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Discussion Forum

How long does Bondo last?

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Alan Farley

08-23-2001 20:32:42

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I have a 85' Dodge pickup. It looks good and has very few scratches and very little rust up-front. Only thing is the left side fender above the bed is rusted out. It was Bondo-ed before by the previous owner. Right side isn't as bad. Was bubbled out when I bought it. I picked at it the other day and a good 5" from the fender trim is missing before good metal. Inside fender is gone too. I am going to use mesh to support it and put Rust-Oleum rust killing acid on it where the bondo meets the metal. If properly applied, how long does a good Bondo job last? I haven't used Bondo before, any tips? Thanks in advance.

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08-24-2001 07:29:30

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 Re: How long does Bondo last? in reply to Alan Farley, 08-23-2001 20:32:42  
The tip for mixing bondo is to use a golf ball size amount of the bondo and about 1 inch of the hardener to get the right mix. Try this amount, mix it well and let it set to the side. Check the sample for hardness and make sure it is not tacky. Get the hang of mixing a small amount and then try for the same results with larger batches. Bondo jobs in eastern PA last about 2 years until the metal around them rots out from the inside again. The main problem being moisture and your main goal is to protect both sides of the metal from it. Your top coat of paint will protect the outside, (primer is NOT a topcoat). The inside is where the problems will begin, Bondo is a talc based product and will attract and hold moisture and your truck will rot from the inside out. For your application find a fiberglass based product, I have used a product called MAR-GLASS and my second repair to my quarter panel has lasted about 8 years now and it is just showing signs of problems. The fiberglass based fillers do not hold moisture like the talc based ones. They are a little harder to work with after they harden, but the results are worth it. Now you need to plan on having no bare metal on the back side and no bare edges either, but with a hole large enough you should be able to clean the area with solvent and smear some of the filler to the back side of the area overlapping the paint and smoothing it out to form a tight seal to protect the good metal. Don't worry about getting it all filled in one step, a few layers may be necessary. When you are done with the outside, topcoat over the primer is a must (primer will not protect you from moisture). Good Luck - Slughammer

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Farmer/ Paul

08-24-2001 04:08:07

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 Re: How long does Bondo last? in reply to Alan Farley, 08-23-2001 20:32:42  
I work off the farm as a body man and painter. Bondo will last a long time if used properly. It is used to finish off small imperfections in you body work. It will not work to fill holes thru panels. Welding in new panels will be cheaper, faster and last longer ... There is a product out called Dura Bond that you can use to glue the new panel in with, if welding is not an option.

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08-24-2001 03:50:04

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 Re: How long does Bondo last? in reply to Alan Farley, 08-23-2001 20:32:42  
if there is ANY rust at all under your bondo fix it WILL rust again. you need to throughly clean the metal such as sandblasting and possibly weld in backing plates of galv metal before any body filler is applied. as long as the surface is properly prepared and very clean, the body filler should last quite some time(years). body filler is NOT a cure-all, just a quick fix. any dented area over 1/4" deep is too deep for filler and should be hammered out and cleaned before filling over.

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08-23-2001 22:28:41

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 Re: How long does Bondo last? in reply to Alan Farley, 08-23-2001 20:32:42  
I don't know much about body work, but I do know that here there's a store that sells new body panels,panels for over the rear wheels,rocker panels etc. You might search the yellow pages where you are for a store like this. They are made in Japan, but for the money you'll like them. Brother-in-law welded some in the rear fenders of his 77 chev,ground the weld down, etc and looks like new without using bondo.

