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post #1 of 4 Old 11-24-2013, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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Hey guys, I recently acquired a 73' CJ5 and I have some resto questions. First of all the body is in great shape and has a running 304 engine so I'm ahead of the game already. I was thinking about doing a frame off and was hoping to get some tips and ideas on types of paint or coatings for the frame and the inside of the tub. I have read conflicting opinions on rhino type coatings for the tub but I want something weatherproof that looks good and only has to be applied ONCE! Thanks in advance for all replies.

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post #2 of 4 Old 11-24-2013, 12:05 PM
Running On Empty...
1973 CJ5 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: South West Indiana
Posts: 11,180

Look for the passenger side crack in the frame, inside, just in front of the front axle.
Get that fixed with a 'Fish Plate' if you have it.
If you don't have it yet, you will if you twist the frame very much, they all cracked there.


You have about two choices for metal preservation coatings,
Epoxy, or Enamel.

Epoxy coatings are generally thicker, and they flex a little more than hard enamel.
They can be a PAIN to apply...
There are some 'Tricks' to the application I can give you if you intend to do it yourself.

Enamel paint gives a pretty good shine while still protecting the metals.

You will find about all other 'Paints' are lacking if you twist up the jeep off roading, or apply very much power to the ground.
Remember, you have SHORT, STIFF, NARROW SPRINGS, not much in the way of suspension, so the frame/body actually twist much more than in later year Jeeps...

SO! Those guys with 'Rigid' frames and bodies will chime in you can use this or that, and they would be correct for THEIR JEEPS, but we have a little different animal... A little more primitive and a little more feral than they have.

Farm Implement Enamel goes on pretty easily, not huge concerns with environmentals like some of the newer two or three part paints have to consider, and a ton less preparation...

The usual, base metal, Metal Prep,
Then Enamel.

If you use epoxy coatings, like the bed liners, ect.
You can CHOOSE to use the 'Texture' or not use it, it's up to you.
I've done both, and I can't see using texture anywhere but wear surfaces, like the cargo box or floor boards,
And don't use 'Texture' under the vehicle, makes mud removal much more difficult when you give the mud somewhere to grip on to.

I sand blast. The only SURE way to get everything off down to base metal.
If you use epoxy, then wash down with xylene thinner, and spray on your coating of choice.
No primer required. You *Can* prime, but it's not 'Required'...

If you are doing the ENTIRE frame, stripped COMPLETELY DOWN, then have it acid dipped.
Same with a bare body.

If you aren't going to pull all the bushings, rubber, ect., Sand Blast.
'Media' blasting is for thin sheet metal you are worried about a 'Warp' of the slightest...
Sand blasting gets EVERYTHING off, and for frames/underbody, it's the quickest and best way to get things clean.

I get some air, then I use xylene on EVERYTHING for metal prep, and let fly with the epoxy...

Epoxy is humidity cured, so warm HUMID days are best, the epoxy cures much faster on humid days.
Don't spare the epoxy, STEEL brake lines, STEEL fuel lines, ect. get it EVERYWHERE just like you did the sand blasting.
All that stuff rusts too, so COAT IT.

I use a COLORED paint/epoxy underbody. Doesn't matter what color.
I undercoat EVERYTHING being in the 'Rust Belt', so it's all going to be black rubberized anyway, so it doesn't matter what color you use,
And a base color coat will show up those rock gouges in the undercoating later for touch up so they don't rust...

For the body, probably not an option, but for interior of the tub, under the tub and frame, it's all going to wind up 'Black' anyway, so what's the difference? Keeps you from wasting money on 'Body Matching' paint for areas that don't care what color the base coat is...

For about $200 you can get a 5 gallon bucket of the stuff they do Navy Ship Decks in. It's about 5 times stronger than the 'Herculiner' and cheap.
It's 'gray' or 'black' but who cares, you can do the UV coating in any 'Color' you want, and on the underside, I undercoat so it all winds up black anyway.

E-Bay $20 Undercoating Gun Kits. Buy at least two.
You can't throw 'Granules' of rubber or sand through a regular spray gun, but you sure can through an undercoating gun!
Cheap, virtually disposable, and clean up of the gun is nothing more than shooting about a pint of xylene through the gun between coats...

Using those stupid rollers is a waste of time and money.
Takes forever compared to shooting on the epoxy or undercoating. You can do an entire interior of a tub in 10 minutes with a gun, while you will be lucky if the epoxy doesn't harden in the can before you can roll on a coat.

Don't worry about 'Clumps' when you spray, they even out, and you get a nice, even coat of 'Granules' where a roller is CONSTANT mixing and trying to get the sand/rubber even with a roller.

As for 'Paint', I still use enamel if I'm trying to show off.
The problem with the high strength enamels is they only come in 'Tractor' colors and 'Caterpillar' Yellow...
You CAN have custom colors made, but it starts to get expensive and harder to apply at times, depending on the color.

If you go this way, preparation is EVERYTHING... Smooth, even paint jobs don't last long off roading,
If you want that, then be prepared for some real work in preparation smoothing out waves, fixing ripples, filling welds, ect.

Jeeps are naturally 'Imperfect', they have bulging panels that should be flat, they have visible spot welds, they have waves and ripples... Fact of life.
I suggest if you want a 'Flat' or 'Slab Side' Jeep, you weld in some extra bracing/spot welding and learn to shrink metal to take that stuff out...

If you are just looking for a good, durable paint job, go with a 'Reasonable' (IE: Pre Mixed) FARM IMPLEMENT RUST KILLING ENAMEL.
It's pretty toxic until it dries, but it's reasonably flexible, tough, gives a pretty good shine, and goes on about anything (aluminum, steel, fiberglass).
It's also scratch and heat resistant. (Those guys with the base/clear can't figure out why the clear won't stay on the hood... HEAT!)

If you paint it yourself, look into a 'Razor Run Shaver'. A little gadget that holds a single edge razor blade that will take runs right off. Everyone has runs on their first paint job, and this makes things a lot easier to fix! Takes that sanding runs out for hours out of the picture, shave, wet sand/buff and you are off to the races!
JeepHammer is offline  
post #3 of 4 Old 11-24-2013, 03:56 PM
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1983 CJ7 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Glendale,Arizona
Posts: 1,563
post some pics when you can

Jeep Naked
Put some color in your Cheeks
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post #4 of 4 Old 11-24-2013, 03:57 PM
Running On Empty...
1973 CJ5 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: South West Indiana
Posts: 11,180
Too new, can't post pics yet, but he can post links to pics and we'll be happy to post them up for him!
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