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Smartin

1958 Limited Four Door Riviera

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Doug, the taillight louvers that were on the car were really really really really bad. I sold them on ebay and found another set that are somewhat better than yours, but still have a little pitting. I'm actually tempted to just run them as they are, but I'd like to see them perfect. The outer taillight bezels on the other hand, are pretty ugly. I can't wait to have those repaired.

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ADAM, this is very second hand but I was told a long time ago that pits in pot metal (an alloy of zinc and aluminum, lead, and/or copper) (maybe tin, too) can be repaired, one by one, before the piece goes to the plating shop. Story goes that each pit is the opening, through the chrome surface, of a little bitty corroded "cavern" in the metal. You drill out the hole with your smallest Dremel bit, to where you're just exposing clean metal.

The filling part is tricky, I was told. Somehow - sorry, I don't remember all of this part - you very carefully solder-in the pot metal holes with pure zinc. The zinc melts at just under 500C, which is a bit less than the melting point of pot metal. Let the piece get too hot and, bloop, you've got a disappointing and possibly very expensive puddle on your workbench.

Again, I've forgotten what happens next. Once all the pits are drilled out and filled (just like tooth cavities, come to think of it), does the plating shop then grind off the chrome, copper, and nickel plating, thereby ruining all of your fine pre-work and obliterating the casting details? Don't know.

Has anybody out there actually done this or am I just falsely remembering a vivid dream?

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If the v8buick board was running right now, I would direct you to a thread that does a step-by-step of how my chrome guy repaired my rear bumper wedges, including the drilling of said pits and soldering in new metal, grinding smooth, copper plating, etc etc etc.

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Adam, now that I have a digital picture of this lens/chrome might email the shop up here and see if they will give me some kind of estimate and see...... otherwise I'm not sure replacing them is going to be easy or cheap either so....... one step at a time. My outer taillight bezels fortunately only have a few bubbles yet the trunk handle/bar is bubbled all across (go figure). Don't imagine finding another good one will be easy for these model specific pieces.

Think the shop that did your bumper wedges would be able to quote based on a few good pictures?

DEI (that's "god" in Latin), does Mrs. Dei know that you had car parts on the dining room table?

Fellow Canuck Rob

DEI Just happens to be my initials. If you asked the Mrs. (`god` in Latin) she would say it definitely does not apply. AND.... if Adam can have car parts on his pool table I guess the dining room table should be OK. ha ha

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I have played with the process and it is very technique dependent...

"Muggy Weld" does work but requires extreme attention to the degrease part of the equation and removing the depths of each and every pit that is in the part.

I plan on working at it some more but will likely pay to have a pro do my parts.

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Pot Metal Repair and Restoration - wow, if it's really this easy, why isn't everyone doing it? (to paraphrase Mudbone)

Watching this video again, I noticed this statement, "The *best* option for removing most chrome is to ask your plater to "dip and strip" your part. Most platers will provide this for no fee or a nominal fee, because they want your return business."

Does that ring true, guys? I seem to recall that removing the plating is also very finicky, that the normal process for sheet metal will ruin pot metal, as in "bloop". Advice?

Edited by Rob McDonald (see edit history)

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Muggy weld does work but the pros prefer to lay in lead on top of copper....pit by pit by pit.

Either way it is not easy.......

That being said, Muggy Weld has its place. I have used it myself but lack the technique to be good at making it a viable alternative to pot metal restoration.

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Stealthyrobert, I get it. In theory, we could also drill and fill our own teeth but most of us choose to use dentists, instead. That's a good thing, too, because subsequently wealthy dentists restore and drive some of the coolest old cars. With great pot metal!

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Well when time is not a factor theoretically anything can be accomplished.....

In my opinion Adam has performed far beyond the level and patience that most of us would ever dare to complete....seems to me that the adventures of a "Muggy Weld" may be in this man's "Wheel House". ...or maybe not

Far be it for us to say that something is not feasible...after all, all one has to do is refresh this thread and look at the enormous task of metal repair that was done to start this project in the first place.

Its enough to scare the pants of any restorer on these forums....just like pot metal repair does.

In the end I just love to see guys innovate and do the things that once were thought to be impossible or infeasible.

Keep on doing what you do Adam....

