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Old 09-17-2003, 10:04 PM
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Exclamation removing lead filler?

Hi all, I have a question regarding lead body filler.

I'm working on a 64 olds. I'm welding in a NOS back panel (the rear valance).
Apparently, this car has had this panel replaced in the past. Along the seam where it was welded before, there is a thick layer of lead filler. I figure I need to remove this lead before I can weld the new panel in. The lead is about 3 mm thick (uh, I guess a bit less than 1/8").
What is the best way to remove this lead? Can I take a torch and melt it off? Do I have to grind it? The answer doesn't seem to be in the database.
Thanks,
dh
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Old 09-17-2003, 11:26 PM
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If it were me I would cut the panel seams with a die grinder as if the lead wasn't there(wear a mask). Then clean the edges back just enough with a grinder to fit the new panel and weld it in.
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Old 09-18-2003, 05:04 AM
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Lead is used when the car was manufactured. If that panel had been replaced after manufacture it probably would not have been filed with lead. It was a common practice to use lead at the seams up until about 69 or so.

Vince
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Old 09-18-2003, 07:54 AM
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Vince is right.... Alot of people believe that any filler on a car was put on it after being manufactured. On the older cars, lead was used to cover seams where the panels came together, such as quarter panel to roof seams. There was no concern for the health problems of lead at that time. The conditions that it was used under made more sense than using BONDO, which was known to not bond very well.

I would make sure that I used a good respirator, long sleeves, gloves, and eye protection while grinding that stuff. Do not grind anymore than is absoultely necessary, for health safety.
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Old 09-18-2003, 09:51 AM
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torch it. saw it done once. (won't say i did it ) but it'll melt easy and run right off..... just don't freak out when you see what was leaded up.....
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Old 09-18-2003, 09:51 AM
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"Bondo is known not to bond" Ha ha, thats good Adkart

If you melt it make sure you have good ventilation and wear a mask and protective clothing as previously mentioned. I've seen what a single drop of sweat can do in melted lead! Scary stuff
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Old 09-18-2003, 09:54 AM
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dh79...you can melt it out if you want. If you grind wear a mask to filter it out and if you get covered with it make sure you wash it off. Coming in contact with it one time is not going to put you in the hospital unless you want to ingest it which I woyuld recommend against. Just doesn't taste too well. Use safety precautions but it will not bite.

Kevin
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Old 09-18-2003, 02:49 PM
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I usually melt it and use a wire brush to scrub by hand- fumes are dangerous so protect yourself- can cause the 'Mad Hatters Disease" -as they used lead to 'block' hats in the old days with heat- central nervous system problems make you look crazy... no lie- an older fella directed me to check it out in the Library!!
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Old 09-18-2003, 08:15 PM
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Dragon J is right, I just finished melting some out of my truck.
The wire brush is a must.
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Old 09-19-2003, 01:14 PM
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DH.... weather you grind or melt it, do it with the door open so you get plenty of air. Still wear a respirator, but the added air will help. I hate wearing a face mask( I know guys, everyone else likes it when I do) so I have a tendancy to take the mask off as soon as I can, Usually end up breathing the stuff anyway.

Just a thought.
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Old 09-19-2003, 01:34 PM
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It melts out really easily. I do it all the time. Bummer - I used to chew lead pellet gun ammo all the time as a kid. Guess I'm going to die soon. Oh well, my sister and I played in an asbestos pit behind our house for years - nice coft and fluffy tojump into but the dust was a little irritating. Dad worked in an asbestos mine for a while and that is why we had the pit behind the house. He only lived 'til 90 so I guess it got him!
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Old 09-20-2003, 06:32 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I think I'm going to try melting it out tomorrow. My plan is to only melt back as far as I need. Maybe an inch back from the seam. I'll see how well that works out. It should be interesting either way.
Yeah, I'll wear a respirator and make sure they're plenty of ventilation. I'd prefer to keep some of that lead out of my blood stream...
dh
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Old 09-21-2003, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dh79
I'd prefer to keep some of that lead out of my blood stream...
dh
I don't blame you for that. Hate to mix anything with my beer.


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Old 09-21-2003, 08:54 PM
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if not familar with lead you may find it hard to control melting so if only small area for nos panel may want to tape it off & grind it as it easier to control & may be easier to finish smaller area off when done. jw
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Old 09-22-2003, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by adtkart
I don't blame you for that. Hate to mix anything with my beer.


LOL excellent point


FYI: I melted off the lead today. I used a propane torch and it worked very well. The lead was pretty thick but it turns out the band was only about an inch and a half wide (along the top of the seam). I melted it all away and I had a decent seam for the weld. The panel is all welded in now, and I'm quite pleased with the results. Next weekend I'll be smoothing the seam out with a plastic filler. I found that melting the lead with the torch was pretty predictable, and using a wire brush helped immensly.
I had the garage door open and a fan blowing so I think I kept my lead dosage pretty minimal. The only scary part was having molten lead dripping down while I was wearing sandals. Exciting stuff.
Thanks for the help.
dh
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