Tuning Terminology and Confusion

Found online while reading some FAQ’s on the HP Tuners forum


[learn_more caption=”Engine Modes”] Engine Modes There is a bit of confusion over the different modes the computer can enter so im going to try and clear this up for everyone.

  • MAF Closed Loop-MAF is Active, Main fueling O2 sensors are Active Most Stock LS1’s run in this mode corrections are made by the MAF, VE table & O2 sensors at part throttle & from 4000 rpms the MAF takes control of fueling based on your PE, OLFA, COT & any associated adder tables
  • MAF Open Loop-MAF is Active, Main fueling O2 sensors are Inactive or removed Many use this mode when the o2 sensors cannot be trusted for whatever reason ie Big cam, LT’s, etc.
  • Speed Density Closed Loop-Maf is inactive, removed or Failed, Main fueling O2 sensors are Active Many revert to this mode after doing VE tuning in SDOL mode so the computer can make some corrections for fueling Unless using an HPTuners Custom Operating system you will be stuck in the Low Octane Table Unless using an HPTuners Custom Operating system you will be stuck in the Secondary VE Table(where applicable)
  • Speed Density Open Loop(OLSD or SDOL)-Maf is inactive, removed or Failed, Main fueling O2 sensors are Inactive Most will say this is best for VE tuning because you have complete control over what the engine wants to do. Setup your OLFA tables as you’d like to drive around town Setup your PE tables as you’d like to drive around town Just remember the computer will always command whatever table is richest so keep an eye on any adder/multiplyer tables that may be in effect such as Cat Over Temp. Unless using an HPTuners Custom Operating system you will be stuck in the Low Octane Table Unless using an HPTuners Custom Operating system you will be stuck in the Secondary VE Table(where applicable) Bottom Line is to remember Is Speed Density mode doesnt dictate if your in Open Loop or Closed Loop. [/learn_more]

Terminology and Confusion, part 1

 A lot of big words get thrown around on all the forums, but how many people actually understand what they’re saying? Once you actually read into their posts or problems, it quickly becomes obvious that they either don’t know what they’re saying, or they just answered their own questions without knowing it.

The usual example: MAF tuning vs. SD tuning.
MAF tuning is not a _pure_ MAF tuning. During sudden changes in throttle input, or any other MAP jumps, the PCM prefers to refer to the VE table for airflow lookup/calculation. If you’re not sure how VE table express airflow can, I highly recommend reading my ‘How Speed Density Works’ paper. If this was a “pure” MAF system, ALL requests would come from the MAF and MAF alone.

GM decided to make it into a hybrid system. Why would they do that, might you ask? MAF can deliver very precise, low noise signals, providing simple devices that can be easily calibratable to different applications, and have a reasonable range and resolution. But it also has a problem with not having the cleanest signal when not much airflow is going through the MAF sensor, or failing to deliver a smooth, universal airflow. Speed Density calculations however are just that–math. It’s not dependent on physical conditions, thus not affected by the non-uniform airflow at lower MAF frequencies. As long as all the necessary sensors (RPM, IAT, MAP) are healthy, and all the lookup values (VE, displacement, IFR) are correct, the airflow numbers are going to calculated correctly, despite physical conditions like low, or reverse airflow. The PCM itself is very much airflow source agnostic and it uses whichever source is better suited, or at least yields less erroneous values. Another neat side-effect of having both Speed Density and MAF working together side by side, that if you detect MAF failure (DTC codes P0102 or P0103), the computer seamlessly falls back onto then pure Speed Density mode, so you can safely drive it to the mechanic.

So to all the MAF pundits: you can complain about SD all you want, but the truth is, you’re running in SD at least part of the time you run your car, as there is no such thing as ‘pure’ MAF move on our PCMs.

Some smart guys saw it as strength, an advantage to this dual-source approach, and SD tuning became a reality. Turn off MAF, run in pure SD, and dial in your VE, so it precisely describes the breathing capability of your setup. What do we do with MAF then? After 4000rpm it’s going to take over completely, and we’re going to be ignoring our new perfect VE! That’s when I figured out how to ‘map’ the airflow calculated from the VE table onto the MAF frequency-based scale. This way we have brought back the dual-mode capability to the system, just like the system is designed to work, but now it has new data, tailored to our application. Because of that single source of airflow data, if the PCM decides to jump from MAF to VE based airflow, the airflow numbers should be smooth fit, not causing wrong air mass readings (that’s used to look up timing advance, which in effect can cause bucking), or airflow, which in effects causes knock, or at least hesitation, making for a terrible drivability.

