Sunday, May 27, 2012

No Camping Memorial Day Weekend; Just Stripping, Cleaning And Prepping

Our plan Saturday was to POR-Strip the entire interior of the car. We started on the front floor pans just below the firewall. We followed the same procedure we used for the firewall Friday, although the results were not nearly as good. It required much more scraping and scrubbing, and left a lot of paint behind. When it came time to rinse, we ran into an issue with the wind and rain outside. Since we could not roll the car outside, we did our best to rinse the front section off in the garage, and decided to work on something else until the wind and rain ceased.

We started by sanding all the remaining well-painted areas in an effort to rough them up for adhesion. Sara used a sanding block for this. I used the mouse sander on a few spots in the truck area, but it seemed to gouge the metal unnecessarily.

Sara sanding

Example of roughed up paint

I worked on removing the ground effects from the front and rear. KITT did not have front ground effects, so these will not be going back on and the holes will have to be filled in before the car is painted. The rear ground effects (also known as stone guards) will be replaced with replicas from Billy Gunther at Knight Designs. I noticed there is some surface rust behind the rear ground effects. It does not appear to be anything real serious, but it will have to be dealt with before paint. I got the rear ground effects off, but only the front driver side ground effect. I still have the passenger side left to do.

Front and rear ground effects removed

While I was removing the ground effects, Sara worked on removing the metal speaker mounts and the remaining silicone and rubber seal from the T-top rails. She used the vacuum to clean up the pieces and rust, and used a combination of screwdriver, ice pick and putty knife to scrape with. All of the top rails are finished. The A-pillar and B-pillar rails have yet to be done.

T-top rails sans silicone

I also straightened a few dents in the floor pans on the driver side after we noticed the water was puddling when we tried to rinse off the POR-Strip. The subframe is dented in underneath the front driver floor pan - it looks like the previous owner either hit something (like a tree trunk) or jacked it incorrectly. I may try to get this straightened later.

Today we used the POR-Strip on the rest of the floor pans and drive train hump. We applied the first coat of POR-Strip, waited thirty minutes, then applied a second coat. We waited another thirty minutes and then scraped as much of the paint off as possible. We rolled the car out of the garage and used a floor jack to raise the front end of the car up to allow better run-off and drainage. After rinsing the POR-Strip off completely we followed up with the Marine Clean, working section by section, using two applications and scrubbing everything thoroughly. This required a lot of elbow grease as we really scrubbed hard with both bristle and wire brushes. The Marine Clean was then rinsed off with hot water after completing each section. When we had finished we gave the whole area another application of Marine Clean, let it soak for 20 minutes and then rinsed thoroughly.

We then applied the Prep & Ready and kept it wet for 30 minutes. This required using a tarp over the car to keep the sun and wind from drying the solution too quickly. We misted every seven minutes or so to keep it wet the entire 30 minutes. Then we rinsed it off with water several times. According to the instructions on the Prep & Ready, the surface must be "bone dry" before you can apply POR-15 Rust Preventative Paint. We used the air compressor to blow out as much of the water as possible, and then rolled the car back into the garage and left it to dry overnight. 

We are much happier with the results of the POR-Strip then we thought we would be initially. I am fairly confident what is left on there is not going to come off on its own. We think scuffing the paint with the sanding block and applying the POR-Strip twice in 30 minute increments aided in our success. It was a lot of work, and we still have the truck area, rear wheel wells, underbody and engine bay to POR-Strip. 

After applying the Prep and Ready

After drying with the air compressor

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