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Discussion Starter #1
Im not a welder by trade but ive done my fair share of welding,I can fabricate and do heavy duty welding.

Im in the process of restoring a 72 maverick,The Body of the car is as straight as an arrow.The only problem im going to have is the trim and emblem holes...

Theres about 25 holes on each side of the car...
Im worried that when im done filling them in im going to be left with a body full of waves...

Any tips , suggestions or alternatives to welding will be greatly appreciated
 

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Mav, I am a body tech and used to build custom cars exsclusively.

Those body trim and eblems holes shouldn't be a problem to weld up. Since they are small but plentiful all you need to do is keep the heat down to a minimum, its a long and slow process, but will be well worth it. Just weld a little, stop let it cool, then proceed with the same process untill you get it done. Just keep the heat to a minimum and you'll be fine. Thes the only quality way to do it for a good finish that will last.

Bondo and other fillers will work, but you run the risc of it falling out after a few years or absorbing moisture from the uncoated side.

HK
 

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Just one of the guys
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Mav,
To get it ready you will have to have the door panels off and nothing in the road. Get a piece of brass, copper, or aluminun to back up the holes. Weld will not stick to these three materials. Best yet get it all ready and find someone with a tig welder. Tig is a softer weld and can be ground easier and I think you may be able to reduce your heat considerably. As Halloweenking stated, don't use bondo. If you do you can figure on redoing it within a year as it will definately crack around the hole and some will even pop out. Spend the time and if need be the money and do it right the first time. It's cheaper than redoing it the second time.

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thx for the info guys,

Bondo isnt an option, Not to fill the holes anyway, I think id rather pay someone else to do the work than to introduce bondo to my car :)

I was just wondering if there were any new products out there or possibly any new technics used now in stead of standard welding...

I have access to a wire feed welder and a few old galaxie fenders laying around, I think ill just drill a few holes in it and see how i do.

Im use to welding 14" H-Pile or fabricating brackets and what not, Putting a welding lead to a fender is a little bit scarry to me ,especially concidering that the body i have looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor.

Ill let you know how it goes ... THX Again ...

[ August 12, 2002: Message edited by: Mav ]</p>
 

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Returning American Maddman
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Both ideas are very sound. Go slow and use a brass or alum back plate. Weld won't stick and fills holes nice.If the back side doesn't show at all, just tack a piece of tin behind it. Key phrase is Slow as you go!
 

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Use a body hammer, pick shaped side, tap the hole a BIT (not a lot) to make a small depression, this will give you a larger weld area to work with, be more forgiving as far as the weld sticking out to far to get smooth when you finish grind. you have the right idea with the practice fenders, a wet sponge may help also. practice.
 

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Dinger, you have me in a quandry? This pick hammer thing. If I picture this right, you are saying that you"dimple" the hole so that you have more room for build up and surface area? I have seen people take a BIG ole drill bit and do a tad more than deburr the hole. They almost countersink it. I didn't know if I liked that idea, but the dimpling soound like it will work! ;)
 

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Dimple, that's the word I was searching for. Yes, dimple the hole. If you have a small ball peen hammer, this will work also. use a 15/16 socket or a little larger socket behind the surface to keep the dimpled area smaller.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Im progressing very well so far, although my practice fender looks like swiss cheese :)

I started out using a stick welder slow and steady ( seemed to work out ok) I was very careful and gave it plenty of time to cool between but when i ground the weld smooth it burned through.

I saw an ad in jc whitney for a stich/body welder so i ordered it( item # 81NZ1590A)
It works at 80 amps or less so i started at 40 amps. It reduces output by 50% for thin sheet metel.

I started filling the hole ( backed with an 18 guage piece of scrap) and although it was a very slow process i filled it in one pass with no distortion at all, Best of all it required very little grinding !

Im still in the practice stage and im testing higher amps to see if i can speed things up just a little

The "dimple" procedure sounds like a good idea im gonna have to check that out as well...

