Stag Res­cue: Part 20

Mike continues pre­par­ing the outer pan­els for colour coats, and also paints the Stag’s un­der­bon­net area.

Classics Monthly - - Contents - Words AND PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY Mike Taylo r

Mike continues pre­par­ing the outer pan­els for colour coats, and also paints the Stag’s un­der­bon­net area.

Just to recap, I am paint­ing the shell in an acrylic lac­quer, rather than more mod­ern two-pack paints – the ma­jor rea­son be­ing health and safety, as the acrylic lac­quer doesn’t con­tain the iso­cyanates that can re­sult in health prob­lems if not used with the cor­rect equip­ment. I also have prior ex­pe­ri­ence in paint­ing cars in acrylic lac­quer and, while it does not deliver the durable fin­ish of a two pack sys­tem, I have found that – with care and time taken in the fi­nal buff­ing stages – an ex­cel­lent fin­ish can still be achieved, which will not pre­ma­turely de­te­ri­o­rate.

Sand­ing care­fully

The shell had pre­vi­ously been primed and then given a sin­gle coat of spray putty, so my first task was to sand all pan­els with 240 grade paper, which was selected as it is al­lows fast re­moval of the high spots. Where ap­pro­pri­ate I used a pneu­matic ran­dom or­bital sander to speed up the process, but with all the curves and edges on the Stag, the ma­jor­ity of the sand­ing was per­formed by hand us­ing a va­ri­ety of sand­ing blocks of dif­fer­ent shapes and den­si­ties. Dry sand­ing was used us­ing ‘non-clog’ paper (ob­vi­ously named by some­one with a sense of hu­mour) that pro­duces dust, so it was im­por­tant to wear an ap­pro­pri­ate dust mask and use a vac­uum cleaner to re­move the dust from the work­shop. The colour vari­a­tion be­tween primer and spray putty is very use­ful for help­ing judge and re­veal high and low spots dur­ing the sand­ing oper­a­tion, while the sand­ing in­vari­ably ex­poses many pre­vi­ously un­de­tected mi­nor im­per­fec­tions that re­quire rec­ti­fi­ca­tion, of­ten with an ap­pli­ca­tion of blade putty. In some cases my over enthusiasm sanded through the putty and primer down to base metal, so

these and the sanded blade putty were spot primed in prepa­ra­tion for spray putty. Af­ter dry­ing overnight, the spray putty was sanded in a sim­i­lar method to the first coat – as fur­ther primer is to be ap­plied, it isn’t nec­es­sary to ob­tain a fine sanded fin­ish on the putty. The sanded sec­ond coat of putty re­sulted in a much im­proved over­all re­sult, al­though I was con­cerned with the pro­file of both rear wings where the swage line blends into the wheel arch. The de­ci­sion was made to ap­ply primer and then re­view, so two coats of grey primer were ap­plied, leav­ing time to flash off be­tween coats and then left to dry overnight, which did noth­ing to over­come my con­cern on the rear wing pro­file, so I de­cided to move on to fin­ish­ing the en­gine bay and come back to the rear wings later.

Bay of plenty

The en­gine bay primer was dry sanded with 320 grade paper, prior to fi­nal wet sand­ing with 400 grade that pro­duced a good sur­face for the first of the colour coats. Two colour coats were sprayed on, al­low­ing a few min­utes to flash off be­tween, then af­ter about forty-five min­utes an­other two coats were ap­plied and left to dry overnight. Get­ting good even cov­er­age in the en­gine bay was prob­lem­atic, in par­tic­u­lar the cor­ners be­hind the in­ner wheel arches, where the spray mist was blow­ing back and giv­ing an ap­pear­ance of over­spray to the ad­ja­cent sec­tions. The fol­low­ing morn­ing the paint was wet sanded with 800 grade paper to re­move the spray drift and an­other two colour coats ap­plied. I was

