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1948 - 1956 F1, F100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Fat Fendered and Classic Ford Trucks

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Old 03-13-2012, 02:16 AM
Bozworth Bozworth is offline
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The Hood, the Bad, and the Ugly

Got the hood off today, it had a big dent that needed worked out, something fell on it while it was in the PO's barn.
I was aware the hood had some rust holes around the front lip, and a small hole on the hood peak near the back....I was expecting to work the dents out, patch the holes up front, and have it primered and back on in a couple of weeks. Needless to say, my plan was flawed.

The front lip has cancer from one side to the other.
Click the image to open in full size.

Somebody tried to braze in a patch, that didn't go so well, so they covered everything with bondo. Alot of bondo. I'm going to be patching alot more than i expected.

What has me worried is the amount of bondo that was used. It's easily a 1/4" deep in way to many places.

Click the image to open in full size.

There seems to be "puddles" of it about 2 feet long and about 18" wide, on each side of the peak, and around the entire front of the hood.
Looking at the underneath side of the hood, it looks good, no major dents and barely any rust. Looking at the hood, the PO did a dang good job of sanding it down smooth and getting the shape right. The hood fit properly, equal gaps on each side, and flush across the front. I had no idea there was this much filler on it.

A couple of questions for the experts:

Did the PO just chase a small dent with bondo, kept adding more, and maybe it just got out of hand on him? (Keep in mind the PO also used bondo to fill in rust-through on the running boards...I got about 2lbs of bondo chunks out of the drivers side board)

If I strip off all this filler, am I going to spend the next 2 years trying to get this thing back in the correct shape? Will it ever fit right?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:36 AM
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DON'T just bondo back over the rust and damage. If they brazed patching, that means they used a torch on it. Torch heat can easily get out of hand and warp panels plus paint doesn't like to adhere to brass. First thing to do is strip all the paint and bondo off the hood so you can assess exactly what you have. I like to use "Clean and Strip" wheels on an air grinder or electric drill. They are available at Home Depot and Lowes. Look for a wheel ~ 6" in diameter and 3/4" thich made of a course dark grey plastic mesh like course steel wool that was dipped in molten plastic. It quickly removes paint and bondo without generating a great deal of heat or grinding away metal. It will generate a great deal of dust so wear a dust mask, and eye protection.
Any rust should be cut out and replaced with sound metal. Let me know what else you find and I'll advise you how to repair it successfully. The hood is less difficult to repair than say a rusted out door bottom or roof drip edge.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:56 AM
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Thanks AX,
I'll be using one of the carbon steel knotted brushes on my heavy duty grinder...it goes through paint and bondo like Godzilla went through Tokyo....and doesn't seem to create much heat.
4" Stainless Steel Knotted Wire Wheel

How far up/away from the brazing do I need to cut out? From the looks of it, about a 1/4" above and I'm into good sheet metal.....How far up could the brazing have warped it?

The 90 degree bend in front, at the bottom, looks like I can cut right on that corner and should be ok....I really don't want to mess with trying to shape that, I'm not that good. There's a couple spots on that bend that are brazed over....what happens when you hit brass brazing with a mig welder?

This leaves me with a 2-3" strip across the entire front of the hood....but once that's in, I can't get to it from the backside. How the hell am I going to shape this?
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:50 AM
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I really can't advise you about how far you need to go until it is completely stripped. Personally I wouldn't use a metal wire wheel, especially any from Harbor Fright. My brother is blind in one eye from one, and they do remove and damage metal, the whipping work hardens the metal surface making it difficult to work with. The clean and strip wheels are cheap and much safer. If you must use that type wheel, Ace hardware sells some that are made from abrasive embedded stiff nylon strings rather than wire. They come in different colors that signify the grit. They work very well for getting into tight places and are long lasting to boot.
You definitely don't want to weld along a peak or hit brass with a mig. It is not difficult to bend a corner in sheet metal, that's as basic a metal forming operation there is after cutting the metal. I can explain several different methods.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:16 AM
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Hi just wondering why go to all the work of stripping all the crud and hours of patching and fittin when so many good used rust free hoods are out there??for far less time and effort with paint you will be closer to rust/bondo/patch free repairs??just asking caus I have massive rust problems and body replacement make more sense in my case..
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:43 PM
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I can second what AX says about keeping the MIG away from brazing material.

