How to remove paint from Jaguar E Type

Jaguar E Type

Jaguar E Type blast cleaned

The Jaguar E Type is, without a shadow of doubt, the single most recognised British classic car in existence.  Voted again and again the number one classic car of all time, with a huge following and numerous appearances in show-stopping locations.  I can’t recall a single car show that didn’t feature a crowd pleasing Jaguar E Type.  Plus, who could forget the Top Gear television episode celebrating the British motor industry with the E Type heart beating strongly?  Or how about Channel 4’s ‘Making a Million Pound Car’ and Car SOS’s E Type Emergency episode?

The rise in popularity of the E Type has seen a number of extremely high end restorations completed throughout the UK.  Conscientious restorers recognise the need to strip the vehicle right back to its bare shell before tackling the bodywork repairs.  There are a few options when stripping away paint, rust and underseal from E Types.  The most popular choices being soda blasting, media blasting, and acid dipping.

Acid Dipping

Acid dipping is an increasingly contraversial choice when removing paint from vehicles.  There is the risk that acid settles in unseen areas of a vehicle, such as the inner sills (inner door areas need particular attention with E Types).  This can then leak out at a later date, causing damage to freshly applied paint.  There are benefits to acid dipping though – the main being that acid can reach those forementioned ‘unseen areas’.  There are reputable acid dippers within the industry that we work closely with, and are happy to recommend to our customers.  If this is a route you wish to take, it cannot be stressed enough that some lesser known ‘dippers’ could harbour long term problems.

Acid dipping usually involves fully submerging your E Type shell in a heated base solution. The company then wash your shell with water.  Fianlly, they submerge it within acid that acts as a neutraliser to the base solution.  Chemical dipping is not available for aluminium and a variety of other items.  This is due to the heat involved in the initial process and the reaction of acid itself.

Soda Blasting

Soda blasting is the gentlest way to strip away the paint from your E Type project.  You can read about how soda blasting works within our website.  Blast cleaning work should be completed within a purpose built facility, with the correct dust extraction, noise reduction, and breathing apparatus.  Bicarbonate of soda is not a harmful substance, however the same cannot be guaranteed for the coatings being removed.  Soda blasting is a system where bicarbonate of soda crystals are blown onto the surface of a vehicle using compressed air.  The energy created as the soda makes contact with an item is what pulls the coating away.  The system is different to other blast cleaning options (shot blasting etc), as it doesn’t run the risk of causing panel warping as a result of heat.  There are certain areas on every classic car where this is a threat.

The main areas that should be soda blasted include the complete bonnet (wings, bonnet, and front bumper sections) and the roof.  As you can imagine, these large, flat panels carry the highest risk of damage or bending if too much heat or pressure is applied.  A complete E Type shell can be cleaned using bicarbonate of soda if you are at all concerned about the strength of the shell or panels.

Teamed together with secondary blast cleaning processes, bicarbonate of soda contributes to the best system to remove paint, grease, rust and filler from your Jaguar E Type.

Media Blasting

Media blasting, sometimes referred to as shot blasting, can be the given name for a few different processes.  Normally, it is the term given to crushed glass blasting.  Crushed glass replaced the old style ‘sand blasting’ after it was deemed illegal, following health concerns arising from the silica found in sand.  Glass blasting gives a similar finish to sand blasting.  That is, a media blasted shell has a slightly keyed finish that is perfect to paint on to with minimal preparation.  There is sometimes the concern that panels will be distorted by this abrasive system.  We are able to turn the compressed air pressure up and down accordingly to prevent this.  If there is any chance of distortion, a different system is used.

The most obvious choice maybe to soda blast an E Type body to remove the paint.  We have developed a system where both crushed glass media and bicarbonate of soda are utilised to provide the absolute best finish to E Type shells and panels.  Media blast cleaning is more abrasive than soda blasting.  It will remove underseal, plus the rust and filler almost always found speckled over these iconic classic cars.

You can read more about media blasting on our website – here.

Which process is the best?

We strongly believe that to get the best bare-shell finish for your E Type, you should take advantage of soda and media blasting services.  Soda cleans the paint away without the worry of damage.  Crushed glass media removes tougher coatings, still with minimal concern of damage.

blast cleaned e type

Why SBL?

The beauty of the Jaguar E Type is that each one is a little different.  We’ve worked on over sixty to date, each one subtly different.  That means a keen eye is always needed to pay particular attention to the details.  We are proud to work on Jaguar E Types on a regular basis – usually one per week.  We utilise a variety of cleaning processes but mainly focus on soda and media blasting.

Epoxy paint priming is a popular option as it provides protection to shells and panels during transportation and storage.  Like everything we do, this process is completed in its own, purpose built area within our Wolverhampton facility.

If you are unsure what process is best to strip the paint from your E Type, get it touch today.  One of our team would be happy to help!


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How to strip the paint from a Jaguar E Type