March & April 2015 Coating removal

 
     

March 28th 2015: Due to a bicycle accident at the end of January which injured my right hand and several other reasons there has been no progress in the project since January when the engine and axles were taken out. That's a too long pause if I want to achieve my goal of bringing the car to the painter in 2015. Today I'm lucky because my dad will spend a part of his Saturday to help me out. The objective is to peal as much coating from the front inner wings as possible. These wings are covered in an oil based protective coat. The protective function is good, but the problem is that paint won't stick to this so it needs to be removed. This removal is a pain staking task which will be executed with a blunt chisel. The chisel needs to be blunt because otherwise it will leave scratches in the metal base material. Since the material which is intended to be removed is quite nasty we put facemasks on to keep it from entering our airways. Working with 2 instead of alone gives more progress and enables encouraging each other. My dad starts at the front end and I attempt the A-pillar section. The front end progresses relatively swiftly, the A-pillar however is not proceeding as I hoped. Below the black coloured oil based coating there is quite a lot of kit which is very tough to remove. The amount of time required to remove the kit is in no relation to the effort. Potentially the fact that I'm using a blunt tool is not helpful, but when using a sharp tool damage to the base material will surely occur. I will have to search the Internet and/or ask around for a less time consuming method. From 09:00 to 12:00 with a small drinking break resulted in the left hand inner wing to be largely complete. I suppose 80% of the coating is removed, but the remaining 20% is the tough part due to kit and hard to reach locations. Large sections of the coating are luckily quite brittle, once a start is made the neighbouring sections tend to break off relatively easily as well. The only exception being the section where kit is underneath the coating. After lunch we will start on the right hand inner wing because spending a ridiculous amount of time with very little result is de-motivating.

Dad attacking the oil based coating on the lh front inner with a blunt chisel.

Lh A-pillar, rough surface due to welds applied.

 

Lh front inner wing cleaning up very nicely with blunt chisel.

 

Lh A-pillar coating removal with little progress due to a lot of kit.

 

Lh front inner wing top section quite clean.

Lh front inner wing quite clean except top section near A-pillar and A-pillar itself.

Lets try the right hand inner wing and see how much kit we encounter. Basically the removal of the coating is a dirty job and time intensive, but the sections without kit are showing clear progress. At a first glance the right hand side appears to have a bit less kit. Of course the section near the A-pillar is unfortunately fitted with an ample amount of kit, the rest seems manage-able. On the right side the kit near the headlight attachment is less co-operative than the left side. The left side became very clean after attacking it for some time with a blunt chisel, the right hand side kit is less co-operative. The inner wing itself is progressing relatively smooth. Too bad that kit is present on this side on pretty much the same locations as the left side. A big part of the inner wing has become bare in the past 2 hours, but the tough sections containing kit are remaining just as on the other side inner wing. I will need to do some research on more effective methods. All in all a successful day, but to be honest the slow progress on the areas with kit is frustrating. Even though the whole time during this work I was wearing 2 dust mask still the dirt penetrates these masks and appears in places you wouldn't expect it. During the coating removal unfortunately a so far unknown rusty spot was found at the area where the track rod is protruding the inner wing, that's an area where the welder has to show his talent somewhere in the near future.

Rh front inner wing oil based coating.

 

Rh front inner wing after oil based coating removal.

Rh A-pillar looks better than Lh one and also less kit is applied.

Coating removed today, not too bad.

March 29th 2015: Although the progress yesterday was less than I hoped for it was all in all a successful day because it was a restart after an unintended pause. Today I will start on the right hand rear wheel arch. The coating type seems different from the front section. The front wheel arches had a shallow coat of mostly brittle coating, the right hand rear wheel arch seems to have a more thick and different texture coating. The first trials indeed clearly show the coating is significantly different. Removal is going very slow and quite tough. Every now and then the original orange body colour appears, I can't wait for the complete car to be back in the original colour, include the wheel arches and the bottom. After 2,5 hours I call it a quits because of the very small progress. I will ask a bit around on methods to get a bit more swift progress.

Right hand rear wheel arch with thick anti corrosive coating.

 

Two different blunt tools used for coating removal.

Result after a few hours not very satisfying.

Quantity of removed coating rather disappointing.

