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Old 11-02-2004, 10:04 AM
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Newbie - Filler or Lead or???

I'm sad to say that i found this list to late and screwed up my first project a little. i have a 1991 VW GTI that i'm setting up for SCCA racing and general screwing around. Anyway, i wanted to replace the door handles with Audi ones, which required cutting out the handle area on the door and welding in the new one. Well, on the recommendation of my neighbor, i bought a flanging tool and flanged the handle insert. i took my time welding it in, but it still warped a little, the metal basically sunk in around the weld. i've tried to get it back up to the surface, but i can't get a hammer behind it, so i tried using studs to pull it back out, but with the flange there, that area is stronger than the surrounding metal and only distorts the surroundings. so unless you guys have any suggestions, i'm just going to fill it in. with that in mind, should i use fiber glass filler or lead. the sunk in area is about 3mm deep around the cutout (about 3" by 8").

thanks,

Paul

PS. i've done my other patch panels with butt welds and hammering the weld while it's still hot, much better results.

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Old 11-02-2004, 10:22 AM
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Well, the exercise wasn't a total waste - you learned that the flanger tools are gimmicks! The new generation of bondos are so good it would be silly to try to learn lead. Plus lead is a health hazard so clean and grind the area really well and bondo it. You won't be disappointed.
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Old 11-02-2004, 11:57 PM
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I don't consider a flanger a toy by any streach but, like lead, I'm starting to consider welding old fashoned. I've been doing a number of repair panels recently with a flanger, structural adheasive, and some stainless steel flat head pop rivets. A whole lot faster and easier on longer seams plus, I get a totally waterproof joint on the inside.
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Old 11-03-2004, 03:42 PM
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As good as adhesives are becoming nowadays, your method has potential. However for welded repairs the flange tools cause more problems than they solve.
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Old 11-03-2004, 10:54 PM
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One of the problems is, that with a flanged seam, it is way too easy to keep going and weld way too much at one time with the predictable results.
Another thing I hate if that, unless you weld both sides, you create a pocket perfect for catching and holding water
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Old 11-04-2004, 01:25 PM
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speaking of lead filler.. I have a car I just got and it has lead filler. Should I remove this? I intend to take the rest down to metal..
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Old 11-04-2004, 03:04 PM
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Absolutely not - if the lead is in good shape leave it. It is still a quality material.
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Old 11-04-2004, 04:16 PM
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It's in an odd spot, inside the rear "wing" on my 57 chevy, pokin around that's about all that I could find for filler, appears to have original paint..
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Old 11-04-2004, 04:33 PM
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It's probably a factory joint. They leaded sheet metal joints at the factory well into the 60s or 70s as I recall.
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