Author Topic: Advice on sandblasting  (Read 825 times)

Maxthe222

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Advice on sandblasting
« on: July 13, 2019, 06:30:45 AM »
Hi gang,

I am really interested in doing a terrible DIY job at home on the F/A because... uh... money?

Anyway, the metal is cheap, and I'd really like to learn how to patch panels and sand blast at the same time. There are plenty of guides online, even specific video tutorials for almost the exact same car, but I had a few questions.

1. How do I go about sandblasting parts like the inside of the trunk area? i.e. where all the holes and crevasses are, inside that little nook where the rear spoiler goes on etc... Do I just shove the gun in there or something? I thought you needed to have like a big distance between where you're spraying.

2. After I have sandblasted the car, can I just use any spray can of metal primer to coat the metal after I am done? Or will I need a proper material?(Reasonable brand from Bunning's Warehouse)

3. How much do I need to remove from the car to be ready for sandblasting? The car is almost completely stripped except for the rear end and the glass.

4. Is there any spots on firebirds that people normally overlook or don't do properly? This is my first time and I expect there'll be a spot i'll miss or won't notice, or won't fill properly with primer etc...

Thank ya kindly!
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula 400 4-Speed

roadking77

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2019, 07:56:45 AM »
You will need a good blasting hood to start with. I would use a medium grit media. Be careful as the blasting motion creates a lot of heat and will warp the metal panels. AND, after youre done you will be finding bits for ever. That stuff gets everywhere and is almost impossible to get all cleaned up. I think you should wash the metal down first before you prime. I always do with slag media, but I think that step is more important using soda.
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NOT A TA

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2019, 08:37:52 PM »
Without the proper equipment it'll be a time consuming, messy, miserable job you'll regret having done for a long long time and probably won't come anywhere near your expectations. Hardest part to do is above the rear wheel well inner fenders inside the quarter forward to the door jamb. I have a big compressor, and a blaster, and a rotisserie,  respirator, hood, gloves, and neighbors who don't complain and there's still no way I'd do it. Small parts go in the blast cabinet and I do big parts like rear ends etc. in the back yard but there's no way I'll do a whole body. 

Cars I've worked on that have been blasted are a total pain. There's always blast media coming out and jumping in my eye from some obscure place. You can blast air in every nook & cranny you can find while repeatedly rotating the body on a rotisserie over & over & over after blasting and there will still be media that jumps in your eye or onto something you're painting.....forever.

Why do you want to blast?
John Paige
Lab-14.com

Grand73Am

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2019, 09:04:27 PM »
A good dust mask is a necessity, since you don't want to breathe in any of the dust. I use the 3M 8511. They're thicker than the cheap dust masks, conform better to your face, and has an exhaust valve on the front.

A blasting hood would be good. I've also used a clear face shield while wearing some head covering. It's convenient because the clear shield is replaceable, and just put a new on when it gets too pitted from the sand to see good enough.

Also, in case you didn't know, use a pressure sand blaster. It's a faster and stronger blaster. Don't even consider a siphon blaster, or it'll take forever to get it done. 

After blasting the metal clean, I like to blow it off with the air hose while wiping it with a scotchbrite pad. That's enough cleaning for interior or under the car surfaces. For exterior surfaces, do the same, but with the extra step of wiping the metal down with some lacquer thinner before priming.

After the bare metal is clean, spray it with one good coat of epoxy primer. You can buy Shop-Line brand epoxy primer and hardner for reasonable prices at a local PPG auto paint supply store. The metal will be protected well against rust with the epoxy primer on it, and you can work over the epoxy later when doing any bodywork. Don't cheap out on this step trying to use inferior primer, since this is the base for all your future work.

For getting the sand out, you'll need an air blowing nozzle for your air hose, and a vacuum. For hard to reach places, you can attach a short length of rubber hose to the air nozzle for extended reach. So, blow it out and vacuum it up, until no more comes out. Cleaning out the sand from inside the trunk drop-offs will be a challenge due to the small accessible space, I imagine.

Black Diamond is a good, economical sand to use. I bought some recently for $5 for a 50 lb bag at my local Northern Tool Store.

