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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. I got a awsome air dam from the junk yard last weekend. It is the one that MSA sells.I got it for 20bucks! Well the paint on it is black kinda.. and all chipped and faded.I want to know what is the easient way to get the old paint off so I can primer it and get it painted the same color of my car. I tried a wire wheel but it seems to scratch it.Does anyone think that sand blasting it will mess it up? I cannot wait to get it on my car...
 

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I found one at a junkyard too ($10.00). I used paint stripper to remove the 3 different paint jobs the previous inbreed owners did!
That car should be the poster car for "what not to do to a Z"! Everything that you could screw up on a Z they did! Such as installing a aftermarket (Pep Boys) $40.00 fuel pump and reversing the fuel lines to it... Cutting out a huge part of the gas tank and riviting in new metal (2' x 1' 6") then using JB weld to seal the seam... using 10 gauge wire for fusable links... using clear plastic hose for fuel hose... skim coating the entire car with bondo then used red spray paint to paint everything, including all trim, ect... gaping holes in the afm boots, the dizzy was fried... egr valve was jb welded in the diaphram... major rust in the frame rails, ect...
So what was good on the car?
ECU, AFM, cold start valve, water temp sensor, thermotime, quartz clock, brake check warning lamp relay, air dam, map light assembly...
 

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You can get Aircraft stripper from automotive paint shops. It will take care of stripping the paint. Just use it in a WELL ventilated area.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #4
what about melting the plastic. I dont want to start and find that the paint stripper is melting my air dam.. I was going to sand it but that seems like it will take for ever.. and what kind of primer do I use on it and were do I get it....Thanks Guys!
 

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Aircraft Paint Stripper WILL soften and mar the plastic so be real careful, however, it is the fastest and easiest way of removing several coats of old paint.

Any paint stripper will do the same, part of the active "strippint" agent is Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) as well as other nasty agents, it will even soften the gelcoat on fibreglass.

You can use it though, you just have to be extremely careful with how you use it. The problem is that if you aren't familiar with how quick and how much to use, you'll more than likely find it 5 times the amount of hazzle as compared to just getting a D/A sander and some 80-120 grit paper.

Using a D/A sander, (Dual Action) with sand paper in the long run will be the fastest way you can do it. I would recommend using 80 grit to cut the top two or three coats of paint, and then stepping up to a 120 or 180 for the final coat. At that point you would switch to 220 to prep your base to accept primer.

If you do not have access to a D/A then you need to get the old elbows loosened up and attack it by hand. Get a block sander and using the same process as with a D/A, however, I would probably switch to wet sanding for the 220.

I would recommend that you block sand or D/A to remove some of the old paint, but don't get too neurotic about it. The key thing that you are going for is smooth surface. Then wet sand it with 220 to give you a good surface for the primer.

Primer to use? Well depends on just how scratched up you end up. If you work carefully with the D/A you should be able to go with low or medium fill primer, shoot two med / hvy coats and wet sand to get ready for paint. If on the other hand you really scratch it up, go with a high fill primer and red cap.

Primer for the most part is Lacquer Primer, i.e. it uses Lacquer
Thinner to thin / clean up. It is the "standard" primer most people use.

There are other primers such as Epoxy primer, and Primer Sealer.
Epoxy primer is expensive but has outstanding bonding and resistance properties. Unfortunately it is also usually a NON-SANDING primer. Meaning that it doesn't have a lot of fill material, and it is forumulated such that within 24-48 hours you can top coat it with paint without having to wet-sand it to accept the top coat. This is the primer to use when you know that the item to be painted is essentially perfect and just needs the primer to have the paint adhere to.

Primer Sealer, is formulated to SEAL the base upon which it is applied over. This is especially helpful for painting over unknown paints / surfaces. Certain paints and primers when applied over other paint or primers can "liven" or "activate" the base coat. Sometimes that will cause crazing, cracking or even lifting off the base coat. This is especially noticeable when you paint a Lacquer Thinner Based product over an Acrylic Enamel product. This can also happen when you paint over fibreglass, certain types of filler, plastic, rubber etc etc.


For this job I would recommend you use a Medium fill Primer Sealer. It will give you something to wet sand to give you that smooth surface you want, while allowing you to not have to worry about the prior coats of paint or even the plastic interfering with your final paint coat.

As you wet sand your primer sealer, go ahead and use Red Cap to fill any imperfections or surface irregularities, if you are worried that the red cap might interfere with your paint, shoot a final coat of primer sealer and give it a scuffing to accept the paint. Then paint to whatever you want, lacquer or enamel.

FWIW
 

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I bought a dam used, and as previously mentioned, was painted tree times, and rock- guarded to boot. I found urathane safe paint stripper in the local automotive shop. It got it all clean off, no residue and did'nt soften the plastic. It just took forever and two cans to get it done.
 
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