Click for hi-res image

Sand blasting is process where a certain media is blasted onto metal parts, which in this case can be just a sheet metal, a door, or even an entire car. The outer layer of paint, primer and body cement is removed as a result of the specified media cutting its way through, revealing the bare metal on the inside.

Generally, most body parts on classic cars are made of steel; which is an alloy of iron (some classics are made of aluminum; which corrodes very slowly) and most of us classic car enthusiasts out there would agree that restoring a classic with a bad body condition isn’t the best of ideas.

Who you gonna call… rust busters!

You have to spend more money if your potential restoration project is mostly coated with rust, and to make it worse, if these rusty areas are not treated properly, they will come back and haunt you in a matter of months, mostly in a form of “bubbles” on your brand new paintwork.

Now with the help of two local entrepreneurs Ramesh Subrayan and Paramjit Singh, you can kiss removing paint, primer and cement by hand scrapper good bye as these two have paired up and established one of Malaysia’s first complete sand blasting facilities for classic cars. Yes, I am talking about sand blasting an entire car, just like what you see on shows such as Overhaulin’ or American Hot Rod.

Before and after – Click for hi-res image

According to Ramesh, Garnet is used as the sand blasting media and after the sand blasting is performed, you can see a smooth bare metal finish and visible holes as result of previous rust or oxidation. Here is a brief breakdown of the entire process:

  1. Bare car shell arrives (completely de-constructed)
  2. Car is mounted on the “Rotisserie”. (Some welded, some screwed)
  3. Blasting begins using Garnet (different & mixed sizes) for external body, underneath floor board etc. Garnet is used as it permits the body shell to have a minimum 5 days period before oxidation occurs even without any treatment (Rust Inhibitor, Epoxy Primer etc)
  4. Blasting performed according to SA 2.5 Charts (where it leaves behind 5% of existing sheet condition as it is preferred by most rust inhibitor products). Blasting equipment & Compressor used are of high end “all in one” (Built-in dryer, regulator, remote control system etc)
  5. Special equipment are used to measure metal profile
  6. Client’s inspection

Harvey Dent car, one half blasted – Click for hi-res image

Before the car or specific body parts are sent for welding, it will be treated with a layer of Epoxy Primer that would protect the bare metal from potential rust.

Sand blasting your rusty classic is so far the best thing to do if you are looking to a have body condition which is almost as good as new. The paintwork finish of a sand blasted shell is likely to stand out even more, outlining the beautiful lines of your evergreen and unique classic.

It is definitely worth thinking about even for low budget restoration projects as the cost of sand blasting an entire body shell is about RM3,500.00.

For more information, please feel free to contact Ramesh from CADBiz Sdn. Bhd. (based in Subang Industrial Park, Selangor) at 016-3663160.

Story by Harvinder Singh Sidhu