An alternative, interesting approach was to use AFR%Error to manipulate MAF airflow numbers, to establish the new MAF calibration. While theoretically it should yield an identical result as it would with my Dynamic Airflow onto MAF frequency mapping, the reality is too fuzzy, and often yields discrepancies significant enough to cause the engine to get different numbers than it should have. While I do not recommend this method for MAF tuning, I _highly_ recommend using it to verify the VE tune, as well as to observe daily environmentally influenced fluctuations.

Another note to MAF pundits: If you claim that MAF is better purely on basis of not being able to get SD working correctly, you might want to watch out for your ‘MAF’ tune (I put it in quotes because it’s still a hybrid with SD). Every time you get on the gas more vigorously, your untuned VE table will rear its ugly head, and give you an AFR spike, bucking, knock that’s hard to reproduce, hesitation on takeoff and general unpleasantry. There is no escape from doing VE on these systems. Even the most hard-headed MAF tweakers out there have given up, and modify at least the idle areas of VE as without that, making the car idle is somewhere between difficult and impossible.

To farther prove my point about the MAF having very different characteristics on low vs. high airflow situations, let me demonstrate a typical spread of samples from < 5000Hz, and above 6000Hz.

Terminology and Confusion, part 2 (OLvsCL)


Open Loop vs Closed loop tuning is another huge source of misunderstanding. Partially because it’s just few terms out of a huge body of Control Theory (PID also comes from the same area), without understanding the rest of the principles and theory behind it. Another reason is because of how people use it, it’s almost always referred to as ‘OLSD’, as if it was one thing, which it is not.

Open Loop and Closed Loop are just a methods of control of fueling. OL is basically a system with no feedback. Think of a sprinkler system that sprays the lawn whether it needs it or not. To contrast that, you have CL–a system which takes the output if its own operation as in input for the next round of calculations. In practical terms, it would be a sprinkler system with a ground wetness sensor, and only activating the sprinkler system if the ground is dry. The good part is not wasting water when the lawn doesn’t need any more. The bad part is that we actually need sensors, threshold levels, hysteresis models, and other scientific junk, just to keep the damn lawn from drying out. This is definitely a place to consider effort vs benefit.

So what does it mean for a car? The main benefit of OL control is the direct relationship between what you tell it to do and what it does. It will do exactly what you tell it to, which is good if you tell it the right thing, and potentially catastrophic if you don’t. That’s why most tuning is done in OL–you want to see exactly how much airflow (MAF or VE) and which commanded AFR (OLFA or PE table) yields a particular AFR. This is the entire logic behind tuning–once commanded and resulting PE agree 100%, you can back calculate the airflow from displacement, pulse widths, injector flow rate, RPM, MAP, IAT and AFR. This is how you obtain airflow characteristics of an engine, no matter if it’s with MAF or SD approaches.

Once you obtained that airflow characteristic, you could continue running in OL, and all the environmental changes would show up as change in airflow numbers. In SD, VE table is calibrated in what I call GMVE units, which take temperature and barometric pressure into account. This means that if that pressure or temperature changes, it is easily recalculated to current conditions. In MAF mode it’s even simpler, more airmass cools the hot element of the MAF sensor better, automatically giving you a new, adjusted reading. Both models work just in any condition. (this is an answer to all the ‘do I have to retune for weather?’ questions that show up at least 3-4 times a week on forums)

So if it works so well, then why would we ever need CL one might ask? Doing math for all these models is great, everything agrees, but in practice, things like airflow measurement, or air fuel ratio measurement are an inherently difficult problem. Tuners drive around and scan and know what to adjust when. Normal people dont do that, they hop in and just want it to work, without scanning, analysis, and reflashing their car’s computer. Thus, CL became that automatic tuner. It looks at data from different sensors, and if it consistently points at a new better setting, it adjusts. It’s a perpetual feedback loop, not so commonly refered to as the Closed Loop. This model of course has its limits. While it will adjust to things like weather changes, or driving through the Rockies, it will not adjust for racing camshafts, huge heads, changes of displacement, and other significant changes to the airflow. Car’s computer is willing to adjust, but also must be able to detect hardware failures. To a computer, airflow reading way out of its usual range is flagged as an abnormal event that should be looked at, while to a human it just might mean we put some heads on it. Computer has no way of knowing which one it is, we must tell it.

If you read and understood the last two paragraphs, you might have noticed, that a human tuner, and CL mechanisms (fuel trims) have the same function: to observe and adjust airflow changes. If you think about it, what we usually call the OL tuning method, is really CL–except that the mechanisms doing the adjustments are not automatic and computerized, but human, and done outside of the system.