You need to disassemble as much of the car as possible. Anything you leave that you don't want blasted needs to be covered with at least 4 mil plastic sheeting, secured by duct tape. So, you could cover/wrap your rearend so sand doesn't get into it. It's best to remove all the glass, not only to protect the glass, but the glass channels may have rust that needs to be blasted off.

I suggest not blasting the underside of the hood or the trunk lid. You'll warp the hood and trunk lid panels. The sand won't hurt the framework on them, but the open areas in the framework are the panels, and the force will warp the exposed parts of the underside of the panels. They'll either sink in or swell up. I suggest hand sanding them. You could get away with blasting the framework part, if you fill the open holes with some cardboard to keep the sand from hitting the bottom side of the panels. Be careful blasting the top side too, because they can warp that way too. Blasting around the edges where it's sturdy won't hurt. But have to be careful on the broad flat surfaces. Blast at an angle and don't linger too long in one spot. Keep it moving.

That's all the tips I can think of now. Good luck.
Steve F.

Maxthe222

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2019, 09:07:52 PM »
Why do you want to blast?

They said it was cheap? I actually wanted to acid (or whatever it's called) dip the car to be thorough but I've been told that it would eat too much of the car away. Something something it takes away everything so the whole car might not be primered in all the spots or something.
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula 400 4-Speed

Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2019, 09:07:52 PM »

Grand73Am

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2019, 09:31:53 PM »
Why do you want to blast?

They said it was cheap? I actually wanted to acid (or whatever it's called) dip the car to be thorough but I've been told that it would eat too much of the car away. Something something it takes away everything so the whole car might not be primered in all the spots or something.

Dipping a car is a bad idea in my opinion. I've seen the results of doing that. Can never get all the chemical out and it comes back in tight spaces and seams to eat away at the metal and bubble up your new paint. Not to mention not being able to get paint on the hidden areas. Only way to do it is to take it to a place the dips it, rinses it, dries it out, dips it again in a rust preventative bath and dries it again, something to that effect. I've read there are places that do all that, but at what expense?

In addition to the tips I gave above, here's another one. You can avoid some of the blasting by sanding the exterior paint off. 80 grit discs work well, but it can take a number of them. I've also used these 7 inch diameter "cleaning discs" from Eastwood in place of sandpaper. Can probably strip the outside of the car with 2 or 3 of them.  https://www.eastwood.com/cleaning-disc-7in.html
Steve F.

Gene-73

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2019, 11:13:41 PM »
Another option is chemical stripping, unless you live in California where it's so overly-regulated that the only stuff you can get is so weak it doesn't work worth beans.

I can attest to John's feedback about blasting media falling out forever.  I had my shell blasted (exterior body panels only) and every time I pound on the car somewhere media drops out from a hundred places.  I can imagine once this car is on the road that I'll be vacuuming the carpet after every ride.  Also Steve's advice on not doing the hood is right on because of warping, plus you probably don't want that media falling out on top of your engine.  Lots of nooks and crannies for that stuff to hide in a hood.

Eastwood has a good couple of YouTube videos showcasing the different methods for paint removal.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42uFt1GZVqM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4OVOUh-ytU

The abrasive disc from Eastwood that Steve linked is good, but you can get almost the equivalent at Harbor Freight for a fraction of the cost. This is what I'm using to strip my hood.
https://www.harborfreight.com/power-tools/grinders-sanders/4-1-2-half-inch-nylon-abrasive-wheel-94017.html

Gene


Maxthe222

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2019, 03:21:39 AM »
Fortunately I live in Australia, and they have 1001 different car body stripping places in just one state.

And great, I have now learnt that all options will destroy my car one way or another lol, what a fun hobby. The eastwood videos are what gave the impression that it's ez-pz, they are doing it on a '78 camaro that looks very similar to my '79 F/A.

