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1979 Ford Bronco Ranger XLT Trailer Special. 429/C6, Edelbrock 1405 600cc.
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Discussion Starter #1
Let’s talk painting... (I’ll add pictures once on WiFi)

I’ve said it before: I appreciate original equipment options, as I’m sure many of you do. So, with that in mind, what do you do when you don’t really care for the original color scheme of your truck and/or you can’t afford to properly change the color?

I’m kicking around all sorts of ideas and would like your opinions.

I have three guiding principles: protect the metal, maintain some level of authenticity and make the truck look good.

I don’t have a ton of money and I have very limited painting tools or experience; however, I’m a quick learner with an almost manic focus.

Option1: do the little body work and rattlecan match the paint, buff and rattlecan clear coat as little as needed to cover the scratches and body work. Problems: I’m finding it’s hard to match 40 year old paint and the finish product is less that great. I’m not a huge fan of the Ford Gold Metallic paint. Plusses: affordable and super satisfying.

Option2:Do the prep and body work and have the original color reapplied. Affordable and I don’t have to fully strip the truck but not much of a color improvement.

Option3: Go with a complementary color that I like more than brown. Something like Raptor orange. I might be able to leave the doorjams and interior paint. I’ve been kicking around the idea of doing some Raptor OEM graphics with this option.

Option4: Do the prep myself, fully strip the body and have it totally changed. Not sure if I’d pick an original year correct color but I would surely matcha correct two tone pattern. I’m just not sure I’m ready for this level of disassembly. Eventually I’ll strip it down this far but not before I get to enjoy it for a few years.

THOUGHTS?
 

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1979 Ranger XLT 400m T18
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172 Posts
I'm planning on going with option 1 for mine. But I like the gold personally. Or I was considering just painting the whole thing in the two tone cream color for simplicity. But I was also considering being brash and painting on some zebra stripes over the simple base color.
 

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If I had to do it all over again, I will keep original paint scheme. Actually, mine kinda is . Not the colors but if I add black to the very bottom, it would look stock.
 

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Since both my Broncos are black... I have using the spray can method. The enamel/lacquer looks great for about a year … then starts to fade. I can't see dropping 2,500 on a paint job on each Bronco... when I paid 6,500 for both. I have been researching this for about 3 years. I plan on dropping 500$ + on a 60 gallon compressor to get enough CFM's to feel comfortable with. Then continuing the trail and error method to get the results I desire. The Monstaliner route looks promising …. but since I will have these Broncos forever... I don't ever want to go through the process of removing that stuff. I'm a cheap bastard and even went out and bought an industrial sewing machine in anticipation of re doing the interior and possibly playing around with some soft top ideas. I guess the question is what is the pain tolerance of your wallet. My tolerance is around 400$ labor cost. Anything more than that … and I will figure it out myself. Sure the shop can complete it in a few hours and it might take me days.... but learning is half the fun of Bronco ownership. If it wasn't i would be on a waiting list to drop 40,000 on a new one.
 

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1984, 300 L6, smogless, manual 3speed with overdrive.
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1,454 Posts
You probably don’t want my opinion I’m a rattle and forget fan
40A10AFC-6687-4156-8612-255030EFA51B.jpeg

above is original
A9BC740E-91DF-488F-982A-9F77F751097C.jpeg
Above is about 12-13 years later
503469AA-3D99-4D51-8957-F7D49A83B854.jpeg
Above is in the process of going desert camo because it’s too damn hot in the summer, but it’s yours so make it what you want
 

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Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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Rattle cans wont make a very professional looking paint job.

Instead of buying a big air compressor, that isnt really necessary any more with the advent of good battery tools, check out some used HVLP sprayers on Ebay. Lots of good deals to be had. And usually you can find one that's ready to spray. Then you could sell it again for what you paid.
 

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1986 Ford Bronco, 351w with edelbrock aluminum top end and holly 600.
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2,286 Posts
I went with Raptor liner instead of paint. Its super durable. Its inexpensive (about $600). Minor prep work compared to auto paint. I think it looks awesome. Everyone wants to touch it.
161709
161710
161711
161712
 

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1984, 300 L6, smogless, manual 3speed with overdrive.
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1,454 Posts
How many cans do you need for a truck? The black on mine is looking worse and worse by the day lol


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Figure 2 per door,1-1/2 per fender, 5-6 for top, 2 for the tailgate in and out, 3-6 for hood if your doing both, then it depends on if your doing the interior.
9A479A6A-9F3A-4DFA-915A-0073EA01D0AC.jpeg
995781EB-56A9-4A54-A3A6-D2D2D0C901D2.jpeg
After driving it I had to paint the top panel dark, couldn’t see past it’s sunlight reflecting in the window.
 
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Figure 2 per door,1-1/2 per fender, 5-6 for top, 2 for the tailgate in and out, 3-6 for hood if your doing both, then it depends on if your doing the interior. View attachment 161771 View attachment 161772 After driving it I had to paint the top panel dark, couldn’t see past it’s sunlight reflecting in the window.
Hahahaha is that a "minimalistic" dash? I heard theyre all the rage lolol


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I've done some DIY painting over the years. My first paint job was my race bike, using a 6x12 trailer as a paint booth.



Most recently, I painted a hardtop I picked up for our track Miata, using my garage as a booth...





Everything I've done has been single stage urethane. I've done a few projects where I cleared over the single stage with good results. A good compressor, clean gun, and well lighted and ventilated work area are very important to good results. It's not rocket science, but it takes a little practice. Most of the work is in the preparation... you're not going to get nice paint without meticulous prep work.

A lot of the materials available now are water based, and I have no experience with that, but it's the coming thing. The materials to do the hardtop above cost ~$300 five years ago. That's paint, primer, reducer, hardener, sanding papers, and the buffer pads and compound for polishing. Figure $500-1000 for materials for a Bronco, depending on color and brand.

Our Bronco needed something, and while I would have liked to do a 'nice' paint job, it won't fit in my garage to paint, and I really didn't have the time or budget for it right now. So I rattle canned it...

Before


After


Figure 2 per door,1-1/2 per fender, 5-6 for top, 2 for the tailgate in and out, 3-6 for hood ...
This was pretty close to what I used... I used a little more on each panel, but didn't do the fiberglass top.

Prep is pretty easy for rattle canning... good cleaning, scuff with 320, wipe with acetone, spray. Flat colors are pretty easy to get a good finish. I did mine panel by panel over a month or so... one nice thing about doing it this way, you don't need to get it all done at once.

Something to note: the spray nozzles that come on the cans are garbage. Fortunately, there's a whole culture of spray paint art out there and you can get good, fan pattern nozzles. I highly recommend these if you're going to rattle can a Bronco!
 

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1979 Ford Bronco Ranger XLT Trailer Special. 429/C6, Edelbrock 1405 600cc.
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Discussion Starter #13
Do we have a resource for knowing what color combos ford sold? There’s the obvious ones but every now and then I’ll see a color combo that looks original but in a color scheme that’s not common. For example:
161855
 
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