Some progress on the '61 finally

Caddylackn

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Got some paint progress this weekend.

First I cleaned up the car and floor, then I shot some primer sealer. I was hoping to shoot the sealer, paint, and clear coat in a single day, but ran out of time.

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Then I shot the skirts and under the skirts with some color so I could put the final coat of color with the fender skirts on the car.

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I also painted the fender bolts/washers since they are all visible when the hood and doors are open. I made the mistake of not painting them on my truck and they look like sh.t when you have a fresh painted fender and old crusty bolts with old mismatched paint showing.

I ran out of time to do color, so had to finish the next day.
 

Caddylackn

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Now, start the day with another 2 hours of scuff sanding....The paint recoat window onto the primer sealer is around 8 hours or so. It had been over 12 hours, I didn't want to risk it so I had to scuff sand the entire car with a green scotch bright. I was able to take out some visible sanding scratches visible in the sealer. I wasn't happy with how much crap fell into the paint, hair, dust etc. I got it all out. More on that later.IMG_1224.JPG

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Now time for more cleanup again, ugh.......Then a lacquer thinner wipe down, then wipe down with the tack rag.

Now shoot some color. I had two gallon cans, one about 3/4 full so I had to batch these together and stir the crap out of them to get the metal particles all mixed. I tried using my new Eastwood Concours 2 gun, which I used on the sealer. I changed the tip to the 1.3. I shot the first coat, but was getting some spits and dribbles... no good. So I took it apart and found I had one mismatched piece under the tip. All the pieces were marked either 1.3 or 1.7 except these two and I had 1.3 rod with a 1.7 inner nozzle. That fixed the drips. I shot two more coats. I was getting lots of crap in the paint :(. I eventually figured out that my compressor kicking on was the culpriIMG_1226.JPGt. I should have moved it outside so the powerful compressor fan didn't create the windstorm inside swirling cat hair, dust,IMG_1228.JPG
and spider webs into the air.

I was able to mostly blend in the drips on the trunk. I think I got a scratch coat and two or three cover coats on. The last coat was made as a continuous fogger coat trying to even out the metal particles. I had a bunch of crap in the paint, but you can't color sand metallics, so move forward.
 

Caddylackn

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Now for some clear. I gave the color an hour to dry. I was able then to pull some more crap that fell into it after I stopped painting.

I shot three coats of clear. I messed up the trunk, trying to fix a blob in theIMG_1229.JPG paint before the clear. Anyways I can reshoot the trunk at a different day. It will be easy to mask.

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Clear covered many of the paint imperfections, but left some new ones as more crap got into the clear too.

Many of these can be color sanded and buffed out. I can get rid of all the orange peel then. The good news is the car came out looking really straight. I was hoping for at least a 5-footer paint job, and this is mostly that, you can't see the imperfections over 5' away.IMG_1233.JPG

I pulled off the masking to see how the chrome looks against this color

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I may paint the top blue too, IDK, what do you think?. The white needs to be reshot anyway. This car never came with a white top options, but I like a white top since I don't have A/C.
Now I have to put on all the trim, door handles, and inner door panels and I can have a driver. There must be at least 50 pieces of trim to put on. I still need to paint the other three hubcaps. All the headlights and grill need to be installed, and I need to rebuild all the front bushings to be a driver.
 

Darius

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Congratulations!! Looks mighty fine from here - granted a little over 5 feet - but very nice. Your efforts give guys like me hope that maybe we could paint our own vehicle. Maybe.

I like that white top and would keep it.

bro. d
 
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5one9

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I like the blue color...…………..and you leave that white alone.
 

