where can i learn to use bondo?

where can i learn to use bondo?

VT Woodsman

Northern Vermont
1978 cj7 304 v8 , 4speed which i think is out of a newer cj. Im pretty sure it has a stock transfer case.
I have a few rust spots and wanted to grind them down and bondo them smooth. Is bondo the best thing to use or is there something better. Do i prime after grinding rust away? I wanted to learn the steps involved. Thanks
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great, then what the hell have a forum for, lets just google everything. Close down the forums people. Half of this forum is to just be social.
great, then what the hell have a forum for, lets just google everything. Close down the forums people. Half of this forum is to just be social.

well, it is how I learned, iI searched google and watched alot of videos, my son and his wife came over and he thought I fixed my Jeep with metal.
Beat, pound, weld and grind the metal you have to get as close to the original body contour you can, The key to body filler is to use as little as possible. My rule of thumb is - if the filler thicker than .05" then you really should consider replacing the panel.
Prep thoroughly, Mix small amounts, Work quickly (like 3 minutes). Don't be afraid to do more than a few coats, just apply thin layers. You should be filing and/or sanding most of it off each layer. if doing more than one small spot, Buy a palm sander, preferably the velcro pad style. And wear a dust mask.

For very small holes, permatex makes a Metal Spot Filler that works well. No mixing, just squeeze the tube like with rtv sealant.

Bondoglass and similar stuff is no better than bondo. Save your money. Do buy the glaze filler for final coat, if perfect surface finish is desired.

Don't bondo the floor pan. Better off using sheetmetal there. Some of the steel ductwork at home centers is a thick enough gauge for small patch repair in floors, If money is an issue. If this is what you are doing, make the part out of cardboard first, then transfer the template to the sheet metal. Pay close attention to rails across the botton of the tub. these must be intact.

If money isn't an issue, Body armor is a popular short-cut. If you go that route, remove all the corrosion, paint with appropriate paint, and then install the armor.

CJ, out here In the rustbelt, even a fifteen year old vehicle is pretty much a rust bucket, no matter how fastidious you are with winter washing. and undercarriage prep.

A CJ is rare to see as hens teeth out here for that reason. Mine came from AZ in 2005, by the time I got it in 2010, it was a rot-box, and it was parked for two of those years.

Tub swaps are a great option if you live somewhere with little rain, no snow, and no salt. You can barely even find a TJ tub in good condition up here...

I saw a half dozen CJ's for sale last summer while in NM. I've seen six CJ's total in the past ten years here.(not including trailer queen rock-crawlers)
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Well since this is a forum still :rolleyes:, I say you turn it upside down and say "where can I learn to repair sheet metal" instead. I too search google for specialty skills like this and have learned a few tricks like shrinking the metal were it has stretched and been deformed. Sheet metal repair is art and skill and lot's of practice but the better you get at it the less BONDO you will need.:D
Thanks guys, i just like chattin about jeeps. I did learn alot already. If i didnt know better i would have slapped bondo on like cake iceing. I would have figured more is better. I just have a few spots with rust the side of a plum, so im going to grind the rust and lightly do a few coats of bondo over it then prime and repaint. I didnt know if you have to prime before you start the bondo .
Google it, watch The power block and go to your local JY and buy some cheap panels. Ding it, fill it, sand it, prime it then paint it.. Use gloss spray cans to see how much shows up after you paint it. I saw a show where they took a hood and put a small ding in it. They did the bondo work and sanded it "smooth" then put a flat edge on it and your could see how much bigger the dent was even though it was a tiny ding. Just play around with it, make sure you use tillable sands me primer and wet sand it before painting it.. It will look a lot better.
If it's not structural. I will cut out the bad area. Put tape over the outside. Then fiberglass the inside. Peel the tape off after it cures. Then a thin layer of bondo.
Grind away all the rust and paint around the hole. Large holes will need something to back up the bondo when you apply it, metal plate or wire mesh. Make sure the metal is scuffed up with at least 40 grit before you apply a thin coat of bondo. When mixing bondo, use a wiping motion instead of stirring it to prevent air bubbles in the mix. Apply the bondo as smooth as possible to reduce sanding it off later. Use a "cheese grater" to knock down the high spots, do this when the bondo has cured for about 30 minutes in 70 degree weather. Reapply if needed until it is at the correct thickness and matches the rest of the panel. Sand and then prime with a primer surfacer to fill scratches and pin holes. Spray a contrasting color of primer lightly over the repair as a guide coat, block sand with 220 grit to see any imperfections in the repair. Fill the low spots with glazing putting and sand the highs down to level the repair. Two heavy coats of primer when you are finish. Then wet sand before you spray any color over it. Some bondo has fiber additives that give the material strength such as "kitty hair". This works for large repairs or repairs near the edge of doors, tailgates and hoods. Less is always better.
I'm no body man, by any means, however have committed to doing my own work on my CJ. I have talked to several experienced paint and body guys, and have been told to stay away from Bondo brand. I am using Z Grip, which is supposed to be a good product. Use as little as possible, and you must have 3 things to be successful. Patience, patience, and patience. Work it, sand it and repeat, until you get the desired result. Remember that once the hardener is mixed in you are working against the clock, so don't try to cover too much area at once. After application you will want to sand smooth, then determine if more is needed. Apply a little primer or paint and then use a block with some sandpaper to find low spots.
It is simple, mix it spread it and remove everything that does not look like a Jeep.:D

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