Brushing up Black Beauty's coat

It's Friday again, and we're back with some more rust repairs. You may recall our posts about Black Beauty...well, she's back for a little more TLC from Reggie's Motorworks. For a little history first, click here and here. *EDITOR'S NOTE: Black Beauty has been a screen name for this great car, we've learned her real name is Eleanor. * Here are the details of this multi-step process. For a full gallery of images documenting this project, click here. These are the two main areas that Reggie will tackle. Watch out, rust, you've been warned!

Thanks to a customer/enthusiast, Russ (thanks, again!), we have a donor piece to help us out!

Reggie starts cutting away at the evil enemy that lurks in many a bimmer just like this...

Buh-bye, rust!

Reggie holds up the donor piece to see how it will look.

All the edges are made smooth and clean for better welding results.

This wire wheel came in very handy.

Cleaning the surface and edges, just watch the sparks fly!

View of the donor piece. As you can see, it had been patched together before.

Reggie will be patching these gaps for a seamless finish.

Magnets are very useful to line up these patch panels. This allows Reggie to make some tack welds to secure them in place for more welding.

He used a dolly and hammer to match the curve here.

Pretty amazing results!

The new piece is also tack welded in place before being completely welded in position. The large gap seen in the photo below was better positioned before welding, but still had to be filled in a bit. Luckily, this area will be covered in chip guard, as it would be very difficult to get as smooth as it would need to be otherwise.

Reggie grinds down the welds to make the surface as smooth as possible. Again, we're not going to try to make this area show perfect.

Here's a look at the welds made underneath this area.

Same goes for the smaller area. Reggie welded the patch in place and then smoothed the entire area.

Here at Reggie's Motorworks, we believe that less is more when it comes to bondo. So Reggie used his stud welder, as seen here, to pull out low areas of metal, this requiring less bondo to fill the valleys. Got it? Good! (To see more pictures of this, please click the link at the beginning of this post to see the full gallery for this project.)

The slide hammer pulls the studs out, which pulls the metal out, giving you the desired shape.

After the studs are ground away and the surface is smooth again, a nice coat of self-etching primer is applied.

The car is carefully masked to prevent any unwanted over spray of chip guard texture, base coat, and clear coat. Here the chip guard texture is white.

Let the spraying of the base coat begin!

Black Beauty is getting a new ear, or mirror, rather. Oh yes! Now each area will be ready for the clear coat.

And now here the clear coat has been applied:

Once the paint has cured properly, Black Beauty will be rarin' to get back on the road. Hey all, this is Reggie. First, I want to thank my wonderful wife Stephanie for documenting this week's project (and every project here on the blog). I also want to thank the Smelser's for letting me work on their beautiful 325ix (again:)). I want to point out that what you see above is not a 100% perfect show quality repair. I am not a body man by trade, nor am I professionally trained. It could definitely be made laser straight with more time and effort, but due to the location of the area in question, I have opted to make it "good enough". I am pleased with the repair, but of course will strive to make the metal work on the next project even better.

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welding