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  #11  
Old 06-19-2019, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by southernfriedcj View Post
I appreciate all the replies. That explains why I have never run across any assembly line wet sand/buff pictures.



Basically I have always been curious.

What caused the thread was I have purchased a '69 Firebird and when I get around to the restomod I want to paint it Verdoro Green. I would like it to look like a 1969 paint job.
I see a lot of restored cars that just don't seem to look like they did back in the day and I was wondering if it may be the paint finish(and radial tires) that throw off the look.
Gotcha! Assuming your Firebird is a Norwood Build then as an example the order was expressed as:

-Second undercoat and Prime
-Bake
-Wet sanding/Buff
-First finish coat
-Bake
-Second Finish Coat
-Bake
-Polish

(Echoes of Norwood page 96 (GM/FB paint process order flow chart)

BUT: the process changed again slightly with the phase in of ELPO and the use of the 50,000 gallon electrostatic prime system

In the Pre Elpo era of sprayed undercoat and prime, Buffing was done primarily to remove dirt from the undercoat prior to the first paint coat.

After the phase in of ELPO primer the paint process featured the addition of buffing before the final reflow oven. After the reflow oven the unit went to the polish station as normal.


The car could also be sanded and buffed again in a final step at an area called Automotive General Repair (AGR).
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  #12  
Old 06-20-2019, 01:35 AM
Keith Seymore Keith Seymore is online now
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Originally Posted by southernfriedcj View Post
I would like it to look like a 1969 paint job.
.
Just take a look at an original unrestored car.

You might change your mind about that.

K
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Keith Seymore View Post
Just take a look at an original unrestored car.

You might change your mind about that.

K
Not a 50 year old 1969 paint job. A brand new 1969 paint job.

It will probably look like a 1929 paint job because I'll shoot it in my garage.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Lynn View Post

Every car that came in was subject to a NVI (new vehicle inspection) where EVERY fluid level was checked before it hit the road. I did an inspection on one in 76 at a Buick dealer, and there was no grease in the rear axle!!!
Our new '69 GMC pickup had no lube in the rear axle.

It made it almost halfway home from the dealership before it locked up.

K
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by 70 copo View Post
Gotcha! Assuming your Firebird is a Norwood Build then as an example the order was expressed as:

-Second undercoat and Prime
-Bake
-Wet sanding/Buff
-First finish coat
-Bake
-Second Finish Coat
-Bake
-Polish

(Echoes of Norwood page 96 (GM/FB paint process order flow chart)

BUT: the process changed again slightly with the phase in of ELPO and the use of the 50,000 gallon electrostatic prime system

In the Pre Elpo era of sprayed undercoat and prime, Buffing was done primarily to remove dirt from the undercoat prior to the first paint coat.

After the phase in of ELPO primer the paint process featured the addition of buffing before the final reflow oven. After the reflow oven the unit went to the polish station as normal.


The car could also be sanded and buffed again in a final step at an area called Automotive General Repair (AGR).
You have reminded me: In the truck world we did do a light scuff of the ELPO and then wipe with a tack rag but it was to promote adhesion of the color coat as much as anything else.

K

http://www.73-87.com/7387info/Assembly%20Line.htm
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'63 Grand Prix
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'74 Chevelle - original owner, 9.85 @ 136 mph best

Last edited by Keith Seymore; 06-20-2019 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:30 AM
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I agree - at the St. Louis Corvette plant, their was a polishing station on the assembly line that all cars went through. No wet sanding except on the repair line as needed.
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:28 PM
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My black 69 Z/28 received almost no color on the lower 2 inches of the rear valance in one area about 10 inches long.... from the factory.
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  #18  
Old 06-20-2019, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Seymore View Post
You have reminded me: In the truck world we did do a light scuff of the ELPO and then wipe with a tack rag but it was to promote adhesion of the color coat as much as anything else.

K

http://www.73-87.com/7387info/Assembly%20Line.htm
Oh yea!

Big signs along the line warning everyone not to touch the units too. ELPO was very sensitive to any foreign matter for the purposes of adhesion control.
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Old 06-20-2019, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn View Post
I don't know what year GM started using base / clear. I know my 73 BMW came from the factory base / clear, but that was a few years before GM started using it.

GM started using Base/clear first on '82 Corvettes that were tu-toned, it was an enamel clearcoat.

Then Corvettes from '84 up all metallic colors used base/clear, some solid colors were still single stage.

GM Trucks have always used enamels weather solid or metallic.

The last known lacquers were in 1990 on the B-body line.

Asian and European produced vehicles first started base/clear in '72 on metallic colors only, once again enamels.


Back in the 90's into early 2000's we subcontracted for GM upgrading vehicles bound for the press and media, primarily ensuring the quality of the finish and color uniformity was above and beyond what the assembly line was producing for the general public.
This entailed color sanding and buffing, all the way to complete refinishing of the exterior (complete disassembly of trim, glass, etc.) and some times door jambs. GM wanted to give the press and media exceptional cars to write and review about. I would have anywhere from 3 to 7 vehicles at a time, these were then provided to P&M all over the country.
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  #20  
Old 06-20-2019, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southernfriedcj View Post
I know there are folks here who have actually worked(or still work) for GM. Out of curiosity, back in the day(and even now) do new cars get wet sanded and buffed at the factory?

I have seen many pictures over the years of cars being painted at the factory but I've never seen a picture of a car being sanded and buffed at the factory.

Thanks!

OP:

Here you go and it is a Firebird. This is the polish station on the line.

FYI.. I am doing another book next year-again on Norwood and this will be in it so here is a teaser.
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