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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all,

I thought I would pass along some info regarding Paint stripping. I have tried quite a few strippers and I have found that Nearly all weaken the fiberglass. Even Captain Lee's Auto Spra-Strip. In fact Captain Lee's was not better than others in this regard
To test the various removers, I would apply some to a bare area of a fiberglass panel that will be replaced and for which damage is not a concern. After letting it sit for 10 minutes or so, I would perform the scratch test. In the scratch test, I would take a screw driver and drag it across an area of fiberglass without the stripper, noting the feel and depth of the scratch. I then would do the same on the area with the stripper, with the stripper still present. I found that the screw driver would sink in and create a much deeper scratch. The stripper is softening the resin!!
I starting doing this test after I used a wire brush on an area covered with Captain Lee's. I was shock to find that this so called fiberglass safe stripper was weakening the glass such that the wire brush was creating deep scratches.

The good news is that I have found a stripper that passes the scratch test. Its called Citistrip and it is available at Lowes and Home depot. It smells like citrus fruit and claims to be safer....safer in the sense that it will not cause harm to the user. But I still wear a repirator to be sure. Its more expensive that other strippers, but its well worth avoiding the damage. :cheers:
 

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An orbital sander will strip it just as fast and you won't have to worry about a chemical reaction during the prime / paint process due to saturation of the glass. If you have a large area, walnut shell as a blasting medium works great and is inexpensive. $250 for my whole car. If you "absolutely" have your heart set on "chemical" strippers, go to your local paint supplier. They have cooler solvent based strippers that neutralize very quickly with water. The key is the amount of time you leave the stripper on. Try shorter durations and multiple applications. When you get down to the glass make sure to "wet" the areas already stripped as this will neutralize the areas you do not wish to strip while still allowing the stripper to work on the areas you do. Use a spray bottle with water in it to neutralize these area.



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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
An orbital sander will strip it just as fast and you won't have to worry about a chemical reaction during the prime / paint process due to saturation of the glass. If you have a large area, walnut shell as a blasting medium works great and is inexpensive. $250 for my whole car.
Ya, a DA is good for some things but not all. For example, I'm stripping the glue and paint that is inside the car. There are just too many uneven surfaces for a DA to be effective. The other place I will be working on next is the firewall. No way I can get a DA on that surface.

Stripper is messy, damn messy. But I just use paper towels liberally and wipe the stripper and paint/glue up and then toss the paper towels in the trash. When Its done, the fiberglass is like new, smooth and clean with no scratches.
 

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I said no way for chemical strip in 2005. Too many gassing off stories for me. I wanted it hand done and it was. Took a few extra hours and cost of course. But no sitting in desert heat for gassing off for six months and that kind of nonsense that some people seem to espouse. Now 2007, paint is still perfect.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I said no way for chemical strip in 2005. Too many gassing off stories for me. I wanted it hand done and it was. Took a few extra hours and cost of course. But no sitting in desert heat for gassing off for six months and that kind of nonsense that some people seem to espouse. Now 2007, paint is still perfect.
When I restored a 1972 Vette, a life time ago, I used some cheap paint remover from a local harware store. I found that when I primered it, the primer would stay wet in places. But I had used many different paint removers and in this one trouble spot I had used one in particular. I compared the incredients and the trouble remover had a chemical the others did not. It had Touluene (spelling?) I had to put that trouble spot under heat lamps for weeks before it went away.

Recently, when I was experimenting with various removers, I noticed that Home depot and Lowes both carried "After Wash" from KLean-Stip. It claims to remove the "residue" from stripping. I bought some and will use it for good measure.

Also, I just finished stripping 95% of the inside cabin and when I was done, I pulled out the pressure washer and washed it all down. I Have a lot of new panels coming from Sermersheims so it will be months before I'm even thinking about paint. So any residue that survives the pressure wash, the after wash, and the second pressure wash, will surely evaporate in time.
 

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Before your last wash, hit the stripped areas with a light coat of lacquer thinner.(spray bottle applicator works great)
The fast dry rate will "boil" any of the stripper left over, to the top and neutralize it.
I would use low pressure and a water hose for the first wash.
Only because "there's nothing worse then that stuff flying through the air and landing on something you don't want it to"
because of the "high pressure".



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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just a little before and after pictures


This is just after the rugs where torn out


This is after stripping. Some of the original primer remains, as one of the other beneifts of this CitriStrip is that it does not affect the primer too much.
 

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