us­ing a com­bi­na­tion of two guns – my stan­dard HVLP and the small touch-up gun, then ex­per­i­ment­ing with pres­sures, fan width and paint flow rates. In the end I con­cluded that the best cov­er­age in the cor­ners was achieved with the HVLP set on very low air pres­sure, low paint feed and min­i­mal fan width, as this re­duced the vol­ume of spray blow­ing back out of the cor­ners. The gun then re­quired ad­just­ment to spray the larger un­der bon­net ar­eas. The prob­lem with the touch-up gun was that it is a high pres­sure unit and, even when set on the low­est pres­sure to ob­tain paint atom­i­sa­tion, it was pro­duc­ing more blow back than the HVLP. The re­sult, al­though rea­son­able, was far from per­fect and I spotted a small run on the rear bulk­head that re­quired rec­ti­fi­ca­tion, even though it would be hid­den by the in­su­la­tion pad. The paint was left for a few days to thor­oughly harden prior to rec­ti­fy­ing the paint run and re-coat­ing.

Rears re­shaped

In the mean­time, buddy Ross had called in for morn­ing tea in his Stag and I had a chance to ex­am­ine the rear wing pro­file on his car, which con­vinced me that I should un­der­take some re­shap­ing on both my rear wings. So it was out with the sand­ing blocks and 120 grade dry sand­ing paper for a slight change to the pro­file. The area in ques­tion is ad­ja­cent to where the Rim­mers re­pair panel is welded to the orig­i­nal wing and had been coated in a very thin skim of filler to hide the welded join. Af­ter some care­ful sand­ing that cut through the putty, primer and into the filler, I was much hap­pier with the end re­sult, so it was primed, coated with spray putty and sanded, be­fore two additional primer coats. Both rear wings were treated in sim­i­lar fash­ion.

I re­alised that it will be eas­ier to paint the front head­light panel prior to en­gine in­stal­la­tion, so the grill and light re­cesses were masked, be­fore us­ing 400 grade dry rub to sand the pan­els around the lights and the front valance. The area was then washed with grease and wax re­mover and dried prior to paint­ing. Six coats of paint were ap­plied; the first was sprayed rea­son­ably dry and al­lowed to flash off for ten or fif­teen min­utes prior to ap­ply­ing a full wet coat and leav­ing for an hour or so to dry, when two fur­ther wet coats were ap­plied, leav­ing time to flash off be­tween. Af­ter dry­ing overnight, the area was lightly wet sanded with 800 grade paper, washed, dried and in­spected, prior to ap­ply­ing the fi­nal two wet coats, with time to flash off be­tween. I painted past the seam of the front valance onto the lower sec­tion of the front wings, how­ever when paint­ing the front wings this area will be re­painted up to the front valance seam, which will pro­vide a good join­ing point.

A-posts com­plete

At the same time as paint­ing the front valance, the rear side of the A-posts where the door hinges fix were given their fi­nal coats of paint. The plan here is to com­plete the paint­ing on the in­ter­nals of the doors, then fin­ish paint prepa­ra­tion on the outer skins prior to re­fit­ting them, to en­sure the changes I made to the rear wing swage lines align with doors. The door hinges will be ad­justed and per­ma­nently bolted to the A-post, so that re­fit­ting doors af­ter the ex­ter­nal skins are fin­ished will be eas­ier, with less like­li­hood of dam­age.

Back to the en­gine bay next, where the paint run was re­moved by wet sand­ing with 400 grade wet and dry, be­fore wet sand­ing the com­plete bay with 800 grade paper. Af­ter wash­ing and dry­ing, the fi­nal two colour coats were ap­plied with the HVLP gun us­ing the ear­lier set­tings, re­sult­ing in much im­proved fin­ish that will be left to harden for a week, be­fore a buff prior to fit­ting the rear in­su­la­tion pad and en­gine.

