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Old 07-30-2018, 11:27 PM
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Body work newbie

I am a lifelong motor head but doing lots of mechanical work, performance upgrades, engine r&r etc but stayed away from body work.
I have painted a spoiler and the top of a bumper on a 96 black sunbird around 2001. I used some old Del-star single stage enamel I think it was with a [cringe] craftsman big metal siphon tube spray gun.
I still have the gun. It came out great though.
I have scuffed and buffed a few cars and a fender on a Mustang Cobra clone I bought in Chicago that came out awesome too.

Minor rust repair and sanding, filler is my issue now.

I have a couple of old 2000 Ford products with some smaller spots or bubbled paint and fairly strong surface rust.

I did some searching and seems Ospho then epoxy primer is best first step (unless I am cutting out rusty pourous metal).
I got a quart of Ospho. The stuff's not cheap. Any ideas on cheapest place it's available? I'll definitely do the gallon next time if this works out at all.
I think I have the idea but checking to make sure...
Sand off rough rust, oshpo overnight (maybe 2 applications), epoxy primer to try to seal metal, then short strand fiberglass (good) or filler (not so good) to smooth, then regular or hi build primer and paint.
Am I on the right track?
Equipment is my problem too.
I have a portable 27 gallon compressor that is a watery little beast. I have a 60 gal that is empty and drained now.
I have an old white stone /plastic bowl drian water separator on the 60 gal and I was thinking of the filters or separators you can put on end of hose. Harbor Freight [cringe again- I know]
I did some rust removal with a 3 inch cut off tool disk and some with a 3M 2 inch I think stripping disc . I have coarse and medium pads.
I have one spot about the size of your thumb to first knuckle that is a hole in left wheel well right behind driver rear door above the plastic trim on a black Town Car. I do have a mig with 80/20 Ar/CO2 pretty sure it is but only ever welded lawn mower handles and decks and I burn through if I'm not careful.
I'm not looking for perfection just to make not jump out at you noticeable .
I'm pretty good at mask line or blending in and sanding and buffing to blend in. Just most of my paint has come from a spray can.
I need some advice, guidance, and probably a lot of moral support.
Oh, and luck too.


Thanks for any and all advice.

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Old 07-31-2018, 05:00 AM
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We all started somewhere. Lots of study and work on getting some more suitable equipment for bodywork. Doing the metal work will be a major deal as you will need to be able to make your own repair panels if you do a lot of restoration.

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Old 07-31-2018, 06:22 AM
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Filling rust holes with reinforced filler is a cop out any way you slice it. Rust never sleeps. I am not familiar with your welding setup but my suggestion is that you practice welding, on scraps. If you get the hang of it, you'll see how you can make a ten year repair with less labor than the one or two year method described.
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Old 07-31-2018, 11:18 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I don't think I described it well enough.
I don't plan on doing any major rust repair but you never know if I don't mind doing it.
I know filling any holes with glass or bondo is just a hack job and won't last past one winter usually.
I only have one hole that is the end of thumb one I mentioned and it has good clean shiny metal just past the hole area.
The other spots (only 3 other on whole car) are just where paint is bubbled . The largest is size of .50 cent piece. It started out 5 years ago as a small pinky nail chip or bubble and I used rust reformer or Extend and touched it up twice over 5 years. It started to spread out a bit quicker in the last 2 years.
I sanded it down to see what it was like and the surface rust came off pretty easily just leaving some uneven slightly pitted area. No pinholes.
I guess for a show car keeper even this would have to be cut out and new metal welded in but this is not a show keeper. Just a daily driver that would be nice to get the 4 spots cleaned up and paint matched and smoothed up so it can be decent for 3-5 more years.
I can send pics that might help show condition better.
I am even concerned how the best way (I read differing opinions) on if you cut out around to good metal, weld in new...the best way to treat (or not) the area and surrounding, prime (what to use) and finish so as to prevent rust coming back or rusting at or on weld etc.
I know there are no perfect 100% ways to keep rust from coming back. I find keeping them inside in non freezing garage and not getting them wet helps a lot. I had a 67 LeMans once that was stripped all down to bare metal, front and back glass pulled out and a very nice show car quality paint job done to it back in 87 or 88.
The only spot any rust care back for as long as I owned it was on the corner of the deck lid. It bubbled about a finger nail size spot and didn't grow that fast. It got wet and sat out a lot.
I have an 87 that was redone around 99 and it is still perfect. It never sits out and I freak out if it even looks like rain when I'm out.

I know rusty holey (is that a word) metal needs to be replaced but I thought people have pretty good results with sanding or blasting more solid spots and doing certain ways before paint.


Thanks again for info.
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Old 07-31-2018, 11:36 AM
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Sounds like its rusting from inside, like your Pontiac's trunk lid did. In those cases, I jab all around the rust through with a pick tool, or just go around pushing an eigth inch drill bit against any little pits I see, to find out where solid metal begins. Aside from using a spot blaster, scrubbing pitted metal with rust dissolving products and wire brush followed by sandpaper is the best thing I know of. Your plans are going to depend on whats under the other bubbles.
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Old 07-31-2018, 12:04 PM
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The first thing you need to do is slooow........dooow......n. Yes you can cheat with holes, but you are pushing it big time. Forget the "reinforced" fillers, that is a myth, at least on small holes. You can fill big rusted out spots to "make it work" a while longer, but small holes it's not going to help you much.

The epoxy primer over it, and seal it from the back after filling it with bondo is as good as you will get outside of fixing it right.


Brian
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Old 07-31-2018, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR View Post
The first thing you need to do is slooow........dooow......n. Yes you can cheat with holes, but you are pushing it big time. Forget the "reinforced" fillers, that is a myth, at least on small holes. You can fill big rusted out spots to "make it work" a while longer, but small holes it's not going to help you much.

