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Thread: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

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    LX User niles's Avatar
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    87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    So I have always wanted to do some bodywork but I usually ruin every metal panel I touch. Time to overcome that fear. As you all know these cars easily obtain door dings and creases in the panels if pushed too hard. My car has many door dings and matching fender dents on both rear quarter-panels. I hate seeing my car in this condition. The final straw was finding a rust hole on the rear, it is tiny but coming from the back of the panel. Oh, and the clear coat is flaking in a few spots... aaand the rock chips on the hood.

    Simply put, it is time for some exterior love.

    I decided to remove the molding and shave because the fender rubs also messed up the molding a little. For me that was all the excuse I needed. Have always wanted to paint, but who in their right mind will paint over rust, rock chips, and dents?

    In this post I will continually update throughout the summer as the work progresses. Below is the rust hole, it's on a replaceable piece of metal that is below the tail lights, you know what I'm talking about.
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    LX User niles's Avatar
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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    The first thing I did was rip off all the molding for some rust damage control. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the rust was minimal. But one of the rear quarter panel moldings was held on with double stick tape...

    So lots of sanding and a little primer. You will want an electric sander, after sanding the molding-voids and the hood my hands got really sore.
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    LX User niles's Avatar
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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    With all the rust removed and bare metal protected, it was time to sand it all back off again to weld in the filler metal on the molding. I did a lot of research and I am convinced that welding in metal to fill the void is the absolute best option. It will strengthen the panels as well. I read about some people using only body-filler, but my fear would be closing my door one day and the whole thing just falling out. Keep in mind to fill this void with body-filler only, it is going to be over 1/4 inch thick, and that is not recommended in any situation that I can think of.
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    LX User niles's Avatar
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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    We used 18 Gauge galvanized steel for the filler metal. It is 2.75 inches wide, and it fits perfectly in the void, minimizing the body filler needed to finish the shave.

    So after welding on the sheet metal. I learned a VERY important lesson!

    The front quarter panel WILL rub on the door without modification!!

    In the spot where the quarter panel is indented for the molding the edge of the door will hit it. I could have scooped the edge of the door, but I think flush will have a way better smooth and consistent look. So I cut off the indented part on the quarter panel. I tried to get a good photo showing the difference, but you own a 3Gee - go out and open your door to see what I am talking about.
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    LX User niles's Avatar
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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    First coat of body filler is on and I now know that it is going to be really fun to shape the fender lines into the body. Normally it would just end at the molding. I get to decide how to blend the lines once it is completely filled.

    This being my first time using body filler - It is nasty, sticky, smelly, and difficult to work with. Definitely use something flat and disposable to mix it on, and only use it ONCE. For the next batch you mix, use a fresh surface. Otherwise the dried chunks will mix in with your new stuff and it's like spreading goopy gravel. NOT FUN.
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    Last edited by niles; 07-20-2013 at 10:56 AM. Reason: Smaller picture

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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    I'm doing some rust repair on my 88 LX-i coupe and have used Bondo body filler on numerous spots. I would have used body filler on the small rust holes shown in the image in your first post. Such holes can be repaired with body filler without applying filler over a 1/4 inch thick, as you mentioned. I'm not sure what you mean by the comment about thickness exceeding 1/4 inch; I guess you meant that applying filler directly over the holes might force a lot of filler through the holes, resulting in the excessive thickness. Use of metal mesh backing for the filler, usually sold at stores which sell the filler, can be very helpful in this regard. Along with the backing, spreading a thin layer of filler on wax paper and then gently pressing the wax paper over the applicable area is a useful technique. Wait and few minutes, until the filler is beginning to setup, and then simply peel the wax paper off. The filler does not stick to the wax paper. Again, this is how would have done it but I realize personal preference comes into play here and you have your reasons for welding.
    Quote Originally Posted by niles View Post
    This being my first time using body filler - It is nasty, sticky, smelly, and difficult to work with. Definitely use something flat and disposable to mix it on, and only use it ONCE. For the next batch you mix, use a fresh surface. Otherwise the dried chunks will mix in with your new stuff and it's like spreading goopy gravel. NOT FUN.
    I use the inside of the plastic lid that come on the Bonda filler can. Using a metal scraper blade, I scape out the excess left after working with a mixed batch and then re-use the lid over and over. So, there is no problem with dried chunks getting mixed in the next batch.

