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2 Q's Zapp decals & Glazing putty??


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The easy first, are the Zapp decals still available anywhere ?

Second what is the purpose of glazing putty (red putty in tube )

Am doing my first body work and not sure of all products, gonna paint it myself also, hell I cant do worse than some of these idiots out here.

So far it is coming along good, had had to manufacture some small panels and cut out and weld in, pretty proud of myself, looking ok, of course Im ANAL, so if the filler dosent look right i take it all off and redo it again LOL.

here are a couple pics of the gas fill compartment that was rusted thru on the inside panel and on the outside body, I cut both out and hand made new and welded in.




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In a thread we did a while back this is what a couple of the members had to say about Zzzap decals.

A number of years ago there was an article in Z car magazine concerning a Zap Z that is located in So. Cal. If you could find a set of NOS decals they would not be in very good condition by now. The owner mentioned that it was easier to have the painter replicate the original decals and while it may not be factory it certainly looked better than the old decals.
If I was dead serious in restoring a Zzzap or Black Pearl this is how I would go about it concerning the graphics. First I would go look at one of the cars I was interested in, take pictures of the stripes, measurements, exact location placement and such. Then I would get in touch with a reputable sign or graphic company and have them duplicate the pinstripes to exact detail. Have your bodyman put the "decals" on the car then clear coat over them.
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Hi Donald:

The first problem I see is - body filler on bare metal. NEVER put any type of body filler other than lead on bare metal. All modern body fillers are some type of plastic... ie epoxy fillers. As they dry, they will suck moisture out of the air, and through the metal they are in contact with.

Actually "suck" is figurative - the process is osmosis and sheetmetal is permeable.

Always cover bare metal with an epoxy primer - to seal any body fillers away from the metal. Then allow enough time for the body filler to dry, shrink etc.

When you see a paint job that is less than 5 years old - with the body work bubbling up.. you're usually seeing the effects of body fillers that were not sealed away from the metal - or body fillers that were used to fill holes that should have been metal patched. When you see fine cracks in the body fillers, it is usually because not enough time was allowed for the filler to dry/shrink completely (90 days isn't unusual in the better restoration shops and many allow 120 to 180 days)

The glazing putty - is used for final filling in very thin coats. It dry quickly, and sands out less porously or smoother and shrinks less. Some types resist absorption of the primers/paints applied over the top to provide more uniform color with thinner coats..


Carl B.

BTW - if your body man tells you it doesn't matter - go some where else.

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Thanks carl, But i did put primer on first, I used a rust type converter over all bare metal and any areas or rust that wernt bad enough to cut out, like surface rust that had a little pitting, thought that stuff would be the safest to use, then I used filler over that , then sanded down to smooth. Ddint know about the filler shink/cure time though.

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so if I understand the glazing putty thing right, it is used over the top of filler in thin coats to fill like pitts or minor swirls/scatches in the filler?, what about small tiny chips in paint , whats the best way to do them, with filler or putty or sand down to bare metal in a larger area?

Because I really dont want to take the whole body down to bare metal, the paint seems real solid!

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1. Most repair sites, Eastwood amongst them recommend using LEAD-FREE solder to avoid lead dust in the air:


This gets repeated in this Tech Tip:


2. The discussion between putting body filler directly onto metal as opposed to on top of epoxy primer has had various viewpoints. This is one test that says it may not be as clear cut as it seems:


The discussion isn't just a difference of opinion. It is also what has been used and done for many years. Additionally, even sites such as Eastwood give Filler onto Metal as their suggestions, see the "Final Steps" instructions on this link:


Step #8 on this one says basically the same thing, Filler onto Metal:


The description for this product says it can be applied directly over metal, wth no mention of primer first:


Here is ONE thread from an auto body forum which addresses it directly:


And yet another:


The manufacturer of one major brand of body filler and one of the more popular brands as seen from Eastwood's page above, Evercoat has this in their FAQ Page, see question #3:


3. Unprotected or poorly protected filler can absorb water, although it's biggest problem is that it will also trap any moisture that gets between it and the metal it's on. Here's a post which discusses this problematic characteristic, interestingly enough it also addresses the Epoxy/Primer First debate:


Addressing the use of a "Metal" filler, here's the product available from Eastwood:


Which is manufactured by Evercoat:


Who say it's ok directly for application directly to metal, but if you'll read carefully....it's "Aluminum filled body repair filler for metal surfaces.", that is, Body Filler with Aluminum Dust in it. But it does claim it's moisture proof and rust proof.

