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Classic Mustangs Tech Forum

Technical discussions specific to 1964-1967, 1968-1970, and 1971-1973 Classic Mustang. Discuss all tech related to in-line six cylinder and V8 powered Vintage Mustangs here.

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Unread 12-29-2011   #1 (permalink)
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Default 1967 Mustang Coupe. Removed Vinyl Top. Lots of filler from factory?

I have a 1967 Coupe that I bought in California a month ago and brought to Texas. This is a San Jose car and has minimal rust. Today I removed what I believe to be the original vinyl top. Thankfully there is minimal rust on the roof.
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I am not having any problem removing the glue. If is coming off with mineral spirits and a scuff pad. My question relates to the amount of filler I am finding and whether it is from the factory or not. The roof is not painted except for gray primer on the rear quarters or B posts and a few other spots, best i can tell at this point. It looks like the entire roof was resurfaced with filler. It also looks like the front of the roof may have fiberglass on the leading edge just above the windshield molding.
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Is this normal? Factory?
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Unread 12-29-2011   #2 (permalink)
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I think normally the factory used lead for the body filler, the roof would not have any body filler except on a seam where the roof joins the pillars or the quarter panels, there would be none on the top as it would have been clean metal. This is my opinion, I don't have any experience on the vinyl tops. Maybe some else knows for sure. Good Luck.
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Unread 12-29-2011   #3 (permalink)
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I'm with you Rex... Doesn't sound like 1967 to me, either?
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Unread 12-30-2011   #4 (permalink)
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In 67 lead was the only filler the modern plastic type we know didn't come out tell the 70s.
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Unread 12-30-2011   #5 (permalink)
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Sounds like someone yanked the original top, **** them selves, filled it all in and threw a new top on anyway. vinyl tops are known for causing bad rust problems. and the other guys are correct, ford would have only used lead and they wouldnt even have finished it. normally with an original vinyl top you pull it off and can plainly see the factory seams on the B pillars and maybe a dent here or there full of lead. sometimes they threw on a vinyl top to hide some defect.
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Unread 12-30-2011   #6 (permalink)
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Its super rare to find a factory vinyl top still on a car today.Most vinyl tops only last about 10 years or less if left outside in the sun and weather.I'm betting they took the old one off redid the roof trying to make it look factory and put a new top on it maybe in the late 80s.
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Unread 12-30-2011   #7 (permalink)
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Hello Ron. Welcome to AFM.

Plastic body fillers have been around since the 50s. The first ones were in 1953 for fiberglass boats by the Fiber Glass-Evercoat Company. Evercoat is still a major supplier of body filler. Bondo has been a trademarked filler name since 1955. It was Evercoat in 1961 who first used colored activators so you could tell when your filler is mixed correctly. In the 70s there were few shops that could or would use lead solder since they had long ago switched to 'Bondo'.

Yes, the factory used body filler under the factory original paint. My '66 GT was first stripped in 2009 and the bottom paint layer (it had several!) had occasional filler and a pinkish primer underneath that Ford had used. The major filler at the body seams was lead solder but the filler to smooth out imperfections for the topcoat was a plastic filler. Repairs to the car done in the 70s were with different filler and a gray primer so you could tell where the car had been hit/repainted and where it had not.

Whether or not what you found is original, the idea that all body filler was lead until the 70s is far from accurate. If the car has been taken care of it could well have the original filler although as others have said the vinyl top itself would be more likely to have been replaced.
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Unread 12-30-2011   #8 (permalink)
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Default Thanks

All,
Thanks for the quick response. What I know for sure is everything I do with this car so far offers surprises. I will post pictures when we strip the roof to bare metal.
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Unread 12-30-2011   #9 (permalink)
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you have several options, depending on how involved you want to get.

First option:
Leave the filler. Spray a mist coat of cheap rattlecan primer on it and block the roof (get yourself a set of durablocks) and see how straight it is. If there are lots of low black spots that didn't sand out it's not very straight. If most of it sanded off I'd just leave it.

Spray the roof and pillars with two coats of SPI Epoxy.

Option 2:
Take the roof to bare metal.
Spray two coats epoxy.
Spray your guide coat and lightly block to reveal low spots.
Fill with skim coats of polyester filler (ie Rage Extreme or Marson Platinum). If there are lots of low spots then skim the entire roof with the filler and sand to paper thin, until the entire roof blocks evenly. I'm not even going to go into bump work with you if you're a novice, you'll just make more problems for yourself.
Sand filler and block again.
Spray with two more coats of epoxy.

I'll tell you the second option is significantly more work, especially if you aren't an artist with filler.
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Unread 12-31-2011   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivy66GT View Post
Hello Ron. Welcome to AFM.

Plastic body fillers have been around since the 50s. The first ones were in 1953 for fiberglass boats by the Fiber Glass-Evercoat Company. Evercoat is still a major supplier of body filler. Bondo has been a trademarked filler name since 1955. It was Evercoat in 1961 who first used colored activators so you could tell when your filler is mixed correctly. In the 70s there were few shops that could or would use lead solder since they had long ago switched to 'Bondo'.

Yes, the factory used body filler under the factory original paint. My '66 GT was first stripped in 2009 and the bottom paint layer (it had several!) had occasional filler and a pinkish primer underneath that Ford had used. The major filler at the body seams was lead solder but the filler to smooth out imperfections for the topcoat was a plastic filler. Repairs to the car done in the 70s were with different filler and a gray primer so you could tell where the car had been hit/repainted and where it had not.

Whether or not what you found is original, the idea that all body filler was lead until the 70s is far from accurate. If the car has been taken care of it could well have the original filler although as others have said the vinyl top itself would be more likely to have been replaced.
learn somethin new every day.
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Unread 01-08-2012   #11 (permalink)
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Default Under the roof

After hours of sanding the roof today, we finally got under the fiberglass. The entire flat surface of the roof was fiberglass. Underneath, the roof is swiss cheese. I will not be putting a vinyl top back on. Anyone have a spare roof? My next post will be looking for options to fix.
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Unread 01-08-2012   #12 (permalink)
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HOLY BALLS! That's really all I can say to that.
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Unread 01-09-2012   #13 (permalink)
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Default Roof replacement

New (used) roof. Looks like replacing the roof, including getting a used roof, dipping to remove finish, cutting old spot welds, welding, and re-leading seams is about $3K at local restoration shop.
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Unread 01-09-2012   #14 (permalink)
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damn damn damn.......

Unless you're really attached to that car, I'd get rid of it and find another...I had a 66 coupe that I just sold a few months back because I saw rust bubbles under my vinyl top....not worth messing with it...cause of the vinyl top, I had rust all along the window channels/moulding area, and down the top to the trunk gutter that was all rusted....

I built the entire car up...crate motor and t5, then got pissed at the rust, stripped the entire car back down to a shell, sold the shell, and bought another 66 coupe with no rust....now I'm building it all back up again, but this time on a car with no rust. Best decision I ever made.
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Unread 01-09-2012   #15 (permalink)
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3k doesnt seem like too bad of a deal, I'd fix it.

its really not that complicated, and if the car is solid underneath its definitely worth it.
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