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  #1  
Old 08-16-2004, 02:34 PM
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Guys who know how to do bodywork / paint - advice needed

Okay I'm in the process of reparing collision damage to my 2000 Mercedes c230 kompressor that my lil brother was kind enough to wreck for me.

Here is the question I have. I replaced the hood, with a new aftermarket piece, which came in what appears to be black primer. I also had to do some work on the front bumper cover, and I primed that myself and wetsanded with 400 grit 3M imperial wet or dry sandpaper.

The bumper feels smoother than the hood at this point. I plan on doing everything but the final paint work (which will go to a body shop). Should I prime and wetsand the hood to make it even with the bumper, or is that primer applied to the part already sufficient and ready to paint?

Here is a pic of what it looks like - I do notice that every touch leaves fingerprint and hand oil impressions on it.



Thanks in advance,

George
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George Androulakis

Former Mb's:

1990 500sl R129 - 76k Original Miles - New project - Follow the saga http://90r129.blogspot.com/
1990 190E 2.6 148k mi (sold)
1989 420 SEL 246k mi (sold)
1995 C220 175k mi (sold)
1992 190e 2.6 74k original miles (sold)
2000 c230 Kompressor 122k miles (RIP)
1996 C220 149k mi (sold)
2000 C230 Kompressor Sport 127k (sold)

Current Cars:

2009 Mercedes c300 4matic
2006 Mercedes s430
2005 Jaguar XJR
2003 Cadillac Escalade
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  #2  
Old 08-16-2004, 02:52 PM
MB, love..hate..love..
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Hi. From what you have posted, at this point, I'd select the bodyshop and discuss with them what paint system they will use. You should save some money doing the priming/sanding prep yourself, but you should use a product compatable with theirs. Some color coats will specify a 'value shade' for the final coat of underlying primer, so it's possible to use a 'high build' primer under that to perfect the surface first. This is usually an epoxy product mixed per the manufacturers directions, and could be a brand different from the value shade primer used by the body shop, but it would be best to get their input first. Otherwise, later, they may blame you for flaws in the final paint topcoat that show up long after the car has left their spray booth.
Also, you'll need a good prep/cleaner to thoroughly remove hand print oil and dirt before you start sanding, or you'll work the oil into the surface where it will ultimately bleed up through the primer and mess up the color/clear coat.
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1993 Lexus
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  #3  
Old 08-16-2004, 05:44 PM
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Yeah I've used the PPG High Build Primer on the front bumper, and wetsanded it down to 400. I was told you can go to 600, and have the paint still get a good grip, but I was kind of worried because of the added adhesion needed with the urethane front bumper cover. I know they add adhesion promoter and flex agents to it, but should I go to 600, or just leave it at 400?

As far as I can tell MB used Glasurit sp? paint on the car, as that is what the color code specifies, but can this color be obtained via other manufacturers? Also, should I trust the paint code, or should I have them computer color match and custom mix. I don't have to worry about any paint blending (as far as spraying) because all the panels that are going to be refinished end in body lines (front bumper cover, hood, and the molding under the headlight).

Chances are I will probably remove the hood and bumper cover from the car, after showing them the complete car, and just bring them those panels. I don't want them painted on the car (overspray is all but inevitable), and there is no point in paying them to remove / reinstall them. I spent about two hours adjusting the hood to get the gaps right, so im going to take an awl and mark the bolt outlines with a score, so I'm 90% there when I get the parts back.

As far as cleaning oils etc... I'm using 91% Isopropyl Alcohol on clean cotton waffle cloths. Is this sufficient. This is what I have used while detailing, and havent had a problem removing old products (which are probably worse petroleum based compounds than hand oils), but should I go to something stronger here?

I was actually contemplating spraying the finish coats here, and making an improvised spray booth in the garage with a couple fans, and a bunch of 7-9 mil plastic. I have a respirator setup, and have access to a suitable compressor, but I'm worried that there will be too many variables (temperature, humidity, as well as possibly contaminants in the air supply from the compressor - i know they use large filters on their compressed air, and a pressure regulator). So I've kind of shyed away from that idea.

Thanks for all the advice, and any additional pointers would be greatly appreciated.

If you are interested, all the pictures, from start, to teardown, and rebuild are here PICTURES

Thanks again and take care,

George
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George Androulakis

Former Mb's:

1990 500sl R129 - 76k Original Miles - New project - Follow the saga http://90r129.blogspot.com/
1990 190E 2.6 148k mi (sold)
1989 420 SEL 246k mi (sold)
1995 C220 175k mi (sold)
1992 190e 2.6 74k original miles (sold)
2000 c230 Kompressor 122k miles (RIP)
1996 C220 149k mi (sold)
2000 C230 Kompressor Sport 127k (sold)

Current Cars:

2009 Mercedes c300 4matic
2006 Mercedes s430
2005 Jaguar XJR
2003 Cadillac Escalade
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  #4  
Old 08-17-2004, 08:00 AM
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George, I'd forget about attempting the finish coat at home in a makeshift spray booth. The body shop booths, in addition to their dustless, humidity-controlled environment, also have heating capability to cure the paint. Glasurit and Siekens are unavailable. Many bodyshops use Dupont paints ... my brother-in-law sells Dupont paints to shops in Tennessee and Kentucky.

