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How do you deal with pitted metal?


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Anyone that has undertaken a military vehicle restoration (or any kind of restoration on a vehicle of a certain age) will undoubtedly faced the problem of pitted metal surfaces. From personal experience, I have found the worst candidates are on side skirts and mud guards - particularly on areas normally covered by storage boxes. Normally, the affected areas would be cut out and replacements would be fabricated with fresh metal.

 

Has anyone had any experiences of 'resurfacing' pitted metal? I know the Belzonacompany produces "a metal repair composite for rebuilding pitting and metal loss caused by erosion and corrosion". I am also aware of techniques that allow molten metal to be 'sprayed' onto a pitted metal surface.

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This is an interesting question, which I shall be interested to watch replies on.

 

I think it is a good question, which may be of benefit to those that cannot fabricate and weld or that it may assist in small areas and the like. Sometimes this pitting can be very slight and in small areas, which would suggest a cut and carve approach is severe?!

 

It is worth noting that some treatments may be required to the base metal to prevent further corrosion when covered by a coating.

 

In the construction and engineering industry epoxy type composite adhesives are used to repair a steel / concrete item. 'SIKA' manufacture such resins. These could be painted on and then sanded smooth and given it is an epoxy resin then they will be extremely strong and durable indeed. Such a system can be sprayed or roller applied.

 

Treating the area with a rust treatment and then applying a body filler, would create the same effect, but the key and resistance to cracking with the epoxy is much better than a proprietary body filler.

 

As I said. An interesting question, which I am intrigued to see what the knowledge of the forum and restorers will churn up.

 

Thanks

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I have used two pack epoxy compounds before with good results as long as the surface prep is followed exactly to the letter.

 

It really depends what you are trying to achieve, for cosmetic surface finish the epoxy route is probably the easiest route. You do need to be organised in the application phase as once the two components are mixed the working time is limited and equipment used for application must be cleaned within a fairly short time frame or they are scrap.

 

If however you are looking to restore the intrinsic strength of an item then cut and weld is the most cost effective method.

 

 

Pete

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Lead work was and still is a technique used by the coach builder to give excellent results. However it requires the right tools eg; torch, paddles, mole skins, correct flux, stick solder and rasps etc also fair amount of practice and a very clean panel to start with, it's a skill that takes time to master.

 

Pete

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I use auto filler ,don't know what its called in the UK but its what panel beaters use for repairs on cars , just a tin of goo and a tube of hardener , mix spread wait to dry and sand . using the lead system is pretty much the gold standard but as stated if you don't have the kit of skill it is troublesome . also it introduces heat and very corrosive flux that can cause extra dramas. go with auto filler !

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I suppose you will also need to consider how much or how little the panel being restored will flex with driving and whether it is going to get the same kind of damage after restoration that the part received when in use by its original owner.

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