My hardtop repair and paint - Jeep Wrangler Forum
Jeep Wrangler Forum

Go Back   Jeep Wrangler Forum > TJ Jeep Wrangler Forum > TJ General Discussion Forum

Join Wrangler Forum Today


Reply
 
Thread Tools

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on WranglerForum.com
Old 10-04-2012, 09:09 PM   #1
Jeeper
 
Heliotropic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Utah
Posts: 122
My hardtop repair and paint

I bought my '04 Sport with 107k miles at the end of August from the original owner who had kept the Jeep garaged and meticulously maintained. He used it as his daily-driver and very little trail riding. Needless to say, it was in excellent condition inside and out. EXCEPT for the damage you see in the picture below. Apparently he had backed into a bollard at a gas station one night. That was the only thing that made me hesitant on buying it. But after some research and pricing I decided to buy it, I figured after repair cost I would still be below book value. He had also accepted my offer of $1000 less than his asking price because of the damage.




I took the jeep in for bids on the repair for body and hardtop, which came in a little higher than I was wanting to go ($1200-$1500). That was also to repaint the whole top black (I wasnít fond of the khaki-gray color). After a little more research I decided I could repair and paint the hardtop myself, and I have a friend at a Chrysler dealership body shop to do the body work. Though I didnít get a huge savings on the body work, I was able to strip down the jeep to save on additional labor for removal and install of stuff. I also bought the corner panel online myself and saved about $50 there too.


Now, for the repair of my hardtop...
I had ran across a repair and paint process for the hardtop in a Google search. It was for repair of a JK hardtop posted in the JKOwners.com forum (Hard Top Repair - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum). Itís a great write-up and has a lot more detail than Iíll go into, but I basically followed the same process.

Keep in mind, this if the first time Iíve ever done anything like this so some of the processes may not be ďthe right wayĒ to do it. I just used the guide from the JKOwners post and made up the rest as I went.

I purchased the 3M Automix Rigid Parts Repair (05883) from my local automotive paint supplier. It can also be purchased from many places online, like Amazon, if you cant get it locally. You will also need the applicator cartridge gun for dispensing the epoxy. The place that sold me the epoxy told me I can purchase the gun, use it, then bring it back for a full refund, so that worked out well for me. I also bought a bag of fiberglass mat from Wal-Mart for reinforcement.
First thing is to sand down the area and feather it out so the epoxy has something to bond to. I was able to do the same on the inside (somewhat). I wiped down the area with acetone after sanding.




Next I put in a temporary backing and apply the first layer of epoxy and fiberglass fibers.



Next step... removed the backing, sand, clean with acetone, and apply another layer of epoxy and fiberglass fibers.





Repeat... sand, clean with acetone, and apply epoxy. (these last two times I didnít add any fiberglass)




After one last sanding I decided it was good enough considering the finished paint will be textured.
I primered the area with Rustoleum (rattle-can) primer. The repair turned out pretty good being my first time. If I was going to have a smooth finish I would have done a little more fine tuning.




The epoxy was fairly easy to work with and it dried to a sand-able surface fairly quickly. I sanded the first layer about an hour or so after application, applied the second layer, an hour or so later I sanded again. The repair didnít feel rigid at that point, I was able to wiggle it a little bit and was becoming concerned that this epoxy wasnít as ďrigidĒ as the name implies. I went ahead and applied the third layer and left it overnight. It was much more rigid the following day. I then sanded again, applied another layer, and let it sit overnight.
In the end, it feels like a solid repair, though Iím not about to see how much force it will take to break it off.

Heliotropic is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 10-04-2012, 09:10 PM   #2
Jeeper
 
Heliotropic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Utah
Posts: 122
Reserved for part 2 Ė painting

Heliotropic is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 10-04-2012, 09:18 PM   #3
Jeeper
 
reissigree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 517
You did a damn good job!
reissigree is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 10-05-2012, 04:58 PM   #4
Jeeper
 
jquinn83's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Maryland
Posts: 422
Heck of a job, it looks like you had benefit of a nice workspace. Is that an aircraft I see in the background?
jquinn83 is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 10-05-2012, 05:13 PM   #5
Jeeper
 
Lookin2buy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: MA
Posts: 176
Nice work. I'm a custom painter by trade and I hate doing bodywork...looks like that repair should hold up real well. You using spray cans for the top or gun?
Lookin2buy is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 10-05-2012, 07:34 PM   #6
Jeeper
 