It appears that you still have some fine tuning to do on the bumper alignment, as on the passenger side it projects too far back into the wheel opening. Nice job repairing the bumper gouge.

As suggested already select the bodyshop that will do the finish coat and discuss in detail the prep work and materials that you will use. You can bet that the shop will point the finger at you if there are any complaints about the finished product. For instance the bumper repair may appear perfect now, but the finish coat will expose any minor flaw.
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Last edited by Ferdman; 08-17-2004 at 08:05 AM.
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  #5  
Old 08-17-2004, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferdman
It appears that you still have some fine tuning to do on the bumper alignment, as on the passenger side it projects too far back into the wheel opening. Nice job repairing the bumper gouge.

.
The inner fender liner isnt even attached to the bumper and is loose (pop rivet clips and screws on the bottom) its just swinging loose, and in fact is in front of the bumper instead of tucking into the edge, that is giving you the impression of the missalignment ... I just hung the bumper to get a rough idea, and have a place to wet sand it off the ground. The inner fender liner is sitting behind the bumper... Since I am going to have to take all of this stuff off again, to get it painted, and in the bumpers case to reattach those chrome moldings under the headlights, no need to sit there and line everything up perfectly, since it all has to come apart again.

I agree that the makeshift booth isn't the best idea, Once I get the lights installed and I have the car driveable, I will take it to a few good shops and talk to them about it, and see what they have to say, and then get the parts painted.

Take care,

George
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George Androulakis

Former Mb's:

1990 500sl R129 - 76k Original Miles - New project - Follow the saga http://90r129.blogspot.com/
1990 190E 2.6 148k mi (sold)
1989 420 SEL 246k mi (sold)
1995 C220 175k mi (sold)
1992 190e 2.6 74k original miles (sold)
2000 c230 Kompressor 122k miles (RIP)
1996 C220 149k mi (sold)
2000 C230 Kompressor Sport 127k (sold)

Current Cars:

2009 Mercedes c300 4matic
2006 Mercedes s430
2005 Jaguar XJR
2003 Cadillac Escalade
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  #6  
Old 08-17-2004, 01:07 PM
MB, love..hate..love..
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: NB Canada
Posts: 1,173
I have to admire your degree of perseverence here. I hope you have enlisted your errant sibling's aid to do all that sanding! I went through all the pictures and you are 99% on track here.

I've used a Dupont product called Wash N Wipe for cleaning and prepping prior to sanding and during priming stages, with great success. It may no longer be available, but I'm certain there is a 'new and improved' product now. Other manufacturers have similar products, and are well worth the investment. Your sanding to 400 will do nicely for the high build, IMO.

One small detail is that if you bring the hood in separate, they may paint it standing up rather than flat as it will be in final position. If they do, depending on the type of paint, especially metallics, you may see a slight pattern or color difference where the top of the fenders meet the edge of the hood.

Bodyshops don't really take very long to mask and cover the car to avoid overspray, since they don't want to have to clean it off either. Ask the foreman about the 'extra' cost to do this, and if any savings would be offset by the hassle of handling the separate parts before, during and after the paintwork. A top-notch job will require several stages of sanding and polishing of the topcoat with a power buffer to remove orange peel, and that is much easier when the parts are on the car. Then, you need to consider damage while you transport them home and re-install.
Just a few thoughts...
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Old 08-17-2004, 03:04 PM
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As far as the errant sibling - the ONLY thing he's assisted in (besides giving wrong advice) is mounting the hood, just due to the sheer weight and girth of it, it's not a one man job.

I actually didn't contemplate your point of the position in which the hood is painted may have an effect on how the finish looks when it is subsequently laid flat. That is a very viable point, this car is in fact a metallic (albeit silver so the metal flake isn't that distinguishable), but what you are decribing seems something analogous to the grains in wood being mismatched along a plane.

As far as overspray, I have NEVER seen a car come out of a bodyshop that did not have some trace of it... Usually it is from the clearcoat, as that has a tendency to linger in the air longer due to it's finer consistency. Nothing a clay bar and a porter cable can't take care of. I'm also going to apply a real heavy coat of a cheap paste wax over the entire rest of the car before I take it into the paint shop to give any potential overspray less of a surface to adhere too... and old trick I leared that is cheap insurance.