Well I like the sound of having the car dipped and thoroughly cleaned out properly, there are several of those places near where I live so i'll have to make a few phone calls. I imagine it'll probably be a thousand dollars or so. I'll post photos of what the rust looks like on my car to provide a better idea on what would be a more suitable approach.
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula 400 4-Speed

FormTA

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2019, 06:32:03 AM »
If a body shell is rusty enough to warrant media blasting then more than likely it will need new quarter or partial quart panels.  I hav a 67 Camaro that fit this description.  Cut off the quarters,  if you have rust on the inner structure you can blast that. You'll probably need new floor pans if the quarters are bad so cut them out leaving the braces and blast the interior (and the floor braces as this is the only time you'll have access to them). Like stated above be mindful of thin flat panels.  I did just this on my 67 in the back yard. Shell on 55 gallon drums and a pressure pot media blaster with a pallet of black Diamond media. I should have put a tarp down to try to collect and reuse some of the media but I was young and now I know. Yes, you will find media forever but with the extra access holes you can clean up a lot of it. Only prime with epoxy primer after you have wiped it down with acetone a few times and then a food wax and grease remover. Oh, everyone should experience media blasting on a really hot day inside a car body! Fun, fun.
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

Aus78Formula

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2019, 06:56:04 AM »
Also, find someone that will prime the car immediately after, including cleaning. Many will not touch it, or guarantee their work.

roadking77

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2019, 08:25:04 AM »
I agree with not a ta. This is a dirty project to do. Not that im afraid of getting dirty but this is in a league of its own. I tried the face mask thing and that worked for about 2 minutes. The grit blasts everywhere including under the mask into your face. There is a sand blast guy down the road from me and the prices are pretty cheap. IF I wanted to go that route I would pay someone else. If for nothing else so I didn't have to clean up the mess. Being a carpenter by trade I figure I am pretty untraditional when it comes to this kind of thing. I use an electric orbital sander and it works just fine. I have used chemical stripper with success also, but again my preferred method is sanding.
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Grand73Am

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2019, 08:37:39 AM »
I prefer to use a sander when possible, mainly on exterior panels. But there are times when blasting is most effective, especially where there is rust.
Steve F.

Grand73Am

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2019, 08:49:01 AM »
Also, my face shields last a long time in between changes. My face doesn't get close enough to the blasting to pit up quickly. In addition to a dust mask, I use a head covering and scarf, which keeps most sand off my head, face and neck. Some safety glasses in addition to the face shield would be extra protection for your eyes. Otherwise, dress for sand getting all over you. I use some old sweat pants and a long shirt and old shoes. Blow yourself off when you're done  :smile: . It's a dirty job, but not bad enough to keep my from doing it myself. More convenient and cheaper for me to do it at home rather than hauling the car and parts to someone else and paying them.
Steve F.

roadking77

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2019, 03:14:01 PM »
Something you can get at paint stores stateside, are called 'paint socks'. They are a cover for your head that fits fairly tight with only the eye holes. They work great for this kind of stuff, as well as spray painting.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
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Maxthe222

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2019, 02:04:07 AM »
Ok, so I got a lot of good info out of this thread, and I've looked into it a bit further. For me, i'd need to get a tent/tarp thing to cover the yard, the gun and equipment (already have a massive compressor) and the soda for the gun as well. Masks/protection etc I would have heaps of, and not just paint masks, like hazmat level gas masks etc. That would likely take me a few weeks to get together, and probably would run me a couple of hundred bucks. That doesn't include priming.

Probably wouldn't cost that much, however, the alternative was getting the car properly stripped in a acid/chemical bath. Well, that isn't cheap. There is a professional crew about 1/2 hour from my house that can dip the car, get all the rust out, very heavily clean it several times, and then coat the car in primer. Possibly even in the Red Oxide colour. Would take about a month's turnaround time, and it'd cost around $3500. They have somewhat of a warranty/guarantee thing where they can ensure the shell is cleaned properly.

