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body preparation

1398 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  matty
i apologize if this sounds dumb but i am not a car expert by any stretch of the imagination. I have a old gmc pick up truck that i picked up for a weekend hobby. It has many problems, but the one i would like to address first is the condition of the body. i would like to know the proper order of actions to take in removing the old paint and very minor rust. what grit do i start with and finish with? it has 2 or 3 layers of old paint,primer and who knows what else please if you could help me it would be very much appreciated.(and my weekends could go by smoother).like i said i may sound like a dumb question but i am lost and would really like to do all i can myself after all thats what i bought it for thank you.
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Alan, have no fears Iz is herez! If you intent to strip the entire truck I recomend using a chemical paint stripper, its easier on the elbows and back. You can pick this up at any auto paint shop. Now after you use the stripper to get most of the paint off there is usually some left so use a orbital air sander(prefferably) or a drill attachment with some 80 grit then after the paints gone switch to 120 to smooth the metal a bit. Any filler can be sanded off with 36-40 grit or a grinder. If you strip to the bare metal be sure to have it indoors, or spray a coat of sealer over the "naked" panel so it doesn't rust while out in the weather. Check out the auto body/exsterior section in the knowledge base, there alot more information there (I should know I wrote it) If you need further help let me know, glad to help.

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If your like me just a weekend warrior the auto paint stores are closed on Saturday. I use the Klean Strip thats in the GOLD can from Home Depot. It works and BURNS real good. HK is right on with what he just said. Be safe have fun! :D

[ October 24, 2002: Message edited by: Maverick ]</p>
As an added side note here are few pointers I learned the hard way.
Even if it don't rain keep the truck inside, rust will start to set in almost as soon as you are done..rain is not necessary remember the humidity factor.
If you do a lot of sanding and esp. grinding, WEAR A MASK AND EYE PROTECTION. If may not seem like a big deal but when grinding filler, paint or lead -depnding on age- the stuff can create quite a mess and lead tends to fly off in small chunks.
If you have to do any welding make sure there is no lead or lacquer based paint near the spot. Lacquer paint is very flameable and lead tends to drip/splatter everywere. If you have a lot of lead you can use a torch to melt it and then scrape if off with a wire handled brush. If you have to sand a panel try and start with 80 grit, 36 can be used as well but I think it scratches, just my opinion not the law. You can then go to 180 to get rid of the scratches and feather edge the paint, if is prob not necessary to go with a higher grit unless you want to use 320 to really smooth out the paint but it is not needed on bare metal 180/80 will do fine.
If I am wrong just yell at me, I am not perfect but am learning more and more each day.
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