Author Topic: My first Mopar build, 73 340 Cuda  (Read 1608 times)

Offline Beekeeper

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Re: My first Mopar build, 73 340 Cuda
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2016 - 10:45:09 pm »
I had a bright orange Super Bee that I used undercoating on. For that car, it was the way to go. I cleaned everything super good including wheel well openings and under coated it all with the cheap spray can stuff. It looked fantastic and because I did the wheel well openings, it blackened everything out out. All you could see from the profile was the good looking wheel and the beautiful bright orange paint. Really made the orange pop out even more. Years later, still looked fantastic.

If you were building a trophy show car or restoring a really valuable unusually built car, I'd recommend not to undercoat but since you're building something fun and to your own taste, I think you will like the finished look of the spray can undercoating. Plus it's affordable and really easy to do yourself. Just spend the extra time to clean the areas well before coating so you're not hiding stuff that turn into problems later. 




Offline nsmall

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Re: My first Mopar build, 73 340 Cuda
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2016 - 02:00:46 am »
This is my thread.  So I am pretty sure I dont want to paint the underside like a show car, it literally rains like 2 inches a year here in the desert where I live even though I want to move back to the pacific northwest one day (car will only come out on sunny days).  That being said, how about power washing the underside and just lightly dusting the car with something easy like a rattle can of glossy rustoleum once I have the car taken apart for paint?  Maybe use something more expensive for the wheel well areas? Any other suggestions? Someone mentioned Krown undercoating.  I live in the California.  I most likely will media blast the panels of the car, not the underside so any opinions will be appreciated as the car will be stripped down soon so thinking this is a good time to do something with the underside.  Thanks 

Here is a thread I started about media blasting vs sanding....
http://www.cuda-challenger.com/cc/index.php?action=post;topic=117221.15;last_msg=1149843

If there are other threads on these topics of media blasting the car vs sanding and what to do with the underside, feel free to share.  THANKS!!!

Offline blown motor

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Re: My first Mopar build, 73 340 Cuda
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2016 - 10:03:41 am »
I would refrain from power washing. That will force water into any little crack or hole it can find which could lead to rusting issues. It would be better to blow it down with high pressure air. I've seen equipment dealers blow things down with a compressor like what construction companies use to run a jack hammer. It might sound a little extreme in the auto trade but the combination of high volume and high pressre will certainly do the job.
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Offline Beekeeper

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Re: My first Mopar build, 73 340 Cuda
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2016 - 11:56:38 am »
I would refrain from power washing. That will force water into any little crack or hole it can find which could lead to rusting issues. It would be better to blow it down with high pressure air. I've seen equipment dealers blow things down with a compressor like what construction companies use to run a jack hammer. It might sound a little extreme in the auto trade but the combination of high volume and high pressre will certainly do the job.

I totally agree on the power washing. I just started a thread on metal work I'm doing to a 70 Challenger and now that I'm cutting out old rusty metal and grafting in new stuff, I can see that it would be nearly impossible to really protect the underside from future rust. No matter how good a job I do or how well I seal things up, there are drain holes everywhere for water to enter and get trapped inside of cross members, rails, etc.

I helped a friend earlier this year with significant front end metal work on his 70 Charger and I painted the wheel wells hemi orange as he requested. I thought it looked terrible afterward because when viewed in the sun, you could see the orange inside the dark wheel wells and everything just sort of bled together. I thought the contrast of black wheel wells against a bright fender looked way cooler and cleaner.

If you do shoot paint on the underside, I'd recommend setting the car up high on 4 jack stands and using a gun rather than rattle cans. Rattle can undercoat is just the right thickness and goes on uniform but rattle can paint is really only suitable for small items that don't get exposed to harsh conditions. It goes on too thin and when painted on larger surface areas, it streaks and looks like rattle can work. The hard work is getting the underside prepared. Painting it while on high jack stands is actually not bad. I did it recently and the underside came out really nice. You will want someone there though while you're underneath to help with the air hose so you can focus on your work.

The photos you posted of the underside look really nice! Prep work should be simple regardless of which route you go. If you want to paint or undercoat simply to protect things, I wouldn't worry and enjoy the car as is. In my opinion, doing the underside and wheel wells is more for appearance than anything else.

I'm sure there are other thoughts out there though...

Offline rUNCHARGER

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Re: My first Mopar build, 73 340 Cuda
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2016 - 03:04:15 pm »
Maybe try power washing then blow everywhere with air and let it sit for a hot day or two. Then bedliner, either spray on or roll on. Take photos when clean but before the bedliner so people will believe it is damage free down the road.

Sheldon

Offline nsmall

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Re: My first Mopar build, 73 340 Cuda
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2017 - 02:47:29 am »
After researching and researching and talking to multiple people on this forum (1.5 years of research), I have decided I am going to strip the Cuda all the way and have it media blasted.