So, pay money, or pay less money and do a dodgy job at home. Hmmmmmm
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula 400 4-Speed

Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2019, 02:04:07 AM »

roadking77

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2019, 06:57:46 AM »
I've done a couple of 'dodgy jobs' at home and it cost way less than 3500. If you dont have any of the blasting equipment yourself then yes that will add a bit to the bottom line. I think if I had money to burn, the dip would be ok. I thought I read somewhere that back in the day they would keep acid dipping race car bodies to reduce the weight.
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85 T/A - Sold
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82 Firebird - Sold
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Grand73Am

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2019, 07:33:30 AM »
Soda removes paint, but won't help you with rust. Sand is the only blast material that's effective on rust, so I suggest just using sand where you need to, since you probably have some rust, and skip the soda. Just take the precautions mentioned earlier. And use sanding discs or stripper discs to remove most of the exterior panel paint.

Sometimes people get worried about removing every speck of rust on an old car, but the vast majority of the time, it's not important to do that. You do need to remove all rust on the exterior surfaces. But otherwise, if you sand and blast all the areas that you can get to, that's all you need to do. The hidden areas aren't going to rust out. First, the bodies were dipped in rust preventative baths at the factory. And if some surface rust developed over the years, it will be stable and won't continue to rust to any significant degree, since those hidden areas usually stay pretty dry. And after all your resto work, I doubt you'll be leaving the car out in the elements regularly, so it's not going to deteriorate. And areas that you were able to reach with blasting and sanding, you'll be able to spray with epoxy primer. This way, the car stays dry throughout the stripping process, which I prefer. Afterwards, if you have to cut out part of a rusty pan or panel for patching, you can blast any rust that you uncover and epoxy that too, before welding your replacement metal over it. For uncovered rust like that, wire-brushing and brush painting with some POR-15 also works well, where you don't want to spray sand around again. You can produce a quality restoration job that will last that way. That's what I did during my 30 years of 55-57 Chevy restoration work, and I'm sure most of those cars had much more rust than you have.

If the car is dipped, it needs to be not just coated in primer but dipped in primer, since all the factory protection, that was in all the hidden, double-walled and seamed areas,will have been removed in the acid dipping process. Should actually be dipped in zinc chromate bath after being stripped in the acid bath, and then dipped in primer.
Steve F.

Maxthe222

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2019, 08:04:35 AM »
...And after all your resto work, I doubt you'll be leaving the car out in the elements regularly, so it's not going to deteriorate.

{cough}
Uh, well see the thing is:



That's my garage lol. Until my dad's A9X goes to get restored, (even then he'd burn the garage before he'd let that in) it's gunna be under a tarp and tree lmao

Ok well, money is the main concern, right? If I was to go the sandblasting route, I have a very helpful neighbour who is very experienced with sandblasting and backyard restoration. I'm just not very confident I know too much about it, prime example I was gunna go buy a bunch of pepsi and put that in a spray gun as I assumed that got rid of rust. And I do believe you are correct about that the dipping gets rid of the factory primer in the hard to reach spots. I've heard that many times. Tomorrow i'm going to get some highlights of all the rusty spots in the car. The area surrounding the T-Tops is very dodgy, and I'm also paranoid about the whole warping panels thing. I can see myself doing a bad job and causing irreversible or costly damages to the panels. Especially when it comes to T-Tops, I want to keep the squeaky dry roofs. Maybe i'll try on one of the front fenders first as practise at a friend's place who has a sandblasting set up.

I dunnnoooo. I do want the car to be very clean, and I feel like the sandblasting might not scratch that itch of having a super spotless car. I have plenty of room in the backyard, but I also don't want to turn the place into a sand pit too. I still need to do a lot more research, until then, I can keep restoring and cleaning up all the little parts and pieces since the car is basically completely stripped for now.
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula 400 4-Speed

Maxthe222

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2019, 08:15:04 AM »
Ok i've thought about it a bit more. So, the $3500 is just for the shell of the car, no panels no other bits, just the bare body. After that, they want another $100-$125 for each other panel. Maybe, have the shell of the car dipped properly, and perhaps sandblast the urethane parts with soda, and maybe sand on the fenders. The hood sounds like it would be smarter to dip. Then again, my hood is very rusty. Maybe saveable, but not sure how much of a hood I would get back after acid dipping it.

