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Author Topic: CORRECT UNDER BODY COLOR  (Read 11892 times)
kdka
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« on: November 07, 2005, 07:42:37 AM »

What is correct paint/sealer to be used for underneath '69 camaro convertible body shell. The car upper body has recently been painted white, original color.  Also which areas, if any of the underbody receive different color or types of paint/sealers?
thanks.
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68rsssrag
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2005, 09:44:32 AM »

Depending on where the car was built. My Norwwod is all 30 degree semigloss black. This applies to underbody. inside floors, etc.

Arno
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william
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2005, 01:55:30 PM »

Having spent more time under 1st gen Camaros than in them I assure you they were not uniformly 30% gloss black.

It is likely the 1st painting step after the body shell was fabbed was to coat the underbody with some sort of black finish. The next step was grey primer, this being done with doors & trunk lid attached as there is no paint under the hinges. This was done manually until 1970 when bodies were dipped in red primer. The undercarriage was not masked during primer app and there is always primer on the underbody in varying degrees. The trans tunnel on our '67 was almost entirely grey. The final color coat was also done without masking the underbody which is quite obvious when looking at an OE paint Camaro in a lighter color. I've seen Z11 underbodies that were almost completely white. At some point the firewall blackout was applied. This was done with a masking unit loosely placed over the cowl. This left a feathered edge across the top, not the taped line incorrectly done on many restorations. There was a final underbody step that involved touching up areas that were visible such as the rear wheel wells. Take the rear axle snubber brackets off a '69 and you will find body color on the frame rails. On Van Nuys Camaros the fuel tanks were often painted during this step. All wheel wells then had undercoating applied.

The beautiful, uniform 30% gloss black underbody is show car stuff. They did not look like that as built.
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68rsssrag
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2005, 12:25:28 AM »

William

You are correct but the question was the underside of the car. I've seen lots of unrestored Norwood cars and the underbody is 30 degree black applied way upstream, this was similar to the firewall spray but he latter was hand applied and usually was a bit on the grey side of black for some reason. John Z did a great list of the various finishes and the production processes in the plant for how and when paint was applied on TeamCamaro a year or so ago. Worth the serach and read.

Arno
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william
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2005, 01:25:06 PM »

Arno I've been involved with the cars for 30+ years and know whereof I speak.

Chassis, underbody, undercarriage call it what you want. From the rear axle forward they have primer and body-color overspray in varying degrees. There have been several excellent chassis photos of OE paint cars posted and they all have overspray: Charlie Lillards Daytona yellow '69 Z was about 50% yellow underneath. An old issue of the Camaro enthusiast had chassis photos of a Hugger orange '69 SS coupe, plenty of orange on the floor pans. They also did a spread on a Z11 that had so much grey primer on the underbody they re-did it that way. The b&w underbody photos of the Daytona yellow #3 ZL1 in the 8-69 Hi-Perf Cars clearly show a yellow or grey underbody as it is much lighter than the subframe.

John Z worked for Chevrolet. The bodies were painted by Fisher before they "went through the wall" to Chevrolet.

Once again, the beautiful, uniform 30% gloss black underbody is show car stuff. They did not look like that as built.
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Oaklyss
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2005, 11:51:23 PM »

That is my original paint 69 Hugger SS coupe in that old issue of Camaro Enthusiest Smiley. Car is near mint and never driven in the rain, thats why the underbody is in such good shape. It looks better now that I cleaned up under there. Yes, it has orange overspray on the bottom, mostly on the floor ridges that would catch the paint from the sprayer. Also has drips from the primer on the rear frame rails.
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69 RSSS ZL-2 4 speed, mint unrestored 04A LA built-SOLD
Now-1968 GTCS mint unrestored original paint
JohnZ
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2005, 11:48:16 AM »

I think I pointed out in my "First-Generation Camaro Assembly Process" paper that the underbody appears as primer, with varying degrees of color overspray from the side guns that sprayed the bottom of the rockers, as William noted. Some have more than others - my '69 02D car has a LOT of body color on the underbody. Not many Chevrolet folks ever set foot on the Fisher side of the plant, but I was one of them - I worked closely with Fisher Body Production Engineering during the year prior to GMAD taking over all the Fisher/Chevrolet assembly plants.
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'69 Z/28
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68rsssrag
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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2005, 12:31:11 AM »

At the risk of prolonging the debate I just want to clarify my point. The primer process as applied resulted in what looks like a 30 degree gloss which is what you are all saying. The overspray issue is another dimension and I completely agree on the amount and variation car ot car. I am finishing a Norwood 1968 SS/RS BB convertible now and since the exterior panels like header, valance, etc were hung in the window openings and the body was very open during color application the result was an inside color that appeared red primer vs the black everywhere else. It took me an email exchange with John to realize it was the red exterior rough overspay on the black that I was looking at.

Whether or not you would ever seriously want to do such an overspray in restoring a car is, in my mind very questionable so in the end it isn't "show car" I care about as much as what the factory intended at the time. I'm not a fan of overspray on restored cars and I know many judges that do not think it a necessary evil as well.

