PDA

View Full Version : Tips for an amateur body man



TulsaFred
08-12-2011, 03:11 PM
I came up with the wise idea to take the bugeye down to bare metal and repaint myself, despite a lack of adequate experience.
Anyway, today I'm working on the front lower fascia of the bonnet. The car has taken some high spots in the road with the result of dents on either side of the lower front bonnet.
These were filled with old filler which I have ground out:

https://i52.tinypic.com/2m2uib9.jpg
https://i56.tinypic.com/353cs51.jpg

The problem is that you can't get to the backside of these dents to hammer and dolly because there are structural support pieces behind.

So how should I proceed:

1. Fill it back up with filler and make it nice...

2. Buy a stud welder at Horror Freight and try pull it back in shape and then skim with filler. (never tried this before but sounds kinda cool).

3. Other (fill me in)

Let those opinions rip

Fred

Bob_s
08-12-2011, 05:32 PM
if you fill that the repair will eventually fail..cut out and replace that section.

Trevor Jessie
08-12-2011, 05:51 PM
Proper fix would be to remove the support channel. Reshape the damage using hammer/dolly/and metal shrinking. Re-attach the support channel.

apbos
08-12-2011, 06:44 PM
The replacement panel is about $400.00 . Not cheap and lots of spot welds. i have one that I can sell you at a good price if you go that route. How are your welding skills? You could use screws and a dent puller to get it closer, weld the holes closed and then use a thin layer of filler.
Paul

ichthos
08-12-2011, 06:47 PM
Do you have a mig or tig welder? How about a torch? I had similar problems. I did like Trevor said - I drilled out the welds from the supports, shaped the metal, and then used spot welds to reattach the supports. It took me a lot of time to do it, but didn't want a bunch of filler on my car.
Kevin

Guest
08-12-2011, 08:26 PM
I hate body work. Best tip I can give is make sure the pen you use to write the check is full of ink.

JPSmit
08-12-2011, 08:36 PM
I hate body work. Best tip I can give is make sure the pen you use to write the check is full of ink.

+1

TulsaFred
08-12-2011, 08:46 PM
Well, I went and looked a little closer.

the back of this area has structural supports as well as the locating hardware and mechanism for the Bonnet latch/rod (which currently all lines up and functions perfectly). The spot welds look like they are underneath a metal lip/fold at the edge of the panel.

Looks like way to much going on there.
To cut it out would risk getting all the latch stuff out of alignment, and you may not even know until it's welded up.
Could turn into a 3 month project...been been there too many times.

I like Paul's idea. I think I'll try to straighten it by pulling it out. The support stuff is pretty stout steel so I don't think it will pull out of alignment very easily.

The stud welder is $100 at Harbor Freight and should work far better than a regular screw-in dent puller. I've never seen one in action personally, but the basic idea is you spot weld studs on the outside of the dent in multiple areas, wherever needed. Then use a slide hammer on the studs and pull and shape.
Then cut off and grind the studs flush.

Probably will take a little skim filler this way, but no big deal. I think the modern epoxy filler is actually dang good stuff when used properly.

Fred

Trevor Jessie
08-12-2011, 09:33 PM
Those stud welders/pullers are made to be used with much thinner metal. Prepare for some frustration. You may be able to pull the dents out some, but the metal is still going to be stretched. Without doing some metal skrinking, there will still need to be a fair amount of filler. I think it will be OK, just give it plenty of curing time.

kalist
08-12-2011, 09:46 PM
The stud puller will work fine for your project. Just don't try to pull a big area all at once. Take your time with it and you will just need a skin coat of filler. Your panel looks much like mine when I started.

TulsaFred
08-12-2011, 09:52 PM
Your probably right Trevor, the copper studs are fairly thin. However, it's a good excuse to buy a cool new tool and try it out!
In the end, the idea will be to reduce the dent and minimize filler thickness to an acceptable level.

I can't spend forever on this repair. After all my body work, prep, and paint, I've still got to finish rebuilding my 1275, add my Datsun 5 spd (and buy an adapter kit), rewire entire car with new harnesses, restore the interior, finish my dash and gauge restore, rebuild my front suspension, etc. etc.
Hope I live long enough to finish.
Then I've still got two other partially finished Corvette projects to work on. Maybe in the afterlife. Could heaven involve more of this? or would it be ... um.... not heaven?