Decisions, decisions. Say I had a whole weekend to myself where I soley worked on the car. I have a sandblaster and all the material and equipment I need, as well as assistance from experienced veterans. Is DIY at home something I could do in one weekend? Should also mention, I can get any 3M product for free, so that's something to note.

Should I cut the rusty panels out first, or after I have blasted the car?
« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 08:17:51 AM by Maxthe222 »
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula 400 4-Speed

Grand73Am

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2019, 08:28:58 AM »
For cover, you could get a $100 canopy and do your work under that, and be able to keep your car under cover.

I restored cars in my shop behind my house, so I did the blasting in the back yard. If you use a dark colored sand like Black Diamond or Starblast (more expensive), it looks like dirt and not a sandy beach when you're done.

I would wait to cut out panels until after blasting or stripping, since you'll have a better idea of the condition of the metal after that and better know what needs to be cut out or not.

A weekend is not very long, so I wouldn't expect to be able to get a lot done in just 2 days. But give it a try and see how much you can get done.
Steve F.

timfarn

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2019, 04:03:54 PM »
I grew up in a monument business and as kids our side business in the summer was blasting cars, frames, parts of all kinds. X2 on the large panels - if you are using a pressure system that will cut through material and rust, it will warp those areas more quickly than you are even aware.  Take on the very rusty areas, expose where the holes and areas to be replaced are showing, and leave it at that.  Take the sanding discs to the balance of the car.  As a novice, you will be looking at a solid weekend of work if you keep at it.  Lots of fluids, a good mask, etc - it is real work.  We had a system to collect, sift and recycle the blast media, at least put down an old tarp - you will have a good amount that will be on the ground.

Ford5of5

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2019, 11:33:46 AM »
I blasted my subframe using a Black Diamond coal slag, a Hazard Frought pressure pot and a one of their big 60 gallon 2 stage compressors. Worked ok, definitely better than and easier than a grinder and chemicals. Unless you have a HUGE 180 cfm compressor and a professional pressure pot do not expect the same results and time frames that you see on Youtube! Other than frames and small bits, I use an orbital sander and chemicals. I wouldn't use my setup, with sand or slag, on the exterior panels. When my car was on the rotisserie I used a grinder with flap disks and wire wheels to strips the underside of the floors.

A few things to note, some have already been mentioned:

-sand is dangerous to the lungs, coal slag is the cheapest and safest alternative but still use some sort of lung protection. You'll also save yourself some
  aggravation using a professional blast media as it will be sifted to produce homogenous size. Certain types of sand have small stones that will plug up
  your hoses
-any part that is heavily rusted will leave a hole after blasting. Too much blasting of good metal will also leave a hole
-blasting with sand/slag will generate heat that will warp exterior panels, you can cause the same damage with a grinder if you're not careful
-your neighbors will hate you
-you'll never be able to clean up all the media, I'm still cleaning up slag 2-3 years later
-use a hood and gloves because the media will get shot back at you. Women pay a lot of money for skin exfoliation but this is not the kind you want!
-expect to replace hood, gloves, hoses, blasting tips and anything you accidently blast even if it's in the back blast
-expect spending some time wiping down any structures or anything else within 20 feet of your blasting area
-you do not need or really want to get to bare metal for everything
-Grandam is dead on about the $100 canopies, I use them a lot in my contracting business and gatherings, we have 3 of them
-it's super helpful to have a person dedicated to rocking your blaster every so often to keep the media moving
-tarps are great for cleanup and recycling material but you will need to sift the media to get out the paint, rust and other junk that will clog your blaster
-only expect to recycle the coal slag once, maybe twice
-if you buy anything from Harbor Freight expect to do some modding to make it work right
-clean off or strip as much non-paint/rust stuff as you can before blasting. I blasted through oily mud, road tar and undercoating but it takes a lot of time
  and media. You can save time and money by just scraping this stuff off. Also, be aware than anything that is rubbery, like undercoating, is going to cause
  the media to bounce back at you worse than just plain metal.

