07/98 RSTi Build Thread

Discussion in 'Photo & Video Gallery' started by joebush44, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. tangledupinblu
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    tangledupinblu Event Coordinator Staff Member

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    Looking good Joe despite the hang ups!
     
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  2. joebush44
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    joebush44 Well-Known Member

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    Obligatory Monday update...

    Since winter seems to be never-ending, I got tired of waiting for decent weather to roll the car outside to finish blasting the windshield pinch weld. I figured I'd make a big ass mess even bigger and just finish it in the garage. Nothing like having ~20lbs of silica sand scattered all over the garage! lol I got the job done nonetheless.

    I pulled the sunroof panel, which was surprisingly much easier than I anticipated. Just have to pull the inside headliner panel off of it and there's just 6 nuts holding it on. I repaired one smallish dent and about half a dozen rock chips on the panel. Some of the chips had begun to rust so I took a drill bit to the chips to chew all the rust out of it and then skim coated over the dimples with filler.

    Roof is blocked out, had just one dent/wave to repair - done

    Passenger door is finally done. Now I just have to match the contour if the rear quarter where the large dent was to the repaired door, which I'm close to finishing.

    I had to reweld the two bolt holes for the antenna on the driver side A pillar. When I initially welded them up, I essentially just filled the captive nut with metal, but (apparently) never actually fused that to the pillar metal. When I ground it smooth, there was nothing holding it to the A pillar anymore. I noticed last night that it looked funny (you could see the outline of the captive nut) so I gave it a light tap with the hammer and sure enough, it popped right through. I threaded an M8 bolt into both antenna mount holes (which threaded nice and tight) and then welded that on and cut it off, ground it down smooth. I then covered the welded areas with fiberglass filler, then regular filler on top of that to smooth it all out.

    I also covered my welded molding holes on the driver side with fiberglass filler and now just need to hit those with regular filler. There is a bit of warpage on that side from welding (not nearly as bad as the passenger side), but shouldn't be too bad to level out.

    After that, I think I'm ready to start spraying...after cleaning up the garage, final prep, and masking. I'm actually shipping my new/unopened gray epoxy primer back to SPI to exchange it for their black epoxy primer. Mainly, because I'm fairly certain I'll keep the car in primer for a little while yet (depends on timing of tuning availability) and the black epoxy shouldn't look too terrible.

    That's all for now...
     
  3. jubella2
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    jubella2 GC8 FTW

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    Sounds like good progress!
     
  4. joebush44
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    joebush44 Well-Known Member

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    Mud, sand, beer, repeat...

    Tuning date is set for May 24th, which is much later in the month than I expected it would be. It should work out perfectly, hopefully allowing me to have the car painted and back together entirely by then. My black epoxy primer should be here next week and the weather is finally warming up so I should be able to throw some paint maybe by next weekend.
     
  5. joebush44
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    joebush44 Well-Known Member

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    Also got these brand new genuine OEM fog light covers delivered last week to replace my pretty-ok-fitting replica covers. It's a shame I'll have to sand these down and repaint them. They fit awesome though, and with no 3m tape necessary to hold them in place.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. jubella2
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    jubella2 GC8 FTW

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    Back when I had an RS coupe I was always torn between those sweet covers or the massive fog lights. Never decided which I liked more.
     
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  7. tangledupinblu
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    tangledupinblu Event Coordinator Staff Member

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    Me too! The covers look great. But the fogs look great as well and are one of those “defining features” of the car. #torn, lol
     
  8. Krazylegz1485
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    Krazylegz1485 Well-Known Member

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    The massive fog lights are a huge factor in why I love the bugeye so much. Honestly that's part of the reason my interest in the 04-07's has declined.
     
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  9. joebush44
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    joebush44 Well-Known Member

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    FMIC piping in the way made that decision easy lol
     
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  10. EricS
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    EricS Nooberator Staff Member

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    It might still be snowing until then anyway...
     
  11. joebush44
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    joebush44 Well-Known Member

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    Over the past couple weeks I've gotten the entire car scuffed down, finished mudding and (somewhat) prepped for primer. I pushed the car out of the garage to clean up. This is how it sits currently:

    [​IMG]
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    First panels are in epoxy!
    Sunroof panel
    [​IMG]

    Passenger fender
    [​IMG]

    Gas door
    [​IMG]

    There's definitely a learning curve when spray painting with an actual gun. I used the rough OEM passenger fender as a test panel to fine tune my gun and my application before spraying good panels. I'm getting better...I think.

