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Repairing Birmabright panels

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I have some repairs to do on some Birmabright panels and I am wondering if any of my ideas are workable to produce a decent finish?

I have three types of repair to do - 1, fill a 50mm hole from a wing mounted aerial. 2, Repair a 3 inch long split. 3, repair some corrosion where the panel is bolted to the crossmember.

 

All repairs will be on the outside of the panel so I am hoping to make them invisible from the outside of the panel. I can accept an unseen repair on the inside.

 

My plan would be to bond some Birmabright over the back of the area to be repaired (use silkaflex 221? and then bond another piece of Birmabright over the top of this to bring the face flush with the existing panel. I will then have a 2 pieces of Birmabright butted together that need finishing in some way so that they can not been seen when painted.

 

Possible thoughts on this

1 -Car body filler? Will this just crack/fall off if there is not a sufficient gap? I don't think this is workable

2 - I could get a mate to Tig weld the butt joint and then sand down flat. This seems the best idea

3 I could use chemical metal and then sand it down to make the joint invisible. Will this crack in time?

 

Is any of the above sensible? I really want to avoid having to replace 5 or 6 panels. The Landy is never going to be up to concurs standard but I don't want the repairs to be obvious

 

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You could get them tig welded, or if you have a map bottle torch, you can buy some Durafix Easyweld rods and braze them...

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F291366831507

Search on YouTube for durafix easyweld and you’ll see some videos on how to do it. I’ve bought some for the panels on my range rover classic, but I haven’t got round to doing the panels yet.

cheers, Steve

Edited by SteveG

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If you want to use glue I have had success with methacrylate adhesive, eg Plexus-300, Plexus-310, Scott-Bader Crestabond.  You do need a gun to squeeze out & mix the 2 components at once. The pics show a patch on the o/s rear wheelarch on my 110csw. I cut out a hole where it was corroded, and made a patch to fit the hoIe, then glued a sheet on the back and glued the patch onto it, while the glue was fresh. The glue goes off in about 5 minutes and is very strong., the wheelarch is now noticeably stiffer. You do need to prep well and have some means of applying pressure temporarily (might be you holding it). I think filler would work over that.

IMG_20170819_171251117[1].jpg

IMG_20170820_185353773[1].jpg

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Steve G - I looked at that but could find no one who has actually used it on a Land Rover and was worried about distorting things, 390 degrees is quite a temperature.

 

Cackshifter - that is exactly what I had in mind, will google that now. Where did you buy it from?

 

Thanks


Sam

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It may well not be true, but I was told birmabright was a bit sporty when it gets hot as it contains magnesium. I never tried welding that (but I have glued it successfully with epoxy resin) .

The adhesive for the 110 I got from, strangely enough, The Adhesive Supply Company linky, I got one their starter kits which is the gun & some nozzles with one glue. (And I got some Crestobond off ebay as well from Rapidhardware.).  Methacrylate is what YRM use to stick a stiffener to their CSW 2nd row floor, so that is what pointed me that way. To do that repair (glue a 2mm ali panel under the wheelarch, then put on the patch used pretty much all of a 50ml kit. The nozzle is where the mixing happens (and it's exothermic) so it's a use once thing, you may need a few nozzles if you can't do it all at once. You could probably do it with good quality epoxy, prep is everything for both glues,  I think, the metal was all well scuffed up on the surfaces to be glued, and degreased, and made to be a tight fit - you only want very thin glue layers, and keep it clamped while it goes off. 

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These are only minor repairs, just stick a patch of metal or a fibreglass behind with sikaflex or resin and a flexible filler over the top and job done.  

For larger repairs or if it needs to be pretty sturdy I'll use countersunk pop rivets to hold a plate behind and sand them flush, then fill the area. 

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Cackshifter - thanks. I think this is the way I will go

 

Eightpot - Some of the repairs are to where the tub bolts to the crossmember so needs to be slightly stronger. looking at the specs of the stuff Cackshifter has listed I would think if done correctly it should be plenty strong enough

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1 hour ago, cackshifter said:

It may well not be true, but I was told birmabright was a bit sporty when it gets hot as it contains magnesium. I never tried welding that (but I have glued it successfully with epoxy resin) .

