Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Trip To Mario's Shop

As I had previously posted, Mario Gourde is going to be doing the body work and painting KITT for me. He contacted me this weekend and said that he had the hood and fenders sanded down and wondered if I had the other parts ready yet. Since I had removed the spoiler and the front nose mounting bracket this week they were ready to go. I looked in the garage to see if I had anything else he could get started on and came across the rear marker light bezels. Sara and I loaded everything up in the Freestyle and took them over to Mario's.  

Friday, December 14, 2012

Removing Wiper Linkage And Spoiler

After the garage warmed up this afternoon, I decided to remove the wiper linkage from the cowl in preparation for cleaning, prepping, and painting the inner cowl area.

Friday, December 7, 2012

High Gloss Rust Proof Wheel Wells

As far as I know I will have the only KITT replica featuring high gloss wheel wells. I have seen pictures of a lot of replicas, but I have yet to see one with glossy wheel wells. Even my plastic inserts are coated in high gloss black POR-15.

I got started this morning at precisely 6:24:52AM. (Sara was still sleeping.)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

It's A Good Thing KITT Is Going To Last Forever Because I Am NEVER Doing This Again

Well maybe not forever, but at least as long as I am able to drive him... that's why I am going through all this work to coat everything with POR-15.

I spent the day removing the undercoating from the passenger side rear wheel well. There were many points during the day when I considered just lighting it on fire and calling it good.

I ended up using Zip-Strip as I did on the driver side wheel well. The only difference was I had not experimented with three different removal methods before trying Zip-Strip on this wheel well. Needless to say the undercoating on this side was much thicker when I started.

Below is the passenger side wheel well (with undercoating removed) waiting to be cleaned with MarineClean. I took this picture at 5:00PM.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Next Time...A Little Less Zip And A Little More Strip

This afternoon I continued my work on the wheel wells. Here is the picture of the driver side wheel well that I forgot to take yesterday and promised I would post today. You can see the area where the fuel filler neck passes through the wheel well. I did not completely remove the undercoating in this area. There was no rust and this area is covered by the plastic shield we repaired and painted with POR-15 a while back. This driver side area needs just a little bit of wire brushing and then cleaned with MarineClean and prepped with Prep and Ready.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

One Wheel Well Down, One To Go

I spent the afternoon stripping the rest of the driver side rear wheel well. I forgot to take a picture of it today, but I will upload one tomorrow. While waiting for the Zip-Strip to soften the undercoating, I cleaned up the garage so Sara could park inside tonight. My goal is to have the wheel wells finished by Friday night.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cleaning Wheel Wells...Sucks!

Fighting off my cold took a lot longer than I had expected and has really prevented me from working on KITT. It was 50 degrees outside today, so I thought it would be okay to be in the garage again even though I am not completely over my cold. I was able to keep the garage at 60 degrees with the heaters.

I started working on the driver side rear wheel well. I wanted to find an easy way to get the underbody coating off. So far I have tried a heat gun, wire wheel and the last of my POR-Strip. Nothing has really worked. The heat gun, although it does work, takes forever to heat up one little section at a time until it is soft enough to scrape off. The wire wheel literally burns the coating off and throws the near-flaming pieces everywhere. I did not have enough POR-Strip left to really do much. It might have worked if I had more, but the bit I had did not do much.

After Dad's success with Zip-Strip on the rear springs, I thought I would give that a try. I decided to work in small sections until I figured out a method that works. Here is a before shot of the area I worked on:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Painting With Dad

I wanted to get started painting nice and early today, so I turned the heaters on in the garage at 6:45AM this morning. I kept checking on the garage temperature, but it took until 10:30AM to get above 50 degrees and warm enough to paint.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fighting With A Fender While Holding A Cold At Bay

Last night I went to bed with a little bit of a runny nose. This morning I definitely had a full blown cold. Cold or not, I had a fender to prep. Mario (my paint and body guy) is coming over on Wednesday night to pick up the fenders, hood, and few other small parts. He wants to get them stripped, get body work done and get them in primer. That means I need to get the insides of fenders painted with POR-15 so they are ready for him to take. It will be nice to get them out of the garage and out of the way.

I went out to the garage as soon as I woke up and turned up the heaters. The last thing I wanted to do was work with water in a cold garage when I did not feel good. It took until 10:30AM or so for the garage to get up to temp, but as soon as it was above 55 degrees I started working on the passenger fender.

I still had that stubborn ground effects bolt to remove. We had tried previously to remove the bolt when the fender was still on the car but could never get it to budge. Today, as you can see from the tools I gathered, I was not taking no for an answer. I was prepared to cut the bolt off if I had to. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

See How Smart We Are?

While we were at Menards today we decided to get some more 1" brushes since we are running low. We started to grab another dozen brushes and then Sara asked what all needs to be painted yet. I started listing off the inside of the front fenders, the wheel wells, the steering linkage, track/Panhard bar brace, gas tank, calipers, the cowl area and differential cover. Sara put the dozen brushes back and grabbed the 36 pack. She pointed out if we bought a dozen brushes two times it would cost more than the pack of 36 brushes. 