This brings me to conclusions: in part 1 of this writeup we learned that MAF mode doesn’t really work off MAF alone, and now we learned that Open Loop is a human powered Closed Loop.
I think what happened here is that we got lost somewhere between lack of technical understanding, and the traditional American tendency to polarize and zealotize (is this even a word?) concepts. This isn’t your usual Coke vs Pepsi, Chevy vs Ford, Republicans vs Democrats war of ideologies. Reality is complex, and simple models are just too simple to describe it. That’s why when we want a flexible system we end up doing hybrids, as there usually is no ‘one size fits all’ solution.

So the lesson from this is to learn, explore, and never be afraid to look at an alternative solution, as in more cases than not, you’ll both be right and wrong at the same time, just for different set of parameters. There are very few absolute rights and wrongs, but if you are comfortable with all the alternatives, then at least you have a good chance of picking the best solution for your application, your purpose, your environment. If you’re a tuner that always wants to run on the rugged edge and get as close as possible to 100% of potential, you probably want OL-SD. For a daily driver that doesn’t get scanned too often, CL-MAF or CL-SD are the way to go. If you’re bracket racer and you want as much consistency and control as possible, OL-MAF will probably yield you the desired effect.

Don’t be a close minded zealot–just because a buddy with a fast ride told you something, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you.

Best bargain sound deadener/ heat shield

Best bargain sound deadener/ heat shield

Blog is a combination of several posts on 67-72 Chevy Truck forum




If you want to decrease sound you need to go with CCF and MLV. Those stick products are to decrease resonance not block sound.

Here is a great thread on it: http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s…d.php?t=559596

and another post about it: http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s…5&postcount=54

Here is a good website that explains it all: https://www.sounddeadenershowdown.co…-vehicle-quiet

You can get it all online. The issue is that MLV is heavy. You can get different pounds per square foot but the shipping is what kills you. If you can find it locally you are golden.

Its kinda hard to work the MLV in tighter spots and depending on what you have close to the floor you might have some clearance issues (gas peddle). Ideally you would want it completely connected. I have used it on other people cars and it makes a huge difference.

I used the advice from sounddeadener showdown and I used Noico on my floors for the vibration dampener & ccf



For the mlv I used this product from Home Depot


In terms of sound damping this is some of the best stuff. And a good price. http://store.secondskinaudio.com/b-stock/

W.R. Grace Ice and Water shield. Home depot online.

Lay the fatmat for sound and rattle insulation. Then use a foam with a foil to reflect heat. I have foam from a generator enclosure on a yacht, it is 1″ thick, with lead shielding, and thick reflective foil. Floor stays cold.
Here’s a quick link I found.

Here’s a source that is mentioned on corvetteforum.com, but I have not compared prices:



How-To Links and Stories from the interwebs

From various posts, websites, and experiences

Ebonizing Ash The Easy Way for Woodworking Projects




Window Regulator

Door vent window

1. Lower the window all the way
2. remove the door trim panel
3. remove the door lock knob
4. remove the screws which attach the vent window lower
assembly to the door panel
5. loosen the inner and outer panel screws which are accessible
through the hole to the rear of the lower vent pivot
6. slide the main glass to the rear, away from the vent window
7. turn the complete assembly 90 degrees and guide it up and
out of the door
8. installation is the reverse of the removal

Door window glass and regulator

1. lower the glass completely, remove the window regulator
handle and the door lock knob
2. remove the door armrest and trim panel
3. remove the door vent window (above)
4. slide the main window glass forward until the front roller
is in alignment with the notch in the sash channel. Disengage
the roller
5. push the window forward and tilt the front edge up until the
rear roller is disengaged
6. return the window glass to the level position and withdraw it
from the door
7. if necessary, remove the mounting screws and withdraw the
regulator assembly through the lower opening in the door
8. prior to installation lube the regulator mechanism with chassis
9. installation is the reverse of removal

Raised Bed Floor
another no limit one

UHMW for tailgate trunions

Metal Prep
Since I have had allot of people ask me “Whats that blue stuff” on other builds I thought I would show a quick 5 step answer. It is called bluing die or layout die and it is used for many different things. I use it for two main things, one being panel layout. It sprays on and when you use a scribe or just any sharp point it comes off leaving a very visible line to follow. Then I also use it for getting panels as striate as I can when doing body work or metal finishing. Let me be the first to say I am not that great at metal finishing but everything I practice I get a very small amount better. So after welding the seam and working it with a hammer and dolly every step of the way I feel it is almost done but needs a little touch up here and there. So I spray the die on the panel and let it dry for about 10 mins then go over it with a body file to show thew highs and lows.

