Project Ninety: Part Six

In the quest for the per­fect paint job, Ed and Steve dis­man­tle more of the Ninety, to the pre­cise re­quire­ments of the body shop

Land Rover Monthly - - Contents - ED EVANS

If you want a per­fect paint job, prep­ping a car to body shop re­quire­ments is es­sen­tial

It is al­ways worth talk­ing to peo­ple, es­pe­cially when they’re about to un­der­take a crit­i­cal job on a Land Rover, such as a com­plete respray. Steve Grant and I asked the body shop to tell us ex­actly how they’d like the ve­hi­cle pre­pared in or­der to do the best job. They wanted as much off the ve­hi­cle as pos­si­ble be­cause that saves time mask­ing and gives best ac­cess for paint­ing all the nooks and cran­nies. And they wanted all the new pan­els sup­plied sep­a­rately, off the ve­hi­cle, so that all panel edges can be prop­erly sprayed.

Apart from help­ing to achieve a com­plete and orig­i­nal-style respray, this prepa­ra­tion work is al­ways worth do­ing be­fore send­ing a Land Rover for respray, be­cause the work is fairly easy and it saves the sig­nif­i­cant cost of the bodyshop strip­ping and mask­ing the ve­hi­cle. Ei­ther way, re­paint­ing a Land Rover prop­erly can be an ex­pen­sive and time-con­sum­ing job, de­pend­ing on the con­di­tion of the ex­ist­ing body pan­els and the num­ber of pan­els that need to be re­newed. New and old pan­els will need to be rubbed down and primed and, un­less orig­i­nal pan­els are straight and cor­ro­sion-free (un­likely on a ve­hi­cle that needs a re­paint) new pan­els are easier to pre­pare and paint.

We’re putting a lot of new pan­els into the Ninety, due partly to cor­ro­sion and partly due to mi­nor bump dam­age. Luck­ily, all pan­els are avail­able, even for this 1989 model. The two side doors and the tail door are be­ing re­placed be­cause the orig­i­nals are cor­roded and the typ­i­cal white-spot cor­ro­sion is prac­ti­cally impossible to treat. The side doors have been ex­ten­sively filled at some time in the past in an at­tempt to re­pair se­ri­ous cor­ro­sion, which hasn’t worked. The same ap­plies to the left front lower wing, which is badly dented any­way, and to the sill pan­els. It’s cheaper to fit new pan­els than pay for a spe­cial­ist body­worker to re­pair them.

We’re also re­plac­ing the right hand lower front wing. It’s ba­si­cally good but has been re­placed some time in the past,

and the fit along the seam to the wing top panel is poor and the respray job isn’t up to scratch.

Al­though the bulk­head is still in al­most mint con­di­tion and the rear tub is dead straight with good paint, all of the paint has faded sig­nif­i­cantly over the years. So, rather than try to blend to the orig­i­nal pan­els with a colour match, it makes sense in this case to paint the whole ve­hi­cle and thus start with a clean ma­chine in the cor­rect colour with no fade or blend­ing.

I’ve ag­o­nised about the paint colour. There are a few tasty shades around on later Defender mod­els, such as Her­itage Green, and I’ve been tempted with a colour change of some sort while I have the op­por­tu­nity. But a colour change im­plies ex­tra work spray­ing in the en­gine com­part­ment and in­side the door frames so that the whole thing is the same shade. And how will th­ese cur­rently fash­ion­able colours look in ten years time? Be­sides, this is a clas­sic ve­hi­cle, so it should be in its orig­i­nal Shire Blue, which I like in any case – de­ci­sion made.

The paint shop wanted all new pan­els left off the ve­hi­cle so the flange edges of wings could be prop­erly coated, and the new doors could be eas­ily sprayed in­side, out­side and around the shut faces. This achieves a more com­plete and fac­to­ry­like paint job, so we aimed to sup­ply them a rolling chas­sis with body tub and bulk­head at­tached, plus a big pile of bits.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.