I was trying to fix a crack on my rear fender and hit some brass brazing material the PO had used. It made quite a mess. I finally just cut the piece out and patched in a new piece of metal.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:22 PM
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kenjh,
I have the skills to do the work, but I agree with you, the most cost effective body work is no body work at all, but there are some who have already blown their total meager budget on sheet metal that is closer to iron oxide held together with dirt and paint than steel, have the mistaken belief that it's cost effective to buy cheap and spend money/time fixing, (I always preach that it is much better to buy the very best/sound/straight sheetmetal you can find no matter how far you have to go for it or how much more it costs, within reason, than to buy a cheap basket case. I went clear across the country to find a 99.5% rust free panel truck. Especially if you are unskilled in metal work/fabrication and/or lack the proper equipment and tools.) Even one of the top 90% examples are going to have gotten in 60 years enough dents dings and minor metal moth work to learn plenty on, and leave you the time to do all the other much easier mechanical repairs, upfitting, and customizing any truck will need.
It's a fact that building a safe, reliable, drivable truck is going to cost a minimum of 15K. doesn't matter if you start with a 500.00 metal lace curtain you'll need to put in an additional 14,500 + or start with a 8,000.00 rust free barn then add 7,000 to it.
The difference is the former is going to take 2 - 3 times as long to get on the road than the latter and is much more likely to end up unfinished and abandoned or resemble the latter example before any work was even started on it in the end.
However there are always unbelievers, masochists, and those for sentimental reasons or what not want to repair what any experienced body man would toss on the scrap pile. There is something to be said for learning new skills, and fixing these parts will gain the doer experience, appreciation and understanding of the tricks of the trade and an understanding of their talents and abilities, and give them something to do while spending time waiting for good parts to come along or accumulating the cash to buy them when they do. On a rare occasion a hidden Chip Foose might emerge as well. I am willing to try to pass on information to help them avoid the pitfalls we OFs learned by trial and error (especially the error) learning on our own. I wish I had the internet to help me jump start my abilities, gain skills, get advice, and learn from others all over the world when I started in this obsession, I too might have been someone who's work is revered and admired whenever it appears.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:23 PM
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Ken:
Replacement isn't in the budget, and with the exception of the front lip, the hood is in great shape. I just can't for the life of me figure out why there's 8lbs of body filler on it. There's no reason that I can find whatsoever...

AX/dmack: Noted. I'll be sure to cut out all the brass. Thanks for the tip. Can I melt any remnants of brass off with the torch?
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:33 PM
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Ken, exactly what AX said....the knowledge and experience gained now from fixing this will allow me to find my limits, and make me a better builder in the long run.
I have more time than money right now to throw at this particular issue, and the fact that I'm going to learn something that will be very useful down the road, as well as gain a skill that will eventually "pay for itself". I don't expect it to come out perfect this time, but I could surprise myself...I guess we'll see.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:43 PM
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good things to learn ..myself ...well I have destroyed more saveable parts trying to learn ,and so for me ..I hunt for better parts ..or make do with the crusty rusty stuff I have so will you be showing us your progress ??and thanks for the tip on the brass and welding I didn't know ..
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bozworth View Post
Ken, exactly what AX said....the knowledge and experience gained now from fixing this will allow me to find my limits, and make me a better builder in the long run.
I have more time than money right now to throw at this particular issue, and the fact that I'm going to learn something that will be very useful down the road, as well as gain a skill that will eventually "pay for itself". I don't expect it to come out perfect this time, but I could surprise myself...I guess we'll see.
Do yourself a favor tho, get some basic instruction so you don't have to waste time, energy, and money, reinventing the wheel, practicing mistakes, or destroying salvageable parts. Ask Wakeboarder how much he gained by spending a day with me learning the basics of mig welding last week.
No you can't melt the brass away, you must cut it out. Even attempting it would result in so much heat warpage.

