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Well I'm wrapping up my roller paint job I started last spring. I know people are curious about this so feel free to ask questions and leave comments.

I've had this car since 1997. When I bought it I knew nothing about Cougars. I was looking for a '69-'73 Camaro or Firebird but I couldn't find a decent car within my budget. This car was so much nicer than any of the GM cars I had been looking at that I paid the asking price without hesitation. The car is a standard model with the options of vinyl roof, auto, PS, PB, AM radio, and deluxe wheel covers. It had 59K when I bought it and I've added about 10K since then. Mechanically, its pretty well sorted out, but it had alot of dents and dings and a few bubbles starting under the vinyl top.

 

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I saw my first post of a roller paint job the other day... what is a roller paint job? Does it involve using a standard roller?
 

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The top came off easily enough. I just grabbed an edge and started pulling. The paint on the roof was very nice, but it was covered with glue. The vinyl is not going back on and I hoped to save the paint for a base coat. I experimented quite a bit, but nothing really worked to remove the glue. Finally I tried oven cleaner which removed the glue but took a lot of paint off also. Maybe I left it on too long.:confused:


This was on the sail panel under the top. "V" for vinyl?



http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/8060/img0316c.jpg
 

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I saw my first post of a roller paint job the other day... what is a roller paint job? Does it involve using a standard roller?
The best roller for this is the small 4" one with dense foam designed for smooth finishes. You can pick them up pretty much anywhere. I got mine at my Ace Hardware.

This method is detail in three very long threads on the Moparts message board. Most of those guys use Rustoleum and it ends up costing about $50. I used topside boat paint so I spent a little more but not much.:)
 

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Hey Dave,
You never mentioned you were doing this. I'm anxious to see how it turns out. Did you stick with the original light ivy gold or did you change the color?
Well I had decided I would paint the car bright yellow and dye the interior black. In the end, I decided the ivy interior was too nice to mess with so its staying and I painted the car white.
 

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Of course I also had some rust under the vinyl.



Some small holes in the bottom of the window channel. My rear window seal was bad so that didn't help matters.


This is the worst section here. It looks bad, but other than the holes it was very solid.
 

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Bottom of the trunk. You can see a lot of rust pitting but the steel's pretty thick here so it was still solid.




The top of the trunk didn't get much paint, but it was still pretty clean.
 

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Paint was thin on the bottom of the fenders but it wasn't too rusty.



I'm going to try to organize my pictures and upload some more this weekend. I hoped to document this better, but my first camera broke during dissasembly and I lost alot of pics. Also, I get busy and forget to take pictures.:)
 

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Bottom of the trunk. You can see a lot of rust pitting but the steel's pretty thick here so it was still solid.





The top of the trunk didn't get much paint, but it was still pretty clean.
Man Im so jealous!!! what size rims are they,14's or 15's thanks
 

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Man Im so jealous!!! what size rims are they,14's or 15's thanks
Those are 14x7 on the rear and 14x6 on the front. I got them at the swap meet. I ended up with Mopar wheels on the front because the Ford wheels I got wouldn't clear the disc brake calipers.

I think this car would look better with 15's. Since its such a low optioned car, I'm thinking about steelys with Mercury dog dish caps to continue the theme. Would that be too plain for a Cougar?
 

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I think it would look cool if the rears were widened out to about 8" with the steelies and caps. One of my many thouhts.
 

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Hay Dave,
I have the thred over at the Mopar site saved.

http://board.moparts.org/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=2331682&page=0&fpart=1&vc=1

I can't wait to see your car in person. Will you have it at Port Angeles next spring?
That's the thread Neil! Its actually grown to three threads now. I spent most of a weekend last winter reading through it and taking notes.

I'll definitely be at Port Angeles with it. I thought I would be done by Prowl last year, but I underestimated the amount of bodywork needed and overstimated how quickly I would do it.:) I knew the paint would be time consuming, but the bodywork and prep really set me back.

The paint is done. I finished painting in the summer, but I needed a break from it. I'm now halfway done with the wetsanding, then I just need to put everything back together and polish it. My garage isn't heated so I'm trying to get things done before it gets too cold.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Some more of the car.

The passenger side only showed surface rust in this area. Yes, that's bondo up there.:(




The car had been in an accident before I got it and it has a patch going all the way from the center of the wheel to the door jamb. The bondo appeared pretty thick and a verticle seam was visible under the paint. The repair could have been done better, but it was holding up well so I decided to leave it. I ended up doing a lot of block sanding in this area before I was satisfied.