April 3rd 2015: The previous project day showed so little progress I asked some people for a more efficient way to remove coating and kit from the body. I asked around at my work and the recommendation was to use a heat gun. For confirmation purpose I consulted the "surgeon" and came up with the same advice. Today is a holiday for me although it's a weekday. I will go to a local "do it yourself" store called Praxis and buy a heat gun. Since I'm anyway on the move this is a good chance to finally purchase a square licence plate for the rear end of my car. The 2 licence plates I got with the car are rectangular, but for the rear end a square one is more appropriate. In the Netherlands legislation for obtaining a replacement licence plate is quite strict. Besides an ID the car registration papers are required and I need to give a licence plate in return to the company in order to be able to receive a new one back. Ever since I purchased the car the intent and desire to have a square plate for the back has been there. Why it took so many years to finally accomplish it is hard to explain. Today my dad will help me out again with the removal of the coating and kit. As stated previously working with 2 is definitely better than alone. Lets see if the heat gun will be an asset in my attempt to get the car prepared for the painter. Just like last week we start on the left hand side. The first target is the A-pillar. The heat gun has 3 intensity modes and it becomes evident relatively quickly that the 3rd mode is the most useful one. After some pre-warming the kit, which is abundantly available, can be pushed off relatively easily. The fact that the surface below the kit is not completely even makes the complete removal tough however. Comparing the result by using this tool and the manual removal last week it is clear that this hot air gun will make things go much more smooth. In the morning we managed to get the A-pillar section much cleaner although not perfect. After a well deserved lunch (for my dad at least) it's time to continue the scraping. The other sections of the left hand inner wing which have kit applied to them are now the target. Unfortunately the kit is applied to a significant amount of the surface. The removal is very labour intensive. During the removal process another bad material spot is found. Near the shock absorber dome another rust spot is found of approximate 3 to 4 square centimetres. That means that 2 rust spots have been found on the left hand inner wing so far. I'm happy that I've decided to have the complete car in the original body colour and started the painstaking task of the coating/kit removal, otherwise I wouldn't have found these 2 rust spots and those items would have become a future problem after painting in case of no treatment. The coating is masking some spots which require attention. The headlight section has a very thick application of kit just as the shock absorber dome. All in all a lot of kit and coating is removed from the left hand inner wing. The result is good, but not as good as is required so I have to find a way on how to remove the remaining stuff on uneven surfaces. Potentially fine sand paper is the only way to get it cleaned up sufficiently.

Hot air gun bought at local do it yourself store.

 

Rectangular licence plate exchanged for square one for rear end.

 

A-pillar kit removal progressing much better with aid of hot air gun.

Top section near A-pillar cleaned quite well with aid of hot air gun.

Now that the result on the left hand side is almost not progressing anymore due to uneven background and some other issues we move on to the right hand inner wing. The start will be from the A-pillar section. After some pre-heating the kit layer is coming off like butter. Due to the fact that the background surface is much more smooth the removal is progressing much more swiftly than the left hand side. Another advantage is that the surface becomes really clean up to the base metal. The result is inspiring and very different from the left hand inner wing. I hope the rest of this inner wing will go as smooth as this first section, but that's something I will see the next time, for today the work is enough. During the evening I'm searching the Internet for chrome licence plate frames and found a few candidates that may be good for my car. Of course this is way too early to think about such details, but in the end if holes have to be made in the bonnet they have to be made before the painting so that's a good excuse to spend some time on looking for this item at this point in time.

Rh A-pillar with some kit applied, also inner wing section equipped with kit.

Result of kit removal after use of hot air gun.

Kit on the ground.

Removed kit and coating from Lh & Rh A-pillars & inner wings.

