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Redi-Strip anyone?

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Old 12-09-2003, 06:52 PM   #1
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Default Redi-Strip anyone?

Has anyone had their frame and suspension components put through the Redi-Strip process and/or does anyone know (in laymans terms) what it does and how it prevents corrosion (if it does). OR is it just like a hot (acid) bath that remove rust, paint and other 40 years of crud but then must be painted or powder coated immediately after?

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Old 12-09-2003, 09:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: Redi-Strip anyone? (78Vette-SA)

You have hit the nail on the head! It must be coated with something to prevent rust/corrsion immediately. you will also notice that any place you have overlapping joints where you cannot get paint into that rust will seep out sooner or later. If you have parts that have no lap joints to hold the acid, this is a good process. You also can have a problem with the vendor leaving your parts in the solution too long and eating them up.
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Old 12-09-2003, 09:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: Redi-Strip anyone? (78Vette-SA)

I had Redi-Strip do my frame and several other parts. I had them powder coat the frame also to avoid rust problems. The other parts had some sort of coating from the last process that precluded rust unless they got wet or were touched by skin. I was very pleased with the outcome.
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Old 12-09-2003, 09:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Redi-Strip anyone? (kellsdad)

I used Redi-Strip on my frame. Actually I think it's not an acid. I forget what it is but it's not suppose to eat good metal like acid. It stripped the heck out of my frame. The only complaint I had was it looked like someone had pried the lapped areas of the frame rails apart to let the chemicals get better access. Fortunately I was able to hammer them back to original shape w/o to much trouble. I paid a little extra to have a metal prep applied after stripping which was suppose to prevent rusting for some time as long as it wasn't in the rain. I've not had any problems with anything creeping out of the frame and attacking the paint and it's been about 10 years now. I would recommend them but would be sure to tell them to lay off the tools and don't go hammering or prying on the frame. :seeya
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Old 12-09-2003, 10:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: Redi-Strip anyone? (MikeM)

Redi-Strip advertises that they don't use acid. I believe they use an alkaline solution.

[Modified by jerrybramlett, 9:16 PM 12/9/2003]
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Old 12-09-2003, 11:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Redi-Strip anyone? (jerrybramlett)

Dumb question then. If it strips the inside of the frame as well a the outside and then needs to be coated right away to prevent rust. What happens if I take it home and just spray the outside and don't get much up inside the frame rails. It sounds like it would then begin to rust from the inside out.

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Old 12-09-2003, 11:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: Redi-Strip anyone? (78Vette-SA)

Jerry is right, not an acid, had mine done 20 years ago, brought home and week later sprayed with GM frame paint inside thru frame holes and outside, to this day, not rust. I was very pleased with process and result. I would recommend them and use them again. :cheers:
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Old 12-10-2003, 12:16 AM   #8
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Default Re: Redi-Strip anyone? (LT1driver)

What did you use to get in the frame rails. SOmething like a wand that Eastwood sells?

Also, to anyone, what about other parts such a control arms, trailing arms, sway bar, strut rods, drum brake backing plate, brake drums (if you were going to have them turned and cleaned up after)?
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Old 12-10-2003, 01:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: Redi-Strip anyone? (78Vette-SA)

Funny you should ask. I used a company in Florida (Revivation) that uses the exact same process as Redi-Strip. Although, the frame came out appearing clean they didn't flush the inside of the boxed in frame rails out completely. Consequently, residue from the alkaline solution came back out along the lap joints in the form of white powder and reacted with and lifted the paint, (both the self etching epoxy primer and the polyurethane top-coat). The frame was the only part stripped I had a problem with. Needless to say, I wasn't too happy and called the company to inquire about the cause and how to fix it without re-stripping and starting over. When I described the problem, they admitted to me that they didn't properly flush out the frame. They also admitted they had some problems before with employees. They did offer to re-strip it for me but since I no longer live in their area it wasn't possible.