Let's start with what equipment and tools you have. Do you have a MIG welder that can take .024 solid wire and uses shielding gas? Don't even bother trying to do body work with one of the 100.00 cheapies from places like Harbor Fright. Not only will they do nothing but burn thru sheet metal, but are downright dangerous to boot since they never shut off the power to the wire. To go with the MIG you'll need a self darkening helmet. Here the one HF sells for 34.99 with coupon found in many automotive magazines is one of the few products they sell worth buying and is quite a bargain. If you don't have a MIG already, the one Eastwood sells for 299.00 has everything you need including shielding gas capability, and runs off a standard 115V outlet. If you have 220V available and a few more bucks, the Eastwood 175A machine for 499. even includes a spool gun for welding aluminum. You don't need anything larger or more expensive for working on your truck. If I had to guess, based on specs and layout, I'd say the Eastwood units are rebadged Lincoln machines.

They sell a rudimentary 30" bending brake on ebay for 49.00 plus shipping. I have one and it works OK for 18 ga and thinner sheet metal no longer than 30". You need a few 4" heavy duty C clamps to use with it and must bolt or clamp it to a sturdy bench top. You can also make a bending jig from a couple lengths of heavy straight angle iron or even a throwaway one good for a couple bends out of some medium density fiberboard. There are a lot of other uses for MDF in metal forming so it won't go to waste. You'll need a weighted HMW plastic mallet, and a pair of duck billed locking pliers from the DIY store. You can get used high quality body hammers inexpensively on ebay (look for Martin, Proto or Snap-on brand) along with a universal and a heel or a toe dolly. Surface rusted quality body tools can be a bargain after cleaning and polishing with files and/or wet or dry sandpaper and elbow grease. You can make or buy a slap hammer and a bullseye pick online. If you have a 7" disk grinder then a 9" Stainless shrinking disk is a worthwhile investment for making quick work out of smoothing down a lot of small bumps after dent removal, they are available on ebay for < 40.
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:20 AM
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AX:
I burned up my Clarke 100EN. I'm now have a Lincoln 125 HD. Running .030 flux core right now, converting to gas in the 1st week of April. (Dad is enroute with the plumbing/solenoid).

I know you aren't supposed to do sheet metal/bodywork with flux core, and all the cool kids point and laugh, but I can make it work. On a sidenote...I'm getting very good with a grinder.

Before shot of the running board I'm fixing:

Click the image to open in full size.

And here's a pic I took 10 minutes ago, same section of the board. Still have a few bad spots to fix, but It's looking better I'd say.

Click the image to open in full size.

I've looked at sheetmetal brake's and never believed they are in my price-range, sounds like I'm wrong. Do you have any pics of the angle iron DIY version? I've been trying to pick up some free angle iron for a couple weeks now, I'm sure I'll find some soon...
I'm currently shopping for a hammer and dolly set. I worked the dents the other day using a 3lb sledge as a dolly and a claw hammer on the other side.
Have I mentioned I'm a Redneck?
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:24 AM
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This is a repair that I need to do too on my 55. Mid Fifty sells a couple of patch panels for the front lip of the hood that may save you some work.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:48 AM
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I used this guide to make a brake from some 2" channel iron I had and some other misc. pieces. Took about 2 hours and works fine.

Major League Duning | Tech | Low Cost Sheet Metal Brake

The running board looks good. Keep at it.
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:55 AM
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That basic DIY brake is satisfactory, but as pointed out the clamp bar is the weak link. If the angle was laid flat like an L with the horizontal leg pointed at the bend, I think it would work better, especially if heavy 3/8" stock was used. It would make a slightly radius bend tho unless you found stock with a square edge or better yet had the edge machined back at an angle. I think the purchased one is better except you must use C clamps to secure the clamping bar.
A very simple bender for 20 ga sheet can be cooterbobed from 2 lengths of heavy angle the same length or longer than the metal to be bent and a couple large heavy C clamps.
Click the image to open in full size.

Make sure the clamps are sandwiching the metal as well as the angles.
Use the end of a short length of 2x4 placed against the metal as shown and bump with a hammer to slowly bend over the sheet. Work back and forth the length of the bend. DO NOT try to bend any part too fast. Some small waves as you go are OK, but heavy wrinkles are not.
After bending to 90* lay the 2x4 flat across the angles and hammer the bend tight to make a sharp bend. If you take your time you can make a satisfactory bend.
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