I´m restoring the undercarriage
of my 1974 Coupe deVille at the moment.
Now that I had removed ALL the rust over the last few weeks
the underbody needed a fresh coat of paint.
After dry ice cleaning some light surface rust also showed up under the rear quarter panel ends
, the fender skirt area and the lower front fender. All these areas were attacked by water, road debris and other stuff coming from the wheels. These areas suffer the most. Also moisture got trapped underneath the body moldings in this area.
When we removed the moldings fortunately nothing really serious showed up, but only some small spots needed a little attention, more as a preventive and cosmetic measure to make sure that rust can´t spread underneath and show up when its too late to fix it.
The downside of this repair is that I had to sacrifice a small percentage (maybe 5%) of the original paint
on the rear quarter panel up to the belt line molding. I do not like this fact very much, as I prefer original paint over repaints, but the other option would only have been to wait for rust damage to happen eventually, but therefore have 100% original paint on the car… As I intend to drive the car I wanted to have everything fixed as good as possible.
A friend of mine is a professional body man, and I asked him to take over from me and do the painting and body work, as I do not have the expertise and skills to do this myself.
The floor pans are now repainted in the correct shade of satin brown
, which he had to custom mix, based on "Chocolate Brown" which is a little too bright and contains too much red.
Then the floor had to get taped off again to paint the frame and suspension parts in satin black.
We will even go so far to replicate the factory flaws
like green overspray in the rear wheel housings for the authentic look and to remember how these cars were built in 1974…
Next up was the repaint of the repaired areas of the sheet metal in “Persian Lime“. He found the formula for this special green in his computer database and he sprayed a test sheet which was an almost perfect match. He then had to find the perfect match by himself. He succeeded and found the perfect color and the repairs are now invisible. It was my biggest concern that he would have trouble to get the color right and gave me some sleepless nights…
Once the car will be back home, I will re-paint the brake parts in a bare metal look and rebuild the brakes while everything is apart. I also already have new shocks waiting for installation, I will put in new brake hoses, repair the radio and heater core and do a good general tune up and change all fluids. So next spring I should have a car which looks and drives like new :-) You can find all the pictures of this project in a gallery here
The Cadillac in the paint shop.
This are the areas on the sheet metal that needed some attention. Nothing serious - but better to fix it now before a problem arises eventually in the future. Here the lower trim is removed to see what is going on.
The lower edge behind the rear wheels had suffered a bit over the last 41 years... I decided to have it fixed properly and sacrifice a little of the original paint for this. Also the area around the fender skirts needed a little attention to look like new again. No real severe rust issue, but more of a preventive and cosmetic measure... Fender skirts will be repainted as well... On this picture you can see the primer and a very small amount of filler for a perfect surface.
The floor pans are now repainted in the correct shade of brown. It will get a little less glossy once the 3 coats of transparent undercoating are applied.
The wheel housing after the first coat of satin black.
The rear axle is back in black. I will paint the rear brake drums in a bare metal look later once the car is back home.
I will also install new shocks and paint the tank with Eastwood Tank Tone paint.
Finding the right shade of Persian Lime for a perfect match. The computer had the color in the system and it already was a very good match.
The paint shop found a perfect match for the Persian Lime paint. Great job Jürgen!
You can find all the pictures of this project in a gallery here.