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Hey all,

I am starting to plan for the warmer weather and did some research on stripping the original paint from my 1967 Mustang Convertible. I called 2 local vendors about having them strip the car at my home. The cost came in at between $1000.00 and $1,300.00 for them to strip the car. I also was looking at the Eastwood CONTOUR SCT as another option. While this would require considerable extra work on my part it would save me close to $1000.00. Just wanted to get some opinions from other that made a similar choice. Eastwood has a video of 2 guys stripping and entire truck in 4 house using the Contour SCT using only 4 stripping drums. I want to try and save some money on this build and this seems a logical place since it is only time and my labor. Also the dustless blasting system seems messy to me (contaminated water) . If I opted for dustless blasting all that crap along with 53 year paint dust would no be on my lawn or in my driveway.

Any advise or guidance is appreciate
 

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I stripped my car completely back in 98. I actually spent a LONG time doing it and it sucked arse. If the dustless blasting was around back then, I would’ve been all over that!


Mark
 

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One of the guys here had used Dustless Blasting, and had a slide show of it.
While it removed the paint and filler, it left a mess in every nook and cranny. There was also the problem of flash rust.
If you don't have someone near you who could media blast it and you have the time, use the Eastwood method.
I know a media blaster in Hanover, PA if you're near there, KPT.
 

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I chemically stripped my car, except for the dash. I blasted that. What a mess. Media stuck in every crack. Aviation stripper works pretty well. You need a shady spot with mild temperatures for it to work best. Chemical gauntlet gloves, long sleeves/pants and eye protection is critical.
 

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I'm one of the guys who did the dustless blasting on site. NEVER AGAIN! While the results were actually really good, the remaining sand in EVERY SINGLE place that sand could stick absolutely sucked. There's a thread on here detailing it, but in short- the wet sand dries and acts like a mud dauber nest- it has to be washed out, impacted or vibrated loose, or chiseled off. I had sand falling out of the truck for the better part of 6 months. I will NOT be doing that again, nor recommending it (for vehicles at least- probably works great on buildings)..... lol
 

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I used a plain 'ol DA sander and Aircraft Stripper to do my '71. It was cheap, but messy, hard work and sucked pretty bad. I was single an on a shoestring budget at the time,s o I worked with what I had.

The SCT isn't really going to save you much work, and the drums are not cheap. The thing also only works on large flat areas, it does not get into crevices or tight areas.

IMO, if you're taking it to a bare shell for restoration, blasting is the only way to go. If you're worried about the mess, bring the bare shell to them. Make sure to flush the media out of the body before it dries. Flash rust is easy to deal with, simply spray everything down with Rust Bullet's Metal Blast.
 
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Sadly, any time you decide to fully strip the paint from a car your best bet is to go commercial. They have the equipment and the proper disposal of the waste material. Sand/bead blasting will leave residue everywhere. I haven't heard very many good reports on the "water/dustless" method.
 

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I had Dustless Blasting do my car. It cost me $700 and they did a great job getting it clean. But the mess was unbelievable. The next day I had to use my power washer and leaf blower to clean off all the caked on glass from the car. The driveway was also a mess. I should have tried to vacuum up the mess but instead I power washed it into the grass. For the next four months every time I'd cut the grass it looked like a dust storm, not good.
 

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I don't like the idea of water blasting cars. If this were a steel boat or other big whatever it's fine as that is common practice and the paints are fine with it as painting them is a different animal as you are just slathering on paint and will repaint here ad there as needed. Boat paints also don't have issues going over phosphoric acid treated steel where as many automotive paints specifically say not to be used over acidic processes.

My preferred method is to blast areas like under the car and the firewall where sanding is a real PITA. For the areas that need to look good go the traditional sander method. I do like the contour tool and it is just a big scotchbrite drum that's way faster than the little ones. You can get much cheaper tools to do the same thing. They aren't nice and inline(IE wider form factor) like the eastwood but if you are doing one or two cars it's a few 100 savings. Drums are available from several vendors as well.

If you are removing lacquer paint... Good luck I hate that garbage. It was cheap and easy to use but it gums up worse than anything else when you have to remove it. Lacquer paint would be best removed by blasting or the scotchbrite drums. My 84 El Camino had the factory lacquer on it and that stuff was a nightmare to remove. Even coarse sanding discs running slow would clog up in about a minute.
 

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I had Dustless Blasting do my car. It cost me $700 and they did a great job getting it clean. But the mess was unbelievable. The next day I had to use my power washer and leaf blower to clean off all the caked on glass from the car. The driveway was also a mess. I should have tried to vacuum up the mess but instead I power washed it into the grass. For the next four months every time I'd cut the grass it looked like a dust storm, not good.

Here in TX cutting the grass is always a dust storm. I can't even see the ground in front of me at times it's so bad. Have may full gear on.. Dust mask, sealed goggles and head phones. After I have to blow the mower and myself off with the air hose. I have added a larger filter to my riding mower as well...
 

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Time vs. $$$. A dirty spot outside vs dirty dust in the air and everywhere else for days or weeks on end.
SCT looks like a gimmick tool to me, a different grinder with a flappy disc. I dislike single purpose tools, you still need a grinder, discs on a drill and DA before its over.
DB would be good with car on rotisserie and protected shop to roll it into. Many ducks in a row to boom boom boom it right after.

Me? I needed the flapper on a grinder just to crack through the thick and tough 25 yo Imron paint efficiently. Then a DA then chemical stripper and discs on drills in the finer contours like door jambs not to mention all the hand work. One tool ain't gonna be a do all.
Enough to rethink the need to see bare metal all over.
If it had all the means and desire to blow apart a car, DB it and be done with that step.
 