Caddylackn

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Painting is not that hard, just like everything else there is a steep learning curve for rookies. You learn quick because painting mistakes suck, and you need to do a lot of sanding and time and buy more expensive paint to fix them. You either evolve or give up and just pay somebody. Even painting prep, bondo, and sanding, is not hard just time consuming. An experienced person could have done better in 1/4 of the time I spent, but I wanted to do it all myself. The body work came out much better than my '69 truck, and the paint job came out slightly better, so I am improving. At least I am at the point I can fix all my mistakes in bodywork or repaint a fender when I scratch it. The best way to learn is just start spraying primers until you get good without drips.

In hindsight, I should not have used a new gun that I was not familiar with or at least hit some practice panels first to iron out the bugs. I probably had too much pressure in the gun leading to some orange peel. I also had poor hose control and that ruined the trunk. I thought I had enough hose, but when I reached while spraying the hose was stuck under the front tire and the hose kinked, it cut off the flow and spit paint all over the trunk. That happened twice :(. Maybe my next paint job will be a 4-footer :).

I need to make a shed for my compressor to get it out of the garage. It will be much quieter that way and the compressor fan won't kick up particles every time it kicks on. I want to add a filtered vent fan to blow fresh air into the garage and then add a vent in the ceiling for exhaust. That would keep all the air moving up and keep dust and sh.t from falling into the paint. It would also slightly pressurize the garage so unfiltered air would not get sucked in. Unfortunately the length of this 20' car made me open my garage door so I could walk around the car. I am going to paint my Bronco next, and that will fit in the garage.
 

PJ McCoy

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New update:

With planned family vacations, work, and CV stuff haven't done much work until last weekend.
Now comes the fun part, no not really.

Block sanding the whole car. I started block sanded it a few weeks back and was noticing some low spots. So I shot the bad areas with some grey primer surfacer. Then hit it with a black guide coat and went to town.
Some 8 hours later mostly done.

Before block sanding I did have to pull off the passenger front fender. The trim nuts, power antennae, emblems, and wheel well trim nuts are impossible to access without the fender removed. Removing the fender is a tricky job without scratching the edge by the door all up. The fender encompasses both sides of the header panel, which makes it hard to remove since the front part of the fender has to go straight up to clear the header panel. I then realized that I would have to pull both fenders off after painting just to install all the trim, edging, fender spears, etc, then reinstall. So I removed the header panel on both sides to allow me to easily remove and remount the fenders after they are painted. I took this opportunity to paint the header panel, top of inner fenders, and parts of the firewall now exposed by the removed fender. I also removed the rear pieces and gas filler door.

View attachment 25361

View attachment 25362View attachment 25363

The bottom 8" both front fenders were cut off and repaired by me, sometime in the 90s. Typical Cadillac fenders have the fender reinforcement taper down to the fender bottom and meet and welded together at the seam., here it collects leaves, road grime, salt, kicked up by the tire. This material can't get out and soon rusts completely out. I repaired the bottom of the fenders but never fabricated a mount on the bottom of the fender to secure the bottom of the fender back to the car body under the car. So I removed both fenders and welded some angle metal on the bottom. Then I undercoated the inside fender bottom for rust. It lined up pretty good and I was able to make it match the body lines okay. See the top photo, this has been the first time in 30 years this fender has lined up on the bottom. I will have to spend the real time and effort after it is painted to get the fenders lined up with the hood and doors. Luckily the hood has never been off, so I can use this to line the fenders up to.

View attachment 25365
Here it is before I painted header panel, top of inner fender, and firewall. I didn't take an after picture for some reason. The rest of the firewall will now be easy to paint once the motor is out for my 500 swap.

I also worked on the alignment of the fender skirts. The passenger fender skirt has never fitted right and sticks out about a 1/4" on top at the rear. Now is the last chance to fix it before paint. Still working on it, got it down to only a 1/8" sticking out.

My goal is to shoot the primer sealer this weekend, and maybe final coat if I am lucky. Got to hurry before the weather gets cold.
That is amazing!!! Great Job
 

PJ McCoy

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Now for some clear. I gave the color an hour to dry. I was able then to pull some more crap that fell into it after I stopped painting.

