Monday, September 28, 2015

Seam Sealer Removal - Part 2

Sometime it's hard to get motivated on a project, especially when the task at hand isn't part of a creative process.  Replacing rusted and damaged body sections is creative.  Applying body filler and smoothing the contour of a panel is creative.  Fitting body panels, suspension components, and applying sealer, primer, and paint is creative.   Removing 47 year old seam sealer is...well...not creative.  So my motivation was waning.  But so is the favorable weather of the fall season.  I've got to get my butt in gear.

So after garage recovery (which seems to be an on-going process) from replacing rusted brake and fuel lines on the '97 Civic with 295,000 miles on it that no one in the family want me to sell, I rolled the fastback out into the driveway to work on the sealer/undercoating removal using a modified method Sven used that I mentioned in my last post. 

The method using the multi-tool is a good way to go.  Wear hearing protection as it's loud.   I was not able to find a narrow scraping blade at Lowes.  So I took one of the 1" saw blades that was worn out, used my stand grinder to shape a bevel on the end, and used that.  It made getting into tight spaces easier.  As you can see from the photos below, it does an acceptable job of removing the sealer.  There's nothing romantic about this work.  So I'm not spending a lot of time describing the process.  It's simple.  Put blade in multi-tool.  Plug in. Turn on. Remove sealer.

A thin film of black goo remained that my abrasive brush on a 9" grinder didn't remove.  But then I went back to Sven's post and saw that after he chipped the sealer away, the residue can be removed by using the stripper he mentioned and wiping down with Mineral Spirits.  

I got as far at the back seat brackets.  The one thing I discovered was all the MIG welding wire sticking out and gobby welds on the car.  I think my 7 year old granddaughter could have done that good.  It's a testament to how much build quality has improved, not to mention component fit and finish.  The sealer obviously was used to cover up gaps at body panel joints.

While working on the sealer, I suddenly realized that it might work on the goo that was around the windshield and back glass.  Even though it was soft and pliable, I wasn't looking forward to scraping that out of the window channel.  I have nothing to loose by trying it out.

This is the 'before' picture with the window sealer in the channel

Well kids, it worked great!  I only got the driver's side of the window channel done, but it won't take long to finish the rest.  I'll try the stripper on that as well to get rid of the residue.

This is the "after" picture with the sealer removed.  it got almost all of it off.

The windshield "before"...

...and the windshield "after".
 This method also worked to get rid of the sealant in the drip rail area too.  (Sorry for the blurry picture.)

I got out my 4" grinder with a stripping disc to find out how well it would remove the sealer residue with the same poor results and the cone brush.  So I decided to start on the roof since it was in front of me and I was satisfied that the multi-tool process would continue quickly at a later date.  I got about 20% of it stripped, and then called it a day since I had a smoker full of protein that needed my attention and I have to get ready to go to Canada for 10 days on Tuesday.

 I got the sealer remains swept up out the the garage and drive.  I used my shop vac to clean out the inside of the body shell, including the remnants of the Black Diamond blasting media.  With the fastback safely tucked back in the garage and tools put away, I hit the shower to get cleaned up.

After I got out of the shower, my wife tells me that a couple of guys knocked on the door and asked if I still had the Mustang I had purchased from their friend, was I working on it, and if not, was it for sale.   My wife said, "Yes, he still has it.  Yes, he's still working on it.  And No! It's NOT for sale."  I guess that means I better keep working on it since my bride does not want me to sell it.   Wow!  What a woman!

Unfortunately, between work and family obligations, I will only be home for 6 days during the month of October.  So work will not progress as fast as I would like.  But looking on the bright side, my fastback is "NOT for sale".

Until the next time...

Friday, September 4, 2015

A Quick Update - Undercoating and Seam Sealer Removal

Thanks to fellow Mustang restorer and blogger Sven (Night Mission Boss 302), I have found a new and better way to remove the undercoating remnant and interior seam sealer.  You can read his post here.   In thinking about using an air chisel a thought struck me.  What about my Dremel Multi-tool with the scraper blade?  After all, it's a reciprocating tool used for all kinds of notching and sanding....and it has a scraper blade.  There was only one way to find out if it would work.

