Body panel repair

C

Craig Taylor

Guest
Hi all, I was wondering what you guys can tell me about body work on an
Amphicar. My 66 looks in good shape but it does need a new battery tray
panel to replace the old fiberglass repair. Also at some point it was
painted and I can see evidence of bondo, it was a sloppy job. Nothing
was removed from the car and was very porly masked. So who kno's what
I'll find when I start sanding. I don't plan on doing anything more
then the battery tray and if that fiberglass holds water it will wait
for winter. I'm just wondering what kind of fillers were used from the
factory. What processes have worked for you experts. Body work is not
something I want to tackle on my own. With luck I'll be test floating
it by the end of the month. If the ice would just melt! Yes, everything
is still bilging frozen up here. My lake still has a foot and a half of
ice on it. Last year I launched my boat on the 5th. Just my luck. Buy
an Amphicar and the ice age hits Alaska. At least we're up to 17hrs of
day light now. :)

Craig in Alaska
Red 66
 
A

a_colo_native

Guest
In my experiences over the years in doing body work (yes, I did it
professionally at one time) there is *always* more than meets the
eye. Remember your paint quality will largely determine the value of
you car. My paint and body work were fully 3/4 of the expenses in my
restoration not including the car purchase.

The filler used at the factory (as evidenced in the front fender
seams) is lead. But there are some great epoxy type fillers
(specifically made for this type of use) that do not absorb water. DO
NOT USE standard fillers or you will have problems sooner or later,
guaranteed! The money saved will not be much and the repairs will be
pricey.

Your best bet is to not remove anything until you are ready to go the
distance. Make temporary repairs to get her floating, then in the
winter go for it! That small bubble you may see there could easilly
end up being a 6" or larger patch of rust. To the eye, my car looked
like she only needed the lower 4" or so replaced, by the time we
removed all the rust it ended up being the bottom 14" that was
replaced!

Sand down to at least to the original paint (great base for new
paint). Feathering out the edges well. Typically a dime sized chip
will feather out to about 3" or +4". Be sure you can't feel the edges
at all or you will see them in the new paint. Prep work is 97% of the
job. Almost anyone can shoot a car, but not many can prep them
correctly. Any welding must be done around the entire perimeter of
the panel. Use a "Stitch weld" You tack it about every 6" or so to
hold position, then weld about an inch and move about 12" down the
panel and weld another inch, repeat until your panel is done. This
will prevent heat build up and warping your panels.

Cap'n
 
C

Craig Taylor

Guest
Re: Re: Body panel repair

Thanks John,
I'm hoping to get by with minor repars this summer. I'd like to replace
the battery tray panel this winter. I'm just trying to learn what to
ask the prospective body man. I do mot want to skimp on the work. I
plan on keeping this car for many years and kind of lean to keeping it
stock. What should I look for in a body man. Lead repair experience and
fillers for steel boats? It will be a few years before I dive into a
full scale restoration so I guess I'm just trying to leare what I can.
Thanks,
Craig in Alaska
Red 66

----- Original Message -----
From: "a_colo_native" <minnow@amphicar.net>
Date: Wednesday, May 8, 2002 5:42 am
Subject: [amphicar-lovers] Re: Body panel repair

> In my experiences over the years in doing body work (yes, I did it
> professionally at one time) there is *always* more than meets the
> eye. Remember your paint quality will largely determine the value
> of
> you car. My paint and body work were fully 3/4 of the expenses in
> my
> restoration not including the car purchase.
>
> The filler used at the factory (as evidenced in the front fender
> seams) is lead. But there are some great epoxy type fillers
> (specifically made for this type of use) that do not absorb water.
> DO
> NOT USE standard fillers or you will have problems sooner or
> later,
> guaranteed! The money saved will not be much and the repairs will
> be
> pricey.
>
> Your best bet is to not remove anything until you are ready to go
> the
> distance. Make temporary repairs to get her floating, then in the
> winter go for it! That small bubble you may see there could
> easilly
> end up being a 6" or larger patch of rust. To the eye, my car
> looked
> like she only needed the lower 4" or so replaced, by the time we
> removed all the rust it ended up being the bottom 14" that was
> replaced!
>
> Sand down to at least to the original paint (great base for new
> paint). Feathering out the edges well. Typically a dime sized chip
> will feather out to about 3" or +4". Be sure you can't feel the
> edges
> at all or you will see them in the new paint. Prep work is 97% of
> the
> job. Almost anyone can shoot a car, but not many can prep them
> correctly. Any welding must be done around the entire perimeter of
> the panel. Use a "Stitch weld" You tack it about every 6" or so to
> hold position, then weld about an inch and move about 12" down the
> panel and weld another inch, repeat until your panel is done. This
> will prevent heat build up and warping your panels.
>
> Cap'n
>
>
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A

