I am taking all my hinges off. If I had the money I would just buy all new Kentrol Black Stainless hinges and be done with it.
My most rusted areas were under my windshield hinges. I have been sand blasting all my small parts and repainting them black. I am probably going to try soaking all my hinges in stripper to get the paint off and then sandblast the very rusty areas.
I'm also replacing all my bolts and nuts with the stainless body kit that I bought from quadratec.
I bought kendrol stainless, hit them with media to dull them up, then put them on and layed my paint. Must have done something wrong (thinking it was the primer) the paint is peeling off on the stainless parts. It was much easier than painting them then installing though. I will eventually pull them off and just blast them again and reinstall them later.
I dismantled the whole thing, and bought all new stainless. It is a project that's for sure. The windshield hinge is the worse. The lower hinge to body has locknuts on the inside that need a socket and there simply is no room, the huge magnet on the speaker doesn't help the matter. Reinstalling was a breeze, just use never sieze. Have fun!
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I left all f the hinges on a when I painted my jeep. I also left the doors on the jeep and the windeshield bolted and tail gate. The only part that was off was the hood. I have some pictures of mine in the process if you want to see them.
I think you can get the very best results by taking everything apart before painting. BUT..... there are alignment issues, and if your bolts also get painted, then they get all jacked up, and you run the risk of damaging them from moving and assmbel, and what not.
Here is another way you can do it to make it look good and not jack it all up.
First when the jeep is all together, check your gaps. Make any changes to doors or whatever before you do anything.
Something I like to do before taking off any major hinge is to drill a hole through it and what it bolts to. That way when I go to reassemble, I can put a nail or whatever in the hole(s) to get me real close to being lined up (a little dab of filler will fix the drilled hole).
Ok now tear it down and prep the whole thing for primer.
Then spray your primer overall, and once that is dry spray a guide coat on (black spray paint is fine)
Then prep and paint whatever needs on the interior, and the door jambs, inside part off the doors and hood...you get the picture. I usually do that before I even begin to block the outside of the car at all.
Once the jambs are painted, cleared, and dry, I mask all that off. Now if you do it this way, you will have to buy tape called "smooth transition tape". This will make it so you dont have any hard lines in the paint. No biggy!
After masking, you can put it all back together, get it lined up well, and finish painting the exterior.
Also I would recommend "Rust Bullet" under the hinges and the backside of the panels. And be sure that you mask off EVERYTHING that you dont want paint on.
I've been thinking about jams and hinges for my XJ. I'm considering popping the hood, cleaning/preping the hinges, and edge of the hood. Then just tape off the engine bay and paint the jam's, edges, and hinges. Once it's dry, close the hood and paint the rest of the hood. I plan on using this method for all jams/joints/hinges.
I feel the best way would be to remove and paint, but for a no show quality paint job on an XJ. I'm sure it's fine.
Jeeping - The art of getting dirty & going broke while slowly heading nowhere, and taking all day to do it.
97 XJ SE - The War Wagon
98 TJ - Mall Crawler/Light Trail Rig
Yeah it would be fine, just be careful because even after the paint is dry, it will be soft for a couple days. And where most go wrong is in the tapeing. If you dont tape it off properly, you WILL get overspray down in the jambs, and that looks like crap. Hard tape lines looks like crap too.