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 Repairing a classic Beetle bonnet the old way, with lead loading.

Lead loading

Old skills are still current in today’s classic car repair industry.

Recently more customers have been asking us if we do lead loading or lead wiping as it used to be called. It is one of the many skills we have available on request. It is a more expensive way of doing car body repairs but the long term durability of the repair quickly outweighs the cost.

beetle bonnet repair

The above 1964 beetle bonnet, needed patch repairs to the upper corners where it meets the windscreen panel. The customer was not keen to replace the original 53 year old panels, so we cut the old rusty metal out and welded new plates in. This way the car would lose it’s original honesty.

beetle lead loading bonnet

Once the new metal has been welded in it is then tinned up and covered with a layer of lead. Lead body repairs make a panels structure strong and seals the patch repair. We still use the 70/30 lead to tin sticks, the originals that we used so many years ago. Once lead has been applied correctly it will not peal off or crack, it is a permanent repair method.

beetle bonnet lead filed

The rough shaped lead is then filed down to match the original profiles of the bonnet. The shape will be finished with a thin layer of finishing putty.

Lead loading beetle bonnet lead loading lead loading vw bonnet

With the two top corners of the the bonnet replaced with new metal, the bonnet is lead sealed and ready for surface rust and paint removal. All traces of rust will be removed with a wire wheel/ scotch wheel and metal prep solution will be applied.

beetle bonnet metal prep

The Jenolite metal prep solution is worked into any remaining rust areas until the whole of the bonnet is just grey metal again. The next step is 2 coats of 2k epoxy primer and it’s ready to prep for painting.

For all lead loading body repairs contact us today.






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