Sunday, October 25, 2015

Compounding and polishing the Cobra body

Another job that I wasn't really looking forward to. With hindsight, this should have been the first job after fitting the bonnet, boot and doors, that way I wouldn't have had to avoid lights, bonnet locks, vents and windscreen stay holes etc!

Front end

I carefully rubbed down the edges of the bonnet to avoid exposing the grey GRP underneath. After refitting it to the body, I decided to compound and polish the body. This is a messy and time consuming job, as the polishing machine throws off some of the compounding cream and there are three compounds to apply, before any wax. The idea was to do it before any other bits were fitted to the body, such as the windscreen and wipers.

After a final rub down of the body with wet or dry to remove any imperfections, especially from the bonnet, I used separate firm pads on the polishing machine for the G6 and G3 Farecla compounds. The compounds were applied to the pads directly from the bottle in a circle around the edge. You don't have to use too much. The pad was then lightly sprayed with water (you could spray the body instead), before spreading the compound across it with my fingers (I used throw away latex gloves whilst I did the polishing).

Medium firm pressure was applied to the machine, it was set to about 1500 rpm and tilted at a slight angle so that the outer edge was doing most of the work.
Polishing the rear
The compound was applied to the panel one way and then at 90 degrees to ensure all the panel was fully and evenly compounded. After each compound, the bodywork was cleaned up with a dry stockinette cloth. Contrary to what I thought, electric light showed up any marks the best. So most of the job was done in the garage. My advice here is don't be afraid, apply the compound until it virtually disappears and the surface is nice and shiny. If there are still marks, have another go or rub down again if necessary! You only need to do the specific area that has the marks.

Care was taken to avoid the polishing machine 'grabbing' the bodywork. If it did grab, then a little water was sprayed on to the panel. The finishing G10 compound was applied with separate lambs wool bonnet in the same way.
Front section polished. Only the doors and back to do! You can see the unpolished doors and rear end.
The result was great, as you can see from the above photos, although it did highlight a couple of imperfections that I wasn't totally happy with. They will be sorted out at the end (or they may get left), in case I make any marks during the build process! Then the wax will be applied.


These were finished off with wet or dry, after gel coating the tops. Again care was required here to avoid exposing the grey GRP. Once I was happy with the tops, the doors were polished up using the routine above.

Rear end

The edges of the boot lid were rubbed down to get a smooth finish and then it was re-attached to the hinges. The whole of the rear end, including the boot lid, was then compounded as above.
Shiny rear!
It took me two whole days to do the car - may be I am a slow worker!


When I spoke to Andy at GD last time, he said that my chassis (a Euro) will be assembled at the end of the month, after Jonathan's is complete at the end of October. Jonathan is taking as much as he can initially, as he has to transport it to the Shetland Isle. Good luck with that then.

Oh, and Jonathan is starting a blog. I've had a quick preview and from the initial posts, it will be worth looking at. I will post a link here once he goes live with the blog.

Anyway, roll on early November to collect my chassis.

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