Cheers

Arno
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william
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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2005, 01:25:01 PM »

I was fortunate to be involved in the restoration of 2 high-end cars: a '67 Z/28 and a '69 ZL1. You may be suprised to hear that under my direction NEITHER was done with any underbody overspray. Both have the nice uniform 30% gloss black finish.  My reasoning was that it is sort of expected [even 10 years ago] and it is difficult to reproduce overspray correctly given the limitations of most paint facilities.

Were I to get involved in another nut-and-bolt resto today [pass the Tums...] I would seriously consider it however. Brian Caudell did an orange COPO Camaro some years back with underbody overspray and did a nice job of it. 
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JohnZ
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« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2005, 07:31:25 PM »

I am finishing a Norwood 1968 SS/RS BB convertible now and since the exterior panels like header, valance, etc were hung in the window openings and the body was very open during color application the result was an inside color that appeared red primer vs the black everywhere else.Arno

Just to clarify, the header panel and front valance were Chevrolet sheet metal, and were painted with the hood and fenders on the Chevy side of the plant; the cowl vent grille was the only panel painted by Fisher Body loose on the car.
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'69 Z/28
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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2005, 09:03:30 PM »

William

You are correct but the question was the underside of the car. I've seen lots of unrestored Norwood cars and the underbody is 30 degree black applied way upstream, this was similar to the firewall spray but he latter was hand applied and usually was a bit on the grey side of black for some reason. John Z did a great list of the various finishes and the production processes in the plant for how and when paint was applied on TeamCamaro a year or so ago. Worth the serach and read.

Arno


Perhaps John would consider placing this "list" on our site as a CRG Report.
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x77-69z28
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« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2006, 10:53:46 PM »

during the current frame off on my 67 rs/ss 350, there is a ton ov factory overspray up under the car. semi gloss black and red oxide primer. i have replicated it and sprayed the overspray while the body was completely disassembled. no springs, frame engine trans etc. it looks awesome. if someone would have told me fifteen years ago that i would be spraying overspray on my beautiful 30% gloss floor, i would have told you you were nuts! these cars have become like corvettes during restoration. i even ran the paint on my control arms. it is a sickness i tell you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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69 x77 burnished brown, 711 int 05A bought in 78
67 rs/ss 350 butternut yellow 4 speed 2nd owner
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Dave69x33
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« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2006, 07:40:15 PM »

My Norwood 69Z was built 1st week of May.  It is LeMans Blue and the underside was a gray primer color with a speckle, light gray/white color, particularly thru the middle area of the trans tunnel.  When I removed the fuel line clips along on the inside area of the frame rails, it was gray.  I should have taken more pics under the gas tank area but this area appeared to be painted black. This may have been done during a repaint years earlier. Unfortunately I only have 35mm pics of these.  I need to scan them and have the available in digital format.  Thus, I had my underside painted gray in about 30% gloss. 

I was told that through the production run of 69's out of Norwood, the undersides have been seen in several colors: black, gray and a greenish gray color. 

John Z….Is there any truth to this?  Did it depend on the top body color, or was this  simply variations in batch primer colors? 
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JohnZ
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« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2006, 11:24:31 AM »

I haven't seen the unmolested underbody on enough original cars to give you a good answer on any change in primer colors; William probably has better data. Any exterior color overspray from the rocker guns would be the same color as the "lower" color on the car, with some black if the car had black rockers. Nobody in the color spray booths got on their knees to spray under the body, as most of the color coat was done by automatic reciprocating guns on guide rails, not people with manual spray guns.
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'69 Z/28
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Dusk Blue Z
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« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2006, 09:05:33 PM »

Dave, I just saw a nice clear picture posted somewhere recently. I think the post was for shifter mounting or the shift rods, anyway the background was the tunnel that was just as you described. I also have a 5A Z and you described the underside of my car as well. I am just getting ready to send it out for some fresh paint and really did not want to do the 30% black. I'll try and post the picture if I can find it or take one from my car. If some pictures show up, I'd sure like to hear from anyone that would know how to duplicate it.
Mike

Found it.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2006, 10:19:37 AM by Dusk Blue Z » Logged
Dave69x33
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« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2006, 08:55:42 PM »

To: Dusk Blue Z,

Very interesting. Your underside color appears virtually identical to mine.  Excuse my pictures, but I took these with 35mm film during the restro back in 1995, and then recently tried to take a digital picture of the print.
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hotrod68
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« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2006, 11:38:44 PM »

So, can anyone explain why my '68 had red primer on the underbody instead of gray? I find this fascinating. When I stripped the crud and undercoating off the floorpans I found a red, not gray, coating, then what I assume was a black sealer on the bare metal. I know it was this way because I stripped the car myself, layer by painstaking layer with solvent, Scotchbrite and a putty knife. I'm not doubting anyone--you guys know way more than me--please don't misunderstand. But the posts imply that red primer was never used at all. Was my car built on a Monday with a hangover?
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HotRod'68  1968 SS350 coupe undergoing frame-off resto/rod. 386/350/4.11s
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firstgenaddict
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« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2006, 09:17:47 PM »

