1981 CJ7 Restoration - 2023.06.10

One of the perks of taking on projects and tasks far outside of your comfort zone is that you learn all sorts of new things along the way. This also entails making mistakes, sometimes costly mistakes. I am not sure yet if this one will be costly, but one of the lessons here is to talk to automotive restoration specialists early and often.

I had the body media blasted in 2019 and I thought they did a good job. They did, but they also didn't know the restoration process. To be fair, neither did I.

The correct way to strip a Jeep tub is to get as much off the surface as possible, and to get all of the seam sealer removed. Not doing so will leave areas where corrosion and surface contaminants will remain indefinitely since media blasting techniques are ineffective against seam sealers and other soft materials like the adhesive-backed hook and loop fasteners for the interior carpet.

So, I am now beginning the process of digging out all of the seam sealer on the tub. I will also have to check the other body pieces to make sure they don't also have seam sealer on them. As seam sealer ages and deteriorates, it becomes porous, which allows moisture to accumulate and corrode the steel underneath.

Examples of old seam sealer that the glass beads just bounced off of.

Using scrapers, screwdrivers and picks, I've been slowly chipping away at the old seam sealer. One trick that a restoration shop told me was to use a heat gun to soften the seam sealer first. It really helps a lot, but time will tell if my removal of the stuff is being done well enough.

Seam sealer that has been extracted. This will take many days as there are stubborn sections that will need extra attention.

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