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Jeep Paint

For a few years now I've been wanting to paint the Jeep.  When I had my fenders painted by RVMD a year or so ago, Jack offered to paint the rest of the Jeep for a reasonable price.  I'm finally taking him up on that offer. 

10/27/05 - Quinn and I started prepping the Jeep today.  We removed anything bolted on that's not getting painted (spare tire carrier, rocker panels, winch, etc).  We also removed the right rear corner guard so Jack can pull the body back into shape.  I'd like the fenders to have smooth transitions from the panels onto the tubes, so we started sanding down the rivets and welding the gaps.  I drilled out a couple rivets, but they're a real high quality rivet and my drill bit only lasted through two.  Sanding down the tops removed the big bumps and still held the panels on.

I think what I'm going to end up with is a nice dark blue.  Then a black and white checker thing from about the doors back.  Then green and maybe yellow flames from the grille, across the hood and fenders, lapping over the checkers.  Below is a sample pick with different colors, but you get the idea.

11/03/05 - I continued welding and grinding the panels onto the tube fenders today.  I still have to replace the vertical panel on the passenger side since it's damaged.  I also continued taking the Jeep apart.  I completely dissected the doors so they don't need to be masked when they get painted.  The driver's door had a broken bolt in the upper hinge so I removed the inside panel and removed the chunk of bolt that remained.  I also completely dissected the tailgate and windshield (except for the glass).  I started removing the rubber seal between the hood and cowl, but it's a PITA.  I'll work on that more tomorrow.

11/04/05 - I started the day by installing my new air hose retract in the garage.  This is a nice piece of hardware for just $40.  As for the Jeep, lots more progress.  I got that pesky rubber seal from between the hood and cowl removed with a heat gun and screwdriver.  I also finished removing everything bolted down from inside the Jeep (seat, straps, etc.).  Then I went to work on the dash.  I checked the driver's door to see if it would fit and it wouldn't.  Since the cage moved over after several hits, it interferes with the door.  It's been years since I even tried to install the doors.  The only solution is to recreate the A-pillars for the cage.  I took out the Sawzall and chopped them up at the halo.  If I can get some help I'll remove the rest of the cage just to get it out of the way.  If not, I'll get it out later.  Either way, I'll decide later if I want to just remake the A-pillars or make an entirely new cage.  After the pillars were out of the way, the rest of the dash came out.  At this point I'm leaning towards making my own dash with new gauges, but we'll see how I feel after the paint project is complete.  Next I moved the Jeep to the driveway and washed everything I could.  A couple weeks ago we were in Ocotillo and I managed to find a little mud.  I finished the evening by working on the fenders.  The driver's side fender just needed a little sanding where I had drilled holes.  The passenger side fender is another story.  The vertical panel needed replacing, so I went about doing that.  Then I completely welded the joints on the new panel and grinded/sanded them smooth.  Then I sprayed primer on all the exposed steel since I noticed a little rust oxidation here and there.  Natalie is bringing home a detail sander that I'll use tomorrow to take the paint off a few more areas to be welded.  In the past, when I'd wash the Jeep, within an hour or so a few lines of rust would run down from a couple joints.  By completely welding those areas I hope to solve that problem.

11/06/05 - This weekend I finished getting everything ready for Jack to paint.  I even got the M416 trailer taken apart and he's going to paint that too.

11/07/05 - I delivered the Jeep and trailer to Jack this morning.  He's got a lot of work to do to get the body back into shape.  He'll probably have the Jeep until mid December sometime.

11/21/05 - Jack called today with questions about my timeframe.  Seems like we're in line with each other as far as when I'd like it back, and when he can have it ready.  On Saturday, Dec 3rd I'm going over to his shop to help line up the doors.  In the next few days I need to find bolts for all the hinges and deliver them, my gauge bezels and my steering cylinder to him.  I'd like him to paint the cylinder and bezels blue like most of the body will be.

11/28/05 - I stopped by RVMD today to check out the progress.  It's amazing the work Jack has done already.  All the major damage is repaired and he's just ironing out the wrinkles.  I also dropped off my new steering cylinder for him to paint blue when he does the rest. 

Update: Later the replacement bolts arrived from McMaster-Carr.

11/29/05 - I stopped by Jack's again today to drop off the bolts.  Jack made a lot more headway on the bodywork just overnight.  We also planned when I will help hang the doors.  We're going to try to also plan out the graphics on the same day.  Hopefully tomorrow or Thursday.  Jack wants to try to paint most of the parts this weekend.