Fortunately, I hadn't reassembled my chassis or I'd really have been ticked off. My project had been mothballed due to moving, etc. During this time the frame had been stored in a climate-controlled shop so it wasn't exposed to any humidity or weather conditions. In any event, I would have still been out the paint job. Since they offered to re-strip the frame, I asked them about possibly reimbursing me for the paint materials to re-shoot the frame instead. The office manager said she would talk to the owner and have him call me. A few days later, I get a handwritten note from the owner calling my request "absurd" and referring me to their "hold harmless" disclaimer. Stan, the owner said that they don't provide financial rewards. Funny how he thinks reimbursing me for paint materials is a "reward" when I'm the damaged party due to his company's negligence in doing what they were paid to do.

When I called to discuss the problem with him personally, he answered the phone but refused to talk and hung up on me. They charge $36 per foot, (approx. $500.) to strip a frame so I didn't think my asking to be reimbursed for paint materials was unreasonable. I'd still be out the labor. I guess I am not the first person to complain of their work judging by his reaction. You might imagine that someone who had reassembled their project and invested big $$ in painting a metal bodied car only to find the paint lifting along lapped seams, joints, etc. might be more than a little bit ticked off. Perhaps that's why they now have a "hold harmless disclaimer" on their work orders which you MUST sign before they will do any work. The point here is that it is IMPERATIVE to remove any and all traces of the alkaline solution before painting.

Redi-Strip is a franchise. Some of the places that use this alkaline electrolytic process go by different names and some are actually former Redi-Strip facilities. They all use the basic same process but like any business there are different standards of quality between operators.

Here's how it works. First the part(s), which must be non-ferrous metals, go into a tank containing a heated solution of phosphates (alkaline) to remove paint and clean grime. The parts may get power washed and reinserted into the bath if necessary before going into the second tank, which also contains an alkaline solution. The second tank uses an electrolytic process that causes rust (iron oxide) to separate itself from the good steel. It works in the reverse of electroplating.

After coming out of the second tank the parts are power washed and then treated with a water-soluble rust treatment. It is IMPERATIVE, as stated earlier, that any and all alkaline residue be completely removed or it WILL react with your finish, sooner or later. As you might imagine, this is difficult to attain in hard to reach areas but it cannot be overlooked or you will have problems with your expensive final finish. How frequently the solution is changed or filtered is also important because the more parts that have been cleaned prior to yours, the more residue, paint and other debris, that will be in the bath solution. That crap WILL get into your enclosed areas and be difficult to wash completely out. It CAN be done BUT it will be ENTIRELY DEPENDENT on the operator and they probably WON"T guarantee their work.

The stripper will probably have a contract requiring you to inspect, approve and possibly sign off on the parts before removing them from the premises. In my case, Revivation didn't have that contract, at least I didn't sign one when they did my job, BUT they do now and require your signature before they will do any work.

I would use the process again but I wouldn't deal with or recommend Revivation. This type of stripping is expensive. The advantage of the method is that it will remove rust in areas you can't reach with sand blasting and it does not remove good metal. The downside is the problem I encountered, with a reaction to my final paint.

Sand blasting will remove paint, and rust, but it may drive grease and oil residue into the pores of the metal. Sandblasting may also leave a silicon residue behind from the sand. Either problem will interfere with paint and so parts must be completely cleaned with a prep solution prior to painting. Sand residue is also difficult to completely get out of a frame, unless you stand it on the end and tap it with a rubber mallet along the length of the frame rails.

If you have access to an e-coating facility that is the ultimate way to coat and protect all hidden areas, as well as, outside surfaces after alkaline chemical stripping. Same requirements for removing any and all traces of the alkaline solution. You will still need to paint or powder coat (yes, you can powder coat over e-coat) the outside surfaces for extra durability. E-coat is only about 1mil thick and is best suited as a primer. If you don't have access to e-coat, you will need to use something to coat the inside of the frame rails as best you can or eventually there will be rust if you use a Redi-Strip process. Remember these frames were originally dip painted, which covered inside and outside surfaces.