I shot three coats of clear. I messed up the trunk, trying to fix a blob in theView attachment 25381 paint before the clear. Anyways I can reshoot the trunk at a different day. It will be easy to mask.

View attachment 25382View attachment 25383

Clear covered many of the paint imperfections, but left some new ones as more crap got into the clear too.

Many of these can be color sanded and buffed out. I can get rid of all the orange peel then. The good news is the car came out looking really straight. I was hoping for at least a 5-footer paint job, and this is mostly that, you can't see the imperfections over 5' away.View attachment 25386

I pulled off the masking to see how the chrome looks against this color

View attachment 25384View attachment 25385

I may paint the top blue too, IDK, what do you think?. The white needs to be reshot anyway. This car never came with a white top options, but I like a white top since I don't have A/C.
Now I have to put on all the trim, door handles, and inner door panels and I can have a driver. There must be at least 50 pieces of trim to put on. I still need to paint the other three hubcaps. All the headlights and grill need to be installed, and I need to rebuild all the front bushings to be a driver.
That is a beautiful color and very very nice car!!
 

PSYKO_Inc

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Cool project, and the paint is looking great! I'll be doing my first full paint job soon on my "other" project (bagged S10) and I hope it turns out as good as yours. I've sprayed plenty of primer over the years, but not much paint. Hopefully by the time my Caddy is ready for paint I will have some more experience under my belt. A trick I've seen for pressuring a garage for painting is a couple box fans in a window or entrance door, with furnace filters taped over the fans and plastic sheeting blocking the rest of the opening. For exhaust air, open the garage door just a crack. Also helps to spray down the floor with water before pulling the car in to keep dust down. Compressor shed is a good idea too, plus it helps with noise and heat. I vote white or maybe silver for the roof, it adds a nice contrast with the blue.
 

Caddylackn

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I want to put a box fan in my garage ceiling in the crawl space trap door. If you can your exhaust on top the constant airflow moving up it prevents the floating hair and dust from dropping & settling onto the car and paint. Hopefully it gets sucked out.

I spent all weekend wet sanding the car. I did two passes with 1500, then 2000 grit. Then hit it with the wool pad and a polisher with rubbing compound. Then I used a buffing pad and Meguires swirl remover to polish it back. I wet sanded the roof with 600 to get some old overspray off and then 1500 then the polish. The shine came right back, but the top paint is thin in a few spots.

the new paint looks pretty good, but I didn't get all the orange peel out, just smoothed it out some. I should have started with 800 grit but I was worried about going through the clearcoat. I did get all the dust, hair, and bugs crap out of the clearcoat. There are a few problem areas on the hood and trunk which were mess ups in the color coat. You can see them if you look hard for them.

Overall I am satisfied. I will post some updated pictures soon.

With the paint done, I can start with the final assembly.

Yesterday I did:

Added the two fin taillights
Installed the fuel door, chrome trim, and two decorate painted pieces over the bumper
Cleaned up the rear bumper with steel wool
Installed the trunk lock assembly back on, and got it turn with the trunk key. First I had to find the trunk key, it hasn't been used in 15 years or so. All the keys I had didn't work. I was able to find the factory key with the number that matches the number on the lock. Then worked on the lock tumbler to get it unstuck. Works like a charm now.
Installed rear driver's door handle
Installed the driver door mirror- which completely looks like sh.t The chrome is completely pitted. Have to find another one.
 

PSYKO_Inc

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So I noticed that you were running radials with portawalls in an earlier post. Did you ever get a chance to bolt them on? I'm in a similar situation, needed tires "that day" and ended up buying a set of new 235/75r15 blackwall radials from a local tire shop, but really would have preferred whitewalls. Was considering portawalls, but I've heard that they might not sit flat on radials due to how they bulge out with the weight of the car on them. Just wanted to hear your experience with them before I shell out the dough.
 

