Straight From the Horse's Mouth - The final chapter

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Karl feel free to move/remove this thread...but thought I'd see if some of are body work gifted members "not me" would like to try & take a stab at some basic body work how to's with pics & some captions? :P

Like tips & tricks for straighting a grill...takeing dents out?

Nothing complex...just simple stuff the average guy might try who does not have the knowledge. :D

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This is a great idea, hopefully it will turn into one of those FAQ's. Thanks for suggesting!

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I've been doing body work for almost 25 years I'd be glad to help. I have a project coming up soon that needs some body work I will post pics, Body work is not rocket science you just have to have patience and take your time. A few basic tools, I've made many of mine over the years. Dollies, No not the ones little girls play with, blocks of steel that have different shapes to fit the many shapes of the parts you are working on, one or two body hammers, at work I use mainly one for most jobs, a metal file, larger the better. a small grinder not the kind with the stone wheel, one with a plastic or fiber back that takes 24 or 36 grit disk, you can use the flaper style but not as good. take an old hood or fender that you don't care about and If it dosn't have a dent in it, put one in it, not to big and pound it out many little hits is better than one big wack work from the outer edge going in. get it close and slap some bondo on it. The metal is think on the older horse's and with a little skill you can metal finnish no bondo, but that takes lots of practice, I spent 6 hours bumping a fender for my Raider 12 but I made sure all the factory press marks were there, just like new but better. Any questions please just ask. Kelly in MI.

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Kelly, It was brought up in Eldon's C-520 hood thread about plastic body on our horses. What is your opinion on the subject. Will in hold up on our vibrating toys, or do we need to use something else to fill the voids and smooth the fininsh?

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Good question Joel, and one ive been wondering about since repainting my Raider 10 :D

I think the main reason i didnt fill all the rust er.. craters on the hood, was for fear of it cracking :P

Im not keen on filler... Hhhmm well maybe its the rubbing down of filler that im not keen on :(

I guess a lot of you guys fill (sorry) feel the same :(

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Filler is great for hiding the pits and tiny imperfections in the metal, and if used sparingly, should be alright. I like to use high-build primers for that job, but you must be sure to let them cure for a while before applying the final paint. (the solvents must have time to evaporate and the primer will shrink some -- potentially resulting in defects showing up in the top coat later down the road.)

When I cut and sectioned the grille for my son's Commando 7, I tried to do as much as I could to limit the use of filler of any sort. When you're talking about a 10 year old kid handling a hood, plus actually driving the tractor EVERYWHERE, you become less fussy in a hurry. I did use a very light skim coat of plastic filler to cover the rougher areas, but most everything else was handled by a high-solids primer/surfacer over a base coat of etching primer. (I actually prefer Dupli-Color "rattle can" etching primer that I buy at NAPA)

He beat the snot out of that tractor for 3 years and I never saw signs of cracking or lifting of the filler. All I can add is to spend as much time as you can with the metal. Fillers -- especially plastic -- are not made to fill dents more than 1/8" deep, but I have seen it as thick as 1 inch in some "short-cut" repairs. As soon as moisture gets behind plastic filler, you have problems. Use a waterproof filler such as Dura-Glas first, to help seal the surface. (not normally needed if it's solid metal requiring dent/pit removal only.)

Buy or build various shaped dollies and body hammers if you can, but you can also use what ever you have laying around. I have a 120 lb. anvil that helps me out a lot in the fabrication of metal, and I have a custom made "spoon" dolly that I use to reshape the round hood grille bars too. A heavy sandbag is also used as a "backer" for certain hammer work instead of a solid surface. A lot of times I actually work the grille bars and other similar areas while holding them against my leg! :D

A metal file is nice to have around too (for knocking down high spots) as is a tool we used to call a "slap hammer", which is nothing more than a large rough-cut hand file, heated and offset bent in the center with a piece of strap steel welded to the back side for rigidity. It's used mostly for cold shrinking/leveling of metal, and the tiny nicks it produces will help the filler bond to the metal. It does require a solid dolly on the back side of the metal.

Heat shrinking is needed quite a bit on some of the more damaged sheetmetal and isn't really that tough to master. Use a small welding tip on an O/A torch and heat a small spot to a dark red-orange color. While the area is still hot, hit it with cold water. Repeat the process as needed, and keep moving around the damaged area. (Supposedly the molecules in the metal will realign and condense, tightening the metal.) All I know is that my shop teacher showed me how to do it, and it works. :( It can even help take the "oil can" effect out of the top of a hood if you're careful with the heat. :P

Well, you guys are lucky....... it's supper time here and I'm gonna quit typing!

That was more than enough to bore you with for a while anyhow. :(

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Thanks for the input Terry. On the V18 I did all the metal work with careful fitting dolly work and a little lead. I need to smooth the top of the hood (looks like the moon) where its rust pitted. It has etching primer on it now, but I don't think I can ecnomically spary enough coats of primer/surfacer to fill them :D

i was planning on skim coating it , but wanted a few opinions from guys who know more about it than I do. I worked 2 summers in one of the local body shops back home in high school, but never did any body work on a tractor :P

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If one gets them really clean (reference the electrolytic process being discussed over on WFM) pits can be filled and leveled with a skim coat of body solder. I did that on a 34 Ford hood and it worked like a champ.

That heat shrinking technique is an excellent trick to know, as well.

Greg B.

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you can ask any question you have about body work, welding, filler, or painting to me. I do it all with Mustang restorations.

