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Discussion Starter #1
So, down here in Utah its snow season so my stang is all put away but in a place I could perform some upgrades. Last spring I got my 1968 Coupe 302 up to running and driving condition. Its a blast to drive and I wanna make it even better.
I want more power but nothing crazy probably in like the 300-400 HP range. I have a 351w sitting in my garage from a 90's bronco with 89000 miles. Any suggestions on how to get there?

I would like to paint it as the car is in black primer with some metal showing through so it would be nice to make it a solid color. I could even paint it but can you get a glossy black primer that loks similar to a matte black paint job?

Then my other option was to redo the suspension with arning drop, new stiffer springs, KYB shocks, 1 inch sway bar, roller spring perches, etc.

So my question is what would you guys do? Paint, suspension, or motor? Ive saved up to do one or maybe two but not all 3. Any input would be awesome! Thanks
 

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So, down here in Utah its snow season so my stang is all put away but in a place I could perform some upgrades. Last spring I got my 1968 Coupe 302 up to running and driving condition. Its a blast to drive and I wanna make it even better.
I want more power but nothing crazy probably in like the 300-400 HP range. I have a 351w sitting in my garage from a 90's bronco with 89000 miles. Any suggestions on how to get there?

I would like to paint it as the car is in black primer with some metal showing through so it would be nice to make it a solid color. I could even paint it but can you get a glossy black primer that loks similar to a matte black paint job?

Then my other option was to redo the suspension with arning drop, new stiffer springs, KYB shocks, 1 inch sway bar, roller spring perches, etc.

So my question is what would you guys do? Paint, suspension, or motor? Ive saved up to do one or maybe two but not all 3. Any input would be awesome! Thanks
Like all the SBF's, they like to breathe.......ports, valves, cam, intake
 

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If it's in primer with some metal showing through then this is a no brainer; it needs painted. The primer isn't UV resistant nor is it moisture resistant.


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Without a heated paint booth its going to be difficult to do any paint work in the winter. If its work Justin is wanting to do himself then paint would be at the bottom of my list for any winter. Utah is not a place where anyone should be paranoid about a little bare metal especially if the car is in a garage. East of Tulsa would be a different story.
 

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If he's doing it himself, if he can keep his shop at 55 degrees he can spray it and use a fast activator. If he's having someone else do it then it's no issue. If he is painting it himself, he should wait to spend some of the money when it's warm enough in spring to shoot. They might have low humidity in Utah but he still needs something better than primer if his car gets rained on or if he's washing it.

Alternatively, just keep it out of the rain, assume your primer is already toast and plan on stripping and repriming and painting, and then paint it whenever you want after all.


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The first thing that comes to mind is that you can't hear a paint job when you're motoring down the road. I suggest taking care of the mechanics first so she's running just the way you want it so that come spring thaw you've got a nice tone and ride, then worry about the paint. It also seems that you'd be risking a nice paint job if you paint'er up nice then do all that work.
 

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The paint is one of the first things done in restoration shops. Then you don't have overspray and paint dust getting all over your shiny new parts. On my 69 Mach I'll do all the paint first, then everything else. The end result is a much cleaner car. If you're careful nothing happens to the paint.

But in his case he doesn't even have paint, just primer. There is functionality to the paint job too beyond just looks. I don't know much about humidity and rainfall in Nevada so don't know how much of a concern it really is.


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Hello. :) The best sequence would depend on a person's experience level. A person that has been doing this for a living for years is able to work around the shiny new paint without dinging it up. The hobbyist, however, can run into all sorts of pitfalls doing it like that. When he snatches the hood off to drop the motor and transmission in, all sorts of things can happen to that hood while it's sitting somewhere 'out of the way'. When putting the hood back on, it's easy to chew up the new paint on the bottom of the hood while adjusting the way the hood sits. It's easy to not do that, also, but, if there's a learning curve thing going on, it can get ugly in a hurry. :gringreen Same thing with the doors, the fenders, and the trunk lid. There will also be some wiring time involved getting that fuel injected late model motor to work in an old car, which always seems to end up with someone leaning over the fenders.

If it was me acting as a hobbyist, (which I am :) ) I would take the interior out, do the steering, brakes, and suspension, detail the motor, paint the engine bay, drop the motor into the car, get it running right, cover the motor with an appropriately sized trash bag, paint the car, then re-install the interior. Different people do things differently, because they're better at different things, and have different priorities, but, I prefer to just go ahead do what needs doing and then be done with it. This method would have the car out of commission for months, but, when your done, your done. :)
 

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What I'm trying to warn him against is all my shiny nice new things looked like crap after I painted my car, even though I had things masked off well. And I was even taught how to mask. And I was formally educated how to paint. Paint dust and overspray will find itself everywhere. It comes up from the floor and gets everywhere you didn't think possible. If there is an area where any person inexperienced will be deficient, it is in masking. And some areas are just plain hard to mask, coupled with the fact that most people don't want to spend a small fortune on the good masking paper, the good tape, and the little paper stands that put the tape on the paper just right as you pull the paper off.