The media blaster with the utmost respect and experience in my city of 300,000 people gave me a quote tonight....Its going to cost me $2,200 to properly blast the entire car besides the interior as the floor boards are rust free.

There is some rust in the trunk, lower quarters and I am doing a color change so I am 100% confident I am going to have the car blasted to make sure I dont have issues done the road as I have no plans to sell my car.

 I could save $600 by having a different local blaster blast it with garnet..sp???, but the guy I want to use has been blasting for 38 years and everyone whose ever used him (including all of the high end shops) swear he is the best.

His price includes PPG epoxy primer on everything blasted.   He primers everything daily he blasts.  He will take lots of pictures and blast and primer the underside.

Does that price sound about right?  I live in California and he uses a variety of media depending on the panel and I am certain he will NOT warp anything.

I have found two painters so I am going spend around $10k on paint and after all the math I did tonight my total cost to finish this car will be $50,000 :clueless:

I know I am way over budget, but I did as much research as I could and if I learned anything it is wait and wait and buy someone elses finished car as I dont know much and this hobby is EXPENSIVE!!!!

Will strip the car soon.  My final decision which may be a real foolish one is I have decided to not install the heater as my best option is a vintage air unit but I dont want to spend another $1000 so I will cover up my fire wall with some flashing or something removable for later.

I have over 90% of the parts I need to finish the car and so my 50k price tag includes the 10% I am missing.

Catch ya all later.

Offline nsmall

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Re: My first Mopar build, 73 340 Cuda
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2017 - 03:01:39 am »
Even though I am making some custom decisions, I am trying to stick with some Mopar traditions with paint.  Is there a thread anyone can post regarding what part of a 73 Cuda should be painted body color vs black?

Was the entire underside originally body color?  My Cuda has some undercoating in the wheel wells, yet little undercoating on the underside and some body color on the underside frame rails.

I plan to paint the trunk, engine compartment, under the hood body color, but what part of the radiator support gets painted black ?  Maybe I should ask what doesnt get painted body color?  I was planning on painting inside the cowl black, does that sound right?  How about the interior fire wall, body color?  I am going to paint the k frame black, does that sound right?

Basically, I am trying to stick with some Mopar traditions regarding my car, but I dont know every tradition.  Should the wheel wells be painted black or body color or would it be best to use undercoating?

Since I am media blasting the entire car, would body color on the underside being easier to maintain long term or should I use undercoating?  I live in a desert and only drive on nice clear days. 

Thanks in advance for advice.

Offline redo1973

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Re: My first Mopar build, 73 340 Cuda
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2017 - 11:11:42 pm »
I had many of the same questions and am not an expert.  I started with good intentions to maintain a restoration but mine is a BH car and once I started upgrading it quickly turned into "My" car.   My car will be a driver. I live in New England and although it will not see nasty weather I worked to paint for protection over the look.  I've always admired a fully body painted car but chose to go with a solid sealant paint for the floors, wheel wells, trunk and inner fenders.  I'll be putting undercoating in the wheel wells as I'm told this softens the blows from rocks.  I'll also use undercoating or rhino liner for the trunk for ease and endurance. Definitely went body color in engine compartment for a 73.  I think others will confirm the years with black but I always thought that was a bowtie color :bigsmile:.  The headlight area and radiator support is black but there is a technique for a partial paint to be correct, I've seen it in another thread recently. I simply painted it all black for ease. I believe that most paint the k-frame black but not necessarily factory correct. BTW-good call on the media blasting.  It will identify any further issues but you'll sleep better at night. :clapping:

Offline Beekeeper

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Re: My first Mopar build, 73 340 Cuda
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2017 - 12:32:01 am »
I'm no expert on perfect restoration methods but I think generally, anything seen through the grille would be black but I understand there may be a couple exceptions with certain colors. I'd put my money on yours being blacked out in front of the radiator. Looks better too. I think the factory painted inside wheel wells and then coated with undercoat to protect from rocks kicked up by tires.

As far as the underside, I think most everything started as body color but I'd imagine most of our cars were quickly under coated in those areas either by the factory or the dealerships, particularly if they were going to areas with harsh weather. I could be wrong on this but either way, if I were doing a full strip down and repaint, I'd definitely paint everything to begin with for protection. From there, you could then decide on undercoat.

Just my opinion here but since your car is not some ultra rare, highly optioned, sought after numbers matching collector car, you should let your hair down and make it exactly how you think it should have left the factory. I always seem to wind up with cars that have potential collector value and then I agonize over deviating from original. You actually are in a nice position to make it how you want.

