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Smooth a firewall WITHOUT welding?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Stevie Nash, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,542


    RE: "mount a tinned plate behind hole" Maybe those round metal tin tabs used for roofing will work.
  2. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,495


    X2. You are only alone in this if you want to be.

    When you have a moment and look at the statistics about how many people are on this board.
  3. Bears38
    Joined: Nov 7, 2009
    Posts: 64


    I did the firewall on a '38 chevy truck with body panel adheisive - turned out really nice ! I left the old firewal intact and glued a slightly oversized piece of sheet metal over it . Once it was set-up I carefully ground the edge down flush and just a little filler on the edge made it perfict .
  4. I agree with the above posts, reach out to some fellow (local) HAMBERS. You will probably find most are more than eager to assist, hell maybe even come over and lend a hand at your garage. I did that just a few weeks ago for a HAMBER in need of some torch work.

  5. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,218


    I have never used that body panel adhesive, but unless the motor heat would hurt it, why is it not as good as welding???

    Seems like that if modern cars MUST use this, rather than weld, how can it not be permanent?
  6. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,218


    Not to start a Sh** Storm, but body filler will also work as a permanent fix if the front and back is cleaned perfectly.

    See the truck below; it was restored in 1995. That was before the optional deluxe body side chrome was repro'd. I wanted the chrome but did not have enough good pieces, but decided I wanted to finish the truck and put the chrome on later.

    So, I did not want to weld up the cherry western doors, and then have to drill the holes back out later.

    I sandblasted around each hole from the inside/backside when I blasted the cab and doors.

    I then just held a large drill bit in my hand to lightly countersink the sharp edge on each hole from the front side.

    Then I loosely fit a piece of masking tape on the backside of each hole., and used body filler from the front side.

    After I pulled the tape off when it set up, the filler was like a nickle size and thickness on the back. Painted over the backside with enamel rustoleum.

    I never did put the chrome

    Fast forward to last year, and I hooked the passenger mirror on the garage door opening. It hooked so hard the lower rear mirror bracket leg caved the whole lower door in. I had to pull hard on the lower mirror leg to pop most of the dent out. Take a good look at the huge pic in full expand... You can see the "smile" shaped dent with cracked paint halfway between the door handle and the lower rear mirror leg. That smile dent is right in the chrome trim line. There are no failures of any of these body filler trim holes! ...........Don't say it won't work... here's the pic

    For larger holes, I'd cut a sanded piece of fresh sheetmetal and butter both the patch and the backside of the hole with filler. It will work. ;) (...but not on structural cracked areas)

    Attached Files:

  7. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 23,929

    Jalopy Joker

    how about a whole new radical custom look by using the Chrome Bullet Caps that Moooneyes and others sell? Hey, we are all not welders or have access to one. But, at least use ideas for a full cover that you rivet/bolt on. then start saving up for a welder, and get some instructions on the basics of using one. this will not be the last time you will need to weld something.
  8. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,495


    Yes, so long as you use a professional grade body filler (read: not the stuff from the parts store).
  9. I see Bugs Bunny! :D
  10. I honestly don't think you can build a hotrod without a welder. Do the payment plan if you have to, but get one. Besides, welding is a hell of a lot more fun than squeezing shit out of a tube.

    I see the moustache guy :D
  11. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    from colorado

    The early Ajax and Nash cars used wood for that partition between the motor and the body. No welding on those.... :eek:

    Wouldn't call it a firewall. lol.
  12. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,495


    Nope, just a fire, no wall.
  13. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922


    MIG? You don't need no stinkin' MIG.... Sure, I got one now, but I built the rod in my avatar with a stick welder. Used it on the frame, firewall and (yes!) the sheet metal !!

    It wasn't a show car but I had fun and drove it and don't think you're building a show car either....
  14. Rob Paul
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 1,264

    Rob Paul

    A car club....and no members have a welder or any welding skills....??? whats wrong with this picture.
  15. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 44,254


    When I was young and poor, I filled a lot of holes on an old truck with the propane torch and solder method that Bruce suggested. It works.

    I also like the suggestions to rivet or screw a new piece of metal over the firewall. And the bondo suggestion too....if you want to make sure it lasts a long time, put some thin sheet metal over the back of the hole too. Something like beer can aluminum or roof flashing if you can afford it.

