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Jimmyjazz

Underseal removal

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Hello

I have a 1972 TR6. It’s what I believe is called a survivor car 37000 miles and always dry stored and all original. I’ve had it a few years and did post about it when I first got it, but due to work, life etc I’m only just starting to think about recommissioning it. The bodywork is totally rust free and has a thick black underseal inside the wings and under the main body.  Could I ask advice on

1. Should remove this

2. If so the best way of doing it.

3. Should I treat it with something else once removed  

I’m sure I’ll have 101 other questions as I get further into it but I’ve got to start somewhere.

Many thanks

Alan

 

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If there is no rust, why are you considering removal of the coating?

 

Ed

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27 minutes ago, Jimmyjazz said:

1. Should remove this

2. If so the best way of doing it.

3. Should I treat it with something else once removed  

Hi Allan

1) I'd remove it to see what's lurking beneath thick or otherwise as if any moisture has got in it remains trapped and rusts out while looking solid on the outside. Worse case you may be faced with some welding.

2) Depends how far you want to strip he car. I'd suggest taking the wings off to get at the inner wings and fully assess them. The wings can then be dealt with easier. The underside will be much harder if you intend leaving the chassis in situ.

As to the actual removal depends how brave you are to use a blow lamp (which is what I did) just to the point where it softens to allow it to be scraped off and then white spirit to remove what's left. It will stink and have compressed air and a wet cloth to quickly put out any flames and in a well ventilated area. Or you could just use white spirit but it will be long mucky process.

3) Will depend on what you find, if its back to paint and its sound I'd key it, brush paint and apply black stone chip and then spay over with wax.

Hope it solid for you.

Andy 

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Hi Alan,  firstly check how hard the underseal is and whether there are any cracks in it, cracks could mean moisture has got in, either way I would remove just a sample first to see how well it has adhered. Then it depends what you want from the car, recommissioning suggests you would like to use it soon so I wouldn’t start taking it all apart unless it’s really necessary otherwise you could be into a protracted rebuild.

 Chris

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from memory I used an electric heat gun plus scraper to shift the bulk of it, finished the job back to bare metal with the garnet blaster.

Wanted to see if there were any surprises  underneath before redoing it.

The paintwork on the outside of the mudguards had looked pretty good, but I found a few bodges underneath when the paint came off.

 

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Many thanks for the replies 

 The thinking seems to be to remove it. I have already removed the wings etc and will continue to strip the car. It has been stood for a considerable time and I am looking forward to bringing it back to it former glory. I’m pretty sure that there is no major rust problems and the underseal appears to be very good condition,  but as said I think it would better to remove as if underseal cracks in the future then this might cause problems.  As I mentioned the car is in incredible condition, in fact it still has the original carpets and soft top roof. I’ll post some pictures up over the weekend and again thank you for your help

Alan

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Hot air gun and a nice sharp scraper works the best to get the majority off then white spirit and lots of rag to remove the rest.

Stuart.

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All the above options work but can be messy.

I found that the brittleness of the underseal, albeit it was pretty much intact and stuck on, meant that if I used a narrow flat bladed scraper ie 1-1.5 inches wide and got under the leading edge of the underseal with a stabbing type motion, it would flick off in chunks leaving the paint finish almost clean underneath. However make sure you grind off the very edge corners of the scraper so it doesn't "dig" into the metal otherwise you will end up with lots of little nicks in the metal.

Would post a photo of what I've done but away from home at the moment so not possible

Cheers Rich

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Alan,

I vote leave it alone... if you start scraping away then there will be no end to it...the underlying paint will be damaged by the scraping and then you are in respray territory... Old underseal goes hard...suggest you overcoat it with a wax-based product...something like Waxoyl...that will have the effect of protecting any cracking and also plasticising/softening the original underseal to stop it cracking further.

If the car is in good condition just protect it...dont start picking away at it...otherwise it will end up in pieces and never as original as it is today.

Dave

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Opinions vary.

When I removed my underseal, 95% of the area was in perfect condition. Some corners/edges had minor to  severe corrosion. Removal Y/N depends largely on what you are aiming for.

Full restoration: remove all of it, and that’s what I did, followed by blasting, painting etc.

But if it looks ok, and only sumner drives are the purpose, you could reduce to limited area’s, like corners. Or simply apply wax oil or similar in damaged area’s as Dave above suggests.

 But be carefull, once you remove say the wings for underseal removal, before you know, you have started a full resto, even if not planned;)

Waldi

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Alan,

If it's a true 'survivor' with original factory paint, interior, trim and brightwork etc then leave it be, but I suggest you go round lightly tapping the underseal with a small tack hammer listening for tone change, this may indicate rust and sympathetically go from there if need be. I did this on 'Saffy'  my old 45, 000 mile survivor TR6 which was covered in Ziebart underneath by the supplying dealer in 1970 and was totally rust free. So have faith, because once you start taking wings off etc you will break the seals and paintwork round nuts and bolts and it won't stop there, then you will start to reduce its originality and not be where you want to be......

Preserve it and do not restore it, otherwise it'll just be another restored TR6 and there are plenty of those out there, but far far fewer true 'survivors.  Personally, I prefer a car to look its age so an unrestored (or older restoration) which is mechanically sound with a very good history would get my vote every time. 

