Arizona Jeep Project

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Kraffty

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progressing slowly. Over the last couple of weeks I've dropped the rear suspension. Cleaned and treated the frame from the wheel well back and installed the lifted springs and shocks. Put in new isolators for the springs and buttoned everything up and took it for a test spin around the block. Feels awesome compared to when I first drove it. All of the videos I've watched imply there's no need to replace the stock track bar on up to a 2-1/2" lift BUT the axle is about 1" off center of the frame now so I've ordered a beefier and adjustable length bar to re-center the axle. So except for the control arms I've just about completely rebuilt or replaced the entire suspension.

I've probably watched over 100 different videos on Jeep repairs and modifications and the one theme repeated is the rust problems. While this beast came from the midwest originally I've only had to cut off one bolt so far and I owe that to WD-40 penetrating spray. On my second can now and I regularly start treating any nuts or bolts a few days ahead of when I plan on working in that area.

Next up the 3 feet or so of frame between the wheel wells and I'm ready to start on the body work.

JeepRearSuspension.jpg
 

sour_grapes

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Mike, you are living your best life! Your kitchen, art, photography, cooking, and now the jeep are impressive. (And I probably missed something.) Good retirement stuff!
 

Kraffty

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Thanks Paul, Lori and I are very fortunate and absolutely loving life!
I'd been kicking around ideas for a clever name or slogan for the jeep that references photography - 4byPhotog - Fauxtography - or something along that line and I woke up a couple of days ago with this in my head. Jumped up and sketched it out over morning coffee then knocked out the artwork later that morn. Think I'll have it made up in cut vinyl to stick above the "jeep" on the sides when I'm done.
PhotoKrafftographyLogo.jpg
 

sour_grapes

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Very nice!

On that subject, I have some sad news to relate. I finally broke down and sold my beloved 1995 Honda Civic a few months ago. The relevance here is that this was the car that I installed your Papa wine, Mama wine, Baby wine, and corkscrew graphics on. I doubt the new owner will appreciate the graphics as well as I did!
 

Kraffty

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Suspension Phase Done! Time to move on to the body work phase. The new 2.5" lift kit added about the exact amount of height I wanted. As reference, the tires are 32" tall so the entry is about 33-34" high, Lori had to use a step stool to climb in. I've received the new 3" tube nerf bars/side steps but won't install until I've finished the body and primed. Hopefully Jim can chime in about paint temps, I'm thinking I won't be able to paint until springtime since we'll rarely be in the 60's before then. I've also decided on gloss destroyer grey, non-metallic, for the body, roll cage, doors and windshield frame. Working on a spread sheet but so far I've spent 2500.00 (all from the floor boards down) on top of the original 5000.00 for the jeep itself.
JeepSuspDone.jpg
 

jswordy

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Suspension Phase Done! Time to move on to the body work phase. The new 2.5" lift kit added about the exact amount of height I wanted. As reference, the tires are 32" tall so the entry is about 33-34" high, Lori had to use a step stool to climb in. I've received the new 3" tube nerf bars/side steps but won't install until I've finished the body and primed. Hopefully Jim can chime in about paint temps, I'm thinking I won't be able to paint until springtime since we'll rarely be in the 60's before then. I've also decided on gloss destroyer grey, non-metallic, for the body, roll cage, doors and windshield frame. Working on a spread sheet but so far I've spent 2500.00 (all from the floor boards down) on top of the original 5000.00 for the jeep itself.
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Yep, you need 70s to paint. Right in there, it flashes off the solvents well, but not too fast or slow. I prefer that 70-80 range, either with a heated space or outdoors. If outdoors, I would construct a 2x4 frame and cover it with plastic to paint your vehicle in. There are an amazing number of bugs that'll get high on the fumes and will fly right into your smooth paint job. So, are you using a one-part paint, like acrylic enamel?

Waiting on the weather gives you a lot of time to really smooth out all the bodywork. I'd go over those areas once they are pretty smooth with a high-build primer and then sand them really smooth. This is gonna look cool.
 