April 4th 2015: Recently I've been removing body coating and kit, that's very labour intensive and relatively uninspiring work so today I'll do something different to keep up the spirit. The target is to remove everything from the so called "service area" and the steering rack and wheel. I start with the steering rack. The rack is connected with 4 bolts which hold 2 stabiliser clamp like brackets clamping it to the firewall. These 4 bolts are quite long but have a small diameter in my opinion, I would have expected a bigger size here, but my gut feeling is incorrect. The accessibility of the top 2 bolts is pretty limited, I suppose a proper garage lay-out would it be a bit more convenient. I remove the 2 lower bolts and leave the upper ones for the moment until I have removed the cross coupling at the end of the steering axle in the passenger compartment. Once the cross coupling is loose the 2 upper bolts of the steering rack are removed and the whole part including the track rod ends can be removed. Now that the steering rack is disassembled the access to the engine room has improved to continue with the coating removal. Next up are the features that relate to the battery. There is one thread end assembled through the firewall used to keep the battery in position, just turning it counter clockwise on the square end enables removal. Additionally the ground cables for the battery and starter engine are connected to the firewall with 1 bolt. With these battery features disassembled and the windscreen washer appliance/tubes removed the "service area" is starting to make a more clean impression.

Steering rack attached to firewall with 4 key width 11mm bolts.

Cross coupling with which steering axle is attached to steering rack in between clutch & brake pedal.

Steering rack removed from firewall.

Battery features in firewall, lower one positioning bolt, upper one ground cable.

Battery & starter engine ground cable and battery positioning bolt removed from firewall.

 

The following item will be the steering wheel. My car has a wooden sports type small steering wheel, that's a style I don't like. I would like to have the original factory specification geometry steering wheel in it, that will come at some point in time, first I have to remove this one. Potentially I will try to trade with an Alfa club member for the original specification steering wheel, it seems that these small wooden sports type ones are appreciated by some people. The steering wheel itself is connected to an adaptor on the original steering axle. With 5 relatively small hexagonal screws the steering wheel can be removed from the adaptor. The adaptor itself is connected with 3 nuts to the original steering axle of which the disassembly is also easy. The bracket with which the steering axle is connected to the body is fastened with one small bolt lust below the windshield and 6 nuts assembled to threaded ends protruding through the firewall. All these fastened connection are removed easily. The bracket is connected with some kit to the firewall, this kit is torn by pulling on the bracket. Now that all fastened connections are removed and the kit is torn still the bracket can't be removed. It appears the opening in the bracket is too small to enable all three pedals to go through it, especially he gas pedal with its long lever is the troublemaker. Removing the gas pedal is the only way to get the bracket out. The gas pedal is attached with 1 simple bolt connection. With the gas pedal out of the way still one feature is blocking the removal. The sensor for the brake lights needs to be removed, I didn't see that unfortunately.

Wooden steering wheel which will be replace with an original specification one at some point in time.

Adaptor for wooden steering wheel remain on steering column.

Steering wheel adaptor removed

 

The pedal box is the next item up for dis-assembly. It is a set assembly with the steering column bracket. Since the steering column bracket is removed theoretically the pedal box should be able to be taken out immediately. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to work, a bit closer look shows that instead of the original gasket the box is connected to the firewall with kit. Due to the poor access cutting this kit is difficult. I use a Stanley knife for the top section and left hand side. The limited access results into angled application of the knife and therewith braking of the knife. A start with the Stanley knife is start is made, now it's time for a putty knife to try to cut through the kit. This works for the top and left section with a significant amount of effort. Pulling the pedal box results in release finally works. Now the "service area" is becoming tidy. With all the items removed except for the wiring loom this is a good opportunity to clean this area. My eye is caught by a quite bubbly area below the main brake cylinder. When scraping this section with a putty knife the paint comes off immediately a crater landscape like the moon appears. The base metal in this section of about 30cm by 5cm is beyond repair, an unexpected nasty surprise.

Pedal box connected to firewall with kit instead of a gasket.

 

Pedal box loose after some struggling to get the pedals through the steering column bracket.

Pedal box removed from service area.

Pedal box removed from car.

Service area crater landscape below the master brake cylinder.

Service area crater landscape below the master brake cylinder.

Some additional welding to add to the list of items to be done before painting. In addition when putting some tools aside I also saw bubbly paint on the right hand floor which is not looking very promising. This list is becoming a bit longer than I hoped for. For the moment I have written down;

- Front inner wings, weld holes shut which are not supposed to be there.

- Front inner wings, repair small sections with rust damage and if possible clean up many years ago welded A-pillar to get a more even surface than currently with non ground weld sticking out.

- Front valance rear section (engine bay side) remove rust, make small repairs if necessary.

- Service area replace severely rust affected section near pedal box.

- Check whether cage nuts for front wing connection have to be welded, if so do before moving to painter.

