Originally Posted by lsejlowe
Was this cleaned using the stripper you mention above or with an abrasive method like a wire wheel? Looks really clean!
I used the Klean Strip Aircraft stripper mentioned and grade 1 steel wool for the most part. The first step is to remove as much of the whitish seam sealer as possible using small scrapers. One of the best scraper tools I have for this purpose is a modified screwdriver. I took an old standard screwdriver, blade width about 1/4", and reground the tip so looked like a chisel. Flat on one side, tapered on the other. Since it isn't as hardened as a purpose built scraper it has to be resharpened frequently but also won't damage the surface as easily.
Another tool I used is a wire brush (bristles appear to be stainless) from the paint section at Home Depot. The handle is plastic, on one side it looks like a toothbrush while the other side has a round cluster of bristles at an angle. Works great for all the crevices, nooks and crannies. I would brush on the stripper, let it work for 10 minutes or so, then re-wet with more stripper. Then work the surfaces with the steel wool in areas you can reach and use the wire brush for the hard to get areas. The trick is to keep it wet with stripper while working, don't let it get dry.
I tried the Lincoln wooden handled brushes for cleaning welds but found them to be a little too stiff, too easy to damage the composite surfaces.
When done, neutralize by wiping with rags saturated with lacquer thinner, when that dries wipe it all down again with mineral spirits, then let it dry. Good idea to blow out all the crevices with air.
While the seam sealer comes off fairly easily, don't mess with the bonding adhesive unless you have a reason to do so. It is not sensitive to the stripper so paint and crap will come right off of it.
On reassembly, apply fresh seam sealer to the seams and any other area that needs it. Use care to apply only to the areas that need it. The factory used WAY too much IMHO. Most of these cars look like the sealers were applied in the dark with a 4" brush! Unnecessary and ugly.
Cleaning up the jambs was actually pretty easy, went far faster than I thought it would. If you have a car apart to this level, I recommend cleaning up everything you can touch. And, as I mentioned, be VERY suspicious of ANY pinchweld. These cars are old, and that is a very common place to encounter hidden rust.
One last thing, if you haven't read it yet be sure to check out the "sticky" by 7TRoadster. A treasure trove of good info.