Refurbishing my '73 after 48 years of ownership

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September 6, 2021

For the record, this is what I used on my console:

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I used the full SEM system from cleaning, prep and adhesion promoter and of course a tack cloth before first coat. The resulting finish on the console is absolutely beautiful including the texture. Frankly it is as nice a finish as any of my previous car projects.

Unfortunately it just isn't the right color; it has a purplish tint and doesn't match the existing factory Medium Blue Metallic interior.

My car has been inside out of the sun under cover for most of the 48 years I have owned her. The interior (as you can see from previously posted photos) is in fantastic shape.

It is clear that the SEM rattle can approach is not going to give me what I need. I will take Eric and Greg's advice and seek a professional match from an automotive paint store. Thanks guys!
 
October 13, 2021

I decided to repaint my front bumper to get rid of 45 years of stone chips and blemishes, and a really bad paint chip repair I did back in '79 or '80 with a mismatched bottle of touch up paint and a brush.

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I removed the bumper assembly and cleaned things us. Damn is the bumper heavy!


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I took the bumper down to a local body shop. I do not know a thing about body work or painting. After some discussion with the owner, I made a deal. I agreed to be a gofer in the shop for a week working half days, pushing a broom, helping with sanding, running errands and he agreed to let me use his shop materials and teach me how to prep and paint. What a deal!

So, I started on the repairs and prep. What i quickly learned is that the actual painting is just a minor part of the work. Sanding, sanding and more sanding...

I was probably twice the age of most of the help and they got a chuckle watching me sweep and clean, but observing the experts work was invaluable. No YouTube video is a substitute for over the shoulder hands on advice.

Here's day one progress:


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Chuck (c9zx) asked what color the car is. It is Medium Blue Metallic, code 3D.
 
October 14, 2021

So today I finished up the paint on my front bumper. Here it is in the paint booth after sanding down the primer, final wipe with wax remover and tack cloth. I also vacuumed the paint booth and sprayed down some dust treatment on the floor.

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A sealer coat was applied next. It helped to gain a little confidence with the paint gun before applying actual paint.

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One more tack and it was time to lay down paint. Four coats, not that it needed that many but is was fun spraying:

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And then finally four coats of high durability clear:


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The finished product looks pretty good for my first attempt with a paint gun. It will be baked overnight.

Frankly the whole process was not as difficult as I had imagined. Using a paint gun was much easier than a rattle can! Paint work has always been black magic to me. It was actually pretty fun to give it a go.

I'm a little worried the bumper is going to look too nice up against the 45 year old paint on the rest of the car...ha!

I have decided I am going to tackle painting the Mach 1 hood blackout myself next week. I need to get a buddy over to help me lift off the hood this weekend as I am going to paint it off the car. Stay tuned...
 
Wow! NOW I see the difference. You spray like a pro, must’ve been one helluva teacher 😆

I was flying to Austin yesterday & looking at the forum on my IPhone 12, not a huge screen. Can I bring my next project car to you???
 
Wow! NOW I see the difference. You spray like a pro, must’ve been one helluva teacher 😆

I was flying to Austin yesterday & looking at the forum on my IPhone 12, not a huge screen. Can I bring my next project car to you???

Thank you for the kind words. With access to all the right equipment, a good paint booth, and proper coaching on the sanding and preparation I'm pretty sure anyone could achieve good results. As I mentioned in a previous post I think most of the results come from really good preparation. Spraying the color is fun, but really not the critical part.

It does help to use modern two stage paint so minor imperfections can be addressed in the clear coat. I think spraying single stage has less room for error. Perhaps one of our resident paint experts could opine here?

I'm looking at you Greg ( @Austin Vert ) (y)...
 
An absolutely beautiful car. I’m with you when it comes to tackling too-hard to do things. But, it appears, you have susceeded in all your endeavors. I’m about a year away from tackling my minor rust repair (floors, trunk, rear wheel), and am looking forward to the challenge. Congratulations to a job well done.
 
An absolutely beautiful car. I’m with you when it comes to tackling too-hard to do things. But, it appears, you have susceeded in all your endeavors. I’m about a year away from tackling my minor rust repair (floors, trunk, rear wheel), and am looking forward to the challenge. Congratulations to a job well done.
Thank you for the kind words Steve.

With the Internet to facilitate research, and forums like this where expert advice is readily available and happily given, I am convinced that pretty much anyone with motivation and time can do this stuff. Access to a good place to work, the right tools and a lift sure help!

I'm about ready to get into some rust issues on another project. First time for everything I suppose.
 
October 18, 2021

I painted my hood today. After gaining confidence with the paint gun on the front bumper I figured what the hell, give it a go.

I purchased the hood stencil from Graphic Express: https://graphic-express.com/

The stencil looked a tad narrow to me. A couple of members here with original survivor cars were kind enough to provide precise measurements of their hood paint dimensions. I used David's (Carolina Mountain Mustangs) measurements to lay out the stencil. Turns out I had to modify the stencil to add an inch +/- of width on each side.

Here it is with stencil in place, masked, sanded and tacked ready for paint:

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Well, moment of truth. After two coasts of single stage and thirty minutes to flash, I removed all the tape. Ta da!

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I'm pretty happy with the result. The paint I used was a flat Hot Rod Black. I'm going to let it bake overnight and then reinstall tomorrow. I'll wait a few days before putting on the 351 RAM AIR decals.
 
OK, this will probably be the last post on this refurb thread. Other than not having addressed the paint color on the center console the project is pretty much complete. As complete anyway as one can ever be with an old car project!

I have now put almost 3500 miles on the Mustang since completion and she is running better than new. I think the only thing I have had to do is adjust the clutch pedal/cable after the first 500 miles or so.

Two last photos after a complete wax and detail. I have had real good results with the newer Turtle wax Graphene + Ceramic paste wax. Other than the front bumper and the hood blackout, the paint on the car is 48 years old.


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Thanks everyone for the comments throughout the thread. And thanks to the old timers for tolerating a cut and paste repost from three years ago.
 
Beautiful car! Thanks again for pulling this thread together from the “what have you” thread. The car is truly stunning.

I gotta admit though, when I first looked at these last two pics the shop geek inside my head yelled… Holy Smokes look at that floor!!! 😎
 
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...I gotta admit though, when I first looked at these last two pics the shop geek inside my head yelled… Holy Smokes look at that floor!!! 😎

Yeah, I hear you on the "shop geek". I admit I have that problem too.

The floor is two coats of high solids epoxy, extra small flakes, and then two coats of clear polyurethane on top. The urethane is much harder than the epoxy so it really helps with wear.

Even with the floor coating, when I do really messy stuff I generally put one of those snow melt mats under the car. You can see it in some of the thread photos. Sure helps with cleanup.
 

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