Friday, January 19, 2018 5:21:03 PM

Thickening engine bay panels

5 months ago
#2606 Quote
Hi everybody.  This is my first time posting.

I'm restoring a '51 Ford convertible and am ready to replace the engine/transmission, front fenders and the paneling that creates the engine bay.  I was hoping I could get some advice on how to thicken some of the rust-pocked panels that go in the interior.

I've had the recommendation to use panel bonding adhesive to thicken up the panels, but I haven't been able to find specific info on how to use the stuff for my particular application.  I'm not above taking them to a body shop, but thought I might ask on here first.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


UPDATE:  Inserting the picture doesn't work but maybe you can get to it by clicking here:
5 months ago
#2607 Quote
From what I see you will have to skim the panel with body filler, that's the only way to fill all the pits. If you have a photo bucket account copy and paste the IMG here, that works for me.
5 months ago
#2608 Quote
Hey Jon,

Congratulations on joining this Forum, and congratulations on having a very collectible 1951 Ford convertible!

I believe the answer to your question relates to whether or not your restored but pock-marked body metal has any job to do that relates to the strength of the panel(s) involved.  If they don't have to bear a lot of structural strength, my favorite panel filler is POR-15.  (See the website for details).  This stuff stops rust cold, paints on the panel with a water-like consistency and seals the panel from all further rust.  Wears like iron, too.  Adds incidental strength as well, because it dries rock-hard yet still allows the panel to bend a bit in service.  This stuff is not cheap, has to be applied carefully per directions, and if you get bits of it on your skin while you work, you'll wear them for weeks!!  But it's so good, I've used it successfully in several cars.

Sorry, but I think if your panels must bear a lot of weight, twisting, and must look "pretty", your answer is going to be different than what I've just suggested.  By all means, please post again and give us more details to help us advise you better, and good luck!!

5 months ago
#2609 Quote
Could you explain where the panel is located in more detail?  Also could you post a picture showing the complete panel?
5 months ago
#2610 Quote
Here are some more pics.  The best way that I can describe the location of the panel is "below the hood hinges."  I've pointed them out with my (blurry) pen on the parts car.

Mr50s:  Thanks for the welcome and the recommendation on the POR-15.  You use the stuff that paints on?  Do you have any experience with the "filler" (comes in a tube) or the putty?  I'm thinking the filler or the putty might be better for my application since I actually have some pretty sizable holes.

Do you think I'd need to use all of their prepping chemicals, too, or would a good wipe down of acetone do the trick?

Greg and R.E., thank you for your input, too.  I hope the additional pics give you a better idea of panel's location and condition.
5 months ago
#2611 Quote
Call Chris at 1-405-259-9222 and see if he has any usable panels from the parts cars he has.  If you are good at sheet metal welding, you might be able to replace the flat portions of the assembly and weld in the curved/molded parts.
5 months ago
#2612 Quote
Hey Jon,

Thanks for posting your photos because they match the condition of some of the panels I've had to deal with in the past!  Also, looks like the rest of us who aren't computer savvy could post pix of our own stuff here on Shoebox Central if you could post some advice in everyday language sometime on how to use the picture-posting technique you did.  Thanks in advance.

Yes, my experience with POR-15 products is restricted mainly to the firm's paint-on products, and only a small amount of the putty product that you combine two components with in your hands before pushing into the metal surfaces to apply.  I've not used the filler at all yet so I cannot advixe.  As to acetone-only prep, I'd suggest you talk with one of POR-15's reps on the phone to make them defend the idea of using their various metal prep products.  To me, they put a high value on their prep products because they help their finish products perform better in service.  So I suspect your eventual answer is going to depend on what standard you're going to be working to on your restoration.  Shining up old "as-is" Bessie for a day in a local parade with people hanging all over it is one thing.  Hauling home the trophy hardware after having picky show judges nod their approval is another.  As I like to say, it's America and the choice is yours as to how you prepare your collectible.

I remember doing a full off-frame resto on my 1953 Ford convertible a decade or so ago, and it got enough trophies and compliments that I never trailered it at all.  People just liked the car, so the small nicks and chips didn't matter so much.  Long story I guess, but maybe it'll help you a little!

5 months ago
#2617 Quote
After doing some research into the POR-15 products I've become a believer in their prep system.  No acetone--I'll be using their two step cleaner & degreaser and metal prep system.  (I typically struggle with the patience to do bodywork the right way, but I don't want to have to go back later to fix shoddy work, so I'm going to try to do this properly!)

I found that their floor pan and trunk restoration kit includes a special "reinforcing fabric" that can be used in conjunction with the rust preventative to cover the pock holes.  So I bought that.
  (The reinforcing fabric turns out to be a fiberglass cloth.)

Thank you, mr50s for the info.  I'm feeling pretty confident that this should do the trick assuming I use the materials correctly.  First, though, I need to free up some space in my garage so I can work on and lay out the panels as I complete the various stages so currently before me is hanging up some more shelves!  I'll post updates and pictures once I get back into working on the panels.

As for how I post (links to) pictures:  I use Google Drive.  (You need a Google account to do that.)
1. Upload the photos to Google Drive
2. In Drive, click on the image and click "share"
3. Click "get shareable link"
4. Click "copy link"
5. Go back to your post in the forums and click "link" (it's a picture of a globe and a chain link)
6. Right click in the box that has "http://" in it and click "paste"
7. Click "Okay".  That will make some code appear in your post that will end up being a clickable link once you submit your post.

The above system will not put "inline" pictures into your post.  It will put clickable links.  Probably not as good as the pictures that actually appear in the post you're making, but maybe good enough to do the trick!
5 months ago
#2619 Quote
Jon, have you considered having your parts metal sprayed ?
Not sure how expensive it might be, but seems an ideal solution.
5 months ago
#2622 Quote
Hi David.  I have to admit that I've never heard of metal spraying until you mentioned it.  I did an internet search for it.  Is powder coating a type of metal spraying?

I'm not sure if there's a shop here in Omaha that can do metal spraying.  Google searches turn up several powder coaters but nothing for "metal spraying" or "thermal spraying".

It seems that the POR-15 method will work as long as I don't screw it up so I'm going to try that first.  I might look more closely at metal spraying if I do screw up the POR-15.  Have you used it before?  What applications?