Friday, September 28, 2012

Miata Update #3

Oh look, another Miata post. 

I suppose this is an accurate reflection of my activities over the last few months as I've been stuck in kind of a post-Hardrock hangover and haven't been running much at all. Fall is drawing close and I need to get this car done before it slips through the cracks. Currently it's still stuck in project car purgatory - not road worthy, yet not crushed and on its way to China to be recycled into cheap patio furniture. This is a very dangerous place for any car to be, especially one that's not considered especially collectible. Like that white Miata I bought.

Do you see this? This is what happens.

So, what follows is really a condensed summary of many days of work and frustration, encompassing four separate paint spraying sessions, many, many hours of wet sanding, quiet contemplation, and occasional outbursts of profanity.  

Here's my makeshift paint booth and masking job. You might notice that the car is already blue - keen observer that you are. So why paint it blue again?  Mostly because I botched the paint badly enough the first time around that I had to redo it (yet again). 

In an effort to keep dust from drifting up off the floor and getting into the paint, I tried laying down some plastic sheeting. This turned out to be a comically bad idea as the lightweight plastic got sticky from paint overspray and clung to my shoes like a giant piece of toilet paper. When I tried to walk, I ended up dragging half the floor with me. Note to self: next time use paper.

As with every time I've tried to use a spray gun, my paint came out with quite a bit of orange peel and a few runs. Pretty much the only way to fix this it to wetsand... a lot. The funny thing about wet sanding is that if you take off too much paint you break through into the gray primer underneath, and the only way to fix it is to repaint that part of the car. Then you get to wet sand it again!

So now I'm left with a reasonably smooth but dull finish. Time to break out the power buffer!

That's a little better.

Amidst all that, I managed to re-assemble most of the body panels - doors, bumpers, fenders, hood, and trunk lid - which is more time consuming than it sounds. It takes special attention and adjustment to get everything lined up correctly, to get the doors to close and latch smoothly, and to make all the body panel gaps even.

Finally, some visible  progress. Sleep tight, little car.

With the hard part out of the way, now I can move on to the mechanicals and putting everything back together. Spinning wrenches suits me much better.

1 comment:

  1. Sweet job Adam. Very impressed with your automotive skills.