Interior strip and prime

1967 Ford Mustang Fastback interior floor strip and prime After finishing all the metal work on the transition pan and floor pan earlier, I figured now was  a good time to strip and prime the interior before I started to get flash rust on all this exposed metal. The interior of the car should have a coating of unpolished paint on it, but after nearly 50 years, it was nothing like that any more. 

Mostly, though, I'm also worried there's still some rusty patches under there somewhere, and the best way to find out if there's rust under the paint - is to remove all the paint. I know I'm lucky compared to most vintage mustang owners who pull their carpet back only to see the ground peeking through a bunch of holes. 

Original Floors!
So I set upon the metal with all sorts of tools - paint stipping disks, lots of wire wheels on drills and angle grinders, sandpaper and a burning desire to see a clean uniform surface inside the car for the first time ever.

I decided early on not to do the dash or the firewall/toeboard up at the front because I'd just discovered the need to do a lot of structural metalwork at the front of the car. And at least one quarter panel needs metal work, so I'll skip stripping the exposed parts of those for now as well. But from the floor to the roof and back to the rear trap door opening, it was all getting touched.

It's no fun unless you write a procedure first!
I'm going use the red oxide SPI epoxy primer for this and see if I like it in the interior. If I do, I'll get more - otherwise, I'll just go over it with black for a good second coat later on. I'll still have the rest of the interior to do later as well, so this is really just 'most' of the interior.

 Quarter panel vent area - see all that dirt and crud? If you look close, you can see where the original primer application actually dripped at the factory. That's nice - it helps take the pressure of a guy who has very little time with a real spray gun (that's me).

The roof has adhesive and insulation stuck to it and not much primer. Interesting to note that there is NO primer at the edges of the roof where it meets the structure. Instead I found a lovely layer of surface rust which has to be removed.

 Beginning the strip the floor. Notice the original paint on the floor. If it's still stuck on well and has no rust under it, some of it can stay as it's still a good foundation to work with.

The crud hides in every crack and crevice.  Removing this J-nut from its bracket revealed a lot of nasty seam sealer and dirt. The seam sealer applied at the factory was done quickly and without regard to my future needs for cleanliness and ease of access.

Stipping the roof with stripping disks on a die grinder - except at the edges, where I had to use sandpaper and foul language.

 Stipping the interior takes patience and hours...

..and hours... 

See where the seam sealer is cleaned off the tunnel/seat riser junctions? There's no primer under there from the factory, but luckily there was no rust anywhere under any seam sealer.

Check out that clean, rust-free floor! What a nice surprise. Don't worry, I'll have some other major metal work in the near future to make up for it. 

This is stripped as far as needed for priming. Every surface has been either sanded to bare metal or at least scuffed down to primer if a well protected area.

 I also scuffed the primer already applied to the transition pan. Like I said, hours and hours of work. 

 Masked off the trunk, both glass openings, dash, firewall, toeboard, steering wheel/column and doors for priming. Wiped all surfaces with wax and grease remover several times to get a good clean surface to prime.

Blamo! Primer is on! It looks almost orange at first, but the gloss and the color tone down a little after it cures. 

That's so much better. Notice the inside of the quarter panels are not primed. I'm betting most of that metal will need to be replaced anyway, so I skipped it. 

Mmm....uniform surfaces... 

The roof got brushwork along the edges first, then sprayed for uniformity. The SPI primer is good stuff but it'll eat those foam brushes in about 2 minutes, so use real bristle brushes instead.

I practiced the pattern I would use to do the priming so I was sure to get all the surfaces that are facing different directions. Start at the roof, work down the back and quarters, and finish on the rocker panels. A little forethought goes a long way. Plus I'm pretty picky about this stuff.

I used my cheap-o Lowe's Automotive all-angle HVLP gun for this. In hindsight, I should have just used that for the roof panel and switched to the Vapor gun for the rest of it, as the Vapor has a better pattern and leaves a nice smooth finish. The finish here is sort of rough. It's fine for now, as I'll have to scuff and reshoot a second coating later, but lesson learned nonetheless.