- Check condition of right floor and repair where necessary.

- Check whether geometry behind pedals (riveted aluminium like plate) is original and if not replace with welded material.

- Check whether geometry for heater hole in firewall (riveted aluminium like plate) is original and if not replace with welded material.

Lets hope no additional items will be added, but with the recent discoveries of the last days I fear that some additional items will pop up.

 

April 6th 2015: The bubbly condition on the passenger side rear floor which I discovered yesterday is making me nervous, so today I will look at that particular section in more detail. The paint is peeling off in a section and brownish unfavourable colour is appearing. With a putty knife I start the paint removal process. The paint is quite brittle and therewith relative easy to remove. After removing a bigger section of paint it becomes clear that some surface rust is available. I have to confirm with the welder whether replacement is required or applying a rust inhibitor is sufficient. It doesn't look too bad to me but it's good that I removed the coating to be sure and to enable a capable gentleman to have a look at it. The floor was repaired at some point in time and the weld seams have not been grinded down so the appearance looks quite nasty to me. That's something I will check with the welder as well, whether it can be made more decent with relatively little effort. Today, in line with the previous days, of course an unexpected nasty surprise is popping up. The material near the lower safety belt connection in the sill is again looking like a moon landscape with rust craters. In my opinion this section needs to be replaced, but to be sure I will ask the welder. All in all it took 5 hours to remove the coating, but the floor became quite clean. Besides the surface rust some nasty looking weld seams were found and rust affected material near the safety belt connection which needs replacement I suppose. One good discovery is that the original air bleeding feature is still available in the floor. I had this feature on the list of items to do for the welder for all 4 floor sections a couple of years ago, but the passenger side rear sections is not required it appears. Not too much progress today, but at least something.

Suspicious looking section at rear rh floor with paint popping up.

 

Nasty surprise, seat belt attachment at sill height on passenger side with small section of severely rust affected material.

 

Coating/paint removal on rear rh floor on its way.

 

Repair welds which in my opinion could use some grinding to make them less evident.

Removed paint/coating from rh rear floor after some hours.

 

April 7th 2015: Today I will continue the passenger side floor in the vehicle inside. This time the front passenger because I already did the rear section yesterday. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of time today, but lets see what can be achieved in the short available time. At a first sight the front section of the floor seems to be in pretty good order. When I start scratching there are relatively little brittle sections. I hope this is a good sign. The removal is not proceeding swiftly but the base metal material which is appearing is looking brand new or with only slight surface corrosion only. During the previous owner's restoration the front floor was completely renewed on the driver and passenger side so no rough weld seams are appearing as yesterday with the rear section. The material is in excellent order. Finally something that doesn't turn into a small nightmare? When I move a bit more towards the outboard side section kit is applied to seal the connection to the sill and inner wheel arch. When removing this kit unfortunately the rust bubbles are showing up in a more severe nature than hoped for. I will have to consult the welder what to do with these sections, I hope not the complete floor has to be taken out to resolve this. I just have to wait and see. Luckily for me the welder will come somewhere in April so soon I will know what the judgement is. At the lower firewall I remove quite some tape and big humps of kit which are both used to guide cables from the left to the right and to seal some weld seams. Although the progress is again small with daily small progress I may be able to achieve the target of getting the car to the painter this year. The air bleeding feature is missing in this floor section. I would like to have it back, but it depends on how much effort (and therewith money) is involved to do so.

Passenger side front floor ready for coating/paint removal.

 

Passenger side front floor, rust at the connection of the floor plate to the rest of the body.

 

Passenger side front floor, removed coating/paint after a few hours struggling.

Passenger side front floor, some progress booked, but far from clean.

April 8th 2015: After work my dad comes over to help me out with the coating removal. The target area for today is the right hand rear inner wheel arch. I started this section on March 29th, but the progress was very little due to the fact that there's a thick layer of sticky stuff applied. Now that I have the heat gun and my dad is there with 2 pairs of hands some result must be possible. The coating is applied thick and after heating it for some time it peels off quite nicely with the chisel. The accessibility of this wheel arch is poor compared to the front ones where the fender can be removed. We have to move ourselves in all kinds of strange positions in order not to block each other and still be able to work with 2 in this tight area. The areas where there are repair welds from the previous restoration are tough to clean, the other areas go relatively smooth. This is the first day in a few days that no unexpected rusted material surfaces. The coating material was applied very thick so that must have been the saviour for the metal material, the base material looks very good. That's nice for a change. When collecting all the removed material after a 2 hour struggle the amount is satisfying. The top section of the wheel arch will be very difficult to tackle but this evening at least the front section has become quite clean, although a lot of detailing has to be done to get it completely clean. Again an item to discuss with the welder is whether the repair welds can be grinded down to a level the surface is even.