Then I use the hammer and dolly on the real lows and some on the real highs then I hit it with a long board with 40grit. After that I hammer and dolly more on the low spots and hit again with the long board. I keep repeating this process until I am happy with the results. In this case I would say my lows are only about a 1/6″ to 3/32″ in the bad spots so I will leave it here and finish it off with lead later this week after I get the other side in the same shape.

In these pics the very front and back of the seam are not complete but it gives you the idea anyways.

LFD Inc.

Paint and Body FAQ List
FAQ part 5  – paint and body

Built a sandblaster!


Electrolysis Rust remover


Inexpensive air driers?


Wood Bed Finishng 101


Best paint & rust removal tool?


No warp hole filling.


Tip! Prepping “bondo” tools


“Basics of Basics” Color matching-Alternates


Cab Flip Made Easy


pics of step by step custom flushmount tails


Martinsr’s “What to look for in a paint and body shop”


Rules, Rules Rules by Martin Sr


“Basics of Basics” Stainless trim repair / Metal finishing


“VOC” has nothing to do with safety.


Martinsr’s basics of fiberglas repair


MARTINSR’s “Basics of Basics” Surface cleaners


MARTINSRs “Basics of Basics” Color choice


MARTINSR’s “Basics of bondo types”


MARTINSR’s “Basics of Body Filler”


MARTINSR’s “Basics of Door Skins”


MARTINSR’s “Basics of Body Panel Alignment”


MARTINSR’s “Basics of Taping Jambs”


MARTINSR’s “Paint Technology Basics”


MARTINSR’s “Template making”


MARTINSR’s “Paint gun setup”


MARTINSR’s “Trial fitting of parts”


Here’s how I shoot base/clear. (from the interweb)

Lay your stuff out/hang it up, leaving plenty of room to walk around, this ain’t primer, we don’t want any dings here. Blow it all off, and wet the floor. Open a tack rag and spread it open and hang it up to dry out a bit. Crack a beer. Seriously. Put on your gloves.(you got some surgical gloves at the parts house, right? You WANT gloves.) Sip it while you wipe down with a brand compatible wax and grease remover. Strain your materials into the gun. (Ask for Sticks and strainers at the paint store, they’re usually complimentary.) Wax and grease again, then tack down. Half the beer should be gone. Shoot your first coat of base. WALK AWAY (completely out of the shop) AND DRINK THE REST OF THE BEER, at the normal redneck rate, about 5-10 min. Come back in and look over your stuff. You should have a fairly good covering medium coat on. Check your edges, look for runs and dirt. If you have runs or big dirt, wet sand them out now with 600 and wipe down just the affected area lightly (lightly!) with wax and grease and tack off. Then tack the whole thing. Most small dirt and dust will go with the tack rag. Ok, if all is well, shoot your second coat, being real careful to get good coverage, and get your edges covered. Mind your edges and be sure to go all the way, ALL the way to the bottom of the body. Walk away and drink another half beer. Re-inspect. If all is well, Mix clear. If not, wet sand it out, clean up and re-base that part. When you’re finally good, Load up clear gun. Tack off whole job and shoot. Now, on the first round, you just want a light to medium coat, a tack or scratch coat if you will. Very liberally get your edges. Walk away and drink half a beer. Come back and inspect. Bugs and big dirt can be snagged out with the sticky side of some masking tape, just barely touch the thing you want without touching the part. Runs can be handled the same way. Lay some 1/2 inch tape directly over the center of the run and set it lightly down on it (kiss it) and pop it right back off. Note:This only works when the clear is very wet and freshly shot. No touchie otherwise! If all is well, shoot coat two. Go for a nice, uniform coat this time. Mind your edges and be sure to go all the way, ALL the way to the bottom of the body. Walk away and drink half a beer, slowly. Come back and inspect. No touchie from here on in. Shoot coat # 3. Drink the rest of the sixer while cleaning guns and toasting you success. Enjoy your shiny paint job!

101 Paint and Body ideas and tips

Because we know it can be hard to find enough good information buried in a short, four-page tech story, we decided to cut through the flowery descriptions and long-winded explanations and compile this list of 101 paint and body tips. Some of the tips are common sense items that are easily overlooked, and some tips might make you say, “Hey, that’s a great idea.” To keep in line with this article’s structure, we’ll also keep this introduction short. So just read on already.

1. Performing an Internet picture search will give you the fastest results, but it might be hard to find any specific details about paint materials and techniques used on the specific paintjob you’re looking at.

2. Watch movies, because you never know where inspiration will come from. Look at that-we just made watching television educational again.

101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Hot Wheels

3. Hot Wheels are not just for collecting, they can be a great source for painting inspiration. Plus, you get to keep the toy.

