DarrylD's Porsche 912 Project Page - Phase 5: Front Bumper Filler & Block Sanding Work

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Entry: 9/4/06 - The task for today was chemically stripping the paint from the front and rear bumpers. I thought it would be a good idea to remove what turned out to be 3 to 4 layers of primer and paint chemically before sand blasting because of the possibility of warping the steel with the heat of blasting that much paint off. I was also able to find and remove all the body filler from previous repairs, which was minimal on the center section of the front bumper and none to be found on the rear ones. There are a few badly surface rust pitted areas from moisture trapped under the deco strip but no rot-thru. I had to use hot water on the bumpers as a final step to flush and neutralize the chemical paint stripper so a bit of flash rusting took place but that will be history with some light sand blasting. Tonight I set the bumpers up over a 500-watt halogen work light to heat the pieces up and evaporate any moisture in the recesses around the mounting brackets so they will be nice and dry for sand blasting tomorrow (if the weather cooperates).

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Entry: 9/5/06 - Perfect sand blasting weather today! Mid-70's and low humidity with a light breeze towards the greenbelt and away from the house made for a very productive day. The factory paint on the insides of the bumpers came off very easily with the nozzle of the blaster about 10" from the surface and a very low surface temperature to prevent warping of the metal. Both the insides and the outsides of the bumpers were blasted down to bare metal and once all traces of rust and paint were gone I gave them a quick shot of red oxide colored primer. I'll be needing to remove the primer using lacquer thinner in spots where I need to apply filler and weld-up a few holes but the goal was to prevent any flash rusting while they're stored, waiting for the paint prep phase months from now.

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Entry: 3/5/07 - Today the front bumper came back off and I stripped the thin coat of cheapo autoparts store primer I applied back when I sandblasted it last summer to keep it from flash rusting. A thorough wash with scalding hot water, Ajax dish soap and a scrub brush to remove any traces of paint stripper was followed by a spray down with Eastwood Company's Metal Wash to keep the steel from flash rusting. I'll be welding up all the license plate holes once it has dried thoroughly and start with the filling and block sanding on that ugly weld seam down the middle. I also removed the left rear wheel and began the process of "faux factory undercoating" on that wheelwell and lockpost area like I did to the right side a couple months back. You'll notice a little investment in the future sitting on the box in the lower right corner of the following photo, a complete fuel injection system off a 1983 3.0 liter engine. This is the set-up I am currently running on the 3.0 liter engine in my 1974 911 and it's a good thing to have a spare WUR (warm up regulator), fuel distributor and airbox as these parts are NLA (no longer available) new from any parts suppliers and rebuilt ones require a core exchange and are massively expensive. I got the entire system, including intake runners and fuel injectors for $375 off a running engine which was converted to PMO carburetors, through an ad on the Pelican Parts 911 Used Parts For Sale & Wanted BBS.

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Entry: 3/6/07 - I didn't have time to work on the 912 today but a couple items did arrive on the UPS truck today. The first thing was a relic from the '70s, a vintage hood bra, still in perfect condition, custom tailored to fit my '66 with no fog light or license plate holes opened-up! I have a hood bra for all my Porsches and if removed frequently and kept clean on the back side so no moisture or abrasive road dust can form, they keep the paint chip-free. I only put them on when I'm going to be driving at highway speed due to all the dump trucks dropping gravel on the roads and kicking it up.

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The other shipment that arrived was half of my closed-cell neoprene foam order from McMaster-Carr. I ordered ", 3/8" and 1/8" thick by 42" x 72" pads to make the engine compartment sound-proofing pads, passenger compartment floor sound-proofing pads, and dashboard / door panel padding (respectively). Closed-cell is the ticket, you can spray adhesive on it and press it into place without the glue soaking into it and distorting the surface like open cell foam will do. This foam is rated to withstand temperatures to 210F, is self-extinguishing when a flame source is removed, and withstands oil and gasoline exposure without breaking down. Sounds like the perfect stuff for lining an engine compartment to me! Closed-cell also doesn't absorb water (or any liquid) so it sounds like the perfect thing to glue to the passenger compartment floorpans and door panels! The ", 3/8" and 1/8" thick by 42" x 72" pads cost roughly $90, $70 and $30 respectively and are listed as Neoprene/EDPM/SBR Foam Rubber on the website.

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Entry: 3/7/07 - I got a good start on the front bumper today, beginning with welding-up the 6 front license plate mounting holes which were exposed by sand blasting the BONDO off the bumper last summer. Once the holes were filled and the excess weld bead dressed with my 4" angle grinder, I got out the stud welder and attacked the deep dents that had been filled with BONDO by the previous repairman. Using the pop-rivet gun type puller, I was able to get all the dents slightly higher than the surrounding surface and then leveled-out with hammer and dolly.

