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using adhesive instead of welding body metal? experts please.


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I know it is the norm to weld metal. There are adhesives available that will bond not only metal but just about anything together and never to pull apart. For instance, I have used polyurathane construction adhesive (lepages pl premium) to fix many things and I bet if two clean pieces of metal or better yet slightly rusty were faced together,they would never pull apart. Anyone have some thoughts on this?

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Talk to your local paint and body work supply person about Panel Bond adhesive. Many new vehicle panels are bonded at the factory. We tried it out of curiosity and it works very well in its place but has no application to the type work we do. It's used extensively in body shops I believe.

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Panel adhesive is used in new car construction. I believe Ford started gluing their pickup boxes together more than 10 years ago.

Body shops use it a lot. It makes a permanent repair, the seam is sealed if done properly and there is no danger of warping.

If I do another body job I'm going to get some.

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I used 3M panel bond on a portion of my brother's car.It seemed to be a solid repair. I eliminated any concerns regarding warping. The car is not back on the road at this time. I'm concerned what effect body flex while driving will have. Time will tell.

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Bonding of automotive panels on new cars has been around for about a decade. Mostly confined to door, hood and trunk skins. The auto manufacturers are also using it to add structural rigidity to unibody rails and other structural panels. The materials used at the factory are somewhat different than the repair adhesives you can purchase at the local PBE store. There has been publicity from the makers of the bonding adhesives of their products capabilities and some info can lead one to believe that they are a magic cure all for all applications. Do not apply to rusty surfaces . All bonding surfaces must be extremely clean and even a microscopic layer of dust can affect the mating process. Dont get me wrong its good stuff when used in the right conditions and applications but you need to know what happens when applying new technology to old engineering and design. What I mean by this is increasing the rigidity of the structure can move stress points and change the way forces and loads move throught the panels and structure.

I would not recommend replacing rocker panels , quarter panels or floorpans without welding. Even in the adhesive instructions they recommend using welding in conjunction with the adhesive. These adhesives also need the correct temperature conditions to cure and temps below 45 degrees can cause the adhesive not to harden. Contrary to what may have been stated earlier shops are only using adhesives in the repair process when recommended by the manufacturer in the repair manuals.

One other issue that hasnt been mentioned is cost and special guns required to dispense the product. Adhesives are at minimun $45.00 per tube/cartridge and guns start at around $50.00.

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Thanks Packin31 for that.It is real interesting and an eye opener. For simple repairs on pieces that fit well,it seems like such a better way than using heat.

thanks also palosfv3 !

Edited by pete324rock (see edit history)
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Has anyone used an adhesive for installing rear quarter patch panels, those surrounding the wheel openings? What brand? Would a 1 inch overlap be enough? Could the joint then be finished using bondo and/or evercoat, or would you apply enough adhesive so it would fill the area? Could it then be ground or sanded smooth? ? I would consider giving it a try if it gets a "go" from someone who has used it for this type application. Thanks, Dave

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Admittedly I've never used body adhesives but I would be leery. As far as "professionals" using them, a body shop knows that the car will be traded or junked in just a few years. If they can get a couple of years out of a repair they are off the hook. Just my opinion..........Bob

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That comment about the lasting of body shop repairs is not 100% true. Work done for quality insurance companies now carry a warrantee just like many other items. The days of patch'em and wave goodbye are gone.

This can be seen by a decreasing number of small shops and a push for "chain" shops increase in our area.

We did have one experience with panel adhesives which did not perform well. The application was not a good choice though. There was not a good long seam rather a small surface to join.

Some new adhesives are remarkable when used as designed.

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I use panel bond on a daily basis to attach quarter panels, door skins, roof skins ect to collision repaired vehicles with never an issue. I have used it for years on my own stuff as well, a few years back I was restoring a 69 Road Runner and at the time you couldnt buy inner quarters ( maybe you can now I dont know ) I had the car on my rotisserie blasted all the rust away, backed up one side of the pinhole riddled panel with tape and smeared the panel bond on the other side, wait twenty four hours ( can be accelerated with heat ) ( heat is also how you would reverse the bonding process by the way so be carefull how much heat it sees ) and sand. Can be sanded smooth as bondo and have had only one incident in all the years of using it where there was a paint issue but I did not prep or paint the vehicle so I dont really know the story behind what happened. As we speak I am restoring the trunk that fits on my 29 Dodge, the entire bottom ( wooden bottom ) around th circumfrence of trunk was littered with pin holes, I blasted, epoxy primed and panel bonded all the holes, sands fairly easy and smooth and done with it. I wouldnt use it for heavy duty structural repairs but otherwise reccomend it. Its 45-50 bucks a cartridge ( 2 part ) here in FL.

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I use panel bond on a daily basis to attach quarter panels, door skins, roof skins ect to collision repaired vehicles with never an issue. I have used it for years on my own stuff as well, a few years back I was restoring a 69 Road Runner and at the time you couldnt buy inner quarters ( maybe you can now I dont know ) I had the car on my rotisserie blasted all the rust away, backed up one side of the pinhole riddled panel with tape and smeared the panel bond on the other side, wait twenty four hours ( can be accelerated with heat ) ( heat is also how you would reverse the bonding process by the way so be carefull how much heat it sees ) and sand. Can be sanded smooth as bondo and have had only one incident in all the years of using it where there was a paint issue but I did not prep or paint the vehicle so I dont really know the story behind what happened. As we speak I am restoring the trunk that fits on my 29 Dodge, the entire bottom ( wooden bottom ) around th circumfrence of trunk was littered with pin holes, I blasted, epoxy primed and panel bonded all the holes, sands fairly easy and smooth and done with it. I wouldnt use it for heavy duty structural repairs but otherwise reccomend it. Its 45-50 bucks a cartridge ( 2 part ) here in FL.

so you are putting tape on the good side and using the panel bond like we used to use fibreglass with chopped hair in it over the wounds...but you say this is better? Too bad you don't have some pics. You could do this with fibreglass but if you pushed hard enough it would seperate from th metal. Please...more info please.

