Delicate touch

I have a question on color sanding. Can you color-sand a car that is three to four years old to remove any small defects, then repolish it with 3M materials as in your article (“Color Sanding To Perfection”, Aug. ’10 issue)?

Tom Bowder
Medford WI

If you have never ventured into the world of color sanding and the process of polishing the paint to a high luster, it’s not for the faint of heart. You can easily sand through edges of your paintjob, right down to the primer--or worse yet--to the metal. Then as you’re using the buffing pad and cutting compound, you can burn the paint and it’s all over. Now, we’re not saying that you shouldn’t take on this process. The reward at the end is worth every hour you’re going to put into it. Just make sure you’re ready to follow through before you start.

As for cutting the paint after it’s three to four years old, it’s not a problem. Really, the paint has had plenty of time to completely dry and get all the solvents out of the material, and it’s shrunk to its final size. One of the issues with color sanding and buffing out the paint after it’s painted is waiting enough time for the paint to cure. We’ve seen shrinkage issues where the paint was beautiful several months after the job, then after a summer in the sun the paint presents with very fine sanding imperfections that were in the base primer and have come to the surface.

The 3M products and the techniques listed in the story will have your ride looking better than when it was first shot. If you have some buddies with paint and body experience you may want to bribe them with barbecue and adult beverages.

Hidden Wipers

I’ve got a ’67 Camaro that I’m planning on shaving the firewall completely, but I don’t want to lose the windshield wipers. Is there a kit available to relocate the wiper motor to under the driver-side front fender where the “X” is on the firewall? Thanks.

Tony Ramos
Via email

Clearing off the firewall of your engine bay is a clean option. We’ve done it to several builds when installing Vintage Air into our early iron. It wasn’t a completely shaved wall, but getting rid of the factory suitcase for ’60s A/C was nice.

Many retrofit electric wiper conversions are on the market for street rods. These are to replace the original vacuum-powered wipers that stopped every time you stood on the throttle, or were climbing a grade, which lowered the engine vacuum. Not too convenient when it’s pouring rain. They use compact little electric wiper motors and that, in conjunction with your factory wiper arm off your stock motor, will keep the ratio the same. We’ve never seen a kit to place the wiper motor where you mention under the driver-side fender. Great idea! We could see some manufacturer picking up your idea and running with it.

We’re impressed by the selection and features of the systems offered by Classic Motor World for three-speed operation, intermittent operation, and support windshield washer pumps. Putting together a system using these components would be a great improvement over the stock ’67 wiper system. The electric wiper motors are small enough to fit into the location you referenced. Check them out online and let us know how it all works out.

Source: cmwauto.com