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I did a bit more straightening work over the entire top edge and declared it ready for filler. I swapped the grinding disc for a 50-grit sanding disc on my 4" angle grinder and "scuffed" the surface in preparation for the filler. I started applying Evercoat Rage Xtreme lightweight filler on the top, working outward from the center and have two coats applied and blocked sanded out while it was still setting-up using the 80-grit paper on the long board. Tomorrow I continue with filling and work my way across the top and then down the front center, hopefully finishing with filler and starting with glazing putty. I really am starting to see the light at the end of tunnel with the bodywork phase and then starting the second pass over the entire body with glazing putty and block sanding to fix the defects I couldn't see before priming. It is getting close to making another visit to the painter and have a detailed discussion on how I should proceed with filler primer work.

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Entry: 3/8/07 - Today's work began with welding up a bolt hole in the top right end of the bumper that must have been added to snug it up to the fender of the car it came off of. Once the MIG welder was put away, I turned my attention to applying the remaining Evercoat Rage Xtreme lightweight filler on the center seam and on all the previously damaged and deeply pitted areas of the bumper and then block sanding it out. One thing that is obvious from where the majority of the filler went is the left half of the bumper, that was made out of two "good" halves, was much more "used" than the right half. No matter, filler and block sanding have it all looking smooth and ready for glazing putty, block sanding and primer. I have a feeling primer is going to expose a lot more shaping work on that center bumper section with all its compound curves but if that's what it will take to get it perfect, so be it.

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Entry: 3/10/07 - After I finished filling and sanding work on the 8th, I primed the section of the bumper that I was having trouble seeing the curves on and then let it dry a couple days so the primer would cure a bit. The area covered by the license plate on that "two-to-make-one" bumper showed a low spot once it was primed. I used a piece of thin brass welding rod taped to the curve of the bumper to illuminate the area needing more filler. As you can see from the shadow in the following photo, there was quite a bit of filler required to make it look right.

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This was really one of the most challenging filler and block sanding jobs I've had to do and after working it with two more separate applications of Evercoat Rage Xtreme lightweight filler and then a final application of Evercoat Polyester Glazing Putty and block sanding that out, I decided that I needed to prime it to really see how close it is. A couple thick coats of Spies Hecker Priomat Primer 3255 self-etching primer and I can still see a little more shaping required but it really is quite close, to the point where I think it's just a matter of more sanding not adding more filler. I'll let the primer cure a couple days and then revisit it, some of the problem may be the two sides are not exactly the same but it is on the underside and very close to the ground so it won't be noticed anyway. Test fitting the bumperettes and the deco strip will help me decide how much more attention this area requires.

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Entry: 3/16/07 - Once the toxic fumes from the Wurth high-build underseal cleared out of the garage, I could finally put the wheel back on and remove the jacks holding left rear corner of the car up. Now I could finally perform what might possibly be the last test fit of the front bumper, with the deco strip and bumperettes installed, to make sure everything lines-up perfectly. The deco strip is the original which I've stripped the anodized coating off of using EZ-Off oven cleaner in preparation for polishing so it looks a bit chalky white. The bumperettes fit the contour of the bumper perfectly, even before the plastic bead is glued into place between the chrome and paint contact edge. With the turnsignals and headlights mounted, everything looks SWEET! I had to break out the new Porsche hood crest just to put the icing on the cake!

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I'm very happy with how crisp and straight everything looks from all angles. There are a couple fine adjustments that I'll make when I'm mounting the bumper permenantly but for a test fit, I'm almost giddy with pride about how my year of hard work is turning out!

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Ok, I can't help myself, time to Photoshop that last photo... dial up the hue of "Bahama Yellow" instead of red oxide primer just to picture it all done. Oh if it were only that easy to paint a car!

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I think I finally figured out why Bahama Yellow makes me drool... suffice to say my college and bachelor days were very good for Kraft Foods, Inc. shareholders!

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The UPS truck dropped my new German square-weave 3-piece trunk carpet set off today! I bought this from eBay seller "cmartinperez" for $265, which was slightly cheaper than the one offered by Autos International for $279 as I figured they were probably from the same place and I like seeing a photograph of the actual item. Plus the feedback on other carpet sets purchased from this eBay seller were all glowing with praise. I'm very happy with the quality and the construction is exactly like the heavily worn originals that came in the car.

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I did a side-by-side of the new and original driver's side carpet pieces and the square-weave carpet and edge binding is identical. There is a slight brown tone to the original, which might just be patina and dirt. I really can't wait until the day I get to glue the new ones in to cover all my detailing and repair work done to that front trunk area!

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