Are you sure it is primer? I have heard that sometimes they cleared guns by spraying out on the bottoms of bodies...
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James
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Check out the Black 69 RS/Z28 45k mile Survivor and the Lemans Blue 69 Z 10D frame off...
https://picasaweb.google.com/112392262205377424364/1969_Z28_Restoration
hotrod68
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« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2006, 12:32:37 AM »

I'm assuming it was primer, 1st Gen. The car had a base black coating over the bare metal--the factory sealer?--then a layer of what looked like red primer under the accumulated gunk I scraped off. I found no gray anywhere under the car. There was a base black coating, then a topcoat of red I assume is primer from reading the posts here. It wasn't overspray because the whole floor was red. Going by this, I primed the underbody red when I stripped it. That's all I know to tell you. And I appreciate each and every post about this. Thanks to everyone! I'm just a rookie in over his head on this thing and trying to learn. 
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HotRod'68  1968 SS350 coupe undergoing frame-off resto/rod. 386/350/4.11s
Butternut Yellow    black standard interior
Dave69x33
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« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2006, 08:47:47 AM »

AMEN hotrog68!!

Welcome to the "CART" club....Camaro Anal Retentive Technicians.....trying to do the best and accurate resto jobs we can on our Camaros.  Most all of us are rookies but that is why I really like websites like CRG to learn and SEE (.....keep the pics of original and survivor Camaros and parts coming...with assy date codes please....)

I now understand and appreciate what Corvette owners/restorers must have gone thru years ahead of us Camaro Guys and Gals, restoring their cars!  With increasing values of our cars, we Camaro owners/restores are following in their footsteps.  All this stuff is what makes our hobby very enjoyable, yet sometime very frustrating and confusing!

Keep the faith...and Happy Holidays…hopefully with some time in the garage!!
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GaryL
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« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2006, 10:03:29 PM »

Just a side note, but I like to see that original shifter with the molded rubber bushings. Is that self locking nut original?

To: Dusk Blue Z,

Very interesting. Your underside color appears virtually identical to mine.  Excuse my pictures, but I took these with 35mm film during the restro back in 1995, and then recently tried to take a digital picture of the print.

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Gary

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Dave69x33
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« Reply #21 on: December 25, 2006, 03:40:16 PM »

Gary L

That is a unique shape shifter adjuster nut.  Check out page 324 in the 69 AIM. It calls out nut P/N-9791886 for SB, or nut P/N-3955770 for BB’s.  The nut pockets within the contour of the shifter bracket and has pushed up spike or grippers (like course sand paper) to help it bite into the bracket.

Heartbeat City, www.heartbeatcity.com, has very nice reproductions. Item #TRN-1271 for $5.95 is for small blocks.  They are black phosphate but the originals I have seen were more of a silver cad color.  I painted mine with Eastwood's Silver Cad paint that looks very close to the original color.

I have "an" original shifter (not sure if it is the original) in my 69Z that I have questions about.  I will start a new post to cover shifters in more detail.
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GaryL
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« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2006, 03:02:01 PM »

Gary L

That is a unique shape shifter adjuster nut.  Check out page 324 in the 69 AIM. It calls out nut P/N-9791886 for SB, or nut P/N-3955770 for BB’s.  The nut pockets within the contour of the shifter bracket and has pushed up spike or grippers (like course sand paper) to help it bite into the bracket.

Heartbeat City, www.heartbeatcity.com, has very nice reproductions. Item #TRN-1271 for $5.95 is for small blocks.  They are black phosphate but the originals I have seen were more of a silver cad color.  I painted mine with Eastwood's Silver Cad paint that looks very close to the original color.

I have "an" original shifter (not sure if it is the original) in my 69Z that I have questions about.  I will start a new post to cover shifters in more detail.

Sorry, I was refering to the self-locking nut on the 3-4 rod.
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Gary

Lemans Blue X33. DZ, M20, manual steering. Only BU code rear end is original.
rich69rs
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« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2008, 09:51:22 AM »

The primer process as applied resulted in what looks like a 30 degree gloss which is what you are all saying. The overspray issue is another dimension and I completely agree on the amount and variation car ot car.

Currently I am in the process of detailing out the underside of my '69 RS coupe from the trans tunnel back.  Rear end, springs, gas tank are out of the car.  The underside of my car has dealer applied undercoating which was applied very uniformly over the bottom of the car.  It has held up very well for the past 39 yrs.  The undecoating also covers the rear frame rails.  Original body color was Dover White.  When I dropped the gas tank, the area of the underbody, directly above the gas tank had a lot of white body color overspray, to the point that it almost looks like that section had intentionally been painted white.  As I have stripped off the undercoating, I've also found a lot of white body color (very thickly applied) on the rear frame rails.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2008, 09:57:46 AM by rich69rs » Logged

Richard Thomas
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« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2009, 10:54:40 PM »

Hi , i have just paint my underside , i am not sure if i am 100% correct , the gray primer seems white on the picture but it is gray ,



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