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Thread: Do people really expect no filler on their cars?

  1. #1

    Do people really expect no filler on their cars?

    It can be done with butt welded (TIG, or Gas welded I guess), properly finishing the welds, hammer/slapper on dolly, shrinking disc, etc.

    I hear it a lot, "you should never use filler." I agree, it's not ideal, but when you use high quality products and do what I said above to a level of 90%+ perfection, it's really the only realistic way to do a car. You could also lay down some spray-able polyester and say "no bondo," but it's the same thing and when sprayed all over the car and in the jams, it looks puffy and just a little off.

    I hear metal guys say, I don't need filler, but I'm thinking when he's not looking and the body guy/painter is using a 3 foot block with a guide coat and imperfections are showing up, it's just kind of the way it is in my opinion.

    Lead is great, I have used it, but, toxic, cancer, right?

    I usually recommend new panels/steel, when things are ugly, but sometimes fabricating patches are the way to go, all a judgement call. A new quarter panel is beautiful thing when doing a complete rotten to the core, collision damaged 911.

    What are your thoughts? What products/techniques are people aware of, do themselves or like?

  2. #2
    If 'filler' is being used to fill in caved in/dented sheetmetal rather than working/removing damage then it has no place, but I agree with you (hopefully I'm reading your posting correctly), it certainly has it's place in the finish body/primer/paint phase. If the sheet metal has been properly worked to the 99% finished level an ultra fine skim coat of quality filler that is then sanded down to no more than a level of primer thickness is entirely reasonable to me.

  3. #3
    Shift Knob Maker
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Marysville, OH
    I believe the term filler is used very differently these days than days in the past. A good shop will only use it to level the surface or clean up very hard to reach from behind small imperfections.

    Just like most things these days, it is fine if used in the correct way. I'm sure we could have a fun thread based on what people have found in older repairs, think small boulder sized clumps backed by screen, paper etc.

    Sure, there will be people on here that say, "the factory did not use it" but I can say with 100% certainty that modern manufactures use it to repair line or in transit damage to new cars.


  4. #4
    As they say: "Putty and Paint will make it what it ain't"

    Like this one from a few years ago. This previous "fix" was repaired properly. Subsequently the engine (IMS) failed and it was sent to the scrap yard as a new engine cost more than the car was worth.

    It was a shame as the shop that repaired it installed a left rear clip from the lock post to the bumper which was done to a very high standard. When you cannot tell someone has been there is when you know the work is good.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by sithot; 10-17-2017 at 04:04 AM.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

    Early S Registry #235
    rgruppe #111

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by 76911S View Post
    I'm sure we could have a fun thread based on what people have found in older repairs, think small boulder sized clumps backed by screen, paper etc.

    Not just older repairs. An early 911 with fresh nut and bolt restoration arrived in a friend's workshop here to make changes to pass UK regulations. Found to have suffered cosmetic plus water damage to some areas from seawater entering container on way over from USA. Sent direct from port upon arrival in UK from USA to his workshop. Insurers very reasonably covered repairs including repaint but when the body shop stripped it found there was significant amounts very deep filler behind the fresh pretty-looking paint. Had to be redone right by Porsche specialist body guys which owner, insurer and UK body repairer were not expecting as part of a make good on such a freshly done car with virtually no miles since a full restoration.
    Last edited by 911MRP; 10-17-2017 at 04:30 AM.

  6. #6
    Wow, that Boxster repair is disgusting, wall of shame material for sure. Better metal work would been cheaper than sculpting that brazed garbage into shape.

    That's the funny part, I can take dings, dents and high spots out with the hammer/slapper on dolly and shrinking disc faster than any mud slinger. All that dust and it's so heavy. Metal work is clean and rewarding, filler has it's place, but that was extremely foul.

    That's why I am posting questions like this, people need to ask their body guys what they are going to do. Work like that should never happen.
    Runge Eleven
    Porsche 911 Corrosion/Collision Repair Specialist

  7. #7
    Actually, it was a 996 Cab but it is understandable how they are mistaken for each other.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

    Early S Registry #235
    rgruppe #111

  8. #8
    Some very bad examples of recent work here in LA at a very "famous" shop. They said this was "normal" "industry standard" and "acceptable for concours". Laughable except it was on my car! I agree with the above posts. Light, thin amounts should be the today norm, but I'm curious what the depth is for acceptable amounts. What's the consensus when using a meter?

    ESR # 3177

  9. #9
    Just for clarification, the second photo is of the filler on the door top! Their method of getting the panels to align.
    ESR # 3177

  10. #10
    David, I don't know that there is any hard and fast number, but I think we all agree that the above example is "too much" Of course filler is used, there was filler used to smooth welded seams when the cars were first built. Maybe the definition is when you go from smoothing to changing dimensionally, as in the above rocker panel.
    Early S Registry member #90
    R Gruppe member #138
    Fort Worth Tx.

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