Optimus Prime - The '68 Coupe

Discussion in 'Classic Mustang Specific Tech' started by gregski, Jan 11, 2011.


  1. gregski

    gregski Active Member

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    Thank you, baby steps right?
  2. gregski

    gregski Active Member

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    Thank you, and thank you for following along, it keeps me going guys! :D
  3. gregski

    gregski Active Member

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    LESSON 1 - One Part VS Two Part Primer

    One of the first lessons I learned was that no primer is created equal. There are what I like to refer to as two lines of primer, amateur (one part) and professional (two part) types of product.

    The first one is the stuff in a spray can we are all familiar with. This is the stuff you can buy at you local Auto Zone parts store or at Walmart. This product is pre mixed and ready to go. Just shake the can, press the button and apply. This sounds wonderful, however I learned sacrifices had to be made to make this happen, (read the Two Part paragraph below to see how). I am not knocking this type of product I am just trying to point out the differences.

    The second type of primer is what the pros use. This product is made up of two and sometimes three separate solutions that you mix. For example you take what's in the first container ie primer, and you add to it something called a "hardener" from the second container. (Different manufacturers may refer to their second product by different names, ie "activator".) The ratios differ as well, it could be a 2:1 ratio it could be something else, the instructions tell you how to mix it. The third solution may be optional, and it is called the "reducer" it basically thins out your concoction making it easier to come out of the spray gun. Once the primer hits the car, the "reducer's" job is done, it begins to evaporate. When you mix the two solutions you have to wait, allowing them time to react, this is called "induction time" it's like adding sugar to your coffee, you need to allow it time to dissolve. But unlike sugar in coffee which dissolves in seconds, this concoction may take minutes, 15 or more, etc. Ok so now you waited the 15 minutes, now you enter the "pot life" phase. This is the time you have to spray your car before your primer is no longer any good. Going back to our coffee example, this is how long you have to drink it before it gets cold. But unlike coffee which you can pop back into the microwave and warm it up again, your primer mixture is wasted.

    Ok, so now you see why we can't buy the two part "good stuff" at Walmart. It's because it would be hard as a rock or coagulated like rubber, since it would have been days, weeks, even months since it was pre mixed for us at the factory. Now there are some manufacturers out there making two part primer in an aerosol can, but they have you pull some kind of a rip cord to get the solutions to mix before spraying, so technically although they are in the same can there is still some sort of barrier between them. Although I have never used their product, I think it is cost prohibitive to do an entire car with. You could also possibly ask your local professional car paint supplier to pre mix some two part primer for you and shove it in an aerosol can, hoping that by the time you drive home you can shoot it that day, I think.

    Now this does sound a bit intimidating, but it is so easy even a cave man could do it, and believe me, no one hated chemistry in high school more than me.

    I ended up using a Two Part Epoxy primer that you need to mix.

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  4. pyroman

    pyroman Founding Member

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    Sweet info man, very much appreciated! :nice:
  5. gregski

    gregski Active Member

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    On to Phase 2 - The Trunk and Rear End

    With the roof primed and Phase 1 completed it is time to move on to The Trunk and Rear End

    Phase 2 begins with the removal of parts. (I believe it is worth sharing how these come off as I personally was a bit surprised how they are held on). I may not call some of these do dads properly so please feel free to correct me.

    1. Rear Fender Side Market Lights ('68 and up models)

    2. Quarter Panel Trim (older models referred to theirs as three fingers)

    3. Rocker Panel Side Trim

    4. Trunk Lid Letters "MUSTANG" (mine had no chrome trim piece)

    5. Rear Fender Extensions Molding

    6. Tail Lights

    7. Rear Bumper Guards


    My "aftermarket" third tail light mounted on top of the trunk lid (you probably won't have one of these)

    Rear mud flaps, again I hope you don't have any of these either.
  6. gregski

    gregski Active Member

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    Rear Fender Side Marker Lights ('68 and up models)

    removing these little guys, one from the driver side and one from the passenger side of the car, reveals a bit of the history, like in my case you can see the vehicle did not have a premium second paint job, since these guys were left on and only taped off prior to being painted.

    They were held on with two nuts and screws each, which you get to from the inside of the trunk. I didn't realize they are only reflectors, and do not have a bulb and any electrical wiring going to them.

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  7. gregski

    gregski Active Member

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    Quarter Panel Side Trim

    The side trim bits had to come off, they were held on by 3 bolts on either side. In order to get to them the quarter panel windows had to be removed, lots of work, (photos available upon request, lol).

    Needless to say these trim pieces will not find their way back on to the car. The holes will be welded shut, a job that will prove much easier said than done.

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  8. INDSKYS

    INDSKYS New Member

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    Omg so true i took the whole rear interior apart once to get those out to polish and clearcoat.Well they turned out wonderful.One problem im my rush to wrap up a stereo install i put all the rear interior back in,Only to look at the car the next day and realize i left the faux air intakes off.:jaw: At that point i grew to hate those parts with a passion !
  9. gregski

    gregski Active Member

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    Quarter Trim Removal

    here's what had to be done on the inside to get those pesky quarter panel "ornaments" off, I had some more pictures of the small metal bracket on the bottom but unfortunately they came out blurry so god only knows if I'll be able to put these windows back in properly, can't wait... Not!

    Obviously these pictures also show you the state of my interior.

