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 Post subject: Factory Bondo
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 11:18 am 
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Cutting on a B Coupe this morning showed me something that made me take a 2nd look. Everyone poo-poo's bondo when it is used on car, walking around auctions with little meters and such. Well, the Factory had bondo, except in the 50s and 60s it was called lead, and they smeared it with great gusto, look at that stalagtite left after they smeared it here, looks very similar to what we commonly call a pink bondo nipple.
So the next time someone poo-poo's a skim coat of Bondo remind them that the Factory did far worse.


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 Post subject: Re: Factory Bondo
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 11:51 am 
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Ok, I'll play. Bondo is crap. Lead, done correctly, is the long term solution. Like plastic? Buy a Beck.

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 Post subject: Re: Factory Bondo
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 12:15 pm 
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I've found rust under Bondo. I've found rust under lead. It's all the same to me, just different technologies from different time periods.

The only advantage I see in lead vs Bondo (assuming each is done properly) is that some purists are willing to pay more for a leaded car than one with a plastic skim coat.

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 Post subject: Re: Factory Bondo
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 1:22 pm 
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Lead is more stable. Plastic is always aging. It's always changing. Rust under either means preparation was poor. Neither is meant to be put on thick so either requires complete metal straightening.

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 Post subject: Re: Factory Bondo
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 1:43 pm 
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The factory also used plenty of primer which acted as a filler to smooth out the body. Several times while stripping these 356's by hand did I witness this. Not saying this was a negative but fillers used properly are acceptable . Lead is certainly a better choice for exacting gaps for my choice , but is a lost art for most. Acids used in the process must be leached out from what I've been told, and a few schools of thought re same.

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 Post subject: Re: Factory Bondo
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 3:16 pm 
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Max, acids are a problem and the alloy of the lead(it's not pure lead) these days is not very good. My metal man has passed now but he had great difficulty finding good body lead in his later years. It's sad to see the art fade away.

Today it's all about labor costs. If the time needed to finish in lead were equal to the time to slap on some Bondo then all of you would have it done like the factory did it. At least accept that a Bondo filled Speedster is far removed from original and much cheaper to bring to the auction. This is the important point that Prescott Kelly makes. Buy what you like but know what you are buying. Right, surface fillers have always been used, even at the factory, but that barely counts compared to the amount of material used to finish a weld or fit a gap.

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 Post subject: Re: Factory Bondo
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 4:55 pm 
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C J Murray wrote:
Lead is more stable. Plastic is always aging. It's always changing. Rust under either means preparation was poor. Neither is meant to be put on thick so either requires complete metal straightening.


Lead also causes crazing in the paint over time. Today's plastic fillers are far superior to lead, and when used right will last longer than the finish. I do agree people should know what they are getting but. I think it also creates a false notion that a lead finished car is superior to a plastic finished car. Since most people don't use lacquer paint anymore the originality argument on bodywork pretty much goes out the window.

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 Post subject: Re: Factory Bondo
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 5:22 pm 
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Cast iron pipe with hot lead sealed joints worked great for home plumbing drain lines too for 100 years,...but can anyone really say that PVC isn't an improvement?

To me the main problem with plastic fillers is that they are available to anyone, anytime, and with any skill level and commitment. So many bad jobs done with it on so many different types of vehicles over the years that you end up with a general distrust of the whole process. I'd say if every shadetree mechanic who ever applied bondo throughout the past 40 years also applied lead in equal opportunities you'd see a lot of really really crappy lead work too.

Most of the problems are in the prep work, and with a factory new car body the lead can go on to super clean, unrusted metal. My guess is if they'd use plastic filler instead, it'd still be around too and we'd be digging it out on restoration too.


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 Post subject: Re: Factory Bondo
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 5:37 pm 
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Emil Wojcik wrote:
I've found rust under Bondo. I've found rust under lead. It's all the same to me, just different technologies from different time periods.

The only advantage I see in lead vs Bondo (assuming each is done properly) is that some purists are willing to pay more for a leaded car than one with a plastic skim coat.


Can someone explain to me how those magnetic Bondo detectors tells lead from plastic? Filler is filler, ain't it?