Door dis­cov­ery

The primer on the outer skins on the two doors was de­greased and given two fur­ther primer coats, be­fore be­ing lightly sanded and coated with spray putty. When dry the putty was sanded – be­cause of the panel length, the long­board was used for sand­ing, as smaller blocks

Six coats of paint were ap­plied; the first was sprayed rea­son­ably dry and al­lowed to

flash off for ten or fif­teen min­utes

can de­velop rip­ples. I was shocked at the re­sult from this sand­ing, as it high­lighted some high and low ar­eas and I’d thought I’d al­ready pro­duced flat pan­els with ear­lier long­board sand­ing. A fur­ther coat of putty was ap­plied and sanded with the long­board, re­sult­ing in a much im­proved out­come, so two fur­ther primer coats were ap­plied over the sanded putty. The doors were then turned and the cen­tral area that had ear­lier been given three or four coats of colour was masked. The door edges were de­greased, sprayed with two coats of primer and lightly sanded, coated with spray putty, which was left to dry prior to sand­ing. I con­tem­plated on how to fin­ish these ar­eas, as most of the door bot­toms had been re­placed and the welds lin­ished, with no filler to hide the join, re­sult­ing in a slightly rip­pled fin­ish, but as this is not seen I de­cided to leave as is. I also won­dered whether I should fill the fac­tory pro­duced spot weld dim­ples that are vis­i­ble on the front and rear door edges. In the end I chose to con­tinue with the fac­tory method and al­low the dim­ples to stay. There­fore the primer on the door edges was dry sanded with 400 grade and six coats of colour ap­plied, giv­ing a light sand be­tween the third and fourth coats.

Doors go on

When all the paint was well and truly dry, the door hinges were loosely bolted to the A-posts and the first door was slid onto the hinges. The fid­dly hinge to door bolts were fit­ted – when work­ing on your own it is much eas­ier if the door rear edge is sup­ported on blocks, or in my case, an ad­justable height trol­ley. When the door po­si­tion ap­peared cor­rect, one bolt on each hinge sec­tion was nipped up and the door care­fully shut to check fit, then the long process of ad­just­ments be­gan. At this stage I was only in­ter­ested in get­ting the hinges cor­rectly po­si­tioned on the A-post, as this fit­ting will see them bolted into their per­ma­nent po­si­tion. It takes many mi­nor ad­just­ments to first get the height cor­rect and then the align­ment with the front wing. Once cor­rect, the door to hinge bolts can be

ad­justed to get the gaps front and rear right, as well as along the length of the sill. Once door fit is sat­is­fac­tory, the swage line along the car can be checked. The driver side was fine, but the pas­sen­ger side re­quired mi­nor mod­i­fi­ca­tions. A few min­utes with 120 grade sand­pa­per on a rub­bing block cor­rected the swage line. It only takes re­moval of a min­i­mal amount of paint to change the line, and I only sanded into the putty coat to get the cor­rect align­ment, but it will still re­quire an­other two coats of primer.

Col­lect­ing com­po­nents

The en­gine mount­ings re­quired clean­ing and paint­ing, but rather than com­plet­ing them on their own, a se­lec­tion of soon to be re­quired com­po­nents was col­lected and sent off to be sand blasted and primed. These

A few min­utes with 120 grade sand­pa­per on a rub­bing block cor­rected

the swage lines on the rear wings

in­cluded the two en­gine and gear­box mount­ings, front disc shields, rear brake back plates, front sus­pen­sion arms, rack mount­ings, rear sus­pen­sion brack­ets and ex­haust man­i­folds. The man­i­folds could not be primed due to their op­er­at­ing tem­per­a­tures, so I col­lected them within min­utes of be­ing blasted and im­me­di­ately sprayed them us­ing a spray can of high tem­per­a­ture man­i­fold paint. This paint needs to be sub­jected to a high tem­per­a­ture to fully cure, how­ever, so I ex­posed the man­i­folds to sev­eral days in the sun where they reached over 50 C, re­sult­ing in a rea­son­able cure for the paint. I did con­sider hav­ing the man­i­folds ce­ramic coated, but the process is quite ex­pen­sive and I have found that the paint lasts ex­tremely well, as long as it is ap­plied quickly af­ter clean­ing and be­fore any sur­face ox­i­di­s­a­tion oc­curs. The other blasted and primed com­po­nents were sprayed with two coats of black gloss epoxy enamel from a spray can and, as this paint takes time to fully cure, the items were left to dry for sev­eral days.

