Welcome back to another Friday edition of Reggie's Motorworks Blog! Today's entry is coming to you from my perspective, as Reggie's wife, Stephanie. Hopefully what this post lacks in technical detail and graphic design will be made up by way of illustration. Let's take a closer look at the work Reggie's completed so far on the now infamous Alpine weiss cabriolet. As you may recall, last week's blog left off right here. Unfortunately, rust had its way with this poor section of metal.
Reggie gets his cutting wheel out and lets the sparks fly when removing this rotten area.
Next he smoothes the edges of the rectangular void. Please remember to wear your safety glasses at all times! You'll see there is a little rust behind this area, and Reggie will address this in just a moment.
Here are the various tools used for this portion of the project. Sounds like a day at the dentist, only much louder!
To make sure that pesky rust doesn't find its way back, Reggie paints on some rust treatment. This area is prepped inside and from behind the quarter panel as well.
So now that there is a piece of this cabrio missing, proper replacement metal must be used to make it whole again. As luck would have it, we had this donor door ready and willing to help. Well, as willing as any inanimate object can be. No matter what the case, this 320i door was going to give up a piece of itself to help out a fellow Bimmer. (Yes, I did just have to ask Reggie the model of this door. I'm still learning!)
The rest was pretty easy as far as I could tell. Reggie traced the old rusty piece to get the perfect size pattern for the new patch.
Then I stood back a good distance while he used the handy cutting wheel to send sparks flying.
Now that the rust treatment is pretty well dry back on the cabrio, Reggie can get the newly cut patch lined up and ready to weld in place.
While the patch was being held in place for a moment, Reggie sprayed some self-etching primer in the battery tray and just under the grille area on the front of the car.
Now back to the patch repair while the self-etching primer has a chance to thoroughly dry. These magnets proved to be quite useful in holding the patch in place as Reggie welded it on to the rest of the car. He first did some tack welds, just enough to be able to remove the magnets and continue welding.
Note: Reggie wears his welding helmet to prevent damage to his vision. It's also important to protect your eyes while photographing such things. I got the camera focused on the area, closed my eyes, and gave Reggie the ok to proceed. As soon as I heard sparks, I pressed the shutter several times.
The surface of the newly patched area was a little bumpy after welding. So all Reggie needed to do was smoothe it out with the grinder. More sparks!
There are a few little valleys that could stand to be filled in. Reggie mixes up some Bondo. This cabrio needed just a little bit of help getting back on track to a smoother, paint-ready surface.
The Bondo was applied to the front and side area of the quarter panel. It doesn't take Bondo long to get set up. It's ready for sanding after about 15 minutes or less. Amazing!
Once the area was satisfactorily sanded, Reggie masked off the area and was one step closer to spraying some paint. Note that there's really not much Bondo left after sanding. Like I said, there were just a few valleys that needed to be filled in. He rolls back the masking tape in a few layers to prevent getting a distinct line when painting. This will help to blend the fresh, new paint with the 21 year old paint. Below the area is masked off and sprayed with self-etching primer.
It's time for the respirator! Reggie mixes up the lovely Alpine weiss paint, along with the proper amount of reducer. Stir it up!
This mixture gets poured through a filter into the jar.
We put a drop cloth over the entire car to prevent any unwanted overspray.
Next Reggie got to work spraying the battery tray under the bonnet, followed by the area under the grille, and then the new area on the quarter panel. Anyone see a pattern here?
And we're back at the driver's side quarter panel, ready for paint.
After just a light sanding to blend the old with the new, the paint looked pretty darn good! Movin' right along!
All that's left to do now is mix up the clearcoat and lay it on. The following photo was taken from the safety of our office. This stuff not only smells horrible (in my opinion!), but it's not advised to be without a respirator when using it or being near it. You guessed it, a shiny round of clearcoat for the battery tray, the area beneath the grille, and, of course, the now invisible patch on the quarter panel.
And here it is...the moment we've all been waiting for...drum roll, please!
Reggie did one heck of a job, and I'm not just saying that because I'm his lucky wife. It really does look great, and I'm so excited to reveal the finished cabrio in a future post! The paint was allowed to cure overnight, and will be ready the next phase. This cabrio will enjoy a relaxing day at the Reggie's Motorworks Spa, with complete detail included. Maybe even a frosty libation with one of those cute little umbrellas too. Ok, now I'm getting carried away. But I do like the idea of a day at the spa...