I think it's time for a well over due update to this restoration thread! A lots happened over the past 12ish months, lots of tears, laughs and even more tears but there is some light at the end of the tunnel.
I like to start in thanking everyone on this forum for the advice and general helpfulness, really appreciate it! Now get a brew made or beer ready as this is a long update
So the last update I had finished the underside prep and painted it in an epoxy paint, she was looking pretty smart, didn't do much after that for a few months, Xmas and all that.
Got back going early March. I really wanted to paint the car myself and invested in some expensive gear, £500 compressor, a lot of copper pipe and Norgren filter/regs, two devilbiss guns GTi Pro Lite and a FLG 5, plus countless other guns for various stages, Dura block sanding blocks from America, Mirca electric DA sander (awesome bit of kit, ace for decorating in the house too!)… List goes on..
After spending a lot of time reading on http://www.mig-welding.co.uk I thought I had found the perfect paint I could safely use at home and still get outstanding results! So I decided to trial all this on a wing first.. Started to sand wing back and soon realised the R has already been resprayed in Japan! Doh, later discovered every panel has had work done, filler! Not mega amounts, talking little dings here and there. I'm wondering if it was a track car and spent a lot of time in gravel traps!
Anyway back to the wing, got it back pretty much to bare metal and straight, proceeded to spray the primer (lechler Epoxy 2k) ace stuff doesn't contain the nasty iso’s as its epoxy, and doesn't take on moisture like other primers..
Sanded that ready for my carefully selected wonder paint! Can't believe everyone's not using this stuff
yep looked truly epic apart from the random fly stuck to it!
So let that dry, and that's where the problem started… It doesn't dry hard! Paint in question is non ISO 2k, instead of 2k hardener you mix it with a non ISO hardener, and more 2k thinner as the hardener is thicker. Was truly deflated, but thought maybe the conditions were wrong etc so proceeded to keep trailing the stuff:
I turned back to the underside, getting that finished. I seem sealed over every seam from factory after gouging out all the old crusty stuff plus over any of my seem welds (both sides were possible) then applied Upol Gravitex stone chip. Used a 2.5mm tip spray gun on the floor pan for a smoother finish and slutz gun inside the arches for a thicker covering. Once this had dried I sprayed the Lechler epoxy primer over this, the Lechler KH3 base colour, then lacquer over the top. I also sprayed the engine bay but got a crap finish due too the amount of lacquer in the air, it was like a thick fog in the garage
when it settled on the car left little dimples in the paint.
Once dry sanded engine bay back again and primered.
Decided to carry on prepping car in the mean time while I waited for advice from the forum about the non ISO stuff but did still keep trialling it. Time to apply filler to the arches, been dreading this from day one of starting this project, I always knew it was going to be hard trying to get the curves back to factory finish, but Christ it's hard!
Sanded the whole car, with the DA then proceeded to block the car, pain staking job but satisfying when all imperfections are gone. I got it near perfect, once primered I would be able to see how far out I actually was. The other good thing about the Lechler primer is its got a sheen to it so you can see flaws to some degree.
So back to trialling the paint, taking on board the advice from the forum and what I'd found out myself from trail and error proceeded to spray the engine bay. Again the results were epic, mirror finish. Left it a week came back and it seemed hard, woohoo!
Thought right here goes might as well spray inside the car with it, so started to mask the holes up engine bay side save the overspray going through. Sprayed the inside, not the best of finishes mainly because of the dust and crap in there, was never that bothered about the finish most of it would be covered by sound deadening anyway.
Started to peel masking tape off engine bay, to my horror this happened
Yep more tears and swearing, at this point I decided to rule the paint out completely! Its totally crap! Main problem now was I need to sand the engine bay again but as the paints still soft made it impossible to sand, so Starchem paint stripper to the rescue! Took it straight back to bare metal
Professional paint job is my only option now, not taking the risk using 2K with all the associated health risks, plus my neighbour was pregnant at the time, not worth the risk.. Sprayed the engine bay again with primer. By this point I had already primered all the panels and body kit.
I did start to get excited seeing it in primer and with all the panels back on, couldn't wait to get it back from spray shop! But that would be a few months away, need to find the money first, and not knowing the cost of a respray was scary.
