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Old 07-22-2020, 11:32 PM   #1
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Order of Operations - Cab repair/sandblast

I would like a little expert insight on what the proper order of operations is when it comes to repairing the rusty cab corners, rocker panels, and floor sections. Should one sandblast the cab down to bare metal in order to see all the rust first? Or should one just get out the grinder, clean up all the paint, and start cutting out rust and replacing panels?

Ultimately, I would like to get the cab down to bare metal with a wet sandblast so I can prime and paint the interior. It might be 3 or 4 months time during this whole process. Let me know what route is best!
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Old 07-23-2020, 09:35 AM   #2
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Re: Order of Operations - Cab repair/sandblast

I am currently in the home stretch of doing all these repairs on my '71 long. I did not worry about removing any paint because I could see where it was rusting. I immediately started right in at removing the rusty rockers, inner rockers, hinge pillars and kick panels.

I removed the entire inner and outer rockers because they were completely gone. For the other areas I just removed as much material as necessary to get solid metal. So, A-pillar bottoms, kick panel bottoms, floor next to kick panel. And a few patches in the floor next to inner rockers as necessary. Oh, and B-pillar bottoms. Cab corners I patched up with homemade patches. I also made the kick panel bottoms by using cut out metal as a template/guide.

Then I sanded back the paint to a feather edge near the repairs, primed (x2), sealed, finish coat

Did the same to the door bottoms. Also, if superficial rust existed where I did not cut out metal, I used a phosphoric acid water mixture to neutralize the rust (then topcoated).

In the image you can see that I epoxy primed the cab floor (which I did not replace)...I simply used a scouring pad on my angle grinder to get rid of glue and other junk. Then I primed.

Currently prepping fenders (wings for those across the pond) for paint. Doors and cab interior are 100% done. FYI, I used Precision press on door seals and they are perfect and I do not have to slam the doors. I was careful to ensure the door was positioned in the door jamb uniformly before calling it good. This ensured the door seal was compressed even all around for good shutting doors.

Good luck.

Last edited by Davidf; 07-23-2020 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 07-24-2020, 02:31 AM   #3
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Re: Order of Operations - Cab repair/sandblast

Thanks for all the good info David, looks like you're on the right track! How long did it take you to get through your cab? Where did you get your door seals at?

Would it even be worth wet sandblasting my cab after I get the rust removed? Mainly for paint prep. I'm not sure how long it'd take for the surface rust to form again. I'm in a fairly dry climate here in western NE.
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:45 AM   #4
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Re: Order of Operations - Cab repair/sandblast

on mine I did it both ways...the areas that obviously needed replaced or worked on I did prior to sandblasting....
then the blaster will always reveal something you didn't or couldn't see before...
so what I did was ..
repair visible rot/cracks/broken welds/etc
epoxy prime..
then fix the spots the blaster revealed
and epoxy prime again..
then do bodywork and epoxy over that
then high build and paint..
some of these steps were repeated several times..

make sure you use a blaster with body panel easily as they can clean a panel, they can also ruin it
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Old 07-24-2020, 10:37 PM   #5
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Re: Order of Operations - Cab repair/sandblast

I blasted mine first so I could make sure I could see all the areas that needed work. I'm glad I did as there was a lot of bondo filled rust areas. You can see the order I did mine if you look at my thread "order of rust repair". I basically asked the same question you are.

Ditto, find a blaster that as experience with blasting automotive panels. Found out the hard way on my 89 Toyota pickup. He overheated the metal and I now have warped panel under the side window.
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Old 07-25-2020, 05:08 PM   #6
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Re: Order of Operations - Cab repair/sandblast

I've done a few "frame off" restos and I've had good luck with removing all the old paint with air craft paint stripper on the big panels but staying away from all seams and edges. Then I use a DA sander and fiber disc on right angle die grinder to take off the rest. Around the edges I use my 30 pound pressure sand blaster. Parts like the door pillars and around the window openings.
I would be very nervous about anyone using a high pressure commercial grade sand blaster on any of the large panels.
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Old 07-28-2020, 01:50 AM   #7
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Re: Order of Operations - Cab repair/sandblast

I like to cut out the bad first to expose the areas behind for blasting and epoxy primer.
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Old 08-02-2020, 12:32 PM   #8
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Re: Order of Operations - Cab repair/sandblast

I repaired most of my cab before blasting. I then blasted the entire cab ..and epoxy primed. The fenders, hood, and other parts were blasted and then patched and epoxy primed. I use crushed glass as my blasting media. On large panels, I stripped by hand. I still have the doors to do. I will cut out the rust on the bottoms and then before patching I will blast the insides of the doors, then epoxy prime the inside of the doors before patching the bottom.
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