    Everything I primer will need to be sanded before a final coat of epoxy as a sealer so I'm not too worried about orange peel, trash, blemishes right now. Any imperfections I find after spraying epoxy can be mudded without the need for sanding for up to 7 days, otherwise I can scuff and mud if needed. My hope is that I can block out the epoxy well enough that I don't need to use any more filler, but I'm sure there will be spots that I missed (the passenger rear quarter will still need some love). The nice part about this primer is that it's quite glossy so blemishes are easy to find.

    Need to figure out what I want to do for BC/CC. I'm thinking just straight gloss black for color. That will allow me to continue painting the car in pieces (my compressor won't be up for the task of painting the entire car at one time). If I went with a color that has flake/metallic in it like I'd originally planned, ideally you have to paint the whole car at one time so the metallics lay even...which I don't think is an option for me.

    Sorry for the ramblings. Sometimes helps me visualize the process/next steps by typing it out :)
     
  12. tangledupinblu
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    tangledupinblu Event Coordinator Staff Member

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    Excited to see the rest sprayed!
     
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  13. Eazy_E_Rich
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    Eazy_E_Rich Active Member

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    More rambling more better. It's nice to read the thoughts of the mad scientist here.

    Much respect for taking on this project. I'm scared of this sort of thing, as I'm sure most of us would be. Though I imagine that I will consider it once my project gets this far along now that I see how far down the rabbit hole you've gone.

    Glad spring happened so you could get it outside. Keep up the good work!
     
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  14. Krazylegz1485
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    Krazylegz1485 Well-Known Member

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    I don't mean this as a dig or negative in the slightest, but it's interesting to me to see what certain people will and won't touch as far as projects go.

    I look at your stuff and my mind is frickin blown watching you piece by piece put practically the whole drivetrain together in your garage and just scratch my head the whole time. Basically building your entire car from scratch and making your own fuel controller and stuff (or at least I think so...). Haha.

    But then I'd personally be way more comfortable stripping mine down and doing some body work and repainting it.
     
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  15. Mnelson
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    Mnelson Active Member

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    On one side, body repair (generally) doesn't affect the performance or safety for those conscious of that.

    But on the flip side, bolts go into holes and it's all just a puzzle designed by someone else. If it needs to be a way and it didn't before you just make something to do that.

    It might be the emotional impact of screwing up and dying vs screwing up and looking bad.

    I think patience plays a big part in it too, where more patient non adhd people can sit and sand over and over and know they are working toward greatness, vs people who can put it together and see progress as they do so.
     
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  16. joebush44
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    joebush44 Well-Known Member

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    One of the biggest hurdles was just making that first grinding mark. Once you've opened that can of worms, there's no going back. I'm not sure what convinced me fully to make take that step, but I did, and here we are lol. Honestly I have been regretting it since getting into it. It's just a huge commitment, lots of time, labor and money - more than I had initially anticipated. Knowing I've rid the car of the inevitably increasing cancer before it had gotten too bad will make it worth it in the end. I can almost see the light at the end.
     
  17. joebush44
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    joebush44 Well-Known Member

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    I've come to the realization that the car is going to remain in epoxy primer for the season. Maybe next winter I can blow it all apart and finish painting or even later this summer, but it's not gunna happen before I need to have the car road worthy later this month. The nice thing about this epoxy primer is it's very durable and waterproof. It's only downfall is lack of UV protection so over time the sun will make the paint "chalk up". Not a huge deal because it will need to be blocked down with 320 before base regardless. I kinda like the sheen of the epoxy, personally.

    More progress this past weekend. I ran out of paint though :grumpy:. I thought 1 sprayable gallon would be enough, but not really even close. I ended up wasting quite a bit on test panels and sprayouts though, as well as messing up and having to sand and repaint some pieces. Another sprayable gallon of epoxy should be here Wednesday.

