By gosh and by golly, we just might make the deadline!
UPDATE: We finished in time for Independence Day parade! The truth and nothing but HERE!
Isn’t that the plot line for every car restoration reality show on cable television? The saga of restoring our 1949 (or it is 1951) Allis Chalmers model G continues! Where is my History Channel series?
The Orchard Ridge neighborhood Independence Day parade is four days hence and the Allis G looks like it will be ready for its Big Reveal! If the darned thing still starts after what the amateurs at Blaska Restoration Garage inflicted on the little fella. If not, we’ll just push the old classic out to the front lawn; parade passes right by the Stately Manor!
Got to figure how to mount the U.S. flag.
Sure is ORANGE! The repaint kept me up at nights. Audited You Tube technical college courses on spraying paint on metal. Learned that my six-gallon, pancake air compressor would not produce the 25 pounds of air pressure per square inch needed. Borrowed a robust 50-gallon compressor from the godfather of this project, Tim Stanek. (As much an expert you’ll find anywhere with an enviable collection of classic automobiles and motorcycles; was a body shop supply distributor and manufacturer. Thanks, my new friend!)
Before could paint, removed standing rust with stout wire brush. Applied SEM Rust Mort to the really grody corrosion — does some kind of chemical reaction to turn rust into not rust. Then misread Tim Stanek’s advice and applied SEM self-etch primer from rattle cans over the entire tractor (except for the engine, tires and rims). Not needed, given that the tractor had no bare metal. Did I screw up the project? Oh, probably not, Tim soothed.
Plastic film and sticky tape protected the tires and rims — rims got a nice brushing of gray Rust-Oleum from the can. Plastic film on the walls of Garage Bay #2 to protect against over-spray. Prep is what takes the time.
Loaded up the gravity HVLP spray gun with four parts of Nason 2K urethane gray sealer paint and one part activator. Pulled the 3M respirator over my face, pulled on the single-use vinyl gloves, fired up Tim’s big compressor, and was ready to paint.
Complications roil the plot
Only could not attach the spray gun into the bayonet mount of the compressor hose. Another frantic trip to Northern Tool & Equipment? Wait, I’ve got the brass fitting on my pancake compressor. Quick wrenching, a little teflon tape, and we’re ready to spray.
Now we would discover whether all those You Tube videos taught this old dog a new trick. Brown water poured from the spray gun. Disconnected the hose and pointed it out the back door to void the built-up moisture. Drained the spray gun moisture separator and tried again. Voila! Look ma! I’m spraying!
The sealant is quick drying and if you get the topcoat on within 24 hours you don’t have to sand everything down for adhesion. We had enough sanding for this summer!
Body Supply Shop on Greenway Cross in Madison mixed Nason Ful-Thane 2k urethane with Persian Orange #1. $103 a quart! Did not want to get caught short right in the middle of the job; two quarts, please. Unlike excess sealant, mixed paint cannot be returned. Turns out needed both quarts. It is mixed 8 parts to 2 parts reducer and 1 part activator (and a quart of that is $52!).
Originally intended to just rattle-can (verb, transitive) the whole thing but Tim said would fade. Plan #2: just spray clear coat over the old tractor to preserve its hard-won patina. Final Solution: Go new off-the-assembly line showroom orange.
Early in the cover coat, spray gun jammed up. Could not clear it. (That enamel solvent melts gloves!) Quick trip to Northern for second spray gun. What’s another $48 when you’re having fun?
Finished results sometime soon!
Why beer is brewed
What you do after a big job like this is sit yourself down in front of the garage, crack open a 16-ounce can of Miller High Life, and contemplate your misdeeds. Inspecting the job the next day discovered had neglected to shoot paint UP at the hanging sheet metal pieces. Remix, spray again, then clean the gun again.
Like the professor and his pal in My Fair Lady, we dood it! Then began wishing had stayed with the clear coat plan. Tim wanted a look-see at my job. Felt like being asked to play the kazoo for Beethoven. My paint job had some runs, a couple hits and many errors. Still, think we did a decent job for a rookie. It’s an old tractor, not Tim’s classic Jaguar E-type!
Ask me today and I’m pretty well pleased with how everything turned out. What turned me around — of all things — was a $12 spray can of Meguier’s tire protectant picked off the shelf at O’Reilly auto parts. Tires that were gray and tired are now liquid black! Plays off well with the bright orange.
Now, with help of Number #1 son, are rattle-can spraying caps for radiator and gas tank and a new battery box with Rust-Oleum hammered metallic gray.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: So maybe Allis G is 72-year-old faded beauty queen wearing too much lipstick. Orange lipstick. She’s still a sight to behold!