The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by '51 Roadmaster, Sep 6, 2017.
Thanks Frank, much appreciated advice.
Alright folks, here's a small update. For you good folks South of the 49th, I will confirm it -yes it is true, Canadian winters are damn cold. Doubly so if you live in the Prairies and don't have a heated garage. Well, this winter seemed to drag on and on, but I persevered. Despite the hand numbing cold, when I had free time I ventured out into the cold and tapped away with my dolly, hammer and straight edge. It gets kinda hard to read the steel with your palm when your hand goes numb....Anyhow, today was the first weekend the weather was in double digits, so the Missus and I pulled the hood and set it up on the sawhorses on the back deck for some concentrated attention. Now I know this is Mickey Mouse to the vast majority of you but keep in mind prior to this, I had never attempted any kind of traditional body work. So here's where I'm at - I've managed to massage the creases away, restored the nose profile, corrected the inner frame brace and brought all the curves back (Note: the horizontal lines on the nose are just trailings from where I wiped the hood down with a rag after criss-cross sanding, not low spots). The low spots in the pic are about 1/32 -1/64 deep. QUESTION - do I stop now and fill the low spots with Bondo or should I keep tapping until it is bang on?
Thanks in advance,
Honestly I would call that ready for filler, nothing wrong with it if used properly.
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When you run your hand across the panel to feel how straight it don't look at it, let your hand tell you how it feels not your eyes. I generally look off and some times close them. When you think your there put a clean rag or face towel or a cotton glove now rub the panel and you will feel it better. The glove or rag will make the imperfections more.
If you have a palm size shot bag you can continue to peck up some of the low spots. Just go slow and check your work often.
I see a couple spots I would work a little more, but it's your call now. When you sand your filler use a long flexible board, be careful because it's really easy to put flat spots in curved areas, they make a round flexible sanding pad that takes stick it or hook it 6 in. disc and check your work often and use Gide coat and when you think your done check it with a cotton glove and rely on your feel not eye sight, because you will want to see it straight. Be sure to use a good quality filler that's fresh, best bought at a auto paint and supply store that moves a lot of product.
Be sure to be consistant in your mixing ratio of filler to hardener. Because when you sand thru different layers of filler it's like sanding wood where you feel the grain of the wood.
Good luck with it and PM me if you have any questions. Frank
51 Roadmaster: You sure did a great job of saving your hood.
Perhaps you were a body man in your last life.
Based on the time and materials it has taken you to do the repair,
what do you now think is a fair price for doing such a repair, including the finish painting and fitting?
Was there a layer of any kind of filler or a skim coat on the very front of the hood nose area or was it all primer under the paint? I stripped the hood of a 51 Cadillac and there was this very thin layer of a type of filler under the paint. It didn't show any signs of previous damage. I was thinking it was applied at the factory to protect the front from rock damage.
This question has been floating around in my head for the last 30+ years and only now though about asking since you were stripping your hood.
1/32" or about .030" is about a spark plug gap. I'm a little "anal" and don't like to use any filler more that absolutely necessary, especially on a hood, where it'll be opened & closed, experience lots of temperature changes, as well as vibration. I'd keep going. now that you've got the experience and have certainly shown you have the skill to do so. I'd hate to see it in paint and have the paint crack after all your work. Just my 2¢
Great job you've done, no matter which way you go now.
Body shop and material rates differ from area to area, with rates in our area the repair would be around 8 hours for repair ( max. Insurance Co. pay) plus block and prime 2 hours and a additional 5 hours to paint, that's a total of 15 hrs. @ $50..00 per hour = $750.00 + a additional $300.00 materials + tax @8.25% =$24.75 = $1 ,074.75 then they will add R&I time + cut in time fit the back side you I'll be close to $1,500.00 + in a body shop at today's rates. Specialty shops charge close to $100.00 per clock hour and you are at their mercy. Frank
Funny you mention that - Yes there was a very thin skim coat of filler under the paint. It is all over the car infact as evidenced by flea bites around the doors and the inner lip of the wheel wells where the sheet metal is rolled. The car is in it's original paint so I was a little surprised when I discovered it. This layer was not present on my '58 Chevy waggon, or any other classic car I've encountered. I tried researching it but came up empty... The 'filler' layer is also present on my '51 Roadmaster parts car, but I have not observed it on any of the lower model '51 Buicks I have looked over in farmyards/junkyards.