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Alan Farley

08-24-2001 11:02:25

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 Re: Re: How long does Bondo last? in reply to Ray,IN, 08-23-2001 22:28:41  
I have seen those weld-In panels in the JC Whitney catalog. If the bondo doesn't work out then maybe. The last owners bondo job already sticks out 1/4-1/2" and those panels would seem hard to cover up. He didn't sand very well. I bought two quarts of Bondo. One has fiberglass hairs to reinforce it, the other is for the final topcoat. Even if it doesn't turn out that great it will at least look better than it did. And to think 2 years ago(before I had the truck) I passed up a bed for it, Dark Blue even, with very little rust on it at a auction for $20. Mine is Dark Blue with a light blue band on it. Been kicking myself ever since I bought this truck for not buying that bed. My tailgate was rusted on the bottom(beyond repair) so I am also looking for a light blue tailgate.

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speed bump

08-23-2001 22:07:51

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 Re: How long does Bondo last? in reply to Alan Farley, 08-23-2001 20:32:42  
Alan , just finished my 90 ford . I teck screwed some light guage sheet metal on the inside of my wheel wells for some good support. then use a 4 inch hand grinder with a sand disk to knock off old paint and rusted steel. mix up the bondo and just start to fill in the gaps . It took me about 6 times to build it up , you will get the hang of mixing after a few tries . hope this helps speed bump

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08-24-2001 03:08:03

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 Re: Re: How long does Bondo last? in reply to speed bump, 08-23-2001 22:07:51  
Hmmmmmmm. My '89 Chevy has exactly one rust spot on it, about the size of a quarter, right on the leading edge of the hood. Everything else is as solid as the day I drove it off the lot. And I live in Maine, Home of Road Salt.

Coincidence? ":^)

Same for my '88 Dodge Dakota, except the token rust spot is the size of a silver dollar, and it's on the front edge of the bed.

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Alan Farley

08-24-2001 10:47:03

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 Re: Re: Re: How long does Bondo last? in reply to F14, 08-24-2001 03:08:03  
I just bought a 89' Dakota tuesday. It's got the 3.9 V6, automatic,air, power everything, long bed. I know it probaly needs a tranny rebuild and I know of a guy that will do it cheap. It has a surface rust bubble,not hole, the size of a quarter on the right rear fender, and two 2" and narrow rust holes below the doors where water collects. Also a little on the inside of the tailgate. The bottom side of the bed is still smooth.

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08-24-2001 04:49:57

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 Re: Re: Re: How long does Bondo last? in reply to F14, 08-24-2001 03:08:03  
I only have one rust spot on my 77 chevy , it starts just behined the front bumper and ends just past the tailgate !!!

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08-24-2001 04:38:06

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 Re: Re: Re: How long does Bondo last? in reply to F14, 08-24-2001 03:08:03  

Have an 83 Dodge D150, Absolutely NO rust, I'm not sure what I'm doing right to keep it from
rusting, especially here in KS where they salt the
roads numerous times durring the winter...

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Alan Farley

08-24-2001 10:35:10

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 Re: Re: Re: Re: How long does Bondo last? in reply to Mark/Ks, 08-24-2001 04:38:06  
I have a "Prospector" which means it has chrome trim galore. That trim looks good but it just catches the water leading to rusting. The cab leaks, under the drivers side carpet is always wet. The fact that it's orginally from Michigan doesn't help the rust factor either, not doing much better here in Ohio. My Uncle has a 83' Dodge plain body, no trim, it hasn't any rust on the outside. Maybe I should just borrow a trailer and take a trip to the south or far-west to find something clean.

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08-24-2001 03:23:27

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 Re: Re: Re: How long does Bondo last? in reply to F14, 08-24-2001 03:08:03  
Dunno about the Dodge, but your '89 Chevy has galvanized body panels. Give the Chevy a few more years, though, and it'll rust for sure. My '88 Chevy is starting to look like Swiss cheese, but we take our road salt seriously in Mich.

As for the original question, Bondo will outlast the steel it's stuck to, or at least it does around here.

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lewis smith

08-24-2001 16:38:36

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 Re: Re: Re: Re: How long does Bondo last? in reply to MarkB, 08-24-2001 03:23:27  
don't know how long bondo lasts, been using it for years, but need a owner's manual for super a farmall.

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