1966 Chevrolet Nova - Skin Deep

Chemically Stripping Body Parts

Bob Mehlhoff Feb 1, 2007 0 Comment(s)
0703ch_01_z 1966_chevy_nova 1/15

From the chemical tank it's raised, and all the old paint and rust oozes up, crinkles, and falls off. Just pure, bare steel remains on the fender, a portion resembling silver Swiss cheese, where an amount of rust was harvesting.

The process of chemical stripping, or hot-tanking, by submersion removes all the old paint and rust from your car body or metal parts, leaving behind clean metal, helping to serve as a fresh foundation for new bodywork to begin. Prior dents, repairs, and hidden rust areas are discovered so that they can be repaired properly, eliminating the chance of bubbling or cracking under the new paint surface. Be sure to plan ahead, as this process doesn't happen overnight. Expect it to take anywhere from a few days up to a week. Nevertheless, it's a very effective first step to preparing metal parts or entire car bodies for bodywork, because all of the metal surfaces are equally cleaned at the same time.

Unlike sanding or media-blasting, chemical stripping cleans the metal with solutions of caustic soda to soften and remove the paint then muriatic acid to attack the rust. Because each car's condition and owner's wants are different, the necessity and process required to strip a car to bare metal will vary substantially. For many jobs, chemical stripping isn't needed, and one can get by simply sanding or media-blasting.

Do you need it? Ultimately, that's up to you, but you know how the saying goes: You're only as good as your foundation, so you be the judge. Follow along as we examine the results of Classic Industries' project '66 Nova and get the inside scoop on the entire stripping process.

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