KentuckyKITT's Season 1/2 Replica

A place to share updates and photos of your replica builds!
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Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: KentuckyKITT's Season 1/2 Replica

Postby KentuckyKITT » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:02 pm

After what seemed like an eternity of blocking, priming, blocking and priming again, it was finally time to lay some color on a few things to see if I liked the color and how it was going to lay out. I've always been a huge fan of single stage paint, especially due to it's durability and ease of scratch/chip fix. I chose a color based on seeing a car at a cruise-in awhile back. The paint is 1950 Ford Black. The car at the cruise-in made other black cars look brown or bluish and was very black, so I talked to the owner and got the paint mix and ordered it.

First thing to get painted was underside of hood and underside of hatch. This was to test the paint flow and how it was going to look before spraying the whole car.

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After seeing this color, I gave the go ahead and the hubcaps were painted next:

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Now for the sealer coat, prepping the hood. The hood was the only part not stripped down, since my painter already redid this hood for me a few years ago, so it just needed a water block, seal and paint.

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Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: KentuckyKITT's Season 1/2 Replica

Postby KentuckyKITT » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:08 pm

One little thing I did was to remove the mirror glass from the housings because I did not want a paint line inside the housing. I'm glad I did this as it really made a difference! Not many think about this, but it was 3 screws each and out they want and I have no paint line.

1st coat of paint:

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Final 4 coats:

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Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: KentuckyKITT's Season 1/2 Replica

Postby KentuckyKITT » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:10 pm

Think it looks good there? ...and the wet sanding & buffing begins and this is by far the messiest job of all.

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Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: KentuckyKITT's Season 1/2 Replica

Postby KentuckyKITT » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:14 pm

Now, it's really starting to look good! We also began re-installing the hood, bumper, headlights and hatch. I think I spent about 2 hours on the headlights/hood bumper alignment. The last picture was taken at 10pm on a Saturday night. I was coming to get the car the next day. This is October of 2016 by the way. 1 year and 3 months later!

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Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: KentuckyKITT's Season 1/2 Replica

Postby KentuckyKITT » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:19 pm

It was finally time to bring it home, take more pictures of the paint and then begin the slow process of putting it all back together WITHOUT scratching the paint. No way was I driving it this time. I hired my neighbor to haul it back with his roll back and that was a great idea! It looked so good out in the light for the first time.

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Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: KentuckyKITT's Season 1/2 Replica

Postby KentuckyKITT » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:34 pm

So, while my car was being worked on, I decided it needed something to really set it apart a little. And so, the elusive clear, non as-1 line, non-tint windshield was obtained in February of 2016 and it lived wrapped in foam and pillows beside my sofa for nearly a year. It was finally installed just a few weeks after I got it back from paint:

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I had a windshield company come out to my house to install it. I was a nervous wreck watching these installers put this in. I had already obtained the correct thin factory style molding and the windshield installer kept trying to sell me the wide 1 inch stuff that was "better" and I told him no, and to install the trim I have because it looks factory and this stuff he was showing me looked ridiculous. He had a hard time installing the thin stuff, but it turned out nice and I made them tape the trim down tightly all the way around until it cured.

Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: KentuckyKITT's Season 1/2 Replica

Postby KentuckyKITT » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:45 pm

Fast forward to completely assembled... sorry I didn't take any pics of the rest of the assembly process. I hit the ground running and it took me about two months to just re-install everything. The interior was a real pain and slow process. I was very careful and took my time and managed not to even put a scuff in the paint anywhere. I really like the windshield. It looks just like KITT did. I can see my headliner all the way across and all of the upper console. This definitely sets the car apart and makes it look quite amazing! My factory windshield was faded and it sort of looked clear, but nothing like this!

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KITT will be buffed again here pretty soon as the paint is approaching cure time April 2. It's got a few issues here and there, but overall turned out great!

Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: KentuckyKITT's Season 1/2 Replica

Postby KentuckyKITT » Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:16 pm

That basically brings us to the present! Talked to my insurance agent and got the value increased from $10,000 to $25,000. That made me feel a little better. It hasn't been out much due to the front end being in terrible shape, so I tackled that a few weeks ago:
I bought new wheel bearings, rotors, pads, ball joints, center link, tie rods, sleeves, stabilizer bar bushings and end-links

Table full of parts ready to go!

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Just some random pictures I took of the install process:

I'm paranoid when it comes to jacking up on gravel, so I go overkill with safety. Car has 4 jackstands under it, the two main supports are on concrete pavers and then I put the car ramps under the body so if all 4 jack stands miraculously fail, the body can't fall all the way down. It's ridiculous, but all it takes is one time to fall on you, so worth it to me! One of these days I will have a proper garage with a concrete floor.

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Here's a tip, build your new assembly to the exact dimensions of the old and that will get you close enough to drive it to the alignment shop.

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Ball joints still suck and are always a pain. I just did all of this work on the 89 a couple years back and it made that car a whole new car and it did the same for KITT. Now, there's no more shimmy, no more loose feeling, and no more wandering on the road. I also replaced the leaking steering box with a quick ratio Camaro Z28 box. This is nice for the gullwing! I took the car to the alignment shop two weeks ago and got it all aligned and it drives like a new 82!

Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: KentuckyKITT's Season 1/2 Replica

Postby KentuckyKITT » Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:34 pm

So, now that we are at the present, let's talk the future. I'm awaiting an invoice for ZA electronics and pods and cannot wait to get these, of course it means the dash has to come back out again, but I've had it out so many times, it should be easy. Once I get those installed, the insurance value will need go up again by about $3,000.haha

I got a couple of goodies for the car here recently that I've yet to tackle:
a/c delete box and dual snorkel air cleaner with the elusive passenger side air inlet. I just have to figure out my ducting for the snorkel and I can get on that project.

This is a list of things I'll be doing this year 2017 in no particular order and will post as I do them:
Install dash electronics in the dash and wire it all to the car...this will be a huge one.
Install dual snorkel air cleaner.
Install a/c delete box and reroute the large harness under the box.
Install custom gullwing mount hole cover I made.
Install Knight Two Thousand plate on gullwing, I had a sticker the first time, now have an aluminum plate.
Fix minor paint issues and buff the entire car with foam pads.
Install new hood and hatch rubber stops (just got these the other day)
Do rear brakes (I bought them when I did the front end, just haven't done the rear yet)
Install screen accurate tape deck (seen in White Line Warriors and a few other episodes)
Buy and install a media player with FM radio (got to have my House of Hair on the radio on cruise nights)
Re-install hood shocks properly - they are upside down...silly me. They still work though!
Install screen accurate chrome locking hood release and cable (picked one of these up a couple of years ago and still haven't put it in yet).

That's all for now!

Posts: 73
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:42 pm

Re: KentuckyKITT's Season 1/2 Replica

Postby IndianaKnight » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:25 am

Beautiful car! Your pictures and story remind me alot of my own. I even assisted on my own paint as well. I hope you will be bringing it to Auburn next month. I have yet to see any replicas other than my own in person. If you're coming up then we should caravan the last couple of hours. I'm south of Auburn about 2 hours and close to I69.

Chad


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