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  1. #1
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    1979 Lincoln Town Car revival

    1979 Lincoln Town Car revival



    ***Disclaimer***
    If you have a.d.d. or get bored easily, this thread may not be for you... ^_^


    First off, I call it a "revival" because to me, a "restoration" ends with a show car finish. That wasn't the end result here by far, but that wasn't the goal.

    The vehicle is a 1979 Lincoln Town Car that belongs to my friend/neighbor Matt. It was his grandfather's car that he bought brand new and was passed down to Matt a few years ago by his grandmother. He had it tuned up to get it in good running condition a couple of years ago and came to me for help to get it back to a respectable condition appearance wise so he can start driving it again. It's not any classic hot rod by any stretch of the imagination, but it has sentimental value to him and I've never worked on a car like this, so I jumped on board.


    In addition to not being cleaned for the last decade+, it spent it's life down the back roads of southern Illinois and was used by some other family members that were in high school later in its life, so needless to say, it need a lot of work. The car was covered in years of dirt and oxidation, and the sides of the car were splattered with tar that had been caked on there for who knows how many years. Without ever having worked on single stage paint before and not knowing how well the paint would come back, I wanted to test out the whole process on a portion of the car to make sure the outcome was going to be worth the time and effort. This is how the vehicle has been sitting in Matt's garage for the past couple years:











    Before going any further, I gotta give a shout out to Mike Phillips for putting together this amazing article:

    The Secret to Removing Oxidation and Restoring a Show Car Finish to Antique Single Stage Paints


    That is one of the most informative well written detailing threads I've ever seen and was an immense help tackling this job. After reading the whole thing beginning to end I don't know how many times, I proceeded to go through the whole process on the trunk lid to see what the results would be. Here's what we ended up with:










    Matt was excited with the outcome, so we decided to proceed.



    stay tuned.....

  2. #2
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    Re: 1979 Lincoln Town Car revival

    The following is a series of pictures of the outside condition of the car before I started:


















































































  3. #3
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    Re: 1979 Lincoln Town Car revival

    Onto the interior. Dirt, dirt, and more dirt everywhere.












































































  4. #4
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    Re: 1979 Lincoln Town Car revival

    Some process notes and progress pics:


    I really wanted to do no more than a rinseless wash to minimize the amount of water in crevices that I couldn't get out, but it just wasnt going to happen. There was so much dirt caked on/in everywhere that I broke out the pressure washer (taking care to avoid the rust spots of course). The process went like this:

    2 Bucket wash with Four Star's Ultimate car wash (review on this coming). I took my time with each panel and sprayed each one down as I went with Optimum Power Clean diluted 3:1 to help loosen up whatever dirt possible before going over it with the carwash using a lambswool wash mitt. I didn't think the dirt was ever going to stop coming out of the car. I had to wash my driveway because it literally looked like a sandy beach after I was done lol.

    The vinyl top was cleaned with Amazing Roll Off, which impressed me a lot with how well it cleaned it.

    Matt told me not to bother with the tires and wheels since they're coming off anyway. In fact a couple of days after I was done with the car he ordered new 18" rims for it which should be here this week. I did a quick clean up on the tires though so I could test out Four Star's tire cleaner. Review on that will be coming soon as well. The wheels wells are so coated with tar and road junk that they're going to need to be a project all their own at a later date.

    After washing the car was treated with CarPro Iron X and then a combination of CarPro Tar X and Stoner's tarminator. There was so much tar that I blew through the bottle of Tar X that I had and had to go grab some tarminator from a local parts store to finish up getting the tar off. It took a lot of time and elbow grease to get it all off, but I was a bit surprised and impressed that it all eventually came off. I wasn't terribly confident on how that was going to turn out due to the amount of tar that was on the vehicle and how long it had been caked on there.

    Mechanical decon was taken care of with a Nanoskin medium grade prep mitt with UWW+ for lube.

    Chrome was cleaned up with Turtle Wax chrome polish

    As far as the interior goes, it was a lot Optimum Power clean, a lot of microfiber towels, a small nylon brush, and a lot of hours/elbow grease. The interior probably took as long, if not longer than the outside. To be honest, with the amount of dirt that was caked everywhere, the interior would need be gutted to get totally cleaned if it was my car. Would be a good winter project. Side note on the carpet.....it was so frustrating to vacuum, I wanted to rip it out and light it on fire. The pile of the carpet is so thick (it's like shag carpet from the 70's) that you could vacuum the carpet for a week straight and never get it totally clean.

    I noticed the seat material felt more like my boat seats than anything else, so I got a little unconventional and used Marine 31's Vinyl cleaner with a boar's hair brush and it work really well.

    A lot of the interior vinyl pieces are faded and discolored, so they really need to be repainted or dyed and the seats are badly cracked, but the key thing is everything inside is clean now. Matt is already searching for a local shop to reupholster the seats.

    On to the pics:

    Iron X doin it's thing:








    Four Star Tire Cleaner Gel going to work (I liked this stuff):







    Here's what the tires looked undressed after cleaning:




    And finally, Tar X and Tarminator's handy work. Thank God for these two products:














    The seats may be cracked, but they're getting cleaner:










    And the crucial first step before polishing....3 rounds of Meguiar's #7 showcar glaze with an overnight soak for each round:










    And finally the polishing:




    It took quite a bit of experimenting to land on a process for the polishing. I didn't want to remove any more paint than I wanted to, so I tried to get a one step to work with HD Adapt and an Orange Lake Country pad. It helped but not enough. I stepped up to Rupes Zephir Coarse Gel Compound on an Optimum microfiber cutting pad on my Dewalt rotary. I then followed that up with Rupes Keramik Fine Gel Polish with a Rupes microfiber polishing pad on my Rupes 21 to amp up the gloss a bit and clean up what was left from compounding.

    I had mixed feelings here. I couldn't believe how hard this paint was. The compounding definitely did a good job of cleaning the paint up, but when inspecting closely there were still a lot of deeper swirls and rids left. Stepping back just a bit it certainly looked much better though, so at this point I felt that living with what I was achieving with this process and leaving more of the original paint was a better option vs. getting even more aggressive with something else and removing more paint.

    The most disappointing part of this writeup will be the lack of progress pics with the polishing. I love 50/50 pics as much as the next guy, but trying to get pics to get it to show up was just wasting too much time and creating frustration. I dearly wish this car was any color other than white to show the transformation better in pics, but it was decided my time was better spent getting to work as opposed to wasting it trying to get a picture to show up. In person the transformation from beginning to end was pretty incredible.


    That's it for now. Gotta get back to work at my real job lol. I'll get the AFTER pics posted up tonight......

    Stay Tuned B)

  5. #5
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    Re: 1979 Lincoln Town Car revival

    Reserved

  6. #6
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    Re: 1979 Lincoln Town Car revival

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  7. #7
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    Re: 1979 Lincoln Town Car revival

    Looked like quite the job. Any final pictures?
    Last edited by mcleod52; 09-29-2015 at 03:57 PM. Reason: spelling

  8. #8
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    Re: 1979 Lincoln Town Car revival

    Yup. Gonna get em posted up tonight. Taking awhile to get the thread made due to the volume of pictures lol

  9. #9
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    Re: 1979 Lincoln Town Car revival

    Sure had a monumental task there! Did I see correctly that the dealership screwed their nameplate to the tailgate of the car??? Holy cow I'd be Furious!!!

  10. #10
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    Re: 1979 Lincoln Town Car revival

    Finished interior pic dump:

    Well......here's the pic dump of the interior finished:




















































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