Bare Metal Respray - Do's and Don'ts - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 05:28 AM Thread Starter
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Bare Metal Respray - Do's and Don'ts

Hi Everyone,

I'm planning a bare metal respray of my '72 Junior this winter.

I've visited a few bodyshops for opinions and estimates.

One of the bodyshops recommended applying a rubberised coating to the underside for added protection from stone chips etc.

I have since found out (via Jethro Bronner's excellent vlog) that this is a no-no for 105's, as they tend to rust from the inside, therefore this can actually seal in moisture and promote rust.

So I'm asking if the wider community can help provide some more general do's and don'ts regarding the bare metal respray. Which products/techniques should be used and which definitely shouldn't.

Just for some context, the car is very original albeit with a fairly recent (poor quality) respray. There are very few obvious signs of rot and filler - it still has the original factory spot welds under the arches etc. I'd like the respray to maintain as much originality as possible while being durable and more importantly, as usable as possible!

Thanks in advance Alfisti

Tom

1972 GTJ1300
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 06:38 AM
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If an undercoating type product is sprayed over existing paint (and rust) it will do little to protect the car. The old stuff was a sort of tar-like coating. It would dry out, crack and not only allow moisture to get in but then keep moisture under it.

The more modern products - like pick up truck bed coating - don't have that issue but they won't look like anything likely to have come from the factory.

Something to consider is a modern epoxy paint. Very tough & durable. In appearance it would look exactly like paint (which is what I assume it looked like from the factory). Of course for best adhesion and protection it should be applied to bare metal. Were you also planning to strip the underside & wheel wells?

My experience with epoxy paint is with my MGA. I vintage race it so it is not 'babied'. When I restored it and built it into a race car I had the chassis sandblasted, epoxy primed and painted semi-gloss black. 5 years hence the paint on the chassis is still in good condition.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 08:43 AM
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Hi Tom. I’ve got a 73 Jr. My advice is before you get caught up in the choice of undercoat, paint etc. focus on the choice of shop. The prep work done underneath is more important. These are no ordinary bodies and require skill and patience to get right. Make sure your chosen paint shop knows what they are dealing with. Here are a couple of shots to motivate you but also to say before the eye candy much went in. This is a job you want to get right first time!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 10:15 AM
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My advice is before you get caught up in the choice of undercoat, paint etc. focus on the choice of shop.
Amen to that! You definitely want a shop that does more vintage car restoration work than modern car collision repair. You want a shop owner who seems knowledgeable about rust repair, coatings, rust prevention, etc. The shop with the lowest cost estimate probably won't be the best choice.

Here's a before and after photo of my GT when it was at the bodywork stage.
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Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your inputs guys - all great advice. Love the pics of freshly painted shells - hopefully I'll be posting a picture of mine soon in a similar state!

Both shops I have approached so far are classic car restoration shops.

The first one is a small operation who mainly work on old 911's. However, they did a full resto on another forum members Junior back in 2016. The work was done to a high standard and the end result looks fantastic. This is really why I approached them.

The second place is a bigger operation who do a wider range of cars. It was them who mentioned about the rubberised underseal.

I guess I have a nagging doubt that what may be appropriate on another old car may not be right for ours - hence why I'm trying to get some opinions and experiences from others.

Naturally, I'm feeling the first shop is best placed for this job but trying gather as many thoughts and opinions as poss...

Thanks again all. I'll blog the restoration progress when the time comes around.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 02:41 PM
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The second place is a bigger operation who do a wider range of cars. It was them who mentioned about the rubberised underseal. I guess I have a nagging doubt that what may be appropriate on another old car may not be right for ours - hence why I'm trying to get some opinions and experiences from others.
Sounds like you have the right sort of shops on your list.

Regarding rubberized underseal. Like many materials, it has a purpose - its flexibility prevents chipping when stones are thrown against the fenderwells and underbody. But as ghnl pointed out, when it's just sprayed over existing rust/dirt/peeling paint it can do more harm than good. Certainly a quality shop wouldn't apply it that way. However, unscrupulous sellers will, as it makes the underside look good (for a while).

The other consideration is originality. Rubberized underseal wasn't applied in Arese in 1972, so should you use it today? No right answer - applied over bare metal + epoxy paint, it's no doubt better than original. But if you want that last concours point, it may be the wrong choice.
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Jay Mackro
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'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L
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