Soda Blasting Aluminum Bodied ’73 Land Rover!

1973 Land Rover 2

1973 Aluminum Bodied Series 3 Land Rover prior to soda blasting with the ACE Model 2-PS Heavy Duty Portable Soda Blaster – (Photos courtesy of Paul Spangler – Drummond Corporation- Middlefield, Ohio)

Hi Everybody! Happy 2016! Welcome to my blog about soda blasting, the environmentally friendly cleaning method that uses a form of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in place of other non-environmentally friendly, and health hazardous blasting medias like sand.

It’s a new year and I have a number of very cool and interesting projects to tell you about. I also owe some of you a response to questions you have asked. Please forgive me for not answering sooner, the last part of 2015 was extremely busy.

In my earlier postings, I explained what soda blasting is, what makes soda blasting such a unique cleaning process, some basic information on air compressors, on soda blasting equipment, and on a few popular applications. Once you understand how soda blasting works, it is much easier to appreciate why it is such an effective, safe, and eco-friendly cleaning method for many different types of jobs.

As I mentioned before, soda blasting has become a worldwide phenomenon! As I think back over the last several years, I am amazed at all of the different types of projects that I’ve been involved with, from helping do-it-yourself home owners, to assisting all kinds of businesses, large and small. I enjoy hearing from people, who have used soda blasting on their projects based on my recommendations. It is very satisfying to know that I’ve helped someone achieve completion of an important job.

Last year I posted a blog entitled Soda Blasting A 60’s Muscle Car Classic! That posting should tell you just about anything you need to know about soda blasting a steel bodied vehicle. Today, I want to tell you about an exciting project: the restoration of an aluminum bodied 1973 Land Rover Series 3! Yes, an aluminum body!

Last July, I was contacted by Paul Spangler of the Drummond Corporation about restoring the Land Rover, which he had recently purchased. Paul wanted to know if soda blasting would be able to strip his Rover without harming the aluminum body. I explained that I have been involved in a number of projects stripping aluminum aircraft and light gauge aluminum aircraft parts with no problems, and that I believed soda blasting would do a great job on his Land Rover. After our discussion, Paul decided to purchase an ACE Model 2-PS Heavy Duty Portable Soda Blaster to soda blast his prized aluminum Land Rover.

1973 Land Rover 1

1973 Land Rover 3

As you can see, the Land Rover had seen its share of adventures over the years! Since there were no major mechanical issues, Paul decided to drive and enjoy it over the summer before launching into the restoration.

Paul recently contacted me. His excitement and enthusiasm were very apparent. “I love the soda blaster! It has exceeded my expectations! Flawless unit! It is ridiculous how little media it used. The media usage is so well metered. Amazing!!!”

Paul used 6 – 50 lbs bags of Armex Flow XL soda blast media to completely strip the aluminum body. The job took around 5 hours. He used the standard 1/8” ID nozzle (requires a minimum of 18 CFM) and media restrictor, and blasted at 80 psi.

1973 Land Rover after 1

These pictures show just how beautiful the soda blasted aluminum looks.

1973 Land Rover after 2

1973 Land Rover after 3

Paul is now removing the body parts from the frame and will be soda blasting the bottom side of all body panels and the frame.

1973 Land Rover - phase 2

1973 Land Rover - phase 2a

I’ll keep you posted on the progress of this interesting project as I get updates.

Hundreds of cars, trucks, boats, and other vehicles have been restored using soda blasting. Several years ago, Hot Rod magazine did a series of articles entitled “Paint & Bodywork, The Most Complete Step-By-Step Series Ever!” In the series, the Editor of Hot Rod had his personal 1969 Camaro stripped and refinished. They had the choice of any paint stripping method available. What method did they use on his personal car? Soda Blasting!

I hope this helps you out. In future postings, I’ll write about some of the other interesting projects that I’ve been involved with, using soda blasting. Soda blasting really is one of the most exciting, environmentally friendly cleaning processes available today. We are all put here on this planet for a short time, so let’s make the best of it and help preserve it for future generations.

Thanks for reading my blog! – The Soda Blasting Guy