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Thread: EMMA in all her ELEGANCE - TOTAL MAKEOVER of a 1969 Jeepster Commando

  1. #1
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    Cool EMMA in all her ELEGANCE - TOTAL MAKEOVER of a 1969 Jeepster Commando

    A little over 2 years ago, Cindy and I were down in the Carson Valley when we came across Emma, a bruised and weathered 1969 Jeepster Commando sitting on the side of the road. Although we knew it would be a real challenge to breath new life into her rare old iron, we just couldn't get ourselves to leave her there and so, we brought her home with us. While we were able to get some initial work done on her, life had a way of getting in the way and any additional help we could offer ultimately had to be put on hold. About a year ago, I was able to start working on her again and even began administering some skin rejuvenation therapy but as before, things came up and back on the back burner she went. With the end of 2017 quickly approaching and the release of the all new Jeep JL Wrangler just around the corner (something that will completely dominate my time), it became pretty clear to me that I was just about out of time. If I had any hope of helping this old girl out, it'd have to be now or never. Needless to say, for the better part of the last 4 weeks, I've been slaving away, working on Emma - day and night and with the intention of giving her the complete makeover she really deserves. While I'm still far from being finished, I thought you might appreciate seeing a few highlights of the work that I've done so far.

    For those of you who've never seen them, here are a few pics of what Emma looked like when we first brought her home.


    With the exception of her weathered paint, miscellaneous holes, signs of cancer and beat up front fender, she really didn't look too bad on the passenger side.






    A rear tire carrier may seem like a nice thing to have but it totally robbed Emma of her unique fast back design and it had to go.


    The driver side is where her biggest problem and that was her crushed in rocker panel.








    As mentioned, I had started doing some body work on Emma about a year ago but back then, I wasn't 100% sure where I ultimately wanted to go with her. You can click on the link below to see what I had done back then.
    Emma's Skin Rejuvenation Therapy

  2. #2
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    Initially, I was thinking I'd be fine just cleaning Emma up a bit and using her as is - a tired old Jeepster but once I got fixing a few of her dents, I really wanted to fix more. Of course, the one that was really bugging me was her driver side rocker panel especially being that it was so crushed in and before I knew it, I was on a mission.




    While I was hoping to do a thorough job documenting Emma's makeover much like we had done with Jane, time constraints made that impossible to do. And, maybe not so surprisingly, by not filming and photographing ever step of the way made working on this old girl a ton more fun. That being said, I do apologize for not having more photos to share. I had actually taken more pics of her rocker panel repair but somehow lost them somewhere along the way. Anyway, here are some after shots of what it looked like after some really hard work.






    This is where the slippery slope really started. With Emma's rocker panel fixed, I wanted to start patching holes on her rear quarter panel and doors and so, some sanding was in order.




    Had to spend a little time fixing her hem as well.


    Now you see em...






    Filling in holes...


    Now you don't.






    Being that I'd gone this far, I decided to start stripping her down and see what else I could address.




    The pile of parts starting to build up.


    Patching more holes from the old roll bar she had installed.




    Using a body hammer to tap at a pair of blisters on the base of Emma's rear fenders, it became pretty clear that there was some cancer lying just below the surface. Sanding the paint away proved as much.


    The only real way to kill the cancer is to knock it all out and keep knocking until you've reached solid metal again.




    After making sure that I cleared out all the rust, it was time to patch the hole. You'll have to forgive my shitty welds. Even with the tire removed, I had a hell of a time getting in under the fender to see what I was doing.


    Just so that I didn't have to see my sucky welding, I cleaned it up a bit and hit it up with some frame paint.


    I did weld up the hole and onto the plate on the inside and then cleaned it up with some bondo. Nothing beautiful but then, I'll be spraying in some bed liner later and won't be seeing any of this.


    Since I was in the process of removing tumors, I decided to give Emma's passenger side rocker panel a few knocks with a body hammer. Not good.


    Upon closer examination, it was clear that a good portion of the panel would need to be surgically removed.


    After cutting out all the cancer, I patched up the wound would some new skin.


    After massaging out her stitches, I applied some body cream to hide the scar.

  3. #3
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    With so much of Emma's paint removed, there was no stopping now. Either I'd have to prime what I've cleared so far or have to do it all again after it started rusting up.








    Working on her rear end, I came across even more cancer hiding just beneath the surface near her driver side rear tail light.


    After clearing out the rust, it was time to patch her back up.


    Far from perfect but again, I'll be bed lining her tub so I figured it'd be fine.