I went out to the garage this morning for a trial test.  What you see below are areas of the seam sealer inside the trunk area and the transition to the rear floor by the inside wheel wells...

This took all of 5 minutes!   FIVE MINUTES!  And I didn't eat and breath any media blasted at the surface.   I need to stop by Lowes to get a narrow straight edge blade, but it looks like this is the  ticket.  Hearing protection is highly recommended along with eye protection.

Anyway, I just had to share...and now I can turn on the garage air conditioner and go out there and work in comfort during the next several 90+ degree days as time allows.

Thanks Sven!  As usual, You Da' Man!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Back at it... More Media Blasting

Well, it has been an interesting summer.  11 weeks in northern Canada, most of it between the 53rd and 59th parallel.  I've flown almost 12,000 miles, landed at 24 different airports (some of them multiple times) and had 2 flat tires in 7 weeks on the airplane at the same airport.  I'm not a fan of crushed granite for a surface.  It's not very fine (as in small) and it's sharp.  I used my mad skills to change the tire successfully.  The tough part was getting a new tire and tube shipped out of Winnipeg to Island Lake, Manitoba in a reasonable amount of time.  Oh well... That's life in the north.

But now I'm back home for a while and have been looking over the fastback formulating a plan on how to proceed.  I have been bugged about the remaining undercoating on the car and wondered why I didn't take care of it all when I media blasted the floor the last time.  I believe it was because it was 90 plus degrees that day.   I thought I would just go ahead and used my heat gun to remove the rest.

After 10 minutes of using the heat gun, I quickly determined it would take me about 8 hours to get rid of the mess.  So it was back out into the driveway for more media blasting.  Oh...the temperature the day I did it?  90 degrees.  At least I'm consistent, right?

This is not glamorous work.  It's dirty, dusty, sticky and just plain messy.   I could blast for about 1-1/2 minutes and then had to let the 60 gallon compressor catch up.  Overall, I could blast about 6 minutes between stopping and putting in more media.  Then there was sweeping up the extra-fine black diamond media and putting it in a bucket.  I only has one bag of the stuff left and had to recycle it.  That meant using a sifting screen before using it.  So it became a rather labor-intensive project.  In spite of the hassle, it beat the tar (our undercoating) out of using a heat gun and was much, much faster.

Here's the driver's side wheel well before...

...and here it is after....

 Here is the passenger side before...

...and after....

 I spun the car around in the driveway and took care of the leftovers on the outside of the front aprons.  This is the driver's side...

 ...and this is the passenger side

This is the passenger side behind the apron....

...and the driver's side...

The undercoating and sealer that were applied heavily didn't come off all the way.  I figure I'll resort to the heat gun and braided wire brush to get rid of the rest.   That will take a chunk of time as well.

The one thing I noticed getting the body outside in the bright sunlight and spinning it around on the rotisserie is that I have a fair amount of weld dressing to do, especially for my favorite repair... the ever elusive pin holes! 

So I'm going out on a limb here and actually committing to a goal.  By the end of the month,  I'm shooting for....

1. Having all the undercoating/sealer to be gone both inside and out.
2. Have all the weld dressing done.
3. Start the application of Metal-to-Metal filler on the floor, firewall, and other weld joints that need to be smoothed over.

My wife and I are babysitting 3 of our grandchildren this weekend.  Two weeks from now, all my girls and their children will be here for a long weekend.   I have to go back to Canada for two weeks the first part of October and then to Michigan for work the last weekend of October.  I was hoping to get this beast into DP74 before the real cold weather sets in.  But that may be a push.

So I am, as usual, at the mercy of my calendar for family and work.  But there could be worse things to delay me.  I'll count my blessings and move on as I can.

Until the next time....