    Pics of a few of the finished parts.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I pulled the doors off to clean out the 10lbs of sand and sanding dust inside of them. To minimize the area I'm spraying at one time, I wanted to doors off to paint them anyway. With the doors off, I found a couple areas that need a little filler yet, then ready to paint. After that, I need to scuff down a few more spots on the car (hood is ready to shoot) before shooting the rest of it. I'll probably leave the front and rear bumpers alone for now, depending how far along I get.
    [​IMG]

    Looking to get the doors painted this week. Then I'll have this weekend to get going on the hood/rest of the car. The following week/weekend I'll be able to assemble everything that's necessary for road worthiness.

    Maybe I should just skip the PG1 event, move my tune date to late June, and take the time to actually finish it. I dunno, at this point I just want a running and driving car again lol
     
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  18. jubella2
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    jubella2 GC8 FTW

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    Your dedication to this build is admirable. And you'd fit right in with all the doorless jeeps I saw this weekend.
     
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  19. Eazy_E_Rich
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    Eazy_E_Rich Active Member

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    I feel this for sure. Looks like we'll have a week of not to great weather to calm the nerves and make more progress.
     
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  20. joebush44
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    joebush44 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! And yeah, if it had a driver's seat in it i'd be tempted to drive it as is...LOL

    Weight Reduction: Level Expert
     
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  21. Mnelson
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    Mnelson Active Member

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    "Don't let your dreams be dreams" - George Washington
     
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  22. joebush44
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    joebush44 Well-Known Member

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    I got 3 coats on the doors tonight. Other than some bits of trash they turned out pretty nice. I’ll block them out nice and flat tomorrow with hopefully no burn throughs then I’ll spray another coat or two and they’ll be ready to go.
    [​IMG]

    I’m hoping to have the first few coats on the rest of the car this weekend. Then I just have small stuff like side mirrors and door handles to finish. Skirts and bumpers will be painted later this year when I’m not in such a rush to finish up.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  23. joebush44
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    joebush44 Well-Known Member

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    Got the first few coats on the car this weekend. Ran out of paint...again. More on the way now so that I should have enough to spray a few more coats on the car body and then small stuff like mirrors, fog covers, bumpers, door handles, etc. I'm going to spend the next two nights blocking out the hood and rest of the car. Hopefully I'll have paint delivered on Wednesday the paint the rest of the car Wednesday night along with the smalls. I figure by Saturday or Sunday everything will be dry enough to reassemble.

    I never imagined I'd need 3 gallons of sprayable material to paint this car. Although, I am block sanding in between applications so a lot of it ends up on the floor. Lots of loss of material due to overspray too. Anywho...should still be on track to get everything buttoned up just in time. I still haven't even loaded my new map onto my AP and I haven't done anything but let the car idle for a few minutes since installing the new parts. I'm hoping there's no surprises once it's back together.

    A few quick photos...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]

    Former giant dent (still needs some block sanding for sure):
    [​IMG]
     
  24. Krazylegz1485
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    Krazylegz1485 Well-Known Member

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    You're spraying epoxy primer, right? And blocking that off? What kind are you using?
     
  25. joebush44
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    joebush44 Well-Known Member

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    Yes sir, Southern Polyurethanes' epoxy primer. This is a pretty decent building, well-sanding epoxy primer, which isn't usually an attribute of epoxy primers. My "grand plan" was to get the body work as near perfect as I could before primer to avoid having to buy a primer surfacer/2k primer to save money by only using the epoxy as my leveler...well that was back when I thought a gallon of sprayable would do the whole job. In hindsight, a good couple coats of epoxy on everything, then some high build primer, block that flat, then a seal coat of reduced epoxy would have likely been cheaper. Right now, you can see the bodywork through the primer so it needs to be blocked out, then recoated to cover it up. First time ever doing this so live and learn :)
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
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  26. Krazylegz1485
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    Krazylegz1485 Well-Known Member

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    Totally understand where you're coming from.

    I was wondering how you were able to sand the epoxy. I've only seen it used as a sealer right before the paint goes down. Otherwise as a sealer on raw metal if you're gonna store it or plan to work on it in/for a while, mainly just to prevent rusting.

