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cleaning out the lead seam #1329254 Tue Oct 08 2019 08:46 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 146
M
Mike Burns Offline OP
Shop Shark
I have finally started body work on my 53 cab. Im now removing rotted metal in preparation for new patch panels. What is the best way to clean out the lead from the seam at the top of the side cowl panels?

Re: cleaning out the lead seam [Re: Mike Burns] #1329256 Tue Oct 08 2019 09:22 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 1,466
K
klhansen Offline
Shop Shark
If the rot is close enough that the lead needs to come out, you can melt it out with a propane torch. If you're not getting within 1-2 inches with your welds, you could just leave it there.

I got a replacement fender that had lead work near the headlight opening that was totally unnecessary. I melted it away and fixed the slight ding with hammer and dolly. Couldn't figure out why someone didn't do that in the first place, but used lead. Must have been a long time ago repair, because very few people use lead nowadays.


Kevin
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos
Re: cleaning out the lead seam [Re: Mike Burns] #1329278 Wed Oct 09 2019 12:10 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 8,476
5
52Carl Online
Master Gabster
Depending on how much one is spending on a paint job should dictate whether or not to remove the lead. Lead is not inert. If left in there, it could come back to haunt you.

Re: cleaning out the lead seam [Re: 52Carl] #1329303 Wed Oct 09 2019 02:20 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 1,466
K
klhansen Offline
Shop Shark
Originally Posted by 52Carl
Depending on how much one is spending on a paint job should dictate whether or not to remove the lead. Lead is not inert. If left in there, it could come back to haunt you.

True, lead is not inert or non-corroding, but if sealed properly with epoxy primer, shouldn't cause any issues in the finish. The original paint over the leaded joints on my cab was in decent shape, even though other areas were showing underlying rusted steel.


Kevin
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos
Re: cleaning out the lead seam [Re: Mike Burns] #1329403 Thu Oct 10 2019 01:05 AM
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 55
C
clarsen3100 Offline
Wrench Fetcher
Kevin/Carl,

What's your opinion on "to lead or not to lead"? I had to remove the lead from my cowl panels to replace deteriorated panels. Now that the panels are replaced, I have to restore the previously leaded joints. Do you recommend going back with lead or using one of the more modern fillers, i.e. fiberglass reinforced filler, all-metal filler, etc.? I have never done the leading process before so I am hesitant to use that method. Thoughts please?


Charlie

'51 3100 5-Window (Restomod in progress)
Re: cleaning out the lead seam [Re: Mike Burns] #1329424 Thu Oct 10 2019 04:08 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 1,466
K
klhansen Offline
Shop Shark
I would finish the joints with modern body filler. Lead is fairly difficult to do, as well as being toxic.


Kevin
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos
Re: cleaning out the lead seam [Re: Mike Burns] #1329430 Thu Oct 10 2019 11:29 AM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 28,613
tclederman Offline
Boltergeist
We used the EverCoat product on the formerly leaded seams on my Suburban. Clean away old lead, and clean away rust and corrosion as described on can.

It has lasted over 20 years under epoxy primer and 1-stage urethane paint.


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban - part of the family for 48 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic - part of the family for 14 years
Z-series (54/55) GMC 350 (2-ton) COE - now part of Dave's family
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
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Re: cleaning out the lead seam [Re: Mike Burns] #1329477 Thu Oct 10 2019 10:52 PM
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 55
C
clarsen3100 Offline
Wrench Fetcher
Kevin/Tim,

Thanks for the advice! I wasn't looking forward to the leading option!


Charlie

'51 3100 5-Window (Restomod in progress)
Re: cleaning out the lead seam [Re: Mike Burns] #1329492 Fri Oct 11 2019 12:28 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 8,687
Tiny Offline
Global Mod
My experience with factory lead is it's a non issue. If it's factory lead and not in your way leave it alone. You can count the issues I had with factory lead during the years I made my living with a paint gun on one hand and have five fingers left over.


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Re: cleaning out the lead seam [Re: Mike Burns] #1329507 Fri Oct 11 2019 09:10 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,313
C
coilover Offline
Shop Shark
We still use lead if called for. Nothing replacing it has proven to be more durable or flexible without cracking. Have 90 year old cars come through the door that IF the lead was applied right it just needs a coat of Slick Sand to isolate it from any reaction to modern top coating and it's good for another 90 years. Hoods, doors, trunk lids or anything that gets slammed or twisted are good lead candidates. If one can't use EVERY process that originally built the car you are not a restorer but just a patcher. We clean lead seams with a soft flame torch and air gun then follow up with a re-heat and stainless steel brush.

[img]https://i.postimg.cc/k6MBxsCy/Undercoat-removal-lead-work-008.jpg[/img]


Evan
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