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Strip Down & Rust Removal

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Dodge Dart Restoration Resources


 

1970 Dodge Dart Restoration
& Race Car Project

Strip Down and Rust Removal



Wow... I should have listened to my friend who told me to have the entire car media blasted as soon as I got it. I decided to try and strip the car with liquid stripper, sanding discs, scrappers and TONS of elbow grease. I eventually sprung for a media blaster and that helped speed things up, but by then I had already put in probably 100s of hours of hard labor.

Had I stripped it all at once, I would have been able to see all of the "issues" that were hidden by paint and bondo.

 

The worst of the rust
The worst of the rust

A bit more rust
A bit more rust

Rallye Dash in Rough Shape

Rally Dash in rough shape, but the gauges look good.

 

Beginning of Interior Work
Beginning to get rid of the surface rust and determine what needs replacing

Rear floor
Looks really good and solid, just a few spots with small holes.

More good metal
Looks good back here too

Pulled a fender to check for rust, Looks good!
Pulled a fender to look for rust. Looks good!

Engine Compartment Needs Some Work
Engine compartment is going to need some work. Inner fenders were cut for header clearance.

Cut floorpan for removal
Drivers side floor pan cut for removal. Just a few pinholes, in the center. I decided to leave as much good metal as possible.

Cleaned up behind dash
Cleaned up behind dash

Removing floorpan
Peeling back floor pan. The spotwelds were easy to find on the clean metal, but were impossible to see in the rusted areas. I drilled all the welds I could see and used an impact chisel on the rest.

Floorpan removed
Pheww... After about 2 hours it's finally out. This is the first time I have done this. I'm sure the pros work much faster.

Very little rust in the unibody frame.
Very little rust in the unibody frame

1970 Dodge Dart Wheel Well
Wheel well before scrapping

1970 Dodge Dart Wheel Well Scrapped
Wheel well after scrapping

1970 Dodge Dart Floor Pan Test Fit
Test fit of floor pan

1970 Dodge Dart Floor Pans Removed
All four floor pans removed.
Subframe connectors and ladder bar mounts visible.

1970 Dodge Dart rear floor pans removed
Rear floor pans removed

1970 Dodge Dart In Garage
August 7, 2007

Firewall after one coat of paint stripper
I used paint stripper on the
firewall and inner fenders. It cut through the black spray paint like butter, but required more get to bare metal.

Firewall after two coats of paint stripper and some scraping
Getting closer, much of the firewall is down to bare metal.

What it started like
It took about 6 hours to go from  this to what you see in the photo on the left.


Over the past 37 years there must have been three sets of seats in the car.


Some of the holes were torn. The only answer was to replace the holey metal.


Progress Septermber 2007
September, 10 2007

Most of the last month was spent stripping the front clip. I think I should
have sprung for media blasting.


Stripped front clip
Getting closer to laying down some epoxy primer.

Window Tracks and Regulator
Window Tracks and regulator


Boxed in section of subfloor.
The area had been cut out for
collector clearance with the
fenderwell headers.


Underside of the repaired
section.


After repairs.


One patch on the tunnel
and one on the floor.

Inner fender after filling holes and stripping paint
This inner fender looked like Swiss
cheese before I filled in all the holes.


 My neighbor had a glass shop come out to replace the windshield on his truck. I stopped by asked the installer if he would remove the glass from the Dart for me. He did the job for $25 and most importantly didn't mess up the trim.


With the windshield removed
I was able to pull the dash to gain
better access to the firewall.


Pheww! Finally clean and ready for epoxy primer.


I found this fiberglass six-pack hood for $100 on Craig's list. Exactly what I was looking for, for an unbelievable price!


November 23, 2007

2 coats of epoxy primer is on and first coat of Evercoat Rage Extreme has been applied.


Roof has been stripped. Dark area is surface rust from original vinyl top.


Cleaned out the junction between the roof and quarter panel with sand blaster.


Epoxy primed firewall


Blasted rear filler panel.


Time to replace the rust with steel.
Rust isn't too bad for an Northeast Coast car.


Location of "hidden VIN"
The stamp is VERY light. Sandblasting brought it right out. Scraping or wire wheeling would most likely have destroyed it.


I built a jig to roll the car around on. It makes things much easier!