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Discussion Starter #1
I've started cleaning up the engine bay. I'm using an angle grinder with wire wheel, polycarbide abrasive wheel, and 80 grit on the front part of the frame and firewall.
I plan to use POR15 on the frame (lots of varied experience with this stuff).
And for the firewall...spray max epoxy, bondo over old seam sealer and flatten it out the best I can, more epoxy then top coat hot rod satin.
I want to keep wires hidden by running them under the fenders.

Any suggestions?
Anybody else that has done this, can you share photos?
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If this was mine,, I would remove the front fenders then paint the firewall. I think it would look better, looking good!! Keep the updates coming!!
Matty man
 

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About 10 years ago, I spent the winter cleaning, painting, putting and adjusting everything in the engine bay on my 66 Bonneville.. After it was all painted, adjusted and put back together.. I closed the hood and never looked at it again, I thought why did I just do all that?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
pitts64, I’m questioning why I started doing this as well. It’ll be nice to have everything clean but how long will that last and who knows if my paint will hood up.
 

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We all have idiosyncrasies as hobbyists of classic cars. My gotcha is do it now since the motor is out and you have full access. If you ever have to use the word "should", then it is too late! I recently redid my firewall and, while I was at it, decided to apply a thin coat of body filler to smooth out the ripples/dings (visible as dark spots in your picture). For paint, I used rattle can Rustoleum flat black. DONE!
 

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Looking great jelco! I agree with the others about taking the fenders off to access the entire firewall. In regards to epoxy with paint over the epoxy, that will work fine. If you want the coating to last pretty much forever, I highly recommend Southern Polyurethanes black epoxy. In fact, if you use their black epoxy you will not have to topcoat it with any other material. It dries to a nice sheen that very closely matches factory underhood black. And, that epoxy is as tough as nails! It will hold up under any circumstances and conditions. Resists scratches extremely well. I have been using their products for over 15 years and never once had a problem with any of their products! Awesome products. Awesome folks there. I have been in restoration/custom builds for over 30 years and would use nothing else.
 

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We all have idiosyncrasies as hobbyists of classic cars. My gotcha is do it now since the motor is out and you have full access. If you ever have to use the word "should", then it is too late! I recently redid my firewall and, while I was at it, decided to apply a thin coat of body filler to smooth out the ripples/dings (visible as dark spots in your picture). For paint, I used rattle can Rustoleum flat black. DONE!
I didn't even bother when I did mine. Just left it alone and scrubbed and hosed all the pecans and leaves out and re-assembled after getting the engine situated. On my Mustang though, I'm goin with Krylon Semi-Flat, pretty much what you did with the Rustoleum flat black, so much easier to touch-up than any other kind of finish. Just grab a can and spray away!

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have Spray Max 2k epoxy and top coat spray cans but I might return them and use SPI. On the SPI forum they say it has to be super clean bare metal for the epoxy to adhere properly and unfortunately I don’t have a sandblaster and probably shouldn’t do it in the street. SPI has a “2k regular primer” and “epoxy primer”. I think they say that the epoxy can be used on frames without a top coat but wouldn’t it be better to use the 2k primer?
 

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I would stick with epoxy on bare metal. Epoxy adheres to bare metal incredibly well, much better then a 2k. SPI epoxy can be used stand alone. They are also excellent as a base prior to any bodywork or 2k primers that you would use as a base for blocking/finish sanding prior to shooting paint if you were doing your entire car. SPI Black epoxy is the way to go on your frame, IMO. You do not need to sandblast the parts you will paint. You can just sand with a coarse grit sandpaper to bare metal. I believe they recommend 80grit or so. I usually go to 180 or 220 after that. I have never had an issue with adhesion nor scratches coming through. If you go to SPI's website and go to the products pulldown menu, then go to primers, then epoxy it will take you to the TDS pdf file and you can see what what they recommend. I have been doing it this way for decades in the industry. It works extremely well.
 

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I am kind of a detail nut and I am sure you already know this, but, please be sure the metal is clean, clean, clean before painting it with anything. Use a good quality wax/grease remover. I use their Waterborne Wax/Grease Remover. I am not a salesperson for SPI, lol, but I have used their products for years with excellent results every time. Their products are a little more expensive then what you can get at a local O'Reillys or autoparts store, but not as much as the big name products from PPG and the like. And, their pricing is listed on their website and UPS Ground shipping is free!
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
You don’t think I’ll need to sandblast all this? It’s difficult to get many areas to bare metal with an 80 grit angle grinding wheel especially where the springs/shocks sit. The radiator support is difficult too.
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Most people would put a POR type product over that. I media blast everything partly for the reason you stated. The more delicate stuff is done with walnut shells. Yes, I have OCD.
 

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As One Feather mentioned, media blasting is definitely the way to go if you have access to it or if there is a place in your area that does that. What kind of wire wheel do you have on your angle grinder? If you are using the cup style maybe you can try the the open style, you should be able to reach many more areas. You definitely want all dirt off and any paint that you can not get completely off, should be feathered out with no abrupt edges. Any edges you can see or feel will show up just as much or magnified with paint over it. It can also lift if you put an aggressive primer or coating over it. It is definitely time consuming and a pain, but patience and elbow grease will be worth it in the end. I also see some rust flashing on a few of your parts. That needs to be thoroughly wheeled and cleaned off before painting. Also like One Feather and others have mentioned, a POR type product would work well. POR is a very good product. The only problem I personally do not care for with POR that I have used is that the sheen does not match factory black close enough for my builds, even the semi-gloss. But, that is just me and my opinion.
 

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Keep us posted with your progress. Even if nobody notices, you will know how thorough the "clean" is.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I ended up getting a 40lb portable sandblaster with a 20 gallon air compressor and made my own hood to contain the sand when I blasted the hood lever, radiator support and the headlight housings since I had them off the fender.
I’m planning on doing another pass on it but how meticulous should I be with all of this?
After using compressed air, I was planning on briefly wiping down with SPI 710 solvent to remove dust and in case my fingers put grease marks anywhere. The SPI guys are not a fan of POR15. If I’m sand blasting I thought I might as well get a high quality reasonably priced product.
The harbor freight blaster makes it difficult to control the air and blasting material (used black Diamond coal slag from tractor supply, 20-60 grit I think, $10 per bag). Constant fiddling with it and reloading.


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Por15 is for rusted metal not clean metal. I'll try to keep this short. I did the body and paint work on a "57 T-bird, the owner had it media blasted and used Por15 on the insides of the fenders , 1/4 panels and door jambs. I back masked those when I primed the outside and when I unmasked it the P15 came off with the tape. No bueno
 

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Big improvement. Nice thing is you can clean pitted areas and tight places you can't get at with a stripping disk (like around that hinge). Starting to look pretty good. (y)
 
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