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Hi guys,

What would you suggest for stripping the paint from the plastic and fiberglass from our bikes? I have done a lot of plastic modeling, and we use things like Easy-off oven cleaner, brake fluid, Castrol Super Clean Degreaser, et cetera, because it strips ALL kinds of paint without hurting the plastic.

Now I know that the styrene in model kits is different than the ABS or fiberglass panels, but shouldn't these work okay? The plastic on bikes should be much more resilient than model cars...right? I just hate the idea of sanding by hand for hours/days on end. :)

Jack
 

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I've never had any luck with chemical strippers on ABS plastic so I use a razor blade to peel off what I can then use 180 grit wet paper to sand off the bulk then go to 400 grit wet for finish sanding.

Vic
 

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Similar story as Vic. ABS seems to get soft after using any of the chemical strippers. Don't even consider using Nitromors on ABS. 180 wet & dry for me, then 220, 400 and 800 for a smooth finish.
 

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If it doesn't have a hundred old coats of paint on it, sand it down, prime and paint. ABS isn't the easiest thing to get a good bite on so if the old paint isn't peeling or blistering big time leave it there.
 

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Theres no real reason for removing the old paint, unless of course some of it has flaked off down to the plastic (often happens with mudguards from the vibes). Otherwise you are better off giving the old paing a good sanding with 400 wet & dry to get a good grip for the new primer/paint.
If you do remove all the old paint, then you will need to buy an epoxy primer or plastic adhesion promoter to put on the bare plastic. If you don't do this the new paint will literally fall off, usually when you are washing the bike!
 

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Well, the paint is actually in very good shape, I just don't like the color. The reason I wanted to strip it was twofold: To get rid of the pinstripes, which are vinyl and under the clear coat, and to rid myself of any potential trouble with the new paint sticking to the older but still very glossy paint.

Guess I'll have to spend the time to sand it out by hand. :( In case you'd not yet surmised, I can be a tad lazy. :)

Jack
 

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I think you will find those pinstripes are very very hard to sand off. You will end up going down to bare plastic were the striping is so you will have to feather it. It's the glue on the stripes that is the problem. It stays put to the very end and if you don't get it all off the line will be visible under the new paint. Of course if you are putting on new striping then you won't need to sand it all off as you can use the old line as a template.
 

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Chemical strippers on fibreglass is bad as it breaks down the gel coat. Light sanding is better.
 
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