Bruce's 928 |Episode 7
In this episode, see the 928 in teardown mode and getting prepared for paint. The 928 has had the interior removed and all of the exterior trim and components removed so that the body work and sanding can be done. Hear an interview with 928 guru, Colin Jensan as he describes the teardown process. I also interview Steve Calvert who is going to do the body work and paint. This series documents the restoration of my 1990 Porsche 928 s4. I first fell in love with the 928 when it was featured as the hero in Risky Business. The 928 was Porsche first water cooled V8. With its 32 valve 5 litre engine it had 316 bhp and was a true supercar, breaking the land speed record on the Utah Salt Flats at 172 mph in 1987. This series follows the process of mechanical, paint and body work, and interior restoration. It also looks at some of the unique features of the car and the history behind it.
Welcome back to Bruce's 928. In this edition we're going to look at the process of tearing down the car and getting it ready for paint. Deciding on who should paint my car has been one of the most nerve-wracking decisions I've had to make. Striking the right balance between cost and quality makes it a difficult decision. It all comes down to how much money you want to spend. You can get a cheap paint job for around two thousand dollars or you can be upwards of twenty thousand dollars for a really high-end job. Basically the sky's the limit.
The things that make the biggest difference are the amount of prep to get the car ready, the quality of the paint, and whether or not you decide to do a full wet sanding and cut polish. When painting any vehicle you always have...the quality of the paint job that you get is obviously directly attributed to how much work you put in. The more items you're able to take off of the vehicle, the better the paint job is going to be because then you don't get overspray or other items like that. When painting a 928 there are a number of items which, taking them off can be extremely tricky and challenging and therefore most shops just simply don't do it. Disassembly of the 928 for paint is not an easy procedure. You do need to remove the front rear bumper covers, the headlights, the sunroof, the hatch, the the hood, and a bunch of other items. One of the hardest pieces to remove off the car in there and then set back in afterwards is the headlight pods. When the headlight pods are removed...when you go to put them back in if they are not lined up perfectly and you don't have someone who knows what they're doing, they'll damage the pods and and also the fender.
I have to say, I leaned on Colin a lot when making this decision. I knew that I was going to get Colin to do the tear down and reassembly, and I had looked at a number of shops in Vancouver to do the respray and narrowed it down to a restoration shop in Abbotsford BC. Colin and I went to visit them and we both agreed they really do nice work but we weren't met with much enthusiasm about the project. Perhaps they didn't like the idea of collaborating. When we met, they estimated about eight thousand dollars but by the time they sent me a written quote it all of a sudden jumped to over ten thousand dollars. At this point I started to consider other shops. Colin had previously suggested I get Steve at Touch-Up Solutions to paint the car so I decided to have a talk with him.
We're Touch-Up Solutions. We started off as more of a touch-up company, mobile all over, you know, British Columbia and into the States a little bit. And eventually it evolved into, you know, larger repairs and doing some completes. We've done actually quite a few 928s because of our proximity to Colin. That's worked out really well for us so we've done probably a half a dozen now. This car here, the paint is actually in quite nice shape. There's just a few minor imperfections, wear and tear because of the age of it. A little bit of fading, the occasional burn through because of polishing and whatnot. So this is going to be a spot repair like as far as the damage goes and then we're going to give it a a good a good prep. And then we're going to put down some new paint. We're going to use a water-based paint and of course we're going to use a high solids clear on it too so we've got a good quality clear coat that's going on it. So we're going to have a lot of thickness there that we can wet sand and polish any imperfections out. So we're going to go for, we're going for a perfect finish on this one. So we allowed the extra time but that's gonna involve a lot of extra, you know, color sanding is what we call it. So after it's all painted and set up we're gonna actually take some sandpaper and block the finish down and then polish it up. So that process eliminates orange peel and dust.
I've torn down probably five or six now at least for paint and I also work on them on a daily basis so the time that it takes me to tear down a 928 and get it fully ready for paint so that my neighbor can paint it is substantially shorter than what someone who works in their home might be or who just does it as a hobby might be able to to do. To fully tear the car down and put it back together it ranges anywhere from 14 to 20 hours to tear it down and put it back together. And that's if there's no broken hardware or anything else like that or no hiccups and surprises.
Watching the process of the car being torn down is quite unsettling. In addition to the paint job, I'm getting a bunch of interior work done so the entire car is being disassembled and stripped down inside and out.
We will be removing the rub strips off of the car. They will be being properly welded up and then sanded down to fit the contour of the vehicle and then from there, primered with a special etching primer and painted.
We're gonna be stripping this car down. Everything's coming off the car. All the seals, all the moldings, the glass is coming out, the hatch is coming off so we're gonna be doing all of the, all of the drip rails, the inners and outers. The only thing we're not doing on this one is the door jams they're in nice shape so we're just gonna feather tape those and the rest of it's getting getting pulled apart.
Steve approached the project with a lot of enthusiasm so I decided to go with the guy that was less known for doing restorations but was excited about the project.
This is a job that needs to be...it needs to be perfect in the end there's no room for dust or flaws or sags, you know. It's got to be done properly which is why we're tearing it all down and going through the extra steps of wet sanding and polishing which is really what is going to eliminate all of those problems. It's very difficult to get a dust free, perfect paint job in any booth. There's always a little bit of de-nibbing that has to happen and the customer is expecting that process to take place. So we'll be going over every every last bit of this, of this vehicle to make sure that the finishes is up to snuff.
The process has started but everything is taking way longer than anticipated. The car was supposed to be finished by the end of March and now we're well into April and I'm worried. I had this beautiful car in pristine condition and it's now in pieces and it's been sitting around for weeks with nothing being done. I just hope i've made the right decision.