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Need Guidance on Removing Body Filler

Old 06-19-2018, 08:01 PM
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Vetteaddiction
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Default Need Guidance on Removing Body Filler

Started stripping the '73 today, using razor blades, no sanding yet, never done this before. The passenger side front fender looks pretty rough to me, lots of pink body filler on bonding strip and elsewhere. I assume it's not factory.
I'm not sure grinding will get all the filler out, it's very soft. Any other suggestions or techniques?
Thanks for the help,
Chris







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Old 06-19-2018, 10:05 PM
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Gold Dragon
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Some paint strippers will soften the fill, then you can use a putty knife to scrape away. If you go that route be careful, some strippers can also damage fiberglass.
There is a thread in the paint and body section that may be helpful.

Ray
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:18 PM
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JBL Specialty
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Sand or grind it all off. You don't wont to paint over body filler that's had paint stripper on it.
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Old 06-19-2018, 11:18 PM
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Thanks for the replies so far,
Right now I have NOT used any chemical stripper, think I might stay away from that if possible.
Did GM use that pink filler?
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Old 06-20-2018, 09:58 AM
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I do not think that is factory applied body filler.

Grinding this old body filler off is not that big of deal. If you are apprehensive about doing it..just ask for help and we will be her to help out due to I do it about every day....as lust like many others here.

AS for using chemical stripper...that is really no big deal also as long as you are careful with it and there is really little to no chance in dong any damage if you are paying attention to what you are doing. I have used chemical stripper for over 30 years and I have never had any problems resulting form me using it.

Keep up the good work.

DUB
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:36 AM
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Thanks DUB,
Amazing you have the time and inclination to help us out. Your advice is
much appreciated!
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Old 06-20-2018, 05:03 PM
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are you using a heat gun to warm the paint ?
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Old 06-20-2018, 07:10 PM
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Yes I am. I didn't have much luck stripping without it, never really got the hang of it, even when I left it out in the sun.
I also noticed using the heat gun softened up that body filler pretty nicely.
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Old 06-20-2018, 09:19 PM
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2tired
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A DA sander with 80 grit paper should clean it up safely.
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Old 06-20-2018, 09:47 PM
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I think the bigger question is why is it there. Is that standard practice for fixing a bonding strip issue.?
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:16 PM
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It's there because someone did a bad repair. Why? Who knows. And yes, too often it is/was the standard (and incorrect) practice for "fixing" a bonding strip issue.
Speaking from 40+ years of body repair experience, most body men were intimidated by fiberglass repairs. The easy way out was plain old body filler for many. Years later we are seeing these covered up sins. The sad news is that today's generation of body men are less talented than earlier generations.
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Old 06-21-2018, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by 2tired View Post
It's there because someone did a bad repair. Why? Who knows. And yes, too often it is/was the standard (and incorrect) practice for "fixing" a bonding strip issue.
Speaking from 40+ years of body repair experience, most body men were intimidated by fiberglass repairs. The easy way out was plain old body filler for many. Years later we are seeing these covered up sins. The sad news is that today's generation of body men are less talented than earlier generations.
I agree. The trend of today is replace the part if at all possible for speed and the misconception that using body filler is bad. The metal on todays cars is not like that of the old cars where a hammer and dollie and using a vixen file were used to get dents out. I still have all those tools and my tools for using lead also. It has come to pull out the dent as much as you can and fill it in...even if they try to pull the dent out.

I still get people who say they do not want 'Bondo' out in their Corvette. I kinda have to laugh. Mainly because I do not use "Bondo'...but I do use a body filler that out preforms 'Bondo', And it is needed to get the panels correct.

So seeing that bondo in this car does not cause me any concern.

But understand ..and this is only my opinion on this. Using a D/A sander can do a lot of damage if the person holding it does not know how to use it correctly. It is a GREAT tool....but using one correctly requires the person to be paying attention on what they are doing.

DUB
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Old 06-21-2018, 10:14 AM
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there is a method of removing filler easily with a welders brush using a propane torch . if interested let me know. cant really explain it on here but would be happy to talk you through it ..
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:15 AM
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Found the same filler on rear yesterday. Thanks again for the comments, and Porchdog I had a feeling there was probably a way to melt that out ....carefully.
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by DUB View Post
I agree. The trend of today is replace the part if at all possible for speed and the misconception that using body filler is bad. The metal on todays cars is not like that of the old cars where a hammer and dollie and using a vixen file were used to get dents out. I still have all those tools and my tools for using lead also. It has come to pull out the dent as much as you can and fill it in...even if they try to pull the dent out.

I still get people who say they do not want 'Bondo' out in their Corvette. I kinda have to laugh. Mainly because I do not use "Bondo'...but I do use a body filler that out preforms 'Bondo', And it is needed to get the panels correct.

So seeing that bondo in this car does not cause me any concern.

But understand ..and this is only my opinion on this. Using a D/A sander can do a lot of damage if the person holding it does not know how to use it correctly. It is a GREAT tool....but using one correctly requires the person to be paying attention on what they are doing.

DUB
You are right, using a DA incorrectly can create some problems. I'm looking at the damage already done to the gel coat using a razor blade, and thinking a DA is a less dangerous weapon. It all has to be taken down a good bit and leveled out before repairs begin, so if I had it roll into my shop as it looks, I would most likely get a roll of 80, a comfortable chair, put on a mask and fire up the heavy old Hutchins.
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:35 AM
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I have used the method to remove old body filler like what 'porchdog' has touched on. It works but I know I have to grind the panel again anyway to prep it for more filler...so I often times elect not to use it. BUT it does work. It can aid in keeping dust down but also add a smell when doing it if you can live with that or not.

And just so there is no mis-understanding. There is no gelooat on this car or any factory corvette panel. This Corvette is an early SMC body panel design.

DUB
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Old 06-21-2018, 12:28 PM
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Thanks DUB. I meant to say 'glass.
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Old 06-21-2018, 02:43 PM
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the torch does not heat the filler. it pulls solvent from it turning it to powder . ONE pass is all it takes . any more and you damage metal or glass.
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Old 06-21-2018, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by 2tired View Post
Thanks DUB. I meant to say 'glass.
NO WORRIES...just trying to stop another discussion about this in this thread before it gained any strength. We are all good.

Originally Posted by porchdog View Post
the torch does not heat the filler. it pulls solvent from it turning it to powder . ONE pass is all it takes . any more and you damage metal or glass.
I never got it hot enough to smoke or anything but I will try it that way and see how it does. I could SWEAR when I did try it like you have mentioned...it did not do much at all. Maybe I was trying to do too much at one time instead of taking it slow..
YES...when I have done it in the past I could get a faint whiff of the filler. Kinda like the smell I can get if I really heat up fiberglass to get the adhesive to break free.

DUB
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Old 06-21-2018, 08:18 PM
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i learned this trick from an old body guy when i was young. i was repainting a chop top merc that had at least 5 gals of filler on it. after a day of grinding i had a mess. he came in the next day and threw a fit. he made me clean up then handed me a propane torch and a welders brush. it still makes a mess but it does not get airborne . once you get the hang of it it's like a razor blade and heat gun.
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