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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was curious if anyone has had any success stripping a chip truck to do a repaint. The ones I have seen just had white paint rolled on top of the stick on logos. If the truck is going to get a nice paint job it has to have all the stick on junk and old paint removed first. I don't know how to get it off with a reasoneable amount of effort!

I was condisering buying one to keep as a step van. I pull garden tractors and I think it may make a decent hauler. I would have 1 to 3 garden tractors loaded in back so there would be 1500 to 3000 lb in the back. I will have to do some serious sound proofing, turn the pump up, and put the big spring in the pump for it to run the way I want it too. It seems like a much cheaper alternative to a new 3/4 ton pu and a new 20' trailer. Can I get one qiuiet enough and comfortable enough to make into a cross country rig? The longest drive for me to a pull is 600 miles. I would love to chop the top about 1 1/2 foot. That would make it easier to push down the road and the wind on the sides wouldn't affect it as much. The chop would be a LOT of work. At stock height I could put a sleeping bunk or tire rack above the front seats. I would need to make it handle better than the other one I bought and drove 500 miles home. I was beat after that drive and nearly deaf. With a 3000 lb load could I remove some of the liefs from the rear spring and install some lighter front springs to improve the ride? Would that make it sway more? Some of the miles I put on my other one were hair raising! I need a nice solid comfortable ride that doesn't require undivided attention. Should I just buy the pu and trailer??

Any thoughts???
 

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If the paint was rolled on, there's a good chance that it's cheap paint and that you can use some household paint remover and it will remove the cheap paint while not touching the factory paint. Removing the graphics is possible, just be prepared for ALOT of work. Dull razor blade to get the sticker off, then glue remover to soften the glue, then dull razor blade to remove the glue.

My father drove one of the gas-powered step-van trucks for YEARS for his business when I was growing up and living at home. He bought the thing brand new in 1989 (grumman-olsen) from the chevrolet dealership. Funny, at at 105,000 miles, the block cracked, and he had to short-block it. The dealership stated that there was a 50/50 chance it would have happened. I can definitely see why the Chip Truck owners replaced the 350's with the 4bts.

You can definitely de-leaf the springs and soften the ride. I would additionally suggest changing the rear end ratio to something reasonable for road travel, as that would take care of some of the noise by lowering the RPM's. Then invest in a good, quiet muffler, and sound proof the HECK out of the floor and doghouse. Put up a wall behind the seat and soundproof that, and you'll be in alot better shape. The noise from the back would take ALOT of soundproofing to get rid of.

If it's got doors on both sides, as long as you have your seat belt on, you can drive down the road with both doors open for 'climate control' in the summer.

Another thing that REALLY helps is to put in plywood walls with styrofoam insulation behind them to both quiet the ride, and insulate the interior so it doesn't get SO hot in the summer, and some of the heat stays in in the winter. Again, this is from my long term experience with these trucks.
 

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BTW: the chop wouldn't really be that hard, your biggest challenge would be shortening the doors (side and rear)(aluminum). Since all the glass is plate, it's almost trivial to take the heigth out of it. Everything else would just involve drilling out the rivits, pulling the top, cutting down the sides, drilling new holes, and re-riviting the top back on.
 

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stripping the van

I am in the middle of doing this now, I have one side done. I put my bullet heater inside the van in the front with it aiming toward the rear and the side door crackek about 4 inches I left the bullet running for about an hour before starting this gets the whole truck up to about 120 degrees, the sticker will then peel off I took a razer blade and lightly cut the sticker intostrips about 10 inches wide from top to bottom, this was about as big of a strip as I could get without it tearing. 1 side = 3 hour this leaves the paint underneath in good shape
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
BTW: the chop wouldn't really be that hard, your biggest challenge would be shortening the doors (side and rear)(aluminum). Since all the glass is plate, it's almost trivial to take the heigth out of it. Everything else would just involve drilling out the rivits, pulling the top, cutting down the sides, drilling new holes, and re-riviting the top back on.
The windshield posts are pretty heavy. The roof would be too short also. That isn't a big deal as far as the sheeting goes, but the top to side rolled pieces are one piece for the full length. I thought about just taking the foot or so off that is on top of the doors and glass. I did a little art work with a photo and razor. It is hard to believe that as bad as the step vans looks stock, they are worse with the top chopped.
 

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Either strip it and polish it like has been suggested or paint OVER the existing paint. I've had only Land Rovers that have Aluminum bodies for years, and let me stress what a pain in the ass it is to paint aluminum.. If you strip down the metal, you'll need an etching primer followed with a compatible paint. NOT fun, NOT cheap... Just paint over the existing color and be done with it.