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I sandblasted my shell in a tent I built in my warehouse. Took me two weekends and man was I filthy. Used a full respirator and suit but still had black in every orifice of my body for a week. I used the HF sandblast tank. Dialed back the air pressure when I was on body panels to be safe. The real PITA was sweeping up the aluminum oxide, sifting it, and refilling the tank. A tank lasted me about an hour. Took some time to get all the sand out before I epoxy primed the whole thing.
 

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Also the dustless blasting system seems messy to me (contaminated water) . If I opted for dustless blasting all that crap along with 53 year paint dust would no be on my lawn or in my driveway.
Absolutely! It will leave a mess all over your yard, and in every nook and cranny of your car! Stick to abrasion. Or, tape over any panel seams and body gaps (e.g. hood to fender) and then use aircraft stripper. The tape is to keep the chemical stripper from dripping in to places you can't get to in order to remove all of it. You don't want any residual stripper oozing out on a hot day onto your new paint job and ruining it. Use abrasion/sanding on all the taped off edges once you're done wiping up the chemical mess.
 

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I did 90% of my 2+2 in an afternoon with this, finishing up the following day with a D/A and using stripper on the pot metal, part of the jambs, fender/quarter extensions and air extractors.

 

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I had one car blasted and one car chemically dipped. The chemical continued to live on inside box sections until I found it when I drilled them to install rust proofing. My last car I used paint stripping discs on an 8" & 5" angle grinder. This style.. 5 Pack - 4-1/2" x 7/8" Black Hawk Easy Strip Discs Clean & Remove Paint, Rust and Oxidation - - Amazon.comThey worked very well, worked quick but did not get into edges, so got the 2" Roloc style also, even with a mini belt sander it still did not come out clean. I then borrowed a friends pot style sand blaster and was hooked. I bought a tube suction style sand blaster on Amazon, a blast mask from Tractor Supply and also their glass abrasive. This worked great as all the big panels were stripped, blast with the gun at an angle with the pressure down. I also tried "Black Beauty" from Harbor Freight but was very dusty. I put tarps around and kept reusing what I could collect. Cleaning up the car was a bit of a battle but a leaf blower helped and blowing with an airline.
This has worked out as being the best method I have used. I am glad I did not use a dustless blaster after hearing the horrors some people have had.
 

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Me personally, 6 or 8” GOOD 40 grit sanding disc on a rotary buffer...dusty but makes faster work of it. There’s no way to strip a car that’s not a pain in the ass or fast. I find chemical stripper too slow and am too
Impatient for it.

I will blast nooks and crannies that are hard to get into but know that blasting dust is extremely dangerous to breath with the silica it releases, and once it gets in your lungs it cannot get back out. Use a good respirator when blasting.
 

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The absolute best chemical stripper you can get is Benco B17 or B15. It’s a serious methylene chloride based chemical. Powder coat comes completely off in a few minutes and starts wrinkling on contact. Catalyzed paint and epoxies shorter than that and rattle can immediately on contact. I’ve been using it for several years.

The downside is that it’s dangerous. Deadly dangerous. Several people have died from exposure because they didn’t follow the directions when it was in over the counter aircraft stripper. The manufacturers took the chemical out when the big retailers stopped carrying it. That leaves only commercial based distributors. Last summer a reg came in that limited the use to commercial/business only. It’s about $150 for 5 gallons. There are some non methylene chloride strippers that work well, much better than the over the counter aircraft stripper. The product at the big box says “aircraft stripper” but the guys working on aircraft use the commercial product.

 

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There was no federal reg mandate on the methelene chloride strippers but most likely Kalifornia probably has had one for years. Despot and Blowes stopped carrying it to avoid litigation(from idiot consumers). It is still a regular stock item at paint suppliers. $16 a gallon for Kleanstrip methelene chloride Aircraft Remover.

Funny as I tried spraying an airplane with it and it did nothing to remove the plane....:) Aircraft use dry ice blasting anyway. Effective no waste but extremely expensive and much worse environmental impact than other methods. You are using tons of CO2 to knock paint off...
 

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There was no federal reg mandate on the methelene chloride strippers but most likely Kalifornia probably has had one for years. Despot and Blowes stopped carrying it to avoid litigation(from idiot consumers). It is still a regular stock item at paint suppliers. $16 a gallon for Kleanstrip methelene chloride Aircraft Remover.
The Fed reg kicked in last spring.

From the EPA last March

Paint removal products containing methylene chloride will not be able to be sold at any retail or distribution establishments that have consumer sales, including e-commerce sales. Those prohibitions start 180 days after the effective date of the final rule, which provides time for establishments selling this chemical to consumers to come into compliance with EPA’s ban.

Official notification of the final rule.


The big boxes removed it well before that. If you couldn’t strip whatever it was you were working on it wasn’t B17 or B15. Benco is used pretty extensively in aviation as well as general industry. Initially there was going to be an all out ban but the military asked for an exemption which with other input lead to making it commercial only. There was also talk of some sort of mandatory training but it looks like nothing ever came of that.

Looks like Klean Strip no longer offers the methylene chloride product at least on the consumer site.
 

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I’ve been using aircraft paint stripper followed by the Eastwood SCT. The results are great, but it does take time. The stripper only removes 1 coat at a time so it takes 4-6 rounds to get through all the paint and primer. I put on a coat, wait a few mins then use a sharp razor blade to scrape off a coat. Repeat until down to mostly bare metal. Then use the SCT to clean and prep the metal.

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