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Project A - Not Built. Not Bought.


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This quote really hit me in the feels. AL forums have given me lifelong friendships along with great sound advice from an amazing group of members. And I'd hate for it to be another generic thel higanna forum. 

So here's my bit to harken back  'the good old days'

Basically I'm painting my car red.

Most older members here will remember my MG 2 sri 355. The car has been with us for almost half a century. It has been in many of late Lester James Peiris movies most notably 'Delowak Athara' where its basically a main actor alongside Tony Ranasinghe.(The plot is based around a hit and run accident caused by my car).

I inherited this car, So I didn't buy it...And I'm paying other people to do it up. So I sure am not building it either. If you want more hands on, DIY projects done by me, please search for my older threads posted around 2008-2012.

I know it looks good in black, but I want it in original red which is the colour on reg book.

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Edited by MasterDon
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2 hours ago, matroska said:

Wow. Thanks for sharing this and for the bit of interesting Trivia. Looking forward to seeing the car in Red. 

My pleasure!

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As I said, The car has been with us for nearly 50 years. It was bought by my father in the early 70s while it was in original red colour, who then painted it black in the late 80s. Some photos over the years.

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The car is in good mechanical condition as it was a constant runner over the years. Engine has good compression and the gears engage well. So nothing much to on that side before paint.

I had them change all oils, replaced with new steering rack boots, brake cylinders and shoes, clutch plate, new distributor and plug leads, replaced all washers on master brake/clutch pump etc.... 

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While the gearbox was out, I had the interior gutted out for re-upholstering. The wooden floorboards(marine plywood) taken out too. There is some surface rust on the frame where the paint has peeled off but nothing serious. Floorboards too are re-usable.20200214_141511.thumb.jpg.27d7a5fb78bcea0f88f1fda7e7095a9b.jpg20200314_162656.thumb.jpg.a5c62949afb7ae1bfe8bd63bb2788389.jpg20200316_105658.thumb.jpg.f948773c32f23883568b5b3e111a1123.jpg

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So began the tedious process of paint removal. As some of you know from before, I have a paranoia of using sand blasters-hence the use of hand grinder, paint remover and elbow grease method.

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Edited by MasterDon
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I consider it an honor, That I was able to make you post more awesome restoration threads. 
 

How is your Fiat 500 sir?

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On 10/27/2020 at 1:51 AM, fiat fan said:

I consider it an honor, That I was able to make you post more awesome restoration threads. 
 

How is your Fiat 500 sir?

I have two Fiat 500s.Both are running well. Thanks!

On 10/29/2020 at 8:11 AM, Gummybr said:

MasterDon, that looks like some nice work your doing. Keep it up sir!

Thanks Gummy!

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Continuing on, so began the work on body prep work. There are some dings on the body form 62 years of running, especially on the driver-side front, mostly caused by my late father's driving. and as you know I am not a big fan of "ebaying" everything, as the new wave of enthusiasts seem to be keen on doing.

I would rather repair keep the original parts where possible, as they are part of the car's  story. It is the same with mechanical bits, as in, I try to repair everything locally.

So rather than replacing with remanufactured panels brought down , I have kept the original fenders, straightened and smoothed out with the help of skilled tinkerer and using minimal body filler.

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Though I was determined to go back to red, I was hesitant on painting it in original BMC Orient Red. I thought that particular hue was a bit dull. Yet couldn't go crazy with the colours and veer off too far either.

So began the search for a better shade of red.

I narrowed it down to five reds that I liked from various manufacturers(Jaguar, BMW, Maserati...etc) and had the guys paint sections of the rear quarter painted with them all at once so I could pick one out.

The pictures may not show it well but there are five different shades of red.

 

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Edited by MasterDon
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For time reference, by this time it was about two months out from when we first started with the mechanical work.

The interior was redone by this time around.

The rusted slide rails were taken out and re manufactured by the tinkerer, primered and painted. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of that process

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Here is a trailer off Lester's Delowak Athara I mentioned earlier where the car is prominently featured throughout the and is part of an investigation. Car has been in around 20 films latest of which was 'According to Mathew' by Chandran Ratnam.

 

Edited by MasterDon
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wow. Red looks much better than I expected! Were the seats redone in black? I like the red. But then again, maybe too much red on this car.

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On 10/23/2020 at 11:14 AM, MasterDon said:

I have a paranoia of using sand blasters-hence the use of hand grinder, paint remover and elbow grease method.

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Why though? Hasn't sand blasting become pretty much the industry go to? Paint remover is probably the best , but sand blasting has to be better than using a hand grinder as it would cause less damage? 

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56 minutes ago, Kavvz said:

Why though? Hasn't sand blasting become pretty much the industry go to? Paint remover is probably the best , but sand blasting has to be better than using a hand grinder as it would cause less damage? 

This is an age old argument. It all comes down to personal experience. I will not deride anyone for sanblasting their body.

I have had less than optimal results with sand/media blasters. Let's say two out of three cars I had blasted came out less than satisfactory...I'll list some general reasons most older classic car(pre 1970) restorers stay away from blasting.

The frame and chassis is a different matter though. I always get those sand blasted.

On old metal rust tends to spread unevenly. The normal sandblasters available here, which are mostly used at 100psi or more and will leave heavy pock marks on the steel, or at worst case scenarios puncture it altogether. It has happened to me

The sandblasters available here use extreme pressure, and the heat can warp the metal. especially on unsupported mudguard overhangs, bonnets.

The media blaster operator has to be very skilled and has to understand the delicateness of the job. Most companies have experience in only stripping heavy container frames and are not up to the task.

Alternative is dustless, water based or soda blasting which is much more milder but is not available here yet AFAIK. I will try that once available.

Grinder in the right hand, with wire or sandpaper attachment, will give much better control and will just remove what we want removed. Downside is that its time consuming.

For me the risk is not worth the reward. As a general rule. I advise people to refrain from heavy sandblasting for cars that are 40 years or older. Especially if they are Italian.

Edited by MasterDon
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1 hour ago, fiat fan said:

wow. Red looks much better than I expected! Were the seats redone in black? I like the red. But then again, maybe too much red on this car.

Yes. Red on red will clash very badly.

Not to forget I have to keep to original factory colour combos as much as possible.

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32 minutes ago, MasterDon said:

This is an age old argument. It all comes down to personal experience. I will not deride anyone for sanblasting their body.

I have had less than optimal results with sand/media blasters. Let's say two out of three cars I had blasted came out less than satisfactory...I'll list some general reasons most older classic car(pre 1970) restorers stay away from blasting.

The frame and chassis is a different matter though. I always get those sand blasted.

On old metal rust tends to spread unevenly. The normal sandblasters available here, which are mostly used at 100psi or more and will leave heavy pock marks on the steel, or at worst case scenarios puncture it altogether. It has happened to me

The sandblasters available here use extreme pressure, and the heat can warp the metal. especially on unsupported mudguard overhangs, bonnets.

The media blaster operator has to be very skilled and has to understand the delicateness of the job. Most companies have experience in only stripping heavy container frames and are not up to the task.

Alternative is dustless, water based or soda blasting which is much more milder but is not available here yet AFAIK. I will try that once available.

Grinder in the right hand, with wire or sandpaper attachment, will give much better control and will just remove what we want removed. Downside is that its time consuming.

For me the risk is not worth the reward. As a general rule. I advise people to refrain from heavy sandblasting for cars that are 40 years or older. Especially if they are Italian.

Not going to be restoring anything in the near future, but wow: Nice little nugget of info there. Good stuff ?

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