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Monthly Archives: May 2017

Spray Painting Car

The number of steps involved in spray painting a car can be as simple as four or five to about ten. But the sequencing remains the same.

Preparing the car

The car needs a thorough wash of the exterior surface with water and mild soap and complete drying. Removing fixtures from the interior is necessary. A closed well-lit and well ventilated garage can be used or an open space in the yard where access to air and light is easy.

Sanding the car

The surface of the car should be completely scrubbed with large sandpaper to remove the old paint. This can be back-breaking but once the paint starts peeling off its quite easy. Then finer sandpaper should be used for removing scratches and signs of corrosion. Any minor gaps must be filled with putty and dried before painting leaving the entire exterior smooth.

Masking off and taping

Prevention of over-spraying is essential using masking tape or pre taped film so that outline tape lines are not visible. In case painting is done inside a garage, covering the entire car with plastic sheeting is a good option.

Applying primer

Primer spray paint is good at filling scratches and should be sprayed over clean, dry and sanded exterior. One or more coats can be applied leaving about 10-15 minutes between coats.

Spray painting – first coat

After covering windows, frames, bumpers, wheel rims with newspaper and tape to seal off the area not being painted first, use the spray paint gun and position yourself about 10 inches to a foot away from the car surface. An even and regular spraying motion allows the coat to spread evenly and build up a nice and smooth surface. Now the paint has to be left to dry completely.

Adding a second coat

Professionals advise a second paint layer to give the car a completely new look. But getting that look depends entirely on allowing the first coat to dry completely before the second coat of paint goes up. A quick rub through with car wax gives a shiny and smooth feel to the car.

Fitting Stainless Steel Bumpers

This winter I turned my attention to the Austin Healey’s chrome work, none of which was showing any rust but was becoming a bit dull through many years of being polished. I bought new parts for the bonnet grille and new door handles from AH Spares and fitted these and then turned my attention to the bumpers.

Last winter we repainted our Jaguar E-Type and I had the rear bumpers re-chromed. This turned from a straightforward job into a 3 month saga and cost the same as a new set of bumpers. So rather than go though the same pain with the Austin Healey bumpers I decided to just replace them. While searching for replacements (AH Spares and others) I came across a company which offers highly polished stainless steel bumpers instead of chrome.

The price worked out about the same as new chrome ones and they would have the benefit that the finish can’t develop pock marks, rust through or polish off. The only possible fly in the ointment was that they are manufactured and sold by a non UK company – based in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. This doesn’t mean I am xenophobic. It is just that most of our classic hire cars (the US ones excepted) were built fairly locally I have the luxury of the parts suppliers being local, and if there is anything wrong with any of the parts I can pop in the car and return them. Not so easy to return to Vietnam.

Anyway I decided to go ahead and order them. Ordering was simple enough and they were shipped via TNT the following day,arriving here within about a week. Removing the old bumpers was really easy, as I had removed them a few years ago to clean and polish them, and paint the inside and I had used copper grease on the bolts when I re-assembled them.

As ever fitting the new stainless steel bumpers took a little longer. They were all made to the same dimensions as the old ones, all the holes in the right places and came complete with a set of bolts. Here I have two minor criticisms:

1) the bolts are mild steel and not stainless steel to match the bumpers
2) they came with flat washers but I always add spring washers – which really ought to have been included

Automotive Paint Protection Film

The primary purpose of Clear Bra is to prevent scuffs, rock chips and other types of vandalism which cause damage to a vehicle’s paint and body. It is commonly applied on the front facing portions of cars, trucks, and SUVs. It may also be used on the full body of a vehicle to provide maximum protection for the vehicle’s factory paint.

Originally developed for use in military applications, it is now commercially available for public use. The automotive industry took note of the benefits offered by the paint protection film and began applying it to race cars to protect the expensive carbon fiber and fiberglass bodies. Originally the film was thicker and tough to install because the thick film was designed to protect helicopter blades from sand erosion.

The film available on the market today is specifically designed to be flexible and conformable to a vehicle’s body. There are many options available in the market with specific types manufactured primarily with the technical capability to offer top level protection and even self-healing capabilities.

Scratches on brand new or well-maintained vehicles not only destroy the look of your car, truck or SUV, they reduce the resale value. To prevent a car from suffering at the hands of vandalism or road debris, paint protection film is the perfect solution.

Clear Bra has the strength to withstand the hazards on the road such as debris, rocks, sand and cement. It will shield the areas on the vehicle where it is installed and keep the body looking like it did the day you applied the film. Many of the premium films have self-healing properties so the film will heal itself when damaged by scratches and cracks. Another great application is to protect your vehicle from children playing near the car and scratching the paint surface with their toys.

The most reliable brands of paint protection film on the market today are the original Clear Bra, 3M, Suntek, and Xpel. Xpel and 3M are the preferred films used in our shop due to their self-healing properties and industry leading warranties. In addition to full rolls of film, many of these manufacturers offer the DIY enthusiast pre-cut kits that are unique to a vehicle’s make, model and year.

Today there is no shortage of cheaply made films imported from places like China and India and sold on sites like eBay and Amazon. Always be wary of any material that does not come from a reputable manufacturer. Cheap paint protection film will not protect your vehicle, and often the cheap adhesives used in this type of material will damage your factory paint when you attempt to remove it.

There are many types of installation for paint protection film. Most installers do not have plotters. Therefore they have no choice but to apply the fill directly from the roll and cut the material to length on your vehicle. Reputable installation shops that have invested in plotters use specially designed software to create a pattern for the shape of the panel on which the film is to be installed and have it plotted or cut with precision. A plotter can also be used to modify the cut pattern to fit custom patterns such as aftermarket body kits and bumpers.

A popular installation technique for the DIY customer is a pre-cut kit. A pre-cut kit can be ordered by your vehicle make, model, and year and comes ready to install out of the box. The downside of a pre-cut kit is if you damage one of the sections of material during installation, you’ll have to purchase an entirely new kit. Pre-Cut Kits are also not available for any custom parts you have on your vehicle such as an aftermarket bumper, body kit, or spoiler.

When you are looking for a Clear Bra installer, it is imperative to select a reputable shop with good reviews. The installation requires cutting near your car, truck or SUV’s paint with razor blades. An impatient or unskilled installer can quickly cause substantial and irreversible damage to your expensive vehicle.

All about Drifting With Toyo Tyres

You let the hand brake down and prepare yourself for a fast getaway. You trust Toyo Tyres because they can hold to the ground no matter what. As you edge more forward than your opponent, you can feel the speed pushing you back into your seat. As the road curve approaches you, instinctively you hold tighter onto the steering wheel. With your other hand you prepare to pull the hand brake up.

As you brake, you can hear the tyres screeching as they drift across the tar. Smoke can be seen in your rear view mirror hiding your opponent in the pungent burning rubber smell. You release the hand brake and accelerate to win your victory.

You can hear the tyres move in normal motion. Their smooth rotation makes the race more comfortable and quicker. As you approach the next curve, you notice that it cuts through a tunnel and you realise that you need to have maximum control to avoid knocking into the concrete cave. You lock your hand around the wheel and hold tight onto the hand brake once again. You feel the car slipping too closely to the wall and pull the wheel in the opposite direction as you release the hand brake and accelerate narrowly missing the wall.

You feel proud that your Toyo Tyres managed to hold on to such torque and heat. The pain in your arm has finally been felt after that momentary adrenaline was felt. Your foot is stiff and locked at the ankle from the angle that you held it on the throttle. What would you have done without performance tyres?