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Bondo Bondage

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tufcj2a View Drop Down
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    Posted: 27 Oct. 2019 at 9:41pm
All,

Still an apprentice in rebuild/restore world, I've come across an oddity I can't explain.  Acquired a tub and chassis, both in mostly good shape.  I'm blasting/wire-brushing the tub and the entire thing, every inch of the exterior, is bondo'd.  There's not a ton of dings or odd warping (comparatively), so he could have easily just smoothed the surface, but no, at least 1/16th of an inch of bondo everywhere.

Is this common?
Something used for trade/car shows? (I will say, the paint on the areas where it was clean was beautiful)
Weatherizing of sorts?

I've restored half dozen + cars and never seen a job like this.

Curious.

PS> Any quick tips for removing bondo?  I've using a 4" wire wheel on my grinder (yes, mask, etc.).  It's faster and cheaper than using shells and my air blaster.  

Thanks

-Thomas
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DMusil View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DMusil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Oct. 2019 at 9:47pm
Map gas and scraper. Fire extenguisher
DMusil
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Josh700 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Oct. 2019 at 10:32pm
Mine had the same thing, a 1/16” minimum and some places as thick as 1/2”. My guess is that the PO was trying to get every warp and bump out of the tub. A body man referred to this as a skim coat. I tried many methods of removal and found that the fastest and cleanest way was to use a Wagner heat gun and a metal scraper. Especially on the thinner areas, I could heat up a large section (12” circle) and the stuff practically fell off once I got the scraper under it. The smell wasn’t horrible and there was no dust or debris flying all around. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Oldpappy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Oct. 2019 at 8:25am
I had an M38 with this. 

It used to be called "Feather Fill", and everything but the windsheild on that Jeep had a layer of it, though not sure why because the body on that Jeep was in very good shape.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brian3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Oct. 2019 at 8:54am
Thankfully my CJ2A doesn't have any bondo, but my other project, a 1969 Cadillac Coupe de Ville,  has the "skim coat" up to a 1/2" in places.  Thanks for the heat gun suggestion.Smile
I wish people would quit hittin' me on the head. MQ
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark W. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Oct. 2019 at 11:53am
I skim coated my Tub. Then sanded it down flat (or in the 4 places its curved I sanded it curved) I would guess that there is at least some filler (I used 3M Platinum Plus filler same as Kindigit uses) on maybe 50% of the Tub. But then I am not restoring my Willys its a collection of parts from over 28 different jeeps and 75% of the Tub is made from either my own panels or one from Classic Enterprises. I wanted a flat smooth surface.

Over the filler I have some feathering spot putty and then 2+ coats of hi fill Primer all this block sanded to 220 grit. Over this is 2-3 coats of Epoxy Sealer sanded inbetween coats to 400 grit. I then have 2-3 coats of Paint this was allowed to cure for almost 9 months. I then sanded this out to roughly 1200 grit wet. I found some thin areas so I scuffed it up with 3M Gray scotch brite pads and then put two more coats of paint on. Sanded this out to 1500 grit and have buffed it to a nice shine.

Since I am building a new Willys Jeep with a bunch of old parts I figured I could have it any way I wanted it.
Chug A Lug
1948 2A Body Customized
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1957 CJ5 Frame Modified
Late 50's 134L 9.25"clutch T90A D18 (1.25") D44/30 flanged E-Locker D25 5.38 Since 1962
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pope891 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Oct. 2019 at 1:49pm
I am in the same boat.  PO coated the entire exterior of the tub with 1/8" of Bondo.  I have my work cut out for me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote otto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Oct. 2019 at 2:34pm


Is this common?
Something used for trade/car shows? (I will say, the paint on the areas where it was clean was beautiful)
Weatherizing of sorts?

Yes, it is a technique used for show cars and high-end restorations. Sometimes it is the only way to get a panel straight enough to look good. If you have attended a car show and have seen 50-60 year  old cars painted black with nary a ripple, I can guarantee it was prepped this way. I use this technique often on my projects.

And honestly, I don't understand the complete aversion to having any body filler applied. Properly applied, it will last for years or decades without issue (caveat; properly applied).

If it's sticking well, why not leave it? You stated it was beautifully done in places.
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Forgive me if I don't return the "jeep wave", I need both hands on the wheel!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cal.bar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Oct. 2019 at 3:56pm
Yep, my jeep has it from the previous restoration.  Makes everything look really straight and clean, and makes repainting easy, but does make welding on the body a PITA as you have a harder time finding a ground.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ol' Unreliable Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Oct. 2019 at 10:03pm
I took off all the filler on Ol' Unreliable because I'm not afraid of the dents and slight wrinkles.  There were "irregularities" all over it even with the bondo, so there was no point to the stuff anyway.  My bodywork motto is: "NO 'DO!!" 
There's a reason it's called Ol' Unreliable
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tufcj2a Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov. 2019 at 5:53pm
Thanks all.  Yes, the heat-gun worked well.  The propane torch worked better. :-) (yes, fire extinguisher close-by)

Making good progress.  Will post picts shortly.  The body is banged up a bit, but gives her character.  Sometimes wrinkles look good on an old lady.

For those who asked, the paint looked great in areas, repeat, in areas.  The body itself will need a bit of work to repair holes and such.  I'm also uncovering a number of bad patch jobs and some hidden rust.  That's why I typically strip the body down to the metal.  It's usually easy enough (and I enjoy it) and gives me a chance to have a solid look for rust and damage.


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