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Series - 1 Air Cleaner Restoration -- Lots of Pics!


Hardway

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Many months ago I purchased this series - 1 air cleaner for my 240z.  Since the car was built in August of 1970 it should have one.  The original had the snorkel cut off to make room for the dealer installed air conditioning.  When I purchased the car it had a common "flapper" series - 2 air cleaner.  These air cleaners are out there but they are hard to find and prices have been rising over the past several years.  Additionally, finding one with the snorkel in good shape is even harder as the metal is very thin and once damaged it would take a very skilled person to fix.  When this one popped up on Ebay I bought it for $150 shipped.  When it arrived the condition was a little rougher than I expected but it was complete and the snorkel was in good shape.  It stayed in the box for many months up until the spring of this year.

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With spring upon us I hastily dropped it off with a local powder coating shop.  The end result reflects my lack of real inspection and to be honest, I did not remember the pitting being as bad as it was.  Plus, it was on the side that would be facing up once installed so this was not going to work.  Looking back on it I should have just invested in a sand blasting cabinet and blasted it myself as the PC job cost me $160.  Oh well, lesson learned.  On a positive note, the areas that did not have any pitting or damage looked stellar and the color match was spot on, RAL Pumpkin.

Of course before it could be dropped off I had to remove all of the old gasket material.

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Edited by Hardway
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After posting a thread and getting input from other owners on how to approach the repair I started by sanding down the powder coat with some 80 grit. 

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I applied a generous amount of lightweight Bondo body filler, making sure I worked it in to all of the pitted areas.

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After several rounds of sanding the only remaining filler was what was needed.  The whole surface felt really good at this point so I figured it was ready for some primer.

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Once the primer dried I started wet sanding it with some 600 grit.  This made the surface almost glass smooth but also revealed some trash and pits in the primer.

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The imperfections call for several more layers of primer, some more focused in specific areas.

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Edited by Hardway
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Once all the primer was dry I did several more rounds of 600 grit wet sanding.  Now the surface was looking and feeling really good, almost like polished marble.  I also wet sanded the powder coat as a lot of it had a "orange peel" finish.  Seeing that 80% of the air cleaner cannot be seen when installed I did not get too crazy on the lower half.  Looking back on it, I slightly regret this as I was in the position to make this perfect and should have gone the extra miles to do so.  Oh well, next time.

 

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What's RAL Pumpkin?  I'm going to bead blast mine and the plan is Chevy orange with a second coat of dupli color matte clear.  Hope to start soon but it's too hot for me now.  I have the flapper style, '72 model.

Yours look nice but I think some type of filler would have been better on those pitted areas, I know that will bother you.  I've always kept up with your projects and they are top notch.

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Satisfied with the primer coat I moved on to paint.  The spray paint I used is a custom mix from a CarQuest store that mixes it on site for $23/can.  After several light coats things were looking really good!

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I let the paint dry for over 24 hours before even attempting to touch it.  The Texas heat definitely helped everything cure nicely.  With everything dry I installed the outer lid gasket that I got from Mike at Banzai Motorworks along with some 3/8 foam weatherstrip from Home Depot.

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With the gaskets in place and decals from Mike, the finished product looks great.  Not only is it correct for the car but it brings a stronger consistency to the engine bay since the old series - 2 air cleaner was wearing a fair amount of patina and wear.  Glad to have it on the car and show once again that we are all capable of this kind of work.  If you have any questions please post them up and I will do my best to answer them.

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10 minutes ago, siteunseen said:

What's RAL Pumpkin?  I'm going to bead blast mine and the plan is Chevy orange with a second coat of dupli color matte clear.  Hope to start soon but it's too hot for me now.  I have the flapper style, '72 model.

Yours look nice but I think some type of filler would have been better on those pitted areas, I know that will bother you.  I've always kept up with your projects and they are top notch.

RAL Pumpkin is the powder coat color.  RAL is the powder manufacturer that the shop used.  Looking at the back of the air cleaner box you can tell it is a shade more red than what I painted even though the custom paint mix was based on it.  I have used Chevy engine block orange in the past on another air cleaner box and it is a very close match to the original but it has a little too much yellow in it, in my opinion.  Of course, at $5/can vs. $23/can and most people not being able to tell the difference anyway, Chevy orange may still be the best way to go.

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Nice! Looks almost identical to the one I just did. Which, oddly enough- is the exact same colour as the original orange that Dino Ferrari's once came in.

Though I must mention one thing about RAL:

RAL is not the manufacturer of the colour, rather it is a standardized numerical code system used for powder and industrial paint coatings. It is the industrial equivalent to PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM (PMS; which is aptly named if you've ever had to deal with print houses).

On that note, the "Pumpkin" moniker is most likely the name attached to the RAL number, and is what the company that produces the medium would call it. 

The actual name should be something like RAL 15XX - Pumpkin. And it might be the same RAL number from another supplier, but called Blood Orange or something. The number is most important and the closest you will get to sharing colour info with one another if that's your intention.

 

Be aware that while the system is standardized, I've had powder coating numbers with the same RAL that shift up or down two to three shades, so when matching powder colours, it's best to go to a local powder blender and see if they have any instock samples that they can freshly coat a sample "coupon" with- that way you can be sure the formulation is consistent and hasn't changed or someone didn't F with it in their computer system.

 

Edited by Careless
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On 7/9/2016 at 1:52 PM, siteunseen said:

As always, PERFECT.  You do some amazing stuff and are a great asset to the forum.  Way to go!

Cliff

Thank you Cliff!  I truly appreciate your compliments.  This was definitely a team effort as I was really disappointed after getting it back from powder coat and thinking I would have to strip it all off.  As usual, other owners with much more experience showed me the way.  The Z community is great and I am happy to be able to contribute to it.

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