I did find a way to successfully save and reuse a brush a second time with the POR-15. I found that if I wrap and roll the brush in plastic from a Menards bag, it will keep for use in the second application. The brushes and POR-15 cans seem partial to plastic from Menards bags; the Walmart bags did not have the same successful results. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Painting My Day Away

Today was going to be my day to paint all of the parts I had prepped: the rear end, the rear bumper, the springs, the brake pedal bracket and the rear of the car. It was going to be glorious. I was out in the garage and ready to begin at 9:00AM.

I was trying to figure out how I could paint the rear end all in one shot. Even resting on the jack stands, there was not quite enough room to get under it, which was necessary to paint all of the nooks and crannies. It dawned on me to set the jack stands on cinder blocks to gain extra height. This gave me more than enough room to paint it all at once. You should have seen me trying to lift the rear end, position the jack stands on cinder blocks, and maneuver the rear end into place all at the same time. Unfortunately no one was around to hear it, but I think my Yosemite Sam impression is improving. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Prepping My Day Away

My goal for today was to get the rear end, rear bumper, the back of the car, springs and the bracket for the brake pedal prepped for paint. The warm weather yesterday made it easy to clean these parts outside. That was not the case today, however. The temperature was about the same as yesterday, but it was much windier. I had to set up three tarps in the garage so I could prep the parts. This is less than ideal as it makes it very messy to move around. I only have four pictures for this post because I've heard water and cell phone don't mix.

The bumper, springs and brake pedal bracket were cleaned yesterday so all I needed to do today was prep them. The rear end had to be cleaned again with MarineClean after the thorough wire brushing Sara's dad and I gave it last night. After I got the rear end cleaned off, I moved the rest of the parts onto the tarp for prepping. I kept everything wet with Prep and Ready for thirty minutes.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Did You Know?

Did you know it is much easier to get paint all over yourself than it is to get it into the interior areas of a car frame? I am talking ALL over yourself! In your hair, running down your arms, splattered on your face, and if your shirt happens to be a little short, all over your stomach.

It was a nasty mess painting the interior areas of the underbody today, but I got it done. And if you notice a spot I missed... well, ask me if I care. I am not going to attempt to cover it any better than it is now -- any paint I got in there has to be better than none at all!

These are the before shots of the interior frame areas under the front of the car I painted with POR-15 today.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Another Dirty Sunday

This morning we tackled organizing the garage. There will be no more parts coming off the car now, so we got rid of the extra boxes we had and combined and labeled the existing ones. Here is a picture of Jonathan standing in the middle of our organization mess. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Almost Finished Painting The Underbody!

Jonathan and I are finishing the majority of painting the underbody today. Jonathan will go back under and touch up any spots we missed and some of the crevice and interior frame areas this coming week. I am really excited that today is (hopefully) my last time to paint underneath the car!

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Little Painting

Needless to say, I did not sleep very well last night. Although I was excited to work on KITT this morning, I had trouble finding the motivation to get started. I got started in the late afternoon and decided to focus on the parts still needing to be painted with POR-15.

I started by using a small blade to scrape the places where the POR-15 had dripped on the backside of the parts. These pictures are of the brake shields Sara painted last weekend.

Roadblock Ahead...Better Hit Turbo Boost!

This week was moving along fairly quickly. I had decided to take Friday off because it was supposed to be warmer out and I wanted to get the underbody painted. Yesterday at work at the end of my shift I received some very unsettling news. I was informed that due to restructuring within Xerox, effective 11/16/12 my position was being eliminated.

I am upset, but I am strong. I will survive and move on. I am not worried about securing another job as I am confident in my abilities and qualifications. I do want to say thank you to my wonderful friends who during all of this have been a shining example of why true friends are irreplaceable.

Time to hit Turbo Boost: One of the positive things to come out of this is that I now have all kinds of time to work on KITT! I plan to make the most of it.    

Monday, November 12, 2012

Email Updates

I know that many of you enjoy getting updates on Project: K.I.T.T. by email, however, the service I have been using (FeedMyInbox) is shutting down. Starting December 1st the email updates you have been receiving will contain a notice at the top stating the service will discontinue on January 10, 2013.

I have located another company (Blogtrottr) which provides the same service. There is a new sign up at the top of my blog. Even if you are already receiving email updates you will have to sign up again in order to continue receiving them. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thank you for reading my blog, it means a lot to me!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Too Cold To Paint

18 degrees = too cold to finish painting today.

Our new plan is to finish painting the underbody and the parts next weekend.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Christmas Comes Early This Year

Sara decided to get me an early Christmas present and told me that I should order the set of 15" Turbo Cast rims that Billy of Knight Designs had for sale. These rims are getting nearly impossible to find in good shape and cost a small fortune. They are selling for between $800 and $2,500 depending on the condition. These rims have been restored in the past, the edges have been machined so they shine and they have clear coat on them. About the only thing they need is a good cleaning and polishing.

It was snowing when I brought the boxes inside, so it really did feel like Christmas.