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rj57 05-11-2011 11:15 AM

How To Clean The Floor Pan
Anyone know an easy way to clean the floor pan and frame?

Besides removing the body and using a rotisserie?

I need to clean the floor and frame of my first car. One thing I have working for (or against) me is the previous owner(s) allowed the transmission and rear end seal to leak for long periods. This softened the factory undercoating. But, it also makes for a very messy situation.

I tried using a wire brush on a high speed grinder. I am concerned about breathing all that dust it makes. This stuff is 50 plus years old and who knows what GM used to manufacture undercoating back then? Even wearing a paint mask I don't feel safe.

I can scrape a lot of the stuff off. But if there was a easier way to remove it, I'm open for suggestions.

A rotisserie would be great. But not in my budget.

oldschool hero 05-11-2011 12:58 PM

I use a propane torch and a putty knife to get the majority off then wire brush it using solvent.Use some common sence with the torch,have a fire extenguisher handy but just don't get carried away with the torch.This method works fast and easy.

deadbodyman 05-12-2011 06:05 AM

This is how I do it too.
A few tips: use the defuser tip, you just want the heat so dont let the flame touch the undercoating and you just want to warm it up and it'll come right off ...If your working upside down,cover up ,that stuff sticks to skin like contact cement and it burns. take the carpet out....

shine 05-12-2011 06:27 AM

use a heat gun . cheap at hf and wont burn down your garage.

Irelands child 05-12-2011 06:37 AM


Originally Posted by shine
use a heat gun . cheap at hf and wont burn down your garage.

....and of course since acetylene is in short (or no) supply and the price has doubled, that heat gun looks even better :D

shine 05-12-2011 07:38 AM

more than one hotrod has been burnt to the ground by a torch. :( a cheap heat gun works better anyway. with a torch by the time you get it soft it ignites. heatgun will turn it to butter.

rj57 05-12-2011 10:17 AM

Salvage yard I used to frequent, they told me about a few times they cut body pieces out for customers. One time they thought the fire was out. Even threw water on the spot they cut the metal from. Later that evening they had to call the fire department cause the undercoating re-ignited.

techinspector1 05-12-2011 04:09 PM


Originally Posted by shine
use a heat gun . cheap at hf and wont burn down your garage.

This one should be in the hot rod tips Hall of Fame!! :thumbup:

deadbodyman 05-13-2011 06:07 AM


Originally Posted by shine
use a heat gun . cheap at hf and wont burn down your garage.

Harbor freight?????? Not you too ,Shine......
No one should ever use acetylene to heat up undercoating ,what we use is the small ,blue Propane bottles...The diffuser tip is the wide ,oval tip that slips over the torch tip very little flame comes out. its what house painters use to strip paint off old wood houses.(by softening up the paint)..I'm sure someone ,somewhere could start a fire an burn down their garage with a propane torch but that same person would be using the heat gun outside in the rain.or painting a car with a kerosene salamander for heat.
.Someone mentioned using common sense....

I've used both, the heat gun works ,its just way too slow for me,especially if I'm working upside down and on my back..The feature I like most on my torch is the one finger on/off switch,you can set it down without fumbling around or using a striker to light it....
BTW, you dont need an open flame to start a car on fire, mig welders start more fires than a cutting torch ever did,Mostly because the danger is obvious and people are prepared if something goes wrong...Everything in this business is dangerous so...use common sense and be prepared ,just in case...Just having a water hose around isnt good enough and mostly useless for the type of fires that would happen working on cars...You NEED Fire extinguishers that are charged and properly rated....and dont go to HF for them either....
If your thinking of working on cars at your home the fire extinguishers go in before the car does...

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