It is currently Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:25 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Forum rules


Please click here to view the forum rules



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 28 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:48 pm 
356 Fan

Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2016 11:53 am
Posts: 51
Location: Westchester Co, NY
Surprisingly I searched the forums and didn't find anything on the devices that measure paint thickness and filler thickness but these measurements were covered in detail in Marketwatch page 56. by Prescott Kelly. I see some devices are $700 others very cheap. I would like to buy some instrument as my fridge magnet only has two readings - fell off the car or did not. I have no idea if it's a skim coat or troweled on. So I'm looking for a recommendation on what I'd imagine to be a common tool to own.

This is my first post , go easy on me!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:01 pm 
356 Fan

Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:35 pm
Posts: 739
Steven Murray wrote:
Surprisingly I searched the forums and didn't find anything on the devices that measure paint thickness and filler thickness but these measurements were covered in detail in Marketwatch page 56. by Prescott Kelly. I see some devices are $700 others very cheap. I would like to buy some instrument as my fridge magnet only has two readings - fell off the car or did not. I have no idea if it's a skim coat or troweled on. So I'm looking for a recommendation on what I'd imagine to be a common tool to own.

This is my first post , go easy on me!



I don't understand this obsession with filler. Used correctly it will last longer than the paint. I can see wanting to check it if you are considering buying a car that someone might claim is all metal or an all metal restoration to verify that is true, in which case you will be spending so much money for the car that $700 will look like chump change.

_________________


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:48 pm 
356 Fan
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:24 pm
Posts: 6246
Location: 30MI WEST OF PHILA
Welcome Steven! You are a brave man to make your first post about body filler thickness! Don't lose your courage!!!! No matter how much abuse you get for caring about large quantities of filler, stand your ground! Good always triumphs over evil! Go forth to the promised land where the heathens don't just slop on gallons, or even ounces, of Bondo to cover up their barbaric mutilations.

Seriously, the Bondo lovers go berserk every time anybody says Bondo isn't as good as metal. Don't take it personally.

From a practical standpoint hardly anybody spends the money to restore the cars correctly. It's supply and demand and most restorers don't have the skills to do metalwork that doesn't require quite a bit of Bondo. If you can find a car with little to no plastic filler buy it. That is the way they left the factory and that is how they were repaired when they were new.

I have never used a paint meter but I understand they vary greatly in accuracy. I think there was an article in the Registry magazine about them a few years ago.

_________________
'55 Cab 1300 Super Race Car - FOR SALE
'57 Speedster
'59 Sunroof
'60 Devin D Race Car-in process
'63 GS 2133 coupe
'67 S Original Owner


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:45 pm 
356 Fan

Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2016 11:53 am
Posts: 51
Location: Westchester Co, NY
Thanks C J (i'd normally call you Mr. Murray but that is my name). It is certainly not easy to wisely buy a 356 which is why I joined the registry. Mr. Kelly on page 61 really put the fear in me describing a car estimated at $185K reporting "plastic filler was overused, with readings up to .. about 80 mils, enough to feed a village of Bondo-loving ants for a year" Very humorous that Mr. Kelly. I searched amazon to see if he had a book on Porsche but seems like he's just a nice fellow. I had wanted such a tool even 8 years ago when I looked at a 1985 German car where my fridge magnet fell off large sections of the car. I passed on the car - but it did later quadruple in value. Maybe it just had a nice skim coat but I had no idea. I have an 1984 automobile which I have been waxing since new and always my wax cloths turn red quickly - so it would be nice to know how thick my remaining paint is, I amazed the car still looks good.

I did get a hint this is a hot topic as I searched the 356 forums on 'Elcometer' as this forum's search engine won't let me search on 'paint' (too common). 'Thickness' did not work either (allowed but returned articles on shims and radio knobs, hair ) I saw some of the bondo and lead disputes, you chimed in even then.

So this seemed like the perfect place to ask. Cheaper cars are just discarded but 356's are always brought back to life so we need to know as much as possible. It's positively scary. If anybody has one of these tools it must be a 356 buyer.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:33 pm 
356 Fan
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:37 pm
Posts: 3078
Location: SW Los Angeles
I think the idea of checking to see how much filler is used is wise. If it is a restored car, it would indicate how good a restoration it was. If it's an older car/older restoration and you are planning to restore it, the same info is extremely useful as you will then know the damage underneath excessive filler is probably extensive.