Caddylackn

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I haven't mounted them on the car yet. I have heard they work on a weekend cruiser if you are not putting a lot of miles on them, doing burnouts, and high speed driving and cornering. The trick is to fill the tires up slowly in stages to give them time to even out. I also heard that the 2" ones stay on a lot better than the 3" ones. Mine are 3", we will see. They were only $100 and if they don't work I can put them on my wire wheels and spare tires to make them look pretty in the garage.

I am not going to spend $1000 on new white walls, at least not yet. If I did I would go for the 4" white walls, which were factory on that year. You can also buy raised white letter tires and carefully grind off the black sidewall and letters to make them whitewalls.

Seems stupid or a racket, that they are essentially making a whitewall tire, then covering it up with another black sidewall to make raised letter tires, then sell it at a cost the same as black walls. But if you just want the whitewall, you have to spend twice as much.
 

PSYKO_Inc

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Yeah I considered doing the white letter tires and grinding them down, but since I have brand new blackwall tires, I figured this would be my best bet. This car will definitely be a weekend cruiser; no high speed cornering in this 6k lb beast, but I do want to be able to take it 70 mph down the highway, and occasional burnouts are pretty much guaranteed lol. And you're right, it's not that expensive, so I might just give it a try. Worst outcome is the possibility of having to take them off.
 

Caddylackn

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I think you would be lucky if your hearse was only 6,000 lbs. I always heard they were around 7,000 lbs depending on the year. They are built like tanks, everything is reinforced.
 

Caddylackn

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I have been plugging away every weekend putting on all the chrome and stuff removed to paint.
Got wipers, mirrors, door trim, door handles on the driver's side.

Got the big V on; now its a Cadillac again

Caddy V.jpg

Got the drivers fender off, trimmed and on the car and adjusted. The gaps came out nicely


caddy trim on.jpg

Got the headlight assemblies on. The chrome shrouds on the outside lights is pretty pitted, so I tried putting the chrome outer shrouds of a '62 Cad on instead that I had that were in great shape but slightly different. Spent a full day monkeying around then decided they did not look good as they do not match up to the inner headlight shrouds so I took them off and put the '61 shrouds back on. The problem with restoring old Cads, is even though the front fenders and doors and hood of a '62 are the same, all the chrome bumpers, headlights, grill, trunk lid, rear fins, and chrome accessories are close but not the same. Every year of Cadillac is slightly different than the previous years so the interchangeability of exterior and interior parts is pretty limited. On top of that, for every single year they made like 7 different body styles per year, so not much of the glass will match between a single year. There is the coupe de ville, eldorado, sedan de ville, town sedan (shorter version of the sedan de ville), flat top sedan, fleetwood 60, fleetwood 75, and the commercial chassis (hearse, flower car, etc.), Most of these do not share the same roof line and window sizes except the windshield.

Spent some time cleaning the grill chrome and front bumper chrome.
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For the outer headlights I then put in some modern glass bulbs that can run led or halogen bulbs. The one on the passenger side, above, is the newer, the one on the driver's is old school Sylvania bulb. The fender spears on top of the fenders, have turn signal indicators on them, so I put some led bulbs in them.

I couldn't get my power antennae motor to work when it was off, but it is fully extended so I will just leave it alone for now. It can be removed, hopefully with the fender on the car, if I ever decide to tackle that project.

I took off the passenger fender and trimmed it, then installed it back on. The gaps and fitment are going to take a bunch of adjustment.

I got my care package this week from Butler Performance Pontiac, so now I have to find a competent machine shop to grind the valve seats for the bigger valves. These will go in my 902 heads I am porting. These are not going in the '61.

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I decided not to tackle the 507 motor swap into my '61 this year until I get this car back on the road and running and driving. Maybe this summer. I do want to do the 472 motor swap on my truck this winter though, but that is dependent on finishing the '61 and getting it out of the garage so my truck can go in there.
 
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