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charliekwin last won the day on September 22 2016

charliekwin had the most liked content!

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About charliekwin

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My Z Cars

  • Zcars Owned
  • About My Cars
    1987 280z, 2007 G35 sedan 6MT

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  1. charliekwin

    Help me identify my body panels!

    They're usually removed to add an aftermarket air dam.
  2. 21 gallon and 10 gallon Harbor Freight compressors joined together with a T-fitting and check valves. I used two guns: Devilbiss Finishline FLG-4, for the sealer and color. I didn't want to spend big money on a gun, and at $200, it seemed to be one of the better values out there. The other gun was from the two-piece kit from HF (https://www.harborfreight.com/2-pc-professional-automotive-hvlp-air-spray-gun-kit-61472.html) to shoot high fill. That's why I bought it, but the small detail gun turned out to be surprisingly useful. I've used it a bunch of times on small parts.
  3. charliekwin

    ‘78 280z for sale

    Miller's Sport and Imports in Pasadena does Datsuns. I had him look over mine when I bought it. Just one guy, and he's always busy. There's Mike's Z Shop in Whittier and Z Expert in Santa Monica. Haven't dealt with either, but they seem to have good reputations.
  4. Progress updates later, but this weekend I finally (finally!) got the car beyond the driveway. Just a couple trips to the gym. Two people at the gas station came up to ask about the car. Gym member with a 70s 911s parked by me and we talked for a bit. All three asked or remarked about the color. I still see all the flaws in my work, but the comments from strangers were awfully gratifying. Good weekend.
  5. charliekwin

    ‘78 280z for sale

    Where in LA? There's some well-regarded Z shops down here if you need a shop (though I agree with Zed, especially at the price you're asking).
  6. charliekwin

    Worth looking at? #1

    He's dropped the price already. I think it was originally posted for $11 or $12k.
  7. charliekwin

    1973 Rebuild

    I had to get splined lug nuts for my wheels. Picked up on eBay. I think these are the same ones, though I got chrome: https://www.ebay.com/itm/20-Black-12x1-25-Spline-Lug-Nuts-Key-for-Subaru-Nissan-BRZ-FR-S-STI-BAJA/253111950908
  8. charliekwin

    New house, bigger Garage!

