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Discussion Starter #1
So my dad surprised the heck out of me in August 2011 when he gave me a blue 70 GTO he bought from some friends of ours. After I had recovered from my heart attack he handed me the keys and she's been my daily driver ever since (except in the winter, too much salt). Late last summer I did my first head swap and changed out the 6x heads with much more powerful and date correct #13 heads. When I parked it for the winter I decided I would make my first attempt at a mild restoration. The car was in good enough shape that a frame off wasn't warranted, plus I'm a broke college student and that just wasn't in the cards. So I've been stripping and sanding and welding almost every weekend and after class since January, in a frantic and desperate attempt to have it finished before I graduate this May. Despite a few setbacks I have managed to get the fenders, hood, front valence, and trunk lid stripped to bare metal, wire wheeled the floorpan down and welded in a small patch panel, and I am currently in the process of stripping the endura bumper. Hopefully by the end of the weekend I will have the bumper sanded down and have a coat of 3m flexible parts epoxy applied and sanded. After that I will strip the doors, roof, and quarter panels. Hopefully by then it will be warm enough to shoot everything in a coat of epoxy and start bodywork. My plan is to do all the prep work myself and have a professional shoot the base and clear coat. It would be neat to paint my own car, but it would cost more and look crappier if I did it myself. The real art is in the prep work anyways. I'm not sure if I can get everything done by May, but I intend on trying my best. Luckily I have two mentors who rebuild GTOs and occasionally hot rods for a living (they are who my dad got the car from). I'll keep updating this thread every once in a while. As soon as I figure out how to post photos using my phone I will post some showing my current progress.
 

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Welcome to the forum, nice to see another youngster with a classic. Looks like you have a nice foundation to start, you would be surprised at what you can do yourself to save some money (did mine all myself including paint). Sounds like you have a good plan. Your correct the key is in the prep, the best paint job won't hide a wavy panel. Most of the man hours for good paint are spent in block sanding and smoothing the surface, thats why good body and paint costs so much. In reality you are paying them to CARE about your car, the more you pay the more they will care. You sound detail oriented so i am sure you will do fine, but don't be afraid of squirting it yourself if budget requires. I rented a booth at the local HS for 200.00, primer, paint, and materials ran around 1300 with 4 coats of premium clear. Check out BEAR and FLAMBEAU's cars they were also built and finished in-house.
 

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Cool! And congratulations. Don't be afraid to tackle the paint yourself. I did mine, in my garage, and it was the first paint job I ever attempted. I'm reasonably happy with how it turned out...



The magic in getting a nice finish is something like 70% in the prep and then 20% or so in the color sanding and buffing you do after spraying it. A very small part of the results is owing to the actual spraying. If I can get results like this in my garage with no spray booth, my first time on a black car, then I'm willing to bet that you can also get results you'd be proud of.
Two resources you need:
The complete set of videos from Kevin Tetz at Paintucation.com{/url}
Kevin's web forum that is devoted to paint & body topics.

Bear
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The main thing about shooting the car myself is the cost. I would have to get a good spray gun, and all the paint, and a buffer and attachments and buffing formulas etc. Somewhere like maaco can do a paint job cheaper than I can, and they shoot 50+ cars a week so as long as the prep work is good they will do a better job shooting it than I could, for less money.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have a few long term plans for the car for after I finish grad school... Basically I will probly end up spending half of my first years salary on car parts. Haha. First I plan on replacing all of the suspension components with the Hotchkiss kit. It would be awesome to have a 43 year old car take corners like no ones business. Next I want to swap out the th400 for something with overdrive. As much as I drive the car it would do me a lot of good. After that I'll pull the engine and install a butler performance 461 striker kit, maybe even butler heads. As long as I can get 500hp and 550+fpt, I'll be happy. Has anyone done any of these modifications before? I know this is 3+ years down the road before I get to this but I'm just curious.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So this weekend I managed to get a lot of little teadious stuff done. I finished sanding all the small areas inside the headlight and grill areas on the endura bumper, and used a dremel tool with sanding bits to sand all the areas on my front valence I couldn't do with the da. Didn't get everything but close. I also dropped and disassembled my rear bumper and thoroughly inspected my trunk. There's a lot of surface rust, but I only have a few small holes after hitting it with a wire wheel. However, there are a lot of tight little nooks and crannies in the trunk area. How do you go about getting everything cleaned up for epoxy and spatter paint? I've kicked around soda or media blasting, but I don't wanna pay someone else to do it, and I don't want to get sand or soda everywhere. What are your guys's suggestions regarding this??
 