I've seen this on two cars I helped strip, both Speedsters. On one, Bondo started at the cowl about 1/8 -1/4 inch and was floated down both fenders and sides of the hood all the way to the apron. There was even a thick layer on the front bumper. After removal, the damage to the front clip was so bad, a new clip was installed. Had the owner known how much Bondo was on the car, he would have been able to negotiate a more appropriate price for the car.

_________________
Mike Wilson
Lomita, CA
'63 B coupe


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:45 am 
356 Fan
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:48 pm
Posts: 132
Location: Santa Barbara
Hi Steven,
I borrow a friend's Delfesko paint meter that cost him about $500. it comes with calibration strips and its accuracy appears consistent when tested on new car paint. Their website, link below, contains much information but there are at least two types: those for ferrous metals and others for nonferrous, aluminum and plastic that I believe use ultrasound. With it I was able to confirm that there was no original paint under my incorrect color repainted, but otherwise very original, 1953 coupe.
Regards,
David

http://www.defelsko.com/products/coatin ... -gages.htm


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:15 am 
356 Fan
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:24 pm
Posts: 6246
Location: 30MI WEST OF PHILA
A 356 is a shape that often makes the Bondo very obvious. Bondo cars usually look like they have just been stung by a bee, puffy. Pinholes in the paint are a big red flag. When sighting down the side of the car the contour should be continuous without sinking into the door gap at all. Even a metal car can have some problems there when the restorer sands the doors off of the car. A 356 should look like a perfect "billet" of a car with the gaps laser cut. When you open a door or a lid you should look where the outer skin wraps around the inner structure to see if they have Bondo covering the edge of the outer panel where it is folded over the inner panel. That is the "slick"(nickname for Bondo) way cover up a major rust trap without fixing the real problem. That repair comes with a thick door or lid edge that may keep it from closing fully since the room for the seal is used up by the Bondo.

_________________
'55 Cab 1300 Super Race Car - FOR SALE
'57 Speedster
'59 Sunroof
'60 Devin D Race Car-in process
'63 GS 2133 coupe
'67 S Original Owner


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:31 am 
356 Fan

Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:52 am
Posts: 2773
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
CJ you are right, I have seen many cars that looked swollen. Often you can easily spot it in a picture. It depends on how clever the bondo-er is. My car certainly has its share of filler but it is not visible. I made sure my door edges, etc were moved out to the correct position so they wouldn't be thick. A car with filler is certainly not as desirable as one that is all metal, but if you can't tell the difference with the naked eye, it is not the worst thing to have. My 30 year old filler from last time was holding up perfectly everywhere that was not dented or rusted. I agree that if you are buying, you need to know what you are getting- filler or metal. Then pay accordingly.

_________________


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:38 am 
356 Fan
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:24 pm
Posts: 6246
Location: 30MI WEST OF PHILA
Martin, you are spot on! I have had cars done both ways and I have enjoyed all of the cars in terms of driving. I have more pride in the metal cars but the car I have driven 20K miles in the past 3 years has some plastic. I drive the metal cars too but I am more selective about what abuse I expose them to. Sadly, my metal man has passed away and I doubt I will ever restore another car "the right way". Prescott gets a lot of abuse about his reports but he is right to note a difference between a car full of Bondo and a metal one. He isn't telling you what to buy he is just telling you what is the quality of what you are buying.

_________________
'55 Cab 1300 Super Race Car - FOR SALE
'57 Speedster
'59 Sunroof
'60 Devin D Race Car-in process
'63 GS 2133 coupe
'67 S Original Owner


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:14 am 
356 Fan
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:21 am
Posts: 2609
Location: Augusta,Michigan
Since our cars, when new, had varying amounts of pre-bondo filler( called lead), I have to ask. What is the filler used today by high end restoration shops? The ones who charge 100K plus to restore a C coupe? I doubt very much that a high end restoration can be done in ALL metal. If it is then it is much better than when our cars left the factory. Bondo wasn't available until the mid 50s. http://bondo.com/about-us#KlVmiBDE3pFyrODH.97

