HOW TO RECOVER HOODNUMBERS W/ PAINT STRIPPER, SCRAPER, HEAT

1941 - 1945, MB, GPW Technical questions and discussions, regarding anything related to the WWII jeep.
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Jim Kilbourne
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HOW TO RECOVER HOODNUMBERS W/ PAINT STRIPPER, SCRAPER, HEAT

Post by Jim Kilbourne » Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:19 pm

CAN WE MAKE THIS A SITCKY?
Done...

Carsten asked and I found this from 2005!!!..
Neil,

This is my method...

I use chemical paint stripper...it works better in my opinion than wet sanding through layers of paint for a couple of reasons.

Wet sanding on an uneven surface cuts the high spots only...you will only uncover a portion of each number or letter...stripper removes a complete layer of paint.

Your jeep has been repainted...this paint was most likely air dried. Stripper will soften the air dried paint and not affect the factory paint underneath because the factory paint was baked to make it dry. A baked paint is many times more chemically resistant and physically harder than air dried paint.

Test an area in the center of your hood and you should see that stripper will only lift the repaint and its primer and not lift the OD...wash the stripper off and it becomes inert and can be swept up when dried ...next I use a lacquer thinner soaked rag that has been wrung out to wipe off residue and expose the paint under neath....stripper removes about 1.5 to 2 layers of paint at a time...
Also Mark Tombelson added some technique to this same topic string that I use as well and it goes like this:
As an alternate, because I had very thick and hard gray paint under several civilian topcoats, you may want to try to lift the top layers of paint away with a wood chisel, like I did on Navy U.S.N. 133818.
And I added some more:
Hey Mark,

You are right ...when the paint is thick, brittle and not adhering to the sub coat very well it will scrape off easily...I use a razor scraper with a dull razor or a stiff putty knife in those cases...wood chisel would work too...then I can use the stripper or lacquer thinner to get the last coats...
and the results can be this:


Image
Last edited by Jim Kilbourne on Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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I COLLECT WILLYS MB NUMBERS! Please send me your Frame, Engine, Body, Hood numbers and DOD. Thanks!
WANTED: MB unrestored, used, OD paint, dash panel light housings

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Jim Kilbourne
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Post by Jim Kilbourne » Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:22 pm

P.S.

someone bring a hood that needs to be uncovered to Aberdeen and we can try my method..I will bring the supplies.
Jim Kilbourne
I COLLECT WILLYS MB NUMBERS! Please send me your Frame, Engine, Body, Hood numbers and DOD. Thanks!
WANTED: MB unrestored, used, OD paint, dash panel light housings

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Bob at Warsaw
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Post by Bob at Warsaw » Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:46 pm

Hi Jim

Will you tell me the name brand of
paint stripper that was used :shock:
Thanks
Bob




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Post by MB44 » Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:44 am

jim,

i tried the paint stripper but not the thinner. the stripper did remove the additional layers and the od was curiously hard. however, there was no evidence whatsoever of any other color other than the od and the black primer for it.
no matter, i still have more info than i did a week ago and i also think that the hood number does end in either 22 or 32 . i'll take another look again in the next few days under different lighting conditions. calaude monet and the impressionists were right, objects do appear totally different in changing light. maybe i'll see a pattern i did not see yesterday.
in the neantime i did find a body number. 227217. does that help in any way to determine the hood number?
thank you, alex

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Post by Mark Tombleson » Sun Feb 17, 2008 1:47 am

Scraping worked great for me... and I think any Navy gray painted jeep would scrap well.


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Post by lt.luke » Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:37 am

Were the hood/body numbers baked on as well? I would have thought they were air dried.

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Post by Jim Kilbourne » Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:22 pm

The Type of stripper I use is called: Captain Lee's Auto Spra-Strip.

It comes in gallion cans with a squirt bottle attached and I get it at NAPA...also found at auto body supply places and larger AACA events by some vendors..

To use this on hood numbers you have to know a little about how it works...

It is thick..a little thinner than Karo Syrup but not much...you spray it on thick and leave it thick by design. The thick liquid holds the solvents against the paint and keeps them from evaporating.

BUT!!!!!......This technique melts paint QUICK( a minute or three) and DEEP (two to 2.5 or so layers of paint)!

This is good for stripping down your classic auto for a frame-off...for jeep hoods its a NO-NO!

I want the paint melt to take longer so I can watch it and stop it if need be, and I only want one or 1.5 layers to melt...SO...I spray the stripper on and then smooth it out, like painting, with a high quality painters brush, into a thinner more even layer.

I look for the paint to get rubbery and soft, to be scraped off gently. I dont want the paint to erupt and fall off.

You can even get very small areas by dabbing it on with a rag. I got my trailer numbers by a combo of lacquer thinner and stripper on a rag and wiped, waited, wiped and then rubbed the GI OD one layer overpaint off...looks like this:

I WILL POST A PIC SOON...GOTTA FIND IT!
Last edited by Jim Kilbourne on Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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I COLLECT WILLYS MB NUMBERS! Please send me your Frame, Engine, Body, Hood numbers and DOD. Thanks!
WANTED: MB unrestored, used, OD paint, dash panel light housings

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recover hood numbers

Post by Britdude » Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:43 pm

Heres a new one for you guys, back in good old England they sell a certain type of cream oven cleaner, the brand dosen't matter they all work the same.

It is a small plastic container with an abrasive pad glued to the base, the idea is you squeeze the cream cleaner through the abrasive pad and rub it on the sides of the oven and it cleans off all the excess baked on food.

This works great to remove enamel paint ( not two-part car paint though) I have known sign writers use it to remove lettering without harming the painted colour of the vehicle body.

