1981 CJ7 Restoration - 2021.09.04

After a few days of rain the weather cleared out, pushing the hot humid air out of the region. I believe this is hurricane Ida leaving the eastern seaboard. This presented me with some ideal painting weather - moderate heat, low humidity. First order of business was to get all the parts I want to paint in "AMC Blue" taped off, then cleaned of debris and residual oil/grease.

It didn't appear that there was much to tape off for the head, but this turned out to be one of the most time-consuming parts due to all the curves and bends around the ports.

Taping off the block was actually pretty quick and painless.

During the degreasing process, the pieces that gave me the most trouble were the cylinder head and the oil pan, especially the oil pan. It appeared that these pieces had been coated in anti-seize or some other thick pasty grease.

I went through 4 cans of brake cleaner trying to blast the stuff off, but it barely made a dent. I ended up using about 1.5 quarts of xylene, a powerful and very volatile solvent. The fumes are absolutely overpowering so I used one of those respirators with the dual charcoal filters which worked incredibly well - couldn't detect the fumes and felt fine after. Pouring xylene on everything and scraping with a bronze brush, I eventually got it done, then coated the pieces with rust converter/preventative. This will leave a residue that will need to be brushed off and cleaned again with solvent, but I think it's a worthwhile step for paint adhesion and hopefully preventing any bubbling due to any surface rust that could remain.

This whole degreasing process took the entire day and wiped me out. Paint will have to wait since the rust converter takes time to do its thing and dry out. Shame to waste perfect painting weather, but it's best to be patient. Hopefully more good weather is on the way.

Finally! Got the pieces clean, I think. Hope I did a good enough job.


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