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Body Filler

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  • Paint: Body Filler

    Is there a filler out there that will not shrink?

    Here is why I ask. As many others have, I installed a fender vent patch panel from Classic Enterprise in the right front fender of my Hawk. The patch comes with a flanged edge so it can be plug welded into the fender. This installation method leaves a narrow gap (maybe a 1/16") between the fender metal and the full height area of the patch. During the body work phase this gap was filled with Evercoat Rage Gold. Everything was sanded and finished nice and smooth. The car was painted and the fender looked great. Fast forward a few years and now if you get the light just right you can see a faint outline of that gap around the patch in the reflections of the fender. You can't feel it but it can be seen.

    I just installed the same patch in the front fenders of Dad's car and it is getting close to body work time. I don't want to end up with the same outline due to filler shrinkage. What can I use to fill this gap that will not shrink? I originally thought about lead but I don't know if I could get the metal clean enough down in that gap for it to tin properly.

    Thanks
    Wayne
    "Trying to shed my CASO ways"

    sigpic

  • #2
    If I'm understand you right. What you did was cut a hole where the vent was to size of your Classic panel and then set in from the back side of the fender and plug welded the two together leaving a metal edge all the way around. This would be sort of counter sunk in with a 1/16 gap. If so you should have welded that area solid and ground it smooth before filling. If you use the panel glue this way it will also show a line in the right light on a darker color. All body fillers will shrink over time. Some more so that others. No way out of it. Lead would work better but the lead today is not what we had years ago. Then you run into adhesion problems to the lead with primers and paint. Epoxy being the best. You could try a filler like All Metal which may work a little better. But best bet is weld panel in solid.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think that I would braze the low area.
      Gary L.
      Wappinger, NY

      SDC member since 1968
      Studebaker enthusiast much longer

      Comment


      • #4
        I don’t believe the filler is your problem. Filler stops shrinking after it’s totally cured. I would guess you are having a problem with solvents being trapped or incompatible primer and paint or spot putty shrinkage. I’ve never had a repaired area show again!
        1963 Studebaker GT Hawk R1 63V-33867
        1964 Studebaker Avanti R1 R-5364

        Comment


        • #5
          1inxs I'm not so sure it as much shrinkage as it is some kind of shadow that shows though at just the right angle. 3-M said on all their tests on their panel adhesive they would get this trying to do something like what the Op is doing. Said it would not crack and seemed to stay flat and smooth but at the right angle and in the right light you could see the line where the two panels where joined together.

          Comment


          • #6
            Welding the patch is the best way. it used to be called stitch welding,tedious and time consuming but you get a better end product. the less filler the better! Luck Doofus

            Comment


            • #7
              I agree with welding the patch and grinding it flat. You can get it darn close with good technique and a bit of body work. No matter what you use to fill the low spots there will be mismatches in how different materials expand and contract as conditions change. It's more difficult to butt weld the patches but much easier to "adjust" the surface with body tools afterwards.

              My guess is that's why good fabricators are so inclined to do great body work and the use a very thin coat of filler over larger areas to minimize this effect.

              Bob

              Comment


              • #8
                I was hoping to avoid all that welding. I agree it will give the best results but it also introduces a lot of heat into the panel that will likely cause warping. Right now my panel and patch are nice and flat. If I weld it up, I see a lot of hammer and dolly work in my future.

                Thanks for the input
                Wayne
                "Trying to shed my CASO ways"

                sigpic

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by wdills View Post
                  I was hoping to avoid all that welding. I agree it will give the best results but it also introduces a lot of heat into the panel that will likely cause warping. Right now my panel and patch are nice and flat. If I weld it up, I see a lot of hammer and dolly work in my future.

                  Thanks for the input
                  In a feeble attempt to encourage you, here's my take. Be thankful you are a Studebaker enthusiast. If you only had ordinary common bellybutton vehicles...you would be subject to "white-glove" inspections. But, show up with a Studebaker (Hudson, Kaiser-Fraiser, pick an independent name) and folks will be so impressed that it rolls, you can get away with more forgivable hiccups than the more familiar machines.