Edited by stealthbob (see edit history)

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and these posts tell the STORY as to WHY pot metal is NOT something chrome shops like to see coming in their front door.

Truth being told, POT METAL is not a good base for chrome. Look at the NOS pieces that even in a wrapper away from the elements still develops pits.

I have seen pieces DIPPED, and nothing of value was left.

Dale in Indy

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Ok guys, I've had this stuff sitting in my office closet for 5 years. It's one of those wonder products that I bought at a home show on my way back to our booth...

Weld-Aluminum.com:: Weld Aluminum With a Propane Torch!

I watched him repair a piece of pot metal, but I don't dare try it out on one of the Limited parts...I would need to find something on little value to practice on...PLUS I still need to get it stripped of chrome before I work on it.

I still think I'd rather just pay the guys to do it.

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Some minor bumps and pits smoothed out, seam sealer, then 2 coats of high build primer!

body_primed002.jpg

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Adam,

Looks good!! Did you get that satisfied feeling of hitting a another milestone point on the restoration?

What Brand/Type of high build primer are you using. I had/have been using DuPont URO primer but it is no longer made.

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Yes, it's a great feeling...the house smells like a body shop now!

I used PPG Omni epoxy primer and PPG ShopLine 2K primer surfacer.

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Ok boys and girls...

We have a white top. The paint was surprisingly difficult to get. The PPG guy told me I was out of luck unless I had a part with the old paint on it that they could match. Since nothing but the top itself was white, I had nothing to give him. With the help of a v8buick board member, I was able to cross reference the code to a Spectramaster code from DuPont.

top_painted001.jpg

top_painted002.jpg

top_painted003.jpg

top_painted004.jpg

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My oh my, She looks beautiful Adam! Is that with the clear coat on it as well? Man, you will need some pretty dark shades to look at your car, that is for sure:cool:! Question: Did you use a bench or step stool to get to the center of the roof for painting? Also, did you use a HVLP gun an did it help keep the overspray down? She is really looking nice. Can't wait to see the body color on it. WOW! Keep up the good work and the pictures..:)

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Thanks! I've been itching to do this all week.

I guess I am just tall enough to reach the middle of the roof without help...but I found myself cheating my standing on the door sills on occasion. No HVLP gun...just a standard gun. The clear was so thick in the air, I could hardly see...

I'm still thinking about how I'm going to paint the body color. Whether I should paint the jambs first, then shoot the whole outer body at once (including the bolt on parts)..

I'm concerned about the paint not matching if I don't paint them all at once, with it being a metallic paint.

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Adam, Nice job. Yeah, I know about the sill standing approach to painting the roof :). As for painting the car, yes, paint the jambs, inner trunk, package shelf, and inner fender lips and hood lips. Basically, paint all those areas that are not seen when everything is closed, but have to have body paint on them. Then install all the inner fender sheet metal. You will need to have that installed to attach the fenders. If all the bolt on sheet metal is primed, block out all the hang on stuff off the vehicle. It will be alot easier to get it done. I hung all the bolt on stuff before I primed the car, but I think you have it all primed first. Then block out the body. Then hang all the bolt on items and adjust all the gaps. You will have to be creative to mask the engine compartment and associated sheet metal but you will figure it out. I had very little overspray with the primer, and you will have no problem since you are painting the body color.

Once all the bolt on sheetmetal is on and adjusted, wipe it all down with wax and grease remover and you know the drill from there! Spray away! If you have access to an HVLP gun, I would highly recommend it. A lot less overspray and dust. As I am sure you are aware, the temp and humidity will have an affect on the paint, but since you have all the panels on the car, either way, they will all be the same color.

That's what I did. Maybe others have other ideas, but it worked for me! Good luck.

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Smartin, You NOT a fan of the HVLP gun? Sure has cut out the FOG you talked about here in my shop.

Yep, piece painting with metallic's can be an issue.

Great thread, for sure, Just wondering about your spray gun choice.

Dale in Indy

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My only experience is with standard guns, so I went with what I know. I may consider investing in an HVLP soon.

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Understood.........nothing wrong about using what you are comfortable with. I personally found switching was WONDERFUL. I always have some craft paper hanging to test my gun settings.

Keep on keeping on Smartin,

Dale in Indy

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