[DML] Sandblasting DeLorean frame - advice needed.
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[DML] Sandblasting DeLorean frame - advice needed.

Hi all,

As some of you might know, I'm doing a frame restoration on my 
DeLorean. The project has been very delayed with basically a lack of 
time on my part, but I'm now back working on the project again and 
hoping to complete as soon as possible. I have to have this car back 
together for Eurofest next year!

I've documented the progress so far on the website 
http://www.delorean.ie - see tech section.

It hasn't been updated in a while, I've lots of pics to upload, but 
again, time. I just wish I had a time machine :)

Anyway, to get to the point. If anyone has sandblasted or otherwise 
stripped their DeLorean frame of epoxy before, I would really 
appreciate some advice.

I have given the frame to a guy who does paint stripping and 
sandblasting. He has worked on car frames before, including Lotus 
frames. He says in his 30 years in the business, he has never seen a 
paint/epoxy as tough as on my DeLorean frame! He says he's very 
impressed with the paint, but thinks the reason DeLorean frames begin 
to rust under the epoxy is due to poor preparation before the frames 
were originally epoxy dipped. 

Obviously, the epoxy will come off easily in the rusted areas at the 
front of the frame, but where the epoxy is still in new condition 
(80% of the frame), he is having a difficult time removing it.

He has tried very strong paint stripping solutions on it, but they 
have only made a minor difference to the epoxy. Next week he is 
thinking of using an ultra strong paint stripper used for removing 
marine grade paint.

In terms of sandblasting, he has tried this also on one area of the 
frame, but found it very (very very) slow to come off. He says he is 
actually concerned about the frame warping from such intense 
sandblasting if he continues. I told him I've heard of DeLorean 
frames being sandblasted before and never heard of warpage, so he 
asked if I could find out some details of the method.

What we need to know is:

1. What air pressure do you use?
2. What is the volume of air used?
3. What size nozzle is used? 5/16?
4. What grade of sand is used?
5. How long does it typically take to sandblast a DeLorean frame with 
good epoxy?
6. If he uses the max output of his compressor to remove the epoxy, 
is there a danger of warping the frame in places?
7. Do you pre-treat the frame with any paint stripper before 
8. Any other info or advice? All very much appreciated.

I exchanged a few emails with Ed Uding a few months ago regarding his 
method of stripping DeLorean frames - thermal paint removal. 
Basically they have an oven that goes up to 500 degrees centigrade, 
but with no oxygen in the oven. For this reason, the frame can be 
placed in the oven without the epoxy catching fire, and it simply 
melts off. Sounds like the best way to go, but unfortunately we do 
not have this facility in Ireland.

The closest thing to Ed's method in Ireland is an industrial 
powdercoating oven. Would it be any use running my DeLorean frame 
through an industrial powdercoating oven, which is only 180 degrees 
centigrade? Would this remove or even loosen the epoxy?

I spoke with my powdercoating friend about this possibility, but he 
thinks that as soon as the chassis comes out the other side of the 
oven, the epoxy will quickly cool and harden onto the frame again, 
and it would achieve nothing. Any thoughts on this?

If any of the full service vendors who sandblast then powder coat 
DeLorean frames as part of their restorations could lend me some 
advice I'd really appreciate it.

Hopefully someone can help!

John Dore, Ireland.
Vin 3810.

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