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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I've finally made the decision that I will save a bit of money, waste a good ammount of time, and paint my own car.

I have the place, the tools and the ability to do it, I just don't know how to go about doing it all.

I need professional advice on how to remove rust from part like the frame where a body panel would be welded on. I also need to know where to pick up stamped body panels, not those crappy miss shaped rolled ones. I also need to know how to fix a wheel well rust. The area where the rocker panel would be welded onto my wheel well is gone, and I would need to replace it, so I would like to know if they make replacement and how to go about it. Should I remove the spot weld with a spot weld drill bit? How do I fully remove surface rust with pits? I've tried before in some area but it came back within 6 months...

Also, what kind of primer should I use? I plan on seam sealing 100% of the body, unlike what honda did, so if anyone recommends a sealer it would be well appreciated. What kind of paint, how many layers? I need professional advice!

If anyone has ever painted there own car, and would like to help me, please reply to this thread :) .
 

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Sounds like youve got quite the overhaul planned, cant wait to see it, and I'm also in for the info cause like you I'd like to do the same, but dont know how.
If anyone has advice, you should post it, not pm, so we can all see it, and if you guys had any links to writeups or good reads on the subject, thatd be nice too Im sure
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
g0CRXg0 said:
Sounds like youve got quite the overhaul planned, cant wait to see it, and I'm also in for the info cause like you I'd like to do the same, but dont know how.
If anyone has advice, you should post it, not pm, so we can all see it, and if you guys had any links to writeups or good reads on the subject, thatd be nice too Im sure
I got a nice look in my mind, I photoshopped it together but:

is somethign similar to my finished product. I'm not planning on keeping the car till death do us part. I am keeping it until the new paint job rusts thru again, then I will take my parts off, sell it, go to the states and pickup a nice rust free CRX Si :). I'm also gonna learn my mistakes on my civic, so when I paint my prelude she will look even nicer.

There was a good thread on HT but I can't find it, the guy repainted his hatch to some montreal gray color...something like that in his garage, looked MINT!
 

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Tools of the Trade
A must have tool is an angle grinder. This can be used to strip paint, grind rust, prep metal for and clean welds, cut metal, ect. You will want a cutting blade, set of grinding disks, and a wire brush. I like the wheel brush as opposed to a cup, I feel I'm more accurate and it seems to cover more area at a time.

To strip paint, prep metal, and sand filler you will want a DA (dual action) sander, or an electric orbital if you don't want to run your compressor to death. You may want to look into a board sander too for smoothing the larger areas of filler.

You will also want at least a ball peen hammer. A set of body hammers and dollies is also a very nice thing to have, especially if you are repairing dented metal, or need to hand form a patch panel.

For a spray gun make sure it is an HVLP type. They lay the paint on more even than a regular gun, helping you get a more consistant finish.

Rust Removal
For what I've been doing to remove rust... get a wire wheel for an angle grinder. It chew the rust off without removing too much of the good metal like using a grinding stone can. Then you fill it with a good quality lightweight plastic filler.

Fillers
Regular Bondo works ok for this, but its really an amatuer level product, so I wouldn't recommend it. It also sands much tougher and is somewhat prone to cracking. I have been using Bondo's upper level filler, called Ultimate. It spreads and sands much smoother than the regular stuff. Now, its not nearly as good as the professional stuff that you can get at a body work supply shop, such as Rage Gold.

Metal, Replacement Panels and Fabrication
I would get replacement panels from Sherman. They have a good assortment of panels available for the Civic. Some metal is still available from your Honda dealer. Where ever you get them from, call or email to make sure they are CAPA approved. If not, move on. Panels you can not get need to be hand made. For this you will want to use cardboard (cereal boxes and the like work well) to make a template which will be fit to the car, then cut from metal. If you do need sheet steel, I think 18-22 gauge is best. Thicker gauges are lower numbers, just like wiring.

To remove a panel, you can either cut it off about an inch away from the edge, or you can fully remove it by drilling out the spot welds and using a chisel, or air chisel if you have access. Where it is welded to the quarter just cut below the area you will have the seam, again leaving metal for them to overlap. There are special vise grips which bend a lip into the metal so that the ovelapped pieces sit flush. I can't find an example, but my dad has one... works really nice but I can't find a link to one.

Paints and Primers
For primers, use a urethane or epoxy primer. The stuff dries like rock, and does a good job protecting and sealing the body.

Your options for paint are numerous, but base/clear is becoming the standard. Again, the type of paint depends on how long you really plan on keeping the car, and how much money you are willing to spend. Base Clear is a two step paint, involving, can ya guess? Base coat and clear coat. I believe you only apply three coats of base, and then begin to clear (about 5 coats). The base will look flat until the clear is applied, so your goal with the base is to cover the car, evenly.

There is also lacquer, but the industry is moving away from it due to the chemicals used. I'm not 100% sure you can still even get it, but it is what most of the domestic guys use. The nice thing about lacquer is how you can lay clear on, and buff it out for that mirror-like shine.

