Tag Archives: contour body filler

  • Applying Filler and Glazing Putty Really Is Easy - Quick Tip

    DONT LET BODY WORK GET IN THE WAY OF FINISHING YOUR PROJECT

    One of the scariest aspects of vehicle restoration is body work, especially when it comes to filler and sanding.  The worst thing to do is avoid it until the end, then be forced to pay someone else to get the work done.  With help from Eastwood you'll, learn all the correct steps to basic body work, save money, and feel more accomplished in the end.

     

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    Above you'll see the small dent that I'll be repairing, very similar to a door ding you may get in a parking lot.

     

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    1. First clean the area you will be repairing, use PRE or acetone to remove any contaminants from the panel.

     

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    2. If necessary use a Hammer and Dolley and rough out any dents.  Depending on the severity of the dent this may not be required.  Filler should not be applied more than 1/4" thick, any more and there is a risk it will crack.  With that said, any damage less than 1/4" deep may not need to be hammered out.

     

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    3. Sand the area about 5 inches on all sides of the dent with a 80 Grit Sanding Disc on a DA Sander. During this step do not worry about getting the area completely smooth, just remove the paint to expose bare metal around the dent. If you don't have a DA Sander, a 120 Grit Flap Disc on an Angle Grinder can be used.  (Be careful, Flap Discs tend to remove a lot of material, very quickly.)

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    4. Using 80 Grit Sand Paper, hand sand the edges of the paint removed area so there is a smooth transition from clear, to base coat, to primer, then to bare metal.  Do not use anything finer than 80 Grit because the sanding scratches allow the filler to mechanically bond to the panel.

     

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    5. Mix and apply Contour Body Filler, make sure to use even pressure while applying.  This will reduce the need to go back and apply more after you have sanded the first layer.  While mixing make sure to follow the correct mixing ratio.  If too much hardener is added you will not have enough time to effectively apply the filler evenly.  Additionally make sure to use something other than cardboard to mix on.  Small cardboard fibers can get into the filler and contaminate the mix.  If you don't have Quick Sheets, take a 1'x1' piece of sheet aluminum and bend one side 2" up to 90º.  File the edges smooth and now you have a reusable mixing board that wont rust.

     

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    6. Use 80 Grit PSA on a Sanding Block for initial shaping, then 120 Grit PSA for finer smoothing. Then use an Blow Gun to remove sanding dust. During this step do not worry about getting the surface perfectly smooth, Glazing Putty is still to be applied.

     

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    7.  Wipe down the panel with PRE or acetone to remove any contaminants and oils.

     

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    8.  Mix Contour Glazing Putty making sure to follow the correct mixing ratios like stated above.  Glazing Putty should be applied very thin because it's purpose is to level any small imperfections still in the panel after the filling process.

     

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    9. Sand down the putty in an "X" pattern using 180 Grit PSA on a Sanding Block to get your final finish.

     

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    10.  Blow the sanding dust off using a Blow Gun, then spray the panel with a heavy coat of PRE. The heavy coat will help you detect imperfections.  If the repair looks good wipe it down with a prep rag and you are ready to prime and paint.

     

    Unless you are a pro, sanding blocks are the go to tool when leveling filler.  You may see others using a DA Sander but this takes a lot of time and practice.

     

    Check out the Eastwood Blog and Tech Archive for more How-To's, Tips and Tricks to help you with all your automotive projects.  If you have a recommendation for future article or have a project you want explained don't hesitate to leave a comment.

     

    - James R/EW

     

  • Shaved Fender Vents on 08-10 Super Duty

    Shaved Fender Vents on 08-10 Super Duty

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    The fastest way to make your vehicle stand out is with exterior modifications, but in order for them to look good it must be done the proper way.  Adding new pieces such as wheels, tires, bumpers, etc. is one method but it can easily be over done and just look tacky.  How many times have you seen a car with parts that just don't belong? I've seen way too many.  The other, and sometimes more difficult method is to remove parts that were originally there.  Not only does it make the vehicle look more seamless it also separates it from all the others.  From the factory this 2009 Ford F-350 Super Duty came with chrome plastic fender vents that stick out more than 3/4" from the panel.  Some may like this look but it ruins the body lines of the truck.  Just like Hot Rod guys shave door handles you'll see step by step how to remove these vents and make it look like they were never there in the first place.