    Sanding filler smooth on intricately contoured surfaces can be a real challenge. Although tools such as standard sanding blocks may not be usable in those situations, you still need to device some way, other than holding sandpaper directly in your hands, to do the sanding. Simply holding sandpaper in your hands and getting good results is generally not feasible, I've found. If you try that, it may look smooth when just looking at the sanded filler but any unevenness will be clearly visible when a glossy paint is applied.

    Are you planning to repaint the whole car just touch-up some areas? If the latter, are you going to try using spray paints sold in auto parts stores or get the paint elsewhere?
    Last edited by derolph; 05-21-2013 at 08:19 AM.
    1988 Accord LX-i 2-door coupe, 205K miles, updated 1/4/18.

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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    Thanks for the advice derolph, it is greatly appreciated! I will use the lid if I have to apply more bondo. I did the second coat last night, and hopefully it is the last lol.

    I should have clarified, the I don't think filling in the entire molding void with bondo would be a good idea, as the pure bondo would be around 1/4 inch thick. I have read of people doing it, so it must work to some degree. My goal is to do this once, and metal welded in is the most permanent.

    I thought about filling the rust holes too. The problem I have with that is the panel is rusting from the back of the panel to the front, so eventually the whole panel will fall apart. But this piece is a bolt on and can be easily taken off a junker. So I would rather do that.

    I am repainting the whole car. I would never be able to match the antique silver color in my garage.

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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    I am repainting the whole car. I would never be able to match the antique silver color in my garage.
    Yeah, I tried matching with sprays paints available in auto parts stores and I agree it's just not possible to get a good match. Have you ever painted a whole car? Do you have your own sprayer? I'd like to paint mine too. I'm thinking I might first do a small panel, such as the strip below the tail light or a bumper molding, as a test.

    Were you able to get your side moldings off without breaking the fasteners that hold them on? If not, have you found a source for replacement of the broken fasteners?
    Last edited by derolph; 05-21-2013 at 09:39 AM.
    1988 Accord LX-i 2-door coupe, 205K miles, updated 1/4/18.

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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    I am going to buy a sprayer and painting the whole car will be a first for me was well

    Haven't decided on how exactly I want to paint it. I was thinking about trying the plastidip.

    Some of the clips broke when removing the molding or were already broken. Some are intact but the plastic is very brittle from age. I am planning on letting the remaining clips and all the molding to go to a good home when I get around to it.

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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    Well, I now realize I misunderstood what you want to accomplish. Guess I wasn't paying enough attention to the photos you posted. Now, I understand you're going to completely eliminate the side moldings and modify the doors where the moldings fit to be flat and flush with the rest of the door surface. And, I agree filling in all that molding recession with body filler would not be a good idea.
    Last edited by derolph; 05-21-2013 at 01:12 PM.
    1988 Accord LX-i 2-door coupe, 205K miles, updated 1/4/18.

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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    No worries. I am happy to be able to get a complete set of molding to someone in need.

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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    I prefer preping them and painting with the same paint as the car, it has an updated look. If you are worrid about it being plastic then you can use an additive in the paint.

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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    Can you look at 25 x Honda Accord Acura CL Door Body Side Molding Clip Retainer Fastener Clips | eBay and tell me whether the molding clips there look like they would work on a 3rd gen Accord?
    1988 Accord LX-i 2-door coupe, 205K miles, updated 1/4/18.

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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    You've probably already thought of it, but I got a lot of dings out of my car by removing the interior panels and pushing them out with my thumbs.

    Looks like a fun project. Good luck and keep posting more pics!
    Dr_Snooz

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    LX User niles's Avatar
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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    Quote Originally Posted by derolph View Post
    Can you look at 25 x Honda Accord Acura CL Door Body Side Molding Clip Retainer Fastener Clips | eBay and tell me whether the molding clips there look like they would work on a 3rd gen Accord?
    I don't think those are quite right derolph. The shape matches the clip part but mine are made different. I have not seen other models/years though. Other Hondas might use a different mount on the molding. My clips hold the molding by a lip on the top and bottom.

