Sunday, November 9, 2014

Lots of Little Things Really Add Up!

Since our last update, the flow of work has shifted to tackling a series of smaller individual jobs that have quietly added up to some significant progress.  From powder coating, to seam sealing to sanding and priming, the jobs have been many but the results are quite satisfying, in spite of the interruption of some bits of customer work and some family travel “day trips”.

Since we left off, the focus shifted to doing a bit of powder coating that included finishing the trunk hinges as well as the front spring covers which had both been lying about in bare metal for months as we worked around them.  Fortunately, we had reached an opportune moment that allowed these parts to be cleaned up, primed and powder coated in short order and they turned out fantastic.  I must say that having a small powder coating facility in-house makes this sort of thing a welcome luxury that yields fantastic results.  The hinges will remain in satin black powder coat finish, but the front spring covers will eventually be scuffed and coated with U-Pol Raptor bed liner material to match the coating finish on the fender aprons.

Next up, attention shifted to preparing the bottom of our stainless steel fuel tank for a few coats of primer that will act as a solid base for the Raptor liner to be applied on the bottom tank surfaces.  Like the spring covers, the bottom of the fuel tank will be coated in Raptor to match the underside of the car and blend the tank seamlessly into the underside of the car.

The process begins with a thorough degreasing of the tank surfaces followed by a gentle scuffing of every nook and cranny with 150 grit paper to provide proper “tooth” for the PPG DP40LF epoxy primer.  Then, the tank is cleaned several times with prep solvent to ensure a clean surface remains.  And after a quick tack off for remaining dust, a few light coats of primer were laid down and the tank set aside for a few days to allow the primer to dry thoroughly before lightly scuffing the surface with red Scotch Brite in preparation for the Raptor liner material.  However, this will have to wait until Spring as there is a lot of other work that needs to be completed before being able to shoot the Raptor.

Next up was a load of seam sealing duties to get the back of the car sealed up along with the quarter window trim frames that could finally be reinstalled on the car.  These a delicate and often lost little pieces that are often overlooked in a restoration, so I was very careful to bag and tag these parts to make absolutely sure they would return to their proper place.

And so, with all of these smaller “support” jobs complete, the next few weeks will be focused on getting the trunk area scuffed and prepped for the application of a few coats of flat black.  Even though 99% of these surfaces will never be seen, the consistent black finish will work to provide uniformity to the area and act as a camouflage around the areas where the trunk upholstery panels must allow component access or freedom of movement.  Nothing worse than seeing grey primer in the hidden areas when the trunk is open!

Until next time!

Original trunk hinges hanging in the powder booth with a fresh application of epoxy powder primer.

With the primer cured, the color coat of satin black was applied and sent to the oven.

Fresh out of the curing oven, the black powder coat looks quite glossy. 

After a few minutes of cooling on the rack, the black powder coating takes on a perfect satin sheen.

The front coil spring covers also get a good coating of epoxy powder primer before being coated in satin black.  Powder coating really does a nice job getting into very hidden places that sprayed liquid paint simply can't go.

It's almost a shame that these covers will eventually be coated in Raptor spray bed liner to match the rest of the surrounding panels!  This satin black powder coated base looks smoooooth!
What do you do with a nicely polished stainless steel fuel tank?  Sand the hell out of it of course!
Our stainless fuel tank is fully sanded and degreased and ready for masking.  We will be priming the bottom of the tank in preparation for a few coats of Raptor spray bed liner material so the bottom of the tank perfectly matches the bottom of the car.
A little bit of masking and we are ready to shoot!
Two medium coats of PPG DP40LF epoxy primer will provide an excellent base for the bed liner material to adhere to.

After leveling and preparing the flanges and joints around the back of the car, the areas are masked off for a light application of primer to cover any bare metal spots that were exposed.

With all of the seams sealed in primer, we are ready to apply the 3M urethane seam sealer.
The 3M urethane seam sealer floes very nicely into the joint and is easily smoothed with a finger wet with a bit of xylene solvent.  I prefer a clean, smooth seam sealer job over the factory brushed look, even though most of the seams will never be seen.
The quarter window flashings were installed and seam sealed after receiving a coat of epoxy powder primer.  These little bits are often lost during restorations of 69-70 Mustang fastbacks and are not easy to find.  These aren't going anywhere!


  1. That last picture there with the quarter window pieces just reminded me to grab those out of the box I put them in before I forget about them! Looks nice when it's all seam sealed and in place though on your car. Looking forward to your progress.

    1. Don't loose those Tyler! Those little bits make all the difference on a finished car! You can sure tell the difference when someone has forgotten to reinstall them during the resto! How's your project coming along?

  2. Nice Sven! I either need to make a couple of trip to Lake Orion to "Sven's Powder Coating Emporium" or find a way to do it or get it done locally. I've got to get back on my fastback, but life has been crazy on all fronts. Keep on chewing on that Elephant!

    1. Thanks Dennis. Powder coating is certainly not something I would recommend as a priority in anyone's shop to be honest, unless you do a lot of it (which I do). I got into it somewhat by force as I got into a pi$$ing contest with a local "professional coater" several years ago over poor quality/high price and he basically told me to go screw myself and welcomed me to go do it myself if I thought I could do better. So I invested in the right equipment, built the rest and never looked back. For me, it is certainly a convenience to have for my car work, but most of my work is actually on custom Harleys and bicycles.

      You definitely need to get back on your project! It's been too long since your last update and winter is on us!

  3. It's good to see some progress on one of these mustangs. I've been so busy at work doing OT, that I haven't had any chance to touch my car in several months now. Seeing this does get the itch going. I'll have to find some time somewhere. Great work on the panels and the tank, car is looking better every time I see more pictures. :)

    1. Thanks Grant! Like Dennis, it's time for some Mustang-therapy on your end too! We can't keep working ourselves to death at our day-jobs gentlemen!