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Thread: After 29 years it's time for some paint

  1. #1
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    Default After 29 years it's time for some paint

    Well after 29 years, and 15 years under my ownership, it's time for some new paint on my Thunderbird. The whole project was brought on by some rust that started to form in the seam between the quarter panel and rocker on the driver side a couple years ago.



    Fortunately the rust does't really pop through to the other side.



    Well it snowballed from there . I figured since that area of rust needed to be fixed I might as well get 29 years of accumulated dents repaired at the same time. I pulled the easily removable molding, trim, emblems, and interior panels for easy body shop access. I also, per body shop request, circled all the dings and dents I could find. The shop will be removing the quarter windows and the rest of the window trim.





    At some point moisture got behind the passenger door molding and formed a spot of rust the size of a pencil eraser.



    As of this morning it's at the body shop.


    In two weeks or so it should be done, and hopefully look like new again .
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

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    Nice looking car to start with. Are you painting it the same colors?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tommym View Post
    Nice looking car to start with. Are you painting it the same colors?
    Yep. Same factory colors. I even found the tape stripes NOS.

    For 29 years old the car still looked good,just not new car good. Getting a car in this condition repainted is cheaper than getting a rusty hulk that needs the lower 1/3 of the sheet metal replaced painted. It's easy to strip and only needs a couple small repair patches as highlighted above. That's also why it's only a 2-3 week job. The hope is to have the body work done by Friday or so and into the paint booth next week.
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

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    Well a week in and all the dents and rust spots are gone. The rust where the quarter panel met the rocker wasn't bad. The body guy was able to grind it down to bare metal and there were no holes. It didn't need a patch panel. Just etch primer and sealer. The driver's door needs to have the hinge pins changed and to be aligned, along with a different driver side fender (the stock one had rust caused by dirt and water trapped by the sound insulation behind the fender liner). So in the next couple days the body should be down to metal and primed. The goal is to get the first layer of paint down by the end of this week and finish everything up sometime the following week.

    On a note you can see how much sun fade (even after lots of polish and wax) the paint had after 29 years. The gray that was below the tape stripe and behind the tail lights/rear bumper is darker than the paint that was exposed to the sun.


    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

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    I still can't believe you're doing this. I have some dents here and there but eventually I'll have someone PDR them. I just can't bring myself to cover up factory paint unless it's absolutely necessary!
    Crazy how a perfect Cali car can still suffer from that quarter-to-rocker rust. Only a Fox would do that

    It's definitely gonna be amazing when finished.
    1987 20th Anniversary Cougar, 302 "5.0" GT-40 heads (F3ZE '93 Cobra) and TMoss Ported H.O. intake, H.O. camshaft
    2.5" Duals, no cats, Flowmaster 40s, Richmond 3.73s w/ Trac-Lok, maxed out Baumann shift kit, 3000 RPM Dirty Dog non-lock TC
    Aside from the Mustang crinkle headers, still looks like it's only 150 HP...
    1988 Black XR7 Trick Flow top end, Tremec 3550
    1988 Black XR7 Procharger P600B intercooled, Edelbrock Performer non-RPM heads, GT40 intake AOD, 13 PSI @5000 RPM. 93 octane

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZondaC12 View Post
    I still can't believe you're doing this. I have some dents here and there but eventually I'll have someone PDR them. I just can't bring myself to cover up factory paint unless it's absolutely necessary!
    Crazy how a perfect Cali car can still suffer from that quarter-to-rocker rust. Only a Fox would do that

    It's definitely gonna be amazing when finished.
    Yeah that quarter to rocker rust is probably the result of the seam sealer breaking down and water getting in the area. It's gone now.

    The factory paint on the car looks better in pictures than it does up close. In the last year or two the clear coat on the roof above the passenger door and the middle of the trunk lid was starting to haze. It only took about 27 years for the infamous clear coat haze to start. Lots of wax and garaging kept it away for much longer than usual.

    Also having 3 cars around with almost perfect paint was starting to make the Thunderbird look its age. Can't have that .
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

  7. #7
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    I keep forgetting that the two-tones are CC...as are other colors. So used to single stage and my wax rags turning colors
    It's amazing what photos hide, just as you said the car looks brand new to me.
    1987 20th Anniversary Cougar, 302 "5.0" GT-40 heads (F3ZE '93 Cobra) and TMoss Ported H.O. intake, H.O. camshaft
    2.5" Duals, no cats, Flowmaster 40s, Richmond 3.73s w/ Trac-Lok, maxed out Baumann shift kit, 3000 RPM Dirty Dog non-lock TC
    Aside from the Mustang crinkle headers, still looks like it's only 150 HP...
    1988 Black XR7 Trick Flow top end, Tremec 3550
    1988 Black XR7 Procharger P600B intercooled, Edelbrock Performer non-RPM heads, GT40 intake AOD, 13 PSI @5000 RPM. 93 octane

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZondaC12 View Post
    It's amazing what photos hide, just as you said the car looks brand new to me.
    All those white circles are dents and dings. I could look down the door at certain angles and see them all. It used to drive me nuts
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

  9. #9
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    Well it's stripped. The guy assigned to paint the car hurt his back on Wednesday, right after he pulled both fenders off to e-coat the back of them before aligning everything. So forward of the doors there's nothing but the hood right now. The guy should hopefully be back Monday. I'm hoping it's done this coming Friday (a week from today) but I'm probably being optimistic. I'd rather it take longer than anticipated and look perfect vs. a rushed, half ass job.

    Even when I get the car back it's not done. I have to put the sail panels, door panels, and all the exterior trim and moldings back on...
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

  10. #10
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    I'm fortunate to have lived in SoCal and Nevada so never had a rust problem. The 87 Sport I bought new in 87, all silver, looked like new until my wife met another blonde at the intersection about 100yds from my house in Oct 2003. She was OK but the hit square on the drivers door almost bent the car in half. I bought the blue TC from a guy here in Henderson in Nov 2003. I should of known better when he said he was a Ford mechanic and the car ran great.
    Put it on jack stands 2 days later, bought the Sport from Allstate, parked them both in the garage. Finally got it off the jack stands in Nov 2005. She's been my "work in progress" to this day.
    She doesn't sit outside, never driven in the rain. Wife doesn't drive it. My son told her if she did drive it and something happened to the car to call him first and he would help her leave the country.
    Being dark blue with black trim she gets a little warm driving in the summer. One of these days I hope to have her painted silver like my Sport.
    Best of luck with your paint. Car looks great.

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