Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way) - Page 3 - First Generation Forum

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Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Friday, January 01, 2016 5:39 PM
Well I am hitting off on a fresh start in 2016, off and running!!

We got a coupon in the local paper for our hardware store - just happens to be the very place where I buy my paint for the J-Bodies!!

Did a little networking and picked up an extra coupon so the Sweetie and we each picked up a gallon of enamel today. This is how I can afford to lay so much of the stuff and never mind the sanding when some more painting is needed. 2 gallons for under 30 bucks!!!

Great way to start off the new year!!

This is for the Wagon - the Dark Blue upper color I seen to have to repaint so often....Hahaa!

This one is for Tammy's '98 - she picked color out of the reds that were available. (I guess red cost a few bucks extra)

Here are the 2 gallons. I got lots of gallons of this stuff nowadays. Come to think of it , I have quite of J-Bodies to paint on, don't I!!


Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Saturday, January 02, 2016 2:25 PM
Hey Orlen,

Nothing beats the old school oil based paints.

Off Topic!
Was up to my (not really mine but should be for what I contribute to taxes) storage barn to add another car to the collection last week.

Two 84 Cavalier verts and one Mustang vert for me. My brother has a Cadillac and a Corvette.

Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Sunday, January 10, 2016 2:57 PM
Nice photo of all those cars covered up for the winter! I bet the Mustang must feel a little out of place Hahaa!!

I finally found a good hood to put on the old Wagon. The original has been a PIA to keep painted and looking nice. I picked up quite a few over the years always trying to get something a little better then the one before - as luck would have it though none of them were exactly what I was looking for. Finally got this one off that red Hatch that has been at the bone yard. Been tied up getting so much other stuff I didn't get an honest good look at it and when I did I discovered it was really nice.

Got a couple of quick photos before I took the sander to it today. Kinda sad to hit it with the sander when it had fresh paint on it, but bright red wasn't exactly going to blend in with the dark blue upper color I have on the Wagon. Nice little winter project - I will work on it up on the 3rd floor and have a nice hood when the pretty weather returns!

Quick question - is leaving the hood insulation off a bid no no or just a matter of preference? I've seen it both ways over the years.


Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Sunday, January 10, 2016 8:44 PM
Your choice really.I prefer this as it is a oem item and if not just junky reuse it.You surely cannot just find them in mint condition either at the junkyard most of the time.

Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Monday, January 11, 2016 7:28 AM
Thanks Ron.

My main issue are those darn plastic fittings that hold the insulation on. They tend to mess up the insulation trying to remove them - most of them wind up breaking due to age, and finding the right fitting replacements are hard.

Such is our plight with 30 year old parts... Haahaa!!


Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Monday, January 11, 2016 8:17 PM
The plastic clips can be bought pretty easy just in real small packs.I use auto zone or napa and yes other auto stores too.I use a upholstery tool to pry them up and while they break I have had to replace them on my nephews now retired 98 accord when I swapped the insulation to his new hood two years ago.I recommend ebay on the clips.I just bought a 121 kit of plastic plugs/fasteners for 36.00 for Honda/acura mostly as I do tend to several Honda's in the family as you well know.Oh and check lowes home improvement they def carry the big round plugs for the hood and not too $$ in my opinion.Lowes carries about 25 different plastic plugs pop in or screw type on average.

Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Tuesday, January 12, 2016 10:21 AM
Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Wednesday, January 13, 2016 7:41 AM
Hey Orlen seen this on TV over the weekend... Cheap Do It Yourself Spray Gun Paint Job

Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Thursday, January 14, 2016 7:24 AM
Sorry, I been tied up with a busted water heater - joy joy.... ( one in the house, not on the car this time)

Thanks Ron and Frank for the information on the hood insulation fittings! Little tid bits like these really do help out! I had grabbed a pack a couple of years ago at the zone and they weren't the right diameter for the little holes punched in the hood to hold them. Now I can do much better!

Spike that is a cool video - I was always scared to try a power painter with oil based paint - - especially when I cut it with acetone.Obviously they didn't blow up the place - but then they could afford to, Hahaa!! That paint job didn't look too shabby either for two-fifty.

I actually had a teacher ask me what my old wagon was today when I dropped the Grandson off at school on the way to work. She said she loved that little wagon - well , I guess that makes 2 of us! Starting to see a lot of people giving me strange looks these days when I drive around in my custom painted machines. All I can say is it my own little dream I'm living - and having a wonderful time


Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Monday, January 18, 2016 7:34 PM
You are right Orlen. After many years of driving my Cavalier it is now getting some.........well just a little bit of respect!

Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Saturday, March 19, 2016 6:03 PM
Been painting on the hood here and there when I get a notion. Finished the under side - got about 9 hours into this so far. Painted this side with brushes.

Been collecting odds and ends when I am at the yard too, here I have some plugs.You'd be amazed how many people tune up a bad engine hoping it will cure their dilemma. A few minutes with drill & wire wheel and I've got a spare set. Plugs ,like everything else aren't as cheap as they used to be.


Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Saturday, March 19, 2016 8:00 PM
Hood looks real good!
Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Saturday, March 19, 2016 10:39 PM
Agree on the hood. Didn't realize it'd turn out so good. Thinking it might be the way to go considering the price, bet its more durable then spray paint for at home do it yourself ers without the ovens and such..

ReD RaiN
Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 7:16 PM
Hood looks good and the plugs look even better. You are right Orlen on the price of plugs. But I think they last three times longer than the old plugs. Or maybe it is just because modern engines just run much cleaner?

Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Sunday, June 05, 2016 5:46 PM
Finally got the hood installed on the Wagon today. Decided to try and see if I could get the original insulation off, and it came off very well, even the fasteners came off intact! So here is a few photos of the progress. Also giving the cowl, fenders, and header a coat to match up the color. Won't be long now!!


Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Tuesday, June 07, 2016 10:21 AM

Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 9:04 AM
Another cheap way to get some neat paint effects A Rattle-Can Paint Job Can Yield Professional Results

Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Sunday, January 01, 2017 6:25 PM
It has been awhile since I posted on here talking about the 1st Gens.......

Since the weather was pretty darn nice today I decided to spend part of it with the old '84 Sunbird.

I will try to get a few photos uploaded the next time I get it out, but I can imagine everyone already knows what I have after all the stuff I have posted over the years. The only difference is I gained all my weight back... Hahaa

The car really has a thick coat on it - as I have added to my pile of coverage over time. I now have a piece of thick auto carpet (from the rear of suvs) on the roof and hood, an old car cover, and new car cover, then an old tarp and a new tarp all piled up on top of this car. What all this mess does, is create lots of air barriers and really has allowed me to keep most of the paint in pretty darn good condition over the years despite the fact this car was covered with surface rust when I got it in 2011. Surprisingly it does not take long to remove 4 layers off and put them back on - I simply remove the 2 tarps together and then the 2 car covers. The tarp on the ground is invaluable - the bottom of the car still looks as good as it did 6 years ago. This car stays outside 24/7 and has an ultra cheapo paint job and we live blocks away from a paper mill spewing out God knows what everyday.

The hood has blistered and is in badly need of a repaint, but the paint has not come off as of yet. Most of this damage has occured as I have learned through trial and error how to keep my car covered up. It is only too late to discover that a tarp has worn out - by that time moisture has already gotten through! The sides ,front & rear are in perfect condition. I have finally gotten the hood I acquired from Ron sanded down and it along with the trunk lid and spoiler are ready to paint up this winter. Picked up another gallon of the upper color enamel at the hardware store Saturday for under $20 on sale - can still get the right mix formulas for all the paint jobs I have done - so I asked if I could get copies of them for future reference while I was at the hardware store.

So the engine is also in need of work - I had discovered water in the oil back in the fall. Immediately drained, and changed oil and filter. Now this might sound crazy but this has actually worked.I don't know at this point if I suffer from a cracked head or a blown gasket, but the coolant leaks down the past the piston into the crankcase when the car sits a long time. My temporary solution has been to simply drain the cooling system. As today, when I go for a spin I fill up with water, go for my drive and then when I get home I spin open the petcock. I do notice bubbles in the coolant recovery tank when the engine is running, but so far I don't have steam blowing out the tailpipe, or water in the crankcase after a run. As anyone with a Brazil engine knows the T-Stat is crazy easy to remove, so I have left it out.

Tammy and I enjoyed about a 40 mile run run today and kept all the oily bits moving around for a spell. We didn't drive on the highway, but took the back roads and drove at a leisurely pace. For the car to be in such need of work it really ran well today - got us everywhere we wanted to go and brought us right back home again.It is very important to keep a car out on the road - if you let them set all kinds of troubles sit in. I also just keep a small amount of gas in the tank, and just add a couple of gallons when I take it out for a run - this keeps fresh fuel in the system. Sure was a nice way to start off the new year and looking forward to getting some work done on the hood - and under it on the Sunbird this year.