4.Of course, car and truck magazines are a great place to look for designs and styles.

5. Go to a new-car dealer lot and look at the new cars. OEM paint colors have become pretty cool of late, and this is a good place to see colors on sheetmetal in the sun.

6. Rummage through your old car show pictures. Trends recycle over time and you never know, that booger graphic may come back in style in another decade.

7. Go to a truck show. This will be the best place to find vehicles like yours and see how things look.

8. Check out your local cruise night. You’ll be able to closely inspect the paint and find out who sprayed it.

9. Go to an automotive swap meet because there should be a selection of custom vehicles for sale and the owners are usually standing right there. You might even find a deal on sandpaper while you’re there.

10. Visit custom fabrication and body shops to get ideas from other rides being worked on. It’s not stealing, and imitation is the best form of flattery.

11. Tape out graphic designs on your truck in the driveway. Tape is cheap and it won’t damage your paint.

12. Don’t go too wild with your first paintjob. The loftier the plans, the bigger your wallet needs to be. Besides, you might want to change the paint scheme later on.

13. Have the neighbor kids draw pictures of your truck so you can see what other people think it should look like.

14. Have a rendering made. Get your ducks in a row before you contact an artist though. At least have a general plan and color choices in mind before you bug an artist for a rendering.

15. If you can track them down, talk to other truck owners about their experiences with a shop you want to use. If the shop is reputable, they’ll put you in contact with clients they’ve made happy in the past.

16. Talk about the body mods you want during the estimate. Be specific and don’t forget to mention any work you want the shop to perform. Nothing sucks worse than having your final bill jump up substantially from the estimate because halfway through the job you added more work and forgot about the added cost.

101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Car Design

17. Trace/draw your own rendering. Take a picture of your truck and print the picture. Then trace it with a felt tip pen that will bleed through the paper. Flip it over and you will have a coloring book type outline of your truck that you can make a bunch of copies of. Now you can go wild. Heck, you can even give some blank drawings to friends and see what they come up with.

18. If you are going to do the body mods yourself, then talk to the painter and find out what materials he uses. This will cut down on the chance the paint will have an ill reaction like wrinkling if you use the wrong prep products.

19. Don’t decide on a shop until you do some shopping. Get several quotes then pick the one that best suits your needs.

20. Look at the shop’s brag books to see the quality of work and style.

21. Look inside the shop to see how clean and organized it is. Some dirt is fine, but piles of trash and a foot-thick layer of sanding dust isn’t.

22.Check out the booth, prep, and bodywork areas as well. If the booth is really dirty, then there is a chance this shop relies on color-sanding to get the dirt out of the paintjob, and they will be charging you for that.

23. Go back several times. Are the same trucks still there being worked on? This is a sign that the shop might take a long time to finish your work. Also never put down more than a 20-percent deposit to cover materials for your paintjob. This will avoid you getting burned if the shop goes out of business and doesn’t finish the work.

24. Pick your wheel color at the same time you pick your graphics or color. Be sure you can get the wheels you want in the color that works for your truck.

101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Color Books

25. When picking a color, put all of the options out on the table and see which one looks the best in the sea of sameness. Example: When Calin was picking the yellow paint for his S-10, he pulled every yellow out of the color books to see which looked the most like yellow in the group.

26. If you’re going to drive your truck every day, it’s best to avoid complicated or detailed graphic jobs that go near the front of the hood. These will be hard to touch up or repair once the rock chips start to show up.

27. If you plan on having your frame powdercoated to match your exterior color, it’s a good idea to pick the powder color first. It’s easier to match the paint to the powder.

101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Custom Toyota Truck

28. Get everything you need at once. Some paint supply houses will give you a discount when you make a larger order, and mixing paint afterward if you run out can sometimes lead to mismatched colors.

29. Keep in mind that changing the color of the truck will almost double the price over just reshooting the original color. If you still want to spend all that money and like the original color, then apply the saved money for graphics.

30. Another cool but cheaper option is have the truck two-toned. That way the painter isn’t using as much material or spending as much time to complete the job. As we all know, materials and time equal money.

101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Disassembled Truck

Prep It For A Shop

31. Unless you’re rich, take the truck apart yourself. Disassemble the truck as much as you can to aid the shop and prevent any of your parts getting damaged or lost.

32. Put old wheels/tires on your truck so your new ones don’t get wrecked while at the body shop.

33. Remove audio equipment or anything of value from inside the cab. Temptation is a powerful thing.

34. Remove the glass. Some windshield and rear side glass is glued in and will need to be cut out. You can do it if you take your time or just have a mobile glass guy come out and do it for you.

