Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
May 12, 2014
Photos By: Rusty Gillis

11. The parts were hung in the paint booth and tacked off to remove any static dust. You’ll want to make sure you can easily reach all areas of the parts before you start spraying. We taped half of the threads on the bolts and then turned them in until the tape bottomed out. This will keep paint off of the threads of the bolts as well as the threads in the boltholes.

12a-b. And here’s why you need to mix up your product thoroughly before you get started. On the left you can see what the primer looks like when you open the can. Looks like primer, right? A few stirs of the stick and the true color of the self-etching primer came up from the bottom of the can. Mix it and mix well.

13a-b. Mixing cups can be quite confusing at first, but they’re actually pretty simple—don’t let all of the scales and numbers confuse you. The Summit Racing Self-Etching Primer calls for a 1:1 mix. The easy way to do that is to use the ounce measurement and simply measure out the amount of primer you’re going to use. We started with 8 ounces, and to mix it 1:1 with the reducer, we simply added 8 ounces of the reducer for a total of 16. The Summit Racing single-stage paint requires a 4:1 mix of paint to hardener. So you turn to the 4:1 column, measure out your 4 parts under the 4 at the top, and then pour your hardener in the cup until you reach the 4 right next to it and under the 1 at the top.

14a-b. Here you can see how adjusting the top knob changes the fan spray. With relatively thin/small pieces like we are painting here, a smaller fan will save paint by directing more on the part instead of off into the air. When it comes time to spray full-size body panels, you’ll want the fan width wider for better coverage, and you’ll also want to take into consideration the material you are spraying, the gun tip you are using, as well as the air pressure at the gun.

15. Rather than judging the fan width based on what you see floating in the air, get yourself some paper or cardboard and make a few test hits.

16. Just like with rattle cans, you’ll want to have the gun about 8-10 inches from the part on average, but this may change as you develop your own technique. Here, we’re laying on the self-etching primer, which comes out of the gun with an olive drab green hue, but dries slightly brown in color.

17. Moving on to the color coat, we picked high visibility Viper Yellow for the body cart. The non-metallic color will take a degree or two of difficulty out of our first attempt at painting, and it’s bright nature will hopefully catch our eye and keep us from smacking a shin into it.

18. Whereas the primer needed only 2-3 minutes between coats, the color coat required a bit longer at around 30—and a little longer as the day grew longer and the temperature colder. We ended up putting three coats of color down, but after letting the paint dry, two more would have been optimal.

19. The next day, our Viper Yellow body cart was ready for assembly and use under this author’s 1969 Mustang project.

20. To get the cart under the car, the suspension must come off of the car front and rear. You’ll also need some tall jack stands or a two-post lift to get the body high enough for the cart to fit under. We lucked out with the rear suspension leaf spring bolts as their removal can prove problematic, but ours came right out.

21a-b. At the front, the cart bolts to the lower control arm mount, and at the rear, it bolts to the front leaf spring perch. Just reuse the factory hardware to secure the cart to the body.

22. With the body on the new cart, we’re ready for bodywork, sandblasting, and whatever else may come up. The body is at a great working height now, and it offers easy access to the bottom of the car as well. Time to cut out all of that banged up sheet metal!