Lead loading is the old, traditional method of finishing car bodies, unfortunately the art of lead loading has died out to a large extent as everyone reaches for the quick, easy, no skill needed, plastic filler. But here at Mick Hadley Autos, Brierley Hill, West Midlands, sometimes the new materials dont quiet fit the bill, here we had to fill some holes in a Ford Capri, where the chrome used to be along the outside of the rear windows and along the rear quarter.
Why use Lead?
Lead is waterproof, while plastic filler is not. Lead will also “bridge” small holes in the metalwork.
The first job was to mark out the areas which were going to be loaded, we had to remove all paint and primer so the lead could be blended into the surrounding metal, we then had to use a wire brush attached to a drill to remove any rust around the holes to help get a shiny, clean, rust free surface.
Next, the tinning process. Tinning flux contains chemicals which clean the surface being tinned. we applied a little heat to the area being tinned, then applied the liquid flux with a small paint brush. After this we applied heat to fluxed areas before quickly wiping away as it started to change colour.
Then it was time to add the lead, using the blowtorch the end of the lead stick was heated until it started to melt the a lump of the move was removed from the stick using a wooden block, the block was then used to smoothen out the lead, reheating if the lead hardened to manoeuvre it.
When the lead loading was finished it left us with something like this.
We then filed the lead down to get it nice and smooth and this is what we were left with.
not too bad if we do say so ourselves, so as you can see here at Mick Hadley Autos we have a wide range of skills including some that are very rarely used in the trade today.