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Old 24-07-2018   #316
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

I'm still going backwards and forwards with preparation. I messed up by using an aerosol of paint as a guide coat which turned out to be an enamel which the label stated was incompatible with cellulose. So followed a lot of wiping with panel-wipe, although letting it dry properly and then sanding was the real answer.
I had filled the panel joins on one side with PU sealant but lately I came across a 3M product called Drip Chek. It's a rubberised, cellulose,-based sealant specifically for this job and it's a nightmare. I'm on the third attempt as it dries so quickly it's hard to smooth out. The primer that I originally overpainted on the PU quickly cracked. I think this was because it was flowing too well with a lot of thinners and creating a valley of paint which shrinks on drying. So I will revisit with a fairly dry mix.No pictures because our internet is broken.
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Old 25-07-2018   #317
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

After I had restored my Fiat 500 I always regretted not spending enough time in preparing and protecting the lower areas of the car. I theorised that keeping it all smooth and with as few layers of material as possible I would reduce water-traps and hence future corrosion. But modern vehicles are daubed with sealant and coatings and don't rust quickly, so I'm going the same way with the van. So after sealing any seams or exposed joints I decided to coat the lower parts with stonechip paint. I didn't want an obvious join where the stonechip ended and discovered that a foam strip called soft-edge masking tape is the secret to getting the "factory" look. The downside is that this has a very tenacious adhesive which in places proved difficult to remove afterwards.
I masked the body so that I could put a layer of stonechip on the lip of the wheelarches.

FER_2810 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr

The stuff whizzes on and you have to move very fast and as it dries it shrinks back to a subtle ripple effect. I will be priming and painting it and plan to use more of it underneath the body.

FER_2806 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr

The whole van is now in primer and almost completely rubbed down and ready for the first of the topcoats..
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Old 29-07-2018   #318
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

The two front doors which have lagged behind the rest of the project have now just about caught up. A bit more rubbing down needed before final priming. It's surprising that the one on the left, which was brand new bar for some slight storage dents, a need to relocate the mirror fixing holes to the later type and a small hole in the centre of the main panel where a water drip must have corroded it , has possibly needed more filling than the original one on the right which has had extensive surgery.

FER_3042 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr

I can't decide whether to give a couple more coats of primer just to unify the surfaces as the stonechip and a few stopped areas need priming in any case.

FER_3045 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr

Unfortunately we saw alovely VW T2 van today in white over buttercup yellow; it made us wonder if the somewhat "teal" shade we have chosen is teh right one. So my plan now is to stick on acouple of coats of this blue-green to see how we feel about it. If it seems wrong then we're back on track for yellow.
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Last edited by fiat500; 29-07-2018 at 22:11.
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Old 03-08-2018   #319
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Quote Originally Posted by fiat500 View Post

Unfortunately we saw alovely VW T2 van today in white over buttercup yellow; it made us wonder if the somewhat "teal" shade we have chosen is the right one. So my plan now is to stick on acouple of coats of this blue-green to see how we feel about it. If it seems wrong then we're back on track for yellow.
I had a better idea yesterday whenit came to painting a full side-panel which I bought as a potential display item a few years ago I gave it two coats of the Teal and submitted it for inspection. I liked it more than expected but we came to the conclusion that each of us had been inaccurately second-guessing the preferences of the other......we both really wanted yellow in any case. So if anyone has a use for the best part of three litres of good quality cellulose in RAL6027 at half the price I paid for it, please get in touch.

FER_3495 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr
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Old 21-08-2018   #320
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

The yellow paint has been ordered and so I had time to give the van another couple of coats of primer. After completely rubbing down the bodywork with 400 grit paper I wasn't looking forward to doing it again. But it's evening things up a bit more and allowing me to see a few flaws that I had previously missed.

FER_3959 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr

I had some last minute tweaks to do to the doors. The odd shape of them at the bottom will mean that they naturally collect water and the drainage slots as designed are probably ineffective as they are almost obstructed just by the thickness of paint. So I've cut these additional slots which. although a bit crude, should allow the water to exit more quickly.

FER_3963 by Peter Thompson, on FlickrFER_3962 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr

The green paint is some of white epoxy primer which I've coloured with a bit of cellulose so that I can see where I'm putting it. From previous experience I know the extra detailing now will enable the paint to stay looking good for longer. I've also started painting the inside floor, starting with all the areas where I've welded as well as anywhere that has needed significant rust treatment........ ie. quite a lot of it.

FER_3961 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr

So the painting that I hoped would be finished by the end of July is now about a month late.
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Last edited by fiat500; 21-08-2018 at 22:45.
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Old 23-08-2018   #321
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

I surprised myself today by progressing to the white topcoat. It's Fiat Corfu white, which was the original colour, but only to the waistline as the yellow will be below that. The fibreglass roof will be a job for later.

FER_3967 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr
FER_3966 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr

This is after three full coats and when it has had a day to harden I'll be sanding it to remove the high spots and then applying three more thinner coats to finish.

FER_3970 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr

It went on very well and has an even and shiny finish. Full marks to the paint supplier. Autopaints of St Helens; https://auto-paint.co.uk/ and to the LVLP paint-gun. It seems a shame as I could get away with the paintwork as it is ; the white seems very forgiving in comparison with stronger colours that I have sprayed before.

And have you seen the state of the art of my spraybooth? Who needs to have a temperature controlled environment with filtered air?

FER_3969 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr

It's a good feeling to see old Bluebell metamorphosing to Buttercup.
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Old 24-08-2018   #322
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Looking good as always! I assume the white bit above the roof gutter is part of the roof and fibreglass as well?