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  10. gregski

    gregski Active Member

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    Rocker Panel Side Trim

    The Rocker Panel Side Trim plastic brackets were next to come off. Technically my car did not have the trim on it any more just the pesky brittle white brackets. Even if it did they would not be going back on as I am going for the clean look. The brackets were held on with aluminum rivets which had to be drilled. Then I attempted to fill the holes by welding them closed with my Harbor Freight Flux Core welder.

    Ignore the floor pan rust that fell on the floor, that's a whole new thread, lol.

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  11. Red5oh

    Red5oh Member

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    Ok, I read and read the primer post... but I have a question.

    Did you or did you NOT use the 2 part primer? You had mentioned you were going to use a can, etc then possibly a 2 part over the can primer.

    Anyway, whatever primer you choose, or should have chosen, you need something that is water resistant. Most primers absorb water and will still rust over time. The work you are doing is very good and impressive (especially the roof) and I dont want you to run into MORE rust when its time to paint. (By that I mean, the primer will have to be completely removed to access the steel again, then prime again)

    The best thing you can do is an epoxy basecoat. It is a two part solution and completely water resistant. The best part, you do body work right over the epoxy. It is the best of all worlds. You are doing such a great job, I recommend it.

    Have fun and keep the pics coming.
  12. gregski

    gregski Active Member

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    A couple posts above, I did mention that I ended up using a Two Part Epoxy primer that you need to mix. This is a cheaper line made by PPG and it is called OMNI AU (Gold) as somebody kindly pointed out to me what the AU stands for, LOL. I mixed it 2:1 with the catalyst and added about 10% reducer to thin it out a bit. Then I waited 15 minutes for the chemicals to co mingle. Then I sprayed on 3 or so coats on the roof and 2 or so coats on the rear end. When the time comes I will use a build primer over that do do the final body work and sanding it smooth.

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  13. pyroman

    pyroman Founding Member

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    Looking good man, keep it up. Those side vents on my 67 are also a source of frustration, I tried years ago to get them off but couldn't figure how to get a tool in there. What did you end up using, the wrench in the picture?
  14. Red5oh

    Red5oh Member

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    Ok, I see what you did. Good choice and you are doing a great job. Ask any questions and I have a TON more pics than what is on cardomain, so if you need anything specific... ask away.

    What state are you in? I am in the DFW, TX area.
  15. gregski

    gregski Active Member

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    Reporting live from Sacramento, California home of the Emission Controls, LOL. By they way my ex lives in your area, not all my exes just the one.
  16. gregski

    gregski Active Member

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    Trunk Stuff Was Next To Come Off

    moving on to the trunk lid, I needed to remove the "aftermarket" third taillight and the M U S T A N G letters. The letters surprisingly came off by gently wedging a screw driver under them. The plastic taillight was simply glued on there and only exposed one hole for the wiring.

    I don't think my '68 has a '68 trunk lid on it as it doesn't have the holes for the chrome trim (thank god, less holes to fill)

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  17. gregski

    gregski Active Member

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    Rear Fender Extensions Trim

    Some of these steps are easier than others, but all of them have to get done. Removing the rear fender extension trim proves to be a challenging step if like me you decide not to put them back on, however getting them off was just a matter of using your fingers...

    When the trim was off I used a punch tool to punch the clips back in the holes, in hindsight that was stupid, but it wasn't till I was thumbing through a catalog a couple days later that I saw that they unscrew from the back. Although I believe you have to remove the fender extensions completely to get to those ends, I didn't wanna do that as they fit perfectly. At this point, Bob's your uncle, and I'm sure I'll face worse rattles than those guys...

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  18. gregski

    gregski Active Member

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    Rear Fender Extensions Trim continued...

    Once the trim is removed you are left with three roughly 1/4 inch holes on each side. The metal is what some call pot metal others die cast. Either way not something you're gonna wanna weld with your MIG jobbie. So what I did is filled them in with something similar to JB Weld. I went to my local plastics store and picked up "Amazing Goop" I know, you can't make this stuff up. It was their equivalent of JB Weld.

    This stuff is truly amazing, it sticks to metal very well, and a couple days later I sanded it flush beautifully. Since I could not reach the back side of the hole to provide some sort of backing like using masking tape, I used a technique where i shoved some goop in the hole and pulled it back through to the front, and I worked it like that back and forth a bit. It was like taking a piece of chewed up bubble gum and wedging it in the hole and getting it to bunch up behind the hole and then smashing it down in front of the hole.

    Yes you can buy replacement fender end pieces without the holes in them, but for $10 bucks you can't beat this solution for a daily driver like mine.

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  19. gregski

    gregski Active Member

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    Taillight Removal

    On the 68 the taillights are made up of individual bezel pieces, three on each side. You undo the nuts of the extra long bolts in the trunk and they come right off. A deep socket is nice here, or one of them ratchet wrenches. No surprises on this step. I will use new rubber gaskets when I put them back on, better add that to the list of replacement new parts.

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  20. gregski

    gregski Active Member

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    Rear Bumper Guards

    The rear bumper guards were held on with two bolts each. Undo those and they come right off. Notice again how mine which at one time were chrome were just lazily painted over. I don't get it I prep and prep and I can't get paint to stick to chrome, but some people just shoot right over it and it's on for years, lol. These are NOT going back on either. The cleaner the look the better.

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