    Some of these methods are pretty hokey sounding, and we've all seen work like this come apart, but usually that's because whoever did it didn't take the time to do a good, fitting, finishing.
  16. J scow
    Joined: Mar 3, 2010
    Posts: 489

    J scow
    from Seattle

    I just looked on craigslist in your area there are two welders on there for $125. Harbor freight has a stick starting at $99 and wire feed starting at $109. No excuse to do it wrong (unless your building a rat rod) practice makes perfect.... save your dollars... work harder spend less... mow another lawn and all the other stereotypical advice i could give. ;)
  17. Bert Kollar
    Joined: Jan 10, 2007
    Posts: 931

    Bert Kollar

    My 27 Dodge Brothers firewall was recessed so I engine turned a sheet of polished stainless, glued it to 3/4 exterior plywood and fastened to the original firewall with countersunk stainless screws

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  18. LMAO...oh funny
  19. Da Tinman
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 4,226

    Da Tinman

    not exactly smooth, but you get the picture, it all screws in.

  20. Moonglow
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 426


    Nice job!

    I was going to suggest a colored plexi one. Just cut out the mess in the middle, leaving an outer flange for attachment. 60's show car cool. :cool:
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 89

    from nw ohio

    I give Da Tinman the " Best fire wall " Award!!! Truly a work of art.
  22. Energy
    Joined: Jan 30, 2010
    Posts: 156


    As far as the sheetmetal goes, D.A.R. Collision Parts (nationwide chain) has 3 X 6 ft sheets of 18 ga for 39.95, 22 ga a few bucks less, 14 ga a few bucks more.

    For stainless and aluminum sheet, go to the local can recycling place. They take all kinds of metal, and when you take it out of there, they sell it by the pound! (they also have hubcaps for $2-3 and trim rings for $1) I recently got two pieces (about 15 X 28 inches each) of 1/8 in stainless sheet for $14.00. Was leftovers from someone making restaurant kitchen counters. When I got it home, noticed one side had white plastic sheet stuck to it. Pulled that back, and it was POLISHED under that! :p
    Used it to make body (bushing) mount brackets for the ones that had rusted away. Won't have THAT problem again!!

    The bigger recycling yards for cars and industrial scrap also has all kinds of neat stuff to make things out of (like SS mesh screen, bigger sheets of up to 1 in steel, and all kinds of shapes/sizes of tubing and bar stock. Again, they sell it by the pound going out)

  23. Hal_396
    Joined: Apr 14, 2009
    Posts: 310


    Well, if I was you I would go down to storm steel and buy a sheet of 18ga. metal. Make a template out of cardboard and cut the sheet metal. I would then go down to Sherwin Williams on Blairsferry Rd, (behind the Earl May nursery) and ask them what kind of bonding adhesive you should use.

    Hell I'd weld it up for you if I hadn't packed everything up. ( I'm moving to Austin next week). There are hambers around CR. I'm surprised nobody else has chimmed in.
  24. Time to grow up and get a welder, you'll be glad you did. It's the type of investment that you wont ever regret. In my garage, the welder is just as important as a Phillips screwdriver.

    During the SBC swap I smoothed the firewall start to finish in our '53 in maybe 4 hours of actual labor. More time was spent sanding than welding. A pair of tin snips and a small sheet of 18ga sheet metal was all it took to weld up the holes. I wasnt going for a show car look, just smoothing it up without going overboard. This is all painted with spray bombs and cleared. This was all done 3 yrs ago, still looks fresh today.

    Stock firewall

    Welded up holes, Skim coat of filler, primer & gloss black
  25. sonim38
    Joined: Apr 29, 2007
    Posts: 213


    harbour freight welder 100 bux...welding is a necessity in hotrodding, no? if your not good, then practice more.

  26. I got the dude with the handlebar mustach
  27. On my '51 I cut a cardboard pattern then used the roof off an S10 Blazer. Pop rivited it on to the original firewall with some Vulkem sealer between the panels to avoid rattles.




    Attached Files:

  28. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,284


    MIG welding is pure shit on sheetmetal IMO, learn to gas weld, then you can step up and buy a TIG unit for other bodywork jobs. Have to pick and file this before nightfall and it should look like it's ready to prime.

    Attached Files:

  29. falconsprint63
    Joined: May 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,348

    from Mayberry

    I"m gonna stay out of the discusion about building a care without a welder. but I do consider it an essential tool. go to a good paint ship an pic op some Fusor. It's a2 stage epoxy used for late model repair work. strong as hell. I'd cover from the inside and smooth over with some mud on the outside afterwards.

    that said, a few tubes of fusor and you've got a harbor freight welder.
  30. fauj
    Joined: Jun 25, 2009
    Posts: 702

    1. 57-60 Ford F100s

    I agree! That is freakin' awesome!

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