A major milestone achieved! The stripped body shell is off to Metal Immersions to be dip stripped. The great thing about the chemical immersion process is that it saves hours of messy cleaning. 

I had already trialled the process with the spats, so I knew what to expect and how much preparation I needed to do. Not much!

Off for a dip!

I got Warren at Metal Immersions to remove the front and rear suspension once the body arrived there. That made transportation much simpler.

Suspension removed

Here’s an overview of the process, I’ll post more detail of this later. Initially the body is put into the acid for the minimum period of time to strip the paint and underseal off, and to determine where more dipping is required.

Here is the car after the initial process. There is a little surface rust developing on the bits previously dipped. This gets cleaned up in next stage. There was a pause at this point so I could view progress.

Initial dipping
Initial dip
Rust in rear wheel arch

I decided to cut the sills off (as these were being replaced) to allow us to clear the inside of rust. Here’s what the shell looks with the sills cut open. As you can see, all the surface rust is now removed. Also that pesky wiring which was jammed in the sills has been disposed of.

Sills opened up
The completed product!

Initial assessment

The next stop was a few meters down the road to The Surgery in Tawa for body repairs and painting.

Arrival at The Surgery
Arrival at the Surgery

At this point the shell was inspected for the quality of the stripping, which was very good, and then prepared for the application of etch primer.

This preparation consisted of:

  • Pressure blow dry the body shell.
  • Machine sand exterior panels to abrade surfaces.
  • Clean body shell with degreaser and blow dry.
  • Hand scrub entire body shell with PPG Deoxiden metal prep.
  • Neutralise and dry metal prep.
  • Mask any areas needing further attention.
  • Apply etch primer as per image below.

With the body now protected with primer the required repairs could be catalogued. Unfortunately there were plenty.

Etch primer applied

Interesting, I don’t remember removing the cover port for the fuel sender on the left side of the boot floor. I suspect that it’s happily dissolving at the bottom of Metal Immersion’s tank.

Fuel sender cover plate missing in action
Looking better already!

This marks the end of the disassembly. The detail of the restoration follows a traditional blog format.