RW
 

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strip it down and polish it like an airstream. anyone got pics of that done? I think it would look cool.
I've seen one here in Knoxville done that way.. Can really be blinding with the right (or wrong..) angle of sun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Either strip it and polish it like has been suggested or paint OVER the existing paint. I've had only Land Rovers that have Aluminum bodies for years, and let me stress what a pain in the ass it is to paint aluminum.. If you strip down the metal, you'll need an etching primer followed with a compatible paint. NOT fun, NOT cheap... Just paint over the existing color and be done with it.


RW
I use self etching primer on everything I paint anyway. I like being able to do the body filler work on top of it. I don't like that it needs to be topcoated within a few days. I try to work on one panel at a time to eliminate the time problem. I do my own body work as time permits in my garage. With the number of hours I put in at work it may be days between sessions in the garage. I recently started working on my conversion project again, after a few months off.

The polished finish would be neat but I don't want to spend the hours to keep it up, much less the time it takes to polish it. There are a few products available to put on the polished panels to keep them bright but they are more expenisve than what the paint would cost. I have seen one painted high metalic silver. That looked pretty good. There just isn't much you can do to a 18' step van to make it pretty. The cheapest thing to do would be hire a couple of the youngsters that are good with the grafiti art and tell them what you wanted. Then supply them with the spray bombs.
 

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The cheapest thing to do would be hire a couple of the youngsters that are good with the graffiti art and tell them what you wanted. Then supply them with the spray bombs.
That gets my vote! That would be very cool.
 

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there is a company in sydney called wicked campers. they have a really talented spraypainter. the graffiti on these boring white vans really makes them stand out ! i will quite happily fly over and spray " brian was ere " on it if you like.
 

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I just saw a polished aluminum step van going down the interstate this afternoon.
It was shiny from top to bottom, front to back, just like a nicely done airstream.
Looked really sharp, what I could see as I went 70 mph one way and it passed me going 70 the other way. Was even pulling a small trailer with a model A ford Roadster hot rod looking thing.

If only I had my camera with me, and time to take a picture...
It did look good,


Grigg
 

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Strip Success !!!

Tell me.....Did you see these trucks in Maryland, and did you talk to a guy named Bill? Are they '92
Isuzu's with Ulitimaster bodies?

The reason I ask is that I just looked at some trucks that were painted white, with a roller, and I could see the stick on lettering under the rolled paint layer. I bought one and I'm stripping it now...HA!

If, by some chance, you are talking about the same trucks then they have an aluminum body and the job is going great! I thought of having it blasted with plastic media ( too expensive at $98.00/ 50 lbs.), or nut shells (but there are too many negitives about getting them into bearings and moving parts.) So, I decided to go with paint stripper and it's moving fast.

Recomendation: Use Dad's Easy Paint Remover. I never heard of it before and it sounded funky to me at first. I got the tip from guys who do restorations and conversions. If you can't find it in town look it up on the internet. This stuff really works! I'm applying it with a brush and taking paint off right down to the metal with a plastic scraper so i'm not scratching the surface.

First apply the remover and wait about 5 minutes. It will really bubble up the paint. Then scrape it with a plastic scraper to get the bulk of the paint off. Then a very light coat to get the residue and take that off with steel wool. Take some denatured alcohol and rub it down and you'll be looking at metal that looks like it never had paint on it at all! The denatured alcohol will also neutralize the remover so you don't have any residue in seams that will eat at the new paint.
If you work in 4 ft. sq. sections, and do the detailing as you go it will move smooth and fast. Working alone, I expect to be ready for paint and a digital photographic wrap in four days.

Again, if you are talking to Bill, he seems to be a straight shooter. The truck is in great shape. He even called to make sure I got home ok ( and hour and a half drive ), and without problms. I plan to buy more from him. Tell him I said ...Hello!

If you have any questions feel free to email me.
 

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I need a nice solid comfortable ride

Any thoughts???
I drove my van from Dayton Ohio To Houston Texas and it was ice cold (being winter and would have been unbearably hot in the summer) and it was a lot of things, but comfortable wasn't one of them.

Pros:
You can fit a lot of stuff in it
You paint it and your done:

Cons:
They have the aerodynamics of a sheet of ply wood
They are pushed all over the road by the wind
They are loud
Chasing rattles and insulating it is a HUGE undertaking
they don't fit down narrow roads
They are a BITCH to back up
They are hard to park
You can't see out the back
They ride rough
The stock heating stinks
The stock cooling is non existent
They are Loud (it is worth stating twice)
It will NEVER be as comfortable as a pickup

I would drive one for a month, then you will get a joy out of cutting it up.
 

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There is a local garage door company here that has a few P30's with bare aluminum bodies that get a complete repolish each year & the owner tells me it's a few hundred dollars per year to get each one done.

In the past I painted aluminum alternator cases. The primer that I used was Dupont 215S which is a specifically designed high etch aluminum primer. This is a flat green military spec primer designed for aircraft aluminum use. If you ever open an aircraft compartment you will see it as the flat green paint found on the interior of most aircraft.
 

