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98 RS | 98 L Wagon
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Discussion Starter · #541 ·
I've started finish sanding on some of the parts I've painted in the last few weeks. Yesterday I worked on the hood. This is not just a nice-to-do step to get a better finish overall, but basically a necessity for a DIY paint job. Without a paint booth, getting dirt and dust nibs in the paint and clear is nearly unavoidable. I started on the hood because it had quite a few (large horizontal surface picked up a lot of trash).

I started with blocking out all the nibs with a Kovax Tolecut. Then moved on to wet sanding on the DA with a soft interface pad using 3M Trizact 1500 grit and3000 grit. The clear looked really good off the gun honestly, but flattening out all the peel should make it look even better.



Then moved onto buffing - something I've never done before! This is an area that's easy to get lost on. So much information out there and infinite options an opinions on tools and materials. Ultimately I went with a pretty common Porter Cable buffer. I chose a simplified approach with pads and compound. I used chemical guys foam pads (orange for cutting, black for polishing/finishing), Menzerna 400 cutting compound and Menzerna 3 in 1 for polishing / sealing. Here it is just after a couple rounds of cutting...


And after the 3 in 1....


Honestly, this came out so good. The paint is not perfect and there are flaws I can find in it that probably most wont see. And for sure there are spots that I de-nibbed that I didn't finish sand enough - basically I didn't get all of the 800 - 1000 grit scratches out. So, I will go back over those spots later. But for now....This looks phenomenal and I'm really happy with it.




So, I'm planning more time this week to get the rest of the car re-painted. Also trying to get the glass install setup as well. Hopefully a lot more progress in the next couple weeks!
 

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That looks amazing! Wish you were closer to me so I could pester you for help with paint and bodywork! Super impressive job. Lots of respect for doing it yourself. I need to get over the fear and give it a shot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #544 ·
That looks amazing! Wish you were closer to me so I could pester you for help with paint and bodywork! Super impressive job. Lots of respect for doing it yourself. I need to get over the fear and give it a shot!
Thank you so much man. I'm always happy to answer questions. Hit me up on Instagram @Stewas87. I learned a ton from Paint Society on YouTube as well as some older Eastwood videos with Kevin Tetz (super corny, good info though).

That looks superb! Cutting and polishing really is one of those 1000 ways to skin a cat activities.
Thanks man! And yeah, you're 100% right. Lots of varying opinions and information out there that can make it feel overwhelming. In the end, I made it shiny and I'm happy with that :LOL:
 

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As far as your roof goes......The carbon is porous. Block sand the roof down as far as you can without burning through the clear and reclear. You can usually get away with 3-4 coats. It will eventually be fine. The issue with the current state is, you would have to strip the clear down to add more resin to the roof(I think). Get the roof blocked and leave it its sanded state for a few days because it will help it gas out better. Then reclear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #548 ·
As far as your roof goes......The carbon is porous. Block sand the roof down as far as you can without burning through the clear and reclear. You can usually get away with 3-4 coats. It will eventually be fine. The issue with the current state is, you would have to strip the clear down to add more resin to the roof(I think). Get the roof blocked and leave it its sanded state for a few days because it will help it gas out better. Then reclear.
Yep, this is basically what I've done. I sanded it back and then mixed up some clear and brushed it on into all the little voids. Then I blocked that all back down again. It's better...I'm going to shoot a couple more coats over this and see how it looks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #549 · (Edited)
Big progress over the last week. I finished prepping the rest of the car and parts for re-painting on Thursday, and then Friday spent all day painting. Overall, things went much better this time and I'm really happy with the result. The sun-light that I bought really came in clutch for checking coverage. There's no way I could have done this without it. I found that the paint was very forgiving. It was possible to blend into areas where coverage was poor without coating the entire panel if needed. Not sure what else to say...I'm just stoked. Glass is going in Tuesday after work. Will be working on final assembly and all the details...but...It's so close! On to some photos...

Prepped...



Checking coverage with the sun-light...


Clear...


The next morning I got the car out into the sun and started mocking up all the body parts. It was so relieving to see how good this looked in direct sunlight.



It already looks so good. There are definitely a few runs I need to correct. And the whole thing needs finish sanding and buffing...but man...I'm so excited to finally be at this stage.


