I recently bought a 1994.5 Crewcab dually Centurion Conversion. It has stainless grab rails with marker lights installed behind each door. I want to remove both the grab rails and the marker lights. I was quoted $900.00 by a body shop to remove them, weld up the holes and repaint the area. That is a lot of money. I am considering just using bondo and touch up paint in an attemp to do this cheaper but I am worried about the outcome as the truck is in immaculate condion with only 72K miles on it. Has anyone removed grab rails and or marker lights from their truck? How did you do it and what was the outcome like from a cosmetic standpoint?
I have used JB Weld to fill holes many times & painted over it with no problems. Never had it crack or fail & it doesn't damage surrounding paint or warp the panels. Just dimple the hole slightly & tape over the back if accessable.
I first saw JB Weld used on a 67 Chevelle that my boss was having restored. They were taking all the trim & emblems off it. They put an expensive paint job over it & it was undetectable when done. The shop that did it does high end work. It appears JB Weld must have similar expansion characteristics to the metal. I tried it myself on a 71 GTO & you can't see the repair. Part of the repair was filling holes in a trunk lid when I removed the spoiler. They were like 5/16" holes.
It even hid the inside holes since they go through the deck lid stiffeners also & I could hide the thickness of the repair. It worked awesome inside & out. I would never weld another hole it a body panel unless it was structural or I wanted to show the back side.
I would agree that it wouldn't be my first choice if I was drilling & tapping or fixing a pitman arm. It's some amazing stuff though. I was once 4-wheeling out on the Naches trail by Mount Rainier & one of the guys had a 79-80 toyota with a 350/turbo350 in it. His front driveline was slightly too long & when he dropped off a log the driveline bottomed out & broke the transfer case in half. We were way off the pavement. We parked it & went back into town got a couple packages of JB weld & some brake cleaner & gear oil. We cleaned it up & glued it back together & camped for the night. We didn't even take it out of the truck. The next day we drove it out of the woods & back to Seattle with no problems. I've never seen it fail in any application. It's rated to 500F & has a tensile strength of 3960 Lbs. It's also microwave safe & non-toxic too /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/phoney.gif. No, I don't work for them, I just was looking at their web site. They actually list it for "body shop repairs". My concern with a big flat panel like a trunk lid is that welding it might cause warping that you couldn't hide with bondo.