35. Make sure your air suspension is easy to operate. Nothing pisses off a shop as much as a truck that leaks and has to constantly be worked on in ordered to be moved around the shop.

36. Make sure the tires hold air as well. The shop may not notice the flat tire and drive on it, and then you get into a pissing match about who’s going to replace it.

37. Clean the truck as much as you can in areas the shop might miss like inside fenderwells.

101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Sanding

38. Charge your battery. The truck will be started and moved quite a bit, but not driven long enough for the alternator to recharge the battery.

39. When block-sanding, if you can’t find a block that fits well into an odd body line you can make one from a piece of wood or just about anything you have in the shop. Don’t be afraid to think outside the block.

40.When smoothing plastic for painting, don’t try and sand the plastic smooth with the sandpaper. Just do a light scuff and then put down a few layers of high-build primer and sand that smooth.

41. Another plastic prep tip is to make sure to use an adhesion promoter like Bulldog. The chemicals in these types of products will give your primer more bite and prevent the paint from peeling off the plastic part later on.

101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Bulldog Adhesive


101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Door Handle


101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Pilot Holes

42.When shaving a door handle, it will help to get a junk door from the salvage yard so you can cut filler pieces from it. The steel will be the same thickness and have all of the proper body lines and curves. You can also get a completely different door handle and graft that in as well.

43. Line up all of the sheetmetal before you start bodyworking the truck. You don’t want to do a bunch of bodywork and then find out later that your perfectly smooth panels are going to be re-aligned after the parts are painted and re-installed, thus screwing up those perfect jambs and body lines.

44. You can drill small pilot holes where sheetmetal bolts together to make lining up during reassembly a snap. When you reinstall the part, all you need to do is use an awl or a piece of sturdy wire to push in the hole to set the proper alignment.

45. Tape all shims together when you remove them, and also mark where they came from to aid in reassembly.

101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Masked Edges

46. Hopefully you have all of the glass out before you start bodyworking to prevent scratching the surface of your windows with the paper or burning it with the welder. If the glass is going to stay in the truck, make sure to double- or triple-mask the edges and cover large areas with a welding blanket or cardboard.

47. If the glass is out, mask the window opening shut. This will cut down on the amount of sanding dust entering the interior.

48.When MIG welding a small hole closed, you can use a piece of brass to back up the hole instead of using a patch panel. The weld won’t stick to the brass and this is much easier than cutting a small filler piece.

101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Patch Piece

49. For shaving larger holes, make a small patch piece and weld a small tab on it. This will give you a small handle so you have something to hold onto while you do the first tack-welds.

50. When replacing pieces of sheetmetal like rocker panels, make sure to have the door in place and properly adjusted before welding the rocker panel in place.

51. Use glazing putty to fill small pin holes and light gouges for quicker results.

52.If you strip anything down to bare metal don’t let it sit outside. Rust can start showing up in one evening because of the moisture that’s present in the air. You are better off covering the metal with spray paint or duct tape and removing that when you are ready to work the area again.

101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Truck Cab


101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Glazing Putty


101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Rust


53. If you use a chemical stripper to remove old paint, make sure to rinse the part and surrounding areas thoroughly before painting. That stuff can linger and hide in tight spaces and could come back to ruin all of your fresh paint.

101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Red Truck

54. Another bad thing to let sit out in the sun is masking tape. If you have to push your project outside for any substantial amount of time, you are better off removing the tape before the glue dries out and the tape becomes brittle thanks to Mr. Sun.

55. To get the best coverage out of your paint, you can tint the primer to a similar color. Primer is cheaper than paint, so cover as much area as you can with color-tinted primer first before painting if you are looking to save dough.

56. Speaking of cheap, if you’re building a mild custom look into using single-stage enamel paint instead of two-stage. It’s much cheaper than the cost of a two-stage basecoat/clearcoat product.

57. Use 36-grit paper to strip a panel to bare metal, 80-grit to knock down body filler, 180-grit to block primer, and wet-sand the primer with 400-grit before spraying the sealer.

101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Wheelwell Opening

58. An often overlooked area to detail is the small lip on the wheelwell openings. Make sure you get in there and sand it as well so the paint will adhere to it.

59. When you are finished spraying primer, make sure to clean the gun right then and there. The longer it sits, the more chance the primer will dry up in the small passages and turn a quick clean up into a scrubbing nightmare.

60. Read all of the instructions that come with your materials! Even if you have used a product before, you never know if the company made a small change in the formula that will require a different procedure for applying it.

61. Make sure all components are compatible. If you don’t know, don’t mix them. Call your supplier and make sure your sealer, primer and paint won’t react in a negative way.

