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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you guys remove the factory lead filler? I'm replacing the rear tailpan and the pieces below the tail lights on my '55. Just wondering what precautions I should take and whether I should grind it or soften with heat and scrape.

Thanks,
Jim
 

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Just heat it up until it melts, and take a wire brush to it to get most of it off. Then sand the rest of it off before you weld.
 

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A standard plumbers tourch, wet red rag, wire brush and time will get the bulk of it out.
 

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Just went through this very thing in the same place and just like is being said;

Heat it up and it flows out. I had at least 2lbs of the stuff and there is still some left. I had no IDEA there was that much needed at the top of the Tail light assembly. Take a look at the joint where it all was removed.





Haven't sanded out yet still deciding whether to buy the inner Tail light assembly with the Tail Pan/Trunk floor/Tail Pan brace pieces. Hope to know more when I look at a Donner that may have some good pieces. Don't forget to ware some PPE so ya don't breath and touch the lead.

Cheers

Larry McCarley
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the pictures. I cut most of the panel out with a sawzall and there are spots where the lead is up to 3/8" thick.
 

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I wish I had the lead skill, it is far better in some instances than this stuff called Bondo, JMHO.
 

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If you do end up heating it out try to do it in a well ventilated area and wear a mask cause it's very toxic stuff.If bondo is applied properly it is better then lead and you won't have any issues with it reacting with the new paints.
 

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If you do end up heating it out try to do it in a well ventilated area and wear a mask cause it's very toxic stuff.If bondo is applied properly it is better then lead and you won't have any issues with it reacting with the new paints.
I was curious after I read your post here and did a little research. Lead melts at about just over 600 deg. F and boils at over 3,000 deg. F. I really don't think there would be much if any lead vapor from melting it off a car since it doesn't vaporize unless it hits it's boiling point. Sure can't hurt to be on the safe side though.

Much more dangerous IMO to grind it and spread lead dust in the air and breath it in.

Also, IMO, if regular bondo is used in lead seams, you will get ghosting in the paint job over time due to the different expansion rates of bondo and metal during temperature changes. All-Metal or Metal-to-Metal filler is a better product for this.
 

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I did quite a bit of lead work in the early 80's on my car and a few others. I taught myself how to do it after reading a few articles on it. It's not that hard, if you watch what you're doing. I didn't worry too much about the health issues, and I'm still fine today. Like silica and mercury, I think it's over-hyped. We used to play with mercury all the time when we were kids...and we're still alive. Today if you drop a thermometer they come clean it up with space suits on. LMAO!

If you want to learn to do lead work, Steve's Auto Restoration has a good video on it. I bought one just because I wanted to see how they do it. All of their work is done with lead.

I left the old undisturbed lead in my Nomad, but where I had to remove it I replaced it with All-Metal. I hope it wasn't a mistake, because I could have leaded the seams too.
 

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As stated by roger1 & Chevynut All-Metal is a great substitute for lead. I used it on my 40 Chevy coupe street rod that I did numerous body mods back in the late 80's and it has held up great. I chopped the top, widened the rear fenders, rolled the rear pan and welded the seam and peaked the hood. I used All-Metal for all of my repairs and to this day it has not cracked, shrunk or bubbled anywhere. Also it will not ghost under the paint when the car is sitting out in direct sun like regular bondo. I plan on using it on all of the factory seams on my 57 when I replace my qtrs. I think it is a great product. It sands harder than regular bondo. I like to use a vixen file to work it just like lead.. Chevynut, Does it still tend to get a tacky film on the surface when It first cures. I have not used it for several years and wondered if it still did that. I figure the extra cost and work are worth it when you spend as much time and money resurrecting our classics. Hope this helps.
Tom
 
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