Jun 27, 2014

Here we go with another huge picture post. This one has a whopping 26 pictures! I knew from looking at the car before I bought it that there was some rust brewing under that sexy Type-X spoiler. I had just bought a drill and a brush wheel, so I was wanting to get to the bottom of it. I pulled the wing off, and the rust wasn't as wide as I thought, but it was a little deeper looking than I originally thought. I'll get to that in another post.

I took the wing to my favorite place to work on car parts.... the shower room. I didn't plan on sanding this thing down in here, but there was a lot of mold growing on this thing, and I thought it would be easier using a netted dish washing sponge, and car wash soap, while also using the aid of hot water. Also, I don't have an outside water spigot at the apartment, so there is that.

Sparkling clean.

 To get the legs off, there are three holes in the bottom that lead to Phillips screws. 1 of them was visible as soon as the wing came off. The other two were under thick 3M tape, so I couldn't see them at first. You'll definitely need a longer screwdriver for this. I don't know how the replica wings work, I only have experience with this factory wing.

The wing's paint was really flaky. I am pretty sure this was a factory paint job, so there isn't an excuse for it. On the other hand, Nissan's paint jobs don't have a reputation for being the highest quality of paint jobs... Every time I sanded an area, more paint bubbles would show up. The paint was literally flaking off, not sanding off. 

Honestly it was easier to just take a scraper an get under the paint and shave it off. This took forever to do.... honestly one of the worst sanding experiences ever.

And here she is with most of the paint sanded and razored. If the paint was holding firm I just scuffed it up with a wet 400 grit sand. I'll use a Scotch Bright pad in the areas where the wing stands mount up.

Breaking out my good friend, the Holt's thin putty, again.

And it's going to be the same situation on these wing stands...shit. Why is the factory paint that damn flaky?

 These two pictures above are after the work I put in on one of the wing stands. Here, it's primered and pretty much ready to go.

At this point Taira-san from T-Brand saw me working, and said I should just come to his garage and use the DA sander. He said I'd be an old man before I finished sanding the car if I sanded by hand. His garage is really close, only about 5 minutes away by car. I have a YouTube video below of the trip, set to a classy remix of some Biggie...

Taira-san used the sand blaster to do the second wing stand, and offered to redo the one I had finished so we could shoot some good filler primer on it. Of course I didn't say no. We came to a good agreement. I pay for the part of the materials I use, and also pay a small fee for the use of the garage and his help, whenever I need it. He's a nice person and the price is super reasonable.

Threw a 400 grit pad on the DA, and finished up the top half of the spoiler, which wasn't 100% completed. Now, however, everything was finished and ready to get some of that beautiful grey surfacer.

And there they are, all pretty smooth, and ready to wait for the final day of paint.

Taira-san said we should try some foam adhesive stripping and see if it worked good, so, even though the wing isn't painted, here it is. It provided good cushion and gave the wing some tension on the screws. We'll strip it when we paint the wing, and then add some more when we are done.

There it is, waiting to be put on the car, until we take it off to paint it again. Also, T-Brand is like a damn S-Chassis museum. There are parts everywhere.... Oh and that project AE-86 in the back. I'll get to that sometime!

Jun 26, 2014

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.... a video is 30 pictures a second... what's that worth? Click below to peep the new video. Had a blast!

Jun 24, 2014

Sorry, I've been gone so long. It's hard to have a full time job, girlfriend, build a project car, and run a blog! But it looks like the ole lady isn't even content with Muto having a project car! She's got the kids...in Nagoya! Will Muto give it all up, so he can crawl back to his wife? Or will he go for his dream?! Find out next week!

Jun 22, 2014

I really dig on the minivans here. Even the ones that are mild seem so cool. I think it just amazes me that they take the time to mod a damn minivan.... way cooler than a Windstar.

Jun 21, 2014

I was lucky enough to find a kouki 180SX, so that I didn't have to hunt down a kouki bumper. The car isn't a Type-X, so I didn't get the optional aero, but for a 1000$ car, you can't beat it for coming with the digital climate control, Kouki Bumper, Kouki Seats, Type-X Wing, and Type-X Tails.... I mean really.

So the good thing is, I got a Kouki bumper in the deal... the bad thing is that like the B-Pillars, the bumper looked like it had seen better days. That's a nice way of saying that it looked like hammered shit. Just look at these pictures below:

 The paint had been completely scraped off of this one corner...

 ...and then repainted in badly mismatching silver that was brushed on.

 The driver's side was mostly OK, but you can seen how bad the sun had ripped up the top center of the bumper, as well as the area around the headlights.

Maybe it's a little hard to tell from these pictures, but the bumper was pitted so bad, I knew I would have to relive the nightmare of sanding deep with very coarse paper... I was not looking forward to it, and a little worried that the bumper wouldn't make it.

As shown in the video, the first thing I did was pop the Nissan emblem. I didn't use nylon string or anything gentle like that. The bumper was so bad, that I figured I didn't need to worry about using a flat head screwdriver to just pop the emblem. You know what? I thought right.

 After that, I kinda started sanding in random areas that looked damaged. I know this seems counter productive, but every area looked like it was a different challenge, so I was just trying to feel out the project. I wanted to have a good overview of everything before I lost time going in depth on a lost cause.

Above you can see Holt's bumper putty. I like most Holt's products, but I can't recommend this one. It's kind of rubbery, so that it can fill the damage, but still flex with the bumper. I mixed it following the package, and then after not having much success, tried to mix the hardener are different ratios... it never came out right, so I have to tell people to pass on this product.
 The areas that were sanded to the black were a major pain. When you get to the black area, you are sanding past the nice smooth finish that the factory gives the urethane before paint. It gets really ragged, for lack of a better description. As those little frizzy pieces come off, they get stuck in your paper and make little fine scratches. It's like a never ending process.
 Sanding, sanding, and more sanding....

 I was thankful to see areas like the one below, which were in pretty good shape, so I just needed to scuff them up with some wet 400 grit. Thank God for small miracles.

At the end of the day, I ended up filling in some of the small scratches and then primered over them. But on the top where the finish was rough, this just looked like a ragged bad primer job, but then if I went over that lightly with 400 again, some of the roughness went away.  

 Then I would primer again... then sand... then primer. That upper middle section of the bumper you see there was almost a whole can of primer. The can primer just doesn't fill like the spray gun filler primer. Working on this thing in the parking lot of my apartment is going to be a majorly slow and painful project. Shit.

On the upside, that part of the bumper is super smooth and ready for paint, so the bumper isn't a total loss.  
  Too bad I can't say the same for the rest of the bumper.

Look below for more pictures from the project. I'll be back next week to talk more about the wing. I'm working on it mainly because I can take it in the house and work on it at night. Then I can primer it during the day time.

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