62. Buy a wall thermometer and humidity gauge (hygrometer) because this will help you mix the paints properly to your booth temperature.

63. Also make sure the truck itself is at the same temp as the booth. If it has been sitting in the cold shop and you pull it in a heated booth you have to let the sheetmetal come up to temp before spraying.

101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Girl


101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Components


101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Spray Gun

64. Get a water trap in your air line. Nothing will screw up a paintjob faster than a bunch of water entering the gun from the air line.

65. If you are having a custom color mixed, it might be a good idea to get an extra quart added to the order just in case you need to touch up something later.

66. Spray all of the jambs first, then proceed with the outside of the truck. This will cut down on the chance of putting fingerprints in the fresh paint when you go to close the door.

67.You can’t be too clean before painting. Just when you think it’s clean enough, make one more cleaning pass before picking up your spray gun.

68. On your final coat of paint, go ahead and over-reduce the paint by one more part. This will help it lay flatter, but make sure to turn down the air just a bit.

69. A good way to spray flake is to use a gun with a 2.0 tip. The large tip allows the flake to come out without clogging. Add the flake to some clear, drop a small, brand-new nut in the paint-gun reservoir to act as an agitator, crank up your air psi, and spray away.

101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Panel

70. When spraying metallics on a disassembled truck, make sure all of the panels are orientated as if they were on the truck. That way, the metallic paint will lay down uniformly. This can also be applied to flakes.

71. If you are using huge or splinter flake then you will need a flake-buster gun. Follow the instructions on the flake-buster, and once applied, slip-on a nonpowdered rubber glove to gently push the flake down flat.

72. If you have never sprayed candies then don’t try it on your ride with your first paintjob. If you are going to try and spray candy paints for the first time, then cut the candy mixture a little more with an intercoat clear. This will help prevent blotches, but you’ll have to lay down more coats.

73. When spraying the candy, make sure to start at one end of the truck and walk the whole side as opposed to doing it in panels. This will help keep the coats uniform down the whole side of the truck.

74. When you are spraying clear, make sure your first coat is a very light coat. Let it flash off and then you can start laying on thicker coats from there.

75. If you are spraying clear over graphics that have tape lines like stripes, spray a light coat over the graphics first. Let it flash or dry, and then do another light coat over the entire truck. This will reduce the chance of creating runs along the tape lines where clear will build up the fastest.

76. If you do end up with a run or sag in the clear, just let it dry and sand it off later. Some seasoned painters can keep spraying until the run drips off the bottom of the truck but that is a skill learned in time.

77. Ground the truck. A piece of chain that drapes over the truck’s frame and down to the shop floor will cut down on the static charge the vehicle has and reduce the chance of dirt being drawn to it.

78. Don’t lay out any graphics until the truck is assembled and all of the sheetmetal is properly aligned.

101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Truck


101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Doorjamb


101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Airbrush

79. For graphic lines that carry over a seam like a doorjamb, be sure to carry the line in at least 1/4 inch and then cap it with tape. This will look much better than a bunch of multicolor overspray blobs.

80. To go one step further, you could carry the graphic all of the way through the jambs. But, if you chose to do that, don’t forget the back of the cab and the tailgate jamb.

81.If you are going to use an airbrush to create a design, keep a watchful eye on the tip. It can get partially clogged pretty quickly and screw up the atomization of the air and paint. A quick wipe with your finger tips should be sufficient to remove anything that might be on there.

101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Pinstriping

82.You can save a little money in the pinstriping area by painting it yourself. Instead of learning how to use the brush, add the stripe during the graphics with one more taping step. After you get the graphic laid out, spray your pinstripe color along the edges of the design. Once dry, tape over it with 1/4-inch tape and proceed to paint the graphics color. When everything is dry you can peel away the tape to reveal the pinstriped graphic.

101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Pounce Pattern

83. To duplicate a design on the other side of the vehicle make a pounce pattern. Use some masking paper to lie over your taped area and rub it with a crayon. The crayon will leave a dark line where it goes over the tape. Remove the paper and set it on a piece of cardboard. Then, with a pounce wheel (small spur-looking thing) punch holes along the dark lines. Place the pattern on the other side of the truck and pat the dotted line left by the pounce wheel with a sock filled with baby powder. You’ll end up with a dotted line of powder to follow with your tape.

101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Pounce Wheel


101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Sock


101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Dotted Line

84. When the paint/clear is dry use wet or dry paper to knock down the orange peel. 1,500-grit paper is fine for the initial cut, but then switch to 2,000-grit for the final sand.