     

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    These are the vents I'm talking about, yeah they are flashy and catch your eyes but they don't do much for the over all look of the truck.  With these removed the side of the truck is stream line all the way to the tail lights.

     

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    Using a plastic trim tool to pry off the vent, the recessed area underneath is revealed.  Having a recessed area the exact shape of the vent provides a great starting point because it will be much easier later on when I weld the new piece in.  As you can see in the above picture the fender is slightly curved so not only will the patch piece have to be the correct size it will also need the bend to be exactly the same to appear seamless.

     

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    I started by making a templet with a piece of poster board, to do this I cut a rectangular piece slightly bigger than what I needed and with masking tape attached it to the fender so the the vent area was fully covered.  Then using a marker and my finger I pressed on the edges of the recessed area and drew "+", one in like with the edge and one perpendicular to the edge.  I did this along the whole outer edge of the vent area and using a ruler connected all of the intersecting points.  Note that I did not once use a tape measure, on most patch panel fabrication an exact measurement it pretty much necessary but for a small piece like this the method I just described takes a lot of the guess work out because you are using the actual panel to get the shape.  Using a ruler and an exacto knife I cut out the shape using the marks I made earlier.

     

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    The template was was a perfect fit,  I want the panel to sit as close to flush as I can, this will reduce the amount of filler and body work later on.

     

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    Next using a piece of 18 GA steel I carefully traced the shape on to the metal. For the first side I wanted to use my Versa 40 Plasma Cutter to cut out the shape.

     

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    The plasma gives me the ability to cut the curves of the piece near exactly but for extra assurance I used two pieces of 1/4" Bar as a guide to make the the cuts perfectly straight.

     

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    Using a  60 grit flap disc attached to a 4.5" Grinder I removed the burrs, beveled the edges, and removed the surface rust.  when making patch panels like this its very important to bevel the edges, this gives the allows for a cleaner weld that will lay much more flush with the panel.

     

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    Next to get the patch piece to match the slight curve of the factory panel I used my Bench Top English Wheel  to gently curve the panel.  Be very careful to only apply forward and backward pressure on the panel in line with the wheel.  Putting too much side pressure on the panel will give it a dome and not match the contour of the fender.  One way to eliminate giving the panel a domed effect is to put a rubber band over the upper wheel.  This reduces the side to side stretching of the metal because the band stretches instead of the metal.

     

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    You can see the difference in the two panels with the one on the right being the one that I ran through the wheel and the one on the left has not been touched.  Even though the curvature in the fender is very little, the extra time rolling it through the english wheel will save a lot of time later on when it comes time to apply filler.

     

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    Before prepping the fender for welding I used a magnet to hold the patch piece in place and look at the fitment and gaps from multiple angles to make sure no corners were too high or out of place.  After taking it off to grind a few areas down I was satisfied with the fitment and sprayed the back with Self Etching Weld Thru Primer to prevent rusting from the inside.

     

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    To prep the panel for welding I used a flap disc on a 4.5 ANGLE GRINDER and removed the paint down to metal all the way around the areas where I would be welding.

     

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    Starting with the top edge I used my MIG 175 on a very low setting to tack weld the panel in to place, making sure the panel was seated in the right place before tacking in.

     

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    If you find that after your first tacks the panel is no longer sitting flush with the opening there is a way to save the welds without having to cut the piece out.  To do this use a wide flat blade screw driver putting half of the blade on the new piece and half on the original.  Press the panel so it sits just below flush with the opening then place a tack weld right above the blade.  In the event that the panel sits too low in the opening you can use a very fine flat blade screw driver to pry the panel up to the desired depth.

     

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    The first step in the filling process I started by using Contour Short Strand Fiberglass Filler.  This filler is infused with fiberglass which makes it much much stronger than ordinary filler allowing it to be applied much heavier to fill larger gaps and depressions. Before application I wiped down the fender with PRE Painting Prep to remove and contaminants that would affect the adhesion of filler.  I applied the Short strand on all of the weld seams as well as the top section of the patch which were the lowest areas that needed the most support.

