to the point where they were sore and stiff all day. I read up on the subject and realized that I am getting joint and tendon inflammation from all of the abuse and intensity so I have started to ice my hands and take 200mg Celebrex which is starting to help. But ultimately I need to slow down the pace and give my hands a break. I will go to a hand specialist Sept 11th and will find out more about how to manage my situation as well as determine if I am doing any significant long term damage to my pretty hands ... oh well. Mr GTI seems worth it ...
I have managed to get 2 coats of epoxy primer on the front end with final body filler/smoothing applied/sanded between coats. This is a huge milestone for me as I can now clearly see the car coming together. It is rewarding to see how well the engine bay smoothing turned out too ...
And now the first coat of epoxy primer has been applied to the interior sheet metal with body filler on the welded seems coming next
The interior sheet metal areas were treated to some body filler on the welded seems and then it was shot with some reduced grey color epoxy primer acting as a sealer and then some base and clear coats to complete the interior
After completing the base/clear painting of the interior and letting it dry for 24 hours I inspected my 'first' paint job with my Eastwood Concurs HVLP spray gun and found that there were more than a few areas where the paint was excessively orange peel and/or dry from being applied with too little atomization. I didn't have this problem with the primers and base coats but the clear was another matter.
After googling around I found out that the Eastwood website brags about the Concurs gun only requiring 4cfm@29psi but it only consumes that little air when the air flow rate is not at max open where most painters use their guns - I estimate that it requires closer to 8cfm which is still on the low end for HVLP guns but requires a carefully tuned air supply system if you are going to try (like me) to get away with a 120V 1.6hp compressor (the Dewalt 30 gallon unit). The good news about my compressor is that it runs at 210psi. The bad news is that I needed to run without my air filter and had to reduce my 3/8" air line length from 100' to 25' (actually about 35' with the flex line on the end and the desiccant snake added close to the gun) and had to turn up the line pressure to around 100psi at the compressor to get 24psi at the gun when fully 'open' - but it worked and as long as I don't spray more than a 30-40% duty cycle my compressor keeps up. I don't plan on painting 'complete' cars so this will work for me - one panel at a time.
I took 400 grit sandpaper, and then 600 grit sandpaper and dry sanded the clear, really going at it on the areas that were really rough. I cut thru the base in a few areas which was unavoidable, but quickly resprayed those prior to laying down another wet clear coat. What a difference the additional air pressure/volume made: both the base and the clear atomized way finer and laid down really even and flat. The only problem for me was a considerable increase in over spray. This isn't an issue on external panels but when working inside the car it was messy for me: all over my mask and clothes, etc.
So I now have more confidence to tackle the rest of the car. I'll do the underside next, then the engine bay area, and then will start on the critical exterior body panels. And I will use 2K high build primer and will block sand before laying down the sealing coat and will take my time. I am really happy that I can sand the clear coats (yes, I will wet sand the critical panels, not dry sand) and now know that I can get the final paint job 100% perfect by working up from 600, to 1000, 1500, etc. and then buffing out the clear coats).
Last edited by Derek Spratt; 09-16-2013 at 10:36 PM.
Since the weekend I have done some touch-up painting in the interior (a bit of experimenting for the more critical exterior panels later on, trying to get everything perfect) and then got the front inner fenders protected with the rubberized undercoating today. I have already re-epoxied and base color painted the rear wheel wells after they were undercoated and I am happy to say that the rubberized undercoating from Eastwood covered nicely by the epoxy which made me happy
New photo at: http://derekspratt.com/HTML/Automoti...ork_Paint.html
With the interior done I carefully masked off the whole car, including all interior to exterior holes and got ready to start the bodywork on the exterior panels, starting with the lower sills which were pretty badly abused by the prior owners, so I had to start by using a block of wood and a hammer to straighten out the underside area running beside my 1.5x1" subframe, and then block sanding and filling until everything was straight [still a work in progress]
New photos here: http://derekspratt.com/HTML/Automoti...ork_Paint.html
New Video here: http://derekspratt.com/HTML/Automoti..._2_Videos.html
After a couple more passes with finishing putty and then a sealer coat of epoxy I tried my first application of 2K high build urethane primer on the driver side lower sill using a 1.4 spray tip (I did 3 coats with the 1.4 tip rather than the recommended 2 coats with a 1.7-2.0 tip as I didn't want to risk putting on too much paint in a single pass and getting a run). The paint went on dead smooth and dried quickly. I can see a few tiny areas where a bit of finishing putty will be required to fill voids and low spots but otherwise it will block sand to an ultra-smooth finish with little effort. This has been a 'test panel' for the rest of the outside bodywork and now I am confident that I will be able to get the whole car painted looking A1.