Brian

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 Post subject: Re: Factory Bondo
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 6:09 pm 
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Steve Harrison wrote:
Cast iron pipe with hot lead sealed joints worked great for home plumbing drain lines too for 100 years,...but can anyone really say that PVC isn't an improvement?
Objection! Relevance?
Steve Harrison wrote:
To me the main problem with plastic fillers is that they are available to anyone, anytime, and with any skill level and commitment. So many bad jobs done with it on so many different types of vehicles over the years that you end up with a general distrust of the whole process. I'd say if every shadetree mechanic who ever applied bondo throughout the past 40 years also applied lead in equal opportunities you'd see a lot of really really crappy lead work too.
I've seen plenty of crappy lead work. I've seen cars that had so much lead in one corner that the corner sagged lower than the rest of the car. Still, quality lead work is better than quality plastic work.
Dan Epperly wrote:
Since most people don't use lacquer paint anymore the originality argument on bodywork pretty much goes out the window.
Porsche used both lacquer and enamel.

So far we just have opposing opinions and rhetoric.

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 Post subject: Re: Factory Bondo
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 6:56 pm 
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I worked weekends at my dad's paint and body shop in the '50s. The 356 (Known at the time as just a "Porsche") was his shop specialty. My job was sanding out chips, and anything other dumb job he asked me to do. Porsche used primer as the "Skim Coat" in those days. I've seen it 1/8" thick from the factory. It was an air dry product. when "Bondo" came out early 60s, and was chemical in curing, and acted like glue on the car. Because of that, he moved away from lead, as he had problems with flux, and other "Stuff" leaching out, and spoiling the paint job.

Everything being equal with the base metal, I'll always go with a plastic filler. I've always advertised that we "Skim Coat" our cars to get the flat finish we try to produce. I've got 10+ year old restorations that look as good as when they were new. As I always say, not necessarily the right way to do it, but that method works for me.

...............................................................Jim.

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 Post subject: Re: Factory Bondo
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 7:07 pm 
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Jim,

I recall a multi-part series in Hot Rod Magazine decades ago detailing how to paint your jalopy, on the cheap, in your garage using lacquer. They were spraying on many coats of primer "wet", and viewing the surfaces quickly under a long tube light, using the reflections to judge flatness and continuity. Then lightly block sand the high spots, add more wet primer, view, level, etc. When the wet primer was perfect (and now fairly thick!) they were ready to start laying light coats of color lacquer (black in the article, as being the most forgiving), color sanding between coats, finally buffing out the top coat. I've forgotten some details, but that was the gist of it.

Brian

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 Post subject: Re: Factory Bondo
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 7:11 pm 
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Jim, it takes skill to do lead work, stick with plastic. Now I feel bad. :( Worse yet, my post will be reported. :( You owe me a shot!

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 Post subject: Re: Factory Bondo
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 7:19 pm 
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I would feel a bit nervous working and breathing around molten lead. Not that modern products are non-toxic.

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 Post subject: Re: Factory Bondo
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 8:13 pm 
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C J Murray wrote:
Steve Harrison wrote:
Cast iron pipe with hot lead sealed joints worked great for home plumbing drain lines too for 100 years,...but can anyone really say that PVC isn't an improvement?
Objection! Relevance?
Steve Harrison wrote:
To me the main problem with plastic fillers is that they are available to anyone, anytime, and with any skill level and commitment. So many bad jobs done with it on so many different types of vehicles over the years that you end up with a general distrust of the whole process. I'd say if every shadetree mechanic who ever applied bondo throughout the past 40 years also applied lead in equal opportunities you'd see a lot of really really crappy lead work too.
I've seen plenty of crappy lead work. I've seen cars that had so much lead in one corner that the corner sagged lower than the rest of the car. Still, quality lead work is better than quality plastic work.
Dan Epperly wrote:
Since most people don't use lacquer paint anymore the originality argument on bodywork pretty much goes out the window.
Porsche used both lacquer and enamel.

So far we just have opposing opinions and rhetoric.


Does anyone use enamel on a Porsche these days? Most use one or two stage urethane. It would be interesting to see someone get ahold of all the old materials that they used back in the day and do a complete restoration, it guess them they could claim it was an "original restoration."

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