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Old 08-23-2008, 05:12 AM   #1
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1963 26' Overlander
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Question Body filler? J-B Weld or US Chem All-Metal

I have several cracks in the belly skin right at the bend where it is fastened to the shell. Has anyone ANY idea how to best approach this issue. It is my understanding that I must first sand the area and remove as much grime, road salts, corrosion etc.. Then paint with an epoxy paint before I apply any body filler.

Anyone ever use J-B Weld or ALL-Metal for this purpose? Something else maybe?

Looking for someone that has already marched up this learning curve. Any recommendations or product to use? Also, need a recommendation for buying paint to match in this area. Need an aluminum color with a dull 1963 patina? Tks, Zstream
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Old 08-23-2008, 06:16 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zstream View Post
I have several cracks in the belly skin right at the bend where it is fastened to the shell. Has anyone ANY idea how to best approach this issue. It is my understanding that I must first sand the area and remove as much grime, road salts, corrosion etc.. Then paint with an epoxy paint before I apply any body filler.

Anyone ever use J-B Weld or ALL-Metal for this purpose? Something else maybe?

Looking for someone that has already marched up this learning curve. Any recommendations or product to use? Also, need a recommendation for buying paint to match in this area. Need an aluminum color with a dull 1963 patina? Tks, Zstream
Hi Zstream; Cracks in aluminum are usually caused by stress, therefore they are not easy to repair. Sure you can mask the problem temporarily, but the will usually return. The best way is to back them up with another sheet of aluminum riveted in place. This however will require you to indent the area so that you make room for a coat of epoxy putty. "Marine Tex" sold in boat supply stores [gray in color not white] will do a best job.
If you cannot, or are not willing to gain access to the backside of the cracked area you should indent about 3" wide path along the crack to accommodate a layer of Marine Tex. Even the Marine Tex itself will crack eventually, unless you incorporate thin fiberglass cloth preferably two layers with coat of Marine Tex between them. Sand excess down to level and paint over. If body filler is needed to level the surface use Z-Grip body filler which is designed specifically for aluminum. PM me if you decide to go that route. Good luck, "Boatdoc'
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Old 08-23-2008, 09:38 AM   #3
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It sounds like you are describing cracks in the "banana wrap" sections. Other than the corners it may be easier to fabricate a new section from some flat aluminum. Photos would help. A expoxy patch may look worse than the problem. Consider drilling some relief holes at the end of the crack to keep it from traveling and leave it at that. The more serious question is what is causing the crack? Just plain old age, or is something in the frame or running gear causing undue stress?
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Old 08-23-2008, 12:18 PM   #4
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I have a croos member pushing out the side on the left front. I was told Running gear, Bad Axles. Cracked frame. I got a snake light and camera from a plumber freind. sent it in the whole. Frame solid. no issues that I saw. Axle worn but not shot. So I called the guy I bought it from (second owner) He told me that a boat hit the lower side and they replaced that section. After looking at It closer I could see it had been replaced. He also told me he felt they wrapped it to tight, he also felt it was consistant with my issue. Going down the road and the wrap rubbing till it pushes threw. My point, on these older units things arent always what they seem, they have stories from many miles af use which they were intended for. This might help you find the cause. The fix? replace it so it looks good, and will last
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Old 08-23-2008, 03:12 PM   #5
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Arrow Don't use j-b weld

J-B weld is excellent for filling in stripped holes and certain other repairs. It is NOT a good surface filler, especially on vertical surfaces. It will slump before it sets, and trying to level it again wrecks the surface. It is very prone to cracking and popping off entirely. It is also tough, therefore difficult to sand, without sanding through adjacent aluminum in the process.

Bondo or Z-grip would be way better; they are intended for thin veneers on metal that may flex a bit.

Replacing the panel is, of course, better still.
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:28 PM   #6
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I saw apost where someone used a suction cup to pull out the dent
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