I think you are making the same mistake a lot of us have. You're thinking about this too hard and going for overkill. You do not need to blast out the interior portions; a quick wipe down with any cleaner of your choice is fine for the interior and a quick scuff for new paint. If you find rot, cut it out back to good metal and then weld in a patch. The T-top rails can be cleaned up easily and come out nice with just a little sand paper.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2019, 11:42:31 AM by Ford5of5 »

Ford5of5

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2019, 12:00:15 PM »
You asked about areas to look for rust? You came to the right place. :shock: Look through the build pages and you'll quickly notice the areas of concern. Look at my build page, I think I had ALL the common rust areas.

Places of interest for rot and rust:

-where the A pillars meet the firewall/dashbaord, under the windshield
-the lower portion of the air plenum/gutter and rocker panels
-lower rear portions of the front fenders
-lower door frame and panels
-the entire lower portion of the rear quarters
-the entire floor minus the trans tunnel and behind the rear seats, basically from the toe panels all the way back to the trunk
-front and rear subframe mounts and the floor portions above them, sometimes called torque boxes
-the front and rear of the frame rails
-inner and outer tail panels
-outer wheel wells

1979 Black and Tan

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #23 on: July 18, 2019, 03:51:02 PM »
1979 Trans Am
100% California Car, originally Atlantis Blue/ Black...All Original Unmolested 403, TH350, 2.41
63,300 orig. miles
1971 Chevy K20 4x4

Maxthe222

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #24 on: July 18, 2019, 03:57:50 PM »
Oh don't worry I found the rust lol:

Roof:




Only part of both fenders that's a bit boofed:






Everyone's favorite part:




This is the front bottom end not sure what to call it, one side is actually fine:





Also the rear quarters. I actually think they're completely fine and dry. They're just dented a bit:







My question was more are there any places that are rusty or are easily missed or overlooked aside from the visible spots?


1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula 400 4-Speed

Gene-73

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #25 on: July 18, 2019, 04:41:47 PM »
My question was more are there any places that are rusty or are easily missed or overlooked aside from the visible spots?

Rear window channel.  It may not be apparent if the rear glass is still in.
Gene


Ford5of5

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #26 on: July 18, 2019, 05:26:59 PM »
YIKES! You found a good one.  :lol:

Here's a few pics to give you an idea of what I was saying about holes getting blown out. The areas with rougher texture are solid but still compromised in terms of strength. A little her and there isn't a big deal but large areas of it, like on the floors will become problems. You're gonna wanna do a lot of patching to many of those areas.
Blaster (7) by Chris Ford, on Flickr
Blaster (8) by Chris Ford, on Flickr

Imagine having something like that acid dipped. You'll remove all the rust plus whatever little bit of metal is holding the thing together and never see it. I hate the concept but in some of these places it's best to let sleeping dogs lie.

IMO, things like in your door pic, where you have metal on metal, you're not gonna ever get the rust between the 2 pieces of metal unless you seperate them. I would clean them up with a wire-wheel and sand paper and then hit them with one of the magic paints for rust like Rust Bullet or POR15 and then forget about them. Same with the ones on the roof. The roof corners and dashboard areas are a different story. Hit them lightly with a screw driver and you'll quickly find where the rot is.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2019, 05:42:02 PM by Ford5of5 »

Maxthe222

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2019, 01:08:08 AM »
Dustless Blasting

https://www.dustlessblasting.com/

Is that in Australia? Dunno if $1000 an hour is reasonable....

This has been a very good source of information. It is great that a lot of people have provided a lot of contrasting opinions. I think i've had all my questions answered.

This is my current though processes at the moment. If i'm going to go all the way in restoring this car, (which is what I want to do) I want to be extremely thorough. This is a car I really want to have spotless, I've kind of ditched the "Hey this car is rare, I wanna really abuse it to look like I don't care that this car is really valuable and just beat it up like those famous instagram ppl". I probably will still abuse it after the car is done, but I at least want it to be 110% rust free. Like, I don't want to come back in 20 years to clean the car out again if y'know what I mean.

The only 2 reasons why I haven't pulled the trigger on acid dipping is 1. the shell might not be completely and safely primered and I will need to see if they will bathe it in primer, and 2. The cost. After I get my tax return back, i'll have more than enough to have the car stripped and go buy the metal I think will be needed.