I had ear­lier un­earthed the four wa­ter trans­fer ports and had been reg­u­larly ap­ply­ing pen­e­trat­ing oil to the threads for the tem­per­a­ture sender and hose fit­ting over a pe­riod of at least four weeks. Both tem­per­a­ture senders were now eas­ily re­moved, prob­a­bly be­cause the sender body is brass. How­ever, the two steel hose fit­tings were not as sim­ple and re­quired ap­pli­ca­tion of heat to get things mov­ing. This re­sulted in slight thread dam­age on one port, but the other will be fine, es­pe­cially af­ter a tap is run down the thread. I am chang­ing some of the Stag in­stru­ments, namely fit­ting a new wa­ter tem­per­a­ture gauge

read­ing in de­grees and re­plac­ing the clock with a com­bined oil pres­sure and tem­per­a­ture gauge, both be­ing me­chan­i­cal. I have al­ready in­serted a boss in the sump for the oil tem­per­a­ture sender, but need to ma­chine the RH wa­ter trans­fer port to 3/ 8” BSP for the tem­per­a­ture gauge sender. Also, an­other lo­cal owner who fit­ted a sim­i­lar Scorcher dis­trib­u­tor had ad­vised that the ad­vance/re­tard di­aphragm in­ter­fered with the wa­ter hose con­nec­tion on the LH trans­fer port. I de­cided to drill and tap both sides of the RH trans­fer port out to 3/ 8” BSP, so that I had plenty of al­ter­na­tives for the hose tail and sender po­si­tion­ing when the en­gine is in place. The un­used ports can then be plugged or used for an air bleed. I bolted a face plate to the mill ta­ble and made use of this setup to clamp the RH wa­ter trans­fer port when drilling for the 3/ 8” BSP ports. Af­ter drilling, a tap re­placed the drill and the thread was started so that it was square with the hole. The trans­fer port was later clamped in a vice so the thread could be com­pleted by hand.

Fan bonus

An elec­tric fan will be mounted in front of the ra­di­a­tor, with no en­gine driven fan fit­ted, so the front pul­ley that drives the power steer­ing pump was mounted in the lathe and the fan lo­cat­ing spigot ma­chined off, leav­ing a flat face for seat­ing a new, shorter 5/ 8” UNF bolt. This will have the ad­van­tage of gen­er­at­ing additional clear­ance be­tween the head of this bolt and the thicker ra­di­a­tor.

As the en­gine needs to be po­si­tioned ver­ti­cally to lower into the en­gine bay it must be lifted from the front of both cylin­der heads, mean­ing lift­ing brack­ets were re­quired. The work­shop man­ual in­di­cates that the power steer­ing pump bracket should be re­fit­ted, as this has a lift­ing lug, plus there should be a lug fit­ted to the LH head. In my case this bracket was miss­ing, hav­ing been re­moved to al­low the air con bracket to be fit­ted. I de­cided to make a lift­ing lug for each head, as I did not like the idea of hav­ing the power steer­ing bracket pro­trud­ing from the en­gine when fit­ting. Each head has two 5/16” and one 3/ 8” UNC thread that can be used for lift­ing, so a card­board tem­plate was made of the hole po­si­tion and a plasma cut­ter used to cut two tri­an­gles from 3/ 8” plate. A sec­tion of an­gle was cut, drilled with a large hole for a lift­ing eye bolt and then welded to the plate; af­ter three holes were drilled in the plate for at­tach­ment to the head, I had two very much over-en­gi­neered lift­ing lugs.

For the con­cave shapes, a softer teardrop shaped block was re­quired. The car looked spec­tac­u­lar af­ter the sec­ond putty coat, but fur­ther sand­ing will no doubt re­veal more is­sues that re­quire at­ten­tion. Af­ter sand­ing the putty the few re­main­ing blem­ishes were cor­rected and two wet coats of primer were ap­plied, ready for fi­nal sand.