I haven't spoken much about the painting process so I'll describe my researched approach here: get to bare metal, then DA sand with 80 grit, clean with a water borne degreaser (containing methanol and toluene), then 2 coats of epoxy, then apply body filler and finishing putty as may be required, sanding progressively with 120-220-320 grit, then if there is a lot of bare metal showing thru again apply another coat of epoxy, then sand lightly with 320 grit, then high build primer with a guide coat, then block sand 320-600 grit (applying more finishing putty if there are any low spots that show through the sanded guided coat), then another coat of epoxy sealer (thinned 10-20%), then lightly sand 400-600 grit, then 2-4 base coats (wet sand 600 grit lightly if any junk gets into the base coats), then multiple clear coats, with 600-1000 grit wet sanding between the 2nd to 4th coats, then 1000, 1500, 2000 grit wet sanding of the final clear coat, then buffing out with a series of polishing compounds - October 1, 2013 ...
New photo here: http://derekspratt.com/HTML/Automoti...ork_Paint.html
Well, a month or so ago my hands were getting quite stiff and sore and I started to back off somewhat in terms of abusing them re. the car project - in effect, slowing down the pace and reducing the amount of time gripping tools, etc. But I continued never-the-less. After spending more time at the local hand therapy clinic and following their general rehab guidelines I was still waking up in the morning with fingers that would not allow me to button up my shirts. And after a quick trip back east this weekend I found that I was developing 'trigger fingers' where the fingers would get temporarily stuck in various positions, which is nasty stuff. Anyway, I went back to the clinic today and they basically said that I had damaged my tendons at the 'pulley' junctions and would need to pretty much take off the next 6 months or I risk permanent damage ...
So my strategy is to take the next week fully off, and then do very little work week 2 (a bit of finishing putty application and very light sanding) and then we'll see how fast and how far I can proceed without any stress on my hands from there. I know the risks and I realize that healing will take time (I have a double fusion of my spine so I know all about rehab) but I am thinking that the majority of the painting and remaining bodywork won't be punishing on my hands. We'll see.
Bummer, but it is reality for me.
Thanks for the update. As much as I'd like you to keep up the pace, i.e. for your sake and my ever growing interest in your project, taking some time off sounds like the right call.
Regarding your recent update, it took me until now to truly appreciate the added tubes, new jacking points and deletion of original 'jacking location' markers. The lower portion of the frame looks super clean...well done.
Slow and steady wins the race...and good luck with the hands.
Oh, I am ill to my stomach at the moment. I just found out that my passenger side front fender was crushed somehow in a number of places, badly damaging the fender and making it unrepairable. I had stored it indoors to avoid rust problems before painting and it was in a place that other boxes were moved to when our carpets were cleaned. Maybe some of the boxes fell over. Does anyone have access to a clean fender? Help!
This guy has both sides just across the border and down the road from you:
I've bought a few things from him, he's ok and not a flake.
Many thx guys! I hope to secure these fenders ...
BTW, I had a pretty good workup with my Dr and I will have a battery of tests done for my hands: MRI, Xrays, blood work, nerve conduction tests, etc. My Dr is taking this seriously as my hands continued to get worse, even when not doing any gripping with them over the past few weeks. But there is a ray of hope that this might be simple enough to solve: it was my 52nd birthday this weekend and my wife treated me to a massage and the lady really worked my upper back after I told her about my hands and they felt much better afterwards. I must be getting nerve impingement and maybe some other spinal/upper back related issues. Too much hunching over the car for long periods, day after day, without stretching out ... we'll see. It's a ray of hope.
Try some acupuncture, massages are great and try a chiropractor as well. I do construction and about ten years ago I pretty much lost any grip with my hands. Went to my chiropractor and he adjusted me and my elbows. The seconded he popped my elbows a shock went from my head to toes and I had all my strength back.