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02 Body Work Advice


Unishippers23

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About six weeks ago I created a post asking for advice on ultimatley painting an 02 myself. Since then I've decided on a color, purchased supplies, and most importantly I've done as much research as possible. I've started stripping off the paint and I wanted to ask for some advice from those who have done body work before. I've chosen to do a chemcial strip with Aircraft Stripper. The car's body is in great shape and does not need much body work (if at all) All that is needed is a color change. Is it necissary to do a full paint strip down to the bare metal? Becuase the body has had some singificant work done I would hate to bring it down to bare metal and cut into the body filler that's all ready been done. I do not want to create more work for myself and potentialy have the body be in worse shape than before.

Would you all recommend that I just bring it down to the primer? The aircraft stripper can tend to cut into the body filler. Is it necissary to bring it down to bare metal to do a proper paint job?

Thanks

Cabe

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1976 BMW 2002 - Sunroof

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once you start with chemical stripper, you're committed to taking it down to bare metal...the bondo will absorb the stripper...you have to remove all of the old filler and re-work the areas from scratch...

a tip that may save some time....once you have identified the areas that have filler, use a hand held torch to heat the filler and it'll scrape out in big chunks...saving a lot of sanding

if you try to leave the old filler after exposing it to aircraft stripper...there's a big risk that it will cause the new paint to lift and bubble

bondo is cheap...

it appears that you have a good solid base...why not just sand the whole car with 600 grit and shoot over the old paint....it would save a lot of work and money

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Cabe - what Esty said.

Aircraft stripper is good - I use it. But, on an entire car - what a lot of work! You also realize that there will be places that you can't reach with the stripper. When you use that stuff, and it spills into or onto a surface that you can't see, you risk it "infecting" the unseen - and you'll never know it until years later when a problem occurs.

The shortcut is to leave the paint in place, sand, and then go to it. But, to do it right, you have to strip it down all the way. A dip-and-strip joint will do a good job of chemically removing everything. Then, the challenge that you face is coating the parts and places that you can't see, or can't reach.

I've opined here before that the only way to do a "proper" paint job is (1) dip and strip, and (2) take the parts to an e-coater. E-coating is not as expensive as people think, but the problem is, there are only a handful of places that do it, and most of them are in Ohio. Short of doing that, you have to be diligent in making sure that everywhere that a chemical stripper may have infultrated, you remove the stripper thoroughly. That's why I say, a dipper will have a big tank that will take everything off.

I commend you for trying the aircraft stripper. But it's hard, messy work, and it doesn't lead to the best results, since as you note, it'll eat into existing bodywork, and will seep into places that you didn't intend it to go.

As for Bondo - Otis hates bondo. The only way to go is to spray weld. Problem is, spray weld rigs are thousands of dollars. Much easier to go with bondo. The problem with bondo - you may think that you're putting it on, without moisture - but surprise, unless you are in a controlled environment with zero humidity, there will be moisture under the bondo. You really have to be careful with that stuff. I never use it. If I have to repair something, I bang the metal until I have it straight, and then to the extent necessary, use Uncle Rick's spray welder to fill - or, if he's not around, lead. It's really the only way to go. Metal responds to heat, and should be repaired by a heat process, IMHO. Thereafter, any minor imperfections can be cured with high-build primer, and careful sanding.

Good luck. I realize I'm giving you the top-end solution, which involves a lot of bucks. But, once you touch that car with aircraft stripper, you are (as Esty said) committed. A dipper, followed by e-coating, is the way to go.

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Why are you taking it down to bare metal?

Is the current finish too thick?

Alot of rust?

Is the current paint not applied properly?

Is there alot of paint check?

You may be doing more work than you need to do. I'd check with a reputable paint supply shop before you proceed to the rest of the car. The car looks pretty straight.

If the current paint is'nt too thick and the prep work under that paint is well executed, you may be able to scuff and shoot over the current finish.

Cris

Proud member #113

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With the caveat that, whatever is "under there" that you can't see, you'll be shooting over it. In other words, these are 35-year old cars we are talking about. They are known for rust. They may look okay, but who knows? The only way to know, is to take it down to bare metal.

So, you have two options - number one, don't look, don't worry, be happy, shoot over the existing. That's faster, less expensive, etc. Nothing wrong with that approach, as long as you accept that at some point, you're going to have a bubble - it's inevitable. It's nobody's fault - it's simply an old car, and there's going to be something, somewhere, that you can't see, that will manifest itself later. Option two - the whole 9 yards. Dip, e-coat, metal repair, high-build primer, base coat clear coat.

Oh, yeah - and once you get ready to shoot - let's talk again. Your results will vary depending on your technique, and your access to a really good compressor with really, really dry air - and your ability to keep moisture and dust out of the spray booth.

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Thanks all

To answer your questions, the reason I decided to take it down to the bare metal for a couple of reasons. Otis, as you mentioned I am concerned about what's underneath. the body work was done before (as I mentioned) however, I know there are parts on the body that have some rust. Sure it looks straight, but I don't know how well the body work was actually done. The body is straight for the most part and I've always been told in order to do a proper job you take it down to the metal. As you all have mentioned before, stripping the entire car with Aircraft Stripper is tedious and wouldn't be the only tools I have to use.

