Hulk Smash: Caterpillar to Coccoon

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Hulk Smash becomes a refined gentleman!  Here is the starting point for the bodywork.  It doesn’t look too bad – straight rust free body.  At this point, I had big plans.  You will see how those unfold.  As I mentioned before, the green doors are rust free replacements for the original white doors.  Also, in this pic, you can see the grey primer on the trunk.  Here is how that came to be:

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Being a SE model, Hulk Smash came with the SE wing.  Boooo.  I wanted to get rid of that and remove the third brake light at the same time to clean up the trunk.  Here is the trunk stripped of the bad parts.

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We made a metal patch panel, and Greg patiently spot welded it in.  The same process start to finish was done for the wing mounting holes.  No need to show it too.

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Greg sanding down the filler.  You can see the wing holes have already been filled and sanded.

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And more or less, the final product. Let’s continue from the opening picture. My plan was to paint the car and put some wheels and a kit on it. Having just picked up some 18×9 MB Weapons for cheap, I bought a knock-off kit URAS body kit (more on this later), and we got busy.

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We rolled it into the garage, stripped it down, and started marking the spots that would need filler. You can see all the rings. There were a lot.

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Filler. Exciting. Hi, MB Weapons.

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I also wanted to get rid of the sunroof. I hit my head on the headliner and it leaked. It was a good time to get rid of it.

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Here was the test fitting session. Let’s just say the body kit didn’t fit without some modifications. I will do a separate write-up on this – a) because it will be slightly informative; and b) to show you get what you pay for. The roof wing is legit Origin. I bought it when we visited Touge Factory earlier that year.

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Sunroof delete panel being welded in place.

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Here it is masked up. Life lesson…er…painting lesson: pay the $36 for a roll of 3 foot professional grade masking paper. We bought 36″ and 12″, and it was worth every penny. After two years and about 4 other paint jobs, not to mention all the small projects, they are both still around. So, do yourself a favor and buy quality materials. Don’t waste more money in the cost of tape trying to tape together newspaper and still risk it bleeding through.

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We have a couple things going on here. First, its primed!!!! It is nice to see it as one color. Second, you can see out home-brew paint booth. We had two vents on one end and two box fans sucking air out on the other. It ended up working pretty well. Another painting tip, spend the $25 on a respirator that filters vapors/fumes. There are ones that do particulate matter and ones that do both – particulate and vapor. You want the latter.

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Fast forward through tracking down an electric gremlin, skipping the many months that it sat alone in a barn, ignoring pulling the engine and switching from the leaking Cometic headgasket to the paper Fel-Pro, omitting moving it twice, and we arrive…wa-la…to final paint prep and painting! This was October/November 2008 if I remember correctly. Do the math. It took just over a year to start spraying any color. Dang. Haha.

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Jambed.

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Color sanding.

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Teaser. Outdoor sunlight pictures coming in part two as Hulk Smash emerges from its coccoon to be a beautiful masculine butterfly. Haha.

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