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I don’t think it is true, as when I looked a few months ago there were several people who had use easyweld on birmabright.

Can’t be arssed to search on google again, but here’s a link on LR4x4...

 

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Land Rover aluminium panels can be very nicely TIG welded. It's present day equivalent is something like 5251 , welding rods should be something in the 5000 series by preference. Panel preparation , besides the obvious removal of paint, dirt and corrosion, may include joggling the edge of the repair area. The joggle stiffens the edges , makes it possible to make a stronger lap joint and reduces warping. Works for bonding a patch panel too. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Heavy-Duty-Joggler-Panel-Flanging-And-5mm-Hole-Punch-Tool-For-Sheet-Metal-Repair-/121033873040

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AV8R , What grade would you say the floor panels in a Series LR are made of ?

They are considerably tougher than the bodywork.

cheers

Steve b

 

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The floorpanels are a most likely a similar Aluminium Magnesium alloy. Besides being 1,6 thick instead off 1mm it seems to have a different temper condition (heat treatment) making it harder and more difficult to bend. You'ld be surprised what an oven at 495ºC can do.

BTW In an emergency, welding rods can be made by cutting narrow strips out of some scrap panels. Just make sure you clean, clean and clean before you do any cutting, Cleaning after cutting is a lot more work as the dirt and paint is already smeared into the cut edges. This will come off when the metal is melted during welding but then it will contaminate the weld. Which you do not want.

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Thanks all, really interesting information there. it looks like TIG welding will really be the best way of doing the repairs if I can find someone local to me to do it.

I can at least get the repair patches prepared and the rotten parts cut out as whatever method I go for I will need to do this.

 

 

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On 2/21/2018 at 11:50 AM, SteveG said:

You could get them tig welded, or if you have a map bottle torch, you can buy some Durafix Easyweld rods and braze them...

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F291366831507

Search on YouTube for durafix easyweld and you’ll see some videos on how to do it. I’ve bought some for the panels on my range rover classic, but I haven’t got round to doing the panels yet.

cheers, Steve

These look interesting, have ordered some to see if I can fill the mounting holes in my grille surround panel

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I tried those sticks and had reasonable success on a vertical panel. The trouble wasn’t getting a good pool of molten metal or adding the stick to it, it was coping with gravity pulling the liquid downhill and away from the repair point. I think a YouTube video demonstrates repair on a drinks can but it’s horizontal.

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Thanks for the real world feedback - all my panels are off the truck so even the ones on the rear of the tub could be done horizontal. Do you have any pictures of your repairs?

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I’ve done this recently. Tried the braking rods and found they were hopeless, not helped by the fact that the amount of heat  had to apply to get the rod to flow meant that the panel buckled terribly.

i ended up just butt welding repair sections in using the mig. It worked well and it is invisible  after linishing.

 

BCC07E09-93F3-4A05-B555-4F1289240CDF.jpeg

7252E742-3161-45BA-8DEE-603F34CF0EFB.jpeg

ADB9D97D-A634-4935-B70A-BF3B5908A34E.jpeg

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Was that with Ali wire and pure argon?

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Cool, I must try that, be cheaper than a TIG. 

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I am wondering if it is worth me buying a second hand TIG and then selling on after I am finished? Or am I deluded that I will be able to grasp TIG welding well enough to stick things together?

 

All the welds are going to have to be filed flat in any case as they are bodywork.

 

Thoughts?

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Hi

I think you should try Al MIG first - the only cost is a small reel of wire , Teflon liner and a small bottle of Argon . It is easy to get set up with a little practice . Any worries about heat distortion - MIG or TIG can be reduced by using a heat sink behind the area being welded .

A tips are worth it too - 0.8A is around 20% bigger bore to allow for the much greater expansion of hot aluminium than steel

Steve b

Edited by steve b
A tips remark

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Thanks Steve

 

I hadn't appreciated the low cost of converting the MIG to do this and have a go. What do you mean by 'A Tips'? Should I get 1mm tips for the 0.8mm wire given the extra expansion or am I misunderstanding?

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