Saturday, August 01, 2015

Cobra body preparation - flash lines

Now this was a job that I was not looking forward to having read a number of blogs. However, it has turned out better and easier than expected. First I tackled the rear off-side. Why? Because others had done that! Saves making a decision .....

Having talked to Andy at GD Sports Cars, I was armed with a number of tips. So here's what I did.

I masked off the flash line leaving about half an inch either side. I then used masking tape to cover up most of the hand file, leaving only half an inch or so exposed. The flash line was then filed down very carefully in the direction of the flash line (horizontally). The masking tape thickness made sure that I didn't mark the body.

Panel masked off - area to rub down is between to tape lines
I then made a small block from wood and using P400 wet or dry paper, I gently rubbed down the line using plenty of soapy water, again going in the direction of the flash line only (horizontally). I used 3M wet or dry as recommended by Ryan (see his blog linked on the right), as it is more consistent and less likely to create deep scratches, although it is more expensive and harder to get hold of.

The masking tape was removed and some new tape applied half an inch further out. A new sanding 'block' was then made of high density foam (GD recommend a piece of rubber belt).

The wooden block on the right and the high density foam on the left
The area was then rubbed down at 45 degrees to the flash line using P800 wet or dry using plenty of soapy water. The process was repeated going at 45 degrees to the flash line the other way. Then I rubbed down horizontally.

Finally the masking tape was removed and the area was blended in using P1200 wet or dry, plenty of soapy water and a cork sanding block. I rubbed down at 45 degrees to the flash line, then 90 degrees (vertically) and finally horizontally. I was reminded by Andy that the body was very curvy, so I should not create any flat areas.
The finished panel prior to polishing
The whole thing took just 45 minutes. Very satisfying! Now the area just needs buffing with the polishing machine and Farecla. So if this is a good example, then the job may not be too difficult.

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