After stripping, you will have bare metal with no oils or other protective finishes and you will probably have some alkaline residue present too. It will develop some flash rusting almost immediately after coming out of the bath and continue over time depending on the exposure to moisture. That's why most strippers will apply a water-based temporary rust inhibitor. This rust inhibitor solution must be washed off before applying an acid based etching primer or any other coating or pretreatment. I did apply Ospho, a phosphoric acid based product, before painting. This converts the surface of the bare steel to a zinc phosphate and prevents rust while promoting adherence of the primer and paint. Jayco makes a similar product called Prime & Prep that others have told me works great too. E-coaters and some powder coaters will use an iron or zinc phosphate treatment before coating too. Whatever you use to finish your frame after stripping make sure to follow instructions and material compatibility.


Hope the info helps you decide the method to use and how to prevent problems. :thumbs:

[Modified by Solid327, 2:29 PM 12/13/2003]
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Old 12-10-2003, 11:33 PM   #10
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Default Re: Redi-Strip anyone? (Solid327)

Thanks for all the info. Am gonna have to digest all that. I'm still leaning towards doing it but now have some more questions to ask.

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Old 12-11-2003, 11:25 PM   #11
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Default Re: Redi-Strip anyone? (78Vette-SA)

Spoke to the shop today. Found some more info out:

They use a water soluable sealant when done to prevent from corrosion. The sealer can either be painted right over with a self-etching primer or they recommend a wipe down with prep-sol or other.

They also recommended before painting the frame that I take a torch or heat-gun to the seems and joints and heat it up just a little to be sure the chemical is all out (burned off).

I'm leaning in this direction. Sandblasting is just not going to make me happy as it will not get in all the little cracks and crevices as well as inside the rails.
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Old 12-13-2003, 08:34 AM   #12
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Default Re: Redi-Strip anyone? (78Vette-SA)

I'd like to add a couple of things to the excellent previous posts. I do both, I have the frame dipped & then I lightly sand blast the exterior of the frame. it cleans up the occasional missed areas (usually in the corners & crannies) & it also gives the primer or the first coat of whatever you're using a little more of a bite.(I use epoxy primer) As far as the now clean interior of the frame is concerned I spray a product called RUSFRE(sp?) in there with a wand I bought at the local auto paint supply store. This product does NOT harden, it stays flexible unlike some that do harden & fall off.
HTH, Bob L.
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Old 12-26-2003, 10:53 AM   #13
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Default Re: Redi-Strip anyone? (LT1driver)

Alkali is just as corrosive as acid. Ever hear of Easy-Off oven cleaner? That's an alkali and it will tear up metal.

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Old 12-26-2003, 04:59 PM   #14
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Default Re: Redi-Strip anyone? (78Vette-SA)

I agree with getting the frame chemically dipped to remove rust inside & out, then having it lightly sandblasted with fine sand, within a day or two after dipping, to prepare the exterior for paint. Have it dipped and sandblasted at a time when you'll be free to work on the frame as soon as you get it back so as not to allow any time for corrosion to start.

Then use a quality prep/cleaner to METICULOUSLY clean every square inch of the exterior before painting... take it from the voice of experience, don't skimp here thinking a frame isn't seen and therefore doesn't have to be perfect, because I ended up refinishing my frame a second time when the paint wrinkled/curdled in numerous places after a short drying period. I probably spent 40 or 50 hours redoing the frame after "saving" 2 hours prep time that I thought wasn't needed.

I used a flattened DuPont Imron, with the recommended self-etching primer, to paint the exterior, then I taped all holes and rustproofed the inside. Eastwood and J.C. Whitney sell an inexpensive rustproofing gun with reach rods to spray the inside thru existing holes with 3M rustproofing or equivalent (available in body-shop supply stores)...or if you live in a snow state there may be rustproofing shops that could do the job for you.

Powdercoating the exterior is another way to go.

If you want additional info on paint and cleaners I used, email me and I'll pull out the old cans.

[Modified by waynec, 2:02 PM 12/26/2003]
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Old 12-26-2003, 04:59 PM
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