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Thread: Paint for dark gray bumper, belt molding and B-pillar

  1. #1
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    Default Paint for dark gray bumper, belt molding and B-pillar

    Ok, I need to paint the '85 bumpers and B-pillars.

    1) First, are the bumpers and B-pillars the same shade of gray?

    2) What brand/part number is the best match to these Ford dark gray shades?

    3) I think the '85 is supposed to have a semi-gloss sheen to the bumper gray and B-pillar (thinking of Ric's car) unlike the '87-'88 that's more a flat or satin-like black. Is that correct?

    4) Has anyone used SEM for the '83-'86 bumpers and/or B-pillars?

    "lol.. because not too many people care for that style of car"
    Click on paw print \/


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    1) First, are the bumpers and B-pillars the same shade of gray?
    They're very close...I would say you can probably be okay with the same paint on both, although they're technically two different codes (see below).

    2) What brand/part number is the best match to these Ford dark gray shades?
    According to the 1983 PPG paint chip charts, under "BLACK OUT COLOR":
    Flat Gray (Cougar and T Bird) - 33717
    Dark Gray (Cougar and T Bird) - 33696

    Now...the good news is, we have paint codes for them. Bad news is, every time I've ever checked to get them mixed, the computer at the paint store does not show a formula for either color in PPG paint. Not sure about DuPont or other brands.

    3) I think the '85 is supposed to have a semi-gloss sheen to the bumper gray and B-pillar (thinking of Ric's car) unlike the '87-'88 that's more a flat or satin-like black. Is that correct?
    Yes, except for one thing: Ric waxes his B-pillars. His shine is artificial.

    B-pillars are supposed to be flat-to-semigloss on 1983-86 cars. Same goes for the molding. Now to be technically correct, you should spray a flatter paint, and after it's dry for a few months, start waxing it. Eventually you'll build the paint up to the correct shine. It's better to do it that way, than start out with slightly more shine than stock, because it's difficult to knock down that kind of shine.

    4) Has anyone used SEM for the '83-'86 bumpers and/or B-pillars?
    Yes. It is incredible paint. Unfortunately I have never found a perfect match for 1983-86 grey trim in SEM. However, that's because a) until I got this '84, I really haven't had good used stock trim parts to compare the colors to, and b) SEM paint isn't cheap, so trying out a can @ $10 each isn't very bloody fun. Now I have acquired an NOS B-pillar panel that I can easily compare to the SEM colors. I just have to remember to do that some day. I'm confident that SEM offers something that will work, we just have to find it.

    You do have another option: www.50resto.com offers a Mustang-spec flat trim grey in an aerosol can. The Mustang grey is ever-so-slightly lighter than what was used on our cars, but it is incredibly close. I think my buddy has a can...I'll have to try it out, but as of right now I can recommend it, as it's already pre-made and ready to ship.

    BTW, you can use the bumper paint on the B-pillar trim...no need to buy two different types of paint.

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    Thanks for the detailed reply Eric. I just realized something. I think I've seen '83-'86 Cougars and Tbirds with belt molding that is looks dark gray and I've also seen them with what looks like black. My '85 actually only has faded gray on the bumpers and b-pillars. The rest that runs the length of the car looks black. Is that black just really, really dark gray that didn't fade because of material type, etc? Was the lighter gray only on the LS while the XR-7 and GS got black or a very very dark gray?

    "lol.. because not too many people care for that style of car"
    Click on paw print \/


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    All models had the same very dark grey; at least, I've never found any kind of differences between models. The fading on the bumpers and B-pillars was very common. What's on your '85 looks "normal" as these cars wear out. Now there's absolutely no fading anywhere on the '84 (and even the '86 convertible when I first got it), and I know these 2 cars were always garaged, so sun exposure has everything do to with the fading. It's not from salt or wind; it's definitely from the sun. Everything should be the same color for the factory look.

    I'll snap some pix of the '84's molding and B-pillars for you tonight or tomorrow and post them up. They are about as gracefully aged as you can get, and still they show no wear or fading. Also, I'll unpackage some NOS molding and the NOS B-pillar, maybe get them all under natural light and have them all pose together.

    It's good that you brought this up, Karl, because I've been meaning to find a definitive answer for quite some time now. Just never had the impetus to do so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EricCoolCats View Post
    I'll snap some pix of the '84's molding and B-pillars for you tonight or tomorrow and post them up. They are about as gracefully aged as you can get, and still they show no wear or fading. Also, I'll unpackage some NOS molding and the NOS B-pillar, maybe get them all under natural light and have them all pose together.
    Ok, cool. Thanks.
    "lol.. because not too many people care for that style of car"
    Click on paw print \/


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    Regarding the trim color, way back around 1991 when I re-painted my car, I researched this and at that time my dealer showed two different shades of "charcoal grey" for the '83-'88 cars.
    It showed the same color code for the '83-'84 & '87-'88 cars and another for the '85-'86 cars.
    This does make sense because when I went to ordered a replacement power antenna bezel, the parts books superceded the original '85 part number with an '87 part number. The only difference between the two was the color. The new '87 is a little bit darker shade than the original was. I used it anyway since it isn't right next to any of the other trim, and I doubt anyone would notice the difference in color unless I point it out to them.
    For descriptive purposes, I would call the '83-'84 & '87-'88 color a "Dark Charcoal" and the '85-'86 color a "Smoke Charcoal".

    **Edit**

    Have you ever typed up a response and then 4 hours later you realize that what you typed had nothing to do with the true subject at hand?
    Well, I just realized that Karl's Cougar is a GS so my experience with the paint codes on the Turbo cars may have no bearing on the color of the trim of the Gs cars.
    Sorry for the interruption guys.

    Brent
    Last edited by BCA; 06-25-2007 at 09:27 PM.
    1985 Mercury Cougar XR-7 - 5-speed
    One of 1,246 built

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    Brent...thanks for the confusion. It's all good, I figured it was something like that.

    OK, I took some photos of the NOS molding and B-pillar. Descriptions over each photo.

    Here is a NOS 1987 molding. Note the nearly flat black color.


    Note the part number on the box. This is as perfect as you'll ever see molding for a 1987-88 non-TC car.

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    OK, the NOS boys all together:


    And opened *sniff*:

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    Here's the meat of the conversation at hand. The NOS molding piece and the NOS B-pillar piece together. The B-pillar panel is for a Turbo Coupe, but no matter...the color is still the same as a regular B-pillar:


    Closer together. Both parts had 1984 part numbers.
    Oh, and ignore the packing spooge that's all over the parts.


    One on top of the other (they make sexy time, nyahhsss!):

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    My conclusion:

    There's an ever-so-slight difference in color between the pieces. Otherwise they are in the same league as far as finish (flat-to-semigloss) and color. These pieces haven't seen sunlight until these photos.

    If it's not storming in the next few days, I'll get some close-up outdoor shots of the '84's B-pillars and molding.

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