_________________
1965 356C and 1965 C Outlaw


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:13 am 
356 Fan
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:24 pm
Posts: 6246
Location: 30MI WEST OF PHILA
Bondo took quite awhile to catch on and was not used by quality oriented body shops until very many years later. In the late '60s and early '70s when I worked summers at Molin Body in Wayne PA they never used plastic. They also didn't use much lead because thick application of lead can cause problems also. They did something very strange, they took the time to straighten the sheet metal!!! That is where the skill is. They also made, made, body panels for Ferrari Lussos and 300SLs and Allards, and Bentley Continentals and many others that I saw and when the panel was welded in place it needed damn little lead filler. They fixed Aston Martins for the factory import center that was 5 miles away and one of the Aston customers came in with paint issues in an area that had been repaired elsewhere. That previous repair was a great amusement to all the shop employees when enough lead was melted out of the car to almost fill a water bucket. Massive quantities of lead does not make a quality repair.

Over the last 20 years I have restored 3 cars using only lead. I still own them. All 3 cars are free from any signs of movement under the paint. I have also had cars that were correctly restored with modest amounts of modern plastic and every one of them has shown at least a tiny bit of plastic shrinkage somewhere on the car. I still own one of those and it is a good car but of a lesser quality. It hurts a little less when trucks throw stones at it.

The argument often made is that with the paint systems used today that even metal cars have plastic in the form of the foundation of spray on surfacer. I guess this is true but to what degree? Old-timers used Nitrostan and other products so there has always been some method used to smooth the tiny imperfections and old paint jobs often used many coats to build thickness so that imperfections could be sanded away. Even in the old days the great painters did not do that because they didn't want the paint to crack and they wanted to spray a final coat to match the texture of the factory finish. As is often the case, less is more, and that applies to filler and paint.

_________________
'55 Cab 1300 Super Race Car - FOR SALE
'57 Speedster
'59 Sunroof
'60 Devin D Race Car-in process
'63 GS 2133 coupe
'67 S Original Owner


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:32 am 
356 Fan
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:21 am
Posts: 2609
Location: Augusta,Michigan
My car had 10 lbs of Bondo removed. Also removed was 3/4 of a N.C. license plate pop riveted in and covered with Bondo in the front wheel well. Very "Bulbous" when I bought it. Just curious as to what a shop like Willhoit uses as filler since California probably doesn't like Lead.

_________________
1965 356C and 1965 C Outlaw


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:44 pm 
356 Fan

Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:35 pm
Posts: 739
It boils down to economics and personal taste. Some people have no issue with spending more on restoring a car then it will even be worth because they want it done to factory specs, others don't see the sense in spending more on body and paint then the car is worth. I doubt anyone would seriously argue that a restoration using bondo and layers of high build is equal to an all metal restoration. You should pay more for an all metal because the amount of labor is much, much more than a job that uses plastic. What I find interesting after reading marketwatch is how little it seems to matter to people who shell out insane amounts of money for a car that is done using plastic. In the end, for most buyers,all that matters is that the car is shiney, how it got there doesn't really matter.

_________________


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 12:13 am 
356Talk Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 1:05 pm
Posts: 1933
Location: San Pedro, CA 90732
Tag: Be Nice!
Here are pictures I took at Wilhoits at last March's open house. Certainly there are other doing this level restoration, but i have these pics ...
Attachment:
WAR1.JPG
WAR1.JPG [ 1.29 MiB | Viewed 1337 times ]

Attachment:
IMG_0158.JPG
IMG_0158.JPG [ 557.7 KiB | Viewed 1337 times ]

Attachment:
IMG_0156.JPG
IMG_0156.JPG [ 590.34 KiB | Viewed 1337 times ]

_________________
Greg Bryan
356Talk Moderator


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:33 pm 
356 Fan

Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 10:53 pm
Posts: 1
Within the collision and restoration industry the most widely use film thickness gauge is the etg or etg mini available from many sources. the etg mini is less than $300 and has the same range 0-40mils (0=1/25 of an inch) as the ETG-A. (approx $600)
The typical new car film thicknes is 4-5 mils. Probably too much debate on how much is too much filler but this gauge will give you an idea of where there is filler of some sort. I relied on this tool during the pre-purchase inspection of my 356.
Good luck,
Brad HUmmel


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 28 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group