long awaited update…

So, if you’ve been following me on Instagram, you might be caught up on my swap.  If you want to — follow me @thaisonnguyen.

I started this about a month ago and REALLY wanted to do a clean swap.  My inspiration?  The Car Peace ae86 from the Hellaflush meet in Japan late last year:

car peace ae86 engine bay

car peace ae86 engine bay

The first thing was to pull the motor — thanks a bunch to Joseph Dann for helping me so much with the swap.

joseph d, mounting the 16v

Soon enough we got it all removed and it was time to start removing everything and prepping the engine bay…

engine out

Several hours later, I had everything removed.  The brake master/booster, clutch master, brake lines, fuel lines, wiper motor, head lights, everything.  And then with a little help of some air craft remover, it was time to take the paint off and start really working on the engine bay.  I could safely say, I put about 60 hours or so into the prep/paint of the engine bay.  Using rustoleum rattle can — 3 cans of primer, 6 cans of paint, 3 cans of clear.

aircraft remover doing werk

I even went as far as scraping and sanding off all the seam sealer:

seam sealer

Before I knew it, it was bare metal.  I took it outside and washed it with some soap and water to let it dry and prepare for the first coat of primer

metal bay

metal bay

Also, just FYI.  This is apparently not done all in one day — this is about the second week of the swap.  I used to work 7 days of week, but now I’m working 6 days a week.  Giving me Wednesdays to work on my car ALLLL DAY long.  And about a 2 hour break during my work day where I can run home and continue car work.

Yes, I work a TON.  But it all pays off in the end.  More work, more money, more car parts.  😀

So that evening, after work — I got home and did the first coat of primer.

primer coat #1

After letting the primer dry a bit, I went ahead and started plugging bolt holes.  I’d seen other 86 bays that have been tucked, but most had bolt holes remaining.  Which looked like someone took a hole puncher and started wrecking on the metal.  Since I didn’t have a welder, I couldn’t fill my holes with metal and grind down the excess.  I wish I did though 😦

Especially since my battery tray was so rusted, I had to cut a huge hole out.  Everyone told me not to bondo the hole closed…but I didn’t have a welder AND i couldn’t transport my car somewhere to get a metal plate welded in.  I just used metal screen and bondoed the hole shut.  Mehhhh, if it cracks — i’m just gonna slap some stickers over it.  You can see the hole in the picture above.  Right in the driver wheel well.  😦

bondoed holes

sanded down bondo

I let the bondo cure for a couple days and then it was time to put on the final coats of primer and let dry.  I used the rest of the primer and may have even bought more, but I can’t remember…  Then I let it dry for a couple more days.

final primer

Then, one day, during my two hour break from work I decided it was time to PAINT the bay.  I used Rustoleum “Aluminum” something color.  I wanted to do a silver bay because I wanted something to really make it shine.  Six cans of spray paint later….

base coat

But then…I wanted more sparkle.  So before I started to clear coat the paint, I decided to kill a bottle of Duplicolor “Effex” to add some rainbow sparklies into it.

Duplicolor Effex

And then it was time to start clearing.  And in case you were wondering, I did not wet or dry sand between coats.  I just painted straight on top of each coat.

after clear coat

After the bay was painted, I let it sit for about a week before I touched it.  Then I busted out with some turtle wax and started to wax the spray paint.  And BOY it was smooth.  There were some areas where the paint didn’t get a good coat and it’s a bit rough, but that doesn’t bother me too much.  After waxing, I started to tape off the bay so I could paint the area between the bay & the windshield and the front radiator area.  I was at Lowe’s and I saw this brownish metallic spray paint and on a whim, decided to go with that color instead of flat black like I originally thought of.

metallic java

java 2

And here is the final product — fully painted bay with everything WAXED!

finished bay


I had been waiting for some parts before dropping the motor in, but didn’t get around it until last night/today, since it was my day off!  Stay tuned, I’ll try and update tomorrow about all that stuff.  :]

Cheers, friends!


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