Heliotropic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Utah
Posts: 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by reissigree View Post
You did a damn good job!
Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by jquinn83 View Post
Heck of a job, it looks like you had benefit of a nice workspace. Is that an aircraft I see in the background?
Yeah, my dad let me use his garage to do the work. He has more space than I do.
No, not an aircraft, but it does kinda look like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lookin2buy View Post
Nice work. I'm a custom painter by trade and I hate doing bodywork...looks like that repair should hold up real well. You using spray cans for the top or gun?
I used the spray gun that came with the Raptor Liner I used. I have the write-up about it ready to go but I can't edit my second post to put it up. I've messaged the administrator to see if I can get in to edit the post, otherwise i'll have put it in the middle of the thread.
Heliotropic is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 10-05-2012, 07:44 PM   #7
Jeeper
 
fourty4magjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Erie
Posts: 1,730
That's one hell of a job you did!
__________________
/I ,[_____], Goodyear duratrac 33x12.5r15s
I---I_ -olllllllo- 4" currie lift, savvy arms.
()_) ()_)óo-)_) Cragar or Procomp soft 8s pioneer deck with polk db series speakers
fourty4magjr is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 10-06-2012, 06:30 PM   #8
Jeeper
 
Heliotropic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Utah
Posts: 122
Part 2: Painting

Well it looks like I'm going to have to post the second part here...

So as I mentioned, I didnít care for the khaki-gray color of my hardtop, though everyone else seemed to like it. I just like black better. But if it hadnít been damaged, I would have just left it because it was in excellent condition, no fading or scratches. True, the damage was minimal and only cosmetic, I just HAD to fix it.
Again, following the guide on the JKOwners forum, I chose to use U-Pol Raptor Liner for the finish. I liked how his turned out and it seemed easy enough. I purchased mine from TPTools.com as it was cheaper than buying it from my local automotive paint supplier. It comes with 4 cans of the paint, hardener, and the gun to spray it with. I only used 2 cans for my entire top. You can buy it in black or tintable to create your own color, obviously I just got black.

Starting with red scotch-brite pads on an angle grinder (and some manual sanding with scotch-brite pad sheets) I began scuffing up the surface. Then took it outside, washed it with soap and water. Let it dry for a day, then wiped it down with acetone just before applying the paint.



I strung some plastic around to create a paint booth.



I donít have any pictures as it was being painted, I didnít have time, you have to move quick as this stuff dries fast. You also need to stretch out each can of paint evenly because you have to clean the gun between each can, and by that time the previous coat is mostly dried. Youíll definitely want to put down plastic and wear clothes and shoes you donít mind getting paint on. Itís a bit messy as it sprays. Actually, itís more of a splatter than a spray.

And here is the finished product, a couple weeks later, and just after itís first time at the carwash since the repairs. It seemed to hold up well against the pressure washer, but I didnít have it real close trying to make it come apart.





And here is the top and body repair.



Overall I like the outcome. It has a unique look to it. But if I was to do it again I would have added the 10% reducer in the paint to thin it a little bit. It was a little more textured than I was hoping for, but itís growing on me.
There are a couple small areas that I didnít get quite enough paint on and you can slightly see the gray through it, but theyíre in inconspicuous spots (like the door jam). At certain angles and lighting some areas seem more ďshinyĒ than others. Iím guessing thatís from poor spraying technique, but I can live with it.
Iíll see how it holds up and report back.
Heliotropic is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 03-18-2013, 03:46 PM   #9
Jeeper
 
ryanmalzac1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Dallas, Tx
Posts: 180
Images: 2
looks awesome, i was looking at how to repair mine , now i think im gonna re paint it as well, hopefully it turns out as good as yours
ryanmalzac1 is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 04-18-2013, 12:55 AM   #10
Jeeper
 
jimmy_buckle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Albury, NSW Australia
Posts: 96
How much did the whole process cost you?
jimmy_buckle is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 04-19-2013, 10:39 PM   #11
Jeeper
 
Heliotropic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Utah
Posts: 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy_buckle View Post
How much did the whole process cost you?
I bought the U-Pol Raptor Liner from TP Tools for $109 + shipping.
The 3M Rigid Parts Repair for fixing the damage to the top I purchased from a local auto body & paint supplier for around $40-$50 (I don't exactly remember). I had to buy the cartridge gun for the 3M stuff, but was allowed to return it for a full refund when I was done.
I already had the sanding disks and pads for scuffing the top, the plastic sheeting, masking tape and paper, and tools. I did buy a bag of fiberglass mesh for the repair from Wal-Mart for around $5.
So overall it was under $200.

