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6/14/18 10:53am - Original Message: 'Fiberglass Seat Bucket Refinish, again'
JCNMD
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Vette(s):
1974 Coupe, 350 crate motor, 5 speed, driver not restored

Joined: 6/7/2018
Posts: 2
Folks,
    Sorry to once again re-visit this issue, but I have some slightly different considerations:
1. I have a '74 Vette with Medium Saddle interior. I want to replace the stock seats with 1979 to 1982 fiberglass buckets and new mounted seat covers, which (mounted Medium Saddle seat covers from Corvette America) I currently have.
2. The very good folks @ BAIR's Corvettes fixed me up with a complete set (all 4 pieces) of fiberglass shells, including hinges and plastic hinge covers, and with two complete sets of 79-82 manual tracks. One of the seats is dark blue in color, the other is a light tan color. The dark blue seat has a lot of dark blue paint, the tan seat seems to have many fewer paint layers.
3. To start my refinish in 73-75 Medium Saddle, I am now trying to remove the correct amount of paint from these pieces to assure that my multi-step refinish products will go on solidly, and will result in a long-lasting, solid finish. I'm going to use Corvette America's products for refinish: Plastic Prep Cleaner, Adhesion Promoter, Primer, Dye, and Clear Coat.
4. My real question is this: how much paint do I need to remove in order to provide a "solid" platform for beginning the final cleaning and re-coating process? I am using Acetone (as recommended by Color Bond, who makes the Adhesion Promoter for Corvette America) to remove the existing paint. I've used a lot of Acetone so far, about gassed myself to death, (applied using paper towels and rubbing hard), the towels still come away with lots of blue paint on them, and I see no signs of the underlying black/dark grey base fiberglass material showing thru.
Any thoughts would be most welcome. Thanks!!
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6/14/18 11:51am - Reply: 'Re: Fiberglass Seat Bucket Refinish, again'
73shark
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Overland Park, KS - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Orange Metallic Coupe (orig owner), L82, 4 spd (WR), PS, (A/C & PW (I installed from wrecked 73)), leather, AM/FM Stereo, ran with '65 FI unit earlier & will again some day.

Joined: 7/9/2003
Posts: 449
Welcome to the forum. You might explore using soda blasting. The only other thing I could think of would be to use a paint stripper but that might be too harsh if you weren't careful. I'm sure there are others here with more ideas on how to accomplish what you're trying to achieve.

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1973 L-82 4 spd

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6/15/18 12:42pm - Reply: 'Re: Fiberglass Seat Bucket Refinish, again'
danascar
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Germansville, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 Coupe 358ci 4 speed Black w/Medium Saddle interior w/79 custom leather seats. . 1999 Covertible, 6 speed, Atomic orange, Oak interior

Joined: 1/28/2010
Posts: 772
I did the same thing with my 74 about 4 years back. I simply cleaned up buckets with lacquer thinner and used the same items you are using to do the prep on the buckets. Used the Corvette America dye paint also. I found you get spots where buckets rub against anything it will wear the paint away, so keep some paint for touch up. You will have to swap out the rear track mounting brackets from the original 74 tracks onto the 79 tracks. That's the only mods you will have to make it you don't already know this. 



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Dan T
 

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6/18/18 9:31am - Reply: 'Re: Fiberglass Seat Bucket Refinish, again'
JCNMD
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Vette(s):
1974 Coupe, 350 crate motor, 5 speed, driver not restored

Joined: 6/7/2018
Posts: 2
First, thanks for your replies! Further status:
1. We have a very capable soda blast business very near my house, and they did try a sample area soda blast on an inconspicuous area of one of the shells. The process seemed too hard to control with the large nozzles, and they were not able to perform the paint removal without risking considerable damage to the textured fiberglass surface. Recently, however, this business added a new glass bead blasting capability to their arsenal, which may be important, since:
2. I found an old video on-line that showed the refurbishing of 1978/79 to 1982 seat shells, and they used a very fine, very low air pressure glass bead blast to remove the old paint. The local business has the video, and plans to try another test with the glass beads, hopefully this week (they have entered their super busy season).
3. Thanks for the note on the use of 73-74 rear seat track brackets to convert to the 74 floor bolt pattern, which I had already encountered on the Web. Interestingly though, my car still has its very rough fiberglass seat belt retractor covers under the seats, which, coupled with some issues with the carpet, seem to require a shimming of the seat tracks to clear these obstacles. Shimming is a very bad idea, of course, because it decreases the already-tight headroom in the car. Did you find any such issues? Note that my current 78-82 seat track complement consists of (2) sets of identical configuration tracks, that I believe to be passenger sets. These tracks all have a "C" shaped metal bracket which is about 2 1/2" long at the front of the track, where the seat shell bolts on. These tracks thus also have a very low profile front bracket, which bolts the track to the floor of the car.
4. I believe that driver side tracks have a full-length flat top surface, with a much higher profile front bracket which bolts the track to the floor. I'm trying to get at least one set of these driver tracks, which should be here shortly, to see if that makes any difference in clearing under-seat obstacles. Unfortunately, my trial fitting of this stuff is complicated by the fact that my car is on a lift in the mechanic's shop, and is thus only available to me at certain times!
Thanks again for your help.
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