It’s that time again…  I know it’s been a little while and the blog has been lacking on significant updates lately but I realize it’s an important part of showcasing what it is that we do here so I’m going to make a very serious effort to keep this up do date on a more frequent basis.

So with that out of the way, let’s catch up to where we left off last with the Celica quite a few months ago with the car looking something like this:

While it may look like it’s ready for paint there was still a decent amount of work left to be done before we could lay down some primer. First up was the engine bay, a full strip down wasn’t required here but any imperfections in the original paint needed to be addressed as well as any areas that were showing signs of corrosion.

I also went through and welded up, plugged and shaved any holes or brackets that we didn’t plan on using that will result in a much cleaner engine bay when we’re done.

You can see in the picture above that the battery tray had to be completely removed in order to eliminate some rust that had started to show up in between the spot welded bracket and the body which meant it had to be sand blasted and treated.    The trunk compartment also received the same treatment although not nearly as intense.

I was also finally able to talk the customer into removing the funky looking nub of a factory antenna…  normally they’re not that big of a deal but I find this one to be especially unattractive and I think it will go a long way to cleaning up the exterior appearance.

Made a patch,

Weld.

And grind it smooth…   looking better already.

Now it’s time for some paint.  We start of with some very high quality epoxy primer,  first in the engine bay:

And then in the trunk.

Followed by the entire chassis.

And then a lot and I mean A LOT, of blocking and sanding, taking special care to make sure the original body lines stay as crisp and clear as possible.

And finally, a few weeks later we made our way into the paint booth,  The smaller body parts were the first to get a fresh new coat of  BASF, Mercedes Benz Iridium Silver that was specifically chosen by the customer.   Here’s our painter/body-man/magician, Mauricio doing what he does best in a state-of-the-art ECQ, GFS downdraft paint booth.

Here’s the hood, straight out of the gun.  No cutting, or buffing.

And if you remember me saying how much I liked the hood in bare metal, I was able to get the next best thing and we ended up clear coating vents so the beauty of the bare cast aluminum could show through.  Pictures do not do them justice…  it’s just enough to provide a little contrast as well as pay tribute to the extensive bare metal restoration this car has gone undergone.

And here’s the chin spoiler that without a lot of attention you’ll normally find looking wavy and lumpy.  This one however is smooth like butter.

And now time for the chassis..

You have to love that body line…  or maybe I just love it more because I know how much work goes into making it look that way.

Being that this is a color change, every single part of the car that can potentially be seen is painted, including the jambs.

As well as the backside of the doors.

Soooooo shiny.  I wasn’t quite sure at first but I’m really coming around to this Silver.

Silver in the boot…

And an engine bay clean enough to have lunch in.

And finally back to the shop at last!!!!!!

And the first order was to get it on jack stands and paint the entire front core support trim black.  I’ve done this before on our TA27 lift back and the reason I do  it is because I don’t like the look of lighter colored body parts showing through what is supposed to be (in my opinion)  a darker colored area such as the grill.  It will probably make more sense once the car is completed.

And after.

The next order of business before any reassembly could begin was the chassis under coating.  We’ll start with the front inner fenders where I’ll coat any area that will be subject to water and debris.

And the rear will need to be masked off to make a clean line underneath where the over-fender with be mounted.

I then apply the undercoating with what is called a Schutz gun.   It’s not precise by any means but its the only way to apply the thick, tar-like, OEM style undercoating we’re using on this car.

It’s now time to spray…  and like I said, this thing shoots out like spackle and is very difficult to control so proper masking is a MUST.  As you can see the new paint is first covered completely in saran wrap and then masking paper for maximum protection.

The finished product looks very nice,   I almost don’t want to cover it up with the flares.

And the front.   Even though they will never be seen again once the fender is put back on, you have to admit those are some pretty nice stop lines.

And we’re not stopping there, it’s time to do the underside of the chassis.  The first thing that needs to happen is the removal of the entire drive train and anything that can be removed the chassis.   There isn’t anything I hate more than working on a car that’s been subjected to a lazy undercoating where every nut and bolt is covered in the stuff.

And just like the fender wells, the entire area is hit with a wire wheel to remove any loose debris and dirt.  It’s also a good idea to plug any holes you might plan on putting a bolt back into.

You will also want to make sure and eliminate any rust or corrosion that you see before applying the undercoating because the last thing you want to do is trap it underneath where it can continue to spread.  Luckily there wasn’t much on the TA22, this car was clean!

The next thing we had to do was build a tarp to contain the giant mess we were about to create.

And here’s my view from the inside.  As you can imagine, when spraying this stuff overhead it’s  bound to get everywhere so make sure anything you don’t want to be scrubbing tar off of is covered completely, including the ground and yourself.

And after what I can only describe as a job I’m very glad I don’t have to do too frequently, we have the finished product.

And from the front, notice the clean tape line before the engine bay where you will usually just see a splattered fade.

It now looks almost as good from the bottom as it does from the top.

we’re now back on jack stands for some reassembly!  Check back for Part 6 where we’ll bringing the drive train back to it’s former glory.

Until then, Sayonara!