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My ur-q project : the paint (long)

Hello all,
A couple people wondered what was involved with the body work, so
here are your answers. As mentioned previously, I changed the color
of my TQC., it is now lhasa green. When I was in the planning stages,
 I thought about the body quite a bit as I wanted the car to look nice
and to preserve it. My TQC had covered approx 140k miles in its 12
years and was starting to show some age. It was gobi beige with brown
leather and had been repainted while with the 1st owner. The 2nd paint
job wasn't anything to be proud of. It looked ok from a distance but
really bothered me. The front valence was starting to crack, the drivers
door was creased and it had some door dings. I talked to the body
shop about what needed to be done and what the cost was for a
reasonable, but nice paint job. We also discussed what
needs to happen for a color change to be done correctly. At this point we
decided that to do it right, the body should be taken down to bare metal
and everything removed. To help out with the costs, I decided to do a
bunch of the disassembly and reassembly, along with some masking at
the shop.

For a color change to be done right, everything needs to be painted. This
meant taking everything off the car. We pulled the engine/tranny and
removed most everything from the engine compartment. The only stuff
left was the hydraulic system and electrical harness. I masked off all this
stuff using tape and aluminum foil. The foil was a great trick for wraping
around the wiring harness and hoses. I gutted the interior, everything was
removed except for the heater box, A/C exchanger and fuse box/wiring.
Out came the seats, side panels, carpeting, dash, seat belts and rear
deck. I did leave in the headliner and B/C pillar upholstry. In the trunk
everything came out except the gas tank. I also removed all the bumpers,
valences, grills and lights. How long did this take? Myself and 2 friends
pulled the engine on a saturday and I spent 2 weeks of evenings and
weekends removing the rest.

To remove the old paint we decided upon plastic media blasting. I worked
with the owner of the blasting shop and preped the TQC as he wanted it. I
covered the glass with thick plastic sheets(2 layers) and attached it with 2 

layers of gaffers tape. I also taped over all the body seams with 2 layers 
tape. The dust gets everywhere so you also need to tape over any holes
into the trunk and interior and cover up all the stuff in the engine 
When this step was completed, the car was flatbedded to the sand blasting
shop. The paint removal took about 4 days and then off to the body shop.
The plastic media blasting work cost around $400.

The car spent 12 weeks at the body shop. They started by removing the
remaining paint from the body and finishing each panel. At this time they
found some old hail damage that was covered up by the very heavy 2nd
coat of paint. With this find the price increased $1000. They heated the 
and worked out every hail dent. They removed the door crease and other
dings by welding small rods to the body any pulling on them. When the work
is complete, the rods are snapped off and the weld ground down. This was
a great way of removing the dents and the car has no body filler on it. They 

also cut and trimmed the rear wheel inner fender lips and welded up some
old antenna holes on the body.

With  the body repairs complete, they removed all the glass and pulled all 
doors, hood and trunk. Now it was time for paint. The body shop I choose 
the Herberts Standox painting system and it includes a 7 year warranty on 
paint work. Using this system, they apply a known thickness of paint to the 
This system also insures that color applied is uniform and consistent. They
paint different parts of the car on different days and the color of each is
identicle. I am not sure of each step during the paint process but my car
turned out great. The body panels are very flat and the car looks beautiful.

The cost of all this work was not cheap, but inline with other estimates I 
received. The original color change estimate was around $2700. When the
hail damage was found it increased to $3700. There was around $500 of
misc parts which were needed, including a windshield. So the total bill was
around $4400. From my research this is a reasonable cost for a good paint
job. Obviously you can spend much less and many people have spent more.
And remember, this is with me doing all the disassembly and reassembly.

Any questions, ask away.
Dave Lawson  dlawson@ball.com
Boulder, CO
83 tqc
86 coupe gt
93 GMC Safari AWD