I'll look into that dupont wash and wipe product, I don't want to use anything too harsh, that could leave its own residue or possibly lift the paint later, so that seems like the best idea (something designed for the specific purpose). I am going to prime the hood with the high build and sand it down to 400, as from what I have heard from many people is that the black "primer" that is on the hood is simply a sealant more than anything else to prevent corrosion. I think im going to leave the final primer seal coat and sanding to the body shop, as even something getting on the paint while the car drives to the shop may be enough to ruin the finish at a later date. I never realized how sensitive automotive paint systems have become. I remember stories from older guys about painting cars with a one step laquer, letting it harden for a month and buffing it smooth, with great diy results.

This is my first attempt at collision repair, so it's been a learning experience, and I'm taking it slow and asking a lot of tedious questions.

Thanks again for all the advice,

George
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George Androulakis

Former Mb's:

1990 500sl R129 - 76k Original Miles - New project - Follow the saga http://90r129.blogspot.com/
1990 190E 2.6 148k mi (sold)
1989 420 SEL 246k mi (sold)
1995 C220 175k mi (sold)
1992 190e 2.6 74k original miles (sold)
2000 c230 Kompressor 122k miles (RIP)
1996 C220 149k mi (sold)
2000 C230 Kompressor Sport 127k (sold)

Current Cars:

2009 Mercedes c300 4matic
2006 Mercedes s430
2005 Jaguar XJR
2003 Cadillac Escalade
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  #8  
Old 08-17-2004, 04:21 PM
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George, I'd opt for having the body shop paint the hood on the car, and mask the fenders, windshield doors, roof, etc. to prevent overspray. It will turn out better being in a horizontal position. Besides the last thing you want to do is damage a fine paint job while attempting to reattach/realign the hood. The bumper is another issue. The painter will likely prefer to do that off the car.
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  #9  
Old 08-18-2004, 07:18 PM
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Great job with the prep work.

One work of caution regarding make-shift spray booth. Unless the vent fans, lights and anything else electric is rated for explosion proof even the wiring you risk burning down your garage.

I've know several people who have blown up their shop vac by using it too close to the carborator. The gas fumes were ignited by the sparks created by the blower motor.
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  #10  
Old 08-20-2004, 12:37 AM
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just a thought

i've read the postings but i haven't seen anything about blocking, black high lighting, flat boarding, DA, spounge sanding and 400 grit well that might be ok for rough sanding but i'd start thinking finish sanding in the 600 to a 1000 and then i'd be using Z Chrome to hide the sanding imperfections. i know a guy that uses a lambs wool bonnet for his finishing sanding. But it's hard to find a goof in his work.

some people will disagree with me but a perfect paint job is 90% prep and 10% paint. if the prep sucks well the finish will show all. and as for priming if you don't use the type and the quality that the body shop uses let it go. you aren't going to get a 2k$ job out of a 2.99$ can of who knows who shelf primer.

remember once you start laying on paint your fully commited to the prep work because it's too late now to wish you had taken the extra hour to sand just a bit more. ever been driving down the street and a super color car passes you and from where you are you say nice car. then a second later and he's now past you and you can see down the car's side and it looks like whoppi do's on a desert road. it's all in the prep because that guy didn't block, flat board or dust the surface with a little black paint. so he couldn't see how un-flat the surface was.

oh and your gun to spray with plan on a minimum of 250$. and you'll need a compressor that can give you a minimum of 13 to 16 cfm at 40psi to keep up with the gun. now those 49.99 autozone, parts america guns i wouldn't use to spray weed killer. you need an hvlp, 4 - 8 psi nozzle pressure and a 1.1 or maybe a 1.3 needle. if you don't you'll have that clear coat all over the place. it will be bouncing off the paint and into the air going where? everywhere you didn't want. and just one more tip. if your tape isn't blue or greenish when you pull back the tape and masking you'll be leaving a lot of work to still do cleaning off the glue from the cheap masking tape. spend the 3 to 4 bucks a roll you'll be glad you did.

all in all i wish you good luck. this job can be done at home and in your garage because i can do it in my machine shop.

go to www.spraygundepot.com they have the guns, video and they can talk you through it.

and just another thought when you get ready to bolt up the stuff underneath like inner fenders and such either use a body under carriage sealer or at least black silicone where the bolts go thru because there will be exposed metal which may rust up so better to cut it off to begin with.

please excuse me if i have sounded negative. i'm not. i just know that i want things perfect when i do them. nothing bums me out worst than having to go back and try to fix something that could have been cured from the beginning with a little patience.

good luck with that project!!
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1972 350sl Red/Blk 117k
1988 420sel charcoal/Blk 140k
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  #11  
Old 08-20-2004, 08:36 PM
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Where did you get an "aftermarket" hood and what was the price difference from one from MB and are you satisfied with the quality?
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