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Question for you body guys **Update pics**
#1
Ok everyone, I will be begining the initial sanding of my car tomorrow. My goal is to remove all surface rust and sand down the whole body see if there are any hidden areas that need special attention. I want to at least have the car primered so i can get a good idea of any dents or imperfections in the body panels so i can work them out the best i can.

So before i start buying supplies, i'd like to know what grit sandpaper would you recommend starting off with for the initial sanding. I have heard 80, 120, etc. I know there will be different stages but i don't want to work harder than i need to and also don't want to sand too much when i don't need to. Many areas i will have to take down to bare metal and others i don't see the need to.

If you could give me an idea somthing like;

start off with 80
then do 320
finish body work and sand with 7xx

what should i sand with after primer? is 1000 to fine or will i be working too hard.
i usually do a wetsand with 2000 before paint, maybe I am wrong haha that's why I am here asking the professional.

I am doing this car on a budget but I will take my time with this stage of the car.
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#2
ive been hearing chemical stripper is the way to go. but im in the same boat as you!
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#3
A good friend has used the chemical paint stripper with excellent results. He has restored some really nice show-winning muscle cars. 1969 Dodge SuperBee, 1971 6-pack 440 Road Runner and a 1972 Cutlass 442. Right now he is building a 1977 Trans -Am

Here is his suggestion:

Aircraft stripper from O'Reilly's. Appliy for about 10 - 15 minutes, then remove with a razor blade. Water will neutralize. However I just wipe clean with a paper towel. And scrub with PPG DX579 metal cleaner using a scotchbrite sponge.
I carefully used the razor blade. That requires the stripper be moist. Comes off in ribbons first time. Wear gloves - the long sleeved ones!

Ray

1971 Boss 351  
1972 Q code 4 speed convertible 
1971 Mustang Sportsroof  351-2V FMX 
1973 Mach 1 (parts car)
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#4
Thanks ray, +1 on the long gloves, last time i used that tuff i had a few tiny tiny specs splatter onto my forearm..OUCH! I was thinking the stripper but I am afraid it may get onto something it will eat through.
Like plastics or trim.
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#5
Ok to start with 80-120 is ok to strip to metal (you need to take it all to metal and start fresh), Take out the dents with hammer & dolly, shrinking disk, or whatever means necessary to get as close as possible (less filler is best) then epoxy the car (this will show imperfections), do your filler work (sand with 240-320), then apply a high build and block that flat with 400. remember that paint needs something to stick to so it won't peal later. So the idea is to have it rough enough for adhesion but not show scratches in the paint. I would not spray color on anything sanded with 600 or finer for that reason. Once you have it the way you want it, I seal the entire car (optional) but worth the extra $, color coat, then clear. after curing (2 months at least) then cut and buff. I wet sand with 800, 1000,1500, then 2000 before buffing. Do not try to get it completely flat on the first sand (just close) or you will sand through with the rest of the progression. If you have question Scott has a wealth of info on here and he is very helpful.
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#6
Hi Matrixx,

I could go on for hours and hours and give accurate tech advice about what grades of paper to use for differant proceedures and applications, but before that i would need to know what main approach you will be taking to paint your vehicle.

By that i mean; are you doing all the work yourself including spraying the color coats to finish ?/ you mention working on a budget, but what standard of quality are you trying to achieve with your end result ?/what type of paint system do you intend to use, 2 pak, lacquer?/ to strip or not to strip all paint off to get a quality job that won't play up in time?/ what problems would be under your existing paint that you can't see,and what condition your existing paint is in?/ what about panel beating issues like any rust present,seen or unseen, and dents in conjunction with the respray job?

Those are just some of the main key questions a painter or beater would need to know before launching into tech advice on various sanding proceedures and what grades of papers wet or dry you would want to choose or use.The right choices of sand paper, are important to the standard and quality of finish to are trying to achieve in the end.

