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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What is the best way to strip a Cat down to bare metal for restoring. I have a 1969 Coupe that has some rust showing behind the rear window and also the left fender well. I am wanting to strip the car down to bare metal so I can find and repair all body problems then build it back from the ground up.
 

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How far are you going to take the car down? I believe the best way is to have it media blasted! If you don't plan on going that far I have seen on here people using a four inch round disc I think I saw them at Home Depot and it takes it down to bare metal also.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I plan to take it all the way down. All the interior out down to the bare firewall. The only thing left is what is needed to make it a rolling frame, rear end & front suspension. I plan to take all the paint off to bare metal, fix any problems, paint frame and then start reconditioning & reinstalling all parts. Current plans are for a 302 based engine, TKO 5 speed & rear disc brakes.
 

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Well, the best would be to have it chemical dipped, the primer dipped.
Second would be to have it media blasted by a shop with a good reputation for blasting cars (and not warping panels).
Third, it you are doing it yourself, which is a chore to say the least, there are a multitude of methods:
- After experimenting with mine, I have found that a combo of 2" to 5" wire wheels for nooks/crannies, and Poly-carbide abrasive wheels, combined with Coors Light and many o' hours of time work very well.

The above methods are just my opinion, and start with the most expensive, but quickest method, down to the cheapest method, but obviously the most time consuming.

Others will have additional options I am certain...

WCW
 

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Depends on your wallet and timeframe - I agree with Brian, Have it media blasted is the quickest easiet and cleanest method but the most expensive. I used a DA xander for awhile - made a dust storm and a half and took forever.....switched to aircraft stripper....very slow going. Everybody seems to have luck with the poly-carbide disks for speed. Still leaves the hard areas to deal with - maybe have that part media blasted for less...? Seems like the best of both worlds there
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I can accept some cost. It is just relative to what the cost is! Does anyone have a ballpark on the three suggestions offered?
 

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$1K for media blasting would be about what to expect. Discs/aircraft stripper would be considerably less but messy, time consuming and demoralizing in same cases. Drop it off at the media blaster and pick it up in a couple of days. Save your energy for the rest of the restoration.
 

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I cost me about a thousand to have the whole car and any parts I could fit inside it at the time to be media blasted. Car was bare metal when it came back! Every part that went with the car was spotless as well. photograph and count your parts so that you know that they all come back.
 

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I took of my hood, trunk lid, front fenders, doors, cowl, and valance pieces under the bumpers and had them sand blasted by a shop.

Then I did the chem stripper, wire wheel, and any other method I could think of to do the roof, door jambs, rockers, pillars, etc, takes a while, but if you are in no hurry and want to save some money then that may be the way to go.

Cash seems to work best with auto body guys,lol, and my guy charged me $150 for both fenders and valence pieces, $150 for both doors,(all parts removed from the doors, handles, interior panels, etc), $150 for the trunk lid and hood, both sides.

Hope this helps!
 

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Had my hood, drivers door and decklid and the hood extension sent out for media blast and ran me 375.00 and it was put in self etching. I bought these parts and realized they were redone several times and under the hood someone rattle can painted and it was flaking off. I don`t have the time or patience to sand it all and reprime and realized media blasting was alot faster n cost affective. Only things i stripped were the front fenders as they needed bodywork and weld up holes from factory body mouldings.

Budget is everything!!!!

thanks
pat
 

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I try to save money and do labor myself so I bought a porter cable electric Da sander and used 40 grit sandpaper to remove paint bondo primer etc on the exterior of car. Did all outside to avoid mess and at an hour or two each day I probably spent a week or 2 at it. Sucked but cost me little over $100. Then I took car to sandblaster to do the underneath, door jams, door underside, trunk underside, extensions, headlight buckets, etc etc and cost me $250. I replaced floor and other holes then self etched. The exterior body has taken me almost available year to replace holes and I still have bare metal showing. Working with bondo stage now. Just stick with it and you will see progress. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the info. My plan, as it now stands, is to do a chemical strip of everything I can and then sand/soda blast what, hopefully, little remains. As I am planing to do a total strip of the car, EVERYTHING OUT, it should be relatively easy to get to everything. I then plan to fix whatever rust I may find, at the moment both drop panels in trunk and the body behind the rear window, and then rust encapsulate the bare body and start the rebuild. I have a 2 year time line I am working on from start to finish. I have the skills to do 95% of the work in restoring I just need to allow time for the spare funds! Currently considering a 410 cid Cleavor engine. When I get the process started, still in research/planing phase, I will post pictures of the progress.

David
 

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I was lucky to have found a good deal with a local company that builds street rods. $300 for the shell, doors, and truck lid. Inside out and bottom on a rotisserie. Without the rotisserie they will not be able to do the bottom unless they have a lift to put it on.
While it does come back completely bare, it is a lot of work and I have spent at least 3 hours just blowing it out, rotating it around, blowing it some more, repeat, repeat, repeat. Before and after photos.
DSCF9687.jpg DSCF9692.jpg 68 Cougar blasted2.jpg
 

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I was lucky to have found a good deal with a local company that builds street rods. $300 for the shell, doors, and truck lid. Inside out and bottom on a rotisserie. Without the rotisserie they will not be able to do the bottom unless they have a lift to put it on.
While it does come back completely bare, it is a lot of work and I have spent at least 3 hours just blowing it out, rotating it around, blowing it some more, repeat, repeat, repeat. Before and after photos.
View attachment 31292 View attachment 31293 View attachment 31294
That's one super deal..... $300.00!!!! Clean and what appears to be a damage free shell. Work looks very thorough,.....do you know what type of media they used?
 

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They used aluminum oxide. The guy that runs the shop said they would normally charge $600 for what I had done, but my brother-in-law works for them so he cut me a deal to keep his guys busy. Funny thing is that when I first talked to him he said call him back in a few days to check his schedule. When I called, he said to call in 2 days as he was a little busy. I called 2-3 times a week for 3 weeks until I finally could take it in. I dropped it off on a Tuesday and he asked if I could be back Friday to pick it up. My bro-in-law texted me Thurday afternoon that it was done.
The only thing they didn't get off is some of the undercoating. I have tried several ways of getting it off and it is tough, so it may have to stay.
The car looks very clean but the quarters had been replaced in the 80's as well as some of trunk floor. The drivers side shock tower had also been replaced prior to me buying it in '87. My intention was to make it a nice driver and not take it apart this far. It's still going to be a driver, just a little cleaner on the inside than most.

Chris
 
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