    Take a new tool out for each job because you can't find the one you just used. Leave it on the closest horizontal surface when you're done. Swear to be more organized and fail immediately.
  9. Ha, funny Charles, I had the exact same thoughts: a little bit of body work, remove some trim, scuff, mask, shoot. Why, that sounds EASY! When or whether I reshoot this car or take on another project in the future, the experience has been tremendously valuable. YouTube videos, internet comments, and the like help make it accessible, but as you say, there's simply no substitute for doing it.
  10. Thanks :) I think the welded headlight buckets look a bit disproportionate when the fenders are off the car, but on the car with the hood (which is still not quite right), they look pretty sharp. Glad you like it too! I'm going to put 240z bumpers on it...once I can scrounge up $750 for a set.
  11. Thanks @grannyknot. I really appreciate it. I'm being particularly critical because 1) it's the only way I'll get better; 2) I've seen many instances online where people choose bury their setbacks and highlight their successes, which doesn't paint a realistic picture of what's involved in a project, and 3) I've been in my garage this whole time in a particularly harsh environment that's made me very aware of all the blemishes in my work. I'll also say that I've been moving the goalposts. My original goal, according to my own post in 2017 was: "I don't want/need a show car. I do want the Z to look like something to have some pride in, or that I could take to a Cars and Coffee without feeling the need to explain it." And by that measure, I'd say I've succeeded. But the more I worked on it, the more I felt like a show car paint job was my measuring stick, and every blemish was a failure to get there. Anyway...yes, both the hood center line and the body lines have filler on them. The sides required a bit of filler after removing the molding and welding the holes shut. I used masking tape to help keep things straight, but mostly just a long block and followed the panels. The hood was basically the same. Masking tape down the middle to set the line, then a long block following the hood contours. I never got it quite straight because the profile of the hood makes it difficult to get the tape straight. I've seen some people use a laser level. I might try that next time.The quarter required the most work. I scribed the profile of the wheel arch on the passenger side in about 8 places and transferred it to some heavy card stock (cereal boxes) to use that as a rough guide to the shape I needed to get. Then used the stud welder to pull things into shape as much as I could, then laid on body filler. I used both masking tape and a pencil line (different times, multiple times) to identify the location of the swage line. The upper portion of the shoulder was in good shape and I followed the contours of that with a long block. The line itself (and the fade at the top of the wheel arch) kind of appeared naturally. To shape the bottom half, I used shorter blocks and a Dura-block cylinder. There's generally a flat plane that extends from the wheel arch and out to the swage line or the end of the body panel, which I followed and makes blocking easier. I also picked up a profile gauge and used that to fine tune the wheel arch shape against the passenger side. And I used a metal straightedge a lot (all over, not just on the quarter panel). Both to check for straightness and on curves to compare one side to another and to make sure they're smooth by rolling the edge on the panel. I probably have photos if the wall of text doesn't make sense.
  12. Now that I have all* the panels on, everything polished, and a couple days to look and think at it, I figured I would do kind of a postmortem on the body work and paint, complete with an acknowledgement of all the things I did wrong. *The struggle with the hood continues. Body work first... Hits: Really happy with the way the fender and headlight buckets came out. The hatch, the driver rear quarter, the passenger rocker, and the top of the driver door all needed a lot of work, and all came out well. I was especially concerned about getting the swage line back into the rear, but that looks good. For all the problems that the hood had, that came out pretty nicely too. The only thing I think I should have done better on is a slight jog in the center line at the bottom of the bulge. Rear bumper holes are gone There were numerous dents and dings all over the car, almost all of them fixed. Misses: There's a couple very small dents that I missed. Should have been more conscientious about blocking. I didn't get the body line quite right on the section of the rear valence that I replaced, and you can see the difference in the gap on the tail light panel. The roof was really rough, and while a lot better, it's not perfect. I can't see it in the body when just "looking at it", but the distortion of the lights in the reflection tells the story here. I set myself up badly by not stripping out the headliner and butyl mat before I got started (in retrospect, probably a choice I shouldn't have made), but the roof was probably the hardest section of the whole car, and I didn't really pick up on some of the defects until it was painted an polished. More experience needed here. And paint... Hits: I painted a car in my garage. It looks a lot better than it did when I started. Some of the polished sections look really good. Misses (sadly, more misses than hits here): Dust was a problem. In some areas, especially where I sanded aggressively, there's some spots/flecks of the primer showing through. They're not noticeable from more than a foot or two away, but I know they're there. There are imperfections in the paint, and there are some scratches. I'm not sure if they're left over from blocking or from wet sanding (either from 1500 or from stray dirt/grit), but I sanded off a lot of paint and didn't want to take my chances trying to sand further. There was a high spot on the hood and a promptly sanded through the paint. I may try to touch this up. I know it won't blend well, but badly blended color will probably look better than primer showing through. There's a couple spots where something odd happened with the paint and it looks almost...cloudy/splotchy, maybe, from certain angles. A total guess on my part, but maybe there was some paint that wasn't mixed well? I haven't been able to get a good photo of it, but you can kind of see it here: Bad job spraying on a handful of panels. Most I could sand out, but some places I couldn't and the imperfections can be seen from certain angles. The edges of the hood are the worst; I mostly left them alone after sanding through early on. I might go back and try sanding some more. Even on sections where the paint is sanded smooth and the body work is good, the paint still seems like it has some texture and sometimes seems a bit flat and lacking some depth. There's two major things I will definitely do differently in the future: Better dust control. More paint with each coat. The fender I had to repaint was easily the best panel I did, and even that little experience helped. Looking ahead: I still need to paint the engine bay, which won't happen until I work on the motor, probably a couple years from now. When that time comes, I might consider fixing the roof and any other outstanding body issues and doing a respray if I think it's needed.
  13. Lots of little projects over the last few weeks, and a lot of progress made, but this one's all about paint, because I finished sanding and polishing today. Some time around Christmas, it was starting to bother me that the fenders and doors were looking quite a bit better than the roof, rear quarters, and hatch. So I re-sanded and re-polished all of them. They're still not perfect, but they're better than they were and the effort was worth it: The roof; before, during and after: Sail/quarter; before and after sanding: And the hatch: With those done, back to polishing. I found it took at least 3 passes with the red pad and M105 to polish out the haze and most scratches. Red pad gave its all. That was followed up with one pass of the yellow pad and M205. Like I said, I finally got it all done today, and it's nice to be over that hump. Even with the screw-ups. Those screw-ups and some thoughts tomorrow...now I just want a cocktail!
  14. charliekwin

    The front of my hood sticks up...

    Nothing adjusted, just got it on before heading out. Good way to end the year: Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk
  15. charliekwin

    The front of my hood sticks up...

    I've been taking it on and off myself the same way Patcon describes without issue, but my luck would likely run out when it matters most. Fortunately, I've gotten better about avoiding situations that will lead to immediate regret. Mostly from experience.

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