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Smoothing a S-10 Interior

34159 Views 18 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Autorodtechnologies
I've been getting a lot of request's on how we smoothed stpsydr's interior, i've gotten enough that i figured it was time to do a how to on the project.
Here is a link to the interior project I am refering to.

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I will start with the hard plastic pieces such as the door panels, and center counsel.
These are a little bit easier to smooth than the softer panels such as the dash..

The first step was to sand all the texture off of the panels, I must add that brian took the iniative to do most of this part himself, and i must add that he did a great job. Thanks brian!

Those panels we're sanded with course sandpaper, not sure on what grit brian used but i think it was 80grit, I might be wrong, maybe brian will chime in on this one.

I do know that before priming all of the texture was removed and they we're final sanded to 180 grit.
Here is a picture of all the panels prior to primer.
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At this point all panels needed to be hung in the booth and prepped for primer..

The parts we're next wiped with spi waterbourne wax and grease remover.

I now applied 2 coats of bulldog adhesion promoter to ensure adhesion to the plastic panels.

Then I applied 4 good coats of Spi Turbo 2k primer, I was told by the company to use this primer as it has better chip resistance and is also a little more flexible than many of the other primers out. Which was really critical when priming the flexible panels.

The next step was to sand the panels and prepare for paint, nothing out of the ordinary here, just sanded the primed parts to 500 grit, then applied four coats of pro-spray lamborghini orange basecoat.

Next was the application of the clear, I used spi universal clearcoat and I believe i applied 3 coats to the parts.

At this point the only thing left was to wet sand and buff the panels.

I did this by wet-sanding all parts to 2000 grit by hand, then if I remember correctly I buffed them using my makita buffer with a black buff pad, with the presta ultra cutting creme, folowed by 1500grit polish with a foam pad..

Then just a little hand polishing with the wizards shine master..

After that it was left to brian for assembly of the panels..
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Now for the technique used for smoothing the softer panels.

Ok first of all this is a controversial task to begin with, many ways have been discussed, and I am not here to argue which is the best way to do it.. I went about it in a fashion that I feel is best.

No fiberglass resin will be used for my method of smoothing a dash. I wanted to keep build as minimal as possible to make sure all panels went together properly while keeping the factory shape of the panels.

Step #1
For step one we will assume that the interior is already removed from the truck.. This process was performed by brian.

Ok, the first step is to wipe all panels down with waterbourne wax and grease remover, then scuff all panels down to make sure that you will get adhesion of the products that are about to be applied. It was advised not to use sand paper at this stage as the vynl will not really sand, it will tear as it is fabric.

So this was done with a red scotch brite pad.. I scuffed the panels many time to verify adhesion would be good, and to verify that not one spot was missed.

Step #2
The next step for me was to wash the parts with spi waterbourne wax and grease remover. Making sure to completely wipe off any interior clearners that might have been used during the life of the truck..
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Step #3
Apply a few coats of bulldog adhesion promoter, I just followed their application instructions for this.

Step #4
This step is probably the controversial step, as many people will use resin or glass for removing the texture..
I appied 2 coats of spi turbo 2k primer. I could have removed all the texture with a few more coats but the goal here was to keep film build to a minimum, to avoid cracking of the primer.

Step #5
Now I sanded the primer with sandpaper, I knew I was going to re-prime so I believe i went with something like 180-220 grit, I dont' recall at this point.

I sanded the primer down until I could see the high points of the texture from the dash start to show through, This is to verify once again that film build would be minimal.

Step #6
Now at this stage most of the texture has been removed.
I now applied 2 more coats of the turbo 2k primer, This was to be the final prime, So this step was sanded with finer paper than the first coats.
But still sanded on the primer until I thought I was about to sand through. Once again to keep film build low, I keep emphasizing this as it is critical to the longevity of this job. When I finished priming and sanding the dash still had it's flexible characteristics, if the products we're to heavy they would crack easier.

Step #7
Now that the dash and other panels that we're soft are sanded for final paint, the parts we're all moved into the booth for the pro-spray lamborghini orange base coat and spi universal clear.

Step #8
Wet-sand and buffed as described above!!
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The next step was the assembly, which was performed by brian, he got this thing back together in no time..
Here's a few pics

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I know that brian has sense changed the color to a charcoal.. maybe he can post up some updated pics.. It looks great in the new color also.
Flex agent doesn't stay with the product anyways.. it's just there long enough to get the parts together then evaporates. but that is the time when the paint is most flexible anyways..
Yeah, seeing the texture come back as the primer cured was a thought,, also was part of the thought process for priming it twice, and for using the Turbo 2k over the regular 2k,
This primer reaches full cure in less time than most..
Most 2k primers don't reach full cure as fast as you would think. Some taking months to reach full cure.. This is when you see stuff show back through, such as sand scratches or even contraction.
Although I do admit that it was still a concern, but either way I still felt this was the proper way to do the job.
I don't know if it was showing any signs of this before he sanded and painted it the other color, but I would be curious to know, sanding it for the other color would have taken care of the issue.
I did see it over a year after it was innitially done and had no signs of shrinkage so i'm assuming it never would have if it made it that far.
I have to say from a color standpoint I really liked the orange, but from the reality of driving it and owning the truck, I think I like where he is going with this color, I just hope he can get everything else done that he has in store for it.. It would be awesome to say the least.
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