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I dont know what else info I can say but first their is no good side if the panel has holes in it, when I said holes I meant pinholes no larger than even a pencil eraser would be pushing it in my opinion. If they are larger than that I would cut out the panel and fabricate something new. But anyway pick a side, I pick the better of the two sides to lay my tape over assuming that maybe the other side has more pits in it from rust, I use these pits to give something for the panel bond to adhere to because obviousely if you lay it into a hole without having the area a little larger than the hole covered than chances are it would be easier for it to eventually work its way loose. Spread it out with a bondo spreader like you were laying mud, allow it to dry and then remove the tape from opposite side and sand. Thats it. Panel bond is made to adhere to bare metal, sometimes I will still spray it with epoxy primer first and sometimes not, depending on a lot of variables with the job. Either way like I said I have never had a problem with my portion of the work. Id send pictures but the trunk I am working on I do at my shop and dont have digital there, all primed and ready to block anyway so nothing to see at this point. Looks like new though. I will sometimes lay some glaze over panel bond to fill sand scratches sometimes not, the trunk I didnt bother because it will be months now before I block it and in that time any shrinkage with the scratches will occur during that time and will be easily sanded out. Hope this makes more sense. Panel bond is better than fiberglass all day long in my opinion, spreads like mud, no hairs, defanitely waterproof, hey if its good enough to keep the space shuttle together ( which incidentally was where it has been used ) than its good enough for my car.

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Thanks 1930 for that. I would love to try some just to see. I'm sure many won't be able to wrap their heads around not getting the heat out but they sure make some really great adhesives these days and no reason why it would not work. Thanks for the input.

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I personally wouldnt attach the quarters on my R.R with the stuff, I am sure that it would be fine but I would still worry because of the length and that 440 has a way of twisting the body when I step on the right pedal but I did go along and seal the stitch welds afterwards with it. Not only will keep any moisture out ( which bondo wont do by the way ) but will also add to the strength of the repair. Once you use it you wont want to stop...8115 is the nomenclature for the product if I remember right.

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  • 1 year later...
I would not recommend replacing rocker panels , quarter panels or floorpans without welding.

I just imagined a complete floorpan dropping out of a car while driving down the freeway...that would be quite a ride for the driver, clinging to the steering wheel and armrest. :D

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I just imagined a complete floorpan dropping out of a car while driving down the freeway...that would be quite a ride for the driver, clinging to the steering wheel and armrest. :D

As in the patch panel in the floorpan which was put in with "adhesive" holding but the metal's perforations around the perimeter of the stamping (unseen) were the weak link?

YIKES!!

NTX5467

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The "POR 15 putty" works very well for skimming over a pin hole infected area, that is otherwise sound. Like said in an previous post, tape backside to make a neater application..Just spread like bondo...It is pretty pricy, but makes a very strong repair..RD

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Just about all the modern buses and large RV's are glued together with panel adhesive.

All the side and roof panels are glued to the frame and if you have a look at the sides of these vehicles they are straight and smooth and you wont find a rivet or fastner in sight. Not like they were up to about 10 - 15 years ago when they had rivets everywhere and I am sure you would find that the glued panels would be far stronger than the mechanically fixed ones.

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Just about all the modern buses and large RV's are glued together with panel adhesive.

All the side and roof panels are glued to the frame and if you have a look at the sides of these vehicles they are straight and smooth and you wont find a rivet or fastner in sight. Not like they were up to about 10 - 15 years ago when they had rivets everywhere and I am sure you would find that the glued panels would be far stronger than the mechanically fixed ones.

Yes, but these new RV's and buses have exterior body components made of man made materials having much the same expansion/contraction characteristics of as the adhesives being used. Using an epoxy or polyester resin bonding agent with steel is a somewhat different issue, not the least of which includes meticulous cleaning and degreasing of any metallic surface before applying a synthetic bonding agent, otherwise it will release from the sub-straights applied to eventually.

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I'd hate to think of the cost of any collisioin repair on one of those "smooth-side" special paint scheme RVs or even the modern busses on similar platforms. If you look at some of their websites, the only real structure is in the part of the vehicle below the interior floor line. Certainly NOT like the old GM-built Greyhounds by any means, in that respect!

I suspect they might put those side panels on like sheetrock, with patching tape and such . . . rather than one long piece of material. As the paint scheme is multi-colored, one History Channel documentary on them said it took a month for the paint to be completed and ready to roll.

In preparing to do my shadetree floorpan panel "addition", I figured that I could use some drill point sheet metal screws to initially locate everything, then use some of the aerospace-rated panel adhesive our body shop uses to replace roof panels on newer vehicles. I bet y'all didn't know that with a little work, you can make ANY newer sedan into an open-air vehicle by just removing the cover strips and peeling the roof panel (not a skin any more!) off? The hardest thing would be to fabricate the folding fabric "roof" mechanism. I've now accumulated the appropriate patch panel, just need to get things apart and see if what I want to do is feasible.

Regards,

NTX5467

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  • 1 year later...

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