Monday, January 30, 2012

Archie's Voxy

To remind everyone of how Voxy looked when I first got her...

This has been a very long and tiring project that often times made me wonder "Did I bite more than I could chew? But the drive to restore Voxy and the yearning for a sense of pride that I did it all by myself (almost - had a little help from my angels who helped me in sanding.. read about it here..) kept me going..

Continue reading...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Buffed out Voxy!

 NOTE: You can always click on the images in my blog to see them in higher resolutions :)
Buffing your clearcoat  is probably the most rewarding(and difficult)  stage in this project. With a lot of elbow grease – you slowly create the mirror like finish that will surely solicit stares from everyone :)

If the clearcoat has been applied properly, the car looks decent without buffing. Since it is better to wait for the paint to completely dry before buffing – I couldn’t resist the urge to assemble the car back together and use it while drying out the paint.  

Continue reading...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Leveling up the Power Drill!

How do you buff your car without spending 7000 for a professional buffing machine?  

Convert your power drill into one and it will only cost you 30 pesos! Read on…

For those who are fond of tinkering with things around the house and the garage, having a reliable power drill is a must. In my opinion, it should be the first power tools that any handyman should have because of its versatility. I bought a 500w variable speed Black and Decker Impact drill a couple of years ago and it was a worthy investment that has helped me in numerous jobs in and around the house.

Continue reading...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Nothing more than "Peelings" ?

I thought that it was clear skies all the way for me with this project but I was wrong. As I was removing the newspaper that covered my windshields and windows, I realized that there were areas where the paint and the newspaper/tape has already fused and removing the latter results to big problems.

The white line you see in this picture are not all light reflections - some of them are the primer :( In my excitement to remove the tape, some of the paint was peeled off :(

In an attempt to prevent further damage, I outlined the windows'/windshields' shape first with a box cutter before removing the newspaper and masking tape. Unfortunately there were times when the edges would really get damaged.

Since these "peeled" areas are noticable and ruins the overall looks of Voxy, I had to deal with them :(

I remember reading in one of the online tutorials that you could separate the windshield's rubber from the body by gently raising it with a small scraper and inserting a nylon cord in between them. I didn't pay too much attention to it since this was never highlighted in the other materials I've read and watched. Turns out this is a must for Voxy!

These nylon ropes are cheap and can be purchased at any hardware. Start at one corner and insert the nylon rope in between. TIP: The rope should be thick enough to do the job :)

Work your way carefully around the windshield/window. TIP: Don't lift up the rubber too much as it may get cut. You also have to check the condition of your rubber trimmings - sometimes they are already too brittle to be lifted and can crack/crumble to pieces if you still attempt to do so. in cases like these - consider having the rubber trimmings replaced after the paint job.

Make sure that you leave a couple of inches of rope outside as you will be using this to as starting point when you remove them later on.

Time to mask off the windows again - since the trimmings are already lifted outwards,it easier to sneak in the tape in between.

A shot of how the entire thing works - see that they are already apart. Paint can also creep under the rubbers which is a plus :) 

Wait for the paint to completely dry before removing the newspaper and the nylon rope. Be very careful as you might ruin the edges again.

 Here's a shot of the repaired edges - problem solved! :)

This has turned out to be a time consuming and costly mistake. TIP: Since I didn't have any more red paint left, I had to buy some more. Make sure you leave a quart or more of your base coat when repainting your car - this is your back up in case things like this happens :)

Now that everything's assembled back together - time to  wait for the paint to completely dry out so that we could buff it out to a car show shine!

On my next post, I'll show you how to buff your car without professional buffing machine.
Continue reading...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Finishing the trimmings!

Voxy's chrome trimmings, like most of what's in her, were neglected, faded and rusted. Time to turn my attention to them.

As you can see, the chrome covers of her front signal lights not only lost their shine but has rust all over it.
Take note that these are made of  plastic - how neglected were they that they finally gave in to rust. Based on my forensic investigation (hehe) - here's what happened - The covers lost their shine first, were then roughened by the forces of nature, got molds, then were finally invaded by rust. How long was voxy in solitude? When was the last time her previous owner gave her some TLC? :( I see now that I got this bug for a purpose, so that someone could take care of her :) Don't you think we were meant to be? :)

Cleaned the covers and the lens with some soap and water.

Sanded the old chrome in preparation for some metallic silver paint - Having them chromed will burn a hole in my pockets :) God willing,  I will have them chromed in the future but for now, the silver paint will do :)

While waiting for the paint to dry, decided to assemble the tail light.

Got a new tail lightassembly from Nardo's VW supply. The assembly and the housing are held together by 4 small bolts. Got them for 700 each, relatively cheaper as they were made in brazil. I hope the lens can withstand years of rain and shine. :)

 TIP: I very practical trick I got from Ate Cora (Mang Nardo's Wife) is to replace the rubber trimmings of the tail lights and signal lights with fuel hose instead of buying replacement rubbers. According to them, they not only last longer(resistant to cracking), they are way cheaper. My hats off to this couple - they are not too profit oriented :)

You need to splice off the hose in order to fit it around the tail light and signal lights. Once they are attached to the bug, they look pretty good! :)

Finally, the covers are dry - here's how they look like. Although far from the bling bling of chrome, it is equally as far from its costs.