Take it from someone who has had super nice restorations...no matter how hard you try to make it just right, there will always be a line of "experts" ready to pick your car apart at shows and cruise nights. It's not perfect enough, it's too perfect, certain bolt heads don't have the correct stamping, it's too shiny, the color isn't quite correct, it's optioned with equipment it didn't have when it left the factory, etc. etc. I've heard it all from that crowd. I even had a guy with a hemi car park next to me and spend the day telling me that 383 cars like mine should be in the crusher people only care about hemi cars. The strangers who will dig your car the most are going to be everyday folks who don't follow the hobby closely and don't know what is correct or not correct...they will just admire the finished product.

Offline kjwalters

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Re: My first Mopar build, 73 340 Cuda
« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2017 - 01:59:41 pm »
Great looking car, I love the 73-74 Cuda's. I am doing a 74 pro touring build myself and just found this site. God bless and good luck with your build.

Offline burdar

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Re: My first Mopar build, 73 340 Cuda
« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2017 - 03:00:59 pm »
Quote
Even though I am making some custom decisions, I am trying to stick with some Mopar traditions with paint.  Is there a thread anyone can post regarding what part of a 73 Cuda should be painted body color vs black?

Was the entire underside originally body color?  My Cuda has some undercoating in the wheel wells, yet little undercoating on the underside and some body color on the underside frame rails.

I plan to paint the trunk, engine compartment, under the hood body color, but what part of the radiator support gets painted black ?  Maybe I should ask what doesnt get painted body color?  I was planning on painting inside the cowl black, does that sound right?  How about the interior fire wall, body color?  I am going to paint the k frame black, does that sound right?

Basically, I am trying to stick with some Mopar traditions regarding my car, but I dont know every tradition.  Should the wheel wells be painted black or body color or would it be best to use undercoating?

Since I am media blasting the entire car, would body color on the underside being easier to maintain long term or should I use undercoating?  I live in a desert and only drive on nice clear days. 

Thanks in advance for advice.


The bodies were painted as an assembly.  The battery tray, doors, trunk lid, rear valance, fenders and hood were all installed before the car was painted.  The front valance was not installed but was hanging somewhere close to the body.  The 72-74 Challenger header panel was installed prior to paint.  I assume the Cuda header panel was also installed before paint.  The underside of the cars were NOT painted body color.  The underside just had multiple primer coats and body color "overspray".  These cars were painted by hand.  Depending how far the painter wanted to bend over, determined how much(or little) paint overspray would be on the underside. 

Here are a couple pictures of how a factory restored car should look like on the underside.
http://board.moparts.org/ubbthreads/upload2/4502626-Copyof100_2512.JPG
http://www.apexautosports.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/IMG_2867-e1339544515994.jpg

As far as interior color, some people say their cars were completely painted.  Mine wasn't and others I've seen weren't either.  A lot of paint overspray found its way to the inside of the car when painting the rockers, tops of the doors, trunk floor exc.  It's also possible that the painters cleaned out their guns on the inside of the car to get ready for the next color they had to shoot.  I don't think the factory meant to completely cover the interior with paint.  What would be the reason?  They left the underside in primer.  That area saw a lot more weather then the interior. There's no reason for them to completely paint the interior.  It's just a waste of paint. IMO(others may vary)

The rad support was supposed to be blacked out on all colors except black and dark blue.  There have been cars painted those colors that DID have blackout as well.  Probably just a mistake by the line worker.  Just like the body color overspray on the underside, the amount of blackout and exact spray patterns could vary from car to car.  It was done pretty quickly and sloppy.  The back side of the front valance was blacked out before installation as well.  Here is a picture of the rad blackout I found online.


The rocker pinch weld was also sprayed or brushed with black paint.
http://www.moparaction.com/Article/PoP/KK.jpg

Every Cuda and Challenger that left the Hamtramck assembly plant should of had undercoating in the front and rear wheel wells as well as on the inside of the quarter panels.(in the trunk) It was to add strength to the panels and protect against rock damage.  Full underside undercoating could be ordered.(under hood insulation was included in the full undercoating package) 

« Last Edit: January 18, 2017 - 03:08:39 pm by burdar »

Offline Lbs

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Re: My first Mopar build, 73 340 Cuda
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2017 - 07:27:43 pm »
I agree with beekeeper......my car is a 73, (and to be honest, I like the 72-74's a lot). It was the first car I have restored, and I had a blast picking colors and choosing what to use, what to improve, what parts to use from different year cars. Just doing everything the way I wanted so it ended up being "MY CAR". I don't get a lot of accolades here but when I drive around town and to local shows, like beekeeper said, people love it. Not too many cuda's out there so when people see a restomod they really seem to like it. Good luck with your build and I'll be following it.


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