The WTF-J's bare aluminum tub floor wasn't getting it anymore and needed something. I got an $800 quote from Line-X for lining the tub, but that was contingent on:
1. Stripping EVERYTHING out of the tub
2. Priming it with self-etching primer
3. Hauling it to their shop and leaving it 'til they got a round tuit
Since I was going to have to tape and mask the tub to spray the primer, it was time to look at DIY options.
Herculiner - Low cost, local availability, but so-so appearance and not UV stable without topcoat
Duplicolor - Not many enthusiastic reviews
SEM - Their paint is good, but couldn't find many Web write-ups on installs or lessons learned
Al's Liners - I would have used this 4K material if I had not found so many successful Raptor installs. Very enthusiastic following.
U-Pol Raptor - Reasonable cost (~$150 inclusive) Great DIY results.
Having picked U-Pol Raptor, here is what I learned:
* Prep is everything. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's true with any paint job, but it's true. Resign yourself to taking the time to strip the tub carefully and use the opportunity to fix/upgrade the nit things that you've been putting off. In my case, I reworked some wiring, fixed a problem with the keeper strap on my tube doors and fabbed a bezel for the boot around the T/C shifters
* Spray Raptor in a well ventilated area and wear at least a half mask respirator, as spraying it kicks out serious fumes.
* U-Pol is a great chemical company, but their bedliner kit marketing needs work. The Raptor bedliner kit includes four .75 liter bottles of material plus a liter of catalyst. Some of their kits include the needed Schutz gun, but others do not. (It is almost impossible to know from the part number whether the kit you order includes the gun or not, and the Raptor bottle is taller and has a smaller diameter cap than the "standard" Schutz gun bottle. Lesson learned, ask your dealer! )
* If you don't have Xylene, U-Pol won't tell you, but Raptor can easily be cleaned with Acetone
* Taping and masking is the same for Raptor as it is for regular paint. (i.e. You don't need wire tape) Pull the tape 15-20 min after applying the 2nd coat and the Raptor edge will soften slightly to blend into the unpainted area.
* Keeping the gun moving and >12" from the surface provides a typical spray in bedliner texture.
* The directions say to simply top off the 750ML paint bottles to the "A" mark with the included catalyzing agent, but I never could find it. Get a graduated .5L cup from the paint store to measure a 250 ML portion; it's easier.
I started with the bare bed. Scuffed it with a DA and 50 Grit. Anything that I couldn't reach with the DA got hit with a green Scotch-brite pad. After that 2x pressure washing with Simple Green and then a wipe down with Prep-Sol (Wax/Grease Remover).
This was a great opportunity to “fix” the rivets on the tailgate before covering them with the bed liner compound. The issue is that the tailgate design requires the back side of the pop rivet to be exposed along the hinge. A hammer and dolly makes quick work of the exposed "tail"
Stripping the tub, taping and masking is a drag, and that was a big part of the decision to do it myself. (BTW, the Orange/Purple dots are ear plugs that are stuffed into threaded holes in the tub.
Since I was starting with bare metal, U-Pol's tech support wanted to see self-etching primer. (Same deal as Line-X/Rhino) I learned the hard way that the bobbed CJ-8 tub needs TWO quarts. (Fortunately, I was spraying while the paint shop was open.)
NOTE: Everything up to this point would be required even if I was ready to pay Line-X the quoted $800.
The first coat consumed the entire 4L of material. Unlike the primer, I figured that as all the Web installs were good with 4L, I would double down and use the excess for the exterior wheel wells.
After waiting the recommended 75 min flash time, it was time for the second coat. 2L later, the job was done!
Like the other guys on the Web, I was real pleased with the results.
All told, I'm into this for $275 including ALL the prep and peripheral materials. Considering that the U-Pol Raptor only added about 3 hours and $225 to the process, it was definitely worthwhile.
Here are the quick fix items
Clean up some under dash wiring and fab a relay block (Time to activate the cruise control that exists within the Drive by Wire ECM)
Rubberized coating on the safety harness anchors (Quiet down the rattling), same deal for the base of the Hi Lift.
The open air WTF-J is tough on black oxide finished hardware. Made up a painting jig out of a scrap 2×4 and problem solved. Added a “collar” to the restraining strap post on the tube door
Fabbed a bezel for the Atlas T/C shifter boot. Bolt heads easily cut through rubber material with or without washers.
And now all the kings horses and all the king’s men will spend the weekend putting the WTF-J back together again.