So the engine bay thing kind of took off. Some egging on by a certain lanky Auckland member...
20181216_135918 by Richard Opie, on Flickr
You can see, there's multiple useless holes in the firewall. These include, but are not restricted to the original heater inlet/outlet, brake booster, loom, aircon and all the other weird shit that I don't need anymore. Same goes for the brackets on the firewall. So what next?
KP61 Phone-1 by Richard Opie, on Flickr
Trekked down to see @oftensideways with the KP in tow. For those of you who don't know Sean, he's a freakin wizard, and a top bloke to boot. Someone I am privileged to consider among my mates. He'd agreed to weld up the engine bay for me, and with Bex being away visiting her family over the break it was a great excuse for me to get out of the house and go for a bit of a drive.
KP61 Phone-2 by Richard Opie, on Flickr
I didn't really get many shots in progress, but here's what the firewall looked like when it was time to load up and hit the road (the next day, even!). All of the large holes have been filled with steel patches. MIG'd in place then TIG welded to finish. The little stuff with captive nuts on the other side have been filled by MIG welding. Then a bunch of hammer and dolly work to get the shape back.
And so we took off home. Straight into @sheepers shed... as I said, this all happened a bit quicker than I am used to.
KP61 Phone-3 by Richard Opie, on Flickr
Front off, subframe and suspension out. Then onto the labourious job of prepping for paint.
KP61 Phone-4 by Richard Opie, on Flickr
This is after the initial prep work for a coat of high build primer. You'll note the brake line holes and etc in the inner guards have also been filled. Thought it was a good idea while I was down at Seans to do it once and properly. This first prep really started to reveal just how good the job Sean did was. High spots at an absolute minimum - which is great, as these are way harder to fix than low spots, for obvious reasons.
KP61 Phone-5 by Richard Opie, on Flickr
Sheepers sprayed the first coat of primer on the bay that same night. Was a fairly long day, but super cool nonetheless to see an inkling of what the final product was going to be like while the primer was still wet. Promising. Of course, lots, and lots, and lots of sanding still to come...
KP61 Phone-6 by Richard Opie, on Flickr
This is after a wet sand. A whole days worth of wet sanding. You can see all the red spot filler on the firewall. This is ALL WE NEEDED TO FILL IN. Let that sink in for a while. After the amount of welding heat and bashing that had gone into the firewall, the requirement to crack out the bog was slim to nil in the end. That's how damn good Sean is.
Regardless of how good it was, I ended up with trench-hands from being in wet gloves all day, which was equal parts gross and hilarious.
But then the second coat of primer went on...
KP61 Phone-7 by Richard Opie, on Flickr
HOW GOOD. The followup to this was pretty much a rinse and repeat of the earlier scenario. But with more hand sanding, and less power assistance. Definitely a learning process, figuring out how best to make the paper do the work, while maintaining a smooth surface ready for the base coat.
KP61 Phone-8 by Richard Opie, on Flickr
This was about the moment I began to properly fizz. Couldn't stay in the shed while it was being sprayed as I didn't have appropriate respiratory protection, but when the door rolled up... this shot of the bay coated in a colour matched red was the result. Not bad? Major tent pants moment was still to come, however.
KP61 Phone-9 by Richard Opie, on Flickr
Look at that! You could bloody go swimming in that gloss. Sheeper was a little bit apprehensive to try the clearcoat I bought (that was recommended by the joker at CarColors Albany) since different product can apparently yield very different results if you're not familiar with spraying it. But how good is the result, testament to the multi-talents of the lanky fella on the gun. A couple of runs for sure, and a little bit of dirt got in the paint - expected for spraying it in a garage. But nothing that can't be very easily fixed.
Today was a day off working on it - from go to whoa this took 5 days in total. I'm heading back tomorrow to touch up the underseal in the guards and also reassemble the car, take it back to the shed it lives in and crack on with the engine while I let the paint harden enough to wet sand or cut/polish the imperfections out.
Thanks for looking.