Can anyone tell me the proper way to strip the paint on a vette. Car has been repainted once before and in the florrescent light you see cracks in the paint all over the car so iam sure it must be time to strip it?
Actually depending on circumstances it could be the car itself due to the fact that corvettes are fiberglass, unless of course its the recent bodystyle. The safest way to strip a corvette ththtat I'm comfortable with is to sand it down to the base rimer/sealer and go from there. I myself don't use any solvents on fiberglass just because I have exstremely sheety luck and don't dare to do it. There could be something new, but I don't know of anything. Just strip it by sanding with a D/A and prime and paint, some people I know put flex agent in the paint for fiberglass, but personally have never had a chance too, nor see the reason to due to fiberglass's regidity.
I agree very much so with bstmech, do not sand through the gelcoat, if you do this that spot will be forever a paint black hole, it will absorb anything you put on it. So be carful and only sand off what needs to be sanded off for the repaint, otherwise it could get ugly.
Thanks everyone for your imput,just thought maybe
there was some really new way to strip it. Sounds
like this might be my winter project since it is
going to take quite a bit of time. Think I'll pass on the razor blade tho.
I am going to have to respectfully disagree with some of the other posts on this one. I have two corvettes that I have owned for the past 25 years and I have painted both of them. When I first started I got a book on the subject that did not recomend chemical stripping because they said it would hide in the door jams and come back later and lift your new paint off. Following their suggestion, I tried to sand the old finish off, and found it to be very time consuming, labor intensive, dusty, and was dificult to do without getting into the jell coat. There is a special paint stripper designed for fiberglass that I got from the body supply shop and it stripped all layers of paint and primer down to the jell coat. (takes 2 gallowns) I found this to work very well, and it was much faster than the sanding process. Before I started I taped the jams up to keep it out of the cracks, then carefully sanded those areas when I pulled the tape off.
Before you start stripping paint I would make a drawing where all your cracks are so you can examine the body to see if the body is craking or if it was caused by the paint film being too thick. If it is the body, you will need to repair this first before you paint it.
We use a product called Aircraft paint stripper in the shop where I work. They make one for metal and one for stripping fiberglass. It works well on Vette's as long as you thoroughly clean it off the body by giving it a good wipe down with lacquer thinner before priming or sealing for paint. As far as the jambs are concerned we just cover over the gaps with a strip of duct tape so that the stripper does not get into these areas. These areas are then sanded by hand to remove the finish. We have done quite a few Vette's and other car panels such as the newer Camaro's and Firebird's that use composite panels and have had no problems with it. If you do sand through your gelcoat their are products made to correct the problem. We use Sikken's Poly Surfacer over bare glas and gelcoat sand throughs and then recoat with primer surfacers or sealer prior to paint.
Ok, that paint remover I was using that removes the paint and leaves your gel coat alone is also available from Eckler's Corvette in catalog 1202 on page 241 listed under restoration parts. Its called auto spra - strip item number 13024, comes with a spray bottle, sells for $29.99 a gallon plus shipping. (Usually takes 2 gallons) They also have books and videos on page 186 that give specifics on fiberglass repair and painting. You can probably find it at ecklers.com under restoration parts, or they will send you a catalog free by calling 1-800-327-4868. Hope this helps.