Thank you Frank, your advice and encouragement throughout this process has been invaluable and greatly appreciated. I will PM you if I get into a bind. Thank you for the amazing tip about using the cotton shirt to improve the feel of reading the hood with my palm - I have not heard that anywhere else and boy, does it work! I can read the metal SO much better with that technique! Much to my chagrin, the cotton shirt showed me that I've got to keep going, so go on I will.
Thank you for the note. I will have to defer 1 Shot's breakdown on bodyshop's hourly rates as posted above. As for my investment so far - about 6 hours total, spread out when I have the time (not including the time fabbing up the saw horses), $50 for a cheap Princess Auto (Canada's Harbor Freight) dolly set, $70 for a decent body hammer, $10 for a panel sander, $25 for a 3M paint stripper drill attachment, $40 on chemical paint stripper, $30 on spray bomb primer ( just to cover the bare metal, it will come off and be replaced with higher quality stuff before it is painted) and $20 on rolls of 80 grit sandpaper. Oh, and about $20 worth of 2x4s for the saw horse/workbench. (that's all in Canadian pesos). I also made a slapper out of an old 1 1/4 single cut mill bastard file I had in the shop. I wish I could invest in some of the professional equipment from Eastwood, but the exchange rate plus shipping to Canada is brutally prohibitive and there are no old timers around here to lean on, so I have to do the best with what I've got at hand and learn by doing. I've run some adds locally looking for better equipment, but so far I've come up completely dry. I have found I'm really enjoying this...I don't mind (to much) working with crappy equipment, in fact I prefer learning this way - someday I'll get my hands on better tools and by that time I will have a better appreciation for their quality, what they capable of and what I can do with them.
You did a great job saving the hood! And you trained your skills on the way... I like the idea of training to save what you have. If it doen´s work out you can always look out for soemthing better...I had to learn how to straighten a hood when I hit a deer 2 years ago at 60-65 mph. It is still not perfect, but getting there. I like the fact that you are trying to get it as close as possible...I found it amazing how much effort it took to get that hard and thick metal back into shape...I am still hammering away, and now it´s way better than on the second pic, but not ready for paint yet.
Hi 51Roadmaster.Looking very good Sir.Keep it up.Please post updates as you are able.
Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
Howdy folks, it's been a while.
Life got in the way, but what can you do, right? Anyhow after much, MUCH hammer and dolly work, life saving shrinking discs, home made slapping files and a small bit of filler/skim coat, I'm ready for paint (I'm not set up to do that, I'll leave it to a pro).
Anyhow, the lessons to be learned here are;
A) If you own a pre '53 Buick with a side tilting hood, look up my post on Buick hinges and save yourself a whole mess of potential trouble.
B) Before this accident, my body work experience amounted to gobbing filler on a dent in Highschool shop class and getting a B, much less any hammer and dolly work. To those of you who are nervous about doing your own metal work - If I can do this, so can you. There is no greater sense of accomplishment than for someone to say 'Who did your body work?" and you look'em in the eye and say 'I did."
C) The HAMB is the best damn forum out there. Thanks to all the kind folks who offered encouragement and guidance throughout this process.
Thanks again everyone, I'll post pics after the paint is on.
Looks good! Now on to paint...
...Yes The Hamb...better than your average Cruise Night...Great Milestone 51...should be shiny in time for the Jalopy Jam Up...
More power to you for overcoming the fear of beating on good metal. I don't have a Buick, but I am certain that your tips on the latches will save someone else the heartaches you had.
Looking good and you learned a LOT.
Great thread, congrats on a fine job and inspiration to others.
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