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Old 08-21-2018, 11:58 AM
rang-a-stang's Avatar
rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
Join Date: Oct 31, 2016
Location: Camarillo, CA
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How would you prep this metal? Is there supposed to be a rubber plug here?

Getting my firewall prepped for paint. Last night I removed the wiper motor, column, and booster. Tonight I hope to remove the heater box and blower motor. My plan is to hit it with my electric dual action sander with some 150'ish grit to get it down to bare metal. I plan to paint from the body seam lined in red here, down to the floor pans, out to the door jams on either side.

My questions:
a) The green arrow on this picture shows a body hole. I assume this should have a rubber body plug in it, right? (same on the other side). I am not sure why they were be missing but they are.
b) Do you think I am OK just sanding this light surface rust off and hitting it with self etching primer, then base/clearing over it? I am not real worried about finish here since it's hidden behind the fender but I don't want it to rust, either.
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Old 08-21-2018, 02:41 PM
SJTD SJTD is offline
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Join Date: Apr 26, 2012
Location: Lompoc and Sunland, CA
Posts: 1,404
Isn't that the antenna wire hole on the passenger side? Should have a grommet and a plug on the driver side.

I'd use some metal etch before paint. I used to use Jasco but can't find it anymore. Been using Crud Cutter.

You're cleaning the firewall with a grease remover before sanding, right? No point in rubbing the grease in.

An area like this that doesn't show I'd scuff up the old paint unless it's peeling.
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Old 08-21-2018, 09:45 PM
440sixpack 440sixpack is offline
327 Rambler
Join Date: Jul 21, 2016
Location: oregon
Posts: 612
If possible I'd take a sandblaster and clean it up if looks on the firewall are important. the cheapo ones at Harbor Freight work fine I've used one for years. fast and effective . if not your DA is the next best thing.

The rust doesn't look bad. sandblasting and painting would do a great job. some Ospho followed by paint will seal it up too.
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Old 08-21-2018, 10:15 PM
FleetFox FleetFox is offline
232 I6
Join Date: Apr 04, 2018
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
Posts: 132
Agree with 440, If you can blast it, do; if not wire wheel, cup brush, knotted on a grinder if you gots.
Start with simple green or purple power to degrease too. Takes time but you'll be far less frustrated and much happier with the finished product.

I would then hand brush this stuff on. works well, not as good as POR15 with regards to self levelling, but much less expensive:

It will leave brush marks to some extent, but I love it in hidden areas. You will need to prime it within 24-48 hours. Rust Reformer from rustoleum in spray bombs works and doesn't necessarily need a top coat. The side sections were black from the factory in many FSJs anyways.

Just my 2 cents. I have an 18 yr old amateur resto done this way and the rust did not come back. Others will weigh in.
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:05 AM
joe joe is offline
Join Date: Apr 28, 2000
Location: PNWet, USA
Posts: 22,389
Paint doesn't look bad enough to completely take it down to bare metal. Some spots yeah but not entirely. Just insure the transitions are well feathered. The orig paint that's still good is likely stuck better than what you'll throw on will stick.
DO degrease "before" sanding. I would attack with a 4" sidewinder grinder and a wire brush wheel(wear goggles) then hand sand and feather areas as needed.
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Old 08-22-2018, 12:42 PM
rang-a-stang's Avatar
rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
Join Date: Oct 31, 2016
Location: Camarillo, CA
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Thanks everyone! Great stuff in here.

It's not the antenna hole, not sure what it's for but I found some 3/4" body plugs for cheap so once it's painted, they'll get plugged.

I would love to sand blast it but I don't want to clean up the mess and I don't have the resources to take it somewhere and have someone else do it. I did the engine bay on my old Falcon; made a nice plastic "tent" in the garage to contain the mess yet I am still finding dust/media in places in my garage not to mention the dust it left inside the interior.

Rust is not bad at all. All light surface rust, no bubbling, no flaking.

FleetFox, You are the second person to recommend the permatex stuff so I'll probably pick some up.

After the engine was removed, I push the carcass out and pressure washed it with some Castrol super clean on it. Most of the grease and grime was removed but there is still a little. I will still plan to clean it off before addressing the paint.

The picture makes the paint look better than it is. Last night I removed the heater and blower boxes. The paint is coming off in flakes, almost like there was a fire inside the cabin and it burned it off. Weird.

Any who, my plan for this week:
A) Scrub the area down with some Castrol Super clean to make sure all the grime is gone
B) Hit the whole area, quickly, with my 4" knotted wire wheel to remove the flaky paint and heavy grime
D) DA Sander with 150'ish grit to remove most of the rest of the paint that has been compromised and the rust
C) Spray the whole firewall with the Permatex rust treatement, then let it cure for 24-48
D) Cover the whole firewall with a coat of sandable primer, sand, and base coat it Saxon Yellow.
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(Cherokee Build Thread)
11 Nissan Pathfinder Silver Edition 4x4
09 Mazdaspeed3 Grand Touring

Last edited by rang-a-stang : 08-22-2018 at 02:18 PM.
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