It took some time, but overall everything came apart fairly easily and I removed the last part from the body yesterday (other than doors and trunk lid that are staying on for now just as an easy place to store).
Next I plan to get started on the body. I took one of the front fenders that was in pretty bad shape and started experimenting with it. It has about 1 million dings on it as well as some rusted out sections. It is bad enough that I may end up deciding not to use it at all, so I figured it was a good part to experiment on.
I won't be reinstalling the front side reflectors or the knee line trim, so I started by welding up those holes. I ground off paint around the few spots on both sides and used a copper plate covering to hole from behind and MIG to fill them in. My first time welding, so it took a little time to get the settings about right and find the best method to grind the welds down. A tiny spots I'll likely go back and touch up, but overall it seemed to work out pretty well.
I also experimented with a few different types of sanding discs to see what I prefered. Last E30 I did, I did a lot of it with either my makita rotary, with chemical strippers (for large fairly flat areas like the hood) or by hand. This time around I tried a few other different discs. For grinding down welds I liked the Walter's Flexcut disc. It grinds down the weld very quickly, but also leaves a nice smooth finish. To remove paint and rust the strip discs work extremely well, removing several layers of paint (the fender I worked on had at least 3 layers of paint that seemed to be applied by roller :)) and rust very quickly, while also leaving the metal in great shape.
Ultimately I've got a new media blaster coming next week and expect that is what I'll be using for most of the paint and rust stripping. That will be a very fun new toy. Also I need to start thinking about what I will use to flip the body on it's side so I can work on the underbody more easily. There is little to no rust on the underbody, which is great, but I'll likely still strip it down to metal at this point just to be sure and refinish. I've looked at various rotisseries, but not sure I want to go that far at this point. I may build something instead. Will think about it a bit more.
Edited by attilars