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Body filler over lead

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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 2:29 am
edpol wrote:The thing with lead is, you either use that, or filler, not both. That comes direct from a restorer of classic cars. He only used lead for customers who insisted on "no bondo".


this always cracks me up. what do people think lead is? it's a filler over a spot that still has flaws. that's the same reason people use Polyester filler. i rather work with body filler than lead.

i always remove the lead. weld in a piece of sheet metal to fill the gap. then come back over with a good brand of plastic filler.



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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 7:53 am
averagejoe wrote:Another problem is you're adding yet another material to the mix that has a slightly different expansion/contraction rate. Get rid of the lead. The less product over the metal base ..... always the best repair.


After 3 years of searching on the web I found a article about lead. It said you have to use PPG DP 40 over lead. I emailed PPG and they told me to clean the lead with 1 part alcohol, 1 part ammonia and 1 part water. When I took the filler off the lead and cleaned it it was oily again. I have never had a problem with putting filler over lead on a factory lead seam. The problem is getting the new lead clean. A mistake I made was every time I had a problem I took the lead off and releaded it. Have clened the lead and put Dp 40 over it. Just sanding the primer know. Will have it painted sometime this week.



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:52 pm
In my quest to figure out what to do by reading, ODG, this has not inspired confidence?? viewtopic.php?f=5&t=13848&start=0

More confused now..



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:39 pm
I read somewhere that if you sandblast lead, the sand gets imbedded in the soft lead and will contaminate what ever product you put over it. In your case the tinning acid is trying to clean the sand, and that is why it is bubbling. IMO. I would file the lead until all the sand is gone, and I think your problem will be gone as well. Like you said, the lead has been in our cars for 50 years and more.



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:09 am
After doing the hood over again there are two spots showing. I became suspect of the filler I used over the lead. Did a search for Dynagalss swelling. Sure enought. Guys have reported problems with Dynaglass swelling up when in the sun. The weld would also show through. Some use Rage Extreme over welds. As long as moisture can't get behind the weld. Have also read that West System Epoxy is a very good product and is water proff. All the reading I've done about this problem it was never brought up that Dynaglass swells up. So I will wait awhile and if nothing more shows through will repair the spots. Hope this is the solution.



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:34 pm
There are not many old bodymen left that are proficient at using lead as a filler. Back in the early seventies I worked in one bodyshop that insisted we use lead ONLY. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH LEAD AS A FILLER if it was put on right to start with. There is absolutely NO REASON to remove lead from a 40 or 50 year old car if there is no problems with it. Think about logically for a second -- That lead has been on that car for the last 40 or 50 years with no problems - wouldn't it make more sense to just leave it alone. There is an old saying " if it ain't broke, don't fix it ". My belief is if there no problems with the lead then leave it alone. You absolutely can put regular plastic/polyester filler over lead and there should be no short term or long term problems. Plastic filler will stick to lead just as good as the rest of a steel body.

Part of the process of using lead as filler is "tinning" the metal with an acid to prepare the metal to accept the lead. When the bodyman applying the lead is done filling the spot then that tinning acid has to be washed away so that the metal is clean and acid free. What happens occaisionally is all the acid isn't washed away and it WILL cause problems with rust and adhesion. But again --- after 30 to 50 years of having no problems then it makes no good sense to mess with it. Just leave it alone, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I still have all my old leading tools and several sticks of lead in one of my tool boxes. I haven't used those tools in probably 10 years and it was a long time when they were before that. In all honesty the fillers we have today are superior in just about every way compared to lead as a filler. There are very rare occaisions where lead can be a better choice but those situations are few and far between.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:14 pm
So it would appear lead is ok to fill over if it is the original lead that was put there by the factory and the filler has a good mechanical bond? I don't really want to take my lead out and patch/fill because it is there.



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:31 pm
kiwimustang67 wrote:So it would appear lead is ok to fill over if it is the original lead that was put there by the factory and the filler has a good mechanical bond? I don't really want to take my lead out and patch/fill because it is there.


The bottom line is "if it ain't broke then don't fix it ". If the lead filler doesn't have any obvious bubbles in it and there is not surface rust creeping up under the lead then leave it alone. If its been there with no problems for 40 or 50 years then you stand to gain nothing by removing it.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:42 pm
ok thanks Phil, it has no rust showing and in fact I had to shave it down flat as it had a bulge to it. It's on the C piller where 1/4 meets roof on a 67 mustang coupe.



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:07 am
Phil V wrote:
Part of the process of using lead as filler is "tinning" the metal with an acid to prepare the metal to accept the lead. When the bodyman applying the lead is done filling the spot then that tinning acid has to be washed away so that the metal is clean and acid free. What happens occaisionally is all the acid isn't washed away and it WILL cause problems with rust and adhesion.


Some milder acids such as phosphoric acid can just be rinsed away, so just to be clear, tinning acid is much stronger and has to be neutralized. To do that the acid is washed with a solution of at least 1% baking soda to neutralize it before rinsing it off with clean water. And that should be done very soon, because even the fumes from the tinning acid will rust the surrounding metal over a few days. And just before painting, it is also wise to use lacquer thinner with a hand held wire brush over the lead followed by G&W remover , to be sure any sand or other contaminates are out of the soft lead.

IMO, this is the reason for problems when painting over lead that has never had a problem before in all those years. Lead is like most other products, it needs to be understood before using it, or painting over it. And this is why I don't recommend most people using it.
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