Saturday, August 14, 2010

Starting somewhere

Well, I've saved up enough money to start buying supplies. I haven't got quote enough to get paint and clear too, but with etch and primer and supplies, I feel ready to get the party started. In reality I went on a shopping spree, and purchased a whole box of supplies, but for those of you following along at home, I'm going to list the products I bought when I actually use them. So for now, it's still no money spent on the car.

One of the big problems with the existing crappy paint on my car is that the shop that did it barely masked off the car at all. There is tons of rubber that has all been totally or partially painted gold. Much of the trim was painted on the car, and the edges all show the factory paint. So, I was pretty determined to pull off all the trim that I could. I started today just going out to the car to fiddle around and see if anything non-essential would come off, but still allow me to drive the car around.

One thing I really want off is the bumper strip along the side of the car. It is great for keeping the doors from getting dinged, but it looks pretty bad, and mine is pretty faded. I had to do some research on how to get it off. I think the later cars are a little different, but for pre-85 944's, you have to start by pulling the rubber out of the trim. You just have to use a knife to pry it up, and once you get a grip on it pull it all the way out.



I was bummed to find pop-rivets along the metal-holder-strip. I had to drill out the rivets, which took a while, and left me with 10 holes on each side of the car. They are about 2mm across. Once you have drilled out the rivet, the front part of the rivet will fall off the front, and the back part of the rivet can just be shoved back and will fall into the door cavity. (you can pull off the inside panel of the door and catch them if you need to.) Also note, the end caps of each strip are held on by this rivet and a bit of adhesive. Once the rivet is out, the end caps should slide right out of the strip.


Next up, I used a razor blade (It's actually a gasket scraper, which is a blade on a long arm. Great tool), to cut behind the strip to loosen up the adhesive a bit. I just shoved it in as far as it would go from both the top and the bottom along the whole length. (That's what she said.)



Then, you can either pry off the strip, which can deform the metal, and/or ruin the trim; or you can slide some really heavy fishing line behind the strip and slide it through the adhesive to sever the adhesive completely. I used Dacron fishing line I had sitting around which is 100 lb test or so. you could get away with something a lot weaker, but dental floss might be a tad too weak.


Once you've done this the strips should just pop right off. Here you can see how much adhesive remains, and the holes. You can also see the gravel guards that are peeling off in a serious way, and if you look really close, you can see how splotchy and faded and matte my crappy paint is. It has 0% gloss.



I'm pretty sure if I just bondo the holes left from the bumper strip delete, the bondo will pop out when I hit my first speed bump, so I'm going to have to find a better solution. I don't really have an extra $50-100 to have a welder take care of it, and I'm really trying to see how much of this job I can do myself.

A little bit of searching around on the internet led me to aluminumrepair.com, which is a commercial site for this stuff called HTS-2000. It is an alloy metal that can used to fill in holes the same way solder is used. You heat up the aluminum until it melts the rod, and the alloy flows into the hole. Then you sand it flat. They have some crazy videos on their site. One shows them fixing a screwdriver hole in an aluminum can in less than a minute, and then trying to pop out the weld and it is super-strong. I didn't want a pound of it, so I just bought 2 rods from e-bay for $1.25 each.

I used a razor blade to scrape off as much of the adhesive from the now-gone side bumper strips as I could. I also tried to scrape off the rubber from my side-panel gravel guards. Just behind each door on the 944 there is a large clear rubber pad that supposedly protects that area from rocks kicked up from the front tires. I'm pretty sure they fail universally. The previous owner had the paint sprayed right over them, and I think there must  have been some adverse reaction, because that paint peeled off, and the plastic was all cracked, letting dirt underneath them and turning them black. You can see in the title picture how bad they looked. Scraping them off wasn't too bad. I also pulled off the door guards, which are small triangular black plastic pads that are right in the middle of the door so that my door doesn't mess up other cars when the doors swing out. they just pull right off and are only held on with adhesive, which is a pain to scrape off.

Since I'm painting, I was a little aggressive scraping all the adhesive from these parts off. I just used a razor blade and cut through the factory paint down to primer, since I'm just going to strip it all. I feel bad for those doing these deletes and keeping their existing paint. I think there are a few posts on rennlist with advice on which types of solvent to use to get rid of the adhesive.

Spent today: 2 hours, $2.50
Spent total: 2 hours, $2.50

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