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#472075 07/16/22 10:09 PM
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Grease Monkey
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Grease Monkey
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Hi all,

Managed to remove and separate the pieces that make up the front lower grille valance from my 40 Master Deluxe. It seems that beyond the regular 80 years of corrosion and rust, they all were used as jacking points at some time, or ran into parking barriers; the dome is dimpled, it's not supposed to be. I managed to push and hammer mine back to a reasonable shape, but it still needs work. It doesn't take much to push it back in or take it out of round. Anyone have an idea for strengthening the piece? I was thinking of cutting a piece of 16 gauge and shaping to fit behind the original piece and plug welding behind the original. (Photo isn't of my piece, but it might as well be.)

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Last edited by R_Kaplan; 07/16/22 10:10 PM.
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Shade Tree Mechanic
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You could always fiberglass the backside of it. I ended up doing that for my front fenders on my '26 truck as they were pretty thin after 90+ years.

If you do decide to go down that route, I'd recommend getting the piece blasted (my fenders were blasted with recycled glass) and treat them with OSPHO or something similar, and use an epoxy resin (vs. polyester) as it has much better adhesion and is far more waterproof. Lastly, a 'twill' type fiberglass fabric will conform to the shape of the piece much better than standard fiberglass cloth.

-Tyler

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Grease Monkey
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Hi,

Leary about the fiberglass because this seems to be a frequent point of contact on these cars. The whole assembly is three pieces that go inside each other, but the half-dome is just a single layer of already beaten up18 gauge.

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Hall Monitor
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Using fiberglass to reinforce metal is almost never a good idea for a lasting result. The best advise I can give is to do your best to prevent future damage. If you choose to try using fiberglass to reinforce the panel, the oriented strand mat mentioned above is the strongest where the woven cloth has a better finished appearance. The use of epoxy resin over polyester is probably a good idea but neither are made to permanently bond with metal.


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I have used an epoxy product (PC-7) for similar areas. www.pcepoxy.com. Depending on temperature it can be a little on the thick side but with a little heat it spreads easily and bonds excellent.


Steve D
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A couple points/comments:

1) Nothing wrong with reinforcing with sheet metal on the back side however, the shape will be a bit tricky and you'll want to be careful not to create a place for water to collect and cause rust.

2) Have you considered using body lead? Makes a great repair/reinforcement and is something they would have done back in the day, Eastwood has kits/supplies if you don't have them.

3) A properly prepped/applied fiberglass/epoxy repair will last a very long time and is always something that can always be repaired.

4) Be honest about what you want the car for (drive and have fun or win best in show at pebble beach?), be honest about your skill set and how much time and money you are willing to spend. When I starting working on my '26, I quickly realized it was more of a Johnny Cash special, '26 chassis, '28 fenders, motor, transmission; '24 cab made from a chopped coach body not to mention parts and pieces off of model Ts, As and who knows what else. It was a work truck, it's purpose was to move people, grain and supplies as cheap as possible, which it did for nearly 50 years, with the help of god knows how much duct tape and bailing wire. My chances at Pebble Beach are pretty slim but it makes working on it and driving it much more fun! Don't let perfection be the enemy of the very good if you want to enjoy the car. As for my truck, she turned out alright after a 2 year restoration and still get's used for hauling rock, mulch, you name it:

Before:

https://i.imgur.com/9TyxTf7.jpg

After:

https://i.imgur.com/tYlR6tD.jpg

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Fiberglass is inherently porous which makes it unsuitable for any application where moisture is unwanted. Point 1 you are dead on. There's nothing wrong with reinforcing weakened panels. With over 30 years experience working with composites I have to point out that using fiberglass to achieve that goal, while at the same time keeping moisture at bay, is remarkably difficult if attainable at all. It would require sealing every square millimeter that is, or could be, exposed to moisture. Perhaps achievable short term, profoundly difficult long term.

Last edited by Tiny; 07/20/22 12:53 PM.

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The type of resin used with the fiberglass determines the expected life expectancy of the repair. If polyester (use a peroxide curing agent) it will not be water resistant. A coating can prevent water adsorption and extend lifetime. Epoxy resins are much more resistant as are Urethanes. Carbon fibers and other substrates can provide a long term resistance to moisture and therefore extended lifetime.


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This is true but it doesn't alter the fact that the construction of fiberglass and carbon fiber is porous by nature. The resin will fill a lot of the holes but not all. Even if the surface is well sealed, one rock chip opens the substrate to moisture and must be sealed again.


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Grease Monkey
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Thanks for all the responses. Once I finish beating it back to oval and patch/replace bad metal on the other sections of it, I'm going to look at some kind of reinforcing with metal, maybe bracing instead of a layer of additional sheet metal.

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Grease Monkey
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Beautiful truck, even if its a mix and match. My intent or goal is a showable car but not a concourse or seemingly untouched 1940 car. Something along the lines as if I've owned it since then, did regular work on it, and if needed, used other parts when 1940 parts were no longer available. I'm fortunate in that it seems like it's mostly original.


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