12/03/05 - I went to Jack's today to meet with Phil and talk graphics.  I also needed to hang the doors so Jack can get to painting them.  Phil showed me his portfolio and the work he's done is amazing.  I'm not concerned at all how this is going to turn out.  I told him how I wanted the checkers, like a waving flag along the side, then tattered at the ends.  Then we talked about the flames on the hood and colors.  We ended up deciding on silver flames with some yellow highlights, or pin striping.  The grille and the front of the fenders will be solid silver, then a tribal flame type thing across the hood and down on the doors.

I got the passenger side door lined up fairly easy.  Jack straightened out that side of the Jeep perfectly.  When I went to line up the driver's side door we noticed that the tub (where the door latches) was leaning out about 3/8".  We put the Jeep next to the beam on Jack's garage and used the porta-power to push it back in place.

Jack took the doors, hood, steering cylinder, headlight bezels and vent cover into the paint booth and started laying down paint.  The color is amazing.  I took several pictures, but just couldn't capture the real color.  All the parts are going to get 3 or 4 coats of blue before moving on to the graphics.

Below are several pictures of one and two coat coverings on the parts.  I had to leave before Jack got to the third and fourth coats on everything.  This blue is amazing!  There's also a picture of a work of art Phil worked on this morning.  Amazing airbrushing.

We talked about timeframe again.  Looks like I might get the Jeep back from Jack around 12/14 or 12/15.  This will give me the weekends of the 17th and 24th to build the cage, reassemble the doors, windshield, tailgate and heater and install the new steering before the new years camping trip.  Might be a little tight, but I bet it works out just fine.

12/05/05 - I stopped by Jack's again today.  This time just for a few minutes to check out the progress and take some pictures.  The steering cylinder and the vent cover are complete, so I brought them home.  The tailgate and windshield frame were in the booth drying.  Jack was masking off the grille to paint it silver.  The fenders need a little TLC before they'll be ready for paint, so he was getting ready to work on them.  Over the next couple days he's going to paint the hard-to-get-to areas of the fenders, then assemble the fenders and hood onto the Jeep.  He's hoping Wednesday he can roll the Jeep into the booth and start laying down the blue.

12/07/05 - Jack got the body painted today.  When I stopped by he had 6 coats of paint on there and was waiting a little while before clear coating it.  I took the tailgate and headlight bezels home today.  They look amazing!

12/09/05 - Today I painted up the steering arms, spare tire adaptor and the tailgate hardware cover.  I also picked up new weather seals for the tailgate and hood (where it meets the cowl).

Later, Natalie, Lucas and I stopped by to check out the progress on the graphics.  Phil changed the original design a lot, but I trust he knows what's best.  He said that the original idea was really two ideas and didn't flow together well.  The new design has consistency throughout.  When we saw it everything was masked off except the yellow divider.  Seeing those straight lines made me nervous, but it's really hard to imagine the end result with just one highlight visible.

12/11/05 - I hung out with Jack and Phil all day today.  When I first got there I learned that they had a chemical reaction problem with the white paint and had to sand it down.  They were getting ready to mask and paint the white again.  Phil had to finish today because he leaves for Germany tomorrow morning.  He cranked all day long and completely finished the graphics.  By the end of the day the cracks in the white were back.  I also noticed some in the yellow.  Jack said that we'll have to re-do the paint sometime in the future, but for now the plan is still for me to get the Jeep back next week, assemble it and make out New Years trip in a couple weeks.  Below are a few pictures from the day. 

12/12/05 - Jack said he would clear coat the Jeep today, so I stopped by to check out the shine.  4 coats of clear and it looks awesome!

12/14/05 - Picked up the Jeep today.  Looks awesome!  Jack colors sanded yesterday and buffed today.  He also cleaned up the overspray on the interior levers and controls and painted the undercarriage black.

12/15/05 - I got a lot done today, even with taking care of Lucas at the same time.  I brought parts into the house and worked at the kitchen counter.  After cleaning parts in the sink, I reassembled the doors, tailgate and windshield.  I also got the rockers and swing away installed on the Jeep.  The rear passenger corner of the Jeep seems to have moved a bit, so the support bar on the swing away isn't lining up.  I'm going to chop the support bar on Saturday and make it all fit again.

12/21/05 - I picked up the coil-over springs and the steering wheel disconnect paddle from Jack today.  They look awesome!  When I got home I went to work building the new front bumper.  I wanted to have a new look to the front of the Jeep to go with the new paint job.  I'm tired of having the hi-lift jack up there.  I'll find a new place for it.  The stinger hoop will help protect the lights too.  After working on the Hydrostatic Steering project for a while, I installed the coil-over springs and the disconnect paddle.

01/11/06 - Today I finally waxed and buffed the paint.