Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bondo work wraps up

Today was more bondo work. I went back over several of the spots that weren't quite perfect and then ran my hands along the entire car two or three times looking for any small dents. I managed to find a few imperfections and dings and repaired them all. I spent about three hours laying down more bondo and block sanding most of it right back off. I'm really getting good with the bondo and feeling very comfortable with it.

One area that I did have a tough time with was the sunroof. Since I gouged it pretty bad looking for metal, (wihch I didn't find in the first 1/4" of a little test hole I made), I decided to not worry about stripping the paint and just sand all the maaco paint off. I sanded the paint until it was through to primer, and then bondo'ed the whole sunroof. I laid it on really thick (much too thick), instead of doing a few super-thin layers. It's going to take a few hours of sanding to get it back off. Here you can see how thick put the bondo on: 

Here are the rest of the repairs that I did, now that they are done, and sanded to 80 grit. This is a major repair over the front passenger wheel well that had the metal pulled almost flush, but the metal was pretty rippled:

This is the passenger door. You can see the tiny bit of bondo in the side-bumper-delete hole where the hts was below sheet-metal level. You can also see the rocker panel got some serious bondo along the whole length. (The drips in the picture are from where I had used some acid etch to clean the metal on the welded areas prior to putting some bondo over the welded holes, to ensure the panels are level. The acide etch leaves lighter spots where it has run down the panel.)

This is the rear passenger quarter that was in some earlier pictures. I was far more conservative with the bondo that the previous owner that had built up this panel too much, and had the bondo up to 1/4" thick all the way to the edge of the wheel well. (There is a pretty harsh line in the picture on that bondo spot on the left. If is from a second layer of bondo that had a little bit more hardener and was a bit darker. It was well feathered, so there isn't a hard edge there.)

This is the driver-side door handle. Some doofus broke into the car (when the previous owner had it) by shoving a screwdriver right under where the door handle meets the sheetmetal. He then moved the latch mechanism with the screwdriver, unlocking the door. It's fast and brilliantly effective, but it screws up the door. The previous owner just left the gap there (so you could peer in the hole and see the latch mechanism, and even unlock the door with a long tool). I got the metal as close as I could, and then built the rest up with bondo, and reshaped the area some. This was almost like sculpture, and pretty fun:

This is what the average ding looked like. These weren't visible, but I could feel them, and were about 1/16" deep. lots of feathering.

After the bondo was all done, I started masking up the car in preparation for the metal prep and etch primer which I'll spray tomorrow. The problem is that my acid wash (the W4K263 Aluminum Brightener) doesn't specify if it can be used safely over bondo without compromising the bondo integrity. The last thing I want is to spend another 12 hours redoing all the bondo, so I'm being conservative, and putting tape over all the bondo I just did. Per the material instructions, I'm also taping up any gaps and seams where the acid wash can puddle or can't be washed away. More on this tomorrow.

Time today: 5 hours (3 bondo, 2 taping for metal prep)

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