6+ months later and sitting outside through the winter, it still looks like the day I applied it. No chipping, peeling, or fading so far.
__________________
'04 TJ Sport
4.0L, 5 spd
Teraflex BB
31x10.5x15 Pro Comp Extreme

My Hardtop Repair and Paint
Heliotropic is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 04-21-2013, 08:27 AM   #12
Jeeper
 
jimmy_buckle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Albury, NSW Australia
Posts: 96
That's awesome. Thanks so much for the info. Super helpful....one final question. What did the cartridge gun look like....a double caulking gun?

Was it this thing
9-Inch Heavy Duty Double Component Cartridge Cardle Type Caulking Guns

Thanks for any help
jimmy_buckle is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 04-21-2013, 09:32 PM   #13
Jeeper
 
Heliotropic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Utah
Posts: 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy_buckle View Post
That's awesome. Thanks so much for the info. Super helpful....one final question. What did the cartridge gun look like....a double caulking gun?

Was it this thing
9-Inch Heavy Duty Double Component Cartridge Cardle Type Caulking Guns

Thanks for any help
Yeah, it was basically the same thing.
__________________
'04 TJ Sport
4.0L, 5 spd
Teraflex BB
31x10.5x15 Pro Comp Extreme

My Hardtop Repair and Paint
Heliotropic is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 04-22-2013, 05:56 AM   #14
Jeeper
 
jimmy_buckle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Albury, NSW Australia
Posts: 96
Cheers for the info. Thanks very much
jimmy_buckle is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-24-2013, 08:03 AM   #15
Jeeper
 
Harris4627's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Benbrook
Posts: 75
Very Impressive. I just found a used hardtop for 150 bucks but it has some damage to the rear corners. (hence why its 150 bucks). But I think I'm gonna tackle that monster after seeing this write up! Thanks for the info!!
__________________
TEXAS PROUD!
Harris4627 is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 05-26-2013, 04:31 PM   #16
Jeeper
 
Davidramil03's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 31
Great write up. Taking the hardtop off today and putting the soft top on for the summer. I will be doing some repairs to the hard top over the summer and will more than likely use the same stuff you did.
Davidramil03 is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 07-31-2013, 12:58 AM   #17
Commercial Member

WF Supporting Member
 
Olsen185's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 487
How is the U-pol holding up on the hard top? Looking back, do you still feel the scotchbrite pads were necessary?
__________________
www.AngryOffRoad.com
Custom Paracord Grab Handles
Custom Wrangler iPad Stereo Dash Mounts for sale (11-14)
Olsen185 is online now   Quote Quick Reply
Old 07-31-2013, 11:30 PM   #18
Jeeper
 
Heliotropic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Utah
Posts: 122
The U-pol is holding up great! Still looks as good as the day I applied it. Still no cracking, peeling, or fading. More than a half-dozen car washes and it spends 90% of it's time outside. It was definitely worth the time and money.
I don't know if NOT using scotchbrite pads would have made a difference since I don't have anything to compare it to, but I would think it has to make the paint adhere better. If I was to do it again, I would definitely use scotchbrite pads again. It wouldn't be worth the risk of having to sand off the paint and redo it if it happen to start peeling.
__________________
'04 TJ Sport
4.0L, 5 spd
Teraflex BB
31x10.5x15 Pro Comp Extreme

My Hardtop Repair and Paint
Heliotropic is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 07-31-2013, 11:37 PM   #19
Commercial Member

WF Supporting Member
 
Olsen185's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 487
Awesome! Thanks for the update. I really wanted the paint matched bumpers and hard top but I actually wheel my jeep so I figured the paint wouldn't last long. Hopefully this will give me the look I want, but also be durable enough for the trails.

__________________
www.AngryOffRoad.com
Custom Paracord Grab Handles
Custom Wrangler iPad Stereo Dash Mounts for sale (11-14)
Olsen185 is online now   Quote Quick Reply
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Jeep Wrangler Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Rates
Get low rates on auto insurance in Canada!

» Network Links
»Jeep Parts
» Featured Product

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:23 PM.



Jeepģ, Wrangler, Liberty, Wagoneer, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee are copyrighted and trademarked to Chrysler Motors LLC.
Wranglerforum.com is not in any way associated with the Chrysler Motors LLC