So this altered ego move to Buttercup makes me assume that some sort of yellow is involved? What particular shade have you gone for from the colour colour palette?
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Old 24-08-2018   #323
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Quote Originally Posted by Vitesse View Post
Looking good as always! I assume the white bit above the roof gutter is part of the roof and fibreglass as well?

So this altered ego move to Buttercup makes me assume that some sort of yellow is involved? What particular shade have you gone for from the colour colour palette?
To answer the last question, I think that the yellow is as yellow as it's possible to be. We chose it from the RAL colours, 1018 to be precise:

https://goo.gl/images/XAuXcY

That is a two-part roof and I think that the lower half is what has protected the guttering which was in much better shape than I have seen on images of vans with the earlier type of roof. I think I will get away with lightly sanding the surface and I intend to roller-paint it with Rustoleum. Being a custom-made item it has ripples and an imperfect shape to it and it's also huge and quite high; I don't fancy trying to spray it from a ladder.

Today I did a bit of wet-sanding on the white paint and I found it very quick and easy as the paint has settled very flat; so if the weather will please warm up again I can move to the final coats and then get started on the yellow.
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Old 28-08-2018   #324
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Tony @Vitesse got me thinking in more detail about that roof and as I need to repair some or all of the five hinges and their fixings I did a bit of poke about to see how they are attached....bad image of the worst of them (now available in heavy brass).

FER_3981 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr

I needed to remove a flimsy, riveted strip which secures the vinyl of the roof so that I can get at the rivets which hold down the hinges.

FER_3974 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr

This was much easier than I expected and led me to realise that it wouldn't take much more effort to completely remove the roof.

It will be better to renovate the fibreglass whilst detached from the vehicle and it would also have been essential to partially dismantle in any case in order to for the planned replacement of the interior trim.
Further thoughts are that I may be able to obtain a new "canvas" either locally-made or by one of several companies who already make them for the strikingly similar "Super-Viking" VW van modified by the same company that adapted my van.
I also primed the inner sides of the rear engine support and the engine lid; being detachable items I can play about with the yellow paint tomorrow.

FER_3983 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr
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Old 28-08-2018   #325
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

I put my thinking-cap on today (should have been my hard-hat!) and removed the roof.

FER_3999 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr

It's easy to put in one sentence and was much quicker and easier than would ever have expected, but even so, it was quite challenging and very heavy. The fact that the vehicle is hand-made is helpful because you can easily understand the construction methods when un-picking them.
I never intended to get into this detail but it will enable me to give the van the fresh, modern look that has been requested by Sheila.
So I will have to divert attention to preparing and painting the fixed part of the fibreglass roof which is now exposed fully. The upper half can wait but will be much easier to sort out whilst it is off the vehicle.

FER_4003 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr

FER_4000 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr

The test painting of this electric yellow went well; the paint goes on even more smoothly but less shiny than the white.

FER_4008 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr

FER_4004 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr

But as you can see, it's a real statement colour which is much brighter than one of us who will be using it expected it to be.
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Old 31-08-2018   #326
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Quote Originally Posted by fiat500 View Post
But as you can see, it's a real statement colour which is much brighter than one of us who will be using it expected it to be.
Well look on the ‘BRIGHT SIDE’ no one is likely to miss you

Probably needs some spot lights but I can’t see much room for them? Have you considered a chequered roof?
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Old 01-09-2018   #327
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Quote Originally Posted by Vitesse View Post
Well look on the ‘BRIGHT SIDE’ no one is likely to miss you

Probably needs some spot lights but I can’t see much room for them? Have you considered a chequered roof?
At the speed this things is going to achieve, spotlights won't really be necessary.
There is a chance that we could get a yellow and white stripey-patterned roof-canvas. I hadn't thought of the checkered pattern....genius.
This was at Goodwood 2014; I guess it's a vinyl wrap.

KNO_2026 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr
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Old 04-09-2018   #328
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

The painting drags on; it really slows things down having two colours. there's extra mixing and cleaning of the gun but the worst thing is the masking. It took an hour and a half just to do the doors and tailgate. I'm using "fine-line" tape where the two colours meet but I decided to take it off quite promptly after the first three coats of paint to avoid any cracking. I'll have to replace it all after wet-sanding and before the last three coats.

FER_4488 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr

At least the white is finished now and even after a day's drying it's super smooth and shiny.

FER_4486 by Peter Thompson, on Flickr
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Old 06-09-2018   #329
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Hard work but it’s going to look the mutts 🥜 when completed. I was talking to the guy who sprayed my 500 the other day and he was saying about how 90% of the time he can get a really good finish straight out of the gun that doesn’t need hardly any polishing. Then some days he sprays a panel and thinks “what went wrong there”? As the finish is iffy and he’s been doing it every day for years.
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Old 06-09-2018   #330
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Re: Bluebell the 900e Amigo

Quote Originally Posted by Vitesse View Post
Hard work but it’s going to look the mutts 🥜 when completed. I was talking to the guy who sprayed my 500 the other day and he was saying about how 90% of the time he can get a really good finish straight out of the gun that doesn’t need hardly any polishing. Then some days he sprays a panel and thinks “what went wrong there”? As the finish is iffy and he’s been doing it every day for years.
In my case the improvement in finish has definitely been due to the gun. It's not expensive but is designed to work at lower pressures and air volumes, which suits my amateur setup.
I've just finished masking the top of the van so I'm looking for a warm, dry day tomorrow....
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