Africa 2020 Buggy - "The Paint Job"
Updated: Mar 5
So the time has come to paint the Buggy. We had long discussions about the colour of the buggy. With the Mongol Rally buggy, one of the things we did was to paint the inside of the Tub with black Raptor paint. Raptor paint is a hard-wearing urethane-based pint that is commonly used for bed-linning of trucks. I was keen to do this again as it was easy to apply and as mentioned hard-wearing. It stood up to the test on the Mongol rally thats for sure.
We attended the Volksfest in Bristol where we bumped in representative of UPOL who makes Raptor. There they showed us examples of tintable Raptor and the various textures that you could get.
We told them our story and even agree to sponsor us with the product we needed to paint up the buggy. So a few weeks later look what turned up at the front door
Preparing the buggy for applying Raptor was really straight forward. As our shell was new we didn't have any real issues with having to decrease it. So the first thing we did was to pull the Buggy apart so we could easily paint it.
Before applying the Raptor we cleaned the Chassis up and applied Black Hammerite paint to the Chassis Frame.
The Shell was then washed and lightly sanded back using 180grit sandpaper. Had to be careful here we just wanted to remove the shine from the gelcoat here not really remove it all back to the fiberglass.
Once the sanding was complete we washed and dried the shell again to remove any reside from the sanding.
Whilst drying we took the Aluminium Roof and floor pan and scuffed the surfaces up using a copper wire wheel on a drill. I did this to get as much grip on the Aluminium as possible. Last time I applied Raptor to Aluminium it pulled off after applying it like a mat. This was my fault as we didn't prepare the surface and it was pretty greasy (lesson Learned).
So one of the things we liked about Raptor was its ability to create different textures. On the Buggy, we really wanted a finer texture on the exterior where we were going to apply the tintable Raptor. To achieve this we need to get a Gravity Feed gun and add thinners to the Raptor. I didn't have access to an air compressor or a gravity feed spray gun. However it's amazing these days how easy it is to rent stuff directly from people. I found a compressor and gravity speed gun on a website called Fatlama (Check it out).
So it was a bit of mixing Tint, Raptor, thinners, and hardeners in the correct quantities and away we went. We used a full 4L kit on the outside of the buggy, bonnet, and dashboard. Might hit it up with another 2 bottles once the rest of the work has been done
For the inside of the Tub and Floor pan, we applied black Raptor with the Raptor Application gun. We did not thin down the Raptor here as we wanted the more textured look that standard raptor gives you. Applying standard Raptor is really easy and quite rewarding. Before we could apply it though we had to mask up the car so that we could protect the Yellow Raptor on the outside and get a clean line where they met.
Prior to applying Raptor to the Aluminium, we sprayed it with UPOLs product, "GRIP #4 Adhesion Promoter". This once again helps to ensure that Raptor fully sticks down onto the Aluminium. They advise using this in hard to reach areas. I did it just to 100% sure so it might have been a bit of overkill.
So below you can see how happy I am with the outcome of the paint job. On the left is the bonnet, center main shell in the background in the garage to the right is the dashboard and behind me is the floor pan.
After suitable drying time (We left it apart overnight but really they advise 5 days), it was time to put the buggy back together again. Here it is back on its wheels.
Thanks again to our amazing Sponsors at UPOL for supplying us with RAPTOR