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Great, where were you when I was replacing the floor boards and rockers on by 68 convertible? :thumbs:

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Here's a link to two sites discussing the electrolytic method. I never tried it myself but looks interesting. Maybe someday......... Did anyone here ever try it?

http://antique-engines.com/electrol.asp

http://www.htpaa.org.au/article-electro.php

Good info buzz hafta give that a try! :whistle:

Duke

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Good info buzz hafta give that a try! B)

Duke

I throw most of my bits in an electrlytic tank. It works really well and is easy to do. Yesterday I threw in a frozen lift cable for a few hours and it came free.

I use a 5 gallon bucket, arm and hammer washing soda, and a 12V power supply. For the sacrificial electrodes I was using rebar, but have had better results lately by using a big piece of steel plate (about 6" by 12"). The bigger area seems to work a lot quicker.

I'm thinking about getting a big tank together that would be big enough to fit a complete frame in. With the 5 gallon bucket I can onlt dip each end!

With heavily rusted stuff it works best if you hit it with a wire wheel or some sort of abrasive wheel first, to get rid of the flaky stuff. Sometimes it helps to pull the parts out every couple of hours and wipe or hose the gunk off. The sacrificial plate needs the occasional clean up too. Getting good electrical connection is important too. I use a light buld between the power supply and the part so I can make sure the juice is still flowing.

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What do you use for your 12V supply? I've been toying with hooking up a model train transformer and setting up a electrolysis tank in a 10 gallon fish tank that I don't use anymore. When I was a kid, I used to have a CB in my room that I powered that way. Wired it to the transformer, and then turned it up until it was at about 12-13 volts. Just wondered what other people used. Trickle chargers? Full blown battery chargers? Other?

the light bulb is a good idea.... so you know when your contact is getting corroded.

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Be Careful when your trying the electrolytic ...or whatever its called method. I have read horror stories about people turning their Paint guns into flame throwers, rember that the paint is flamable and ...Well we dont want anything to happen to anybody.

As to the Bondo..Ive always been told, as long as its the thickness of a dime or less.. it'll never crack.

If your half crazy you could always use lead - We did a car that way recently, guy paid another roughly 12k to have NO plastic filler used in the resto...

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I to have been doing body & frame work for well over 23 years. In some places such as our Wh's I have used for filler is lead! :banghead: Yeppers! It's not always easy to find. And it is not something that a beginner would probably want to attempt. But it will hold up to vibration and even the heat given off of engines etc. I was fortunate to have had a old timer to teach me how to use lead when I started in the bady trade years ago.

Denver

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Im the same way Denver. I had a old body guy teach me. I dont much like the new no Lead stuff, gimme the good ole been the same for forever lead 70/30 sticks..

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Im the same way Denver. I had a old body guy teach me. I dont much like the new no Lead stuff, gimme the good ole been the same for forever lead 70/30 sticks..

I like the lead action Idea myself, :USA: havent done any bodywork but being in the HVAC biz for almost 30 years have done alot of sheetmetal and worked on things like gutters and flashings. I dunno much about body work but plan to give the lead a whirl! Lord knows I have a stable full of ponies that are waiting their turn :omg: I just like the idea of metal filler on the dints and dings! :banghead:

Duke

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Duke, time and patience is a virtue when doing body work. I've been doing it for 36 years and never do much panting. Being you are used to working with sheet metal you should have no problems learning to remove dents and filling small pits with bondo. A skim coat of bondo will never crack. Always prep your metal properly and use a good pimer with a hardner. I prefer using base coat-clear coat paint which is alot more expensive but holds up great. My 550 was done with that and looks as good as the day it was done. It all depends on how much money you want to spend.

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If you wanted to be SUPER detailed in removing small dents etc without using any fillers at all you could "Pick & File". This is where you have a special "Pick" hammer to tap the dent up and then you use a special body file to file the top smooth again. This is very effective and will not require any fillers at all. But this like using lead is a techniqe used in the old school of body work and is something that needs to be aquired over time with lots of practice and someone teaching you the do's and don't's. When I have time I will post a few pictures of some of these special pick hammers and body files used to make these types of repairs.

Denver

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Ive heard of the electrolytic process but thought it was alot more complicated. Im gonna have to try this in the near future.

This site has too much good info, both my legs are alseep from sitting here reading lol

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I like to use high-build primers for that job, but you must be sure to let them cure for a while before applying the final paint.

High-build primers are the way to go. I love that stuff for covering the little pits and crevaces. It is so eay to work with as well.

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For those who are... picky about the filler used ... Like Myself.. here is a sorta right video off Youtube about doing lead work.

Now he does a few things wrong, at least from what I was taught.

First is NOT wearing a respirator...this is something that needs to be done (thou I probably wont either) the fumes given off, well they aint good for ya, kinda like the fumes from the hardeners

The Other BiG mistake is doing leadwork on a primed car. All those fumes are going to settle on the car, which can cause problems down the road with the paint lifting or something similar. The other thing is that now he has broken thru the edge of the first primer, and laid on another different primer. Ill bet more than a dollar that down the road, you'll be able to see where he did that. (if it was my high end resto/custom job Id be REALLY pissed and hed be stripping the car again)

The rest of what he did I thought was pretty good, thou Ive never tried the Dry tinning meterial before thou, have to check that out.

For those who want to try leading, all the materials are available from eastwood - they even have the new No lead solder.. which ive seen used and its Sandable..unlike regular lead - very cooL!

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