Register now to get rid of these ads!

Chicken Wire and Bondo, the backyard bodyman's best friend or....

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by wayfarer, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. wayfarer
    Joined: Oct 17, 2003
    Posts: 1,790


    Why do some people think they can do body work? My '53 chevy wagon was "restored" sometime in the early 80's. Most of what they did, they would have been beter off just leaving alone. Case in point, the tailgate. Every one I've ever seen has been rusty. Mine looked pretty good, but there were a few small telltale bubbles at the bottom, so I knew there was some rust in there. I did not expect this. As I started grinding away, I found that the entire bottom of the tailgate had rusted away and been repaired by someone filling it with chickenwire and bondo. Here's one chunk I pulled out, but there was a ton of it:

    Here's what was left of the bottom. This is after I cut it out:

    I was left with the task of how to fix it. After showing it to Sinister on the board, we figured out that it was an inner and outer skin, with the outer folding over the inner as a bottom lip. I took some measurements and made this drawing, the outer skin is on the left, inner on the right:

    I took it to the local sheet metal shop and a week and $30 later had two patch panels, each 41" long. I cut out the old metal, welded in the new and folded over the bottom lip with a hammer and dolly. I still need to finish grinding, fill, prime and paint, as well as drilling the holes for the hinge in the bottom, but at least it's solid again.
  2. chaddilac
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 13,917


    gotta love that chicken wire, always comes in handy. Looks like you did it right though... nice job!!
  3. ig'nant
    Joined: Apr 28, 2005
    Posts: 347


    Hell, chicken wire is titanium compared to the classic wadded-up-T-shirt and bondo combo.

    Looks like you fixed it up good.
  4. Well at least its finally right.:cool:

    it has always amazed me the things I've found over the years that have been passed off as professional body work. Maybe better said poor-fessional.

    Picked up an older rambler wagon once to clean up and drive. When we hit one of the rockers with the DA it just disinigrated. Dug out both rockers they were filled with expando foam and skim coated with mud.

    I've broken out quarters that were mud over carboard and or mud over duct tape.

    A friend bought a '65 camino in the later 90s that he said was a little squirrley. So I took it a drive. Yea it was squirrley alright. The back half of the chassis was rusted away just before the front spring hanger and they had smeared bondo over it and painted it.

    never the less you done good my friend.

  5. SinisterCustom
    Joined: Feb 18, 2004
    Posts: 8,269


    HaHa...friend in HS had a '64 Impala SS that he was redoing....the 1/4's and rockers were FULL of old T-shirts, newspaper and bondo....

    Oh Oh Oh.....better yet, I know a guy here RECENTLY, that used spray foam . Sprayed it right in the rust holes on the cowl and rockers of a '65 Chevy truck. Once it dried, he filed it to shape and painted right over it....he was acually quite PROUD of it........hahaha!!!!!
  6. Doodlrodz
    Joined: Feb 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,439

    Member Emeritus

    When I was building my modified I bought a front end with split wishbones, thought I'd clean up the wishbones with my grinder and a stripping pad, from the tie rod end back about a foot it was all bondo formed around a half inch bolt, looked really good 'till I hit it with the pad, you just never know what you're gonna find.
  7. Jason455
    Joined: Jun 21, 2004
    Posts: 515


    The guy that "restored" my 54 siliconed metal patches, then put bondo over it. It looks good but I know its there. I am leaving alot of it until I get more time. The bastards!

    Attached Files:

  8. frankenford
    Joined: Jul 28, 2006
    Posts: 54


    That sucks. I only had to deal with an inch thick amount of bondo on my quarter panel.
  9. Silhouettes 57
    Joined: Dec 9, 2006
    Posts: 2,791

    Silhouettes 57

    I found a cheese grader with filler pushed through it to repair the lower right rear quater panel of a '50 Ford I had once. It wasn't fastened at all other then the filler sticking to the body. Somebody did a nice job shaping the filler to look just like the metal of the panel.
  10. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,998

    from DFW USA

    Man, that's a GREAT idea! I'm gonna do that to my wagon tonight... not like I can get rockers for it anyway.
  11. punkabilly1306
    Joined: Aug 22, 2005
    Posts: 2,656

    from ohio

    wasn't there a thread on here not to long ago about old body work? i thought i read somewhere about people back in the day using chicken wire and filler ALOT
  12. Junkyard Jan
    Joined: Jan 7, 2005
    Posts: 739

    Junkyard Jan
    Member Emeritus

    Typical used Car Dealer bodywork.... I once bought what I thought was a very nice Cougar at the auto auction that needed a repaint. When my body guy started sanding the doors, he found the the rust had been filled in with tar..:(
  13. Chaz
    Joined: Feb 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,016

    Member Emeritus

  14. ig'nant
    Joined: Apr 28, 2005
    Posts: 347


    See! Warped minds must think alike. You know those bondo bastards didn't have a newsletter or message forum to share ideas. They just knew it. Sick sick sick.
  15. Terraizer
    Joined: Jul 18, 2006
    Posts: 514


    I have had acouple rigs that where done with spray foam and bondo, caused more damage then it fixed, and i don't know why people think roofing tar, light guage sheet metal and pop rivits is the way to fix a floor.
  16. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,467


    Don't forget to drill a couple of drain holes in that tailgate...or the next guy is going to be cursing YOU...

  17. wayfarer
    Joined: Oct 17, 2003
    Posts: 1,790


    Oh, I'll be drilling some drain holes. The problem with the original design became aparrent as I was taking this one apart. First, there were drain holes, but there were rubber plugs in them. Second, sandwiched between the inner and outer skin was a piece of insulation which, of course, held any moisture that got in the tailgate.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.