My engine bay was beautiful but I will probably have to repaint it now. It just doesn't look as nice. The car is very easy to reassemble if you do it right. That means study up, do your homework, make sure all the parts fit the way you want them BEFORE paint, and when reassembling, tape your edges and use a helper if you need to.

And I do agree, take the interior out right away and put it in last.

I did do everything in nearly the exact same order Veronica has listed and I think it's what seems logical. But I'll never do it this way again.

He can do this however he wants, I'm just letting him know the set of risks for this approach. Of course, it's all kind of a moot point because as it's already been discussed, winter is not the time you choose to paint a car. Nor do you just wake up one day and decide you want to paint your car--or do ANYTHING to it for that matter--if you want any kind of respectable result.




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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks so much guys! I think it would be best to start out doing the mechanical work on it and getting it to run just below perfect. I am more the hobbyist than the professional so I would be scared to ruin the paint job while swapping in a motor, doing some work on the suspension, etc. So for my interest I think it would be better to start out with the mechanical aspect.

As for the paint, I plan on having a shop do it if I have the spare money. However, I have a buddy who is taking a class at one of the local community colleges that offers auto body. He said his buddy took it and his car turned out pretty great. I'm not looking for show quality just something to seal it and get me by for a while. So I think after I do all the suspension work and motor work I'm going to strip it and take it down there to start doing it. I will make sure to cover all the parts I can while I spray it.

Thanks again for all the help! I think I know what I'm gonna do now. I'm sure there are hundreds of threads but what's the best way to squeeze 300-400 ponies out of a 351w? Can you just cam it with new springs, a new intake, and carb? Or is it a guaranteed head swap?
 

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What I'm trying to warn him against is all my shiny nice new things looked like crap after I painted my car, even though I had things masked off well. And I was even taught how to mask. And I was formally educated how to paint. Paint dust and overspray will find itself everywhere. It comes up from the floor and gets everywhere you didn't think possible. If there is an area where any person inexperienced will be deficient, it is in masking. And some areas are just plain hard to mask, coupled with the fact that most people don't want to spend a small fortune on the good masking paper, the good tape, and the little paper stands that put the tape on the paper just right as you pull the paper off.

My engine bay was beautiful but I will probably have to repaint it now. It just doesn't look as nice. The car is very easy to reassemble if you do it right. That means study up, do your homework, make sure all the parts fit the way you want them BEFORE paint, and when reassembling, tape your edges and use a helper if you need to.

And I do agree, take the interior out right away and put it in last.

I did do everything in nearly the exact same order Veronica has listed and I think it's what seems logical. But I'll never do it this way again.

He can do this however he wants, I'm just letting him know the set of risks for this approach. Of course, it's all kind of a moot point because as it's already been discussed, winter is not the time you choose to paint a car. Nor do you just wake up one day and decide you want to paint your car--or do ANYTHING to it for that matter--if you want any kind of respectable result.




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Hi again. :) I wasn't actually disagreeing with you. :) There's a reason that most restoration shops do the paint first. The way I always protected a motor that was pretty from the painters was to remove the radiator hoses, disconnect the heater hoses and the fuel line, and slip a size huge trash bag around the entire motor from the front and wrap the tape around it back on the bell housing or tranny, depending on what motor it was. If it's a manual transmission car you also have to remove the Z-bar. And you are also correct when you say that nothing should be done to the car on a whim. My dad told me something when I was little that has always served me well. He said that there will always be people that can out opportunity you. There's nothing you can do about that. They were born on third base. But, don't let anybody out prepare you. Do the work, read everything that you can get your hands on, think clearly and go hit a home run. :)
 

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I would strongly agree with Veronica on the masking approach. Back in the day when we sprayed lacquer you could get away with just covering the engine. Today, when you spray a clear coat that stuff hangs in the air and will get into every nook and cranny that isn't sealed from both the top AND bottom sides. The color coat isn't much of a problem since it essentially lacquer to begin with. Clear is a BIG problen. If there is an engine in there it has to be completely surrounded with no way for a leak. As far as the semi-gloss black under the hood - a little clear overspray might even help give that the right lack of gloss. :)

On the 'remediation' side, no one really sees much of the engine except the valve covers, air cleaner and water pump. If you might get overspray on the engine (yes, I have been there) re-paint the air cleaner and valve covers and you are mostly back to normal. After several thousand miles you won't be able to the tell the difference since the engine doesn't stay pristine on a driven car.

If anyone was thinking of showing their car they also should remember what show quality means. If its an MCA show then lack of overspray and even orange peel can cost you points since Ford never made either of those a priority. The truly pristine cars are not necessarily the ones winning the big trophies which go to the original cars. Not with a Mustang but I have won several trophies by being original which really honks off the guys with the fabulously beautiful, but not original entries. Read the rules beforehand if you want to enter any judging contests.
 

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Exactly on the clear coat. That is what kills you. It's not that I have blue over spray everywhere, because I don't have it anywhere. It's that dull, foggy look from clear coat that hangs in the air forever. The other thing is clear is sprayed at a higher pressure than base so it penetrates cracks and gaps in masking more than base.




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