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lead filling


7277

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i decided to scrap the body side moldings on my 77Z and prepped the car for paint. i would like to fill the small holes with lead and may decide to fill the hatch emblem holes as well...for a cleaner look. i'm very good at using epoxy body filler and restored a couple of cars in the past with excellent long term results. i'm just very doubtful about filling a 'flat' hole with conventional filler. i've just never had to use lead in the past...

if someone has experience i would greatly appreciate it!:D

tools required, where to find a lump of lead, procedures, etc..

Thanks!

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My advice would be to avoid using lead filler, at all costs:finger:

The health issues associated with lead working are too nasty to warrant using it.

If you are comfortable with plastic filler then stick to that [pun intended].

You can convert a flat hole to a depressed hole with a ball pein hammer.

It doesn't have to be very deep, only a mm or so.

Back it up if possible with a small tube like a socket so that the depression doesn't spread too far.

You can also apply a dob of filler behind the panel to give it a decent area of adhesion.

Just prepare the hole like you always have, bare metal, scoured clean then apply the filler.

Make sure you can paint the filler, front and rear, to prevent it from absorbing moisture.

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There is no real advantage using lead instead of a polyester filler for repairs such as this. Plastic is so much easier and will look just as good when finished. A few of the things you have to contend with using lead are heat warpage, acid removal before paint prep and the equipment needed to do the job properly. Then there are the obvious health concerns using lead. I would fill the holes with a mig welder and a brass/copper backing plate (works well) then a thin coat of filler...done! OK, I tried to talk you out of it but if you insist on using this method there are a few tutorial articles on the net. I could tell you how I do it but, you can no longer get the materials I still have. I am not familiar with the use of the lead/tin alloys sold today. I am still using a can of tinning solution that is 25 years old. I have heard from others that the lead available today isn't any harder to use, just different. You will need tinning, a wooden paddle for laying on the lead, a trough for heating/holding it, good body files for shaping it, a solution to neutralize the acid. After you are done with all that, you will probably still need a thin layer of filler or high build primer to block it out. Depends how good you get it layed on and filed.

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My advice would be to avoid using lead filler, at all costs:finger:If you are comfortable with plastic filler then stick to that [pun intended].

You can convert a flat hole to a depressed hole with a ball pein hammer.

...Make sure you can paint the filler, front and rear, to prevent it from absorbing moisture.

Graham:

While this would be easy enough for an experienced bodyman (panel beater) to do, for an amateur or someone who is just dabbling away at body working....nope.

Your concern for Lead is appropriate, but you wouldn't be exposed to so much for so long that you'd have to worry about it....but your warning is a good warning.

Personally I have a different technique, but poly body filler, known as BOG down under and BONDO in the US is most decidedly NOT the way to go when it comes to holes. The expansion / contraction differences between the metal and the filler and the constriction of the hole, guarantee that in a short amount of time it will have generated a gap between the two and a good possibility for rust.

There is no real advantage using lead instead of a polyester filler for repairs such as this. Plastic is so much easier and will look just as good when finished. A few of the things you have to contend with using lead are heat warpage, acid removal before paint prep and the equipment needed to do the job properly. Then there are the obvious health concerns using lead. I would fill the holes with a mig welder and a brass/copper backing plate (works well) then a thin coat of filler...done! ...snip...

You will need tinning, a wooden paddle for laying on the lead, a trough for heating/holding it, good body files for shaping it, a solution to neutralize the acid. ....

Ron, prety much on track except again...experienced versus amateur...most amateur welders won't have the knowledge or the skill to use a brass/copper backing plate, nor know why they're doing that.

The last part I left in because they tie in very easily to the technique I got taught.

Using a LARGE soldering iron, the type that gets used to solder / sweat pipe joints or kettle bottoms or stained glass. (Mine is from the 50's) but they ARE available at glass shops that cater to the stained glass hobbyist. You're looking for a large 1" diameter or so tip, on a 100-150 watt iron.

Prep your metal as if you were going to use lead, but using the soldering iron you sweat a very small glob of Acid Core Solder, the type used for pipes. If properly prepared it will fill the hole very nicely and provide just enough metal both inside and out to seal the hole and still give you a surface that will hold up to the painting process left. I've done this on numerous cars, and can vouch for it being easy and fast. Total amount of time....less than an hour TOTAL, including neutralizing the acid both inside and out. (That's important.)

Beandip's car had the same rivet holes and we repaired them this way.

That was 6 years ago or more. (geez, flime ties...) But as far as I know he doesn't and hasn't had any problems with it.

2¢

E

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Prep your metal as if you were going to use lead, but using the soldering iron you sweat a very small glob of Acid Core Solder, the type used for pipes. If properly prepared it will fill the hole very nicely and provide just enough metal both inside and out to seal the hole and still give you a surface that will hold up to the painting process left. I've done this on numerous cars, and can vouch for it being easy and fast. Total amount of time....less than an hour TOTAL, including neutralizing the acid both inside and out. (That's important.)

Used the above method on both my hatch and drivers door to repair ill done prior work (open holes ) under plastic filler.

I also used the copper back up plate and welded the holes up in my rear valance panel. The solder method is much quicker with less risk of over heating and warpage.

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I've never used an electric soldering gun for autobody leading, but it sounds like an easy way to tackle the small holes that 7277 is dealing with. Cheaper than buying a mig welder. Good tip (pun intended).

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Going on 4 years ago , EScanlon showed me how to fill the holes that were left from the old rub strips along the fenders. It is simple and it took only about 30 min. tops to do both sides of the Z. I found a small crack in the factory leading where the roof was attached at the windshield and used the same method to do that repair. Be sure to clean the repair well when done. I used solid core solder with a liquid acid flux that I use for stained glass. The sheet metal is so thin that using a soldering iron is all that is needed. After this time if I were going to have a problem I think it would have happened by now. Gary

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I was thinking the same thing this aft as I was removing fender emblems , what about the small holes. This seems the perfect solution as I have the necessary tools for the job including a old fender to practice with . I as well like the clean lines, mostly for when washing and waxing I won't have to deal with raised lettering .With the solder it would seem easier to revert back if I were to choose to . Great tip , thanxz

Chris

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thanks for the input fellas. i think i'll stick to my trusty epoxy filler. i'm used to it and will detent the holes so the filler can grab. i would try the above techniques if i've seen them done, but going in without hands on guidance doesn't make me too comfortable....

EScanlon: i prefer epoxy filler and have not used BONDO in years. it's too weak....the epoxy filler is good stuff and is pretty tough :D

thanks again guys!

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If you use the filler, it might help to put a piece of poly screen mesh (like for a screen door) on the back side to help the filler bond...if you can get to the back...after filling the hole use some filler on the back side and cover the mesh, like a sandwich. I did this 20 years ago and the filled holes are still holding

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If you use the filler, it might help to put a piece of poly screen mesh (like for a screen door) on the back side to help the filler bond...if you can get to the back...after filling the hole use some filler on the back side and cover the mesh, like a sandwich. I did this 20 years ago and the filled holes are still holding

The only risk on leaving the holes open to the backside is rust under the filler. May not happen right away but, that is what I found on every open hole on this restore. Either weld or solder them up.

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