4. I know the metal used on the early Z's was not the highest grade nor had the best corrosion protection applied to it, but to claim it is permeable which then implies it is porous, is downright insulting.

I'm still trying to find a credible source of information to either support or contradict that theory. The people I've spoken to have just asked me: "Just how rusty is this metal you're dealing with?" in a "Here's your sign!" tone of voice.

If you're referring to the interstitial spaces between the molecules of Carbon and Iron, and the presence of other compounds introduced in the smelting, production of the steel and annealing from the pressure rollers to produce the sheet metal and the subsequent handling of such sheet metal introducing microscopic fizzures and pores into it, well please say so. LOL

In the meantime, I'm hoping this was just your attempt at humor as there are two very tall cylindrical water towers, less than 500 feet away from my house, that have been there for at least 30 years, and I figure the sheet metal they used to make them would have been subjected to much of the same handling as alluded to above. As such, by now they're bound to start springing leaks any second now...I better check my flood insurance, which might amuse my insurance agent as I'm at least 200 feet up from the Columbia River and 230 above sea level. :cheeky:

5. With the time periods you posted as to how long it takes body filler to set...ooops! I meant DRY, I'm surprised you didn't mention that when people posted about the amount of time it takes a body shop to do repairs and paint jobs.

120 to 180 days before they can continue the job? Do they charge you for storage and is that why their prices are so high? With time between steps in those numbers, well heck, no wonder you recommend lead. How many weeks do you think they allow for it to cool down? :cheeky:

I guess when it comes to REALISTIC time estimates we should now begin expecting estimates in YEARS and not weeks.

In the meantime in the 25 years that I've been doing body work, and after having spoken to others who've also been doing this type of work, I think I'll continue doing it the way I was taught since a couple of clients have reported no problems even after 20 years. Maybe it's because they're friends, or maybe it was done right. Then again, would they still be friends if it had been done wrong?


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I'm not sure if this has been covered but awhile back I was advised to only use glazing putty that required a hardener/catalyzed and not the red glazing filler, I think it's called Nitro Stain or something like that.

As it was explained to me, the red glazing can react to the chemicals in your primer mix and can soften/dislodge from the pinholes they were filling.

Maybe someone else here can provide a better explanation or even dispute what I've been told.

Good luck with your efforts.


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Actually, I STILL think this was a very nice tongue in cheek post of yours, and I apologize if I didn't catch on and blew it out of the water.

But you made some very good points that MUST be emphasized and not glibly passed over.

Always cover bare metal with an epoxy primer - to seal any body fillers away from the metal. Then allow enough time for the body filler to dry, shrink etc.

I put the itallics on the item that is still being actively discussed and even argued about amongst auto body workers. You can derive your own opinion by searching as I did.

But you should always cover bare metal with an ETCHING PRIMER. Most commonly available Epoxy Primer IS self-etching. There are brands of Epoxy Primer that are NOT self-etching, but these are usually special purpose primers and or filler primers.

Allowing enough time for the body filler / glaze / red-cap / primer / sealer to properly cure is critical. Far too often the imperfections visible in the reflection of the finished and polished paint are due to the base materials shrinking AFTER the job was done.

While there are minimum times after which you can continue with the next product to go on the car, these times are subject to a lot of factors that can just as easily EXTEND those minimums to where they become problematic. There are also maximums, but any time you're working a project to where it becomes critical to monitor the time between one step and the next...you better have LOTS of experience and knowledge of what you are doing.