                  Another issue is that we are usually our own most harsh critic. When we do our own work...we know what's underneath the paint, where the cuts & blood occurred, the tiniest little pieces you fiddled with for days and lost sleep fretting over. Even while others are praising your work, your eyes or thoughts may drift to that ghost of a paint sag, or hidden cup drip you know is there...somewhere? So...just think of that "faint outline" as the Aurora of your brilliant work shining through!

                  As to "stitch welding," and warping...don't fret too much over that either. Stitch welding is not like sewing fabric. You trigger it on and off so that you don't build enough heat to warp. It is something that comes with familiarity with the process and experience. Many of our backyard grade welding machines and even major brand benchtop welders have less than a 100% duty cycle anyway. So, if you exceed the duty cycle welding time the performance decreases. So, once you get the hang of it, you will be less likely to burn and warp.

                  Besides...that's where body filler really comes in handy. It is not to be used to fill holes...just to smooth out our lousy welding. Slather it on, sand it smooth, and then sand some more. You want to keep the filler less than 3/16" thick. Once you have done enough bodywork, you will have earned the right to criticize the work of others...however, you will have so much appreciation of how difficult the work is...you wouldn't dare!
                  John Clary
                  Greer, SC

                  SDC member since 1975

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you can tig weld it, you can use a much softer filler rod, and far less heat than Mig welding. You usually can't dolly mig welds because they are so hard. I use Vette Panel Bond and a mix of Upol Kevlar filler it is not porous like polyester fillers and not likely to rust out from behind. Also it is quite dense and shrinks far less.
                    Bez Auto Alchemy
                    573-318-8948
                    http://bezautoalchemy.com


                    "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Unfortunately, I don't have a tig machine. Bezhawk, I like the idea of your dense filler home brew. I am not so worried about corrosion. The weld area will be sandblasted on both sides and coated with epoxy primer on both sides before any filler is applied. Can you post a more detailed description of the mix you are using and its components. I could put your home brew in the gap / seam and let it cure before starting will normal filler over that.

                      Thanks
                      Wayne
                      "Trying to shed my CASO ways"

                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by studegary View Post
                        I think that I would braze the low area.
                        Back in the day, we did a lot of brazing on auto sheet metal. Temps are much lower and warpage is less. Of course, this was long before MIG or TIG. We only had oxy/acetylene or ARC welders. Heli-ARC was available, but not in common use at our shop.
                        78 Avanti RQB 2792
                        64 Avanti R1 R5408
                        63 Avanti R1 R4551
                        63 Avanti R1 R2281
                        62 GT Hawk V15949
                        56 GH 6032504
                        56 GH 6032588
                        55 Speedster 7160047
                        55 Speedster 7165279

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          https://www.amazon.com/U-POL-FIBRAL-.../dp/B004RDEG06
                          https://www.autobodytoolmart.com/pro...All%20Products
                          About 65% panel adheasive filler to the fiberall filler
                          Bez Auto Alchemy
                          573-318-8948
                          http://bezautoalchemy.com


                          "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wdills View Post
                            I was hoping to avoid all that welding. I agree it will give the best results but it also introduces a lot of heat into the panel that will likely cause warping. Right now my panel and patch are nice and flat. If I weld it up, I see a lot of hammer and dolly work in my future.

                            Thanks for the input
                            You can turn the heat down on you wire feed welder. Tack a spot and move to another point and tack. You keep doing this and there is virtually no problem with heat. Going back to your original repair. Use a good feather fill and when you have the body work perfect you sea the entire panel. You won’t see the edge from the patch.
                            Good luck with what ever direction you decide to go!
                            1963 Studebaker GT Hawk R1 63V-33867
                            1964 Studebaker Avanti R1 R-5364

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The method i was taught is the clock method. first tack a 12:00, next at 6:00, next at 9:00, then at 3:00. next set of tacks mid way between the first set and so on. move slowly and be methodical and you wont warp anything, if still nervous cool the surface with compressed air. for the occasional oops burn through i have a steel rod with a strip of copper bolted to it. that goes against the back side as back up for the tack. Luck Doofus

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