would this be feasible with lead body filler? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:26 PM
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would this be feasible with lead body filler?

I replaced the driver's side sail panel/B pillar on my 67 Mustang coupe. The panel butts right into the drip rail and this is where the seam will be. It is difficult to get a full continuous weld in there but I have a number of tack welds where I could get them in.

I need to figure out how I can seal this up as best as possible. Obviously this now provides a way for water to run behind the sail panel and wreak havoc (though the car will be a fair weather car only).

I've never worked with lead before and never intended to as I've heard it takes extreme talent to do well. I am wondering if running some lead down this drip rail channel however, would adequately close up the seam where the panel meets the drip rail. I'd then put copious amounts of drip rail seam sealer in over it. Another alternative would be a skim coat fiberglass filler in place of the lead (or lead substitute), I just would be worried about it cracking over time potentially.

All thoughts and suggestions are welcome...

Thanks in advance.

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Old 05-15-2011, 03:21 AM
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i would just advise trying to weld it, i though lead work was illegal due to the toxic process it involves
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:07 AM
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never been faced with that but it seems like it'd be ok with some tacks for strength and lead, or lead substitute. Better wait for a guy who has done this before. Fiberglass sounds like a no no though.
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:50 AM
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Lead is still legal to use in this application.
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Old 05-15-2011, 06:44 PM
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Leading is not that tough if you have the right tools and materials. Youtube has a series of videos here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3dNzH0GEng

Watch the first video, you can than pick out some more to watch.

I took Gene Winfields metal working class (twice, I had a blast), of course he makes it look easy. It is not that difficult though, I filled some small holes with lead before I took the classes, I got lucky, they are still holding up, 25 years later. I bought a set of the better wooden kitchen utensils (oak or maple, I believe) for the little I did do, cheap and I only used them a few times. If I were to continue doing this type of work, Eastwoods has some to buy. I had fun doing this, it's different from the every day bondo work. make sure you use the beeswax, tin the metal, and REALLY make sure you clean the metal well afterward. You will have a disaster on your hands with the paint if you don't get the metal neutralized. Give it a try and show us some pictures.
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:45 PM
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Thanks for the video link and anecdote of your experience, Dinger. Eastwood's got a lot of leadworking materials. It gets pretty expensive real fast, which is a bummer because I only have about a 4 inch length that maybe needs to be patched.

I've attached a picture of the area (circled in red) that I'm debating to be filled with lead filler. The filler would need to build about an 1/8" in order to completely fill the area. It's still difficult to see the problem area in this picture.

The rest of the seam between the two panels has since been completely welded together as of today, so the lead filler there isn't so much an issue anymore. It's just the area circled in red. It's too deep and too wide of an opening to fill in with weld.

For kicks and giggles, I've attached a before and after picture of my panel replacement, including the donor.
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:23 PM
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Give it a shot. Look around for a bar of lead, you may be able to find one fairly easily. The cheap kitchen tools can be found at the 99c store, a regular round file and some judicious use of a grinder will get you close.
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:29 PM
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could you not cut the section of guttering out and extend width ways then reweld it back into place.
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Old 05-16-2011, 04:38 PM
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Does the drip rail get a trim moulding ? If so, cut a section of the drip rail off, do your panel weld, then weld the drip rail back together. Probably take an additional 20 minutes per side and zero additional cost. If it doesnt get a trim , then you will need to spend another 20 minutes getting it perfect for paint.

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Old 05-16-2011, 11:45 PM
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Old Fool, thanks for taking the time to make that graphic and add it to the thread--I just wanted to acknowledge that. Maybe you didn't even notice then that I have already patched a section of drip rail in there?!

The problem, however, isn't so much getting access with the welder (because it is accessible as it is) moreso than it is just a very large gap to weld shut, because it is both deep and wide (giggity)...so that's how I thought maybe I could fill the space with leader filler. But that was just the first idea that came to mind and I was throwing it out there (knowing alternative suggestions would pop up)...I'm not dead set or hell bent on it.

Or I could cut a thin piece of metal to stick in there as a backing plate patch and attempt the weld.

There is a stainless steel trim that goes over the molding, however.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:56 PM
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A lot of the folks here seemed to think I could get it welded back up and that's exactly what happened today. I just led the bead across the gap, building off the previous bead and it went in fine.

Thanks for the replies and help!
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