bondo on a shock tower will it crack? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:05 AM
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bondo on a shock tower will it crack?

im restoring a mustang. ive smoothed and welded in much of the inner fenders/fire walls on my stang. also as typical with mustangs where the 3 seperate pieces of the left and right firewall/shock towers are spot welded together on the tops where the fenders bolt they bulge apart from rust inbetween. ive seen show cars where it finally rusted through, i cut it out and welded in a solid piece.

now my question is i have seems on each side of the shock towers i want to bondo or seem seal what ever because at the tops now the seem is gone.

will bondo this close to a shock tower crack? should i use flexable seem sealer and sand it out? or should i weld it or braze it with brass and grind and sand it flush? or how about that zinc stuff from eastbay? so far im leaning torwards brazing and a little glazing

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Old 08-11-2008, 08:55 AM
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If the shock tower is going to move in any way, yes it is likely it will crack. If it isn't going to move at that very spot, it isn't going to crack.

FORGET brazing, that creates all kinds of problems. If the seam is welded up solid, I say THIN filler will be just fine.

Brian
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:27 AM
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wow quick response thanks. i hate that my 7 mega pixel cam makes things look terrible but here are the closest pics to the area i have so far. obviously the area where the brake booster mounts will crack too that bondo is just a skim coat for some rust pitting. it will be mostly sanded off. also the engine went back in only because i moved it out of the garage to plywood the walls and insulate. the car is cleaner then the pics relay.



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Old 08-11-2008, 09:45 AM
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whoops, pic's were posted to answer my question
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:04 AM
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food for thought,
the 64-66 stang entire unibody is (just) a Falcon grocery getter and was engineered base on/as a 90hp six "econo-car"
do consider adding the Monte Carlo cross brace and the very strong (it's actually pretty light) export brace....
you've added torque boxes and that does help ALOT to get some ridgity back into the car (with out them the sheet metal floors are the torque box)

?????
I'm lost for which seams you want to hide.....
but on almost every one you can weld up and/or re-inforce the opposite side (overlap) for no flex for a RR track "bam" impact
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:19 AM
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I can tell you for sure that if you "bondo" those seams they will crack, I have seen it tried. You probably could use something a little more flexible but I don't think I would attempt to weld them solid.
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:28 AM
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This would be a good place to try some lead work. A couple of sticks should work.
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Old 08-11-2008, 02:18 PM
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i went through a lot of work to stiffen this car up. my fe wears edlelbrock heads which will get a full port job and at some point im going to stroke a new block for it with some better rods. i should be running around 500hp now with the port work and current cam when i do a new block and cam id like to hit 6. but that will likely be years from now. maybe by then we will all be running big electric motors



i think im going to try leading or the kit they sell in eastbay
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Old 08-11-2008, 04:28 PM
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Lead will crack and shear. Re-inforce the shock hats from underneath with thicker metal. Keep the stress there and only use the top side for the boltwork. Don't forget to replace and strengthen the torque boxes along the toe boards by the transmission.

As for the brake booster area, add reinforcing plate to overlap the bolt work pattern by 3/8 to 1/2 inch around and use 16 gauge material. (In the same fashion that a rear end cover gasket would look.) Drill spot weld holes around the outside, bolt to firewall using booster holes, and weld in the center of hole.

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Old 08-11-2008, 06:15 PM
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ok so no lead. both torque boxes are new. i was pondering the booster area today, that piece would go inside the car correct? because the exsisting holes are a bit flared out due to the thin metal. i think that will be next.

hmm so my last two options are seam sealer or to leave it. my 3m seam sealer is very tough ill have to experiment with it it will be tough to smooth i figure. ill surf the 3m web site
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:07 PM
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Use a URETHANE seamsealer on open seams you want to seal. For smoothing seams they must be welded completely closed before applying bodyfillers-this way they won't crack. Never put bodyfiller over a seam that isn't welded complete closed with no open edges.
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:59 AM
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Short-strand reinforced filler?
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Old 08-12-2008, 09:27 AM
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If the seam isn't welded completely GONE, so there is no seam, ANYTHING you put over it will crack. Other than the urethane sealer that Bob suggests of course.

Here is a "Basics of Basics" (click here) on urethane seam sealers. If done properly they look "factory" and clean. Other than that you would need to weld the seam COMPLETLY up and then you can cover it with filler if you like.

Brian
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:00 AM
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jeremy,
I agree with baddbob, use a seam sealer....
the most important point is to keep moisture and oxygen away from the (severely degraded by welding heat) inner steel surfaces....

my "trick" for getting seam sealer to lay down truly flat and smooth is dab your finger tip in urathane paint reducer and work the caulk....for a no brush marks smooth seam sealer look
(is that what your asking?)

the brake booster bolts thru the firewall into the very very strong brake pedal mount piece....

sorry, but I'm still lost on what your trying to do to the seams....
structural panels joints are not anywhere near straight and flat enough to show a uniform gloss finish reflection over the whole surface....(without many many many hours of metal working)
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:31 PM
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Red.... Apparently he is using a "loose definition" of "restoration", and is actually trying to completely remove the joints. He has butt welded in pieces to replace the original lap joints. He it trying to smooth the butt joints to make them blend in.

Jeremy.... I hope you have plans for some serious strngthening of the front end, specifically the position of the shock towers. Those were weak enough to start with, and are likely weaker now.

Aaron
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