Kraffty

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JeepsandedDrive.jpg

jeepsandedPass.jpg
The main reason I'm willing to attempt doing my own paint (other than cost) is that the body is already pretty straight and it's almost entirely flat panels. I mainly have to fill, smooth and then block between flat edges as guides. I've stripped all trim, sanded down most of the body with 100 grit just to see what I had under the paint - no filler or rust so all original surfaces. UPS delivering Body filler, abrasives and primer today. Checking on the hi-build primer, think I need another gun to spray that as a final coating, the one I bought has a 1.3 nozzle, maybe a cheap harbor freight gun just for the hi-build would work.
 

jswordy

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The main reason I'm willing to attempt doing my own paint (other than cost) is that the body is already pretty straight and it's almost entirely flat panels. I mainly have to fill, smooth and then block between flat edges as guides. I've stripped all trim, sanded down most of the body with 100 grit just to see what I had under the paint - no filler or rust so all original surfaces. UPS delivering Body filler, abrasives and primer today. Checking on the hi-build primer, think I need another gun to spray that as a final coating, the one I bought has a 1.3 nozzle, maybe a cheap harbor freight gun just for the hi-build would work.
Ah yes, you are getting there. I've been painting stuff since I started carrying the hose for my Dad at age 7.

Yep, get a cheap Binks No. 7 knockoff from H-F. They actually spray darned nice. I have finish coated with them. Used to get them for like $15.95 and literally just throw them away when the priming process was over, lol. Be sure you don't get one of the ultra-cheapo guns with a pressurized cup. Wish you were here, I'd toss ya 3 or 4 of them, lol.

What you want to do now is lay down a base primer coat. I would use red, since you are topping with gray. (The color contrast will help you with your topcoating.) Then you want to buy a little guide coat primer, say in gray. That can even be spray bomb primer. What you do is spray on several layers of the red base, allowing it to tack dry in between, then sand it down with 320 or 360 wet or dry paper (wet) until the tips of your fingers tell you everything is smooth, then just lightly spray a fog of the guide coat over it.

You take a straight backer for your sandpaper and lightly work your way over the fogged guide coat with a 400 grit wet or dry paper (wet). The places you need further work will become evident very quickly. If you built enough red primer to start, you can just sand some more on it and keep applying guide coats the same way until it is smooth (all or almost all of the guide coat comes off when sanded).

If your guide coat shows it is really wavy, you might need to buy some spot putty and spread a thin layer of it over the area, then sand that down smooth before starting the process again. The more time you take on this, the less disappointed you will be with your results.

Some people like to then go over it with 600 grit, but I stop at 400.

I am old school so I use lacquer based primer surfacer. It is banned in many states now, though, so you may have to go to a newer formulation.

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jswordy

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That looks really cool the way it is. Give it some clear coat and run with it!
I almost bought a Studebaker Hawk once that was done just that way. $3,000 and I prolly could have talked him down. Boy, those were some awesome cars for their day. Should have bought it! But I needed another project like a hole in the head.
 

Kraffty

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Shout out to @jswordy - Jim was kind enough to spend over an hour friday afternoon talking me through the process and answering a bunch of questions I had about body work and painting. He even prepared a list of important thing to do or not do once I get to the paint part. Thank you Jim, a little shared experience and encouragement helps greatly.

I filled, shaped and sanded my very first panel ever. You really do have to have everything prepped and standing by because once you start you're on the Bondo's timeframe. You only have minutes from the time you mix in the activator until it starts hardening. Once it's applied to the body you start taking the high spots down while it still hardening then sanding before it turns to complete cement. I'm working small areas at a time and have it broken into about 14 sections plus the hood. I plan to go over the whole jeep like this then take a second pass before using the High Build primer Jim suggested before final sanding. Hopefully I get a little more proficient at it as I go, this little corner took me about 3 hours to get to this point.

The body is not near as flat as I imagined, this should really make a big difference once I'm ready to paint.


jeeprearcorner.jpg
 

hounddawg

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Everything I've seen or read says exactly what Jim said, prep, prep, prep. I took my time getting the bed ready for the liner coating and I'm really pleased with how it laid down. 3 days total labor, $150.00 in Raptor materials plus about $100.00 misc. materials which will also be used when I paint. Now it just needs to cure for 5 or 7 days. the shiny finish should dull down a bit while I decide which next step I'll take. Leaning towards suspension but it's hard (impatient) not to want to get onto the body work and paint.
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wow i can't hardly believe that someone took your wheels and most of your parts and left your poor jeep on jacks in your garage ,,, nice ski sticks and cowboy hat though ,,, lol :h
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jswordy

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So Mike must be buried in sanding dust or something... :)
 

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