Today I spent the full day stripping paint from the body. I finished the rear portion and worked my way forward to the front of the body using the chemical stripper and then spent some time beginning to mechanically strip what was left.
I decided to try a different variety of paint stripper. This one is called Aircraft Stripper, also made by Kleen Strip. I have heard good things about it and according to the label it is formulated specifically for enamel paints. It also is low odor, whereas the other stuff was pretty strong. I bought two quarts from Walmart for about $7 each, which comes to about what a gallon of the other stuff costs. This stuff was thick and yellow, unlike the clear/whitish other stuff.
And it did work well; I applied a coat to the rear and immediately began to hear a crackling sound as the chemical went to work.
I worked my way up the left side of the car, spot-treating the rear fender and then covering the rocker panel.
Then I applied it across the front cowl area.
And back around the right rocker panel and right fender.
The Aircraft Stripper was low in odor, but definitely strong stuff. I accidentally bumped my knee into an area I can coated in stripper and immediately felt an intense burning through the denim of the jeans I was wearing. I had to change my pants and noticed a visible welt on the skin of my knee underneath.
Then I returned to the front of the body to work on the engine bay. I applied masking tape to prevent stripper from seeping into the seems and applied stripper to the engine bay.
After 30 minutes I scraped the paint off the rear and cowl, using a plastic paint scraper.
And the rear fenders and rocker panels.
And I scraped the paint from the engine bay.
Next I applied a first coat of stripper to the firewall and apron. I was careful to avoid the seems as I had done in the engine bay.
A final application and the rear and top areas were stripped mostly to bare steel.
As were the fenders and rocker panels.
And the cowl and engine bay.
I washed the chemical stripper off the tub and prepared to begin mechanical stripping to remove the balance of the paint.
On the right rear fender there was clearly some damage that had been repaired using body filler. I removed the bulk of the filler using a wire wheel on my drill. There was a rust hole on the right fender lip that had been filled through-and-through with filler.
Here is a shot of the rust hole on the right fender and similar damage on the left fender.
I removed paint from the rest of the left fender using a 3M Clean & Strip disk.
And I did the same to remove the paint from the rear panel.
I used my wire wheel to clean up the recessed area where the hoodpins had been mounted on the body.
Then I spent some time using the wire wheel on the windshield frame. I began on the vertical posts, removing any remaining adhesive or gasket material.
After doing both sides I worked my way across the top removing the adhesive and foam remaining from the upholstery pieces.
The windshield frame came fairly clean.
The final thing I did today was to work on the front apron, removing the body filler and remaining paint using a wire wheel. There was a considerable amount of damage to this piece, presumably from the front-end collision I suspect is in the car’s history. I may try to replace the apron rather than repair it, given how flimsy it is.