Have a think about those key questions first.Also, in the land of the internet we live in today, i'm sure there are many, many web sites with sources of information and videos out there that would cover the A to Z of spraypainting and panelbeating cars from go to whoa. We now live in a very 'DIY' world with the Internet at our disposal providing what would seem an endless information stream about any topic you could think of. I guess that's why it costs, and customers pay many thousands and thousands of dollers to get bodywork done by us pros at the bodyshops to achieve professional results as adversed to the DIY teach yourself as you go brigade. I spent 4 years of college training on lousy wages,to get my tradesman papers and become a fully qualified professional tradesman many years ago.

GregSmile (Pro Tradsman Auto Spraypainter)

whistling LORD, MR FORD - JERRY REED
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#7
Austin Vert;121066 Wrote:Hi Matrixx,

I could go on for hours and hours and give accurate tech advice about what grades of paper to use for differant proceedures and applications, but before that i would need to know what main approach you will be taking to paint you vehicle.

By that i mean; are you doing all the work yourself including spraying the color coats to finish ?/ you mention working on a budget, but what standard of quality are you trying to achieve with your end result ?/what type of paint system do you intend to use, 2 pak, lacquer?/ to strip or not to strip all paint off to get a quality job that won't play up in time?/ what problems would be under your existing paint that you can't see,and what condition your existing paint is in?/ what about panel beating issues like any rust present,seen or unseen, and dents in conjunction with the respray job?

Those are just some of the main key questions a painter or beater would need to know before launching into tech advice on various sanding proceedures and what grades of papers wet or dry you would want to choose or use.The right choices of sand paper, are important to the standard and quality of finish to are trying to achieve in the end.

Have a think about those key questions first.Also, in the land of the internet we live in today, i'm sure there are many, many web sites with sources of information and videos out there that would cover the A to Z of spraypainting and panelbeating cars from go to whoa. We now live in a very 'DIY' world with the Internet at our disposal providing what would seem an endless information stream about any topic you could think of. I guess that's why it costs many thousands and thousands of dollers to get bodywork done by us pros at the boyshops to achieve professional results as adversed to the DIY teach yourself as you go brigade. I spent 4 years of college training on lousy wages,to get my tradesman papers and become a fully qualified tradesman many years ago.

GregSmile (Pro Tradsman Auto Spraypainter)

Well you sure got that right. There is a flood of information on the DIY interwebs, however its either incomplete and many wrong ways of going about it because everyone has a different opinion on how it's supposed to be.

Basically, I am not looking for a concours finish. My plans are for a decent weekend driver, nothing fancy. I think I will want to take the car down to bare metal as much as i can just because I don't want underlying rust to come back and bite me later.

In the future I may have it professionaly done but for now I just want to protect the metal so it does not get any worse. I would like to attempt everything myself and I am pretty familiar with all the tools and have a little experience but this will be my first whole car job. There is not much paint left at all. The majority of the sheet metal seems straight except for my pass fender that I will just replace to save time.

If i could achieve half the look of the guys rides on here i would be a very happy camper.

Oh, and will be using a gravity fed paint gun w/compressed air.
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#8
Thanks for agreeing with me on that score Matrixx.

Greg.Smile

whistling LORD, MR FORD - JERRY REED
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#9
For your original question on what grit, I persoanaly prefer #80 grit on a DA sander and then #180 after that. This will give you a suffiecently smooth surface for your primer. You will probably find some spots of surface rust that will require more aggressive removal then back to the #80 and #180
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#10
Make sure you use no higher than 80 grit on the spots you spread the filler. It needs a rough surface to stick to so it doesn't flake off or chip. I always hit the spot with some 36 or a grinder, just to make sure. On the rest of it, there are so many differing opinions of what to use and most of them will turn out good.

1971 Mustang convertible- My first car bought when I was 12 in 2008, re painted by me in 2013 with help from my boss and my dad! Still making it perfect!
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