Wednesday, December 26, 2012

KITT's Antenna

I have been going back and forth about what to do for KITT's antenna since I started this project. I decided over Christmas that I am going to have the fender hole welded shut and I am am going to go with a concealed antenna. Although the power antenna is really cool and very 80's, KITT did not have one and the antenna would have been the only thing keeping him from being a 100% accurate exterior replica. I also rarely listen to the radio, so the antenna is not all that important to me. I let Mario know to fill it in when he does the body work on the fenders.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Painting Parts That Will Survive The End Of The World

If the stupid people of the earth unite and get their way... then when the world ends today at least KITT will have most of his parts coated with POR-15. It is as close to a Molecular Bonded Shell as I am going to get.

I put the third coat of POR-15 on this afternoon. The first thing I did was touch up the wiper linkage where I had missed a couple of spots.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Project: K.I.T.T. Now On YouTube

Over the last few days I have been going back through the videos I have taken so far and cleaning, editing, and uploading them in HD. I decided to create a YouTube channel for Project: K.I.T.T. and feature all of the videos in one convenient place. You can even subscribe to the channel if you would like to stay updated on the latest videos.

10 Degrees Outside And I Am Painting?

I got up early to turn the heaters on in the garage. It was 8 degrees at 5:00AM when I turned on the heaters. At 8:00AM it was 5 degrees! I was thinking to myself there is no way I am going to be able to paint today. Surprisingly at 12:30PM it was 53 degrees in the garage...and warm enough to paint!

Just as I was going to get started I got a call about a job opportunity and had to make a few phone calls. I did not get back out to the garage until 1:30PM.

I had to start by masking off the threads on the tie rod ends. I decided I could paint carefully around all of the other parts.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What Can You Do With Four Tubs, Marine Clean, Water And Prep And Ready?

Other than make a mess that is. ;) 

My order from Eastwood arrived today, which is good because I needed the supplies in order to continue working on the cowl and steering linkage. I ordered a quart of both MarineClean and Prep and Ready, a pint of black POR-15 and Eastwood's Internal Frame Coating.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Having A Cowling Good Time

My focus for today was the cowl area. I wanted to get it cleaned out so it can be prepped for paint tomorrow when the extra supplies I ordered get here.

Here is a picture of the external cowl area.

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.