Sunday, March 31, 2013

Exterior Floor Final Priming & More Roof Skin Adventures

Since our last update, I am happy to report things have moved along quite nicely on several fronts.
With our seam sealing (mis)adventures long behind us now, the focus was to get the exterior floor prepared for final priming in PPG DP90LF black primer.  After a few conversations with the nice folks at U-POL regarding the best platform to apply Raptor Liner, I was encouraged by the fact that a good epoxy primer like DP was lauded as an excellent base for the Raptor.  With that in mind, I purchased a quart of the DP90LF and we set about masking and priming the floor over the course of about two solid evenings.

As I have mentioned before, the PPG DPLF primer is just about the best thing since pants with pockets when it comes to primers.  After shooting the DP90LF, I have another “like” to add to the growing list and that relates to the very nice matte finish the DP90LF exhibits once it dries.  In fact, I like the finish so much, that if I were to look for a matte black top coat for just about anything under the car, I’d just have a single stage urethane mixed up to match the DP90LF exactly and never look back.
Anyway, after a few hours of careful spraying, the floor was completely primed and the smooth, molded look we were after was quite handsomely satisfied.  The lower floor looks absolutely fantastic if I say so myself.  So much so, that I am quite confident the application of the Raptor spray bed liner material will achieve the exact finish I am looking for and will make for a very pleasing look that will be extremely durable.  But for now, we will purposefully shift the focus to the roof skin adventure in order to give the DP plenty of time to dry to full hardness (and the weather to warm up a good bit more), before we venture off to spray the Raptor and finish up the lower floor.

And that brings us to the latest chapter of the roof skin chronicles.  When I last left off, I was grappling with the decision to wait an additional 4-6 weeks for the roof skin I had ordered through NPD to arrive after making its enviable California-to-Florida southern tour of the United States before making the trek to the Michigan NPD warehouse where it would then be mine.  I guess I just couldn’t accept that as the way things had to be, so the day after receiving this news, I decided to go on a mission to see what alternatives there were to sourcing a new roof skin sooner than later.  And a good effort it was indeed!  Very quickly, I was able to find a very tidy deal on a new roof skin from another of my favorite Mustang parts suppliers:  Tony D. Branda Performance in Altoona, PA.  Of course, the “elephant in the room” was whether or not they actually had a roof skin in stock and if the shipping costs were going to torpedo the deal altogether.  So I made a quick call to them, and as I have come to expect, got a very knowledgeable gentlemen on the phone who went out to the warehouse and physically put his hands on the part to make sure it was what it should be.  When he came back to the phone a minute or two later with the good news, the shipping costs were estimated, and the deal was struck.  The trucking company would deliver the roof to my employer’s shipping dock and I would get a call when it arrived. This was Wednesday morning, March 20th about 10:00am. 
Friday, March 22nd, about noon I get a call from our shop manager with “your roof just arrived.”  Wha?  At this point the native Texan in me came to the fore and “Yer sh*ttin me” was all I could muster.  In less than 72 hours from the time I placed the order with Branda, my brand new Dynacorn roof was in my possession and ready to become integrated into my excruciatingly long and complex project.  THAT, my friends, is called SERVICE with a capital “S”!  And to top it all off, by the time the dust had settled, after my 10% off St. Paddy’s Day discount had been applied, the entire adventure only cost me an extra $37.60 more than my previous order.  I am lovin’ this.

Fast forward a day, and dad and I very carefully unpack the roof and inspect it from stem to stern.  Having had mixed results from Dynacorn panels in the past, I am naturally skeptical at what I will find.  The good news is the panel appeared, by all intents and purposes, to be nearly flawless!  For me, it’s hard to imagine such a large and delicate panel making such long trips without a hint of damage, but this one did and I am duly impressed.  A quick call to NPD to cancel the original order and the dilemma of the roof skin was solidly closed.
And so, the course of the next few weeks has been set, and the process of removing the old, damaged roof skin will begin in earnest.  I am desperately keeping my fingers crossed that what I find underneath the old skin is sound and without major repair requirements.  With renewed energy and a solid plan, I am on it!
With the 3M sealer dried, the entire lower floor was lightly scuffed (again) to provide a good bonding surface for the PPG DP90LF black epoxy primer.

Taping off the floor was comparatively easy since we wanted everything from rocker to rocker and firewall to tail light panel completely primed.

We purposely avoided priming the rear fender lips as they will require additional work before they can be finish-primed and the fact that they will be body color when completed anyway.

Good 'ol Ted "takin' care of biznezz"......masking off the rockers.

More masking around each fender opening.

Here, the firewall has been masked all the way back to the joint where the floor pan meets.  This is an excellent and convenient place to mask as it allows the floor to be treated differently than the firewall.  This allows the engine bay and firewall to be a different color than the lower floor without being visible from the top.  A very clean transition.

The trunk floor is masked from the inside to allow the edges to be "soft" in the way they feather into the interior.  Eventually, the trunk area will be sprayed with DP90LF primer as well.

Starting to cut-in the floor joints.  I ended up shooting the entire floor with my small 3oz 3M PPS cup as it was much easier to maneuver in the tighter spaces of the floor.  This used up quite a few disposable cups, and required several mixing cycles, but it proved to be the best way to go overall.
Cutting in the front part of the floor around the cross member and subframe connectors.

I sprayed the floor in "halves" to allow complete access to the intricate areas around the floor.

After rolling the car over to the other side, I sprayed the other half.

Another round on each side to touch up any light spots we could find and we were done!

I love the finish of the DP90LF.  This is an excellent chassis black color and I would not hesitate to match paint to this color and finish for final chassis painting if needs be.

You can start seeing how much smoother the seams look in this shot, especially with everything is a nice uniform black.

Trunk floor area also looks very clean and smooth.

"Yer sh*ttin me!"  A new roof skin!

1 comment:

  1. Nice paintwork Sven, the bottom of the car looks great. Congrats on quick delivery of the roof.