a_colo_native

Guest
Craig,

You will hard pressed to find anyone who does lead anymore. The epoxy
fillers work very well if properly applied. Filler should NEVER,
NEVER, NEVER be more than 1/8" in depth. If it is more it will crack,
not might, it WILL. If they are truly a pro, this will not be a
problem. Filler is NOT meant to fill a dent, it is only to smooth out
the imperfections. A good metal worker will be able to use pin point
heat or hammer & dolly to shrink the metal properly.

Don't use marine paint! It does not hold it's gloss due to additives.
Use a good quality color coat/clear coat. Mine has 6 or 7 coats of
clear and involved 375+ total man hours.

1st - Look at the bodyshop's work on *several* of thier projects. Ask
what the level of work that was involved (there are "wash and wear"
paint jobs to show quality). See if they have b4 and after pics too.
Speak with the guy who will do the actual work, be sure he is
experienced and not "in training" Be sure to be upfront about how it
needs to be done (perimeter welded panels etc.) and the qualty of
work expected.

2nd - Speak with thier other customers about the quality of work and
how they were treated. Was it on time? Is there a warranty? Are they
happy with the job done?

3rd - How long have they been in business? You want them to be around
to honor the warranty! Check with the Better Business (www.bbb.org)
and see about complaints and if any, how they handled them. Not all
complaints are legit. Some could be just BS.

4th - Get quotes from several shops that you have checked out. See if
you can use that info to get the best deal.

Hope this helps! Feel free to contact me if you have any other
questions. I will gladly give you my bodyman's number if you would
like to speak with him.

John
 
C

Craig Taylor

Guest
Re: Re: Body panel repair

Hey John any words of wisdom on the battery tray panel replacement.
Mine is encased in a thick layer of fiberglass. What gage plate is the
original? I'd like to keep a stock look. Are there any humps or groves
under all that fiberglass? Have you ever used one of the panels from
Gordons? Anyone else selling one? I also wanted to ask what kind of
welding process works the best? Regular arc welding or a wire feed
type. Thanks again for the addvise. This is a great list...
Craig
 
A

a_colo_native

Guest
--- In amphicar-lovers@y..., Craig Taylor <alaskanamphi@g...> wrote:
> Hey John any words of wisdom on the battery tray panel replacement.
> Mine is encased in a thick layer of fiberglass. What gage plate is
the
> original? I'd like to keep a stock look. Are there any humps or
groves
> under all that fiberglass? Have you ever used one of the panels
from
> Gordons? Anyone else selling one? I also wanted to ask what kind of
> welding process works the best? Regular arc welding or a wire feed
> type. Thanks again for the addvise. This is a great list...
> Craig

The floor section has 2 ribs for strength the continue down the inner
fender well and to the rear of the car on both sides. I can't recall
what gage it is, but Gordon and (I think) Dave has them. Either ones
should be fine.

Welding sheet steel is best done with wire feed using the stitch weld
I mentioned to avoid warpage. Arc will just blow a hole thru the
panel.

If you are going to do a nice paint job this winter, I would use
liquid nails or some really good sillycone sealant to make temporary
repairs until then unless they are not something that can be repaired
that way.

I know a guy who bought a car about 2 years ago who was going
to "just fix the 1/4 panels and make her float" Nothing more. Now I,
ummm, I mean "he" has done the whole thing stem to stern!
It like Lay's potato chips, you just can't quit!! :)

John
 
E

Ed Price

Guest
Re: Re: Body panel repair

----- Original Message -----
From: a_colo_native
To: amphicar-lovers@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Wednesday, May 08, 2002 6:42 AM
Subject: [amphicar-lovers] Re: Body panel repair


In my experiences over the years in doing body work (yes, I did it
professionally at one time) there is *always* more than meets the
eye. Remember your paint quality will largely determine the value of
you car. My paint and body work were fully 3/4 of the expenses in my
restoration not including the car purchase.

The filler used at the factory (as evidenced in the front fender
seams) is lead. But there are some great epoxy type fillers
(specifically made for this type of use) that do not absorb water. DO
NOT USE standard fillers or you will have problems sooner or later,
guaranteed! The money saved will not be much and the repairs will be
pricey.


SNIP

What brands of epoxy fillers do you like?

