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Let's Paint it Yellow


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I spent most of the day stripping my silver '71 in prep for paint. I am figuring it will take about two or three weeks to get it ready ( Unfortunately that usually means four to six REAL week). I should be able to finish the part strip tomorrow (Friday) and then begin sanding and rust repair.

The one glitch I ran into was the front and rear glass removal. I was thinking I could get a glass company to come and remove them for me for about $40. Unfortunately, the first place I called wanted more than double that amount to remove the front and rear glass.:disappoin The second place said they don't work on old cars. So, I think I will read some of the treads here and try it myself. I think I can take the glass out, but will probably have to pay the price to have someone else install it when it's time to re-assemble.

Since the car is a "mutt" there is no need to paint it an official Z color. I was leaning toward the an original Z green, but have decided to go with a bright yellow (I was out voted). I am looking at painting it a yellow similar to the current 350Z or the PPG base yellow. I want a color that is bright and grabs attention. It should work well with the Panasports.

I am planning on doing the majority of the paint prep and then taking the Z to the paint shop. I am also planning on having Lance (jackboxxx) do the paint job up at the Maaco in Orange County.

I am hoping to get a little input here on the paint prep. I haven't had a car painted for quite some time. I am not sure that I want to take the car down to the bare metal, but I would at least like to get to the original primer at the least. Currently the car is an oxidized silver.

So, here are some pics of the teardown. i'll post more as the project progresses.







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I like the IROC Camero yellow from about 1995. I'll likely paint my ZT that color.

As for the glass, you will have to replace the gaskets anyway. On the front, using a straight blade knife/box cutter, remove the chrome trim and simply cut around the edge of the window through the gasket and take it out. Takes one guy about 5 minutes. Same with the rear window. I can't imagine you ever being able to save the gasket as it is going to be brittle. It looks to me like we are very similar in progress. I hope you can stick to your timeline, I can't even get close to mine.

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Painting with a colour change is a serious undertaking and you look as though you are going to give it a red hot go. What are your intentions with regard to the guards, interior floor and firewall, doors and engine bay? I am up for a colour change with one of my cars in the not too distant future and have conflicting recommendations from panel shops about how it might best be done with regard to the removal and stripping of doors and guards, whether or not to do the same colour through the wheel arches and the engine bay, stripping the full interior to paint the interior firewall, and even whether or not to pain with the windscreen and rear window mounted on the car or not despite the fact that ALL of the seals and rubbers will be replaced at the time!!

I personally think that the full body of the yellow DougN has on his car looks really special on the S30 - I think I remember him saying it was a Lamborghini yellow. However, we are only talking about the finer differences in shades of the same colour of the spectrum here and the final decision really comes down to a personal choice.

Look forward to seeing the final result here when you finish.

Edited by boyblunda
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Thanks for the compliment Dave! My Z is actually PPG base yellow (lots of pics in my gallery Rich if you want to see how it will look when done) :)

Hi Doug,

Yes, I love that color! It looks great. That is the color I am looking for; not too orangey, not too pale.

As for painting the car a different color than the original, my plan is to just have painted the areas that are typically visible. So, the door jams, hatch area and engine bay will all be painted the same yellow. One of my pet peeves is an engine bay that doesn't match the car color. Plus, only takes about half a day to pop the engine out, so might as well take it out.

I am not sure what to do with the wheel wells. I painted the front ones a yellow spray can color as you can see in the pics.and not sure I like the look. I may revert it back to the black undercoating. Will have to look at some pics and see how that looks.

Thanks for the tips on the windshield with the razor knife. The gaskets leak, so they will be replaced. No harm cutting off the old one.

I will also have the trans serviced at this time and rebuild my brake master cylinder. Also need a new booster. So, lots to do. Ah, and of course re-zinc my bolts.

Thanks for the input


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Yellow ! you want to paint it Yellow? LOL

I painted my 240 yellow a long while back before it became popular. I chose Ford 2005 Cobra Screaming Yellow when it came out in 04. We shot it in 2 stage and used PPG paint. The yellow is vary close to Corvette yellow but not the same. I did a complete color change and you cannot find any of the original orange anywhere. Even if you lift the carpet.

Question. After going through this much work , why are you taking the car to Maaco? I recommend shooting epoxy primer after you are done with the metal work. Then when finished with the sanding of the sanding primer , sealing the whole surface with epoxy primer in WHITE because you are shooting such a light color. The reason to seal it is to treat any bare metal that you may have exposed while sanding and to also have the car all one color .


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Question. After going through this much work , why are you taking the car to Maaco?

Aaahh, but it's not just any Maaco, It's Lance at the Maaco in O.C. who will do the paint. Lance (aka Jackboxxx on the thread) comes highly recommended by a number of the members here, so I will have him do the work. He's done a number of Z's so I would be happy to have him do the paint. There is actually a Maaco about 3 blocks from my house, but I will trailer it about 60 miles to OC. I will feel better about it this way.

Also, since the car is a "mutt", I didn't feel it was cost effective to put a 5 or 10K paint job on. I will do the high end two stage Maaco though.

Thanks for the tip on the epoxy seal. I was using the light gray primer to cover the areas I sanded.

Attached are some pics of the progress today. Got the tranny pulled and the rest of the firewall stuff off. I tied some of the tubes to the center of the engine area to keep them out of the way of the painter. Also will bag and stow the harness. For now it's just resting on the battery tray. Got the left fender replaced. Massaged out a few small dings and started a bit of sanding.

I have some rust near the doglegs. I was thinking of brazing up the hole and grinding flush.






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My 77 is original Sunburst yellow. I thought about changing the color when I first got it. The more I looked at the color, the more I liked it! I began noticing the yellow cars on the road and saw alot that I didn't care for. Certain shades don't appeal to me. I have three shades on my short list right now. 2005 Nissan350z paint code E33. Very nice yellow with a touch of pearl in it. 2009 Chevy Cobalt SS , and my personal favorite so far, 2010 Dodge Challenger Detonator Yellow!

Can't wait to see your choice! Someone here posted this pic of a yellow Z that I liked so much I saved it as my desktop! Was it you?;)


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I am going weak at the knees looking at these beautiful yellow cars.

I do share the view that engine bays should match the external colour of the car with the possible exception that a black engine bay can be appropriate when viewed as part of the underneath of the vehicle.

With regard to the choice of whether or not to paint the same colour under the guards I think I would be influenced by the sort of roads I might be driving over. I cannot avoid driving on unsealed roads in my location and for my situation lean towards a colour that can be easily touched up and does not readily show stone chips. However, the cleaner single colour look would be my choice for a vehicle that is going to spend all of its life on sealed roads.

I can certainly see the sense in your philosophy that you put as much effort into the car and how far you go with a job as your investment warrants ie only painting the visible bits when not going all out with the expense.

It seems that you are fortunate to be able to be sure that you have the right person doing your work - nothing like strong personal recommendations from others to give you confidence about this part of your project.

All the best to you on the final product.

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My 110 red/orange 240 had a heavy and well done undercoating under the entire fender well area on all four corners. Heavy like a 1/4 inch. Well done as it covered every nook and cranny and not a flake has peeled off. The more I think about it, the more I like this. Unless you squat down and look, you don't see it at all, and since it is black, you don't see color through the wheels as a distraction. It beats doing all the prep work required for painting.

(Personal opinion....)

Love that yellow Z in the pic Chris posted. Notice the orange in the wheel on the rear? Wonder if that is a disc caliper or if the drum was painted orange. I'd like to know what color that was. It might be a bit much to have a yellow 280 parked next to a red/orange 240 though........ I just might risk it though;)

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