Hand sand­ing was re­quired over most of the shell – here us­ing a flat block – al­though blocks of var­i­ous shapes and flex­i­bil­ity were re­quired with all the curves and edges found on a Stag shell.

Where fea­si­ble, a power sander was used to sand the spray putty, tak­ing care to keep sander mov­ing to avoid pro­duc­ing flat spots.

The pan­els above the ra­di­a­tor and in front of the screen were sprayed at the same time.

Six coats of Carmine red paint were ap­plied to the en­gine bay in prepa­ra­tion for fit­ting the en­gine.

The ap­pli­ca­tion of two coats of primer read­ied the area for fi­nal paint prepa­ra­tion.

Al­though the over­all re­sult was rea­son­able, I wasn’t happy with a small run on the rear bulk­head, or some of the spray drift caused by bounce back when spray­ing in the cor­ners.

When happy with the changes, the area was primed and given a sin­gle coat of spray putty, to as­sist with blend­ing in.

The spray putty was sanded, mak­ing sure the edges were feath­ered into the primer.

The pan­els above the ra­di­a­tor and in front of the screen were all sprayed at the same time.

Af­ter due con­sid­er­a­tion, it was de­cided to make a small ad­just­ment to both rear wing profiles.

Six coats of top coat were ap­plied. A run can be spotted on the lower wing, which will be at­tended to when the wing is painted. The door skins were primed and sprayed with putty.

The grille and light aper­tures were masked with brown paper, prior to ap­ply­ing four coats of primer to front valance. Additional coats of primer were ap­plied rather than putty, then sanded prior to ap­pli­ca­tion of top coats.

A long­board was used to sand the putty and re­duce the pos­si­bil­i­ties of a small sand­ing block leav­ing rip­ples in the fin­ish.

Af­ter a fur­ther ap­pli­ca­tion of putty, sand­ing with the long­board re­sulted in a flat­ter fin­ish, so two coats of primer were ap­plied.

The re­sult of the long­board sand­ing amazed me. I thought I had flat pan­els prior to sand­ing, but these high spots were re­vealed.

Af­ter sand­ing and re­moval of a small paint run, the en­gine bay was re­painted, with im­proved re­sults.

The rear of the A-posts were fin­ished and painted, so that the door hinges could be at­tached and ad­justed to their fi­nal po­si­tion.

Af­ter the primer was fine sanded, six coats of colour were ap­plied. On the LH side the door fit is fine, but the swage line re­quires some mi­nor ad­just­ment.

The door fit and swage line are fine on driv­ers side. En­gine mounts, brake and sus­pen­sion com­po­nents, af­ter they have been treated to two coats of gloss black epoxy enamel.

Doors were turned over and pre­vi­ously colour coated cen­tre panel was masked with brown paper, so primer could be ap­plied around edges.

Af­ter con­sid­er­a­tion, I didn’t fill the spot weld dim­ples on the doors, but left them to vis­i­ble, as would have been the case out of the fac­tory.

The ex­haust man­i­folds ready for paint­ing, af­ter hav­ing been sand blasted.

A few min­utes with the sand­ing block had a much im­proved swage line.

The hinges were loosely fit­ted to the A-post, in prepa­ra­tion for door fit­ting.

Man­i­folds af­ter the ap­pli­ca­tion of two coats of high tem­per­a­ture man­i­fold paint.

The four wa­ter trans­fer man­i­folds, af­ter soak­ing in pen­e­trat­ing oil and hav­ing been de­greased. Drilling the RH trans­fer port prior to tap­ping 3/8” BSP. Ma­chin­ing the spigot used to lo­cate the en­gine driven fan from the front of the pul­ley used to drive power steer­ing.

Be­spoke brack­ets were fab­ri­cated for lift­ing the en­gine dur­ing in­stal­la­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.