This method can be used to slowly remove the layers of (certain) paints to reveal hidden information. The cream cleaner 'melts' off the paint and the abrasive pad then removes it.

I now live in Canada and am unsure if you can buy the same sort of thing over in North America but you guys in the UK can certainly get your hands on it.

The good thing with this method is it tends to 'ride' over any lettering hidden below the paint thus revealing it better, where as sanding just sands everthing flat, so you have to take great care and paint stripper I have found tends to be very indescriminate about what it removes.

Anyway I thought it may be of some use to you all.

Regards

Rick

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Post by Chris Warne » Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:46 am

When I restored by MB back in 2006, I tried sanding the hood for the original number, but the uneven surface gave high and low sanding spots and I only found some traces of white/blue paint - nothing legible.

Following Jims advice I went the paint stripper route and the result speaks for itself - picture below. If you're UK based, then Homebase or Nitromors brand stripper is perfect. My approach was as follows:
1. Brush a layer of stripper onto a 5" x 5" area where you would expect the original number to be.
2. As soon as the top layer of paint starts to wrinkle, wipe the stripper off with a damp cloth.
3. Use a plastic scraper to remove the top layer of wrinkled paint.
4. Apply some more stripper and repeat the above process until you find white/blue paint, or until you reach the metal!

I concentrated on one area until I found something 'interesting' (the remnants of the number) then worked along the side of the hood, uncovering the rest.

My MB had been repainted several times and the hood number re-applied in white paint. I did find traces of the white number, but this paint was alot thinner than the factory applied blue drab and wasn't easy to preserve, so after recording what I could make out, I worked down further until I reached the blue number.

Using paint stripper is certainly the way to go in my experience, giving the best chance of finding those elusive numbers!!

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My hood numbers

Post by roblenzz » Thu Apr 24, 2008 5:40 pm

Here are some interesting USAF registration numbers. Probably not original for the jeep but a nice old find anyway. And I must add that I'm sure paint stripper works nicely on original numbers, however, it ate right through all layers of the paint on the other side Taking the numbers with it. OUCH! Took my time on this side with fine sandpaper and found them. At least one side worked out. Now what do I do about painting? I can't afford a new repro hood, I like the old numbers but I'm making a tribute jeep to my grandfather (Army). I think I may heavily photograph, as I have, and put a thick layer of primer over and save it for the next person another 65 years from now. Maybe they'll be just as excited to find them as I was. (Hope this picture post works, I think I followed the instructions correctly)
Image

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Post by Jim Kilbourne » Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:13 pm

Rob,

this works well...but it is tricky to get just the right touch...sorry it did not work too well for you.

the original factory blue army numbers are still there below the AF colors.

Are you going to Aberdeen?

If your MBs serial number is in the MB 320XXX to MB 324XXX range then the hood number 20501688 is correct.
Jim Kilbourne
I COLLECT WILLYS MB NUMBERS! Please send me your Frame, Engine, Body, Hood numbers and DOD. Thanks!
WANTED: MB unrestored, used, OD paint, dash panel light housings

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Strippin' the hood

Post by roblenzz » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:09 pm

Unfortunately I cannot attend Aberdeen. I'm in Florida and I would get so much flak from the wife to make the trip. My MB serial number is MB322987 which falls into the range. It is nice to know that these are the REAL numbers for my jeep. Thanks for the info.

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I stand corrected, stripper definately works better

Post by steven ellis » Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:22 pm

Yesterday I thought I would try to find out if I got my first jeep that has so hood numbers under the paint. read this sticky before, but choose to sand, after one side and a partical number, and the results were not getting better, I thought well lets go to the other side, do the same and between the two I should get it. after an hour I thought I F ed up an opportunity at revieling the true history, I had partcials but nothing I would bet on.

Then I thought well, what the heck, I will try parks stripper. After a test spot, I discovered very quickly that there were 2 coats of navy grey, not one---it was repainted and renumbered- and I was getting some numbers from each revield at the same time. That was the confusion. The stripper and a clear glass lense from my gas welding goggles as a scraper was the trick. I had a clear picture of the whole side
US NAVY 19508 all one line --and it took the whole side of the hood , even over the latches. My guess is that's why the navy went to a
USN
NUMBERS
USN over number to save space and clarity

So I have to side with the stripper, it worked better than I ever dreamed

So for the record gpw #227 is a navy jeep and its hood #is 19508
steve
GPW 314 DOD 3-14-42
GPW 227 DOD 2/42 2062315 (actual) & US NAVY 195086 hood numbers
MB124997 DOD 3/4/42 2079954 (actual) Slat grill
GPW48979 mtr for trade
M38 DOD 3/52 Hood# 20908270 actual

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Post by Mark Tombleson » Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:08 pm

What color was the bottom set of numbers and what color was the USN that was above the numbers?
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Re: HOW TO RECOVER HOODNUMBERS USING PAINT STRIPPER

Post by Armyspecial » Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:34 am

I struggled a little with both the usual methods really. Paint Stripper was too agressive, even when taking it off quickly after applying, so i resorted to sanding which did give me fair results, but you do loose some of what you are trying to retrieve.

See below tub markings showing original base my Jeep served on and Hood number that i was able to recover in full.

ImageImageImage
44 Ford GPW 197755 REME Rebuild - British No 53 YH 48 Hood No M6015520 (Actual)
42 Ford GPW 52726 Hood No 20132506 (Actual) DOD 4TH AUG 42 (Ex NAAS Oceana)
44 Bedford MWD
http://www.omvc.moonfruit.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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