You can also use a one step enamel. This is the cheapest and least durable option. The paint usually only looks good for a few years (normally 2-4 depending on the color and brand). There are also 2 step enamels, and a couple others.

There is also a company out called Auto Air Colors which uses water based paints, layed on in very thin coats. It is amazing for airbrushing and achieving custom colors. It is also compatible with almost all primers and clears. Unfortunately most places don't carry it, and those that do charge a ton for it.

I'm no professional, but I've been picking stuff up from other sites, and other people through the past cars I've worked on. Any other questions you have, feel free to ask away. I'll do my best to answer them, and if I don't know, I'd love to learn :p.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow good advice. But I'm planning on replacing quite a few spots.

Here's my car:

http://forums.vitalmotion.net/showthread.php?t=30771

I never took care of it until it was too late. I wanna redo the rocker panels and quarter panels from the window down, skin the front part of my roof aswell, and a new hood. Everything else is rock stoned turned surface rust which I could grind down and bondo over. I wanna fix the rust that started on the frame part of the car where the rocker panel was...

I know it's a big job but I like undertaking tasks. I have the ability to dedicate myself for long period of time, especially if the goal benefits me. I don't care if my car is not show quality, one color, and no holes is all I want. I am willing to buy moderate parts and material, but again, I don't want show quality, it's a car that will see canadian winters, I'm sorry to say but it's not a hatch I want, it's a CRX, and this one is pretty much toast if I don't fix it, so I'll fix it once.

I'm checking out those body panels now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That sherman place sells rolled body panels. It's cross-canada company panels. They suck balls, horrible fitments on there weld on panels. There hoods and bumper and front fenders are all good, but mine are in mint condition, except the hood. I'm looking for stamped parts if possible. If you look the sherman one quarter panels dont' even have the holes cut out to fit the side moldings.
 

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interesting. i've never actually ordered anything from them, but thats where my Dad used to get a lot of replacement panels. The fit was pretty good, but these were domestic cars he was working on. My sister's Camry can't really be used as an example since the front clip was shifted to one side by like 3 inches, lol. No part was going to line up on that thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
WEll, I'm gonna get cross canada parts and do the extra work to the panel, try my best. I am not looking for professional finish so I will do my best, and be happy with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
rex2nr said:
Rocker panels are still available from Honda... they just cost 3X as much.
I know, but at about 200-250$ a rocker panel, I'm not about to dish that kind of money out for a 17 year old winter beater...

This car WILL see winters, it WILL see every day driving. It WILL sit outside for the rest of it's life. I hate to say it but it's gonna go to the wreckers. If it was up to anyone but me it would of already been there by now, but I put a stop to that by telling my parents, who have offered to buy me an EK hatch, that I was gonna give it an el-cheapo homemade paint job (little do they know I could probably make this paint job look good) and save there money by not replacing my beloved EF. I am gonna do 1 last ditch effort for a nice paint job then call it quits on the EF body. Once it rusts up it's gone for good.

I've been looking around alot for panels, looks like Cross Canada is the popular choice but not just what's available, but by local bodyshops I've talked too. Not that it's a bad thing, I can get Cross Canada panels at cost + 15%, which makes a rocker panel cost less then 20$.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
rex2nr said:
that works.... Hondapartsdeals.com sells them for 92US, but shipping to Canada may be a PITA.

can you hook others up with that deal? :p
I'll look them up. And yes, I could hook people up with that deal. But the shipping wouldn't be worth the money saved, a local person could definitly be hooked up.
 

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I have bought stuff from keystone, and was not impressed. They are an aftermarket company, so their parts dont line up as well. I have one of their driver side fenders on my rex, and it fits horribly. I would try and stick with oem parts, it will be more expensive, but I think you will be happier in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
cbp_crx said:
I have bought stuff from keystone, and was not impressed. They are an aftermarket company, so their parts dont line up as well. I have one of their driver side fenders on my rex, and it fits horribly. I would try and stick with oem parts, it will be more expensive, but I think you will be happier in the long run.
Keystone uses Cross Canada.

I cannot justify the money for factory replacement panels for a car that will see winter. There is so much salt on the roads at the moment that pavement is pure white where vehicles dont drive, like the yellow line. I am doing the paint job as it is the easiest/cheapest solution to my rust holes. I cannot afford to just buy a better car. I've decided on Cross Canada for my parts as the price will be worth the panel for me.

Could someone recommend a good paint/primer/paint material place where I could find some prices on supplies. Thanks.
 

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Thats a pretty good write-up, but, imo, he got a couple things wrong.

One thing he didn't mention was that not all paint is mixed 1:1... check with the supplier before hand.

Also, the 15 minute per coat part. You need to wait til the paint "flashes." It's a stage in the drying process where it changes appearance which doesn't always happen at the 15 minute point.

I've also never heard of feathering at 800... I've always heard to go over the car with 220, and then prime it.
 
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