Hoodpins Body Filler

Earlier this month I repaired the area in the body where hoodpins had been installed by welding closed the holes and then using body solder to fill them in to level. This afternoon I finished them off by applying some body filler and then sanding the areas smooth. I applied the Metal 2 Metal filler to each side.

Then later in the afternoon, when the filler had dried, I sanded it.

Front Apron Body Filler, Final Sanding

Last week I applied two coats of body filler to the front apron, sanding in-between. After the last coat the surface was rough, so I did a little sanding to straighten it out.

I applied some black guidecoat and sanded again to reveal the high and low spots.

And I also used the guidecoat on the top surface of the apron.

So I continued sanding to bring down the high areas to the level of the lows, creating a uniform surface.

Rear Fender Body Filler, Final Sanding

This morning I did a final sanding of the second coat of body filler I applied to the rear fenders yesterday. I started on the driver’s side, using a hard block with 120-grit paper to hit the straight areas, and then using some finer 150-grit paper in my hand so that I could get into the transitional curves along the fender flares.

Once I’d finished the area was pretty smooth, I’d say 95% of the way there. The rest of the finish will be accomplished in block sanding with the rest of the body.

The passenger side rear fender was a little wavier, so I used my random orbital sander with a 120-grit sanding disk.

To the touch it didn’t feel quite as smooth as the other side, so I applied some guide coat, just using black spray paint.

Then I sanded again using the hard block and the dark areas where the guidecoat didn’t sand off revealed the low spots.

Front Fender Dent Repairs

This afternoon I spent a lot of time doing bodywork on the front fenders. At some point in the car’s life it was clearly involved in a front-end collision on the front passenger side, and the resulting fender repairs left a lot of holes from the slide hammer used to pull out the dents. When I bought the car bondo was spilling through these holes inside the fender, inviting moisture to penetrate the metal under the filler. Also on the driver’s side there was a dent just below the headlight that had been pulled and it required more attention as well.

The first thing I did was to remove any remaining paint and/or filler or seam-sealer from both front fenders, and give them a thorough washing. I scrubbed any residue, grease, or adhesive from both fenders using a brillo pad and some Simple Green. Then I rinsed both well and parked them on the back patio to dry in the sun. After 90 minutes in the July Texas heat the front fenders were totally dry.

I started on the less-mangled driver’s side fender. Here is the dent in the fender and the hole probably used to try to pull the dent using a slide hammer. I used a Clean n Strip wheel in my drill to clean the metal.

With the area cleaned up I used my mig welder to patch the hole.

The welded area I then cleaned by hitting it again with the wheel to remove any scale and then wiping with acetone to get any grease.

The next step was to fill the dent with body solder in order to get it as close to level with the surrounding metal as possible. I brushed on the tinning compound that would enable the solder to bond to the steel.

Then I heated the tin with my propane torch until the impurities burned off brown and black. Those I wiped away with a clean white shop towel.

This left a thin coat of tin that bonds to the steel and the solder bonds to the tin. The body solder will not bond directly to the steel without this step.

Next I started applying the body solder, which comes in rods, by heating the solder and placing dollops from the end of the rod into the dent.

The repair definitely looked rough, but my strategy was to build up the solder above level and then bring it back down with a grinder to make it as smooth as possible. I have found applying the solder smooth when hot to be impossible.

So I used three stacked cut-off wheels in my 4 1/2″ angle grinder to grind away the excess solder to try to get it as level as possible.

And as you can see from the side the result was close to the profile of the original metal, albeit not a smooth surface.

After grinding I wiped the area again with acetone.

In order to get the solder repair smooth I applied a thin coat of body filler on top. I’ve been using Metal 2 Metal filler from Evercoat, which I like a lot. I put a scoop of filler about the size of a golf ball onto my board.

Then I added 12 drops of hardener per the instructions on the can, and gathered the filler on a plastic spreader.

I applied the filler without working it too much on the surface, which I’ve found just makes the surface rough. Once again I applied a coat that would be proud of the final surface so that I could sand it later in order to bring it back to flat and blend the edges into the surrounding fender.

And here is a shot from the side of the repair.

Next I repeated the same process on the passenger side front fender, which was in worse condition. I welded up all the holes used to straighten the fender (must have been a bad dent!) and then cleaned and applied tinning compound.

And I applied a mountain of body solder.

And I spent some time grinding the solder back. This shot was about midway through the process.

Rear Fenders, Second Coat of Body Filler

This morning I started by sanding down the first coat of body filler I applied to the rear fenders last weekend. I used a 100-grit sanding pad and tried to work the filler to smooth out the body lines of the fender flares the best I could.

Here are some shots after I finished the sanding. I tried to feather the filler in to the existing sheetmetal so the repairs would blend in to the body and eventually become invisible.

And then I applied a second thin coat of filler after sanding. In order to get these repairs satisfactory I will need to apply filler, sand, apply filler, sand, and repeat…

Passenger Door, Second Coat of Body Filler

And I sanded down the first coat of filler on the passenger side door and applied a second coat. In addition to the large dent in the door, the bottom of the door was mishapen, probalby as a result of door dings created over many years. I sanded the first coat using my random orbital sander and then wiped away the dust using acetone.

After the sanding I applied another coat, trying to feather it out towards the edges of the dent so I could sand it smooth, only building up filler in the very center of the dent.

Front Apron Body Filler

Next I applied two coats of body filler over the body solder repairs on the front apron. In the first coat I tried to maintain the right angle at the front edge of the apron.

After allowing the first coat to cure I sanded and applied a second coat.

Hood, Second Coat of Body Filler

Next I applied a second coat of body filler to the areas of the hood that required it.

On the second coat I attempted to feather the filler out away from the dents to transition it into the undamaged areas of the hood. After the second coat dried I used my random orbital sander and a 120-grit sanding disk to sand it smooth.

Rear Fender Body Filler Application

After cleaning up the welded-in rust patches in the rear fenders I needed to use some body filler to blend in the panels to the body lines. I applied a thin coat of Metal 2 Metal body filler over the patches. Later I will sand off much of the filler and hopefully leave just enough to make the patches invisible and restore the appearance of the fender lip. On the left rear fender I applied the filler in two stages as I worked down from top to bottom. I first swiped the filler onto the fender lip from the body crease right to left, then from the crease toward the fender from left/center to the right.

On the right fender I used more filler in order to finish off the end just behind the wheel well, which I had previously built-up using body solder. In the hot July Texas sun the filler cured quickly on the sheetmetal, and there were even some bubbles. I had to work quickly and it was difficult to get a smooth result, which means more sanding later.

Later in the day I did a quick sanding and then cleaned off the dust and applied a second coat of filler to both sides.

Driver’s Side and Passenger Side Door Filler Work

And I used some body filler to cover the weld repairs I’d done on the driver’s side door, where the metal had ripped from the stress of the rear-view mirror. I just mixed up the filler and applied a very light coat to the area.

Then I applied a rough first-coat to the driver’s side door. This area is going to require several coats and lots of sanding because the dent in the driver’s side door is the worst on the car.