     

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    While some say this material is hard to work with because it gets too hard too quick making it more difficult to sand.  I've found that the ideal time to sand is about 10-15 min after application using 40-60 Grit to knock down the high spots then 80 grit PSA to level the rest.  Be aware that this is a very tough material and will harden very quickly so make sure you get all of the sanding

     

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    After the Short strand is leveled I applied and block sanded Contour Glazing Putty to finish off the panel.  I would have only needed one pass of Putty but I went too light with the short strand in the lower corner. To knock down the high spots I use 80 grit PSA  on a  11" x 1 3/8" Durablock, this block is great for smaller areas like this because it is easy to hold and is long enough to be able to slightly bend so all areas of the block are in contact with the panel at all times.

     

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    Now that the filler is blocked down flush it is time to apply primer to seal the area.  First I again wiped down the with PRE then used 2K Urethane Primer Surfacer using the Evolution Paint gun with a 2.0 tip.  This primer will not only seal the panel but also build up enough that I can come back with 320-400 Grit on a block and do a final blocking in case there are still any imperfections.  The best way to apply this primer is to start from the outside and work your way in, as you can see in the picture I taped off the area about 5 inches off the filler edge this will prevent primer overspray from getting on other parts of the panel that do not need it.  I am not using the tape to create a hard edge and will never have to primer in direct contact with the tape edge.

     

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    The final step before paint is to block the whole fender with 400 grit to remove and sanding scratches and scuff the existing paint so the base coat will stick.  Additionally I scuffed the whole fender with a red scuff pad to create a uniform painting surface.  Wipe off the panel with PRE and then with a tack rag to remove any dirt or lint from the painting surface. You MUST use a blow gun and move as much dust and dirt away from the area surrounding the panels.  Even dust on the floor nearby can get kicked up by the paint gun and get trapped in the paint.

     

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    I sprayed the base with the Concours Pro HVLP Gun with a 1.3 tip. The color I used is a Ford color code UD which was mixed at a local automotive commercial supply store.  Although these stores supply to collision shops most will mix as little as a quart of color matched paint at a reasonable price. I was lucky enough that this Ford UD Ebony color was a very common mix and a quart was just under $25.  Depending on the color code and the additives that go in prices can go as high as $200 just for a quart.  After three coats of base with about 15 min flash time and a wipe down with a tack rag between each its time for clear.

     

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    I applied 3 wet coats of 2:1 European Urethane Clear also using the Concours Pro HVLP Gun with a 1.3 Tip. I mixed the clear 2:1:1/2, the 1/2 being urethane reducer. This helps the clear flow a lot better and lay on the panel much nicer.  I applied 2 coats allowing about 15 min flash time between coats, because it was about 85 degrees the flash time was greatly reduced.

     

    BEFORE

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    AFTER

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    The fenders still need to be buffed to remove some small dirt specs but other than that there is no reason a job like this cant be done at home as long as all the preparation is done properly.  Post a comment about what you think, or any questions about the project!

    - James R. / EW

     

  • Kevin Tetz's "Project Jaded" '66 Mustang Build to Use Full Line of Eastwood Products!

    Project

    At SEMA 2011 we met with one of our favorite pros in the industry, Kevin Tetz. While chatting, Kevin mentioned a few hints about a project he's been keeping hush-hush. After some persuading we got him to leak the details; a '66 Mustang with loads of custom modifications. Turns out Kevin was just about to start on the heavy metal work on the car. We love getting our products into the hands of seasoned pros, and gave Kevin a sneak peak at our then unreleased Contour Body Fillers and Evolution Paint Gun. Needless to say, he loved it all, and we agreed he needed Eastwood products on Project Jaded from bare metal to the finishing touches.

    Fast forward a few months and we are happy to announce Kevin Tetz's Project Jaded and we want to let him give you a sneak peak look at the car! He even divulges some of those details he was holding back at SEMA 2011! He even was nice enough to give you some tips on mixing filler, and his run-down of the new Contour body filler line later in the video. This is a video you NEED to watch until the end!

    Stay tuned here on the Eastwood blog for updates as Kevin starts digging into the car. He still has some tricks up his sleeves and we can't wait to see how it turns out! If you have any questions for Kevin, make sure you check out our long-running Kevin Tetz's Korner, where he answers YOUR autobody questions on the Eastwood Shop Talk Forums

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