Right hand rear wheel arch with thick layer of protective coating.

 

Right hand rear wheel arch cleaning progress after 2 hour hot air gun attack.

Quite some protective coating removed with hot air gun.

Not too bad progress today.

April 9th 2015: Most probably for the coming months the project will primarily consist out of cleaning the body from available coating, kit and filler. Not very inspiring work, but it needs to be done. This evening again after work a few hours of work will be put in. Yesterday the front section of the right hand rear wheel arch was cleaned so today I will attempt the rear section. Being alone will make progress a little slow because heating and scraping at the same time in such a tight area is not easy. First I try without heating, but that gives very poor result. When heating the thick layer of coating comes off much better. First I clean the shock absorber dome and then I work my way to the rear end. The access is very limited and making a decent stroke with the chisel gets more and more difficult when I go more to the rear. Today just like yesterday I go at for 2 hours. The end result is clearly less than yesterday, but still the result is good visible and therewith gives some sort of satisfaction. Still a very long way to go. Tomorrow the project will be on hold, but I hope to continue during the weekend. Just like yesterday also today no rust damage was found anywhere, that feels good for a change.

Right hand side rear wheel arch before start of activities.

 

Right hand rear wheel arch after 2 hours of struggling to remove coating.

Removed coating & filler after 2 hours.

 

April 11th 2015: Another day where my dad is willing to spend his free time to help me out with the coating removal. The driver side rear inner wheel arch will be the target. Having 4 hands instead of 2 makes a bog difference although the work space is very limited. Basically 3 hands are required. One the shine light, one to guide the hot air gun and another one for the chisel. Due to the fact that there are quite some sections without repair welds the progress is pretty good till the first break. A lot of material is taken off from the front side. Just like as for the passenger side rear inner wheel arch the thick layer of coating has protected the wheel arch very well and no rust is found. A re-assuring feeling after being confronted with many rusty areas during the past weeks. A short break is taken to regain power and motivation to continue. A continuation of the front section, the shock absorber dome and the rear section are addressed now. Without the exception of repair welds the coating is coming off relatively swiftly. Till lunch significant progress is made, The garage floor is covered with removed material.

Left hand rear wheel arch with thick layer of protection material.

 

Coating removal result at lunch break.

After lunch the third attempt for today is started. Cleaning the rear end more meticulously and cleaning up the Panhard rod bracket along with a general removal of whatever can be removed is the objective. Since my hand is getting tired of the repetitive movements the force which can be applied to the chisel is slightly reducing. Just like the passenger side rear inner wheel arch there are quite some difficult to access areas. Mainly the top section is very difficult to reach. The best would be if the car could be rotated by 90 degrees over the longitudinal axle. A rig to do that would be very convenient. Also for the cleaning of the floor which will be up next once all wheel arches are thoroughly cleaned. After 2 hours of continued fighting with the coating we call it a day. The amount of coating lying on the garage floor is quite something. A nice result for today in approximately 5,5 hours.

Left hand rear wheel arch end result for today.

 

April 16th 2015: I have only a few hours today so the target is set to something on which I can see some result. The fuel filler pocket in the body is covered in kit & filler so I will clean this section up first. Without heating with the heat gun the coating removal is poor so I start using the heat gun again. With the aid of that tool the removal runs more smooth. The base plate to which the fuel filler pipe is connected is not completely straight and therefore in some sections some filler is applied. I will consult the welder whether he can make this section more straight somehow to get a more even surface and therewith less filler applied. Besides this small activity I also start on the rear passenger floor on the driver side. In the past a quite big plate was welded in here and the weld is of course covered in kit. The heat gun is definitely required to get this kit removed. During the paint, kit & filler removal in this section I unfortunately realise that this section, as opposed to the right hand side section, doesn't have the air bleed feature in anymore. I would like to have it put back, but I need to check with the welder how time intensive and therewith costly that will be. I would really like to have the feature, but if it will be too time consuming I need to give this item up. I will ask of something is possible to make the welds less visible. Luckily for me today a person is stopping by who collects old batteries and metals. Since I have 3 old batteries in my garage I can get rid of 2 of them and keep one for emergencies. That will clean up the garage a little bit and I don't have the hassle of bringing these heavy batteries to a special waste collecting point by myself.

