Taking a 911 Apart, Repainting and Putting It Back Together - Part Three

By Edward H. Coon

You have decided to take the car apart and now you have parts in the garage, spare bedroom, and maybe a friend's house. Did you ever see so many parts in your life from one car? Big ones, little ones and they all go back together just the way you took them off. The car should have all the removable pieces take off to include the fenders, interior taken out, front and rear glass taken out, and side rear windows taken out if you have a coupe.

The next step is to remove the paint, check for rust and other body damage. There are several ways to take the paint off. Using a professional to sand blast or bead blast will cost around $400 to $600. I prefer to use chemical stripper because I can do the work myself and will cost much less.

When using a chemical stripper, wear heavy-duty rubber gloves, eye protection, and have water near your work in case the stripper touches exposed skin. Pour the water on the exposed skin that has the stripper on it and this should stop the burning.

Before you start to apply the chemical stripper, cover the floor with newspaper, tape or cover any area you don't want the stripper to touch (such as tires).

Here are a few techniques that I have found useful:

  1. Tape the opening of the door all the way around the door with 1-inch tape. Plug any holes with tape or newspaper. This will prevent the stripper from getting into the crack between the door and the body.
  2. Put stripper on a small section at a time and finish that section before you start a new section. For example, one fender, half of the hood, half of the roof.
  3. Pour a small amount of stripper in a flat metal pan or other metal container. Brush the stripper on in one direction, one time, not back and forth.
  4. Allow the stripper to work for 15 to 30 minutes (follow any directions on the container). When the stripper bubbles the paint it is ready to come off.
  5. Scrape the paint and stripper off with a paint scraper with blades that may be changed. The stripper will only take off one or two coats at a time, therefore it may take several applications of stripper and scraping to get down to the metal.
  6. Coarse steel wool may be used after scraping to remove paint the scraper missed.
  7. If you find any body filler under the paint, it must come off the car. Your painter will fix this before he paints the car.
  8. Neatness does count with this project. The stripped paint will fall on paper and you can throw the paper and stripper away according to your local and state laws.
  9. I have found that leaving the stripper on overnight is not a good idea. The paint will at first become soft then, as the stripper dries, it will become hard and stick back on the metal.
  10. Ask your painter about other techniques and ideas on stripping your car.

When using stripper, remember: start with a small section, finish it, then start another section. You really do get extra points for neatness.

Happy stripping!!

In part four we will finish up the project and take it for a drive.

If you have any questions, advice, or stories, please contact me at ecoon@netside.com

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Last Update: 26-Dec-1996 4:00 PM ET