TL Strut tower bar (post junkyard finishing)

Discussion in 'DIY - Do It Yourself Forum' started by cfox28, May 29, 2014.

  1. cfox28

    cfox28 Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys, Just wanted to share what I did with the strut tower bar off the tl that I found at the junkyard. As a precursor, I know this probably has been done before, and the strut tower bar of the tl is not new news. I wanted to show people the results of the process I used.

    Goal: to have a naked metal, and perhaps polished look
    Materials:

    Aircraft Paint remover specifically and safety gear
    [​IMG]

    Wire Brush
    [​IMG]

    drill
    [​IMG]

    clamps (these quick release ones are handy as you will be moving them around)
    [​IMG]


    Process:

    1 -Wash of any main dirt. it does not need to be pristine
    the purpose is to allow the next steps stripper to be most effective

    2 - Pour aircraft paint remover into a disposable container (follow directions on back)
    - apply the paint remover on thick, especially in creases
    - allow 15 or more minutes, you will see something like this
    [​IMG]

    - the bubbling/crinkling is what you want
    - you can then scrap it off with something, I used an old giftcard.
    - you will notice not all comes off
    [​IMG]

    - some will say it is more effective to wrap the object with seran wrap to contain the remover after it has been applied,
    - i just repeated to the process twice more.

    3 - now its time to remove the small amount left, and reveal some of the metal.
    - you will noticed, after it is stripped it is a sort of dull grey metalic. This step rejuvenates if you will the look of the metal
    - take the wire brush and put it into your drill. I used a corded one with a handle allowing me both power and leverage
    - clamp the bar to the work table.
    - be mindful of the clamp, I used scraps of mdf on either end to prevent any damage to the STB, scraps also distribute the force
    - now start on one side trying to remove as much left as you can
    - this requires some elbow grease, so push down hard.
    - as you finish up removing anything thats left, you will notice the welds
    - the welds aren't pretty, use the brush bit and work them hard. tip I used either my side, or holding the handle to the table for leverage
    - finishing pass. in the end I started at one end and applied even pressure across the bar and went back for another pass (like mowing the lawn

    4 - use a microfiber cloth and wipe the bar down. you could also use rubbing alcohol to clean it if you wanted to
    - apply a thin coat of clear, wait, and then two more thicker coats

    [​IMG]

    placing it where it will go to see what it will look like
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
    RedRyder likes this.
  2. RedRyder

    RedRyder Be a better driver

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    Nice job, looks more like a satin metal finish than polished. But I like the way yours turned out just as much. Good DIY, repped.
     
  3. cfox28

    cfox28 Well-Known Member

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    thanks! yeah I was aiming for polished, and i'm sure there are ways that it can be done. this process almost gives it a grain. There is reflection, but definitely not mirror.

    I'll be curious to see if others chime in, that might have ideas to improve the process.
    i'm sure like sanding you could bump up the "grit" and use polish to get the look.

    One key part would be that this is not Stainless, so it does need sealed. can you clear coat on top of polish? my understand was that you couldn't
     
  4. RedRyder

    RedRyder Be a better driver

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    Yea I mean you can polish it to get that finish if that's what you want. You can apply clearcoat to a polished finish, it just may yellow over time and it makes it more work if you ever want to re-polish.
     
  5. twofast4u

    twofast4u Well-Known Member

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    Great DIY! Definitely going on my list of things to do!
     
  6. pinoy209

    pinoy209 Well-Known Member

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    makes me want to do this also.
     
  7. agginline86

    agginline86 Well-Known Member

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    looks great!
     
  8. cfox28

    cfox28 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys.

    Something I'm going to put out there. The weld spots were the hardest to clean up. When doing them I was wondering if a smaller size grinder tool that takes off more material would be a good idea, but I didn't know if this would compromise the structural integrity of the bar. Do u guys think there is significant force at these points?
     
  9. RedRyder

    RedRyder Be a better driver

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    I probably wouldn't grind them too much, they may not look pretty but I think a 1pc bar needs strong weld points.
     
  10. Brad2274

    Brad2274 Well-Known Member

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    better idea is to bring your bar to a welder and have him go over them, should be able to make some prettier pooling over the existing for like 15-40$ not sure depends on welder
     

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