Fuel filler opening with paint & filler applied.

 

Fuel filler opening with paint & filler largely removed.

Driver side rear floor with coating, paint & kit applied.

 

river side rear floor with coating, paint & kit partially removed.

3 Old batteries on the garage floor.

2 Old batteries will be picked-up by somebody collecting special waste.

April 17th 2015: After work the weekend starts. Hopefully this weekend I can make some significant progress. I start with some wiring items which are remaining. On the left hand front side of the inner wing the same ground cables are attached to an M6 bolt running through the inner wing as was the case on the right hand side. Also some of these ground cables are screwed into the cross bar above the headlight with a parker. First I remove that one and then start on the bolted ground connection. I think none of these ground connections are original and therefore none of them will be put back in the future. With the remaining cables removed from the front end this is starting to look more tidy. A funny thing I find during these activities is a quite long weld wire of about 8cm sticking out. It's hard to imagine this weld wire has been in this position since the previous restoration, but who knows. With the front end cleaned up it's time to concentrate on the rear end. Here the cables for the rear light units, back-up light, licence plate light, rear window heating and the tow bar which used to be there in the past and the wires for the 3rd braking light which used to be there at some point in time are still connected to the body. These cables are running through some sections in the bottom of the car. Quite interestingly done. The removal goes relatively smooth. The excessive wires for the towing bar will not be put back in the future. At the same time I also remove the boot release cable which is running through the same openings as the electrical wires. The removal of the electrical wires and boot release cable make the rear end also look more tidy. The last thing to do for today is the removal of the dark coloured coating which is applied to the side-wall besides the rear passenger behind the driver seat. This coating appears to be brittle in some sections and pretty ductile in other areas. I will do this removal with a putty knife. The smell of this coating is pretty chemical, I have no idea what it consists of, but I do know it's chemical. Both the brittle and ductile sections come off pretty easily with the putty knife. The remaining surface is very .... very sticky so I will ask the welder how to deal with this surface. The current sticky surface is not appropriate for applying the future new paint to. The original colour which appears during the removal is interesting. It makes me wonder how long it will take before the whole car is in the original colour again. 1 hour of coating removal resulted in a good progress, but it's still far away from perfect. Tomorrow will hopefully be a day with significant progress, my dad will help me out once more. 4 hands make the progress go better. The result is not bad, but the area where sound deadening material is applied is almost impossible to get a decent result. In theory I would like to remove this sound deadening material and apply new one with the same geometry however due to the very limited access in this area I suppose that's very unrealistic.

Left hand front inner wing with several non original ground cables.

 

Left hand  front inner wing tidied up (cabling removed).

Wiring in rear luggage compartment.

 

Wiring in rear luggage compartment removed.

Driver side rear passenger side wall covered in black coloured coating.

Driver side rear passenger side wall black coating largely removed.

April 18th 2015: With the aid of my dad the coating removal will be continued. The weather is fantastic today so it's kind of a shame to work on this rather nasty task inside the garage, but it has to be done anyway so there's no way around it. Yesterday I did the driver side rear passenger side wall so today the same section but then on the passenger side will be done. My dad will attack this section. I will concentrate on the front passenger side inner wheel well. Detailing needs to be done there. The majority of coating was removed in the previous attempt, but still quite some kit & coating is remaining. The coating at the rear passenger side is quite brittle in some sections, in these areas the removal runs relatively smooth, in the remaining parts the coating is very sticky and therewith time consuming. After some time of work in the morning a short break is held. The progress at the rear passenger side is pretty good, the only area where removal is almost impossible is that area where sound isolation material is applied. That was also the case yesterday for the other side. If possible I would like to replace this material. The short break is refreshing because on the front inner wing the progress is almost invisible and that's frustrating. The second shift will run up to lunch and hopefully with some better result for the front inner wing. Just like before the break the progress on the front inner wing is almost invisible. The kit and coating material on the ground proves that small steps are made but it doesn't feel like it. The rear passenger side-wall is going well. At lunch time the result for the rear passenger side wall is that it is as far as you can go. For the front inner wing progress is made, but it's still far from the perfect status I'm looking for.