Fred

JPSmit
08-12-2011, 10:01 PM
Then I've still got two other partially finished Corvette projects to work on. Maybe in the afterlife. Could heaven involve more of this? or would it be ... um.... not heaven?

Fred

needless to say, the corvette projects would be the "not heaven" part. :devilgrin:

smaceng
08-12-2011, 10:12 PM
A small amount of heat along with the stud puller can take care of most all thicknesses on the BE.
Scott in CA

TulsaFred
08-12-2011, 10:57 PM
John-Peter perhaps you've never taken a ride in a 63 Split Window Coupe with a 327 fuelie and Muncie 4 spd. Here's mine:

https://i56.tinypic.com/df9eeh.jpg

My automotive tastes are varied, I've owned Vette's, Porsches, Mustangs, Fiats, MGs, Austin Healeys, Triumphs, BMW's, and even a Peugeot.

In the end, I Iike 'em all, some more than others. I'm on my second or third British car phase at this point though.

Fred

BillW103
08-12-2011, 11:59 PM
Mine looked a lot like yours whin I started. I had to remove the coplete iner shroud and take it apart staten it and the weld it all ack together. Lots of spotweld driling. The stud gun works grate. The mant thing is first in last out.

Bill W

https://i.imgur.com/1e6bs.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/6Zpfs.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/gFg4j.jpg

JPSmit
08-13-2011, 07:50 AM
John-Peter perhaps you've never taken a ride in a 63 Split Window Coupe with a 327 fuelie and Muncie 4 spd. Here's mine:

Fred

Just being silly Fred, I would love a split window coupe! (and the lottery win required to acquire one and purchase the house with the garage and the, aww, never mind, suffice it to say I love it!

nomad
08-13-2011, 08:46 AM
Unfortunatly Fred, you are going to have to put up with a common BE malady. That is the bashed " square nose " as I call it. Either that or do a heck of a lot of body work. The middle section of a BE bonnet is supposed to have a nice smooth curve to it.
I'd do what I could and drive it like I stole it!!

Kurt.

TulsaFred
08-13-2011, 08:52 AM
Thanks J-P!

Bill, great pics. Unfortunately HF has the stud welder on back order, so I'll have to wait a while.
There's plenty of other work to do, though.

I must say I'm impressed by Kevin, Bill, and anyone else who has tackled this area by cutting out all the spot welds, disassembling the inner shroud/supports, straightening and re-welding. I wish I had that level of skill. With me I'd likely end up with a mess.

Of course, writing a check is the simplest way to a professional outcome, but then, what fun is that?

Fred

Gerard
08-13-2011, 12:28 PM
John-Peter perhaps you've never taken a ride in a 63 Split Window Coupe with a 327 fuelie and Muncie 4 spd. Here's mine:...
Fred

Fred, you bring back some memories. My first attempts at buying a car were Corvettes. I had a 1954 Corvette I had my sights on in high school. It had been completely restored (the guys father worked at GM too). It was mine for $700. I went to withdraw the money from the bank and learned I had been depositing my savings in an account that needed my father's signature to withdraw the funds. My parents nixed that deal and wouldn't let me buy the car :cryin: It was due to that that a few months later I discovered a Bugeye and ended up owning that instead and thus became a British car enthusiast instead. A few years later, a college buddy has a 327 split window coupe he wanted to sell to pay for school. I of course had no money in those days, but that's another one I regret missing out on at $1500... (yes, that's correct, only 2 zeros) :cryin: :cryin:

Beautiful car you have! :cheers:

P.S. A stud/nail gun is the way to go. I've used it many times and is the way to go for places you can't reach. It'll take a little practice to get the heat right. Too long and you'll burn a hole, to short a duration and it won't grab enough. I'm lucky though, I have a professional body guy that comes to my house and does the welding and shrinking for me.

Here some magic he performed on the pan over the front crossmember that people use as a jacking point.:wall:

It was shaped like a soup bowl before he worked his magic. He actually was able to shrink it back to normal size- no metal needed to be trimmed to fit and even all the drilled out spot welds lined up.

https://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq22/pixelsmith/Post-It/xmemPnlftr2.jpg
https://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq22/pixelsmith/Post-It/xmemPnlftr.jpg

TulsaFred
08-13-2011, 06:14 PM
Hey Gerard, that metal guy is good. I am learning to respect a man's skill with his hands more and more these days. There are fewer and fewer of 'em.

