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Last Updated on September 8, 2022 by John Robinson
Undercoating your vehicle is an eminent way to protect it against damage by rust and corrosion. However, you may need to remove this undercoating at some point. This may easily become the nastiest job you’ve ever had to do. It is not quite easy to dig up an old undercoating from the floorboards, the transmission, and the transfer case.
Many people go through the relatively tough heat and scrape method. This may seem to be an easy option but you’ll probably be smoldered by the constant smoke before you clear any portion of your car. A 4-inch electric angle grinder is way more preferable. However, even this method is not entirely comfortable.
The dust from the undercoating flies just about everywhere and sticks around. Your clothes and even your skin would be covered with dust if you choose to work with this messy option. Also, a significant amount of your wire wheels will be consumed before you remove a considerable portion of the undercoating. This could end up being more expensive than you’d expect.
While most of the techniques for undercoating removal involve much dust and risk, there is one reliable method that is relatively convenient and dependable.
How to remove undercoating
Consider this special Harbor Freight tool
One considerably reliable option is the Oscillating Multifunction Power Tool by Harbor Freight. This excellent tool
is equipped with a superior quality scraper attachment that’ll successfully knock off the undercoating in no time. There is no creation of excessive dust or smoke that would mess up your experience of working on your car.
This tool works effectively even in the places where the undercoat is dry and hard. The scraper helps in quickly chipping it off. It will be peeled off in sheets in the comparatively soft and pliable areas. You can even access the constricted regions of the car with ease if you get a narrow scraper.
However, there is one drawback to this tool that may be unacceptable to some. This tool generates ample noise while working and creates extremely disturbing vibrations. Also, this procedure is not truly effortless. It takes about just as much effort as a disc grinder with a wire wheel.
Although, the absence of dust, smoke, and dirt does make the job relatively easier with this tool. Also, you could get this tool for a mere $30.
Consider other trusted methods of undercoating removal
There are several viable methods to remove the undercoating from your vehicle. This coating must have been a reliable source of protection at one time, but if it has become a nuisance, we’ve brought you over three trustworthy methods to get rid of it. Working with these methods may involve some dust and maybe also some smoke, but it wouldn’t take a long time for your car to be completely free of the undercoating you don’t want anymore.
Remove your undercoating with the help of a wire wheel
This is a relatively easy method of completing this task. The only nuisance may be created by the enormous amount of dust.
Foremost, you’ll need to attach your wire wheel to a grinder or a drill. It will be better if you utilize a hand grinder or a power drill. Carefully attach the wire wheel with the help of the specific instructions that are mentioned on the wheel. It is usually secured on the top of your preferred tool and twisted into the right position.
The wire wheel consists of a circular sander that has crimped and tempered steel bristles. This tool works efficiently in removing rust, corrosion, paint, and even primer. Wire wheels usually measure around 15 cm in diameter.
Before you start removing the undercoating through this method, it is essential that you wear your safety goggles. Then plug in your drill or grinder and place it firmly against the spot from which undercoating has to be removed. This method will not require tremendous effort on your part and the undercoating will be removed successfully.
This is often regarded as the fastest and the utmost easy method of accomplishing this job. It is generally recommended that you start the removal at the top of the wheel panel and move towards the bottom. You should ideally remove 10-15 cm sections of the undercoating at one time. You’ll note that the wire wheel swirls the undercoating around during its removal. The task will be relatively easy if you work in smaller areas. You can buff continuously until all the undercoating is off your vehicle.
Utilize an air scraper
A medium-sized air scraper is popularly recommended for the removal of undercoating. This device is operated with a battery and the removal of rust, glue, or paint is relatively quick. Rest assured that the metal underneath the coating will not be damaged whatsoever. Furthermore, a built-in regulator in the air scraper provides excellent control and precision. Most often, air scrapers are accompanied with small, medium, and large scraping tools.
Either one of these tools can be conveniently employed to remove the undercoating. Although, the medium-sized scraper is known to be the best choice for this purpose. Carefully follow the instructions to tightly fasten the scraper to the tool. Generally, the scraper is placed at the top of the tool and screwed into place.
It is essential that you wear safety goggles for your necessary protection. Look for your air scraper’s on the switch and switch it on when you are ready. There must also be specific adjustments for the PSI or blows per minute. Typically, air scrapers employ 2100 blows per minute and 90 PSI.
It is very easy to remove the undercoating with the help of an air scraper. You only need to hold the scraper against the wheel panel or your area of choice and push it forward while applying slight pressure. One must note that this method is relatively easier than a heat gun and scraper.
It is recommended that you work in sections of 7.6 to 12.7 cm. All of your undercoatings can be removed by working in small sections. It is also advisable that you initiate the work from the front and head towards the back portion of the car.
Heat and scrape your undercoating
Your undercoating can also be removed by the old method of heating and scraping. In this method, you heat small sections of the existing undercoating with the help of a heat gun and then scrape it off. After plugging in your heat gun and using a high heat setting, you must hold the tip about 2 to 3 cm away from the undercoating. It is recommended that you work in sections of 5.1 to 10.2 cm. Heat guns can be reliably utilized to strip paint off surfaces, shrink-wrap packages, or shrink-heat tubing. You can also depend on a propane torch instead of
a heat gun. The undercoating will be removed faster and with more ease when you employ a propane torch. But this process is dangerous. Any
negligence could lead to a fire. Although, a propane torch is a faster alternative as compared to a heat gun.
You can easily scrape the undercoating with the help of a small paint scraper. It is important that you wear your safety goggles during this procedure. The paint scraper should be directly held against the undercoating and pushed forward. This task will be better done with a moderate amount of pressure. It is advised to keep your hand safe from the heat gun.
Note that no specific portion of your car is more favorable to start scraping. Typically, people begin at the top of the wheel panel. You must continue heating and scraping off until all the undercoating is gone. However, this method of removal can take several hours. Although, you must keep scraping until no black or dark residue remains on the surface of your vehicle. But it is not necessary that your undercoating will be smooth after you employ this method. It is possible for your car’s surface to appear more scratched.
While there is no comfortable method to remove the undercoating off your vehicle. There are methods that are difficult and methods that are relatively less difficult. While the scraper tool by Harbor Freight is a very dependable option, it is not acceptable to some users because of the abundant noise it generates.
Other commonly used methods include the wire wheel, air scraper, and the option of heating and scraping. A wire wheel is a relatively convenient tool. The only problem with this tool is the creation of ample dust. Air scraper can also remove your undercoating quickly. Both these methods will generate much dust so make sure that your eyes are protected with safety goggles.
The heat and scrape method is rather difficult because it generates smoke and leaves the surface of your car looking scratched. It is suggested that you employ the method that best matches your skill and convenience. It is important to stay protected with the help of safety goggles while using any of the above methods.
Howdy! I’m John Robinson from Levittown, New York. I am a mechanical engineer for 15 years and already had an established car repair company. I developed a personal relationship with cars since I was a kid. I always love the sounds and smell emitted by a car or truck and even at construction machinery. Since then I have been married but my love for cars only grew.