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Old 08-01-2005, 05:40 PM
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Dipping - Pros, Cons, and Time required?

Hi Folks,
Due to the rusty nature of my '72 442, and my desire to do a proper restoration to correct the flaws of the previous hack 1980's resto, I would like to pull the body off of it.

The frame, front clip, fenders, doors, rockers, floorpan, and roof are all relatively solid. The rear quarters, trunk pan, and rear of wheelhouses are totally shot (I live in WI so this is expected).

I would like to get the car dipped. What is the cost and time frame of this procedure? I understand it requires removal of EVERYTHING but I would like your experiences. I have heard the cost is around $500-700 depending on how much stuff needs to be done.

Please contribute, and share any experiences with the process. I could also have the frame sandblasted and do the body strip myself with chemical stripper but that sounds like it would take a ridiculously long time to do.

My biggest concern is the time frame. I estimate it would take me around 4 days to strip the car (I am used to working 14+ hours in the heat!) but I don't want it languishing for months at the dipper's as I want it be put back together, epoxy primed, and able to move under its own power before the chilly WI winter sets in.

Thanks for all your input -


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Old 08-01-2005, 05:51 PM
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unless you can get a paint warranty in writting i would pass on dipping. we've tried it several times over the years. each time we had bubbles come up in seams and overlaps. i just dont trust it anymore.
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Old 08-11-2005, 08:25 PM
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I had my body tub dipped: $1,000, the frame was $300. The company was ReddiStrip in Indianapolis. They did a good job but it's not cheap. You'll have to recaulk all the body seams. I haven't had any paint problems.

I couldn't believe how clean the body came out.

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Old 08-11-2005, 09:14 PM
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Don't dip the hood and decklid unless you plan to re-glue the outer skin back to the structure, with hoods this is possible as there is access, but with decklids there is usually no access to replace the glue spots that will be stripped clean. The dipping process is really nice but plan to stand on your head, drill access holes and do everything imaginable to get the interior boxed areas coated before they start rusting. You'll need to use cavity waxes and similar to treat areas that can't be properly prepped for primer, rocker panels for example will be stripped clean on the interior and will need to be coated internally or corrosion will start and run ramp-id. A dipped surface needs to be cleaned and sanded well before applying primer-and this step can be really screwed up if the person doing the prep doesn't pay attention to every little nook and cranny.

Dipping followed by e-coating would be your best route if it's done right.

If this car isn't a full points type restoration you might want to just sandblast the underside, replace your rotted sheetmetal and coat with epoxy. You can also sandblast the jambs, firewall, and glass openings easily. Dipping just might not be worth it on your car considering the amount of metal that will be replaced.

Your 4-day strip time is pretty optimistic if you plan to do a good job. Take your time and do it right. Chemical stripper works fine-just be sure you scrub the surface well with water after or you may end up with future adhesion problems-seen this happen quite a few times.

Your project shouldn't be planned as a slam bam get it mobile type of repair-this will only lead to failure IMO. Take your time, do it right, once. Bob
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