I turned to getting all the running gear sand blasted, big stuff I sent off to a local company, but trailing arms etc I got my mate to do them in work! He came across a problem with one of the front hubs, huge crack running through the track rod end fixing point:
Thankfully I was going to Bobs that same week so picked up a spare one with a variety of other bits n pieces. It's like a supermarket for Pulsars
As I got pieces back I degreased them and painted with POR 15, incredible stuff providing the prep is right! The metal has to be acid cleaned and degreased otherwise it won't stick. Oh and don't get it on your skin! Takes days to come off
The shed became a parts drying room. I also bought a zinc plating kit, thought I give it ago, to my amazement worked really well! All bolts off the car dunked in hydrochloric acid, strong stuff not watered down builders stuff. From that into the zinc plating bath.
Might as well clean and paint the prop and drive shafts and gear linkage:
Oh and the heat sheilds
Had to make one good one out of too not so good ones
You know it gets bad when the tank gets a thorough clean
I soon realised I was becoming a bit OCD with the build! Every nut and bolt cleaned and zinc’d, all metal prepped and painted… I'm going to be one of them sad people who never takes the car out the garage
Especially when the diff looks this good
Started to look into big brake kits, as as per usually with me wanted to do it my self and make something, so got some Evo 6 calipers, and soon realised couldn't use them, far too big, so settled on some Clio RS 200 brembos, perfect fit for what I need, bought a chunk of aluminum to machine on the Miller make the brackets. Spoke to Stracher about making some custom 5 stud hubs with the centre disc support ring thing oversized for the discs I was using. Mocked up a set of discs to check clearances etc
Bracket I need to machine is something like this
Think they will work a treat but will have to go for 17’s, looking at OZ Superturismo GT in black:
Always liked these alloys, I know it's not to everyone's taste but better than what I've currently got on it
I got a full poly bush kit off VSS Irvine, in black. Parts started to arrive from Nissan, ICP and from Nengun. It was getting to the stage I needed to get the car painted, problem I had then was trying to get someone to paint it when I'd half prepped it! Not easy, and I fully understand why some painters didn't want the job. Most paint shops are only interested in insurance jobs around me so haven't the time for a full spray job.
Eventually I found a few paint shops that were interested, and settled with the guy who used to own one. Him and his mate came round and looked it over, we're happy with what I'd done and told me what they wanted to do etc, agreed a price, a few days later they collected her and off she went.
While the car was at the paint shop, I thought it was time to pimp up the garage a bit, wanted more light in there previously I had 7 Fluorescent fittings, but wanted a cleaner light output so gone for 12 cool white LED downlights. Before that though I needed to cross baton the trusses, board and skim the ceiling, oh and a load more double sockets. Considering I’m an electrician I’ve only had two sockets in the garage the whole time ive been doing the car
and they were in a shit place!
After painting the walls white, I think it’s going to be bright enough
Got her back two weeks later only to find bits missing, damaged parts, bits not sprayed correctly….. Really pissed off, went back there loads of times over a month or so to no avail finding the parts. Decided to cut my losses, it was starting to get me down and tbh I think my temper wouldn't remain calm for much longer.. There's more to it but not going into great detail other than I lost my trust with them, the things I'm finding is shocking, hindsight’s a wonderful thing but hey still living to tell the tale!
The boot lid needed redoing due to finger prints in the paint! Yep finger prints!!
And the top right corner wasn’t painted. I found another spray shop to respray the boot lid, they couldn't get over how bad it was! The finish is outstanding now, wish the whole car looked like it! I'm taking it back to them next year for a full colour sand and buff, should get rid of most of the problems.
Don't get me wrong the photos and NOT looking closely the paint does look good! It's when you get up close and see how much dust and shit that's in the paint, and where they’ve rubbed it down after and not buffed it properly grrrr OK black is a nightmare colour to paint and does show every fault up, but I expected much better professional job than what I got back.
Anyway so after nearly saying fuck it sell the shell and bits and start a kit car, and hit the painter, my attitude changed when me and the wife found we we've got a new project:
This news changed everything for me, it's my first kid, and I don't wanna be one of them dads with an unfinished project
of course its going to be unfinished, lucky if it will ever get the engine back in
I booked a week off work and hammered the rebuild
the plans of course have now changed for the car, big brake kit is being delayed standard refurb calipers going on, radtec fmic delayed in favour of the standard tmic, standard clutch last one lasted 9 years running 330bhp @1.3bar, standard turbo rebuilt and the bare essentials replaced on the engine, oh and of course clean and paint it
Keeps the cost down for now, just so I can get it back on the road then all the above can be addressed further on! Otherwise it’ll never get finished