I can see the sandblasting at home costing me more in my dad setting the car on fire because of all the mess. Noise shoudln't be a problem, one of my neighbours has been doing it his whole life so he's gunna be the one poking his head over the fence asking if he can come help. I have the means to blast it at home, but the more I look into it, the more I can see stuff going wrong. Overthinking, after all, is EASILY a speciality of mine.

It might be a smarter idea to learn how to sandblast the '71 Formula, and I say that because that car is basically rust free, and all I want to do is get the orange paint off. I don't feel like I need to be extremely thorough with that car, infact i'd rather keep the paint on the inner hidden panels and gaps and unreachable places to show that the car was originally gold etc.

I have many friends and family who are welders and panel beaters, i'm going to ask for their opinion on what I should do as well. I'm in not rush (well actually i'll probs need it finished by the end of next year) but I don't have to get anything done right now.

Oh, and of course, thanks again for all the input, there has been so much here to go through!
« Last Edit: July 19, 2019, 01:11:43 AM by Maxthe222 »
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula 400 4-Speed

Aus78Formula

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #28 on: July 19, 2019, 08:13:45 AM »
I panicked when I found a pinhole in my trunk floor, treated it with converter and filled it with a rivet. It still gives me nightmares.

FormTA

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2019, 10:40:59 AM »
Be careful using rivets. Many folks us aluminum rivets and those will react with the steel and corrode due to electrolysis. How fast, don't know.
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

Aus78Formula

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #30 on: July 19, 2019, 10:50:29 AM »
Obviously that wasn't a fix.

roadking77

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #31 on: July 19, 2019, 01:38:50 PM »
In spite of all of the negativity associated with sand blasting, I find it rather satisfying. Nothing like taking a rusty, piece of crap, blasting it and few minutes later you have a nice clean, fresh, new looking piece of metal!
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

FormTA

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #32 on: July 19, 2019, 02:58:42 PM »
Ditto

Not a whole car but...







79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

Maxthe222

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #33 on: July 19, 2019, 03:58:16 PM »
I panicked when I found a pinhole in my trunk floor, treated it with converter and filled it with a rivet. It still gives me nightmares.

My dad drilled a hole to mount an amp in the back of my trunk, I have woke up in cold shivers ever since.

And ok, that front bumper stuff is a good idea. I wasnt actually planning on putting that back in the car, but yknow I might take a couple of panels and pieces and at least give it a try.
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula 400 4-Speed

chief poncho

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #34 on: July 22, 2019, 04:18:32 PM »
After looking at the pictures you posted, I'd have second thoughts about restoring that car.  My car looked 100 times better before we got into it, and was 50 times worse than I thought it would be.

I don't know about Australia, but here in Arizona, I was able to get my entire car media blasted for $1,500 and epoxy primed for another $1000.  If I had to do it over again, I would have skipped the priming, but that came with cleaning out all of the media and prepping the metal for the primer too.  I would have saved myself some money and primed it myself.  Especially since it seems more than a third of the sheet metal ended up being replaced anyway.

Granted, I don't know how resale prices are over in Australia, but it may make sense to do it yourself from a cost perspective.  Good luck!  I think the others have given you a good idea of the challenges you'll face. 
1971 Lucerne Blue Trans Am (455HO, Automatic) - currently my project car.
Previously Owned TA's/Musclecars: 2002 Pewter WS6/M6 Trans Am, 1968 Dodge Superbee 383/4speed,  1975 TA 455/4speed, 1989 Mustang LX 5.0/5speed, 1980 TA Indy Pace Car, 1977 TA 400/Auto, 1989 GTA 350TPI, 1990 GTA 350TPI, 1986 IROC 305TPI, 1989 Mustang LX 5.0/Auto, 1993 Mitsu 3000GT VR4 (and probably a few I've forgotten about)

Maxthe222

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #35 on: July 22, 2019, 07:17:09 PM »
Granted, I don't know how resale prices are over in Australia, but it may make sense to do it yourself from a cost perspective.  Good luck!  I think the others have given you a good idea of the challenges you'll face.

