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Anybody a fan of fiberglass body filler?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Overkill, May 10, 2002.

  1. Overkill

    Overkill 1/2 ton status

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    I just experienced my first body work job!!! What a bee-aatch! haha. I decided to just cut off my drip rail instead of filling em, would be much easier and a cleaner line to fill and mold. Got one side done and Im ready to take it to a damn body shop! I really hate working with "bondo-glass". Think I'll try some regular bondo from here on out. It's gotta be a ton easier than dealing with the glass strands and trying ot get them fill in and spread right. Anyone know any ancient chinese secrets for working with that stuff? It seems like it takes 5 minutes to mix the hardener in and is only pliable for about 5 minutes after, not nearly enough time to work it into the holes and cracks. I wasted 10 times more than I actually got to use 'cause it kept setting on me....Anyway, just thought I'd share my frustration (like y'all don't have enough of that on your own LOL) and vent a little. Maybe someone will be so kind as to point me in the direction of "bondo ease". Thanks for listening, haha.
     
  2. little79k5

    little79k5 1/2 ton status

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    i hear ya. i just did a bunch of bondo work and it definatly sucks!!!!!!! takes forever to get it perfect
     
  3. creampuff90k5

    creampuff90k5 1/2 ton status

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    Forgive me if you knew this already, but if you want the bondo to be pliable for a longer amount of time, use less of the red hardener when you mix it up. Those fiberglass strands are a pain in the ass to work with, but I think the end result will be be much more sturdy than with the regular stuff. I used a bunch on an old hard top a while back and have not had any cracks yet...
     
  4. TopOff

    TopOff 1/2 ton status

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    IF you don't want the fibers (reinforced fiberglass bondo), get the regular glass bondo. This is the un-reinforced glass bondo. It is much easier to work out holes and such. I actually like this kind o bondo.
     
  5. Overkill

    Overkill 1/2 ton status

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    I wasn't sure about the less hardener the longer it would be pliable. I started with a lot of hardener and it hardened really fast. I tried almost none and it was pliable a little longer but still hardened pretty fast, maybe 6-7 minutes. It seems like once it gets slightly set it is impossible to spread and fill. Maybe I will keep messing with it until I perfect it, especially if it will be stronger. Does anyone know if the fiberglass will harden if you don't use any hardener? Maybe it will just take a really long time? Or will it just stay soft indefinitely? Thanks for the help.

    Jamie
     
  6. Pure Insanity

    Pure Insanity 1/2 ton status

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    There is a fine line between too much hardener and not enuff. I ran out of hardener one day (didnt have as much as I would normally have used) and figured I finish this wipe anyway. It didnt set up in the last 2 hrs I was at work so I let it sit over nite hoping it would finish kicking off. The next day it was still gooey. It will dry out (someday) but it will NEVER stick, and will shrink.

    I am not a big fan of "Bondo glass...Dyna glass...Tiger hair...Kitty hair, or what ever you want to call it." It has its uses but is too easy to abuse. Like packing holes full, filling a dent that has not been pulled out enuff, ETC. I do use it at work some but only on the rare occasions have to drill to pull a dent. (I have a stud gun that welds nail like pins onto the surface then you use a special slide hammer that attatches to the pin, then you cut the pin off. Sometimes a dent is too deep to pull w/ the pins, and I have no choice but to drill and pull.) and I will also use it over a splice in a panel sometimes.

    The fiber glass filler is to be used as a base for filler to be put over the top to finish. Fiber glass filler is terrible to try to finish, as you have found. They do make it w/ shorter strands that is MUCH easier to work w/. When we use it at work we rough shape and dress it w/ a grinder to finish w/ regular filler. The biggest benifit to "Bondo glass" is that it is water proof, which is why I will use it over my welded joints. (besides it being so thick you can "cave and pave") It really hasnt got much more structural strength than regular filler. IMO. (and I do body work for a living BTW.)

    On to what you are doing...The drip rails are welded on and come off rather easy. The drip rail wraps into the jamb and is spot weled on. They look like little dimples about 5/16- 3/8" (8-10 MM) in diameter. When you get that off there is a flange that comes off the top, grind an inch or 2 of the flange and use a series of tack welds to weld it solid to the jamb. Then grind a bit more and weld. repeat till youve gone all the way around. (lather, rinse, repeat. LOL!) I am going to be doing the same to mine so I have looked into this.
     