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Tell me.....Did you see these trucks in Maryland, and did you talk to a guy named Bill? Are they '92
Isuzu's with Ulitimaster bodies?

The reason I ask is that I just looked at some trucks that were painted white, with a roller, and I could see the stick on lettering under the rolled paint layer. I bought one and I'm stripping it now...HA!

If, by some chance, you are talking about the same trucks then they have an aluminum body and the job is going great! I thought of having it blasted with plastic media ( too expensive at $98.00/ 50 lbs.), or nut shells (but there are too many negitives about getting them into bearings and moving parts.) So, I decided to go with paint stripper and it's moving fast.

Recomendation: Use Dad's Easy Paint Remover. I never heard of it before and it sounded funky to me at first. I got the tip from guys who do restorations and conversions. If you can't find it in town look it up on the internet. This stuff really works! I'm applying it with a brush and taking paint off right down to the metal with a plastic scraper so i'm not scratching the surface.

First apply the remover and wait about 5 minutes. It will really bubble up the paint. Then scrape it with a plastic scraper to get the bulk of the paint off. Then a very light coat to get the residue and take that off with steel wool. Take some denatured alcohol and rub it down and you'll be looking at metal that looks like it never had paint on it at all! The denatured alcohol will also neutralize the remover so you don't have any residue in seams that will eat at the new paint.
If you work in 4 ft. sq. sections, and do the detailing as you go it will move smooth and fast. Working alone, I expect to be ready for paint and a digital photographic wrap in four days.
i reccomend not using steel wool...you get small particles of carbon steel embeded in the aluminum.it will react with the aluminum and bubble the paint.
i suggest coarse scotchbright...or find aluminum wool (expensive and hard to find).for an acid wash on the cheap,i v'e had succes using mild acid thats used to clean calcium and rust in your sink at home.wtaer it down 4 to 1 and use it while scrubbing with scotchbright,then rinse.mild acid etch primer after,and your paint should stick rather well.
 

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Grumpy: I had delusions of driving my truck home from Phoenix to Ojai CA 475mi. This was cut short , after driving it across Phoenix which took about 45 minutes. It was like rolling along in a giant loose hot file cabinet, while someone was beating the outside with a giant loose file cabinet. I was done after that episode! It got stripped and scrapped in Phoenix. I would have liked to cut it up and recycle the Aluminum as the price was $1.00/lb at the time, but it would have taken me another 2 days to do that and made a serious mess of my buddies shop, so it got towed away for free and I drove home in my nice pick up truck instead.

Berg: The way most of the chip trucks were stripped before painting was by being blasted with CO2(dry ice) crystals. I have a friend who owned the company in Socal that had the contract to do the work for Lays chips. They did one truck per day, and each truck was redone every other year. When they were done blasting ,all of the dry ice crystals evaporated and all they had to do was sweep up the paint chips. He did this job for a year and a half using himself and his brother to do the work, and then sold the business at a significant profit. There was no taping or masking of anything, and no used media to deal with. There was also no damage or intrusion into the aluminum.

There are outfits that do this, and you can find them in Hotrod magazines. In fact the equipment is for sale there too, if you want to set up a business.

There is also soda blasting to consider, plastic does a nice job but is really expensive.

Also from the above post, you never use "Steel wool" on aluminum it is a breeding ground for cracks to form. You use "aluminum wool" to agitate the paint stripper, note I said "agitate the stripper", the chemical does all the work not the wool, the wool is mearly used to refresh the stripper, and keep it activated. This is what is used to strip airplanes for painting. Been there done that. Also it is a serious mess to clean up, best done somewhere that you don't or won't ever care about.

Randy
 

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Grumpy: I had delusions of driving my truck home from Phoenix to Ojai CA 475mi. This was cut short , after driving it across Phoenix which took about 45 minutes. It was like rolling along in a giant loose hot file cabinet, while someone was beating the outside with a giant loose file cabinet. I was done after that episode! It got stripped and scrapped in Phoenix. I would have liked to cut it up and recycle the Aluminum as the price was $1.00/lb at the time, but it would have taken me another 2 days to do that and made a serious mess of my buddies shop, so it got towed away for free and I drove home in my nice pick up truck instead.
LOL. I drove mine for 40 miles and it was an equally unpleasant experience. I could not devise a better device to capture, magnify and reververate noises and vibrations than that truck. My Jeep (while VERY noisy, with no insulation or carpeting) is a MUCH more confortable vehicle to drive. The shutdown shake was BRUTAL in that truck. Interestingly, it is much less noticeable in my much lighter Jeep. Some weird harmonic frequency perhaps?
 

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My brother drove P30 step vans for YEARS delivering Amway and Avon to the distributors. When the vans were loaded, with boxes against the walls to deaden vibration, they weren't too noisy at all. Empty they were EXACTLY like W.R.Buchanan described them.

Mikel - Could be the shutdown shake is less because the motor weighs more than the rest of the Jeep. :D
 
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