Her Majesty's DBS Restoration Update: Undercarriage Complete!
It has been quite a long process to restore the undercarriage, following all of the metalwork that included the louver panels inside the front wings, the new Sharknose front end, and metal finish of all of the various dents from the vandalism of 2016, as well as correcting any factory flaws- and there were many of those! (Heresy, I know) The decision was made to bead blast the undercarriage, as it is quite impossible to manually hand finish the structure, as there are so many difficult and irregular surfaces....
Her Majesty's DBS peers out to a world she has not seen since January of 2016. Awaiting transport to the bead blasting facility. I made the cart especially for her, and it is adjustable in height for block sanding and gap setting of the body panels.
At the blasters, we transferred her from the cart to the rotisserie, and she emerged from her bath squeaky clean, and ready for paint. I had to don a protective suit and gloves as not to get perspiration on to the newly blasted metal, which rusts immediately. Luckily, the summer fog was on holiday this week, and we had dry conditions in San Francisco.
The next step is to unmask, and to blast, rotate, vacuum, blast, rotate, repeat. That naughty bead has a mind of its own and finds places to hide. We don't want any of that in the spray booth!
Here we go! Fresh masking, and 2 coats of PPG Red Oxide 2 part epoxy primer. Identical tot he factory original, but a far,, far better material that will remain flexible and not shrink. Illegal in CA, I had a lovely drive across state lines to Nevada...
As I am in the body shop supply business, I found a seam sealer to match the factory original butyl material, except, once again, this modern urethane offering will not crack, peel, or shrink. In period, Aston Martin and many others would seam seal over bare metal, which traps moisture and the panel rusts from within. I applied this sealer over primed metal, so she should be preserved for far beyond my lifetime.
A special, adjustable undercoat gun was used, which replicates the texture and pattern of the original underseal from over 50 years ago. I studied the original patterns not only on this car, but at 3 different restoration shops, including the factory, so I would get the sheen, finish, texture, and patters all correct. Aston left many upright surfaces unprotected in terms of undercoating, and I will shoot a clearcoat over the red oxide to give some scratch protection during reassembly.
The end of the undercarriage restoration, but Her Majesty's DBS will be back in another installment...
Next: Body cavity wax, then transfer to the body cart for the last time. Unmask the aluminum body, and mask the undercarriage. Prime body, add a sealer, then assemble primed doors and boot and bonnet lids for the block sanding, or blocking phase. Then, it all comes apart for painting.