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Thread: Filling an antenna hole

  1. #1

    Default Filling an antenna hole

    I'd like to weld in a plug of metal to fill a hole in the right front wing that was used for an antenna. I don't think I can get to the back of it, so I will need to tack it in while holding it with a magnet(unless there's a better way). I think it should be butt welded anyway as the car's finished color is going to be dark, and I don't want it to show through. Can you guys steer me in the right direction about doing this? What gauge metal should I be using(It's an early 70s British car)? What's the best way to handle rust prevention? Thanks for any advice. John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    28,000

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpmitch View Post
    I'd like to weld in a plug of metal to fill a hole in the right front wing that was used for an antenna. I don't think I can get to the back of it, so I will need to tack it in while holding it with a magnet(unless there's a better way). I think it should be butt welded anyway as the car's finished color is going to be dark, and I don't want it to show through. Can you guys steer me in the right direction about doing this? What gauge metal should I be using(It's an early 70s British car)? What's the best way to handle rust prevention? Thanks for any advice. John
    If you're putting your plug UNDER the metal then yes a magnet can be used or you could use a stud welder to tack a pin on the plug and stick the pin through the hole and hold the plug in place until it's tacked then remove the stud.

    I've also tapped down the surrounding metal slightly then tacked the plug on top and filled over the patch. Almost any sheet metal that is close to the gauge of the wing should work fine for making the patch. I usually use a moisture resistant filler like milled fiberglass paste or Metal 2 Metal to level the surface.

    Rust prevention is done by coating the metal with a good rust preventive coating, venting the space so that moisture evaporates and doesn't get trapped and by sealing openings where moisture can get to the metal.

  3. #3
    autobodytech43 Guest

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    During your first four tacks you'll probably be bending it here and there and then tacking. A screw driver works good for that. Once it's on there pretty evenly you can then weld longer tacks depending on if it's a warp prone area or not.

    This is how I do them in an area where it's not prone to warpage. If it's in an area where warpage would occur the beads would be shorter and more chance of pinholes and voids.

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks for the picture and description, very helpful. John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    122

    Default

    20 gauge cold rolled steel is fine for old British cars. I've created numerous patch panels on my TR3 using this. Although for this repair, you can probably use anything that's easy to work with and weldable. If you can get behind the panel, I'd form a piece of steel larger than the hole and hold it in place with magnets and tack it carefully around the hole till welded completely. Grind flush and then fill as required. Then seal underneath to prevent future rust. If cannot access from below, I'd probably use some snips to cut a piece of metal the same size as the hole and butt weld it around (small tacks, let it cool). Then grind and fill.
    Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Napa, CA
    Posts
    28

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    I just filled the side markers on my MGB. One thing that I found is important is to have the plug shaped to the contour of the panel you are welding it to otherwise it tends to warp the panel. I used a hammer and low crown dolly to get the right shape. It still needs a little metal filler but I'm happy considering this is my first attempt at welding anything important.





  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Napa, CA
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    28

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    A few pinholes so metal filler is needed.

    Here is a photo of the opposite side nearly finished (needs filler)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    28,000

    Default Nice job and good pictures...

    Are you using a MIG welder or flux core wire? You're getting a lot of spatter so I'd recommend that you coat the metal with some Picklex 20 before you weld, it will help the weld to bite and flow a lot better.


  9. #9
    autobodytech43 Guest

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    good work. Some guys say magnets effect the weld but I haven't noticed anything unusual. I just use tape and make a handle out of it to pull it up if needed and move it around.

    I'm also wondering on whether it's flux core.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    18

    Default

    Picklex will help the weld?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zorm View Post
    Picklex will help the weld?
    Yes, it helps the weld penetrate and flow. The result is a stronger, smoother and more well sealed weld.

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