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TR2/3/3A Repairing thin aluminum sheet metal like the grill.

TRTEL

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Except in this case I need to effect some repair on both aluminum drip rails for a hardtop. The metal is just a bit less than .040 in thickness. I tried searching the archive but only found a reference to light gauge mig welding and don't have a good feeling for using that. Has anybody got experience with the soldering type alloys on the market. I not expecting to be able to polish any of this, but rather just to create a clean outline of what was originally there. There is one hole about 3/8 x 3/16 to fill and would try cutting a similar thickness of sheet metal to fill the void. The front edges of both are ragged and need to be built out some how. Remaining anodizing will have to be removed. Any ideas greatly appreciated.
 

Darrell_Walker

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How about using JB Weld, or I think they have a putty-like version to build it up? If you are already going to have to mess up the surface, you could then paint the whole thing.
 

CJD

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I have never had luck working anodized aluminum. I'd lean towards working a new strip of .040" aluminum to fit. Of course, if you plan to paint...the filler Darrell mentions would be a good option to save effort.
 
OP
T

TRTEL

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Darrel and John, You've just provided some inspiration. Hadn't thought about adding another layer, but it could work here quite well by just adding a fresh surface of maybe .010 aluminum to the flat drainage surface of the channel. Gluing it on like a laminate with JB weld. I'm sure a sheet metal shop could crank out two perfect strips of exact size. The outer edge would be 95% covered/hidden by the outer curve of the channel which looks okay. the inner edge would be hidden against the rubber water seal strip. And I thank you both!
 

WiscTR

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We all love JB weld, but you might check out double-sided tape from 3M. Very good adhesion and allows some flexing and movement although I am not sure how important that is in your application.
 

martx-5

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I've used aluminum brazing rods from Alumiweld. https://www.alumiweld.com/ Basically, they are zinc rods. Zinc has a lower melting point then aluminum. You only need a propane torch and I believe a stainless steel wire brush for prep. I repaired holes in my dash cappings with the stuff. Very easy to use and looks and acts just like aluminum so it can be sanded, filed or machined if necessary.
 
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