Saturday, March 19, 2011

grinding on the dash

Cleaning up the inside has been a long slow grind, literally - it's now almost three months since I started sanding of surface rust around the perimeter of the roof. The area behind and under the dash was always destined to be the most complicated - all those small edges - and so it proved. This area was covered in surface rust, and I'm not even sure if it was ever properly painted. Here are some "before" pictures:

I was concerned about throwing grinding dust all over my new primer in the back of the car, so I taped off the rear section as best I could - not perfect but better than nothing.

I started wire wheeling at the passenger side. Apart from the inherent danger of grinding in such closed quarters, there are also a ton of places where the wheel just will not fit.

Here's the view looking towards the driver's side after the first grinding session:

And looking back towards the inside of the dash...plenty more work to do here!

At this point in the proceedings I had already turned the car around and pulled out the engine, so it made sense to remove the steering column and clutch pedal support in order to get better access to the dash on the driver's side.

This was as far as I could get under the driver side dash with the big wire wheel:

Switching over to the drill and die grinder provided better access to some of the tighter corners:

The cowl area in this car - a notorious area for serious rust issues in the Mustang - is in absolutely fantastic shape. A little bit of surface rust was all I had to remove from the underside.

At the end of the second marathon grinding session I had most of the area under the dash cleaned up.

Then it was onto the outer side. I mainly used the drill for this area, as it runs at a lower speed and although that means it takes more effort to remove the paint, there is a much lower risk of damaging the sheet metal by catching an edge with the wire wheel - this area is going to be seen after all. This part of the project was also much easier because I didn't have to contort my body while I was working. I started at the front and worked upwards.

And then moved on to the top of the dash - having the windshield out of the way was an enormous advantage.

Pretty much done in terms of the first pass, and ready to move on to cleaning up the foot wells before I give the entire area a coat of epoxy primer.


  1. Awesome job. Hopefully you didn't have the wire wheel chase you. I have heard others had the wheel jerked out of thier hands and chase them. Keep up the good work. I like following you posts. Mike

  2. Hey Mike, thanks for your comments...I was lucky with the wire wheel this time round, but I have hurt myself with it before, and on one occasion I got the power cord caught around the wheel - this is a big No-No!

  3. You are an absolute animal with that wire wheel! Truly impressive how well that whole area looks. What type of wheel/grinder combo do you use for this type of work?

  4. Thanks Sven, mainly I use my Dewalt 4.5 inch angle grinder with a knotted wire wheel - I buy the wheels from Harbor Fright for five bucks each...they work best after they are worn it - new wheels tend to leave more scratches on the sheet metal. I also use a 1.5 inch wire cup on my drill for tighter areas.

  5. Nice work! Your dash area really came out clean. You are indeed an artist with that knotted wire wheel.