  7. Overkill

    Overkill 1/2 ton status

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    The drip rails came off pretty easy, of course I did it the unconventional way (I think). An hour or two with a 3" cutoof wheel and die grinder, haha. They were rusted mostly through and I was getting water leaking between the 2 panels (inner and outer) of the cab. I'm new to the body work aspect of repair (in case you couldn't tell, haha).

    I will probably pull the windshield out and redo the whole front of the cab (pillars and windshield frame). I plan on a custom homemade dash so I will wait until that part of the project kicks off and then sandblast and fill. This thing is just a huge mess! It seems like the more I try to fix (body wise) the more I find to do, LOL. At first I was just gonna do a rough fill since it will be only a toy, but the more I do, the more I want to make it nice! Whats up with that?! I hope I don't end up doing a full resto and then be afraid to get it dirty!....Naaahh, I like projects too much! Always looking for the limits, and finding them, and then exceeding them. Got to find the weak links you know! haha.

    PI thanks for the info, maybe I will get with you and learn how to do it the right way! It's got to be easier than my way.

    PI, since you are in the body business, have you ever used a welder to fill pits and holes and then ground em flush instead of bondo and whatnot? I was kicking the idea around of sandblasting the metal clean (removing the rust) and then filling the pits with weld. Kind of like brazing, but not. Does that make sense? Would that be alot more work than the normal fillers? Would that be stronger, more durable? Or jsut plain not worth it or possible? Thanks again for the info.
     
  8. Pure Insanity

    Pure Insanity 1/2 ton status

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    As far as filling the pits in the metal, its not worth it. Besides chances are as soon as you struck an arc w/ the mig it would blow thru. Plastic fillers (bondo) is not bad stuff it just got a bad rap from being abused. People talk about how they dont want mud in their ride and all, and they want lead. Lead will hold up but not nearly as well as filler will. Lead is lead and thats it, Plastic is formulated to stick to metal. This is just a side note and really has nothing to do w/ the topic. /forums/images/icons/tongue.gif

    Take my word for it on this, toss the Bondo brand from Wally World or Discount Auto, and head to NAPA and get stain free tack free filler. I dont recall the name of it but I have used it and it is good stuff. I will only use 3 different types of filler, my personal fav is Rage, second is the stuff I got at NAPA, or the 3M stuff we have at the shop. Ill use any of the 3 when I am getting materials for myself, whichever happens to be on sale and the least expensive at the time. But I will spend a few extra bucks for Rage.

    The stain free tack free wont booger up the sand paper nearly as fast and is mucho easier to sand.


    BTW I am only gonna be a body man till the end of the week so better pick my brain fast! LOL!! I am going to work for my dad on Monday. Ill still do B/W on the side and such but I wont be doing it every day anymore. /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
     
  9. Overkill

    Overkill 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks again for the wealth of knowledge, I will plan on some shopping and pick up some good stuff soon. I don't think it would be so bad with quality materials. Im definitely geting away from the fiberglass stuff, unless its needed for a sheet type application. Filling little holes and cracks is damn difficult, haha. I should be doing more this weekend, I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks again.
     
  10. Pure Insanity

    Pure Insanity 1/2 ton status

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    No problem. If you want to use some fiberglass reinforced stuff get some short strand. Its alot easier to work w/. I also used stuff called All Metal. I dont know if its even still made I havent seen it in prob. 10 yrs. It takes a liquid hardener and is a bit tricky to get used to because of the hardener. It wont bridge gaps but it is water proof. The filler I got at NAPA was in a black to grey fade can. If I get a chance Ill try to get to the barn at mom and dads house where all my materials are and get a name for you by this weekend off the can. I will warn you tho that a stain free tack free will be more expensive, but part of the cost will be made up in not gumming up so much paper. After it is set up, take some old paper and knock the top off, its a little sticky but not nearly as bad as Bondo brand. Youll see. That will also save sand paper.
     

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