101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Bucket

85. If you are sanding a factory paintjob, grab some 3,000-grit paper and be very careful.

86. Soak all of your wet or dry paper in a bucket of clean water overnight to soften the papers’ backing. This will cut down on the chance the paper will gouge the surface of the body panels.

87. Have a bucket of water and a spray bottle ready when color-sanding. The bucket will be used to clean your paper, and the spray bottle filled with soap and water mixture will be used to lubricate the sanding process.

88. If you are color-sanding a truck that is already assembled, protect all of your chrome and trim pieces with tape to prevent scratching.

101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Sand Paper

89. Use tape to protect body lines and seams. These areas will sand very fast and usually are the first places you will break through.

90. When choosing a buffer, make sure you find one with a variable speed adjustment, like the Dewalt 849 or the Makita 9227CY.

91. Don’t sand an area that you can’t get the buffer into unless you feel like polishing that area by hand.

92.Sand in a back-and-forth motion from the front to the back of the panel, not in circles. Check your progress often with a squeegee. Stop sanding when the surface is devoid of shiny dots.

101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Buffer

93. The buffer is designed to be used flat, so fight the urge to tip the buffer on edge. This will just increase the chance of putting in swirls and/or burning the paint.

94. Keep a close eye on your fresh paint if it gets bird poop on it. Remove it quickly because the acids in the crap will have a field day on your unprotected finish.

95.Use rags, cardboard, or any other soft material to protect the paint while you rehang things like the doors or bumpers.

96. Don’t apply wax for at least a month to let the paint fully cure. During that time, you can use a quick-detailing product to keep it clean.

97. For a deep clean before you put wax on the truck, wash it with dish soap. This will remove any wax, dirt, or road grime that might have found its way on the paint.

98. Once the paint is cured and you are ready to wax, use a clay bar on the surface of the truck to remove any tiny contaminants stuck to the paint surface. This will prevent you from trapping a bunch of crud under your wax.

101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Bumper


101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Microfiber Towels


101 Paint And Body Ideas January 2009 Custom Flame Graphics

99. After clay, take your time and lay down a very good coat of wax.

100. Invest in a good set of microfiber towels. They don’t scratch paint nearly as bad as shop rags and take off wax with less effort.

101. The last tip we can pass on is to be proud of your work no matter how it came out. No one shoots a perfect paintjob the first time. Just make sure not to repeat any mistakes you might have made the first time.

Read more: http://www.sporttruck.com/techarticles/0901st_101_paint_and_body_design_prep_spraying_tips/graphics.html#ixzz29OAjPClo

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DC Thermal 12 Volt Ducted Heater – Direct Hook-Up – 40 Amps, 480 Watts, 8016 BTU


DC Thermals heaters are hand built in the USA with only the very best parts, motors, and wire. These heaters are not constructed of snap together plastic, and cheap internal parts. DC Thermals heaters are designed to last you a lifetime, not a season. DC Thermal heaters will work in any vehicle with a DC electrical system including cars, trucks, vans, busses, heavy equipment, etc. Measures 9″x5″x4″ and will easily fit into tight spaces. Vents and Hoses are not included. They can be purchased separately. Part Numbers: DCT-defrost, DCT-Horizon

DC Thermal SD12-4000 – another winner from DC Thermal, a leading manufacturer of 12 Volt Heaters offers various easy to use models of portable 12 volt heaters.




  • Available with 2, 3, or 4 vent outlets
  • Adjustable Fan Speed
  • Heater Dimensions: 9”x 5” X 4”
  • 12 Volt, 40 Amps, 480 Watts
  • 8016 BTU’s
  • Brushless 50,000 Hour Ball Bearing Fan
  • 10,000 Hour DC Thermal ©RuCar Vacuum Sealed Elements.
  • Case Construction: T5052 Aluminum.
  • Wired Entirely with GXL Wire
  • HIGH and LOW Heat Settings.
  • Thermally Protected
  • TWO YEAR Parts AND Labor Warranty




Maradyne 12 Volt Heater 12,500 BTU – Model 5030


Maradyne 12 Volt Heaters need a coolant line to be hooked up to the heater. Water to air heating systems, such as Maradyne, provide much larger heat output.




  • Three-Speed Motor w/Fan Control Switch
  • Heavy-Duty, Long-Life Motor
  • Mounting Studs and Water Hose Connections at Rear
  • Compact Design
  • Directional Airflow Doors
  • Mounting Hardware (included)
  • Dimensions: 7.1″H x 7.5″ L x 7.4″ D
  • OPTIONAL: Maradyne KT-12 Heater Hose Kit P/N H-64006 (not included)
  • OPTIONAL: Maradyne Defrost Kit MFA126 or MFA127 (not included)