I hope this might give some folks out there some ideas of how to preserve their J's , and maybe even keep them running a little longer till they can get dug in replace a head or gasket. It sure has been working for this one! I had let this car sit too long and last year I discovered it was really going downhill due to lack of use. When I would start the car up it would sputter, and as it warmed up the engine would race and then sag and sputter - back and forth. Getting the car back on the road had eliminated those symptoms completely! I spent a few bucks last year and did a car fax on my vehicles. I was very surprised to discover this Sunbird was originally sold new right here in Covington, and I am the 4th owner of it. This particular J has a lot of local history right here.


Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Sunday, January 01, 2017 7:08 PM
Great to hear the update Orlen.

I start my 84 often and let it warm to temperature. I seem to have an oil leak somewhere, but the engine is clean enough I will find it when things warm up. My other projects have been taking precedent though. My 94 Camaro is finally getting the motor/trans mount work wrapped up it has needed since this summer. AND the big news...

We bought my daughter a car for her to use... a 2000 Pontiac Firebird V6 with a 5 speed. It was intended to be her daily but after doing the research, it turns out it is 1 of 460 produced with the Blue Green Chameleon / Mystic Teal paint in 2000. It is a very low optioned 1SA car with manual everything. It only has 90k miles so it sat for a while and has many issues. I enjoy the challenge of knocking them down one at a time so that will be priority one for now.

Happy New Year!

Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Monday, January 02, 2017 2:07 PM
Nice to hear from Orlen. Seems like you have been quite the last few months.

I agree with the lack of use contributing to some real issues with these cars. A lot of it is age and rust just creeping up. My brown vert has been
in storage now for 3 years and when I started it last fall and started looking it over it is starting to rust pretty the engine bay.

Paul, I got hooked on 4th gen mustangs when I bought my oldest daughter one. Maintaining and insuring 5-6 cars at a time can take a lot of time and energy.

Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Monday, January 02, 2017 10:23 PM
It has been awhile orlen since you have commented for sure my friend.As for sunny untouched but,a ton other other things have road blocked that.I just finished my nephews 06 accord work and that was picked up today.I did kind of scold him on the tire psi.All of his tires were literally 7-8 psi low(whoa) and some ugly language at the time checking them and rotation.I did get two new tires for the car as they alignment was wayyyy out and tires feathered bad.Yes I got a lifetime alignment deal with firestone for a small amount of $180.00 plus tax.In short I just fixed/addressed my nephews car issues clean and maintenance.With all this rain the last week or so no outdoor work on the old 1998 accord either which I have to fix and sell which is retired for Us family wise.R

Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Sunday, January 29, 2017 10:29 AM
Last year I saw a lot less activity here on J-Body. It was a rough year with the election and all the commotion , but now it is 2017. I will try to do my part to keep the J-Body enthusiasm perking with some of my journey. Hope it will be contagious !!

Finally started on the z-24 Hood.

It is a very humbling experience knowing how darn rare these hood are, and how incredibly fortunate I was to come across one.

I am sure purist will gag at the scenes, but it my opinion that it is better to save one this way and get some enjoyment out of it rather than have seen it get destroyed as it surly would have. Didn't turn out quite as well as I'd like to have it, but 2nd best is always a friendly reminder we are all just as human as we can possibly be, LoL.

So on to the usual stuff:

Original white:

Primer Grey :

Final color coat:


Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Tuesday, January 31, 2017 10:24 PM
So - how long is too long to let a car sit? How often - minimum - should you get out and drive it?
Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Wednesday, February 01, 2017 6:02 AM
Hi Hugh!

I'm no expert, but my opinion is at least take it out for a spin once a month for an hour or 2. I keep the tank low on the Pontiac. Park it on near empty and then add a couple of gallons of fresh gas when I go out. I understand it is much harder to do that up North during the winter months. Try to keep everything moving and the fluids circulated. It is so easy to let a vehicle sit and then forget about it. Next thing ya know, it won't start or it won't move and then a lot of folks just give up.


Re: Painting on my 1st gens.....(the hard way)
Monday, February 06, 2017 10:33 PM
Thanks! That sounds right.

I heard running with the fuel low causes strain on the fuel pump, but you mention filling it up a bit before driving.
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