Well if I sold it I'd never find another FIRE AM like this one, so I'd never sell it. There is no one here who would do it justice. It'd be a Smokey and the Bandit clone before you can finish saying originality.

People have sold rusty shells for T/A's down here with no engines for like $5,000 and I've seen junk cars sold for $20,000 cash in hand. We're talking a 1980 total stocker ready for the part yard cars that have flintstone floors and boat anchors in the bay.

I'm hoping it is a challenge, I do want to do as much as I can on this car by myself and be proud of it, not just slap it together and call it a day. Right now I am hand building the engine with my uncle and I'm really taking my time with it because I really want to be involved with everything. But it's a matter of something as important as structural rigidity, quality and safety, which is why I want to know the body will be done right.
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula 400 4-Speed

roadking77

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #36 on: July 22, 2019, 07:26:34 PM »
I understand what Chief is saying, but im a sucker and think they all should be saved. That car has a couple of rough spots but I don't think I would send it to the crusher. I think my 77 was worse. Not that I would want to do it over but your young, LOL.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

Maxthe222

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #37 on: July 30, 2019, 12:12:01 AM »
Back again! Ok, let's talk about the next stage.

Pretend that i've already i've sandblasted it or chemically stripped it or whichever. Let's say I have now got a bare metal chassis, which I then have thouroughly cleaned it to the best of my ability.

How do I go about protecting the metal?

1. Do I buy 50 spray cans of primer, or do I buy a paint gun or something and a bucket of primer? I have been told to get a "Schultz gun" to manually reach into some places by some stripping places and body shops. Is there a specific type of primer I should use or just go with POR-15?

2. How much primer is generally needed in terms of litres to coat a shell? Assume very generous coatings.

3. Is there anywhere on the shell I cannot reach with a fine nozzle spray gun or etc...? I know about the whole "factory primer in all the tiny gaps" thing, but it's not possible to have the car dipped in primer again, so would I have to cut holes into any spots?

4. How long do I have from after i've stripped the shell to prime the body?
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula 400 4-Speed

FormTA

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #38 on: July 30, 2019, 04:55:11 AM »
Back again! Ok, let's talk about the next stage.

Pretend that i've already i've sandblasted it or chemically stripped it or whichever. Let's say I have now got a bare metal chassis, which I then have thouroughly cleaned it to the best of my ability.

How do I go about protecting the metal?

1. Do I buy 50 spray cans of primer, or do I buy a paint gun or something and a bucket of primer? I have been told to get a "Schultz gun" to manually reach into some places by some stripping places and body shops. Is there a specific type of primer I should use or just go with POR-15?


Don't use basic spray can primer.  There is not enough protection in that material.  Best to buy a gallon or a couple quarts of epoxy and a cheap paint gun with a 1.4 tip.

2. How much primer is generally needed in terms of litres to coat a shell? Assume very generous coatings.

Around 2 quarts for the shell but price wise a gallon is normally a better option as you will probably use it later.

3. Is there anywhere on the shell I cannot reach with a fine nozzle spray gun or etc...? I know about the whole "factory primer in all the tiny gaps" thing, but it's not possible to have the car dipped in primer again, so would I have to cut holes into any spots?

If blasting you probably won't get to places that spraying paint can't get to.

4. How long do I have from after i've stripped the shell to prime the body?

Around here less than 8 hours is our window.  Bare steel starts rusting instantly,  so the sooner the better.


If the floor is really rough and you don't plan to repair it then you can use POR15 but if it is blasted clean I would prefer epoxy.
It is one tough primer. POR has it's place but for rust free metal,
epoxy is the way to go. You can also do body work on top of epoxy.
I like it as it seals the metal from the atmosphere.

« Last Edit: July 30, 2019, 04:57:39 AM by FormTA »
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

Maxthe222

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Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #39 on: July 30, 2019, 05:57:56 AM »
Brilliant, thanks FormTA!! I hope within a month the car is covered in primer and i'm ready to start annoying people with welding questions!
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula 400 4-Speed

Re: Advice on sandblasting
« Reply #39 on: July 30, 2019, 05:57:56 AM »
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