    2k is great for priming over your mud work. Has a a lot more build to help fill any sanding scratches you might've missed or just didn't get smooth enough. Crappy part is everything shrinks over time so you almost always end up seeing sanding scratches down the road unless you really take your time and let everything cure in stages. That or you're just that meticulous the first time around. Guy I learned from was restoring a 68 Cuda for his boy. Got the mud work done and shot the primer one day. Said after it dried for a few days he was gonna basically bag the thing in plastic and let it sit for a few months to fully cure and shrink. If only we all had that much time.

    Anywho, you're doing ridiculously good for somebody just going in blind. Unfortunately you're also finding out first hand how stupidly expensive it is to do proper body work even when you're buying the materials and doing the work yourself. It's kind of a bummer and can really discourage a guy pretty quick (I'm one of them). I'd love to do some side work at home even just to get better at it, but it's so cost prohibitive to mess around with just to practice.

    Anywho, rock on! Stoked to see this thing in flat/satin black as a whole.
     
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  27. joebush44
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    joebush44 Well-Known Member

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    I guess the “new school” way of doing things is to get the car all the way to bare metal, epoxy primer, then do your filler work on top of that. This epoxy has a 7 day window where it doesn’t need to be sanded to apply filler or another coat. That route just didn’t work for me. That’s a bit further than I wanted to take it considering the oem paint was in great condition aside from a couple rust spots on the A pillars, dents, dings, rock chips. If it was leaking/bubbling etc then down to bare metal would have made more sense.

    2k would have been a lot smarter. I didn’t realize that my filler work would show through the epoxy as much as it did. But in most spots I’m getting away with blocking it out without burning through. The doors were the hardest because I warped them a bit from welding lol. Right now I’m blocking the primer with 220 on the flat panels with a DA and hand blocking with 320 on the curvy parts. The sanding scratches should theoretically be non existent after another coupe coats of primer. The downside to that is I get a little orange peel with the primer. Not sure if it’s my application, gun, or just how the product lays. Down the road I’ll just block the whole car out with 320 or 400, seal, paint, CC. I won’t have to blow it all apart to paint it since I’ll just leave all the jams in epoxy. Looks decent and won’t fade because it doesn’t see any UV.

    I honestly underestimated the time and money investment in the beginning. In all honestly I took it much further than I had originally intended lol. And thanks man, I think it’ll look half decent in the satin finish once it’s all together.

    Back to sanding....
     
  28. joebush44
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    joebush44 Well-Known Member

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    Started some reassembly last night. Goal for tonight is to scuff and paint the small stuff since I haven't gotten around to doing that yet. Probably front bumper too. I need to get my painting done with so that things have time to cure. Not planning on painting the rear bumper since I'll be getting a different one eventually. I'm giving the car a couple more days to cure before putting more of the trim pieces back on. Windshield should be going in this weekend as well.

    I still don't have any front seats. New seats have been on order for 7+ weeks, but they are MIA at the moment. I'm guessing they won't be here before tune day...I'll have to pull the crusty seats out of my daily wagon the night before the tune and throw them in the RS so I don't have to sit on a milk crate on the way down to Des Moines lol

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  29. Eazy_E_Rich
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    Eazy_E_Rich Active Member

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    Nice, she's looking good.

    Also FWIW I vote milk crate.
     
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  30. joebush44
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    joebush44 Well-Known Member

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    Well she's back in one piece (mostly). I still have interior panels to put back in yet, but I got the front bumper, mirrors and door handles painted and installed now. Windshield is in. Seats are still MIA...Got a buddy in town here with a broken bugeye WRX who's going to let me borrow his seats until mine show up. That will save me from having to swap seats in and out of the daily.

    I've been helping out another buddy the past couple of weekends work on his WRX to get it ready for the same tune date (FP Blue, ID1050x, IAG fuel rails, line kit, AOS, speed density, clutch install, timing kit) so I haven't gotten as far on mine as I had anticipated by now, but I should still be in good shape. We spent about 4 hours troubleshooting on Sunday and another 2 last night on (what we presumed to be) a fueling issue on his car, but it turned out the base map wasn't setup for the Cobb 4 bar MAP sensor we had installed. It would start, but run like dog sh*t. Swapped back to the stock MAP sensor and it popped right off. Now that he's all set I can get mine buttoned up the rest of the way.

    Hoping for good results on Thursday, but mainly the car staying in one piece. My biggest worry is the clutch not holding the power. We'll see!
     

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