 

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Discussion Starter · #554 ·
So, despite the Nexus being a great all-in-one ECU/PDM, I had always been on the edge of its power output capability. All of the major functions of the car work, obviously, but there were a few items left on the list that I had yet to make a concrete plan for. Things like: Power windows, wipers, washer, horn, etc. There are also some future things I MAY want to add to the car like fog lights, a second thermo-fan (radiator or oil cooler?), a cool suit system, etc. So, All of this is pointing to needing more power management. Turns out Haltech just came out with a standalone PDM for their architecture, so when I saw them in stock I jumped on it.



This gives me 10 more 8 amp outputs, 4 more 25 amp outputs and a couple half bridge outputs. For now, I'm just going to be working on wiring up windows and wipers. Windows still will take some more trickery to get working how I want. I also picked up an additional 8 button CAN keypad to control some of this stuff. Exciting!


Another goal this week was to get some more "complete" photos for the insurance underwriter. I mocked up the car again last night and temporarily installed a few of the window trims just to make it look a bit more together. Snapped these photos and sent them off. This weekend I'm going to disassemble it again and finish cutting and buffing. I also plan to re-paint the quarter trims and install new quarter-trim rubber. Finally, need to re-clear the roof once more. There will be a lot of work into final assembly, getting all the parts fit just right. Hopefully I have enough time for that!






 

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Could you try and take some pictures of the rear quarter trim mounting while you're at it? I'm going to have to get some of the RCM seals to redo mine when I get into paint and body, but haven't really looked at how they come apart. I definitely don't want to break them in the process.
 

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Yep, this is basically what I've done. I sanded it back and then mixed up some clear and brushed it on into all the little voids. Then I blocked that all back down again. It's better...I'm going to shoot a couple more coats over this and see how it looks.
Worst case scenario do 3 to 4 coats, let it dry again and then block with 1000 and re shoot. When we did cars at the chassis shop they sometimes got cleared up to 3 times depending on the color to add depth. Each time they would get blocked in between. Talk about an annoying process haha. I am omiotek by the way. I just logged in with Gmail since I'm at work
 

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Discussion Starter · #557 ·
Could you try and take some pictures of the rear quarter trim mounting while you're at it? I'm going to have to get some of the RCM seals to redo mine when I get into paint and body, but haven't really looked at how they come apart. I definitely don't want to break them in the process.
Yep, I can do that. There are a couple of the clips that are no longer available. So definitely be careful!
 

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Discussion Starter · #558 ·
Could you try and take some pictures of the rear quarter trim mounting while you're at it? I'm going to have to get some of the RCM seals to redo mine when I get into paint and body, but haven't really looked at how they come apart. I definitely don't want to break them in the process.
Okie doke, here yah go...

These clip onto the front vertical edge of the glass. These cannot be replaced / are not available from the dealer.


These pop into the holes around the window. There's three of them. They thread into the trim. They are available currently from the dealer.



These clip onto the glass along the bottom edge of the window. These are also currently available from the dealer.


And finally, you have the stud that's in the lower rear corner of the trim, nut accessed from inside the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #560 ·
Some more progress from the last couple days...

Front end body work is completely installed. Lights are completely wired. Quarter window and door trims are cleaned up and re-painted. I installed the RCM quarter window rubber kit but I'm not stoked on it...It was really hard to install and didn't come out great. Better than nothing I suppose, but I just really wish new trims were available.



Monday I re-cleared the roof. Much better this time. I still took some extra clear and dropped it into all the little holes I could find. It's not 100%, but after finish sanding and buffing it looks prrrretty good. There are definitely some pits and imperfections...but god damn, its a carbon roof and it's so pretty its almost distracting enough it doesn't matter.




Bolted my wing down. Installed trunk springs. I expected that the WRC rep wing would be heavy enough that springs couldn't keep it open. So I also bought Bakemono's WRC trunk prop. Turns out, the springs do just fine so this isn't needed. But it looks cool :LOL:


Also picked up a set of Bakemono S201 mirrors. No surprise these basically don't function as mirrors, but they look amazing. I tried some little blind-spot mirrors on them. They help a little.



A few other things...I can't get the upper window trims to fit. I don't know if its an issue with the roof, or if the glass isn't installed in the exact right position. But, the clips will not "clip" around the lip of the glass :cry: It's like they can't sit down into the groove far enough. I also drove the car up and down my street a couple times. Rear tires were rubbing the struts / springs, so that needs camber adjustment at the knuckle. I also have a grinding / rubbing in the front that needs inspection. Maybe rotor backing plate. I need to get it all up in the air check everything over.

Overall I'm stoked! The car is insured as of today. Appointment Friday to get it registered. Its happening!
 
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