Painting underbody grey... am I nuts? - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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Painting underbody grey... am I nuts?

So I have my mustang up on a rotisserie and stripped (by hand... yes it sucked).
I have a lot of grey epoxy primer, how crazy would it be to just paint it with 3 coats of grey epoxy and leave it at that?
It was originally a sloppy black color with some body color overspray and 49 years of grime.

I think it might actually be nice to have a lighter undercarriage when working under the car.
Then again a light color would show more dirt... but it's under the car so does it really matter?
Either way I would put black undercoating in the wheel wells for protection.

I could always buy a bit of black epoxy now just in case I change my mind and respray the black over it during the recoat window (I will likely need the black anyway for the engine compartment)...

I know Ford didn't do it this way, that doesn't really bother me.
I'm just wondering if someone has done the same and can say "don't do it because of X" that I haven't thought of...

Thanks,
Steve

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 06:55 AM
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The crude black with body color overspray is of course concours correct. No harm will come to your car if you use gray.

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 07:41 AM
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I got this from BuckeyeDemons build thread on another forum:

Klutch said:
Buckeye, it appears you painted the undercarriage a gloss gray. Is that the way your car came from the factory? It looks great!

I thought the undercarriage was supposed to be a shade of red, but maybe that was just the '70 Mustangs. Likely, I'm just confused.

BuckeyeDemon said:
it depends on what plant the car was built at and what day.

can you find any remnants of original paint on yours? i can't speak for all years and plants, but in general, Dearborn used leftover topcoats (all mixed together) to spray on the undercarriage (from the firewall back). so the color of the mixed paint could vary.

on my original undercarriage you can see the grayish color, along with some of the candyapple red overspray and the black from the pinchwelds.

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 07:49 AM
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The underside on mine is going to be the same color as the top. I'm also using a gray epoxy primer and thought about just leaving it in primer, but the epoxy primer is not UV resistant. I realize it is on the bottom, but still can be affected by UV at the wheel wells, etc.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 07:49 AM
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You didn't specify the type of build you are doing: concours, daily or restomod....garage queen or road warrior. If you really plan on using it the primer, although original, is pretty weak solution, painted top coat or some type of undercoating would be best.

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 08:28 AM
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It is a crazy idea.Paint it either red oxide or black.Why would you want to stray from original? A grey primer justs look like you ran out of money to buy paint.A grey underside will reduce your resale value when the day comes.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 10:26 AM
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Its your car - use grey if you want to..
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 10:42 AM
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Mine was red oxide primer underneath. I went with gloss black because that's what I like.
I experimented with some PPG DP40LF epoxy primer by painting an old truck hood with it and then driving it that way for over two years. There was a bit of fade from the sun but it held up very well. (Dirt, tree sap, bird crap, etc.) Unlike some other primers, the epoxy is supposed to be waterproof and mine seemed to be. So if you are using that or an equivalent primer I can't think of any reason not use it. Be aware that oil and transmission leaks sort of "stain" it. IE, it doesn't quite wash all the way off like it would a gloss or semi-gloss paint. The effect isn't that big a deal though.

Last edited by GypsyR; 09-24-2018 at 10:44 AM.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 11:32 AM
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Your car, do what you want. Original (Concourse) you'd want the red oxide (early) or batch paint (later) color. I found my color under the rear axle breather tube bolt, then had a quart of epoxy made up to match it. Original looking and durable. I've also seen some painted body color that looks good if the bottom of the car looks nice.

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 11:35 AM
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Has already mentioned, a grayish paint is factory finish for a lot of Dearborn cars. Visibility seems to be better with a lighter colour.
A friend of mine painted the area up under the dash a gloss white, you can actually see things when looking under the dash.
I know working under my 67, with its grayish batch paint, seems a lot easier than working under my 65, with its black paint.
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 11:35 AM
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I used Silver bullet under my Merc years later some rust came through years later and addressed it. this was not a frame off restoration. makes it easy to see working under the car and expected a few places to show rust after time.

Also if dirt, oil, tar, etc needs to be cleaned off some brake clean, or carb cleaner will remove the stuff without removing the paint.
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 05:47 PM
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if the grey looks like a sandable type of primer (e.g dull/flat grey), then it will look unfinished in my opinion. if it's the glossy (batch) color ford used, then it looks intentional.
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 08:35 PM
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It's just the underside. If you care what people think when they look under your car then paint it what color you think they would like. If you don't care what other people think then paint it whatever color you like for whatever reason.

I do not plan to show my car ever. That said, I suspect 0 people will look under there and if they do I don't care. That also said, mine is black.... And I have Raptor liner in the trunk, wheel wells, etc. The concours guys might like like my car. But it's not concours so I don't care....

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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 08:44 PM
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Mine is striped.
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 08:53 PM
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My 69 Dearborn was metallic grey. I scraped from the front to the back and from side to side. All metallic grey with exception of Silver Jade over spray at all edges. I put it right back the way I found it.

God bless.
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