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    LX User niles's Avatar
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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Snooz View Post
    You've probably already thought of it, but I got a lot of dings out of my car by removing the interior panels and pushing them out with my thumbs.

    Looks like a fun project. Good luck and keep posting more pics!
    Thanks Dr_Snooz, I was going to use that method but the larger dents from other cars rubbing on my fenders left creases in the metal and damaged the molding. I didn't think I could make that go away.

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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    Quote Originally Posted by niles View Post
    I don't think those are quite right derolph. The shape matches the clip part but mine are made different. I have not seen other models/years though. Other Hondas might use a different mount on the molding. My clips hold the molding by a lip on the top and bottom.
    Hmm, your clips look different than the ones on my 88 LX-i coupe. I would have guessed they were the same. Anyway, thanks for taking time to post that photo.

    I think I might take a chance on the ones on eBay. If they won't fit, I might list them on eBay to recoup a few dollars. I may have to use tape or adhesive to attach the one panel I need to reattach. It's the rear panel (in front of wheel well) on the right side.
    Last edited by derolph; 05-21-2013 at 05:56 PM.
    1988 Accord LX-i 2-door coupe, 205K miles, updated 1/4/18.

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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    That's funny derolph, that is the exact panel that was held on with double stick tape on my car

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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    So the body filler is coming along swell. I have some areas to fill in still but overall I am quite happy with how it is turning out. In the picture there is a lot of filler on the lower panel because that is one of the bigger dents that was an eyesore. You can also see the fender curve starting to take shape. I will put a little extra filler on there too so I can get a nicely defined line.
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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    Quote Originally Posted by niles View Post
    Thanks Dr_Snooz, I was going to use that method but the larger dents from other cars rubbing on my fenders left creases in the metal and damaged the molding. I didn't think I could make that go away.
    Yeah, it sounded like you had a much bigger project than just a few dings, but I thought I'd throw the idea out there just in case.
    Dr_Snooz

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    LX User niles's Avatar
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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    Yeah Dr, it really is all door dings minus two dents.

    And something they don't tell you about bondo for all you people that live in the Northwest or any cold wet climates: it can take a really long time to cure if it is cold and raining out (don't worry I was in my garage lol). I don't know about weather that well but it's got something to do with practically being INSIDE a cloud...

    Last coat of filler went on last night, going to sand after work today. Cant wait to get primer on it, my wife is not happy, our only car has been decommissioned for a week almost.

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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    Quote Originally Posted by niles View Post
    And something they don't tell you about bondo for all you people that live in the Northwest or any cold wet climates: it can take a really long time to cure if it is cold and raining out
    You might consider using more activator/catalyst when you mix it.
    Dr_Snooz

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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Snooz View Post
    You might consider using more activator/catalyst when you mix it.
    I totally should've, the weather was a lot more wet when I did the third coat, and I used less hardener than before. The first two times was drying before I was done. In a nutshell - bondo is tricky stuff lol

    But the filler is done and so is the glaze and primer. I am feeling quite satisfied at the moment

    Pics probably tomorrow...

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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    if you dont want the little pieces of side trim I can use them, I know I still have the big door pieces,things get lost when trim has been off for years, 3M now makes some kind of adhesive for putting that type of trim back on without clips, it looks like tape, but it's really not, once it's on they wont come back off, they developed it for people restoring cars,where the original clips couldn't be found

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    Re: 87 LXi Hatch Shaved Molding & Repaint

    Quote Originally Posted by lostforawhile View Post
    if you dont want the little pieces of side trim I can use them, I know I still have the big door pieces,things get lost when trim has been off for years, 3M now makes some kind of adhesive for putting that type of trim back on without clips, it looks like tape, but it's really not, once it's on they wont come back off, they developed it for people restoring cars,where the original clips couldn't be found
    Consider them yours losforawhile. The right rear piece is not perfect from being fender rubbed but I will PM pictures to you.

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