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wire wheel it, use POR15 over the rust scale, spread filler on it and sand before primer and splatter paint (will hide alot of imperfections)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
wire wheel it, use POR15 over the rust scale, spread filler on it and sand before primer and splatter paint (will hide alot of imperfections)
The filler is an interesting idea. I probly won't use POR15 because I already have a gallon of epoxy and I'm not a fan of the POR15 system. The real issue I'm having is figuring out how to wire wheel everything in the trunk compartment. There's areas I know I won't be able to reach with the equipment I have, and the rust in some of those areas is bad enough that it needs to go. So what did some of you do to reach areas near the base of.the quarter panels, around the lid latch, up onto the wheel wells, etc??
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here are some photos of my trunk area I took today. Overall it is in good condition. The problem areas are where the drivers side wheel well meets the trunk pan, and on the inside of the quarter panels where the bumper wraps around. Any advice on how to tackle these issues would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The 3rd photo is the rear corner of the quarter panel that has a lot of rust, and a small slit that I can see through. The 4th photo is where the bottom of the drivers quarter panel meets the trunk. The 5th photo is where the drivers wheel well meets the trunk pan.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
did some more grinding after posting those. Looks like the seam where the trunk pan meets the wheel well on the drivers side (photo 1) is rusted all the way through, but it doesn't go very far, maybe only an inch or so into the trunk pan. The rear corners of the quarter panels (pictures 2 and 4) look to be rusted through in places, with bondo stuck in there. I ground out what I could, but I didn't want to blow through the metal until I knew what I was going to do to fix it.
 

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thats the good thing about POR15 you do not have to get all the rust off just the scale and it is supposed to make it inert, the epoxy won't do that. Your best bet will be soda blasting and patching the metal if its rusted through the wheel house. The pitting on the pan can be epoxied, filled with body icing and sanded smooth (tedious), then splatter painted.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I guess my next step is to strip the quarter panels to see what kinds of secrets they're hiding before I tackle the rest of the trunk. I have some rust converter paint that I used on my floor pan. It works really well. I will most likely do the same in the trunk, then epoxy. Still haven't figured out what I'm gonna do about the areas I can't get to with the wire wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Took a slight detour today from the GTO and decided to get some bodywork practice on my motorcycle tank before I get to anything too serious. Sanded it down to metal, got all that old mud out of the dents, put down some new mud, feathered it out real well, primed it, sanded it, and shot it with flat olive green paint. Then I hit the gas cap with plasti dip, which looked good but I don't think it is durable enough. I will probly peel it off and powder coat it instead. My plan is to put my rebuilt starter, New chain and sprockets in, reattach the newly painted tank, clean everything else up, and sell it so I can get more parts for the GTO. Roommate sold it to me for dirt cheap so I think I can turn a good profit. After that I removed the drivers side door on the car, took all the hardware off, and stripped the paint off the door shell. Has some rust at the bottom front corner but should be an easy patch. Forgot to take pics of that so I will post more later. Slowly but surely all that old paint is coming off to reveal a remarkably solid 43 year old body, especially for the Midwest.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I decided to pull my front and back windshields this week. Turned out to be a good thing. There's lots of cleaning up under there that needs to happen. I've been grinding all of the surface rust and paint out of the windshield channels and there are a few areas that are rusted through. However, they were hidden under bondo so my guess is the previous owner saw the rust and smacked a little mud over the holes. It seemed to have worked, as the rust doesn't appear to be any worse than when they mudded over it. What's your suggestions for how I should approach this? Mud it back up, or try and cut it out and weld new metal in? My welding skills and equipment are primitive at best... The holes aren't bad, a few dime sized or smaller with one area about two inches long that's swiss cheese. I'm thinking if I sealed everything in epoxy and put new mud in it would be perfectly fine but I just wanted to ask. I'm sure its a common rust problem.
 

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Those small areas i would cut and weld in patches now while you have it apart. Take out as little as you have to to get to good metal and practice your welding skills in those hidden areas for the rest of the body. Like my buddy says, i am a shitty welder but one HELL of a good grinder.
 
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