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Need advice for 70 Corvette project

#1
Hi Guys,

I am in the process of restoring my 1970 Corvette L46. I'm in the P&B stage and I have put together a plan. Could you look at my plan and let me know if it makes sense. I have very little experience. I have done rust repair and priming/blocking on one other car, and painted an engine bay on another. Both came out well but this will be a much more ambitious project.

I am just finishing up sanding the car down to the fiberglass with 80 grit. I used blocks to keep things as level as possible. There are some spots of the original red primer, but there were no adhesion issues, so I assume that's OK. I will have to do some minor fiberglass repair here and there and then I'll be ready for priming and painting. This is my plan:

-SPI epoxy primer (2-3 coats)
-Prime and block with Slicksand until level
-Seal with reduced SPI Epoxy
-Basecoat
-SPI Clear (Universal?)

I am going to build a homemade paint booth with intake and exhaust fans and filters. I did this in my attached garage when I painted the engine bay a few years ago and it worked really well. I intended to paint the car I did the other body work on but had to tear it down before I could get to it. I've since built a 20x28 detatched garage that I'm going to use this time.

I am looking to end up with a decent paint job, something along the level of the original paint. Nothing over the top. I am going to paint it Ontario Orange:

https://paintref.com/cgi-bin/colorcodedisplay.cgi?color=Ontario Orange&tditzler=2084&rows=50

So here are my questions (so far anyway, I'm sure there will be more):

-Is my plan, and the products I'm using with it, a good one?
-How many coats of epoxy should I shoot?
-Should I do a light blocking with guide coat on the epoxy before the Slicksand to keep things level? Then do whatever filling is necessary here?
-Any suggestion on the brand of basecoat? I am willing to spend what it takes for a quality, easy to spray product.
-Which SPI clear would be best for a novice in a homemade paint booth? Universal?
-How many gallons of the epoxy (for initial prime and sealer), base and clear should I need for a 70 Corvette?
-My shop is heated. I can get it up to 70 degrees even when it's pretty cold out. But I would need to open the shop (it has doors in front and back) while I'm shooting. So the air flowing through the booth might be outside the products temp range while I'm shooting. Can I do that if it's cold outside, then close the shop up to let the products dry/cure?

Per that last one, I going to try to do all this, including building the booth, in the next couple months or so before winter sets in. I'm in North Texas, so winter is not too bad, but I've read the epoxy needs 65 degrees for 48 hours or so to cure properly. I assume the other products will need a similar minimum temp. I think I'll be OK on the epoxy, it's still getting into the 70s and 80s here, and probably will be till the end of the year. But by the time I get to the color and clear, it might be January or February.

What do you think?

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#2
I would suggest reading and rereading the tech page on the epoxy. There is a special section on Corvettes like yours, and I would follow it to the letter. The temperature using the epoxy is critical. The temperature of the actual part you are spraying and the epoxy itself must stay above 65 for at least 24 hrs. Mix the epoxy the night before and keep it warm. If there is any doubt the temperature cannot be kept up, don't spray it until it can. I'm in southeast Texas and the metal temperatures in the shop are already dropping into the upper 50's without heat, too cold for epoxy. Everything else on top of the epoxy is not as temperature sensitive, it will dry eventually, but the epoxy will go dormant and never dry correctly.
 

Barry

Paint Fanatic
Staff member
#3
You're on the right track, but the first thing is id like to see that red primer gone or at least 95% of it

Also, vette people always redo the four seams at this point?
 
#4
if you used any stripper on it you need to do the seams. i do them anyway and do not use stripper.
any repairs need to be done with epoxy resin .
 
#5
Thanks for the responses. Texasking, I can get my shop pretty warm unless the temps get down in the 20's. With the temps we're having now, even at night, I'd have no problem keeping it at 80-85 degrees if needed. I did read the tech sheet so that answers the question on the number of coats. The big question I have is whether opening the shop during the actual spraying, the closing it back up, will hurt anything. I can heat the shop to 85 degrees, open the shop, spray, then close it back up and let it heat back up. If I do it in the afternoon, I'm hoping we'll still be in the 60's or 70's.

I did not use any stripper. The car already had most of the paint removed and some grey primer sprayed on it, and I blocked all of that off. I think the original paint was sanded off as well as the red primer is most likely the original primer, according to the Corvette experts that I've asked. I can remove the red primer as well, no problem.

This is the first Corvette I've worked on. I don't know what "redoing the seams" means. I'll have to do some research on that.

Any advice on the quantities of each product? I don't want to run short of anything while trying to stay within the time frames.

Also, I forgot to ask about W&G remover. Should I only use the waterborne version on the fiberglass?
 
#6
Opening the doors long enough to spray a coat of epoxy will be fine with outside temps in the 60's or even upper 50's. Air temperature is not as important as surface and epoxy temp. One gallon of epoxy should be plenty for 3 coats, but getting 2 gallons would be wise so you'll have plenty for jambs, sealer, etc. After spraying the first coat, you'll know how much to mix for the next 2. The longer you let it induce the better. I would also put 2 coats of full strength epoxy on after all the slicksand blocking is finished, ending in 180-220. This will really seal everything off, and gives you a visual what the body looks like with the shiny epoxy.
 
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#7
-Any suggestion on the brand of basecoat? I am willing to spend what it takes for a quality, easy to spray product.

Check out this post : Basecoat

Which SPI clear would be best for a novice in a homemade paint booth? Universal?

Universal is a great choice, I've been super happy with it as a novice in a homemade paint booth.

-How many gallons of the epoxy (for initial prime and sealer), base and clear should I need for a 70 Corvette?

I would probably say a gallon of black for priming and then another gallon of gray or white for sealer. You could just get one of the gray or white and use it throughout and order more if needed. I like to alternate colors with black though.
 
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#8
Also, just to be sure you heard what you read.:). Fiberglass resin usually is a polyester resin not epoxy resin. The advise Shine gave to use epoxy resin was meant literaly. Be sure you use epoxy resin, not polyester.

John
 
#9
OK, thanks for the info everyone. Just about done with the sanding, so it should be fun from here on out. I don't know what I'll end up with, but it should be better than it was, six shades of primer. :)
 

Barry

Paint Fanatic
Staff member
#12
Re: seams.
Shine may have a better way, but here is my way.
I take a 3inch roloc with either an 80, 50, or 24 grinding discs.
The seams on front fenders can be as thin as 3/8 next to door or bumper but as thick as 3/4 inch thick in the middle of the fender
We want to get rid of say 50% to 75% of the old adhesive, .but we do not want to breakthrough.

I use VPA to refill, and all four seams can be ready for a primer in half or 2/3 of a day.
 

Barry

Paint Fanatic
Staff member
#14
Over the years, I have used everything in the seams and will say do the prep right, and it will work.
Back in the late 80s, early 90s used Duramix 2 part panel adhesive until one year later had to replace a front fender and what a mess that turned into, about totaled the car trying to get off.
 
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