Have a read of the attached article by Dave Burroughs, it make very interesting reading - I had a very long Facetime chat with David some years ago for research and guidance before putting together the Triumph Survivor Class for the Club's Concours event.

Be good to see some photos of your TR6.

Cheers, Andrew

Restore it or Not.pdf

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It's mainly about how best to monitor what might or might not be going on beneath the underseal without simply taking it all off.  I've little or no expertise on this, but its a generic classic car problem, not a TR problem. What do other forums (fora?) and the various magazines and books have to say?

As a precaution I like the idea of spraying it with Waxoyl or similar since it isn't expensive can do little harm and may well help. 

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It depends on what you do with the car,it was never undersealed from the factory, do you have any paperwork to say when it was done, if early in its life I would remove it and as you have removed the wings the seal is already broken.  

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Alan,

As several people have said above, it depends how far you want to go with the build.

I've just finished removing the underseal from my TR5 which I had always intended doing a full restoration on. The shell went for blasting yesterday.

I believe the underseal on my car was probably factory original. It had the original factory colour paint underneath, while the car had been restored in a different colour everywhere that showed 25 years ago.

I used a 1" flat wood chisel with no heat, sharpening it now and then as required. A 1/2" and even 1/4" chisel was useful in a few tight corners. The recent cold weather probably helped. It was quite a task to remove it from under the floor pans, rear diff shelf area and all 4 inner wheelarches and it did leave scrape marks in the underlying paint, but as this is all to be blasted off and repainted I was not concerned about that. The outer wings had stone chip on them, not underseal.

Dave McD

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Its not a fun job to do the whole of the underneath!

Stuart.

 

Marks TR5 134.jpg

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It's a lot easier if you can heat the other side of the panel rather than heating the coated side. That way the underseal in contact with the panel melts without making the whole coating a sticky mess.

Same principle as removing the labels from jars to go in the recycling - don't soak them in water but fill the jar with hot water to melt the adhesive.

Pete

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For such a big job, a bigger capital spend may be justified.     The SnapOn tool, the Crud Thug, is fast and efficient at removing underseal - I've seen it working - without scraping off the underlying paint.

image.png.cbe6f58380b56a97cf013941025d53a2.png

John

Edited by john.r.davies

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21 hours ago, ctc77965o said:

Alan,

I vote leave it alone... if you start scraping away then there will be no end to it...the underlying paint will be damaged by the scraping and then you are in respray territory... Old underseal goes hard...suggest you overcoat it with a wax-based product...something like Waxoyl...that will have the effect of protecting any cracking and also plasticising/softening the original underseal to stop it cracking further.

If the car is in good condition just protect it...dont start picking away at it...otherwise it will end up in pieces and never as original as it is today.

Dave

I'm 100% with Dave on this ..on every point he makes.   

A previous '64 Daimler I tried heating and then gently scraping the under-seal off. Laying on my back under the car. Not ideal and the paint still got scratched.   So on  my last classic I just carefully scraped, as Rich suggests with a rounded-off blade, and much of its dry under-seal did indeed come off in flakes.  However, that in awkward corners and some large patches of its ribbed floor bits didn't ..and those areas took four times as long as all the easy bits put together.  All in all I'd guess the man hours = 2 months in just scraping and then solvent cleaning. It's nasty work.  Rubbing it down and repainting took more time still. 

As that car needed replacement sills and the lower part of the bulkhead / floors replaced .. a big job was in order anyway, so it didn't matter much if and when I scratched through the paint in places (..it is unavoidable unless you approach it with the care and pace of an octogenarian archeologist).  I tried carefully not to but those panel pressing are really awkward to get into, and you can't see the defined shape because it's caked in under-seal !   But then, when it is scratched - you need to chemically clean and the surface-abrade the old paint for the new paint to stick. It'll not be the same paint as originally used, and there will be no chemical bond between them, the new paint will just sit on top.  And then because that area doesn't match the rest, and that disturbs you ..because you want a nice car -  as the above post says.. there's no end to it.

Personally I loathe under-seal - but still, from your description of the car, it's general condition and that of its under-seal -  I too would rejuvenate (chemically soften) the underseal you have on there, and leave it to show the car's originality and history.  I agree that a product like Waxoyl might be the ideal to over-coat and soften it with.  Other than that I'd treat her like a matured beautiful woman ..have fun and love the patina. B)

Pete.

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So much information and different opinions. All much appreciated. As I said earlier I’ve had the car a number of years and have given lots of thought in that time as to wether I should leave it as be “ a survivor “ or lightly restore it. I think as much as the idea of leaving with all it’s originality would be the ideal, in my case in the long run the aged look of it etc would wear me down. Looking at the front and rear wings there doesn’t seem to be much under seal on them. The inner wings and underbody have more. I’ve decided I’ll remove this and retreat with stone chip and wax. The chassis is solid so some wax to protect further and that should do. I’m going to try and leave the paintwork, although the bonnet has a faded section. As for the rest I’ll replace what’s necessary but keep as much as possible. It’ll need new carpets as they appear rotten in places and the roof has shrunk quite a bit. 

So many things to think about, again many thanks for everyone’s input. I’ll post some pictures soon and keep all update with my progress. 

Alan

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We like lots of pictures :D

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