Toyota fix, finis

When we last left our Toyota quarter panel/rocker panel project, we had the thing in primer. Over the week I was able to hit it a few more times, do a little sanding with the 220 grit on the orbital, and jump the gun with the color coat too early, and have to sand and prime over that.


It’s been decades since I’ve worked with Bondo, and in that time I totally forgot how ugly 220-grit sand scratch looks through a coat of touch-up enamel. This picture does it no justice.

The paint went on Friday night, my judgment clouded by the fumes, probably. I sanded with 400 grit and re-primed it Saturday morning, then worked my way up to 800 and 1000 grit wet sanding to get it in proper shape for the top coat. There’s nothing magical about this; it’s just time and effort, plus a good drop light held near the edge of the work to show the shadows of all the flaws. Plus some clean shop rags and paper towels to dry the panels post-sanding, and a tack cloth to pull the lint the paper towel leaves, and a heat gun to warm up the metal and drive out the moisture. . . .

The edges inside the door frame were the hardest to get right. In fact, I didn’t get them right, since I had to lap the edge with the new panel. But it’s a subtle mistake, hardly noticeable unless you know where to look and line your eyes up at the right angle.


After several rounds of primer and spot putty I broke out the Duplicolor rattlecan again. I had the propane heater running intermittently to keep the temps above 60F (outside it was mid-40s again).IMG_6931

I didn’t run the heater too much, so as to keep the humidity down. Kept the temps on the car between 62 and 68.IMG_6932

New color went on smoother–though not perfectly smooth.


I shot six coats of color and then sprayed the enamel clearcoat–two coats in the door jams and then three more just on the outer panels. Washed the dust off.


Gonna need a cut n buff next week to shine it up and blend with the stock paint. The color’s a match though.

Here’s the bad news: door-to-panel gap has a bit of wow in it now. Oh well.IMG_6940

Still a lot better than what we started withIMG_6872


About stuntmidget

I'm a poor mechanic and general wisenheimer. I love old cars and the stories behind them, true or not.
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