 

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Here's the backside of the fenders. The paint was falling off where the metal was galvanized so I removed what was left along with the rust. IMO, Ford could have used more undercoating here so I added some.






The rear panel is also galvanized so the factory paint was also flaking off here behind the tail lights.
 

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Here's some condensed versions of this method if you don't want to read the whole Moparts thread.

http://www.rickwrench.com/index79master.htm?http://www.rickwrench.com/50dollarpaint.html

http://carpainting.wetpaint.com/page/Rollering+Interlux+Brightside+Polyurethane+Paint

http://rollyourcar.com/method.aspx

I decided early on that I wanted to paint my car myself and when I read about this I decided I wanted to try it. I've heard that prep is 90% of a good paint job. I've also heard that the final wetsand and buff is 90% of a good paint job. That's 180% so I figured the method of application must not be too critical.:)

My car is a driver and my goal was to have paint that looks as good as the factory job. My factory paint was thick in spots, thin in spots, had some orange peel here and there and even a couple of runs so I figured I could do better.

This method is very labor intensive, but I knew that going in. The appeal to me was that I could work on it as I had time on evenings or weekends and I wouldn't have to deal with fumes or overspray. Although its time consuming, its also easy once you get the hang of it. I lost count, but I think I have between 10 and 12 coats on the car. Each coat took about 3 hours if I was working with a helper or 5 hours if I was working alone. The accepted practice is to sand after every two coats, but I sanded after every coat so this added to the time I spent. I probably averaged about three hours each sanding session. So with each coat taking about eight hours total, I probably spent more than 80 hours just putting the paint on. This is a lot slower than most of the guys on Moparts. If I hadn't sanded so much, I could have gotten by with fewer coats. Most people only need 6 or 8 coats with the boat paint I used so that might work out to as few as 40 hours.

The time wasn't really an issue for me because I don't have a deadline and this project gives me an excuse to turn off the TV. It was a fun project and I'd do it again, but its not for everyone. Some probably don't have the patience for this method. I wouldn't try it on a daily driver or if I had a deadline I needed to meet. It can be done quickly, but you probably won't be happy with your results if you rush it. Also, it doesn't work with metallic colors. The paint I used is a urethane designed for boats so it should be durable. It dries with a high gloss and I think it looks great, but it probably won't have the shiney wet look of a modern clearcoat paint.
 

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Before I began, I washed the car 2X with a scotchbrite and wiped everything down with wax and grease remover. I also hit the door hinge area with brake cleaner to remove the 40 year old grease.

I removed all trim, plus the trunk lid and fenders. I planned to remove the hood so I could paint the underside, but I was running out of room in the garage and I figured it would be easier to line up the fenders later with the hood in place. I left the doors on because I could paint all around them with the fenders off. (Also I remember how long it took me to align them when I did the bushings.:))

The original hood was destroyed by a branch in a wind storm. I thought this one was straight until I started sanding. I don't know what happened here but there was a series of shallow waves down each side. They weren't deep enough for me to try to work out so I went to work with the filler.



This came highly recommended and I have to say it sands nice. I hadn't done bodywork before so I probably spent at least 30 hours on that hood. I kept applying too much or too little filler in spots. When I thought I was done, I would leave it and inspect it a few days later to find I needed to do some more work.


This is the sanding board I used. This helped me find dents I couldn't see and get my filler flat.



The roof had a few shallow dents. Fortunately they weren't deep as I wanted to leave the headliner in and couldn't access the backside. Most of the paint on the roof came off with the vinyl glue.


This was the worst damage. I wanted to replace this fender, but couldn't find one and was in a hurry to get painting. The PO had hit something hard enough to push the bumper into the grille and fender. Its difficult to get to the backside of this area, but I began working it out with wooden blocks and a prybar. Then I laid it down, stuck my foot in there and stepped on it. This left enough room to awkwardly work the rest with the hammer. There's too much filler here and I'll probably replace this if I ever paint it again, but it didn't look bad in the end.


Where di all those door dings come from?:( I was able to get to most of these easily from inside the door. It looks like a lot of filler, but I don't think its thicker than 1/4" anywhere here. For some reason, my B pillars were also very wavy. Maybe that's why they put the vinyl top on.
 
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