Also, do you think it's OK to patch holes with fiberglass fabric and epoxy?

And lastly, what is the best paint treatment for the interior (bilge, etc) metal
that's below the waterline? I have seen some Amphis that have had their interior
metal sand-blasted and sprayed with automotive paint. How does this compare to a
brushed-on application of something like Rust-oleum? Are there some paints
(maybe an epoxy) specifically designed for metal hull bilges?

Thanks,

Ed



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
 
E

Ed Price

Guest
Re: Re: Body panel repair

----- Original Message -----
From: Craig Taylor
To: amphicar-lovers@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Wednesday, May 08, 2002 1:59 PM
Subject: Re: [amphicar-lovers] Re: Body panel repair


Hey John any words of wisdom on the battery tray panel replacement.
Mine is encased in a thick layer of fiberglass. What gage plate is the
original? I'd like to keep a stock look. Are there any humps or groves
under all that fiberglass? Have you ever used one of the panels from
Gordons? Anyone else selling one? I also wanted to ask what kind of
welding process works the best? Regular arc welding or a wire feed
type. Thanks again for the addvise. This is a great list...
Craig



Let me offer a couple of comments from the point of view of a
dexterity-challenged supervisor (not the skilled guy who actually did the
welding). I had a company where we welded steel at two extremes.

One part of our product line involved bending up cans from 14 to 18 gauge steel
sheet. The folded seams needed to be hermetically sealed, so we used TIG
welding. The Tungsten element shielded with a stream of Inert Gas (carbon
dioxide or argon) system uses an expensive tungsten electrode which causes an
arc to jump to the workpiece. The electrode and arc are shielded from the oxygen
in the atmosphere by a stream of the inert gas. This keeps the electrode from
melting, and prevents the oxygen from creating slag. You use a stick of filler
metal if the weld needs it, but if the seam tolerances are tight, then you can
often make a weld by just fusing the edges together without any additional
material. This is a somewhat slow process, and requires good welding skill. The
results are a seam that is so clean and uniform that the finished product almost
looks like a casting.

The other product line needed long, continuous welds that couldn't have any
inclusions (faults, cracks, bubbles, holes) and was done with sheet steel over
1/4" thick and with structural beams & columns. Here, we used MIG welding. The
Metal wire electrode shielded with a stream of Inert Gas uses a gun which feeds
a wire electrode toward the workpiece. The wire electrode is melted into the
workpiece and becomes part of the welded seam. You can work heavy metal and fill
in fairly large gaps with this system, and you don't have to stop to grab
another electrode. (I had one welder who had only one arm, and he was superb at
MIG welding.) As long as the heat isn't distorting the metal, you can weld at a
high rate. The welds are strong and high quality, but will have a slightly
"puddled" look due to the oval stirring motions of the welder's hand.


Regards,

Ed

A really skilled welder can do thin sheet-metal with a MIG,


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
 
J

jfriese

Guest
Ed,

Dupont makes an industrial coating that seems to work extremely well
for those Amphicar interior areas. It's even designed for immersion
use. It's a thick, tough, high solids material that comes in several
colors but can be colored, by the supplier, to match most any color.
It can be used as a primer, intermediate coat or finish coat and
bonds well to metal. It dries to a rather flat finish that looks good
on those interior spaces. It's called Corlar 25P. It's a two part,
equal mix product that can be brushed or, when thinned, sprayed. I
brushed it on heavily then went over it with a high texture, loop
roller to bring up a textured look that very closely matched the
interior finish that was in my Amphi from the factory, though the
factory finish had been sputtered on with some sort of spray method.
You might have to look a bit to find it. I couldn't even find it on
Dupont's web site, though some sellers have information about it on
their sites. I bought mine from a place that specialized in selling
paint and coatings to auto body shops and other industrial painters.
It comes in 1 and 5 gallon sizes but, since you mix it one to one with
a hardener, it is actually 2 and 10 gallons. The one (i.e. two)
gallon size will easily do an Amphicar and costs about $110. One of
their "off the shelf" colors is called "Clay Tan" and is just about
perfect match for the original lower interior color of a White
Amphicar.

John Friese

67 White (virtually done)
67 Red (See you at Celina)







> And lastly, what is the best paint treatment for the interior
(bilge, etc) metal that's below the waterline? I have seen some Amphis
that have had their interior metal sand-blasted and sprayed with
automotive paint. How does this compare to a brushed-on application of
something like Rust-oleum? Are there some paints (maybe an epoxy)
specifically designed for metal hull bilges?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Ed
 
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