Author Topic: Paint first, or mechanicals?  (Read 6091 times)


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Paint first, or mechanicals?
« on: June 23, 2006, 01:03:30 PM »
Hey all,

My '67 is in the shop right now getting a lot of new sheetmetal: floors, quarters, trunk, drops, inner/outer fenderwells, filler panel, and rear.  At this point, I have stripped the car to the unit body with the exception of the diff and rear suspension.  I have already replaced the lower cowl, upper dash, and driver's cowl extension. 

With the car being so bare, I figured it would be a good time to get the body straight and paint it, since everything's out of it and I could have a very thorough job done.  Then, once painted, I could disassemble the front end again and do the mechanicals (it has no engine atm.)  My alternative is to ge the car running and mechanically the way I want it, then paint it. 

I realize that there's a risk of scratching something up when painting it first, but I figured with the front end off this could be minimized.  I have restored two Datsun 240Zs previously, and each time the car was more or less complete when painted, so this is the first time I have had the opportunity to paint a shell.

What do y'all think?



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Re: Paint first, or mechanicals?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2006, 03:19:11 PM »
I think it's a matter of personal preference and time schedules. I prefer to pre-fit everything when the bodywork is done (or in process), then paint it, then do final assembly. This ensures that no fitting requiring drilling, grinding or metal work is necessary when final assembly proceeds, and avoids the necessity of masking off all the chassis parts from overspray when painting an assembled car. Just requires due care during assembly to avoid damaging the paint - that's the way the factory did it.
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Re: Paint first, or mechanicals?
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2006, 08:17:29 PM »
Due to "learning as I go", on my '69 RS the plan has been to finish all of the mechanical work, then do the final body and paint.  Currently, the mechanical work is finished from the front bumper to the rear end.  The rest (rear end, gas tank, rear springs, etc) will, hopefully, be accomplished this winter. 

Later will be the body and paint.  Admittedly, this will require me to disassembly the front sheet metal a second time for prep and painting.  Doing the body and paint work first allows for a single disassembly.

Although I've pulled and restored the subframe, engine, transmission, RS components, etc, I'm not trying to make my car a show car.  I want it to be comprable to how the car looked new from GM.  I'm fortunate in that I found my ride back in 1991 with 25K original miles.  Car was (and still is) in excellent condition - no rust - no major body work - a couple of minor door dings.

I kind of get squemish when I see someone doing a lot of mechanical work around freshly renewed body and paint work.  Not saying it isn't a good approach, just not the way I'd do it due to my lack of experience.  As Dirty Harry once said, "Man has got to know his limitations."
« Last Edit: June 25, 2006, 08:22:12 PM by rich69rs »
Richard Thomas
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Re: Paint first, or mechanicals?
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2006, 06:14:50 PM »


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Re: Paint first, or mechanicals?
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2006, 10:09:19 PM »
Do the mechanical stuff first.
You are going to have plenty of opportunities to get scratches after you are on the road.
No need to find out so quickly, how well your touch -up paint matches.  ::)


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Re: Paint first, or mechanicals?
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2006, 10:38:31 PM »
I know this is a late post, but as a suggestion I didn't see, I've had a car or two apart and would have the car "jammed" before the mechanicals. Door, trunk, hood, cowl and fender lips get painted now and covered or back taped later.  It's a great time to paint places you can't get to any other time and any paint that might get damaged during assembly is easy to repair.
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Re: Paint first, or mechanicals?
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2006, 02:18:57 AM »
Id say mechanicals as well with the exceptions listed above.  Ive got my car stripped down to a rolling chassis.  Im going to clean and paint the front sub frame section tomorrow and hopefully drop the motor and front clip back on in the next few days with one new front 1/4.  This way ill have the firewall, subframe, and cowl painted black and i can just touch up later if anything gets scratched.  And with motor and tranny back in i can drive it in and out of the garage to do all the major sanding work, instead of pushing it in and out, thats not as fun as it sounds by yourself up hill:)