Thursday, April 26, 2018

New Post "In Work"

But since I've been posting a lot more lately I thought I'd do a quickie....

Spent the day waging Chemical Warfare on the back yard. Holy Moley did the weeds ever explode the last two weeks. We have concrete edging in the back yard along the fence and house, and between the edging and the lawn is an area filled with what I call "River Rock". The rock is quite possibly grown and harvested locally, and is most likely from the Cache Le Poudre river. With the rain and warm weather we've had, all the seeds that had blown in all year took root, and BOOM!

I mean I like a green yard, but I prefer it to be all GRASS!

So I loaded up two gallons of RoundUp 365 in the sprayer, and commenced firing.

Was able to give ALL of the rock area a good spraying, and then went after the rogues in the lawn. We have some YUGE bare spots, and the local chapter of "The Brotherhood of Weeds of Opportunity" gang tried to grab and hold a little turf.

I took out the Big Ones in a Decapitation Strike, and I'll continue mopping up tomorrow with an Air Strike, but this time loaded up with Agent Weed-and-Feed. This should knock out the remaining cells of The Gang, and give a good dose of support to our allies in the lawn who are valiantly trying stage a come back.

Not sure what this little bush is, but it brightens up the backyard, so we left it. Our neighbor has a big one in her front yard, and it's quite pretty. This poor little guy has been neglected, and is pretty sparse.

Oh, and I've spending one to several hours a night cleaning the paint on the Supra. I'm using Meguiar's "Professional Quik Detailer" spray and a very fine Scotch-Brite pad. The spray is what normally gets used with a clay bar to clean the finish, but the paint is so bad, aint no way, no how that a clay bar treatment will get the "stuff" off, so I dug out some of the very fine Scotch-Brite pads I have, mounted one to a flexible sanding block, and had at it.

The paint is coming out smooth, "flattened", and best of all, pretty clean. Some of it came back stunningly good, although it's not shiny yet, due to the myriad of "micro-scratches" in the paint which refract the light far better than they reflect it.

This is the left front fender flare. It's not dirty. It's been washed. All the discoloration is IN the paint; i.e. the paint is stained. It looks much worse in person due to the way the extremely dirty surface reflects light. Pretty "nonspecular" and FUGLY!

This is the right front fender flare after scrubbing. It was actually worse than the driver's side.

The stains are 95% removed. And while the top picture shows signs of a shine coming back, it looks much different in person. The surface is clean, and reflects light much better now that it's been "flattened" (i.e. leveled out), but it looks "soft" and not "shiny" because of the "Billions and Billions" of small scratches in the surface which scatter the light at many different angles.

At least it appears to be pretty much all-one-color now, a far cry from the dirty, splotchy, neglected car she was "As Delivered". The Bill of Lading said it best under the "Comments" section filled in by the driver: "Car extremely dirty 360".

Pretty much described her.

I have the hood, roof, hatch, and most of the right side done. When I'm satisfied the right side is acceptable, I'll open the door and clean the door jambs and lube the hinges.

And I'll continue around the car until all of the exterior surfaces have been scrubbed like this. Then it's on to doing some touch-up work, and treating the now clean paint to some restorative treatments which will buff out the micro-scratches while chemically cleaning the paint. Then a wax/sealer, and that's it for now.

As to the question of "What's playing tonight in the Engine Room", sorry, but it's closed for cleaning!

Kinda hard to see the amount of grime in there, but it's plenty. Most of it is dust blown in and washed in, and it wipes up pretty easily with just some Windex and shop towels, but some of the areas were exposed to oil vapors, and then the heater core blew, and then the power steering pressure hose started leaking, so some areas are covered with Mechanic's Favorite.....oily, greasy, muddy, glop.

And that stuff needs something like kerosene or mineral spirits to clean it off.

This area under the hood has both kinds of dirt. The stuff in front of the rubber seal that runs side-to-side behind the hood latch striker is pretty much "dirt", and cleaned up easily. The crud in the recessed areas to either side of the hood latch striker is a mixture, and will take some mild solvent to get off.