Did the same on the headlights - nice.. :)

I have already removed the newspapers covering the windshields and the windows and discovered major problems :( Find out about them on my next post!
Continue reading...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dealing with the details :)

Applied several layers of top coat on Voxy. I used up 4 liters of Anzahl carshow clear - didn't skimp out on the top coat as this will allow me to buff the paint job aggresively once it has dried up. Having layers and layers of top coat will also allow me to re-buff the surface a few years down the road to renew its shine. I was supposed to use just the regular anzhal clear but was advised to use the carshow clear instead as it guarantees a "car show' and mirror like shine if applied properly.TIP: Some say that although the carshow clear variant produces a shinier and better looking car, it is not as durable and tough as the regular top coat. Before I post pics of the entire car- let me share with you first  the attention I've put in the little details that I feel will have huge impact in the end result.

I previously applied rubberized undercoating on my wheel wells and was supposed to top it off with Anzhal fire red (body color) but decided to brush on some of the left over enamel paint I have (used this paint in the interiors project documented here ) instead to save up on costs(saved me around a liter of urethane = 600 pesos hehe).

I can't leave them looking like these:

 Enamel is fairly easy to brush on - much more if the fenders are removed.

Applied several coats on top of the flat black undercoat I've previously applied.

 Looking very neat and shiny.

 TIP: Mix in enough amounts of paint thinner to make it easier to apply and to save up on paint as well :)

Voxy didn't have a rear bumper when I first got her - fortunately, I was able to get a cheap bumper from the net. Even though it was was still intact and dent free - the paint job was tattered and abused :( I've decided to paint them with silver instead of having them chromed to cut down on costs :)

Scraped off the old paint first.

Used some paint stripper to make the job easier.

Underside of the bumper starting to rust :(

To protect the underside from rusts and to give the bumper a cleaner look I decided to paint it black as well. TIP: Spray on the silver first then just brush on the black paint. This way, you don't need to tape off the silver parts since you won't have any black overspray :)
The vent covers had cracks needed some TLC  - sprayed on black enamel on it. TIP: Enamel takes longer to dry up than usual automotive paint when sprayed on - i think it took me an hour and a half before I could spray on the next coat :) But a liter of Boysen black enamel goes a long way so it was kinda worth it! I was able to paint the inside flooring, the dash, the wheel wells, the underside of the bumpers and the vent covers! That's value for your peso! But it is better brushed on than sprayed :)

More of the little things (lights, rubbers trimmings etc.)on my next post!
Continue reading...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Roughening up a Red Hot Voxy

To increase my chances of succeeding on my Voxy project, I decided to be patient and vigilant in sanding the entire car after several coats. This gave me the opportunity to inspect Voxy for things that needed my attention like paint runs, uneven coats and nasty insects that got stuck in the paint while it was still wet. :)

I saw several mosquitos and flies in Voxy's body - though they can be repaired - it is quite a hassle to deal with them. You have to sand down the surface, spray on a new coat of red (if needed - depending on how big the insect is) then wait for it to dry before moving on.

For some reason, I encountered some average sized pinholes in the hood - dunno why but might be due to the times when I was too lazy to double check if everything was perfect. A friend told me that when his car was repainted - they encountered the same thing and what the painters did was to apply several drops of paint in the affected area (see picture below) - after it has dried up - sanding deals with the uneven surface . DISCLAIMER: Dunno if this is a lasting and recommended fix, only time will tell. If you have had bad experience with this advice, kindly share with us :)

TIP: Make sure that the surface is completely flat and free from embellishments and imperfections after spraying on your primer and before applying your base coat to avoid problems later on. Wash down the car if needed as sometimes, the dust from all that sanding fills up nicks and scratches and might result to pinholes  and nicks further down the road.

I consumed a gallon of paint for my base coat (if you factor in the thinner, I sprayed on around 2 gallons of red paint -maybe more). I decided that for my top coat, I will attach the fenders to ensure and equal shine :)

After the fenders were placed back - time to do some wetsanding (again) - notice that the newspaper once covering this rear wheel is gone as it was not able to stand the water brought about by all that sanding :)

Covered up the wheel with a large trashbag - reusable and durable!

Don't be afraid to roughen up the surface TIP: use around 600 to 800 grit sandpaper for sanding out the base coat - using a coarser sand paper would be devastating! :) Wash the entire car afterwards - you don't want to see sand residue mixing in with your top coat. I used some mild detergent to ensure that the car is entirely clean - I have an oily skin and sanding causes you to sweat a lot, I might have deposited too much of my bodily fluids in voxy hehe - again better be sure and safe than sorry (you have to wait for the car to dry up before spraying on your clear)  


TIP: Again, sanding in between coats or before starting a major layer (primer, base and top) is based on your preference and how far your willing to go. I feel that if you don't have a controlled and dust free paint booth, sanding is a must - it will separate the boys from the men :)

MAJOR TIP: Pay attention to little details like pinholes and uneven surfaces (usually caused by not sanding your filler enough) - these things will make a big difference in the end result.

 Next up - laminating Voxy with layers and layers of top coat - aiming for a carshow shine! Do you think I can make it? :)

Continue reading...