And just think if you had bought that 54 Vette for $700 and the 63 for $1500, you could afford to live in San Francisco now...he he.

Corvettes and LBC's are markedly different beasts. Just goes to show a car guy is a car guy is a car guy.

Fred

jlaird
08-13-2011, 10:31 PM
I hate folks that have a split window vet. Sigh.

Gerard
08-14-2011, 03:24 AM
Hey Gerard, that metal guy is good. I am learning to respect a man's skill with his hands more and more these days. There are fewer and fewer of 'em.

Quite true!



And just think if you had bought that 54 Vette for $700 and the 63 for $1500, you could afford to live in San Francisco now...he he.

You got that right!



Corvettes and LBC's are markedly different beasts. Just goes to show a car guy is a car guy is a car guy.

Fred

I couldn't agree more!

Guest
08-14-2011, 01:25 PM
I hate folks that have a split window vet. Sigh.

Now Jack that's not nice!

You shouldn't discriminate.

You should be more like me.

I hate everybody! :jester:



( Something tells me Mr. Laird doesn't have a hateful bone in his body.) :thumbsup:

jlaird
08-14-2011, 03:00 PM
Welllll, I hate this hot weather.

HAN8L1965
08-14-2011, 05:47 PM
I think a stud welder/puller will do fine as mentioned do a little area at a time and go back as necessary, hopefully the structural pieces inside are not bent, if that is the case the stud welder may not make it. it is a very nice tool.

Mark

Gerard
08-14-2011, 11:26 PM
Hey Gerard, that metal guy is good. I am learning to respect a man's skill with his hands more and more these days. There are fewer and fewer of 'em.

Fred

He also shrunk my footwell floorboards so they don't "oilcan" anymore... :hammer:

Silverghost
08-15-2011, 08:46 AM
Just an observation - with all the other projects you have going (awesome ones btw) perhaps it would be worth the time and labor to have someone else straighten the Bugeye bonnet? You could hammer away at a couple of the other projects while someone else hammers away at your bonnet. Then by the time the bonnet is done, you might have two or three projects done for the price of one. Just something to think about. Mighty nice cars you have there no matter which way you go. :laugh:

ichthos
08-15-2011, 09:50 AM
I would have to agree with Peter. With all the projects I have, some times you just have to let some things go. I sand blasted my entire car inside and out, epoxy primer-ed my car, and did most of the metal work on my Bugeye, but part of my learning curve has been knowing when to let a professional do some of the work. In my case, I was able to get a very talented friend to do some of the metal work I knew I would be less than happy with. I would have liked to brag I did all the metal work myself, but in the end, I am more happy with a car I delight in looking at.
Kevin

TulsaFred
08-15-2011, 11:45 AM
Hi guys,

You are absolutely correct that having someone else, with the appropriate skills, do the metal work correctly is the smart choice.

However, my goal with the bugeye has been to do everything myself.
Several years ago I had an immaculate 64 1/2 Mustang convertible that was restored to concours standards by a retired mechanical engineer. The car was a marvel. However, everywhere I took it people asked how I did this or that part of the restoration. Of course, I hadn't done any of it. Nothing wrong with that, but I thought one day I want to actually do a restoration myself.

The bugeye fits the bill. It is small and fairly simple, and it is not a very high dollar car. Plus it's the car that my father (RIP Dad) used to introduce me to the car hobby. I learned to drive a car by running my Dad's project bugeye around the yard. And I learned some of my limited bodywork skills on that car in the late 1970s. It is a very special car to me. These aspects lend the car to my purposes.

So I decided, for better or worse, I will do it.
That includes body, mechanical, interior and paint.

It may be scary when it's done, but it will be my project start to finish.

I don't recommend this approach to others :wink:

Fred

Trevor Jessie
08-15-2011, 12:07 PM
You can do it Fred. And you will be a better man having experienced new things and learned new skills. I think you have a chosen a wise path and your motives and expectations seem reasonable and genuine.