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What's the best way to remove the paint & prep for plastic repair on a grill?

Righty Tighty

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Howdy, everyone. I bought a used grill for my 74, and although it hasn't yet been delivered, I'm wanting to get a plan together in order to repair and restore it. It has a couple cracks in the plastic and it's not the final color it will be, so my thought was to soda blast it, repair the cracks, then paint. However, I don't have a soda blaster and have read some terrible reviews on the cheap ones. What's the best way to go about this? I want to do the prep/repair/paint myself, and I'm not in a rush. I'm not keen on investing too much on a soda blaster I'll use once, so if there's a good alternative way to get the job done, I'm all ears.

I'll post some pics of the cracks when I get the grill, but they're pretty minor.

Thanks in advance.
 

floyd

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A friend of mine reported good results stripping paint off a 71 Challenger grill with Easy Off oven cleaner (full strength yellow can). No damage to the plastic.
 

Righty Tighty

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A friend of mine reported good results stripping paint off a 71 Challenger grill with Easy Off oven cleaner (full strength yellow can). No damage to the plastic.
I can confirm that oven cleaner definitely works to remove auto paint. Just ask an estranged ex-girlfriend of mine....

74 Challenger ? Silver center section ?
Negative. The grill I bought is for a 72-74 Barracuda, yellow in color. The end result will be black.
 

Cuda416

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I saw someone use automatic transmission fluid. Soak the part in it. Might have been brake fluid. Either way, the paint is coming off and is supposed to not damage the plastic. The person who did it said it was a trick from building those 1/25th scale plastic models.
 

Righty Tighty

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I saw someone use automatic transmission fluid. Soak the part in it. Might have been brake fluid. Either way, the paint is coming off and is supposed to not damage the plastic. The person who did it said it was a trick from building those 1/25th scale plastic models.
Thanks! We all know brake fluid removes paint when where you don’t want it to, so that definitely sounds legitimate.

I think I’m gonna try what @moparleo suggested and practice on my junker. Maybe I’ll use all of the suggested methods and document the results in a thread here.
 
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Cuda416

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Thanks! We all know brake fluid removes when where you don’t want it to, so that definitely sounds legitimate.

I think I’m gonna try what @moparleo suggested and practice on my junker. Maybe I’ll use all of the suggested methods and document the results in a thread here.

That would interesting. I'm sure this has been asked, answered and demonstrated on the U-Tubes.
 

heminut

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I saw someone use automatic transmission fluid. Soak the part in it. Might have been brake fluid. Either way, the paint is coming off and is supposed to not damage the plastic. The person who did it said it was a trick from building those 1/25th scale plastic models.
I'm guessing it was brake fluid they used. I've never seen tranny fluid remove paint, but I have personally used brake fluid to remove paint from plastic parts and can say that it does work and doesn't damage the plastic. I'm not sure how well it would work on something as big as a grill though, the parts I used it on were small enough to submerge in brake fluid in a container and let soak overnight.
 

Cuda416

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I'm guessing it was brake fluid they used. I've never seen tranny fluid remove paint, but I have personally used brake fluid to remove paint from plastic parts and can say that it does work and doesn't damage the plastic. I'm not sure how well it would work on something as big as a grill though, the parts I used it on were small enough to submerge in brake fluid in a container and let soak overnight.

Perfect, thanks for confirming. It was a while since I've looked into it. In my head, it seems you could line a box with some poly and put some supports placed strategically so it was supported under the grill. That way, it wouldn't take nearly as much fluid. I suppose, one could also saturate some cloth and and wrap the grill either entirely or in sections.
 

robert power

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if you pm me I can run you through it
 

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moparroy

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I'd love a copy of how you did that grill also - I will need to do my '74 Cuda grill over the winter - couple minor cracks - but really interested in how you painted it! will send a PM also
BTW I would not use any kind of blasting on this kind of older somewhat brittle plastic - strip it chemically or sand it - I will sand mind I think though oven cleaner sounds interesting.
 
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Adam

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Oven cleaner with lye. The ones without do not work as well. Although, I would try sanding it with 400 first.
On my grill I repaired the back side of several cracks with body panel adhesive (incredibly strong stuff, but not brittle like epoxy) and in one small place I embedded a piece of sheet metal into the adhesive for strength. You can then fix the front of the cracks with filler; sand smooth and prime with a high build , catalyzed poly primer. (Catalyzed primer is thick, easy to sand, & will prevent any incompatibility issues b/t the original paint, and whatever you top coat it with) Wet sand with 400, then 600. Then paint. Btw, this is a 71 Challenger grill, painted with Hot Rod Flatz. It’s a urethane paint, very tough. After eight years it still looks great.


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