Body Fillers… Don’t call it BONDO!
Bondo is only a brand name. Body fillers have come a long way since Bondo was first introduced in the 1950’s. Although a leader in developing polyester fillers to replace lead in repairs, Bondo can’t be used describe body fillers anymore. Eastwood and others have developed many fillers specifically designed for unique situations you’re going to find during a restoration or body project. Take a minute to review some of the fillers you can choose from and more importantly, why you’d choose one over the other.
This body filler kit features everything you need to get started, Eastwood’s Contour Premium Filler, catalyst, tear away mixing sheets, and a variety pack of spreaders to get into any shape. Contour Premium Filler has a strong body and is great when you need to do aggressive shaping and surfacing. The doorjambs on JADED utilized the strength for building up and smoothing out spot welds and creating perfect jambs and gaps.
Contour Lightweight filler works great on areas that need more body than a glazing putty, but require less build than Premium filler. This Classic Ranchero tailgate had light damage and waves that needed shaping and Eastwood’s Contour Lightweight filler was the perfect choice.
Contour Short Strand Fiberglass reinforced filler is a great product to have on-hand. Not only does it have the benefit of being VERY strong, its waterproof as well. I use it on aggressive patches like floors, pinch welds and rust patches on exterior panels. Here fiberglass reinforced filler being used to repair, contour and seal an early Mustang cowl. These seams will be covered when the car is assembled. Using a waterproof filler is great insurance against hard to find leaks! Also, Contour Short Strand can be used to build mating surfaces on molded fiberglass accent parts, like these Shelby side scoops, which often fit poorly to steel panels. Short strand helps you build mating areas that will perfectly fit to each other.
Contour Glazing putty is light with super-fine talc and slower drying resin, which allows it to self-level and flows out nicely. Perfect for minor imperfections like filling pinholes, it can even be applied over properly sanded painted surfaces. This 1936 Packard Deck lid needed very little filler before going to primer-surfacer and Contour Glazing putty set the panel up for high build poly primer and blocking perfectly. Here’s the end result of using the proper materials and plenty of blocking! An award-winning Classic.
Metal spreaders are very popular with lots of technicians. This set gives you many options for size, and they’re good for a lifetime of slinging mud! Spreading filler requires smooth technique, regardless of the composition of the spreader. Light fingertip pressure and smooth even motion works the best with ALL fillers and spreaders.
Late model vehicles have many flexible panels and bumpers. SEM Bumper Bite Flexible Glaze allows you to build up the surface of these parts without fear of your filler cracking as it cures. (Use common sense here… keep your fillers to a minimum thickness)
Properly blocking your panels is critical. Durablock gives you many different blocks to level fillers on almost any shaped panel with this all-in-one kit.
One thing that I recommend…. Shake your fillers. If they’ve been sitting for more than a couple of weeks, the talk can settle and resins rise and your mixture will be unbalanced and hard to work with. A couple minutes in a shaker will make sure you’re not using a separated product. The product on the shaker is actually Poly-surfacer, like other primer surfacers, can settle quickly making a shaker a great tool investment that helps you correctly apply these versatile and highly engineered products!