MX2: Bodywork Done The Wrong Way

Posted on Posted in MX2: 2001 Ford Ranger

Before I moved on to the body work, at the time, I decided to let someone who was a professional (I thought) handle this. I had done lots of metal fabrication in my time, so I was ok doing the metal work. Having little experience with bodywork I had someone who owned a hotrod shop do that end. It turned out that I had to redo most of the work as the guy was a hack. But that aside, here’s how to not do body work from my original posts.


 

With the metal work now complete it’s time to start prepping for body filler. I brought the truck over to an auto body business to let a pro have at it.

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Although, the body filler would be done by someone else, that doesn’t mean I can’t be useful. Equipped with a dual-action sander I clean all the welds and low spots.

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The guy sands off paint to fix the tin can effect from me welding the roof.

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The guy uses a fancy slide hammer to rework the roof to the correct curve. During construction the metal warped inward. By a push of a button, the tool welds itself to the sheet metal. Then you slam the metal weight upwards.

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Using a special body hammer, the guy whacks in key locations to stretch the metal into the correct a shape.

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The side panels also had the “tin can” effect. This happens when metal stretches and/or contracts during the welding process.

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Once the guy finished banding and beating the body into shape, he sprayed all the seams with etch primer.

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Here’s is the etch primer used and the Kevlar fiber body filler he’ll be adding next.

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Like any body filler, you have to mix it with the right amount of hardener. Which seems to be, about yay.

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Next the filler is spread along the weld seems. The purpose of this was to reinforce the welded areas.

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Now, it’s time to wait a few days for the filler to harden.

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With a delay in moving shops, both mine and the body guy’s, we’re back prepping the body. Here the guy sands down the kevlar filler.

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After sanding down the first coat a second coat is applied.

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After drying the second coat gets sanded.

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After the kevlar coating a skim (actually thick) coat of body filler gets applied and sanded down.

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Mixing (more of) the body filler.

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The guy applying another skim (again thick) coat to fill in all the smaller dips.

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Sanding down the second skim (once more thick) coat.

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Long story short, I should of done a bit more research into the guy’s work. He did owned a shop that turned out some nice work, but that was when he had actual body guys working for him. They had all left when my truck was started. After the last photo above I ended up taking over the body work and trying to fix the botch job. Too much body filler had been used and I spent a long time to sand it to something kind of decent. Every time I looked in the mirror it annoyed the crap out of me. I had spent hours making sure the metal was strait (have photos on here showing it). Now all I would see was a bubbled up panel with crooked body lines. Live and learn…