Dip Stripping and E-coating. - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-22-2004, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Dip Stripping and E-coating.

You rustaphobes out there might find this interesting. I just had a driver's door chemically stripped and e-coated. They first bake the part for about 6 hours at 650 degrees F to bake off all dirt, rust, paint, etc. Then they dip the part in a chemical bath to strip off all remaining traces of rust and paint in every little nook and cranny. Then the part goes into a neutralizer bath to eliminate the chemical stripper. Then the part is phosphated and e-coated. E-coating is an electrically charged primer bath where the electrical charge attracts the primer into every little nook and cranny. E-coating is what the new car manufacturers have used for many years now. For a hobby car with limited exposure to Mother Nature, this process should prevent rust forever.

Here's a before picture. This was a very solid door with some surface rust around the hem flanges and other hard-to-reach areas.
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Bill / 1977 Alfa Romeo 4C2000 / 2012 BMW S1000RR / 1975 BMW R90/6
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-22-2004, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Here's the door after stripping and e-coating.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-22-2004, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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A closer view.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-22-2004, 05:34 PM
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Looks great, Bill!

Jim

Series 2 USA 1750 GTV (in Series 1 European clothing)
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-22-2004, 07:59 PM
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E-coating is what the new car manufacturers have used for many years now.
Yes, and they do that because it's cheaper, not necessarily better.

Several body shops I talked to swear that you have to strip e-coated repair panels and prime them properly because they had cases where the e-coat delaminated from the metal and they had to redo the work under warranty. Note that it was not the primer or paint that delaminated from the e-coat, but the e-coat sheathing off the metal. They came to believe that e-coat is only for superficial rust protection during storage. An unanswered question is if the time between e-coating and applying final paint may have something to do with these results (e.g. chemical changes in molecules that are exposed to air, or the removal of the electrical charge having an effect as if the charge was reversed).

In summary, just be aware that e-coat may give reasonable rust protection because the metal is hopefully completely encapsulated, but be aware that it may result in paint defects.

Good luck,

Ruedi
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-23-2004, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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I'm no expert here, however, at the risk of turning this into a "the paint peeled off my Chrysler minivan because of e-coat" thread, I'll throw in some more info....

E-coating is a dipping process that uses primer paint to coat the metal. The primer used in the e-coating process has an inherent weakness -- it is not UV stable. Because of this, it is important to apply a UV stable primer on top of the e-coated panel before applying a top coat. If any of you are familiar with the peeling paint problems from certain US products of the 80's and early 90's, much of this was due to the automakers not applying this second coat of primer. The top coat did not filter the UV rays, allowing the ecoat to be exposed. The e-coat would degrade, allowing the top coat to peel.

Consequently, if a repair panel has been ecoated and then stored for a long period of time where it is exposed to UV (sunlight), the e-coat may have started to degrade.

Other potential problems with e-coat are the same as with any primer system. The part needs to be clean and free of contaminates, such as the oils used in the stamping process, before ecoating. Also, all the products used to paint a car need to be compatible with one another (mixing enamel and lacquer products would be a disaster, as a simple example).

I'm not trying to sell this stuff -- just following the paths of others who have had success with it on their cars.

Bill / 1977 Alfa Romeo 4C2000 / 2012 BMW S1000RR / 1975 BMW R90/6
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-23-2004, 09:30 AM
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Good post with good information Bill.

91 164S
83 GTV-6
71 Spider
67 Guilia super (race car project)
66 Guilia ti
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-23-2004, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Alfajim -- thanks. Did you recognize the door?

Bill / 1977 Alfa Romeo 4C2000 / 2012 BMW S1000RR / 1975 BMW R90/6
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-23-2004, 03:08 PM
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and the siding

91 164S
83 GTV-6
71 Spider
67 Guilia super (race car project)
66 Guilia ti
60 spider
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-24-2004, 07:09 AM
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Bill,
Very nice looking results on that door. Im sure that any painting process can be fouled up by not following manufacturing recommendations of the suppliers.
That said, if done right, this ecoat looks to be a great process.

Could you tell me where do you get this done, and at what price? Could they dip and entire car body?

1971 GTV ongoing "restoration" project (Rice Conversion)
1978 Spider sold in 1996
1962 Guilietta Spider sold looong ago
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-24-2004, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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The place that did my door is in Romulus, Michigan. They're called International Paint Stripping and can be reached at 734-942-0500. I think you could do an internet search and find other places around the country that do this. Try searching under paint stripping, chemical stripping, ecoat, etc. The first place I called only did commercial work, but they steered me towards Int'l.

Int'l Paint Stripping can do an entire car body. I saw a first generation Riviera body that had been done. It came out clean as a whistle, although every finished joint on the body will have to be refilled. The quarter panel joints to the roof and rear valence were exposed on the Riviera.

This process isn't cheap ($2500 for an entire body shell), but should keep away the tin worm for a long, long time.

Bill / 1977 Alfa Romeo 4C2000 / 2012 BMW S1000RR / 1975 BMW R90/6
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