BUILD THREAD Project Olds Cool (Updated 7/14/19)

Rktpwrd

Rktpwrd

Royal Smart Person
Feb 2, 2015
2,090
113
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Rktpwrd

Rktpwrd

Royal Smart Person
Feb 2, 2015
2,090
113
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Alright, after leaving y’all in cliffhanger mode (unintentionally I might add, I just didn’t have enough info at the time), I can finally divulge the latest developments.

Let’s start with the ugly first. Turns out, to my surprise and probably everyone else’s, the trim mouldings on our cars are NOT aluminum as I thought. When the welder went to repair the driver’s side belt moulding, he found that he couldn’t even strike an arc. He tried several times and even got his boss involved, but to no avail.

Here’s where he tried on the sacrificial piece I gave him, it wouldn’t weld, it just burned and cracked immediately:

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The word is, these mouldings are some sort of white metal, what we commonly refer to as “pot metal”. I didn’t think it was possible to make pressed and formed shapes like that out of pot metal, but apparently it must be.

You learn something new every day.

White metal, pot metal, zinc, who knows what exactly the composition of these things are. The long and the short of it was, it wasn’t able to be welded. So that left me back at square one. I did a TON of reading and research on welding, brazing and soldering oddball metals, and even tried soldering it myself. No joy. The solder just balled up and rolled right off. There are some potential solutions out there, however nearly all of them involve purchasing some “miracle” welding or soldering rod, and they’re all priced accordingly.

I was very near to pulling the trigger on ordering one of these options, but then I sat back and questioned what the hell I was doing. I just couldn’t justify spending upwards of $100 or more on a product that may or may not have worked. Especially on a $20 moulding, regardless of the hours I’ve got into it.

So, after a lengthy discussion with Scott (InjectedCutty), we decided that a more homegrown, budget fix was worth trying. Scott is great with things like this, he’s my sounding board and voice of reason quite often. (Thanks buddy!!)

What we came up with was to use some good ‘ol JB Weld on the backside, along with some fibreglass reinforcing mesh for strength.
First, I cut off the attaching tab that I’m pretty sure was compounding the problem. It’s visible as the blurry thing in the foreground in this underside picture:

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With the tab outta the way, I was able to better realign the two halves of the crack, and straighten out the edges. I ran a fine file over the faces and got it looking pretty good:

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With that done, I very lightly ground the backside to provide some tooth for the repair to stick to:

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The rest of the repair went exactly as you’d think, I just mixed up a small amount and applied it along with two strips of reinforcing mesh, one shorter one underneath, and one longer one over top:

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After letting it cure overnight, today I trimmed off the excess and filed the edge down again. It’s invisible from the outside. I then lightly sanded the outer face again, and test fit it on the car. Houston, I believe we have a winner.

Here it is mocked back up on the car after the repair:

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Structurally, it seems very strong, and the deletion of the nearby tab doesn’t seem to have affected it at all.
Cosmetically, the crack is back to being nearly invisible again, it’s more like the hairline crack I started with. It’s still visible in certain conditions and angles, but I honestly think 99+ percent of folks out there aren’t ever going to notice it.

What do you guys think? For a nearly free repair, I’ll take it.

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Ok, onto other developments.
Thursday I went into work and used the sandblast cabinet. I got all 4 headlight buckets blasted, along with a whack of the hardware for the header panel.

Before:

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After:

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It’s sure nice having access to the right tools for the job. Speaking of which, I’d be a fool not to make good use of the quarter size paint booth we’ve got while I was there, so all the freshly blasted parts got shot immediately afterwards.

Buckets and most hardware went satin black, aiming screws and springs went flat aluminum:

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Also this week, I got to work on deleting the holes for the hood ornament in the header panel now that it’s stripped.

The underside before I started...

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...then remove the old paint and bevel the holes:

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Roll out the fibreglass reinforcing mesh...

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...and cut a bunch of small pieces to fill in the holes:

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Gluing them in with some 3M Rigid Parts Repair...

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...then made sure they were saturated and submerged in the compound with a light skim coat over top:

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Continued >>>
 
Last edited:
Rktpwrd

Rktpwrd

Royal Smart Person
Feb 2, 2015
2,090
113
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Once that had cured, I ground off the excess and skimmed it with short strand fibreglass filler (SSFF):

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While that was drying, I repeated the procedure on the holes from the topside:

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Then grind that flush, and skim the topside with more SSFF too:

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Back to the underside while the top was drying. A light skim of putty to finish things off and feather out the edges...

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...then a couple light coats of satin black to replicate the factory finish. Normally I’d properly epoxy prime and then paint, but in this instance the underside will rarely, if ever, see any water. Plus, the VHT satin black I used is epoxy based, so I’m fine with it.

Holes?? What holes???

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The SSFF on the topside has been blocked out and slightly undercut, it’s late now but tomorrow I’ll skim, block, and finish it off.

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That’s it for now gentlemen, let me know what you think of everything, especially my budget minded backyard repair on the belt moulding.

Cheers.

D.
 
1evilregal

1evilregal

Comic Book Super Hero
Apr 23, 2009
2,578
113
Greensboro, NC
excellent work, as always!

even knowing where the crack on the trim was, it was still hard to see it afterwards!
 
69hurstolds

69hurstolds

Royal Smart Person
Jan 2, 2006
2,087
113
Couldn't weld trim. Now you officially suck! :) J/K. Great workaround on the trim.

WTF about the white metal? I always thought that lightweight, flimsy, and very bendable anodized trim was aluminum based. Zinc corrodes badly when exposed and I have never seen that trim, even when damaged, exhibit zinc corrosion to what I've witnessed. Very strange alloy, indeed. That is so wrong that you can't even spot weld it from the back. Call Reynolds Wrap and have them make some thicker sheets!

Keep it up! I have extra popcorn now.
 
motorheadmike

motorheadmike

Comic Book Super Hero
Nov 18, 2009
3,856
113
Ottawa, Ontario Canada

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