This applies not only to allowing filler to set properly, but also when to "skin-scratch" the filler to allow it to release any trapped reactants that would be otherwise trapped in the filler. Do this too early and you'll literally peel the filler off the car, do it too late and it won't scratch and you'll gum up the first couple sheets of sandpaper until you get past the "skin". Try to apply primer on top of filler that hasn't had time to cure and "de-gas" and it may cause the primer to craze, blush or even trap the reactants in the filler which will end up shrinking later...and you'll have a nice "lilly-pad" in the middle of your paint job.

When you see a paint job that is less than 5 years old - with the body work bubbling up.. you're usually seeing the effects of body fillers that were not sealed away from the metal - or body fillers that were used to fill holes that should have been metal patched. When you see fine cracks in the body fillers, it is usually because not enough time was allowed for the filler to dry/shrink completely (90 days isn't unusual in the better restoration shops and many allow 120 to 180 days)

Itallics mine. Underlined mentioned below.

Body filler exposed to the air, whether it is on the outside of the vehicle or on the inside i.e. the back side of the metal, is literally like putting a salty sponge on bare metal. IT WILL RUST!!! This is not an Urban Legend, it happens, it's been documentd and will continue to happen as long as people think the holes are necessary to make the filler "grip better".

I mentioned the problems with short-cutting time frames above, and while I differ with the time periods that Carl mentioned, if you have the room and can keep the car moisture free and temperature stable....there is nothing wrong with waiting that long. In fact, I can readily see why they would choose to wait that amount of time, at the rates they're getting, they do NOT want to have to get a job back for re-work.

However, from my experience, proper maintenance of a dry environment, and stable temperature; most products need only a couple of weeks or so to fully de-gas. You must take proper precautions and properly protect the surfaces so you're not complicating the issue. This is why you'll see Infra-Red Lamps being used...not for powder coating, but to ensure the panel/filler/primer/sealer/epoxy doesn't cool down too rapidly.

The basic point is: ALLOW TIME FOR THE MATERIALS TO FINISH THEIR CURING PERIOD. Read the instructions!!

Glazing Putty, aka "Icing", is different from "Red Cap".

Red Cap was a slightly different formulation of basic red oxide primer, in a thickened paste. Red Cap required very long and temperature stable curing periods before you could sand it. You typically applied this OVER primer to smooth out the last of your filler work scratches and minor imperfections. I would wager that the larger portion of "lilly-pads" visible out there are due to too hasty sanding of Red Cap than Body Filler not having had time to cure. Red Cap was basically designed to be wet-sanded and to smooth out the very top of the primer.

Icing on the other hand, is basically a different formulation of body filler. Typically it has less talc and more of the polyester filler, which gives it a runny consistency more like honey, or syrup than filler. But, like filler is a polyester base that requires a peroxide catalyst to "cook" it. As Carl mentioned, it sands VERY easily, and generally flows very easily to 'self-level'. Don't use coarse grit sand paper with this stuff and there are people who would rather wet-sand it and allow for plenty of water drying time. The rep I talked to mentioned 180 grit, and my paint guy said 220/260. I've done both but in different applications, but not on the same job nor in the same time of year (temp/humidity WILL affect how quickly the filler / glazing sets).

But, hopefully, I tap-danced my way out of trouble and re-emphasized the main points in Carl's post.


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WOW! Nice stuff, I actually did have some filler that after it hardened lifted right off the body in a big peel/ sheet! I attributed this to the type of primer that was under it, just sanded and redid it, seems fine this time! Thanks for all the info!

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If anyone has the original specs. on the zzzap decor pkg. or knows some one with a zzzap car whom wouldn't mind taking a few measurements please let me know. I have an original zzzap,but 95% of the decals had already been removed when I got the car. TBK1 is your car a zzzap,and if so are any of the decals still intact. Help a fellow zzzap owner out!!

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I did my own zzzap! paint job with rattlecans. It's not very professional, but you might get a kick out of it. I've got a thread about it on www.hybridz.org in the paint and body section. I'm locked out at work, or I'd post a direct link to it (same reason I can't just post pics on here...). If you search for a thread called "Operation: Camo Zzzap!" you'll find it. (also, that's my car in my signature, if you look close, you'll get the idea...)

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