I'm leaning towards sanding it down and then shooting it. I have two mini spots of rust and, as I've mentioned, I've never done this before. What would be the best way to take care of these 2 (half dime sizes) without sanding the entire car down to the metal? Would it be best to sand the rust spots down to the metal, treat it, body filler to feather it out? How would you approach two spots of rust when you don't take the entire car down to the bare metal?

Thanks everyone for your input

Cabe

1976 BMW 2002 - Sunroof

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The same way, Cabe. Think of it this way - if you got into a fender bender, the local body guy would bang out the dent, sand down the damage, slap on some mud, sand some more (to feather), and then apply primer and shoot the damaged panel. The body guy might decide to blend in the paint, although that almost never works, so they probably would shoot the hole panel. With labor rates what they are (and most of the work being done under insurance), you can be assured that they are not going to strip the entire panel.

That being said, most collision work is performed on cars that are under 10 years old. Here, we're talking about a 35-year-plus set of cars that are serial rust mobiles. So, if you can take down everything to bare metal, that's the best way to go.

Finally, paint 'taint cheap. I bought a little bit of Colorado base-coat and clear coat, to paint a new (secret) project, and it was $600 for just a little bit. Although I realize that taking a car down all the way is simply more money, the cost of paint makes me think, if you're going to do it, do it right. Otherwise, a cheap Makko paint job will do the trick, to be honest - particularly if you don't plan on keeping the car forever. Any paint problems will, in 10 years, be some OPP (other person's problem). Bottom line -- anything half-way is exactly that - half way. If you're going to keep the car, I'd take it ATW and e-coat the thing. (E coating isn't expensive, BTW)

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It just hurts my eyes!

I agree entirely with CJ, you need to ask yourself why you are I doing all this.

Bare metal restorations are without a doubt higher in the food chain that a repaint, but those are better left to professionals that are more knowledgeable and better equipped

Unless you have bubbles or cracks in your paint, you DO NOT need to go all the way down to metal. You are just creating more work for yourself. If the car was "straight" is no longer. I can guarantee you that deck lid will require at least putty if not bondo. Put away that DA and start blocking with 600 wet, as soon as you a nice dull even surface, stop, you are ready for paint. If you are worried about what is under and how it is going to react with your new product, use a sealer. Anything that was wrong with the previous job, it will have manifested itself within a year, if not leave it alone.

If you are going to continue stripping, remove the aluminum badges and trims, they do not react well with that stuff.

FAQ Member # 91

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Put away that DA and start blocking with 600 wet, as soon as you a nice dull even surface, stop, you are ready for paint. If you are worried about what is under and how it is going to react with your new product, use a sealer. Anything that was wrong with the previous job, it will have manifested itself within a year, if not leave it alone.

ditto

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dubois - do you find that 600 wet gives you enough grip on the new primer and/or paint? I asked Uncle Rick (after seeing your post), and he recommends a bit rougher. Of course, Uncle Rick usually takes things all the way down to bare, then e-coats, then roughs it up (with 220), then uses high-build. He also gives me grief for sanding down to 400 after the high build - in his view, it's not necessary. Of course, we're talking about someone here who can lay down a base coat clear coat without having to rub it out - he's that good. Me, I always have to rub it out, because my gun technique sucks.

Just curious - I've never tried to re-shoot, just after 600 wet. But hey, if it works, great. I have to redo the roof of my Blazer - the less work the better. So let me know, and thanks for the tip.

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Dubious

Thanks for your concern (I think) before you jump to conclusions, the trunk lid absolutley needed to be stripped down to the bare metal. The paint was bubbling and as you can see from the picture (below) the paint had peeled and was rusting from the middle of the lid out. As you can also see from the picture, this was not in one spot but the paint was splintering all over. It was absolutley needed to bring the trunk down to bare metal in order to treat this rust. My questions were more stated towards stripping down the entire car instead of doing it in places just where it's necissary. Also, as you can see from the first picture I posted that the trunk lid is not attached. I took off the lid to work on this, wiped it down with paint thiner and water as to safley handle the trunk lid. I would also never dream of stripping the car while the trim, windows, moulding etc were still attached.

Thank you for your input, I needed to treat the trunk lid to this point. It was the rest of the car I needed help on proceeding.

Thanks

Cabe

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1976 BMW 2002 - Sunroof

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for several projects, from stripping badly repainted wrecking yard fenders that were to be used in a subsequent repair to completely stripping the exterior of a couple of cars, so I've got a fair amount of-hands on experience with the stuff.....

All of the comments about the stuff getting in places where you really didn't want it to go are absolutely spot on - after having to strip a number of panels farther than intended when the goop dribbled through trim holes, etc, I've made it a point to tape off holes, etc, and leave a ring of unstripped material a inch or so wide around holes, along seams, etc. The last bit of painted surface is easy enough to strip with a D/A, and it eliminates the risk of stripper soaking into a seam where you can't get all the residue out, or eating some paint on the inside of the panel where you might not have wanted to strip the paint in the first place.

Barry Allen
'69 Sunroof - sold
'82 E21 (daily driver), '82 633CSi (wife's driver) - both sold
66 Chevy Nova wagon (yard & parts hauler)

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