Well I reached a bit of a milestone with the shell almost done. To say its been a hard slog would be a great understatement ! I was intending on keeping things close to my chest until further progress was made but that could be another 2 years away
As much as I'd love to say that I did it all on my own, that would be untrue. There are a number of people that I need to thank for helping get the bodywork and paint looking so good. I think the shell has turned out more than respectable and Im happy with my efforts !
The bodywork journey started over 5 years ago when I had a panel beater by the name of Brad come look at it to get things started in his spare time. Well needless to say, it was a little too much for him to do on the side and I think you've all seen why
Mate I can only now imagine what you were thinking at the time
Anyhow thats how it all began.
Big thanks to the following people and for taking the time to show me stuff.
Ricky from Mazbitz, cant say enough about this guy. Showed me more than a thing or two.... nothing was ever a problem and really if it wasnt for you I'd be struggling for parts, advise and technique on how to do some things.
Dennis (Rotary Lover), I can now stop hassling you regarding painting
Dave (Restoremaz), you wont find a bigger Mazda enthusiast/ restorer anywhere on the planet. I appreciate you showing me how you do things when I pop down. My mind is always running a millon miles an hour trying to remember everything !
Barry from the heart of Australia's rotor land, Sydney's inner West. I havent seen so many Rx3s under the one roof
Thanks for the run down on painting. If it wasnt for you I would have never given it a go, Im glad I did. No better way to pass a day, eating Kebabs and fixing Rx3s
Andy, Vince and Greg from Docklands TAFE.... nothing was ever too hard for these guys in the body department., showed me more than a thing or two and are the people who gave us a head start in the metal work department. Its amazing what these guys can make from nothing.
..........onto the update.
These are the products used to paint the car. Like always read the safety sheets. Pic 1, top left HiFill, bottom left paint, reducer for mixing the various products, SRA thinner for blending, p25 is a hardener (different ones for different temps), finally spray putty and hardener. Pic 2 is a cheaper line of products but still very good, Lesonal Epoxy primer for bare steel, reducer and hardener. To give you an idea on price differences between brands. 5L of Lesonal reducer is approx $40, 5L in Sikkens is around $180. Paint can get very expensive. I went for a 2 pak solid (no clear) for a more authentic type finish because thats what I wanted.
I used an Iwata W400 for painting, pretty standard issue. I use different spray guns for primers as they need larger fluid tips. The paint manufacturer will normally recommend the fluid tip to use for their products. Pic 2 after painting the car is rubbed back with 2000 wet then with 3000 wet on a DA sander. The finer the scratches the easier compounding will be. Change paper regularly as well as use clean water to avoid more scratches.
I use a soft interface backing pad on the back of the 3000 pad that attaches to the DA sander. The 3000 pads come in a box of 10. Pic 2, Im using a water based cutting compound as my first step towards polishing. This is matched with a compounding foam pad. You use different pads with different products. The foam isnt as aggressive as a wool pad however both can do serious damage to both you and the car if the pad catches an edge. I'll be doing the polishing using a rotary polisher.
Everything was fitted and aligned prior to painting, last thing I wanted was mismatched door lines. They will be painted separately to make things easier for a novice like me. Doors jambs, door shells, boot, and engine bay were painted first.
You can see jambs and inside doors have been done. Pic 2, soft edge tape is then used to stop any hard lines from appearing. Pic2 a close up, yes that is the adhesive coming away from the foam not the paint ! Car was being rubbed back with 2000 wet in those photos.
I couldnt help myself, had to add the Rx3 badge even if only temporarily. If theres one thing I like about Rx3s, the Rx3 badge and the 3 round lights are a must have, everything else doesn't matter ! Quarter has been compounded, it'll be polished when I finish everything else off... looking damn good I think
This update should hopefully make a few others hurry up ! Car is painted in Aurora white which is a greeny white. This is this cars original colour and Im happy with it. The car has been red, blue and metallic green in the past. I think its nice that its finally back in the right colour. The more I look at it the morew I realise there is so much more to do and I think I was being over optimistic thinking it'll be finished this year. Ive started sorting through things to drop them off at the platers. We'll see how I go from there.... another 5 years