Odd question, can you tap on a panel and tell if there is filler on it? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:09 PM
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Odd question, can you tap on a panel and tell if there is filler on it?

I was watching one of the auction/picker/pawnshop "reality" shows last night and they had a 51 Ford F-1 on it. The "expert" came by to check it out and offer his opinion on it's value. He was looking at the truck and tapped with his finger tip here and there and said there was body filler there. Now, I am sorry, either this is pure bs or I simply don't have an ear or feel for something I have been doing for 35 years. There is no way I am going to tap on a fender and know if there is filler there, not unless it is REAL thick. The tone of the metal is going to be totally different just moving it a little closer to an edge, or body line. He tapped on the fender, then tapped up on the side of the cab by the rear window. I am sorry, I just can't imagine being able to do this.

Can any of you pull this off? Like I said, if it's thick, a quarter inch or something, yeah I guess so (though I never had tried it, why?) but any thinner than that, the tone would be different all over it just from out tight the metal is in that particular spot.

Am I clueless, or right?

Brian

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Old 11-07-2011, 10:11 PM
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why didnt the guy have a magnet with him. I would trust that any day over trying to hear if it has filler on it lol
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:16 PM
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If the body filler is thin, I agree that it would be hard to tell, but a panel that has a lot of filler in it has sort of a thud to it. Of course being raised in Michigans upper peninsula where there was and still is a lot of salt used on the roads and a lot of rust repair, it was something to always be aware of. Fiberglass mesh and bondo to make a rusted heap look good to unload it on some unsuspecting buyer.
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:11 AM
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"reality" shows................

Thats the last thing they are..........

I agree though, if its real thick, you can probably tell, but otherwise, probably not
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:06 AM
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Absolutly ,I do it ...but its something you have to learn like feeling filler work.

Forget the magnets ,The best way to tell if a car has bondo in it is if the bare steel is covered if it's not bare steel it has filler....who cares anyway use your eyes ,if it looks straight and perfect it has filler and its done right even brand new cars come with filler
if you want to know if your car or the one you want to buy has bondo in it the answear is "yes" it certainly and most deffinetly does and the straighter it is the more it has....
one of the bigest lies you'll hear at a car show is this car has no bondo in it...
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:09 AM
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What did it look like? Don't think a pro would put filler in 1/4 plus thick and expect it to come out looking good for more than a year. It's a magnet or nothing as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:10 AM
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try and run that one by randy .
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:47 AM
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I usually look at door edges - and if it's more then the thickness of three pieces of 18-20ga steel it has filler. I looked at one of the NSRA give away cars a few years ago - the door must have been close to 3/8" thick at that edge(if I recall, it was a Boyd's - I believe his only NSRA give away car).

Then of course, there is this gadget or one similar
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadbodyman
Absolutly ,I do it ...but its something you have to learn like feeling filler work.

Forget the magnets ,The best way to tell if a car has bondo in it is if the bare steel is covered if it's not bare steel it has filler....who cares anyway use your eyes ,if it looks straight and perfect it has filler and its done right even brand new cars come with filler
if you want to know if your car or the one you want to buy has bondo in it the answear is "yes" it certainly and most deffinetly does and the straighter it is the more it has....
one of the bigest lies you'll hear at a car show is this car has no bondo in it...
I agree 100% about the straighter a car is, the more filler it has in it. It is the reason that the '57 Chevy that you drool over at the car show looks better than when it was new on the showroom floor.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:43 AM
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I don't buy that for a minute! You can have a laser straight car with barely any filler or none at all depending on the primer used.

There are plenty of guys who can pull it off with no filler.

Brian
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
I don't buy that for a minute! You can have a laser straight car with barely any filler or none at all depending on the primer used.

There are plenty of guys who can pull it off with no filler.

Brian
You are much more experienced in this than I, but isn't using a high build primer a lot like using filler? Not trying to start an argument, it is just the way I see it. I have watched my buddy who owns and operates a body shop use a skim coat of body filler and a guide coat of black spray paint and he block sands everything to get it straight. Then a coat of primer and wet sand before sealer and color coat and clear coat.I have never seen him use a DA sander for anything but the 1500 color sanding before buffing. The two guys that work for him use the same method.
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:42 AM
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I remember watching the 'boyd' 'reality show' and they basically sculpted the car out of Rage filler. Then I got up close and personal with a Boyd car...I was less than impressed with the total build quality. Paint was great, design was..well a Boyd design love it or hate it, interior was nice but the finishing touches and attention to detail just weren't there. Kinda disheartening to say the least.

Im with the gentleman from the U.P.: Here in Upstate NY I see over 150" of snow a year and they spread rocksalt on the roads every day so we see LOTS of rot; and a large thick patch of bondo is usually obvious; then again the bodyline on both doors of my trans am was impeccably sculpted by a body shop and I wish I never took the car down to bare metal and been ignorant to the whole fact in my car thats only worth $4500 on a good day.
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shine
try and run that one by randy .
yeah metal shapers and aircraft builders are a different breed and seperate trades all together even though they make us bodymen look like cave men they couldnt make a living in our world either...As good as they are,I highly doubt anybody can build a car without ANY bondo and have it look as good and straight when its painted,thats something I'd have to see to believe...
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
I don't buy that for a minute! You can have a laser straight car with barely any filler or none at all depending on the primer used.

There are plenty of guys who can pull it off with no filler.

Brian
Todays primers ARE fillers...whats the difference between spraying it on or doing it with a squeegee????? well for one thing you can tell everyone at the show theres no BONDO and "technically" you wouldnt be lying
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoGear
I remember watching the 'boyd' 'reality show' and they basically sculpted the car out of Rage filler. Then I got up close and personal with a Boyd car...I was less than impressed with the total build quality. Paint was great, design was..well a Boyd design love it or hate it, interior was nice but the finishing touches and attention to detail just weren't there. Kinda disheartening to say the least.

Im with the gentleman from the U.P.: Here in Upstate NY I see over 150" of snow a year and they spread rocksalt on the roads every day so we see LOTS of rot; and a large thick patch of bondo is usually obvious; then again the bodyline on both doors of my trans am was impeccably sculpted by a body shop and I wish I never took the car down to bare metal and been ignorant to the whole fact in my car thats only worth $4500 on a good day.
Who cares what that car is worth, it looks killer!
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