The epoxy primer over it, and seal it from the back after filling it with bondo is as good as you will get outside of fixing it right.


Brian

Trust me, I am very S-L-O-W and doing it. As I haven't actually done anything. I am just an intense researcher and a very fast talking and lots of words talking and posting person.
I'm not looking to fill any holes with fiberglass or any other type of filler. I'm fully aware like I said before that that's basically a hack job. There's only four spots on this vehicle and only one that has a thumbnail size hole through the metal. While poking around and grinding around the good metal is very close by the hole. This is why I mentioned I have a MIG welder and was planning on welding a small piece of metal into that.
I might be a little confused on the rest but if you can't poke a punch or drill bit through metal where the paint was bubbled and it was some surface rust underneath and it's only slightly pitted, is there any need to cut that metal totally out and weld in a new patch if you're not doing an absolute show car quality restoration paint job?
And liking my last post, if you do cut out metal and will the new piece in, what is the best method for coatng / priming / sealing this and then what kind of paint and prep to make it the most bubble resistant.
I mean, if you've got rusted out wheel wells in a quarter then you cut it out to match a quarter panel patch kit but if you just got a rock chip that turned into a paint bubble rust spot, you don't cut that metal totally out as normal practice do you?
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Old 07-31-2018, 06:08 PM
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Check the middle sentence of my last post. Spot blaster is best for that. Use whatever epoxy primer you like.
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Old 07-31-2018, 07:06 PM
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Check the middle sentence of my last post. Spot blaster is best for that. Use whatever epoxy primer you like.
I did, and that seems to be the general consensus I'm fixing spots like this. That's where I come up with most people prefer ospho from reading a bunch of post. I have heard the results from the klean-strip brand prep and etch . It's a lot cheaper I just don't know concentration is compared to ospho.
So I've read that they spray can epoxy primers are not really epoxy primer as you don't mix them so does this mean they're not as good? I might as well by some ways. I'm going to have to get a newer style paint gun too. I'm sure the cheap little purple Harbor Freight one would get me by for spraying epoxy primer. I have a friend that works in a body shop and he offered me one of his old ones a few years ago. Might have been at Binks. It probably had issues or you wouldn't have offered it to me. I guess as long as you keep them clean you can use one about forever so it doesn't matter if you pay a good amount for it. I was just going to spray them a black Rust-Oleum in a can but it sounds like epoxy primer will seal much better.
I also have a large van style vehicle if you will that has cracks and separation all in the body work. Mainly cracking and lifting the paint and whatever filler and primer underneath away from the metal.
I plan on stripping it all down and grinding whatever rust I find out and trying to smooth it out. It's probably going to be a pretty rough wavy surface so it will require some fiberglass filler and then maybe some regular filler top coat. Anything would be better than it is right now and it's refrigerator quite so it doesn't have to be perfect. I have thought about painting it with the farm and implement paint which I think is just an enamel. Lots of people have talked about thinking that and spraying it on things. I'll probably just go with a base coat clear coat but it hasn't got to be anywhere near high-quality.
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Old 08-01-2018, 11:49 AM
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Here's the biggest spot that I'm working on. This is on the roof right near the windshield seal. It was about the size of a half dollar good bubbled paint.
That's just with it roughly sanded down and a quick shot spray can Rustoleum or maybe it s Duplicator.
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Old 08-01-2018, 08:36 PM
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If you can just sand and clean that really good and get the rust off, in my opinion, from what I can see, you only need regular bodyfiller, primer-surfacer, and paint. It appears to be something that started from a paint chip so I'd guess the rust is not coming from inside. Brand names of rust acid products and epoxy primers are topics I don't normally discuss on this forum because everyone has their individual methods. I do rust repair for a living and for me to take you all the way from not knowing if stuff with hardener is better (it is) to doing a budget-friendly spot repair like that is just more than I can make time for. When I make little paint repairs on my black late 90s car, I use duplicolor universal black then their clear. Two years is tops for how long that looks OK on a side panel but on a metal roof, expect less with that paint. If you buff it, even less time. I did roof rails for mine a couple years ago (plastic) and put only one coat of clear and they still look like they did then, BUT, I used body shop type primer surfacer on them. I don't even prime stuff I am going to rattle can, except those. I bought a purple HF gun in 2010 and it was not even usable right out of the box. With work, I got it going but the pattern was horrible due to visibly lopsided machine work. So you are on your own there, everybody but me loves the gun.
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Old 08-01-2018, 08:45 PM
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HF guns do not have a good quality control. some are good and some are not..Always a junk shoot on those things but hey for ten bucks to do some repairs that is ok in my book.

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Old 08-01-2018, 10:00 PM
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get some junk parts to practice on. Nothing worse than remembering a repair you did and looking back cause you now know how to properly repair it and to regret how you handled it. It happens to all of us at one point or another. I had trouble getting in the industry and had no interest washing cars or sweeping, so I practiced in my garage by cutting squares out of a fender and welding it back in. Also practice plugged welds and fixing dents and filling them. It got my foot in the door by being acceptable. At this point it's second nature. Just the other day a guy in our shop did a cab corner and had to peel back the back of the cab. It had pill like body lines everywhere and his weakness is body work. So the painter sent it back cause the body line was off. Instead of seeing the situation as a nightmare to just try to fill, he tried to fill it and blobbed it everywhere, even in places it didn't need to be. 16 hours he was working on it just to fix one body line. To any good tech I know that is unacceptable as a professional. I say that cause any good tech knows those areas need more metal work and only filled here and there. Your approach on repairs will constantly change til you have it down to a science. The mistakes must come first, so let it be that practice fender first.
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