Passenger side rear passenger side wall black coloured coating removal in process.

 

Right hand side front inner wing detailed removal of kit & coating.

 

Passenger side rear passenger side wall pretty clean at lunch break.

 

After lunch some hours will be put into cleaning the inside walls near the C-pillars on both the driver and passenger side. The accessibility of these areas is very poor. Some of this area can be accessed from the top and some of it through the opening of the rear light units. The stroke which can be made with a chisel or a putty knife is small and significantly limits the ability to access the area. An additional limiting factor is the fact that here is also sound deadening material applied. The only way to find out what is possible is to go at it. My dad takes the right hand side and I take the left hand side. After some struggling I finally realise that it might be helpful to disassemble the support brackets which connect the inner metal parts to the outer body shell. I should have thought about this before. Whilst trying to disassembling it appears that the only thing necessary is a key width 10 key. I would have expected a nut to be on the rear end but it seems the only element which requires disassembly is a bolt. The left hand side is immediately disassembly by removing the bolt. The right hand side is still bonded to the inner side of the body outer shell. This is what I would have expected for both sides. Taking this support bracket out requires it to be pulled off from the body. Some of the sponge like material remains on the body. It needs to be replaced in the future when I re-assemble these brackets. The amount of access has clearly improved but is still poor. After 2 hours we stop the activities. Still a lot of black coloured coating is remaining but that will have to wait until another day.

Left hand side C-Pillar and surroundings covered in black coloured coating.

 

Left hand side C-Pillar and surroundings partially freed from the black coloured coating.

Passenger side C-Pillar surrounding coating partially removed.

Removed coating for today.

When returning to the house a nice surprise in the post. A fellow Giardinetta owner who has already provided detailed information during the restoration project before (detailed information of front sill section and mould for jack bracket in engine bay) has sent me a mould for the trunk to determine the position of the chrome coloured Alfasud logo and the position and size of the square holes for the licence plate. Thanks again John for your kind support! Without this kind of excellent support the restoration of my car becomes much more complicated or in some cases even impossible. Your efforts are highly appreciated!!! As a last item for today my neighbour is cleaning his garage. During this activity he found an old metal tool case. He will either throw it away or give it to me. I have a plastic version of such a kit which is not very robust so I take this kind gift of my neighbour.

Nice surprise waiting in the post box after working at the car.

2 Moulds received from kind fellow Giardinetta owner from the Netherlands. Thanks!!!!

April 30th 2015: The final day of this month so some progress needs to be made in order to make April a month with some results. After getting home from work I go into the garage to continue the work on the left hand C-pillar cleaning. The blunt putty knife seems to be more appropriate for this task than the blunt chisel. Light scratching movements upward & downward give the best result. The shape of the C-pillar section makes complete removal of the dark coloured coating very tricky. Most probably the final detailing needs to be done with sanding paper, because with the putty knife and chisel I can't remove everything. The coating is quite different in particular areas. Some have a brittle configuration which makes removal relatively easy because it pops off during the application of the tools, however other sections show a more ductile property which requires more effort, time and force to be removed. Besides the C-pillar I also start on the wagon door. Small remainders of the window rubber are on the metal and the 904B Alfasud & NL sticker need to be removed. The rubber removal goes relatively smooth. Moving the putty knife over them with low force makes them pop off. These small rubber sections have become very dry and therewith brittle which makes removal easy. The NL sticker is relatively hard which makes removal not that difficult. The Alfasud sticker, which was standard for 904B & 904B2 vehicles is attached more tightly. This will take some more time to remove. After a few hours it's getting dark outside and that means it's time to call it a day. Hopefully May will have the same amount of hours put into the project as April, April was quite good.

Left hand C-pillar area at start of activities.

 

Left hand C-pillar are after a few hours of coating removal.

 

Sticker removal from wagon door in progress. NL sticker completely removed, Alfasud sticker partially.