Now for a hard question :) Im thinking about buying one of the smaller welding units from Home depot.They have two types , Standard arc and a gasless wirefeed both about the same price ($225) any prefrences ?

My budget (Wife) will only allow me to spend so much and i need something to keep at the house. The arc unit ranges in settings from 60 to 150 amps and the wire feed ranges from 30 to 100 amps.

Again , any tips or suggestions are greatly appreciated ... Oh and by the way ... Thanks for all the input !! :)
 

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The easyist way to fill a whole is to clamp, or have some daring person hold a penny on the back side, or any piece of copper for that matter. Start from the outside working your way in and weld right over top of the penny/copper. Weld won't stick to the copper, and it gives you a solid back so you dont have to worry about burning through the hole. Grind off the excess weld, slap some body filler on there, and your done. :p
 

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Just one of the guys
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Mav,
If you get a wirefeed welder then get one with a gas hookup. Argon makes for a lot cleaner weld and makes it easier to weld.

Kevin ;)
 

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:) Mav, I'm from the old school of filling holes in body and fender work. Waaay back when we removed door handles, chrome trim ect, we used lead. It is relatively easy to do and you don't put silly putty in it to cover up what you can't do. The lead comes out nice and smoothe after a little filing or light sanding. Since there is no heat applied directly to the body you do not risk warping at all. Look at some of the old lead sleds, they look nice and smoothe as a babby's bottom. BTW that is how they got the name lead sled. You must have a clean surface around the holes for the lead to adhere to. Depress the holes slightly with a hammer, Melt the lead and pour it with a spoon into the holes smooooth it, prime it and paint it, thats it you're done. Well it takes a little longer than that but you get the idea.

good luck lol Al

[ August 18, 2002: Message edited by: Gr8 '48 bow tie ]</p>
 

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Gr8 48,
My father is a lead man from way back and I have done some also. I believe there is a little more to it than pouring lead into the hole to fill it. The paint has to be groung off to bare metal, the metal needs to be tinned. To do this you have to heat the metal with a torch. The lead has to be heated up and put onto the side and worked with a paddle and beeswax. Maybe if you have a hole right on top you can pour it but if you are filling on the side it is a whole new ballgame.

Kevin
 

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Yup, that's about what you'll get. But if you're sure you have to take the trim off, we used to heat dam around the hole with asbestes, Of course you can't use that anymore if you want to breath long, but I'm sure there are substitutes out there. I usually just dimpled them slightly and used brass and a torch, but I don't recommend that to a novice. I could also weld up the seam in a pop can with brass with no worpage. Of course that was when cans were steel.... Keep a big sponge and water handy to keep everthing as cool as possible, but don't shrink it too much. Kinda touch and go...............
 

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Kevin I'm glad to hear somebody out there still knows how to lead. You're absolutely right. I did the flattened side of an almost new 56 Chevy that belonged to my bosses daughter many years ago. Hunt and pick and file. He gave me 6 stcks of lead and when I was through I gave 2 1/2 sticks back. I don't think thats possible with the new high strength steel used today........
 

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mav , there is a heat absorbing plado or puddy that you car put around the holes that will absorbe the heat when welding ... :)
 

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Here's a little trick I use for filling holes. I have 1 inch round brass pipe plug that I bought in a hardware store. The center of the screw in side of the plug is the perfect size for a 3/8 drive ratchet extention to fit in and the back side is flat. A ratchet extention in the back side allows you to hold the plug in place on the back side of the body/door/fender hole. Because it's brass, the welding wire from a mig welder won't stick to it. This brass pipe plug also is big enough to absorb the heat generated while welding up the hole, so the fender metal doesn't warp. After filling each fender/body/door hole I press the brass plug against a wet rag for a few seconds to cool it before drying it and going on to fill the next fender/body/door hole. You might try this. It works pretty good. You can also press the plug onto a rachet to reach into tight places. :D
 
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