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Restoring 1970 front grills

 
Old 05-01-2019, 10:21 PM
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Crimson Thunder
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Default Restoring 1970 front grills

I'm restoring my 1970 front grills that I spray bombed black 15 years ago. I used paint stripper to get most of the old paint off. I hand sanded the middle grill for over three hours today to get it ready for paint.

Is there an easier way? Will sandblasting damage the (I assume pot-metal) grill? What media would be safe if I can use a blaster? I would hate to ruin a nice set of original grills.

Thanks

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Old 05-01-2019, 11:35 PM
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7T1vette
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I think that sand blasting would be detrimental to the pot metal surfaces. Even small grit at low pressure can do damage if held very long in one spot. And, if pressure is too low, the paint won't come off. Soda blasting might be a better choice. But, my preference would be chemical stripping. Some strippers are gel products which can remain in contact with the part, even though is is an odd shaped part. And the front grills are certainly, 'odd shaped'.

I'm curious about what variety of responses you may get on this thread.
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Crimson Thunder View Post
I'm restoring my 1970 front grills that I spray bombed black 15 years ago. I used paint stripper to get most of the old paint off. I hand sanded the middle grill for over three hours today to get it ready for paint.

Is there an easier way? Will sandblasting damage the (I assume pot-metal) grill? What media would be safe if I can use a blaster? I would hate to ruin a nice set of original grills.

Thanks
I'd say those on this 71 I bought recently were comparable to yours and I did sand blast mine but with the finest sand media I could get. It was an exercise as I have ordered replacements but as these fetch good money I wanted to see if they could be brought back to say driver quality. I didn't set out to get a quality final finish, just an idea of if it was worth it. I did one so far and have no more than a couple of hours in it at best.

The grille portion is easy and looks great, the chrome not so much.





I reckon with some more time and care you could get 'usable' results
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:14 AM
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I did 3 sets in the past. 7T1vette remarks are right on. I used the gel paint stripper and lacquer thinner and have to say that that grill paint is some of the most difficult to remove and took a lot of time to get it prepared for paint. After paint removal you could "smooth" out, by sanding, the pitted surfaces that will be painted.
I have a soda blaster, but did not use it because of a couple reasons; I think it would be to gentle on that difficult paint and it makes a big mess! On a side note, the soda blaster makes cast aluminum parts, like valve covers and manifolds look like they were just cast.
I think that brit vette, Stuart's results look great, but masking off the chrome is a must.
Here are a finished set of driver quality grill I did.
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:35 AM
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Toylman, what brand of gel stripper did you use? Your grills turned out great.
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:27 AM
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My issue with chemical strippers is that it can be annoying to get into the corners. I would blast with walnut shell media and call it done.
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Old 05-02-2019, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Crimson Thunder View Post
Toylman, what brand of gel stripper did you use? Your grills turned out great.
I have a can of Jasco Premium Gel. I think I got it from Lowes. It says "removes multiple layers"; sure didn't do that. I remember applying multiple layers of gel and using a small brass brush, but at least the existing chrome was not harmed.
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Old 05-02-2019, 11:46 AM
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I'm not sure that walnut shells would get into those corners, either. But, that would be a much better medium than sand for those grills.
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by toylman View Post
I have a can of Jasco Premium Gel. I think I got it from Lowes. It says "removes multiple layers"; sure didn't do that. I remember applying multiple layers of gel and using a small brass brush, but at least the existing chrome was not harmed.
That's good to hear as I just bought 2 aerosol cans of that stuff from Home Depot. I guess you can't get the good aircraft stripper anymore. Damn EPA.
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Crimson Thunder View Post
That's good to hear as I just bought 2 aerosol cans of that stuff from Home Depot. I guess you can't get the good aircraft stripper anymore. Damn EPA.
I just picked up a spray can of Aircraft stripper by Kleen Strip at Walm, nothing works better.

Last edited by Z06LMB; 05-02-2019 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 05-02-2019, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Z06LMB View Post
I just picked up a spray can of Aircraft stripper by Kleen Strip at Walm, nothing works better.
I've checked two Home Depots, Lowes, O'Rilleys, and a WalMart. I can't find it anywhere anymore. Tomorrow I'm going to try an old Ace Hardware.
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Old 05-06-2019, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Crimson Thunder View Post
I've checked two Home Depots, Lowes, O'Rilleys, and a WalMart. I can't find it anywhere anymore. Tomorrow I'm going to try an old Ace Hardware.
I even have a spray can of Rust - Oleum Aircraft remover I purchased just about 2 weeks ago from Advance Auto.
Would it help if I took pictures of the cans with the upc label? I know this stuff is on the shelves, I did notice considerable stock at Grangers this afternoon.
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Old 05-07-2019, 10:37 AM
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Vapor blasting would do a great job on those with no damage
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:11 AM
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I use the fine media and blast the grills keeping my gun a a pretty good distance. I also tape off all the chrome as well as the lamp socket. Once completed I go over the unit with wet sand paper and shoot 2 coats of cast blast. Just another way..................................... .................

RVZIO

Sorry, only picture I have.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:10 AM
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I am pretty sure the ORIGINAL paint is the same as the 1970-1974 Z28 Wheels.. - which is simulated magnesium - Zero gloss Suede textured

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Old 05-18-2019, 08:13 AM
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I use Rustoleum Aircraft paint stripper. Got it at AutoZone in a gallon can. Works great! be careful using it, wash off immediately if you get it on your skin!

Russ
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Old 05-18-2019, 12:43 PM
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I got one finished today. It's not perfect but 100% better than it was before.
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Old 05-18-2019, 11:37 PM
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There ya' go!
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