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Old 07-07-2019, 03:00 PM   #1
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Body filler in light holes

I've removed all the lights around the top. I closed most of the holes on the inside with fibreglass. One thing I haven't seen anyone do is close them on the outside with body filler. Is this a viable procedure? Seems simple and effective enough to me.
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Old 07-07-2019, 03:15 PM   #2
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By, "all the top lights," I hope that you mean the two pairs fore and aft, not the marker lights on the sides.
Here in the US, those side lights are required to be functional, at least they are here in Texas...
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Old 07-07-2019, 03:23 PM   #3
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Left the marker lights. Removed flashers and strobe on top.
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Old 07-07-2019, 03:31 PM   #4
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Cool beans!
Would have liked to have left the strobe, but it's incontrovertible incontinence was intolerable...
So I cut a considerably larger hole where it was to mount the A/C!
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Old 07-07-2019, 04:07 PM   #5
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If you can't weld those holes closed, Bondo/polyester body filler will work.
I, personally, would fill any holes bigger than 3" with a metal patch first then cover over w/Bondo/body filler...
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Old 07-07-2019, 04:11 PM   #6
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Thanks much
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Old 07-07-2019, 04:19 PM   #7
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...
I, personally, would fill any holes bigger than 3" with a metal patch first then cover over w/Bondo/body filler...
^
Unless you're a fan of sloppy-droopy oversized holes.
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Old 07-07-2019, 04:24 PM   #8
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Nothing is bigger than an inch
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Old 07-07-2019, 04:31 PM   #9
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Filler up!
Proper preparation of the metal surrounding the hole(s), is key to having good adhesion over the patched area.
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Old 07-07-2019, 04:40 PM   #10
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Bare, clean metal is key for successful closure!
Tho I'd recommend NOT inserting the fuel pump's nozzle into said hole, unless you are particularly keen on the subtle bouquet of aliphatic compounds wafting about your living space...
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Old 07-07-2019, 06:49 PM   #11
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I've removed all the lights around the top. I closed most of the holes on the inside with fibreglass. One thing I haven't seen anyone do is close them on the outside with body filler. Is this a viable procedure? Seems simple and effective enough to me.
Use a Bondo self-adhesive patch over the hole and Bondo Glass fiberglass-reinforced filler (instead of the normal stuff). If your holes are 1" like you say, this should be sufficient to seal them over. The flashers on my bus had 5" openings which Bondo would probably not work very well for (my bus came with a few large Bondo repairs of rust holes a few inches in diameter and they are bubbly and nasty).

A more long-term fix would be sheet metal patches welded or riveted over the holes.
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Old 07-07-2019, 11:03 PM   #12
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On mine, the holes were 4-5" so I riveted sheet metal on the inside, and then used fiberglass to fill in the hole on the outside.

On the front, the whole front is fiberglass, so I cleaned up to the existing fiberglass, ran packing tape from the inside, and fiberglassed in to match what was there already.

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Old 07-07-2019, 11:18 PM   #13
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On mine, the holes were 4-5" so I riveted sheet metal on the inside, and then used fiberglass to fill in the hole on the outside.
Chris
Didn't this leave a bunch of rivets exposed on the outside? Or do you have a double skin of some sort?
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:25 AM   #14
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Didn't this leave a bunch of rivets exposed on the outside? Or do you have a double skin of some sort?
Yes - 8 rivets. On the back I wasn't as concerned with looks. I suppose I could have JB-Welded the sheet on instead for a cleaner look, but the rear corner got bashed at one point in the bus' life, so I didn't care enough.

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Old 07-08-2019, 08:22 AM   #15
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I covered my flasher holes with these 7" diameter 1/8" steel disks that I got on eBay for $4 each:

IMG_0162.jpeg

After putting them up it occurred to me that since the 1/4" rivets I used were $0.50 each, it was doubling the cost of each patch.
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:39 AM   #16
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8 rivets is kinda over-kill...
Looks really good, tho!
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:44 AM   #17
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I covered my flasher holes with these 7" diameter 1/8" steel disks that I got on eBay for $4 each:

Attachment 35390

After putting them up it occurred to me that since the 1/4" rivets I used were $0.50 each, it was doubling the cost of each patch.
Looks real nice!
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:39 AM   #18
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8 rivets is kinda over-kill...
Looks really good, tho!
Thanks. I talked myself out of doing 12, actually. The problem was that I mangled the hell out of those openings getting the flashers off because the attaching screws were rusted tight, and they were already kind of bent up from a past-life dent in the rear. I wanted a thick piece of metal and many rivets to ensure a tight seal.

It made me kinda sad to paint these - I really liked the steampunk look with the black metal and shiny rivets.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:58 AM   #19
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Too true, that's a cool look.
What about coming back to it with an artist's paint brush & silver paint?
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Old 07-08-2019, 11:14 AM   #20
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Too true, that's a cool look.
What about coming back to it with an artist's paint brush & silver paint?
I'm thinking about it, but I know that if I give in to the temptation there, I'll probably end up hand-painting each rivet and screw on the outside of my bus. Which seems excessive.
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