Monday, April 09, 2007

Tail Light Clear Coat Polish

So today as a learning project to fixing the crack lines on my spoiler clear coat in the future, I decided to fix up my Tail Light Clear Coat that took the abuse of a Canadian Winter and salt and looked dull and had the same crack lines.

Before picture of the tail light:

Tail Light Before

You see the lines and how dull it is. Hence why I took them off the car and put my all reds back.

My weapons of choice:
3m Swirl Remover (get it here!) and 600 grit Sandpaper:
3m Swirl Mark Remover
Mothers Powerball (get it here!):
Mothers Powerball

So wet sand the clear coat down to remove imperfections and for me I used 600 grit as anything higher would not remove the lines / cracks that were in my clear coat:
Tail Light Clear Coat Wet Sanded

Remember! if you sand to far you may remove all the clear coat. Keep checking to make sure you don't completely remove the clear coat.

Once it is sanded and you see the cracks / lines gone and it looks smooth, its time to use the swirl mark remover:

Here it is on the sanded part of the tail light:
Tail Light with Swirl Remover
I used too much here I think, but oh well :)

Then use the Mothers Powerball to shine those tails up real nice.

Here's two pics of how clear they are:

Tail Light Polished 1
Tail Light Polished 2

Here's three pics showing the difference in Before and After:
Tail Light Polished Compare 1
Tail Light Polished Compare 2
Tail Light Polished Compare 3

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Body Work: Fix your dents!

Here is a great body work video from Hot Rod TV. They take an old Mustang and throughout the 10 minute video you learn the exact process to pull out a dent, make it smooth and have it ready for paint.

The video highlights:

1) Sanding down the paint to the bare metal to begin pulling the dent
2) Using the dent puller to attach pins and pull out the dent
3) cutting and grinding off the dent puller pins
4) Mixing body filler using the hardener to properly set the body filler
5) Applying the body filler over the dented spot that was pulled
6) Sanding the excess body filler smooth
7) Hand cross-sanding of the body filler
8) Applying primer to the body work area to give an idea how it will be ready for painting later on

Enjoy and hope it can help you pull your own dents and make a car body work repair!

Regards, MK
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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Custom Painted Taillights

Custom body work on a car will make your car stand out from another car. Today's project shows a method to do some custom work to get custom painted taillights.

I bought an extra set of 94-97 Integra taillights (with the orange turn signal) for $25, in order to try and make something unique. Here is what it looks like:

94-97 Integra Tail light

First step I wanted to do in making it custom was removing the orange turn signal and making it look more like the 98+ integra taillights. Here is what the 98+ taillights look like:

98 Integra Tail light

The process to red out your taillights can be done either using paint or vinyl. My first attempt was using the Krylon Stained Glass red paint. I masked off everything so only the orange was exposed. I don't have a picture of this but the idea is to put masking tape and newspaper surrounding the orange so you only paint over the orange.

This was the final product of the tail light red out process:

Integra Tail light Red Out Picture 1
Integra Tail light Red Out Picture 2

Now, from this part I was going to proceed to painting a green trim on the taillights, but decided to try using vinyl on the taillight to see what difference that would make in the look of the red out taillight. I used acetone paint stripper to remove the krylon paint from my taillights to reexpose the orange blinker. I then got a transparent red vinyl sheet and cut out the vinyl to match the shape of the orange blinker. I have no pictures of this process, but u basically wet the taillight slightly where you will apply the vinyl to give you some leeway in putting it down and then put the vinyl on and squeegee the excess water out making sure you get it all out completely. I also used a hair dryer to make the vinyl stick better and form around the corner of the taillight.

At this point I was satisfied with the way the vinyl red out looked on the taillights and proceeded to set up to paint my taillights with a green trim.

I masked all the parts that were to light up with newspaper and masking tape. Once the taillight was masked, I sprayed three thin coats of green paint onto the taillight, leaving about 5 mins between coats. After my last coat, I left it to dry for about 20 minutes and then proceeded with the clear coat on the taillights. Here are some pictures with the taillight masked and the green painted on top of it:

Integra Tail light Masked and Painted Green 1
Integra Tail light Masked and Painted Green 2
Integra Tail light Masked and Painted Green 3

In this picture I highlight the parts I masked:

Integra Tail light Masked Areas

Once I was done spraying the lights, I let them dry and then removed the masked newspaper and tape to reveal my newly complete Green Custom Painted Taillights. I then installed them onto the car and here are the results:

Completed Custom Green Integra Tail light Picture 1
Completed Custom Green Integra Tail light Picture 2
Completed Custom Green Integra Tail light Picture 3
Completed Custom Green Integra Tail light Picture 4
Completed Custom Green Integra Tail light Picture 5
Completed Custom Green Integra Tail light Picture 6

I was quite happy with the paint match and how it gave a unique look to the car. Hope my adventure into creating my custom painted taillights will make you think about how you can customize your ride and its taillights!

Regards, MK
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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Painted Rims Installed on Car

No comments:
A follow up to my DIY Paint your car Rims article, I promised pics of the rims on my Integra to see how it will look.

Well I had installed them last week as winter has come and some snow has already been seen. Nothing to use my winter tires for yet, but that will come.

I was pretty impressed with how the gunmetal rim with polished style lip looked on my green Integra. I always was going back and forth if I should paint my rims gunmetal, but now I am quite happy with the end result.

Take a look:

Painted Rims on Car 1
Painted Rims on Car 2
Painted Rims on Car 3
Painted Rims on Car 4
Painted Rims on Car 5

Hope my DIY paint your rims article helped, and I hope this will help others picture what the stock SE rims will look like gunmetal with a polished lip and on a green integra like mine.

Regards, MK
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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Classic Car Restoration: 1969 Ford Mustang

Looking for some car body work videos and restoration projects I came across this video on YouTube.

a 1969 Ford Mustang was taken from a pretty beat up shape to a fantastic blue painted Mustang that is ready to rule the roads! Take a look at that automatic launch at the end of the video. The amazing part I found was the wiring by the steering wheel and how the interior looked before and after. You can see during the video how the body of the Mustang has been sanded and prepped for painting. The light colored grey primer was put on the outside of the car, and then the final top coat of blue makes it shine. Take a look at this beauty:

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