The underhood pad will be vacuumed in place, then removed to be refurbished. The black "scrim" type fabric will be peeled off, the fiberglass pad will be solvent cleaned, and then new scrim fabric will be glued back on. New OEM molded pads haven't been available for probably 15~20 years, and the replacement pads are $100, but they're not a molded pad, just flat pad material, cut to size, and punched in all the right places to install on your clean hood. It's pretty labor intensive to restore one of these, but as my buddy Marvin would say, "It just looks "nice" when it's done".

The complete underside of the hood will get cleaned when the pad is off. Great care will be taken to preserve the decals under the hood. Some repro decals are available, but not too often, and rarely in full sets. The printed-on-foil fusebox decal can be saved, cleaned, reglued, and reused.

The rest of the engine bay is a similar mix of the two kinds of dirt, with the greasy stuff being down lower and for the most part, out of sight.

The inner fender area is cleaning up nicely, and I'm planning on unbolting all those bits so I can clean them up, and get at some of the harder to reach areas.

And it sure is nice to have enough light to work by! The 7000 Lumen Husky LED worklight makes things jump out at you, and yet it's not a super-bright bluish color, but nice and warm so colors don't get distorted, and the contrast between differing surfaces is distinct.

And yes, the front bumper is on the task list to refinish. The paint is completely shot, down to the primer in places, and down to the yellow urethane in others. It's got a small ding on one corner, so I bought  one of the "Flexible Bumper Repair Kits", a kind of rubberized Bondo, and I'll see what special procedures need to be followed in priming and painting one of these that's been allowed to weather like this. There's no surface cracking or "checking" of the exposed urethane, and it wasn't this bad when I parked it last September.

And I haven't even started on the interior........yet!


  1. Forsythia. One of the first plants to bloom in the spring. A very welcome sight.


  2. I've never tried the clay bar thing, but what options are there before you go and get her painted? Maybe more of a rubbing compound?

    Mequiar's has a complete line of these, with different degrees of "cutting action". I used one with a middle range cut (5 of 10) on my Exploder a few weeks ago, and found it didn't change at all, so maybe my finish isn't as bad as I think.

    Next time I use a power polisher, though.

    1. Not too many options other than what I'm doing.

      The typical procedure is to do a "Cut and Buff" which means you use a coarse rubbing compound to "cut" the old paint and surface junk away, and then you "buff" it to a gloss with a polishing compound.

      I know there are sections of the car that will NOT survive the'd be through the paint and into the primer with the first pass!

      So I'm doing it by hand, very slowly, with a "minimum" abrasive, and lots of "cutting fluid", which is what the Quik Detailer is for.

      Considering the amount of labor I'd have to put into stripping the car down for a proper paint job, then paying for the bodywork and paint, then putting the car all back together, I'll most likely leave the proper paint job for the next owner.

      If you're going to use a power buffer, you should use some blue tape to mask off the edges of the body panels, fender 'peaks', and other edges.

      It's stunningly easy to burn through the paint on a raised edge or corner.

      You can ask me how I know, but my face would turn red, and I'd probably wander away in shame....

  3. All of the work is labor-intensive, but oh so worth it when done. TLC takes time, after all.

    1. Yep. I put some music on, get my stuff out, and do a kind of a Zen thing where I become "One With The Paint".

      And my shoulders and arms are screaming about the repeated several hour workouts they're getting!

  4. Always admire those who detail their rides. Just never had the ambition to do mine. At one point as a used car manager had a detail shop that could make a car look new. Cost $250-300 per car. Was severely criticized until the inventory age went from 190+ days to >70. Gross profit went up more than the detail cost.

    1. I only go to this level on my project cars. My daily driver (the Grand Cherokee) goes to a car wash a few times a year, and gets a pro detail job every couple of years.

      Oh, I totally understand what a good detailing can do to the selling price of a car!

      I've seen decent but very dirty "honest" cars in excellent mechanical condition, but needing cosmetic TLC sell at auction for $1500, and with a few hundred $$ worth of work, maybe a brake job and a set of new tires, go back to the same auction and sell for $4k or more. That example is a bit of a stretch, but I've seen it done numerous times by some of the more astute independent "dealers" in town.

    2. It is called "front line ready". I learned that value from some hard nosed pros who were without compassion and cheap pricks to boot. They knew where to spend money to generate the best return.

  5. It’s coming together... And keeping you out of trouble...LOL

    1. Actually, a lot of it is coming apart, but I get your drift!


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