    Time to move on into the inside.


    Years of adhesives that need to be removed.


    Ta-Da!


    Taking apart the dash and marveling over Emma's high tech circuitry.


    Ready for paint stripping.


    Took a lot of work but here's what it looked free of paint.




    Pretty much all done stripping her down to bare metal.


    Anything that wasn't going to be painted was prepped for a future coat of Raptor Liner.

  4. #4
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    With a dusting of rust already starting to form on Emma's naked skin, it was time to get a coat of epoxy before all my hard work would go to waste.






    One last adjustment I made was to remove the windshield again to make it easier to spray things like the cowl.


    Fortunately, I could hang it from the ceiling and that made it easier for me to shoot.


    Here's what everything looked like after laying down some epoxy sealer that I got from Summit Racing.


    Epoxy should always be used on bare metal as it has great corrosion resistance and adhesion.




    While rust should no longer be an issue, there is a limited window that you have to apply a good high build primer like a 2K urethane. Again, I used one made by Summit.














    After block sanding everything down, it was time to hit Emma up with some color. While the original goal was to paint her Glacier White as she would have been stock, Cindy and I decided that we wanted her to be more white than off-white and decided to paint her Stone White like Moby. After looking through paint samples, we found that Summit Racing made a Champ White that looked a lot like Stone White and being that it was cheaper than having a custom color mixed, that's what we went with. Here's are a few shots that I took after laying down a few coats of base.


    Honestly, the base came out so nice that if I thought it'd last, I might have left everything as is.








    Being that this was a 2-stage paint, I topped off her base coat of Summit Racing Champ White with a nice glossy clear coat.








    Unfortunately, that's about as far as I've been able to get for now. While Emma looks great as is, I still have days upon days of scuffing and buffing ahead of me to get her paint looking really nice. Of course, this is to say nothing about reassembling everything and there are a ton of parts that I pulled and want to clean up before getting them back on and making this old girl whole again.

    Anyway, that's where I'm at for now.

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    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    UPDATE - 09/12/2017

    With cooler weather and even some rain coming our way, I decided to switch gears and work on a project that's a lot easier to do when it's nice and hot out - bed lining! Specifically, I decided to spray in some Raptor Liner again as I was really happy with the way Jane came out. Here are a few before and after shots that I took.

    Scuffed, degreased, masked off and ready to shoot!


    Any exposed metal needed to be hit up with some etch primer.




    I decided to shoot the transmission cover, fuel hose cover and tailgate off the vehicle.


    Here are shots of what Emma's tub looked like after being Raptor lined.











  6. #6
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    UPDATE - 09/21/2017

    With the very first snow starting to fall in the mountains behind Camp WAYALIFE, I'm happy to announce that Emma's total makeover is finally done. Or at least, for now anyway. It's taken about 2 solid months of blood, sweat and tears to get her to this point but in the end, it was totally worth it. Being this was the very first time I've worked on a project like this and taken it all the way to paint (as in, I did the painting myself), I learned a TON if only because I made so many mistakes. And, while she may be far from perfect, I pretty happy with how she came out and below are a few initial pics of her first time out of the stable since I started working.













    Here are a few shots of how she looks inside with her dash all cleaned up, new radio installed and center console repainted.






    A couple of shots showing off her Raptor Liner.




    And a few more shots highlighting the new seals and details that went into making her whole again.














    Here are a few shots of her back in the stable to show her head lights and tail lights all working.









  7. #7
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    UPDATE - 09/21/2017

    Finally, to really finish Emma off, I decided to break down her wheels and Goodyear Wrangler Radial tires and reverse them so that they could be mounted white walls out. I also polished up her factory hubcaps and installed them as well to give her a factory fresh look. This is how a 1969 Jeepster Commando would have looked like off the showroom floor.









    A few shots of her driver side.






    Here are a few close up shots of Emma's shoes showing off her white walls and hubcaps.








    And finally, a parting shot of her jewelry.

  8. #8
    Nothing but a Thing Judesign's Avatar
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    Wow you don't realize how much the dings and dents take away from the look until it's all cleaned up. Had to be a ton of work but it came out great


    Sent from my iPhone using WAYALIFE mobile app

  9. #9
    Hooked Taz81's Avatar
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    Looking amazing, You had lot of work handed to you with her. But can't wait to see the final master piece.

  10. #10
    Meme King WJCO's Avatar
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    Holy shit! Looks like a ton of work! Looks good though.
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