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Old 08-16-2004, 09:06 PM
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Body Line

Hi Again,

Could someone tell me how to get that strait body line from front to rear of the vehicle. Can it be done by building up the line with fill and shaping to suit. I would really like to know the right approach..

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Old 08-16-2004, 09:14 PM
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Are you talking about making one from scratch or making the body line that is there but dented perfect?
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Old 08-17-2004, 01:31 AM
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BODY LINE

I would like to know how to do both thanks MARTINSR
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Old 08-18-2004, 04:45 AM
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Sorry to be such a pain, but I am in the middle of doing a door and finding it impossible, so I would really like to know the procedure to produce that Body Line.

Hope you can help.
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Old 08-18-2004, 08:00 AM
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A procedure such as this really deserves one of my "Basics of Basics" with a thorough explanation. A few lines in this post just aren't going to cut it but I'll give it a try.

First thing is you want be sure that the line in the metal is as straight as it can be. If your door is damaged and the line is out of whack, it could throw the whole project off. Take a long board (a 17x3" sanding board) and run it along the line, see if there are any high or low spots. The high spots will show up quickly because they are sticking up in the path of the flat long board. The low spots will be unsanded. Now, if you are going to have to coat a large area over the body line with filler, the low spots aren't a big deal. But the high spots really need to be tapped down.

A lot of times when a body line is hit, it pushes metal high above and below the line. Lets say nice straight body line like in the center of a 70-80ish Camaro door. If something has struck that door right on the body line, the metal has to go somewhere, it will usually produce a high spot right above and or below the body line right at the dent.
You need to tap these down, and if at possible tap the low spot in the middle up from the back.

After you get the metal reasonable straight you will need to apply some filler. As another poster, Randy Fergison will point out, it can be done with no filler at all. This takes a lot of time to learn and I figure you are not there yet so we will discuss plastic body filler ("Bondo").

The trick to getting the body line straight is to get the state of mind that the area below the body line and the area above are two different panels. DON'T try to make the line perfect by sanding "on" it. Sand the line straight on the bottom, below the line letting the board "Hang" out over the line and the area above the line. Just sand that flat area below the line like it "ends" at the body line, pretend you are sanding the top couple of inches of a panel and there is nothing above it, only air.

Once you have done that, the line will be all screwed up, because the filler above the line isn't sanded, it will be high and low and high and low, but the area below the line will be FLAT. You then can take a straight edge and with a pencil draw your body line on the filler right where it is going to be. I don't do this at all, I use masking tape, but it is hard to make a straight line with the tape so I suggest the pencil with a straight edge. If you want to try the tape, stick it good on one end of the panel, or better yet on the adjacent panel. Then give it a little stretch holding it out ALL THE WAY ACROSS the panel to the other side, keeping it held tight. You "lay" the tape across the panel in a straight line, then lightly press it down. This is how you make a straight line with tape.

Anyway, so now you have the bottom "panel" sanded flat and a straight line on the body line in the filler that is over the line and onto the top "panel" (remember you need to think of the area above the line as a seperate "panel" than below the line). Using your long board sand that upper "panel" NEVER going below the body line or even touching it. Sand right "with" the line letting the sander hang off the bottom of the line just like you did when you sanded the bottom. After you sand a little you will see that the line is forming. It will slowly form until you are right there close to the line or tape straight edge. You keep sanding until the top and bottom "panels" meet at the line perfectly. Now, that line will likely be too sharp. But DO NOT TOUCH IT until you have the line perfectly straight. After you have that line perfect, you now can "soften" the sharpness in the line by sanding right on it with the board, running the board down the line like a train, rolling it on and off the line.


Give that a try and let me know how it went.
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Old 08-20-2004, 03:17 AM
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BODY LINE

Gave that a go Martyn, and worked beautiful.Once you directed me into working one side at a time,with a line directly in the right position and then the work the other. That gave me an idea,so I grabbed a length of fencing wire an shaped it to the contour of the other door. With the wire it gave me the high and lows. With Hammer and Dolly I worked the line out pretty closed to the contour of the wire. Worked both sides with Bondo and did not need much.Worked out great.(Always was handy with my hands from shoeing horses and making shoes for different circumstances).I needed a starting point and with that guidance you gave me it all started to come together.

Thanks again.
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Old 08-20-2004, 08:24 AM
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Horse shoer huh? I was born with a horse in my yard and spent a lot of time watching our shoer (sp?) old Hugh Seevers do his stuff. I think that was one of my first memories of a "fabricator" at work. My uncle was the town blacksmith but I didn't get to watch him much. I watched Hugh heat up those shoes and beat them into shape for years.

If you can do that, you got what it takes do this stuff on cars that is for sure. Read some of Randy's posts on metal finishing. Maybe next time you won't even need the filler.
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