Here's The Plan

posted Feb 24, 2014, 6:50 PM by Jonathan Imberi
Thank you to everyone that voted and helped me choose between LED and halogen. The overwhelming response was that the halogen could not be beat. In one last attempt to give the LEDs another shot, I disassembled all of the surface mounted LEDs on one of the LED replacements and re-soldered them as one front facing board. You can see in the picture below that the overall brightness increased, but still cannot compare to the one halogen bulb two chambers over. There just is not enough light to fill the chamber the way the halogen bulb does. Halogen it is, or as one follower put it "Halogen For The Win"!

I decided to try the last two methods suggested for removing the primer. Zip Strip was suggested to cut through the primer.

I brushed it on as indicated by the directions.

After allowing it to sit 20 minutes I used a putty knife as we had done previously when we removed the factory paint from the wheel wells. The primer had not bubbled up as the factory paint had, so the putty knife did not really work. I ended up using heavy grade steel wool and really scrubbed the area. The Zip Strip actually penetrated the POR-15 in a couple of areas, which was something I was worried about. POR-Strip (a POR-15 product) is a very similar although stronger formula and that is the only chemical they say will remove POR-15. Even though the Zip Strip did remove more of the primer than anything else so far, the potential damage to the underlying POR-15 and the sheer amount of effort still needed does not leave me enthused.

My friend Jessica makes a homemade citrus cleaner consisting of d-limonene with a vinegar base. This stuff is very strong and she was hoping it would remove the primer.

It did better than some of the other chemicals we tried, but still failed to remove the primer easily. What it did remove still had to be done with considerable effort. I think it will come in handy on the red parts and some of the areas where there is more of a dusting of primer that adhered. It will definitely get used. Thanks Jessica!

Therefore, I have reluctantly decided to abandon the idea of having the only KITT with gloss black wheel wells and instead apply POR-15 Rubberized Under Coating directly over the existing POR-15 and primer. It is a flexible, paintable, black coating that will protect against moisture, dust, heat, and cold. It is the only under coating that contains the POR-15 technology. Applying it over the existing POR-15 in the wheel wells should provide for protection with the added benefit of sound deadening.

After deciding what to do with the wheel wells, we moved on to the underbody disaster. We put the car back up on jack stands so we could get a really good look at what we are up against. KITT will be up on jack stands now until we get the underbody repaired.

Here is what we are looking at. We plan to clean as much of the primer off as we can, and then paint over all the black areas with POR-15 black again. This will mean the floor pans will end up with four or five coats of POR-15 black. We cannot paint the red parts, so we are just going to do our very best to clean the primer off.

Even the storage area in the back got coated. :(

Here is a closer look at the dent in the rocker panel on the driver side.

You can see the channel between the rocker panel and the pinch weld did not get primed, nor was the previous paint removed. This was something I specifically asked Mario about because I did not treat this with POR-15 when I did the underbody.

I also discovered a much larger dent when I moved forward on the driver side rocker panel.